Pump, Pump It Up… We Test HandiWorld’s HandiRack

Hugely useful, well priced, excellent build-quality, lightweight and compact

Water leaks into car when raining, due to straps

HandiRack tested and reviewed by carproductstested.com . Handiracks mounted on vehicle roof.

Design and quality

The idea behind the HandiRack is to have roof racks which are useable, easily storable, lightweight. Something temporary which anyone can fit and use. Oh yes, they’re inflatable too! Inflatable. Roof racks. Eh? How do those work, and what sort of load can they take? Let’s have a closer look…

Review of the HandiRack. Image shows 4 photo's of HandiRack details including straps and inflatable racks

 

 

For fitment, HandiWorld say they can be used on any 3 or 5-door solid-top vehicle, as long as on the 3-door car, the rear windows will open. A 3-door Mitsubishi Pajero we were using as a test-bed had no rear-opening windows, but luckily had built-in roof bars running the length of the roof each side. Let’s be clear, HandiWorld said to us that their HandiRacks were not designed to strap to these type of roof bars, but we used them anyway by looping the strap under and over the bars, and we never had a single problem

Handiworld Handirack inflatable roof rack 80kg

Handiworld Handirack inflatable roof rack inflation valve

We like high grade gear, and this product was certainly that. The material surrounding the inflatable tubes is strong, durable and tough. The material is similar to a German-made inflatable boat we bought a while ago, which is ultra-resilient and has survived a load of heavy-use trips. A good thing.

The HandiRack’s straps and metal rings running between the inflatable sections – to strap your gear to – are the same superb quality, with heavy-duty stitching keeping them in place.

Our favourite features

As mentioned above, we can’t fault the materials the HandiRack is made from, or the actual workmanship and we applaud the guys at HandiWorld for not making these cheaply.

These are also quick to fit! After using them two or three times, we were attaching them in just a few minutes. They inflate in no time too, due to the supplied 2-way air pump. Our testers loved the way the racks deflate to a small size, where they can be then stored and hardly take up any room. Great for security; get to destination, take rack off, deflate, chuck in boot.

Although the HandiRack system is light, they can hold an impressive 80kg (2,821 o.z) in weight. We must have put near enough that on them a few times, and there were no issues.

HandiRack reviewed. Image shows 4 photo's including the kit itself, inflating the tubes, and the racks mounted on a Mitsubishi Pajero

Any drawbacks?

After a pretty heavy downpour of rain one time, we found that a couple of the seats in the vehicle the HandiRack was attached to were quite damp. It seems the belt which goes inside between the doors to hold the racks down is made of similar material to a safety or seat belt. These soak water up, and that alongside the belt nipping the door seals in a bit, made the water run to the interior section of the strap, which then drips down onto you, or your seat. We suggest that if the belts were coated in plastic or rubber to stop them soaking up water, this would probably be a solution.

We also noticed that after some use, the HandiRack had left very fine scratches on the paintwork of the roof. However, this is normal – as detailing enthusiasts we know that even on dry, clean paintwork, rubbing anything other than a good microfibre cloth across it will cause fine scratches and swirl marks. The answer? Secure a couple of soft microfibre cloths the full way under each rack. Simples.

Price

We feel the £55 (approx.) price for the HandiRack is spot-on. We really can’t fault the quality of these, and although there’s the water issue, the fact remains they really are priced fairly. A pair of decent secure roof bars cost £30 more at least, but then you have the trouble of storing them etc when not in use etc.

Image shows HandiWorld's HandiRack mounted to a 4x4 vehicle. The HandiHoldall is connected to it.

Who are they good for?

If you rarely use roof racks and just want a quick, simple solution for carrying something too big for your boot or trunk – and also something that’s easily storable – then these are for you. They also look very cool, for you ‘boarding dudes out there. But, if you’re planning on a long trip away, then buy a pair of the traditional, solid bars.

7.5/10

Specs

Kit weight  2.5 kilo’s
Weight capacity  80 kilo’s (dependant on vehicle)
Size  (Inflated) Tube length: 95 cm, Tube height: 10 cm
Colours  Blue, Black
Website  www.handiworld.com
Price  £54.99 – £59.99

Thanks to the guys at HandiWorld for sending this product.

Words: Chris Davies | Photo’s: Chris.D, Matt Davies | Other Testers: Nath Fielder


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