Porsche 911s are fairly generous when it comes to cargo room considering the competitors like the Audi R8. A 911 offers usable back seats which can also serve as additional cargo space. But, if you want a 911 that is also capable of transporting your bicycle or even more cargo, a roof rack is necessary.
And choosing the perfect roof rack for a 911 is important because you want to keep your 911 scratch-free. You also want a roof rack that is not too heavy nor fiddly to use, and one that will not obstruct your vision or your aerodynamic profile too much.
The first option would probably be to consider a Porsche Tequipment main roof transportation system because these racks are made specifically by Porsche for Porsche. You can also check out a few different aftermarket options such as Thule, Yakima, or Pilot, but these are not made for 911 models specifically.
And you should most definitely pick out a system that is specifically designed for a 911, because many of these systems come in direct contact with the paint, and paint damages should be your number one concern when buying a roof transport system.
Porsche OEM roof transportation systems
If you like your 911 Porsche OEM, then you should definitely check out the standard Porsche Roof transport system main support. This system retails for $638, and it fits all modern 911 models. If you are concerned that your 911 might not be able to utilize this system, you should check if it’s indeed possible on the Porsche Tequipment website.
This system is made to attach to specific bolt points which are not in direct contact with the paint which is always a reassuring method. This system offers 2 lockable aluminum bars with a maximum load capacity of 165 lbs (75kg) which is more than enough for most situations.
This system is also made to suit a wide variety of Porsche Tequipment transportation modules such as Porsche bike racks or roof boxes. If you opted for a sliding roof mechanism on your 911, it’s worth mentioning that this system is only available as a factory option, and you can not retrofit it later.
Pieces of information such as these are usually found in the depths of Porsche Driver manuals, but if you are having trouble with reading multiple hundreds of pages, you should contact your dealer for further instructions.
Thule roof transportation systems
As mentioned previously, a 911 is always a prized possession, one that should be kept and maintained properly to make sure that all the amazing aspects a 911 offers are not being tarnished by substandard aftermarket equipment and accessories.
But in a land of questionable aftermarket roof-transportation-solution manufacturers, Thule is somewhat of a legend. This is because this Swedish manufacturer has been around for quite a while now, and they have always delivered an adequate solution for a bunch of transportation problems.
So it’s rather safe to say that Thule is a manufacturer that can be trusted in this instance. Some Thule solutions like the $256 Thule steel SquareBars package fit a bunch of 911 models, but not all of them. So definitely make sure you pick out the right one while browsing the stores.
This Thule system is fairly popular with a bunch of different models, it’s made out of steel, which means that this system is considerably heavier than the Porsche OEM one, but it does offer a higher maximum load capacity of 220lbs (100kg) for most models. So make sure to inform yourself about the maximum load capacity of your specific 911.
Benefits of Porsche OEM systems
Without going any further into the vast realms of aftermarket roof rail manufacturers, Porsche or sometimes Thule should be your primary options. But, an OEM Porsche system is always way better, even compared to Thule.
This is because these systems are literally purpose-built for a 911, which means that you do not have to worry about maximum load capacity issues or achieving a perfect fit or any potential paint damages, scratches, and scuffs.
Porsches roof transportation system is a bit more expensive compared to most other alternatives out there. But this not an aspect one should be looking to save a couple of bucks due to lots of potential issues that might arise from transporting 200lbs of cargo over your head.
Porsche systems are as the gen-z would call them – built differently. This means that these systems offer the same durability and reliability properties just like the cars themselves. Even though they do cost more compared to aftermarket systems, the price difference is justified by the reassurance that you are using a dependable Porsche product.
Can I mount a cargo box to the roof of my 911 without a main transportation system?
Some 911 owners are using specific suction cups mounted directly onto the paint/glass roof surface of their 911 models to mount a roof box. This method might prove cheaper and more practical as opposed to buying a specific mount rail just to mount the roof box to it.
But this method has a lot of drawbacks too because it’s highly unlikely that this setup can last a long time, nor that it could ever achieve the load capacity of a designated transportation system. Paint scuffs and scratches are also a thing to worry about.
How much do the Porsche transportation modules cost?
If you do decide to buy the Porsche Roof transport system main support, you should also check out all the different Porsche transportation modules that mount to the transport system. Depending on the size, a designated Porsche roof box can cost you upwards of $1000.
A bike/racing bike roof rack costs around $250-300 and a ski/snowboard setup costs around $311. The roof box prices are fairly inflated, and you might be able to save a few bucks by opting for a Thule roof box if it indeed does fit the Porsche transport system.
Can I retrofit the Porsche Roof transport system main support?
If you own an older 911 model, you might also try to retrofit the Porsche Roof transport system main support onto your 911. This is possible for most 911 models, but you should always consult a professional just to make sure you are not spending your money on something that does not fit your particular 911 model.
You might also check out a used Porsche Roof transport system main support online, as it does sometimes enable you to save a few bucks. But you should also make sure that the system is carefully checked by a Porsche mechanic before installation.