Review: Exodus 580l Roof Box by Halfords

by Mags Nixon

Aren’t road trips as a family just the best! We adore our VW transporter and love being able to sling everything in the back and go. Easy. But if we’re camping round Europe, moving to the Alps (again) for the ski season, or just pottering down the coast for a long weekend, we’ve found our Exodus 580l roof box to be invaluable! You’d think with only 2 kids and no dog (!) that we’d have enough space in a long wheel base transporter but no!  You can never have enough space on the road. (ps If you’re interested in touring Europe in a motor home check out this amazingly useful post)

The Exodus 580l roof box (from Halfords) is a fantastic piece of kit which we never even notice we’ve got on the top of our wagon. It means we can shove any extra kit up on the roof without cluttering our van – crucial when we camp in it!

I’ll never buy a piece of kit without comparing several reviews, so after a year of us putting our Exodus roof box to hardcore full time use in extreme weather conditions, our review will tell you all you need to know about the Exodus 580l roof box before you decide to make a purchase. For adventuring families, we think this affordable, HUGE capacity roof box is the dogs.

Exodus roof box in a mountain scene

Prepare to explore ….

Review – Exodus 580l Roof Box

OK so Exodus roof boxes are Halford’s own brand roof boxes. At half the price of roof box kings, Thule, Exodus roof boxes are a much more affordable option for families needing to shell out cash to increase luggage capacity. Most families worry about comprising quality over price but we’ve honestly been pleasantly surprised by the high quality features of our Exodus 580l roof box and are super happy with it.

The Exodus 580l has a guarantee of 3 years (over Thules 5 years) but we also heard on the grapevine (whether its true or not, we’re not sure) that Thule actually make the Exodus roof boxes for Halfords. That would explain the high quality features….  

Below we take you through the specifics of the Exodus 580l roof box.

roof box on a van

The Exodus 580l roof box fits easily onto roof bars. Fitting takes a mere 5 minutes

Exodus 580l – Size

The Exodus 580l roof box measures 195cm x 99cm x 45cm. It’s the biggest roof box Exodus do, and trust me – it’s HUGE.  The roof box spans across the entire roof of our van, but we can also strap on a couple of surfboard bags on the side. Don’t worry if you’ve got a car – the width of 99cm still fits fine onto a regular vehicle. Look at the Exodus 360l if you’re looking for a slimmer model ie if you need to put a kayak or cycle rack alongside the roof box. For us the full width works perfectly as our bike rack fits onto the back of our van. The 580l was also the one Exodus model that was long enough at 195cm (over the 165cm of the 470l model 165x95x41cm) to accommodate the length of our ski gear. Something to note if you specifically want to carry ski gear like us.

Lightweight at 20k and with a capacity of 75kg, it’s got the capability to more than double a car’s boot space so for camping adventures with the family, for throwing damp wetsuits into or for long road trips, the Exodus 580l is perfect.

vw transporter van with roof box on

For family road trips, a robust, large capacity roof box is a dream

Exodus 580l – Quality

The Exodus 580l roof box is a sleek, black model made from strong, scratch resistant ABS material. The exterior also has a UV protection to ensure strength and durability and to stop cracks from prolonged sun exposure. The aerodynamic shape of the box has been designed to reduce noise & wind resistance (thus saving on fuel). We can vouch that the Exodus 580l is very quiet – we actually NEVER hear any noise and most of the time forget it’s even up there!

We’ve found the roof box to be very robust. In over a year of using our Exodus 580l (having had it up on the roof 90% of that time and in severe winter conditions of up to -20 and is regularly covered in snow) it’s still in remarkably good condition.

snow covered van

Just testing for leaks!

Exodus 580l – Accessibility

The Exodus 580l has dual opening sides, meaning you can open the roof box from either side. This is super handy because the box is so wide spanning the width of the vehicle that it can be hard to stretch over to access the other side. Saying that we generally only tend to use one side as our transporter is so high & we’ve only got a sliding door on the one side, plus my other half has extremely long arms!

Note that this 580l model is the only Exodus model to feature the dual opening sides, presumably because of it’s extra wide width.

The Exodus roof boxes have a patented spring lid & locking mechanism. The supporting lid-lifters mean you can load the box easily without having to keep the lid up with one arm! Very important. The lid opening is smooth and works really easily.  

dual opening roof box

The Exodus 580l opens both sides

Is the Exodus 580l roof box leak proof?

YES! We can fully vouch for this one. Living in a ski resort 5 months of the year (with the roof box remaining on top of our van) the roof box has been exposed to extreme weather. It regularly has snow covering it and yet we’ve never, ever had a problem with leaks, something that we’ve experienced several times with other roof boxes in the past.

van with roof box in snowy mountain scene

Our van takes us everywhere …. well in Europe anyhow

Exodus 580l – Locking System

The Exodus 580l comes with two keys. Remember to swap one onto your second set of keys! We didn’t do this for some time and were caught out more than once rocking up to surf or snowboard, only to realise on arrival, we’d picked up the wrong set of keys. Doh.

The Exodus 580l locking system is very secure! We’re really impressed with this feature. The locking system actually prevents you from removing the key unless the roof box is locked. No nightmare scenarios of an unlocked roof box spilling its contents all over the motorway. 

locking system on roof box

The locking system of the Exodus 580l is bad ass – it won’t let you take the key out unless the roof box is locked. YES!

Exodus 580l – Fitting

Fitting is a cinche! In fact, we’d even claim that this model is idiot proof! My other half fitted it in 5 minutes by himself, so don’t pooh pooh the 5 minute fitting time statements on the Halfords website as nonsense – it’s true.

The roof box, weighing 20kg, can easily be lifted onto the top of a car by one person. It then connects to roof bars (if you haven’t got any, you’ll have to buy some – all roof boxes are fitted onto roof bars).  The easy snap mounting system has a ‘power click’ grip, using the U bolts supplied with the roof box.

It really is a piece of cake to fit. But if you really don’t want to fit it yourself, if you buy roof bars and a roof box together from Halfords, they offer a fitting service for £24.95.

fitting the roof box

Fitting the roof box takes 5 minutes. Easy peasy.

Just a word on the fittings – my other half was extremely skeptical about the fittings when he first examined the roof box before fitting it. In fact, EVEN after fitting, he even tied on extra straps to secure the roof box on it’s maiden voyage over to France at the beginning of our first family ski season last year because he didn’t quite trust the fittings on the motorway! We now regularly speed down the motorway with the roof box laden to full capacity and we have had no problems at all!

 

Exodus 580l – Price

Being Halfords’ own brand, the Exodus roof boxes are much more affordable than the top of the range roof boxes such as Thule. This Exodus 580l roof boxes is retailing at £399 from Halfords compared to a Thules 600l similar model which costs more than double the price at £654. Are top of the range roof boxes worth paying double? After using this Exodus 580l for over a year and with no downsides, we think absolutely not.

Exodus 580l roof box on van

The roof box has been invaluable to our family road trips – and can double the capacity of a standard car boot

Exodus 580l roof box – Verdict

We have nothing but good things to say about the Exodus 580l roof box. Tried and tested through tough weather conditions for over a year, we would fully recommend it to anyone. Here’s a round up of the good and bad of the Exodus 580l roof box:

EXODUS 580L ROOF BOX

PROS

AFFORDABLE

HUGE CAPACITY

EASY TO FIT

SECURE LOCKING FEATURES

ROBUST & GOOD QUALITY

DUAL SIDE ACCESSIBILITY

 

CON

LARGE TO STORE

The only con that we have experience is that because of its size it’s hard to store if you want to take the roof box off your vehicle. Because of this we mainly keep the roof box on top of the box for ease of use, however this does increase petrol consumption slightly plus it’s hard, well impossible to park in car parks with barriers and height restrictions.

motorway broken down

Here’s my nutty crew and of course our beloved VW …. and roof box

We were kindly provided an Exodus 580l roof box by Halfords to review, however as always our opinions are 100% our own. We only review kit that we rate highly and that we have tried and tested.

 

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2 comments

James K 22nd July 2018 - 4:30 pm

Hey,

Great review, many thanks.

Quick question, how do you secure your skis in the box from moving around, damaging things and themselves etc? The Thule one as a ski box adapter which looks nifty but wondering if necessary.
Thanks,
James

Reply
Mags Nixon 7th December 2018 - 2:24 pm

Hi James. So sorry for the late reply. I’ve had a problem with the back end of my comments which has only just been fixed, so I’m only now catching up on comments on the blog. You might have already bought this/a roof box – if so, again apologies. If you’re still researching for heading out to the snow this winter then I can answer you question. The Exodus 580l has four fast internal connectors that attach the roof box to the roof bars. These connectors have a small loop that can used for securing internal straps (not provided). I have a photo if you’d like of the internal connectors. To be honest we don’t use internal straps. Our ski kit doesn’t tend to slide around that much inside so we’ve never bothered. Hope this helps and again, apologies for the late response.

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