Compact Powerful

With people looking to economize and environmental ethics kicking in, many are moving to smaller, more fuel efficient cars.  But when you want to take a trip or enjoy the outdoors, where do you put all the gear in a compact car?  Here are tips from years of road trips and outdoor adventures.

Having owned and driven a compact car, I have never been a big fan of roof mounted carriers, like roof boxes and racks, why? 


1. Aerodynamics:  There is significant drag when using a roof top carrier (average loss is 6 M.P.G.).  Data: Consumer Reports and Edmunds.  When you mount gear on the roof it robs horsepower, mileage and creates extra drag.


2. Roof Clearance: If you are not paying attention you can crush the gear and your roof box or rack.


3. Loading:  After a good camping trip, long hike or other, do you really want to lift a bunch of heavy gear over head and above onto a rack or box?


4. Storage: Where do you store all the rails and large roof box when done? Those big boxes take up a lot of garage or closet space. 


5. They will set you back: the complete box and rail system can cost   $650-$850 or more.


A new alternative to carry gear on compact cars and  SUVs are rear mounted cargo carriers. They mount behind the vehicle, are easy to put on and take off, save fuel, load on the ground and fold up to the size of a briefcase.

  • They install out of the wind stream and virtually eliminate aerodynamic drag, saving fuel.
  • Rear mounting eliminates the roof clearance issues.
  • No lifting or climbing up to the roof to load or unload the gear.
  • They fold to the size of a brief case and can store inside your trunk.
  • They are a fraction of the cost of a complete roof box system.

If you have a compact vehicle and need more space, a rear mount cargo carrier is an excellent solution.


If you are interested in the convenience and performance benefits of rear mounted cargo carriers see

Mike Landgraf is an outdoor enthusiast at AeroPACKusa. Email him at

What is the best compact glock... (9mm or .40 S&W)?

Im looking for my first glock but don't have the money to buy several different guns right now. What is a powerful and good glock to own? Im not looking for a standard size,I would prefer a compact. Ive heard that there was not a large difference between 9mm and .40 S&W. Is this so?

All Glock's are good Jason, you know that. If you are looking for a personal self defense caliber, the .40 cal can't be beat. Why do you think most police departments nationwide as well as the FBI changed from 9mm to the more powerful .40 cal. load? It all has to do with "knockdown" power, and the .40 has the 9mm licked to the bone! Granted, a .9mm will do the job, but I would rather be armed with 13 rounds of .40 than 13 rounds of 9mm any day. As far as Glock compacts go, try the Glock 23C in .40 cal. I myself shoot with a Glock 22 .40 cal and wouldn't have it any other way. The Glock handguns are, in my opinion, the best made guns in todays market. They are virtually indestructible and are a snap to take apart for cleaning (one of the easiest there is). You can have the slide, barrel, and recoil spring apart in about 10 seconds flat. I have never had a spent casing that didn't eject properly or a jam-up from my Glock, and this reliability is what Glock pistols are noted for. They are fail proof! A glock 23C .40 cal. loaded with Winchester Bonded PDX1 in either 165 gr. or 180 gr. JHP are a great combo for personal protection. The PDX1 cartridges have been engineered to maximize terminal ballistics as defined by the demanding FBI test protocol which simulates real world threats. Which means in short, that if you are hit by one, you will be knocked on your a$$. These cartridges penetrate 12" to 14" deep into the test gelatin and retain almost 100% of their original weight. So yeah.... with that said, the 23C in .40 cal is what you want........

....Billy Ray

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