Have you ever planned a skiing or snowboarding trip only to discover you have more gear than room? We’ve all been there. Even in the largest of SUVs, skis and snowboards require significant room to transport — and nobody wants wet skis and boards in the car during the trip home. The powder that you navigated all day (and failed to completely remove before loading) will return to its liquid state before you’ve had time to thawed out.
Here are our favorite snowboard and ski racks from Thule and Yakima — two top-notch transportation product companies — for hauling that gear in the season ahead.
Best Rooftop Carriers
If you already own a rack system or have factory crossbars on your vehicle, consider one of the following options for transporting multiple pairs of skis and snowboards.
Yakima FatCat 4 Evo – $229
FatCat Evo mounts tool-free to virtually any roof rack. The aerodynamic design delivers a quiet ride and the large button allow for smooth access while wearing gloves or mitts. It features integrated SKS (same key system) locks for added security. Looking to carry more? Consider the FatCat 6 Evo ($279), which can accommodate up to six pairs of powder skis or four snowboards.
Thule SnowPack Extender – $300
While this newest addition to the Thule product lineup fits virtually any roof rack, it has the added convenience of extending along the track to make for easy loading and unloading of your equipment. Additional features include oversized push buttons and locks that lock the rack to the car and skis to the rack. The rack accommodates up to six pairs of skis or four snowboards.
Both Yakima and Thule make options for converting your hitch-mounted bike racks into ski and snowboard carriers to maximize the use of a single rack.
Yakima HitchSki – $219
The HitchSki fits most four- and five-bike, mast-style hitch racks and will carry up to six pairs of skis or four snowboards. The rig comes with Yakima’s same SKS locking mechanism to secure your gear to the rack. Optional locking options are available to secure to entire rig to your car.
Thule Tram – $280
Already have a hanging hitch bike rack from Thule? Transform it to hold up to six pairs of skis or four snowboards on two-inch receiver racks (and up to 4 pairs of skis or 2 snowboards on 1 1/4-inch). The Tram includes two one-key locks to secure snowboards and skis to the rack. (Note that the Tram is not compatible with the Thule Helium or Helium Aero)
Still Need More Space?
Bulky items like helmets and boots can also be space-consuming. When carpooling to the slopes, all of this gear adds up — and when the vehicle is packed with snow enthusiasts, space is critical.
With 10 rooftop cargo boxes — ranging from $379-$779 — Yakima has the appropriate box to accommodate your gear needs. The smallest box, the RocketBox Pro 11 ($379), will hold up to 210 cm skis; the largest box, the SkyBox 21 Carbonite ($600), will hold up to 215 cm skis (and with 21 cubic feet of storage space, a whole lot more). All feature the universal roof rack fit.
Thule sports just four options in the ski-compatible cargo box category, with price points ranging from $430-$1,000. The smallest and sleekest box, the Pulse ($430), will hold skis up to 210 cm. While not the largest, the Motion XT Alpine ($780), will hold the largest skis, up to 215 cm.
Feature image courtesy of Yakima Racks/Facebook.