Skiing, Snowboarding

Best Hitch Racks for Skis and Snowboards 2019

Best Hitch Racks for Skis and Snowboards

There are three main types of ski and snowboard racks including crossbar racks, side rail racks, and the not so common snowboard and ski hitch rack. While crossbar racks mount on the factory-fixed roof rack cross bars of your vehicle, side rail racks mount on your car’s existing side rails but without crossbars. Hitch racks are a bit different because they are clamped on the rear of your vehicle on a hitch mounted or hanging bike racks. These racks allow you to transport your skis and snowboards in a vertical position and come with a maximum capacity of 6 sets of skis or four snowboards. A ski rack for a car hitch requires that you install hitch receivers on your car in addition to the bike racks as already mentioned.

  Price Name Our score
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Yakima HitchSki 6-Ski Adapter for Mount Bike Racks 4.8
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Thule Jeep Ski and Snowboard Carrier-Spare Tire Mounted 4.8
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Thule Tram Hitch Ski Carrier 4.9

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On the other hand, there is another type of these rear racks like the Jeep Ski and Snowboard Carrier-Spare Tire Mounted that mount on the spare tire rack.

The most important factor to bear in mind when selecting a snowboard/ski rack hitch mount is compatibility. A hitch rack must be compatible with your car’s hitch for it to mount properly. Check the weight capacity of the hitch, also known as tongue weight, an ensure that it can support the ski/snowboard weight you intend to load on it. People who have opted for hitch racks chose them for the following reasons.

  • They are space savers. Skis and snowboards are arranged in an upright position allowing one to maximize the available capacity.
  • Because of its position at the back rather than the top of your car, a hitch snowboard rack is easily accessible. Owing to this, it is also easy to install since you do not need to lift your gear high up to place them on the roof of your car as is typical with the other types.
  • With a hitch ski rack, it’s easy to pass through tunnels and garages without worrying about any extra height above the roof of your car.
  • You will not experience any problems with drag as is the case with roof mounted racks.

 

On the other hand, they are not without cons. These include:

  • Hitch racks tend to get dirty since they are nearer to the ground. As you accelerate, dust, dirt, and mud that lifts off the ground settle on your rack. This makes them
  • Mounting skis on your car’s rear means that you cannot access the trunk without first removing them which can be cumbersome.
  • Particularly when transporting snowboards, visibility through the rear window is hampered.
  • Maneuvering through tight corners or parking spaces is not easy with your skis or boards mounted on the rear of your car.

 


 

Best Hitch Racks for Skis and Snowboards 2019

Our snowboard and ski hitch rack review analyzes 3 top hitch racks. Check them out and see which one suits your most specific needs.

 

1. Yakima HitchSki 6-Ski Adapter for Mount Bike Racks

The Yakima HitchSki carrier comes with a capacity to handle 6 sets of skis or 4 snowboards just like a car roof-mounted ski rack but with more versatility. It mounts on your tilt or swing-away rack to convert it into a carrier for your skis and snowboards during winter. This rack is designed with 2 fixed upper arms and an adjustable lower arm. The clamps of your ski/snowboards are attached to the upper support arms. Together with 17.25 inches spacing between the bars front to back, this hitch ski rack will accommodate varying sizes and thicknesses of skis and snowboards.

The horizontal side bars on the upper part of this adapter measures 13 inches in length which makes it compatible with the swing-away or tilt style 4 or 5 capacity bike hitch racks. This carrier comes outfitted with SKS security lock. To protect your gear from scratch and give them a longer life, the arms of this adapter are lined with a soft rubber material. The only con, but definitely not a deal breaker, is that you will have to purchase the rack separately. Overall, this is a sturdy and durable product.


 

2. Thule Jeep Ski and Snowboard Carrier-Spare Tire Mounted

This ski and snowboard hitch rack by Thule makes an excellent option if you own a Jeep Wrangler manufactured in 1991 or thereafter or Jeep Liberty years 2002-2007. It has the capacity to hold 6 sets of skis or 4 snowboards and unlike others, is mounted on the carrier of your spare tire at the rear of the vehicle. It specifically works with TSPRO963 and comes with a cable that locks your gear securely in place and is pretty easy to install and unmount. An advantage with this carrier is that it will be easier to pass through garages and tunnels without the extra height on your car roof since it is mounted on the rear of the vehicle. On the con though, it tends to rust with exposure to moist conditions since it is not lined with a waterproof layer.

 

3. Thule Tram Hitch Ski Carrier

Thule’s 9033 Tram ski hitch carrier is an innovative piece. This carrier is mountable on Thule’s hanging hitch bike rack since it is positioned at the rear of the vehicle and comes with a 29-inch loading width and 165 lb weight capacity. It will ferry your skis and snowboards in an upright position to maximize its capacity to accommodate more gear. This allows you to transport 6 sets of skis or 4 snowboards depending on the receiver rack you will have installed on your vehicle. The 2-inch class two receiver racks will accommodate the maximum while the 1.25-inch receiver racks will only accommodate 4 sets of skis or 2 snowboards along with the spare me 2 tire carrier.

It features a soft layer of rubber on the arms to prevent your gear from scratching and 2 SKS locks for security. This carrier opens fast and easy with a single press of the large push button which can be operated with or without gloves. This carrier is not compatible with Thule’s Helium or Aero bike rack models.

 

Conclusion

A ski and snowboard hitch mount come in handy especially to cars that have been designed without roof mounts. They are easy to install and easily accessible. With an additional cable lock to your purchase, the safety of your expensive gear should not be a problem. More than that they need to be strong and durable. Overall, these racks are a good investment for outdoor trips, where you want to remain comfortable inside your car without sharing space with skis, boards, and others. Finally, be sure to get a ski/snowboard trailer hitch rack that suits your taste to complete your fulfillment.

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