Skiing, Snowboarding

Best Roof Racks for Skis and Snowboards 2019

Best Roof Racks for Skis and Snowboards

Going away on a winter trip for adventure can be fun. However, packing up and ferrying winter gear to a destination, especially if the holiday will take several days, is the dilemma that many have to contend with. While it is possible to stuff everything up inside your car or SUV and throw a few others into the trunk, this is certainly not the best option since some odd-shaped items like skis and snowboards along with their bindings may not fit inside your car.

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Thule SnowPack Ski/Snowboard Carrier 4.8
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Yakima FatCat Locking Ski and Snowboard Rack 4.9
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INNO Gravity Universal Mount  4.5
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SportRack Groomer Deluxe Ski Carrier 4.4
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Thule 91725 Flat Top Ski Carrier 4.3
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Rhino-Rack Ski Carrier 4.4
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Yakima FreshTrack 6 Ski Rack 4.7
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Apex 4 Ski and Snowboard Roof Rack 4.2
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Rakapak Inflatable Ski, Snowboard and Luggage Car Roof Rack 4.2
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AA Products Steel Double Folding J-Bar Rack  4.2

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This is why a ski or snowboard roof rack comes in handy. These racks are mounted on your car’s roof to create space and help you organize your items leaving the inside of your car free, clean, and safe. Secondly, ski roof racks keep skis and snowboards from damage.

In addition to getting the right size of a roof rack for your car, several other factors come into play during selection. These include:

Type of car

Some vehicles are designed with a naked roof, others with raised side rails, others with flat tracks, and still others with a roof rack with crossbars. Naked and flat track roofs need a full ski rack for a car without roof rack which consists of fitment accessories, crossbars, a foot pack, and sometimes adapters depending on the style of your roof.

Vehicles like SUVs mostly come with raised side rails. The best ski racks for SUV or vehicles with side rails would be crossbars and a foot pack. No need for other accessories.

For roofs installed with a rack and crossbars, ski racks for cars without crossbars may not be necessary. Check their compatibility in advance and purchase adapters for a good fit. If you can get a rack with universal accessories, then compatibility (without the adapters) should not be an issue.

Compatibility

Most roof racks come with universal fitting hardware. However, you still need to confirm that the rack along with its installation hardware will fit on your car’s roof without you making any major adjustments. Check the manufacturer’s measurements and recommendations of the rack against the dimensions of your car to be sure you are getting a good fit.

Ski rack capacity

How many skis or snowboards do you intend to carry? The smaller models are designed to carry 4 sets of skis or 2 snowboards while the bigger ones will handle 6 sets of skis and 4 snowboards well enough.

Strength and weight ratings

A strong rack doesn’t have to be heavy. Much as the installation of racks affects the performance of a vehicle, heavy racks tend to interfere with how well the car maneuvers on the trail. A ski or snowboard carrier for a car made of the right grade of aluminum metal will be strong enough to carry your gear and light enough for your car without exceeding its weight limit.

Security

If you have to make a stopover at the station or stores, you want to be sure that your expensive sets of skis or snowboards are safe from thieves. In this case, getting a rack that is lockable is a welcome idea. Racks either come with a key for each bar or a single key for all bars popularly known as the SKS (same key system).

Extras

Extra accessories include T-Rack extensions to accommodate taller bindings and mounts for fuel and water containers among others.

 

Valuable tips

  • The right installation saves you a great deal of maintenance and damage cost. Try not to fix your screws loosely, too tightly, or worse, in the wrong manner.
  • Easy installation and removal of your roof snowboard rack come by a little lubrication on your screws and bolts.
  • When you don’t need a roof rack on your trip don’t have it on. This is because it causes drag which in effect, affects the performance of your vehicle.
  • Speed and weight limits need to be adhered to, not just for safety but also to protect your car and gear.
  • Be mindful of the extra load and height on your car when driving through places with ceilings.
  • Store your keys carefully in a place conveniently accessible to you.

 

Best Roof Racks for Skis and Snowboards 2019

In our review today we have lined up top 10 ski and snowboard roof racks for cars that will help you organize your gear for the ultimate adventure. No damage, no losses!

 

1. Thule SnowPack Ski/Snowboard Carrier

Thule’s aluminum roof rack has been designed to carry 6 sets of skis or 4 sets of snowboards. It features a low profile design with a vertical spring system whose thickness goes only as high as is needed to secure the snowboards and the skis you are loading and then goes flat to its original height once your gear has been offloaded. This roof rack comes with two extra-sets of T-Rack extensions to raise your carrier’s height to accommodate taller bindings which would otherwise damage your roof if not raised.

With soft rubber hands to eliminate friction, Thule ski rack provides a secure grip on your ski and snowboards without leaving any markings on their surface. Handling is easy. Simply press the push button and your rack will open and close in a snap. Finally, its design allows it to be installed seamlessly on to the T-Tracks of your vehicle’s load bars

The Thule roof rack mounts well enough on most factory installed crossbar systems including its very own Thule thanks to the universal SpeedLink mounting hardware used on it. It features a one-key lock for all the skis and snowboards you’ll load.

 

2. Yakima FatCat Locking Ski and Snowboard Rack

The Yakima low profile FatCat 6 Evo rack comes with universal mounting hardware making it compatible with most square, round, and aerodynamic factory crossbars. It features a classic shiny black finish not just for the aesthetics, but also to protect your rack from weather elements. Designed with a dual-joint hinge system, this rack securely packs both the thick modern and slim old school skis and snowboards in sets of 6 for skis and 4 for the snowboards. It also comes with an integrated ski-lift to accommodate the taller bindings. The SKS locking system locks them all securely with one key for easy handling.

 

3. INNO Gravity Universal Mount

INNO’s Gravity Universal mount is a great option if you are considering something sturdy and a little simplistic in design. This pair mounts quite well on your crossbars thanks to their rather unique universal mount that has been outfitted innovatively with memory. It will keep a record of the very first installation setting making subsequent installations fast and easy if you will retain the same setting. The fact that they are universal means that you can mount it on just any factory made bar including the round, square, and aerodynamic bars.

This roof rack can securely clamp down 3 sets of skis or 2 snowboards without a scratch since it is lined from the inside with a combination of both soft and hard cushions. This also allows it to accommodate boards and skis with varying thickness. Finally, they come with a very effective lock system you will not have to worry about the safety of your gear.

 

4. SportRack Groomer Deluxe Ski Carrier

This 37-inch long aluminum rack comes strong and sturdy with rubber lined arms to hold 6 sets of skis or 4 snowboards safely and securely. Built with universal mounting hardware, this roof rack mounts on round, square, and most other factory crossbars. Only, be sure that the crossbars measure no more than 3¾ inches in width. It is designed with 2 sturdy locks to deliver enough security to carry your gear under any weather or terrain without them budging. The Groomer Deluxe features a large push release button that you can operate with gloves on. The only con is that this rack doesn’t come with a ski lift so in case your bindings are taller, consider an option with height extension.

 

5. Thule 91725 Flat Top Ski Carrier

Thule’s 91725 Flattop is a great option if you are looking for a rack for your Nordic, alpine, water, or mono-skis. It will also accommodate skis in bags if you are looking for further protection. Designed to carry up to 6 ski sets or 4 snowboards, this rack lets you place your snowboards with their bases facing each other to optimize its capacity.

Made of extruded aluminum with a clear anodized finish and universal mounting hardware, this flat top ski rack presents a strong durable option, mountable on both Thule and most other factory crossbars. With integrated locks, these racks will secure your skis and snowboards well enough to keep them safe and intact through your trip. The large push button is operable with winter gloves on.

 

6. Rhino-Rack Ski Carrier

The 576 Rhino ski rack is the largest capacity rack offered by Rhino for groups with high requirements. It comes with the capacity to ferry 4 snowboards arranged base to base or back to back, or 6 pairs of skis on the vehicle’s roof. It is versatile and will work with most factory manufactured crossbars thanks to the universal fitters integrated into its design. Secondly, the Rhino roof rack is weatherproof so whether you will be riding in a windy, slushy, or snowy condition, you will never have to worry about rust, mold, or the destructive UV rays. In addition, it features a rubber lining to protect your items from scratch. It is simplistic in design with a quick-release system and secure locking mechanism which you can operate with your winter gloves on.

 

7. Yakima FreshTrack 6 Ski Rack

The 35-inch long FreshTrack rack by Yakima is slightly shorter in length compared to FatCat 6 but will still serve the same purpose. Featuring a capacity of 6 sets of skis or 4 snowboards, this ski and snowboard roof rack comes ready to use right out of the box. Installing is a no-brainer and you require no tools to do this. Secondly, it comes outfitted with universal mounting hardware which makes it compatible with most crossbars including aerodynamic racks. A ski lift is included in its package in case your bindings are taller and you will need to raise them to a safer distance from your car’s roof. Finally, a single press of a button with or without gloves is all you need to open or shut it while the same key system helps you safeguard your gear when you have to be away from your car.

 

8. Apex 4 Ski and Snowboard Roof Rack

Apex ski and the snowboard roof rack is suitable for 4 sets of skis or 2 snowboards. Much as it has a smaller capacity, it is quite versatile thanks to the universal fittings that make it compatible with a range of crossbars. However, be sure that your rectangular crossbar measures 5.5 inches wide and your circular one 1.5 inches in diameter for this rack to fit well.

Made with heavy-duty plastic and aluminum with soft rubber grips, this rack is not only strong enough to bear the weight securely and last you several years of useful service, but it will also protect your gear from abrasion while being ferried. Simple press the oversized push button with or without your gloves on and the carrier will snap open. A unique feature with this roof rack is that it comes with two lock keys for each rack.

 

9. Rakapak Inflatable Ski, Snowboard and Luggage Car Roof Rack

This 180 lb rated roof rack for ski and snowboard is designed in a rather unique style. It is inflatable. The Rakapak inflatable rack is first of all universal meaning that whether you need it for your car or SUV, it should serve you just right. This also means that this rack is pretty portable since it will save you much space when not in use plus the carry bag that comes with it will come in handy when you need to store it. When you need to install, simply pump in air using the hand pump included in its package and you are good to go.

Secondly, it is versatile coming with the capabilities of ferrying your skis, snowboards, kayaks, and paddleboards to your intended destination without a hassle. That it is inflatable obviously means it is soft at the top therefore scratches and damages typical of metallic racks will be a thing of the past. It is made of the tough 420D nylon with integrated 5 D-Rings which you use to attach on your car’s roof along with straps that secure your items.

 

10. AA Products Steel Double Folding J-Bar Rack

If you are looking for a roof rack that’s highly versatile, this innovative J-Bar rack by AA Products Inc. makes an excellent choice. This rack, made of powder-coated steel, is rated 150 lb to carry any type of gear from kayaks, boat paddles, to surfboards. It is padded with foam and lined with rubber on the arms to protect your items from abrasion. This also makes this rack weather and slip-proof.

Without having to unmount them from your car, this rack folds compact allowing your car to pass through tunnels and fit in garages easily. When in use, the lashing straps attached will secure your items safely. J-Bar racks come in a variety of lengths to fit different crossbar lengths depending on your vehicle. Its package includes a pair of J-Bar racks, mounting hardware, 8 ft 250 lb rated lashing strap.

 

Conclusion

Snowboard and ski roof carriers use more or less the same concept. A set of bars mounted on the roof of a car to hold bulky items that would otherwise not fit inside of the car. Selecting the right carrier depends majorly on two factors; how many skis or snowboards need to be transported and the roof design of your car. Other factors like security, safety, and convenient features, although very important, come in second. Finally, a versatile rack will be useful for many types of items in several different situations, and having one that can handle such broad functionality is definitely a plus. All in all, the best ski roof rack is one that will fit the purpose for which you have purchased it.

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