So you’ve invested stacks of your hard-earned money and hours of your precious time into choosing a pair of skis or a snowboard that’s going to turn you into a professional. But now you’re stuck folding down the back seat, positioning everything perfectly, and piling passengers in as in an overcrowded subway car. When it’s all said and done, you’re left with a puddle of murky water in your ride.
Avoid all of these hassles by carrying your ski gear in one of these ski and snowboard racks next time you head to the mountains. They are easy to load, keep everything secure during travel, and most come with a lock to keep gear safe.
Protect the Windshield, Too
Yakima FatCat Evo 6 Ski and Snowboard Rack
This rack is capable of holding up to six pairs of powder skis or four snowboards. Yakima’s DoubleJoint hinge system accommodates the fatter boards and skis that other racks struggle with.
This Evo version is an update to the original Fat Cat, with a sleek black design, slightly more space for wider boards and skis, and an even lower profile for better aerodynamics, which means less wind noise and better gas mileage.
Thule SnowPack Extender Ski/Snowboard Rack
Thule’s Extender is quite possibly the most convenient rack in the game because of its extender sliding mechanism.
Rather than reaching all the way to the opposite side of the roof, this rack slides toward you to make loading and unloading easier, then slides back over the roof and locks in place. Because at the end of a long day on the slopes, loading up the roof can prove to be quite the struggle—until now.
Rhino-Rack 572 Roof Mount 2-Ski Rack
If most of your ski days are solo or with one other companion, this rack is all you need. It’s small and simple, yet built to last. It’s just big enough for two pair of skis or two snowboards, has a latching mechanism that is easy to operate with gloves, and comes with two sets of keys.
We love how this rack doesn’t occupy your entire roof, so there’s space left over for other roof-mounted cargo carriers. The price is hard to beat, too.
RockyMounts LiftOp Ski & Snowboard Roof Rack
This rounded rack is quieter than racks with a wall-like profile, yet much more affordable than the highly aerodynamic options. The LiftOp is a great value, with a good combination of features and build quality for the price. Who cares more about their gear and getting people to the mountains than a company that started (and is still based) in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains?
SkyBox 16 Carbonite Cargo Roof Box
When you’re rolling deep or have a hard time packing lightly, an open-air roof rack doesn’t always cut it. So toss this cargo box on your roof. It’s long enough for skis and snowboards, with extra space for your boots, helmets, and more.
But what we love most about a roof box is its versatility. We tested the SkyBox during a move from Salt Lake City to Austin, Texas, and were able to fit two large suitcases, two cardboard boxes, and a full-size upright vacuum cleaner with room to spare. It’s easy to open one-handed and comes with a lock for security. This roof box is stylish, waterproof, and didn’t cause any extra road noise, either.
Aluminum Universal Ski & Snowboard Roof Rack
If you’re just looking for an affordable way to haul your skis or snowboards, and name brands aren’t important, this universal aluminum rack should do the trick. It might not be as sexy or low-profile as a Yakima or Thule, but it will free up precious interior cargo space at a fraction of the price. It comes with a lock set, too.
Tyger Auto Folding Hitch-Mounted Ski/Snowboard Rack
If your SUV is too tall for easy access, this hitch-mounted rack is a great alternative. The Tyger Auto model has ample space for six pairs of skis or four snowboards, and it puts them within reach for the whole family. This rack swings away so you can still access the trunk, locks for security when you’re traveling, and can easily be detached for storage when you’re between ski trips at home.
HandiRack Universal Inflatable Roof Rack Bars
No side rails or cross bars? No problem. If you have a small sedan or just don’t want to fork over hundreds for the base of a roof rack, the HandiRack is the solution to your problem.
This system has two inflatable crossbars that sit across your vehicle’s roof, which are attached by passing a ratchet strap through the vehicle’s interior. Then simply place your skis, snowboards, or anything else you need to haul on top of the cushioning crossbars, pull some tension on the straps, and you’re headed to the mountains with a few hundred dollars to spare and a car that feels roomier than ever.
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