Best Ski Rack For Car

The Best Ski Rack For Cars: Top 5 of 2024

Last Updated on January 7, 2024 by James

If you plan on driving to a winter resort, you probably need a ski rack for your car. Skis are too cumbersome to comfortably fit in most vehicles and take up a large amount of space.

Trusted with the responsibility of keeping your skis safe; it’s import to get the best ski rack possible. However, with so many options on the market, making the right choice can be difficult.

In this guide, we aim to make your life easier by listing and reviewing the best options available. We have listed the pros and cons of each product, helping you find the ski rack that works for you.

Best Ski Rack At A Glance

Photo

Summary

Price

  • Rubber arms don't scratch your skis

  • Extention feet for tall bindings

  • Push button open can be used while wearing gloves

      

      

  • Dual-sided opening for easy access

  • Aerodynamic Carbonite textured lid

  • Easy-to-use handle design 

      

      

  • Ultra-soft rubber arms are secure without scratching

  • Combines with Thule bike rack for year-round use

  • Secure integrated one-key locking system

      

      

  • Durable and corrosion resistant aluminium design

  • Soft rubber arms stop damage to your skis

  • Budget friendly price

      

  • Aerodynamic design is quiet and efficient

  • Tool-free mounting is easy and universal

  • Hinge expands to fit any ski thickness

      

      

Why Do I Need The Best Ski Rack?

Long, heavy, expensive and prone to damage; skis just aren’t designed for travel. Transporting your skis to the resort can be difficult, especially when you need to save space in your car for the rest of your gear.

The most efficient way to pack your skis into any vehicle is by using a ski rack. Designed to secure your skis to the outside of your car, they save valuable trunk space and will keep them secure along the way.

Not all ski racks are made equally, so you need to find the option that’s right for you. Style, compatibility, weight and size are just a few of the factors that need to be considered.

This guide lists the best ski racks on the market. It relays the key features of every product, helping you find the one that’s right for you.

Hint: If you’re looking for an alternate way to transport your skis safely, we have also reviewed the best ski bags.

Best Ski Rack For Car
Using a ski rack will improve your journey (Image: EHRENBERG Kommunikation CC BY-SA 2.0)

How To Choose The Best Ski Rack

Type of Rack

Roof Rack

Roof racks consist of two cross rails that are attached to the roof of your vehicle. Skis are securely locked between the two rails, with many carrying up to 6 pairs of skis or 4 snowboards.

The best roof racks are lightweight and low profile. They have great locking systems that make sure your skis are safe and secure.

Ski racks are low profile, but they still increase overhead clearance. This is something to be mindful of if you’re taking a ferry or using certain car parks. The added height can also affect fuel consumption due to the increased drag.

Cargo Box

Cargo boxes also attach to the roof of your car. They provide the shape and space to store a lot more than just skis, making them a versatile option for year-round use.

The advantage of a cargo box is that it expands the capacity of your car. The shape allows you to transport a large amount of ski gear safely, making it a popular choice for family ski trips.

Cargo boxes come with varying capacities. They also come in a range of materials, with hard cargo boxes and soft cargo bags both having unique advantages.

Most cargo boxes add significant roof clearance onto the top of your car. This will lead to a noticeable increase in fuel consumption and they often make a whistling sound.

Hitch Rack

A hitch rack attaches to the back of your car via the hitch receiver. The best hitch racks are usually able to convert between skis and bicycles, making it a versatile option.

Since hitch racks sit at the back of your car, they are easy to install. They are easy to load and unload, while they also don’t cause any ‘drag’ issues.

The main downside of hitch racks is the increased vehicle length that will impede parking. They also keep your skis lower to the ground, leaving them exposed to dirt and potential damage.

Versatility

If you also enjoy summer sports, the best ski rack could prove to be a year-round investment. Many options are versatile enough to carry more than just skis.

Some roof racks and hitch racks will give you the option to carry other equipment. Bikes and kayaks are common items that you can also attach, which is great for adventure sport enthusiasts.

If you prefer camping trips or driving to summer resorts, then a cargo box might suit your needs. It will give you the option to pack a variety of equipment, making it highly versatile.

Compatibility

Ski racks are only useful if they’re compatible with your vehicle. Some vehicles come with the preinstalled attachment hardware, while others will sell it as an added extra.

Roof racks and cargo boxes will generally require roof rails to be installed. When it comes to hitch racks, you will need to make sure you have the right hitch receiver.

Be sure to check your vehicle type is included on the manufacturers website when purchasing. Most racks are made to be universal, but it’s always worth checking before making your purchase.

Best Ski Rack For Car
(Image: Nigel Corby CC BY-SA 2.0)

Best Ski Racks Reviewed

Thule SnowPack

Thule SnowPack Ski Rack

Key Features

  • Type: Roof Rack
  • Ski Capacity: 6
  • Material: Aluminium
  • Best For: Best Roof Rack

Thule are arguably the biggest brand in roof racks, with the SnowPack being their best option for skiers. It uses soft rubber arms to securely grip up to 6 pairs of skis without any scratches.

This rack comes with extension feet for added roof clearance, making it versatile enough to carry skis with tall bindings. In addition, it uses a vertical spring system that will securely adapt to hold the thickest skis.

If you’re looking for a reliable ski roof rack, the Thule SnowPack is a great choice. It has a solid and adaptable design that is capable of transporting any skis safely to the resort.

Pros

  • Ultra-soft rubber arms don’t scratch your skis
  • Adapts to any ski thickness
  • Carry height reduces when unloaded
  • Carries 6 pairs of skis or 4 snowboards
  • Large button allows opening while wearing gloves
  • Extension feet to accommodate tall bindings
  • Durable and lightweight aluminium construction

Cons

  • Can be noisy at high speed
  • Arm opening spring lacks strength

Yakima SkyBox

Key Features

  • Type: Cargo Box
  • Ski Capacity: 10
  • Material: ABS Plastic
  • Best For: Best Cargo Box

If you’re looking for a roof box that can efficiently transport your ski gear, the Yakima SkyBox is ideal. It comes in a range of different sizes, with the largest capable of hauling all of the gear required for three skiers to hit the slopes.

The sleek lid is made from 80% ABS plastic, with a textured surface that improves aerodynamics. It’s capable of opening on both sides for practicality and has a secure latch and locking system that you can trust.

The Yakima SkyBox is the perfect way to transport all your gear to the slopes. It has a solid and practical design that is sure to keep your skis safe.

Pros

  • Range of capacities available
  • Aerodynamic design
  • Durable shell is made from 80% recycled plastic
  • Tool-free instalation and removal
  • Stiff lid is easy to open and close
  • Opens from either side
  • Reliable security latch
  • Tapered rear reduces hatch interference

Cons

  • Maximum ski length of 215cm
  • Compatibility not fully universal

Thule Tram

Key Features

  • Type: Hitch Rack
  • Ski Capacity: 6
  • Material: Aluminium
  • Best For: Best Hitch Rack

If you’re looking to make the most of your bike rack during the winter, the Thule Tram hitch rack is what you need. It converts a Thule hanging bike rack into a ski rack, giving you the ability to transport up to 6 pairs of skis.

It has a practical design with oversized push buttons that are easy to use while wearing gloves and a reliable locking system. The ultra-soft rubber arms are easy-to-use and specifically designed to avoid ski scratching.

The Thule Tram is the perfect ski rack for anyone that enjoys cycling. Its solid aluminium design is easy-to-access and provides a reliable way to transport your skis.

Pros

  • Carries up to 6 pairs of skis or 4 snowboards
  • Soft rubber arms won’t scratch your skis
  • Easy to open and close while wearing gloves
  • Skis are quick and easy to access
  • Locking system is safe reliable
  • Versatile when paired with the bike rack

Cons

  • Must also purchase the corresponding bike rack
  • Can be prone to rust over time

Car Rack & Carrier

Key Features

  • Type: Roof Rack
  • Ski Capacity: 6
  • Material: Aluminium
  • Best For: Budget

The Car Rack & Carrier is a reliable way to transport your skis for a budget price. It uses a universal roof rack design that will fit most vehicles and has the capacity to carry up to 6 pairs of skis.

Featuring ultra-soft rubber arms, it can securely grip your skis without scratches. It also has one-button access that is easy-to-use while wearing gloves.

If you’re looking for a solid roof rack that won’t break the bank, look towards the Car Rack & Carrier. With a durable aluminium construction and a versatile design, it’s capable of transporting your skis safely to any winter resort.

Pros

  • Transport up to 6 pairs of skis
  • Universal design fits most vehicles
  • Ultra-soft and secure rubber arms
  • Easy access when wearing ski gloves
  • Corrosion resistant aluminium construction
  • Budget friendly price

Cons

  • Plastic mounts can crack easily
  • Lock can be difficult to use at times

Yakima FatCat Evo 4

Yakima FatCat Evo 4 Ski Rack

Key Features

  • Type: Roof Rack
  • Ski Capacity: 4
  • Material: Aluminium
  • Best For: Best Of The Rest

The Yakima FatCat Evo 4 is an efficient way to transport your skis to resort. It has an aerodynamic design that is capable of carrying up to 4 pairs of skis or 2 snowboards.

The hinges open extra wide to accommodate the thickest ski bases, while also providing extra clearance for tall bindings. It has an easy locking system that can be used while wearing ski gloves, making it a practical choice.

The Yakima FatCat Evo 4 is a well-made ski rack that you can trust. It has an easy-to-use design and can carry almost any skis securely.

Pros

  • Wide expanding hinges for thicker skis
  • Height clearance enough for tall bindings
  • Clamp mounting doesn’t impede doors or hatch
  • Easy to open and close while wearing gloves
  • Integrated locks are reliable
  • Universal mounting system

Cons

  • Maximum ski capacity of 4 pairs
  • Can be difficult to close at times


Summing Up

Finding the best ski rack for your car can be difficult. Every option has different pros and cons that are best suited to different needs.

Knowing that your skis are safe and secure is an important part of any trip to the mountain. Once you’ve found the right rack, you can relax and enjoy the journey.