If you’re an avid skier or snowboarder, you know how important it is to have your equipment with you when you hit the slopes. However, carrying skis and snowboards in your car can be challenging, especially if you have a smaller vehicle. That’s where ski racks for cars come in. In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about ski racks for cars, from types and features to installation and safety.
Types of Ski Racks for Cars
There are several types of ski racks for cars on the market, and choosing the right one depends on your specific needs and the type of vehicle you have.
- Roof-Mounted Ski Racks
Roof-mounted ski racks are the most popular type of ski rack. As the name suggests, they attach to the roof of your car and can carry up to six pairs of skis or four snowboards. These racks can be installed on vehicles with or without roof rails. If your car doesn’t have roof rails, you’ll need to purchase a roof rack system that attaches to your car’s roof. Roof-mounted ski racks are durable, easy to use, and keep your skis and snowboards out of the way inside your car.
- Hitch-Mounted Ski Racks
Hitch-mounted ski racks attach to the receiver hitch on the back of your car. They can carry up to six pairs of skis or four snowboards and are perfect for larger vehicles like SUVs and trucks. Hitch-mounted ski racks are easy to install and remove, and they can be tilted down to give you access to your trunk or tailgate.
- Trunk-Mounted Ski Racks
Trunk-mounted ski racks attach to the trunk or hatchback of your car and can carry up to three pairs of skis or two snowboards. They’re lightweight and easy to install, making them a popular choice for small cars and renters who don’t want to install a permanent rack on their vehicle.
- Magnetic Ski Racks
Magnetic ski racks are a newer type of ski rack that attach to the roof of your car using strong magnets. They can carry up to four pairs of skis or two snowboards and are perfect for people who don’t want to install a permanent rack on their car. Magnetic ski racks are easy to install and remove, but they’re not as secure as other types of ski racks, so they’re best for short trips.
Features to Look for in a Ski Rack for Cars
When shopping for a ski rack for your car, there are several features you should consider.
The capacity of a ski rack refers to how many skis or snowboards it can hold. Make sure the ski rack you choose can accommodate all the equipment you need to bring with you.
- Locking Mechanism
A locking mechanism is essential to keep your skis and snowboards secure while you’re driving. Look for a ski rack that has a secure locking mechanism to prevent theft.
Not all ski racks are compatible with all vehicles. Make sure the ski rack you choose is compatible with your car’s make and model.
A ski rack needs to be durable enough to withstand the elements and keep your equipment secure while you’re driving. Look for a ski rack made from high-quality materials that can withstand harsh weather conditions.
- Ease of Use
The ski rack you choose should be easy to install, remove, and use. Consider how often you’ll need to install and remove the ski rack and choose one that’s convenient for you.
Installation and Safety
Installing a ski rack on your car requires some basic tools and mechanical know-how. If you’re not comfortable installing the ski rack yourself, you can have it professionally installed. Here are some general installation steps for a roof-mounted ski rack:
- Measure the distance between your car’s roof rails or crossbars to ensure the ski rack will fit.
- Install the roof rack system if your car doesn’t already have one. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
- Attach the ski rack to the roof rack system by tightening the mounting clamps or bolts. Make sure the ski rack is secure and doesn’t wobble.
- Load your skis or snowboards onto the ski rack, making sure they’re evenly spaced and not touching each other.
- Secure the skis or snowboards using the rack’s locking mechanism, making sure they’re tightly held in place.
- Check the ski rack and equipment again to ensure everything is securely fastened before hitting the road.
When driving with a ski rack on your car, it’s important to follow some safety precautions to prevent accidents and damage to your equipment:
- Drive slowly and carefully, especially on rough or bumpy roads.
- Use caution when driving under low clearance structures such as parking garages, and be mindful of the extra height added to your vehicle with the ski rack.
- Make sure the skis or snowboards are securely fastened to the rack before driving.
- Check the rack and equipment periodically during the trip to ensure everything is still secure.
- Use caution when loading and unloading your skis or snowboards from the rack, and never leave them unattended on the rack.
Ski racks for cars are an essential accessory for skiers and snowboarders who need to transport their equipment to the slopes. There are several types of ski racks available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. When choosing a ski rack, consider the type of vehicle you have, the capacity you need, and the features that are most important to you. Installing a ski rack requires some mechanical know-how, but following the manufacturer’s instructions carefully can help ensure a safe and secure installation. By following some basic safety precautions, you can transport your skis or snowboards with ease and confidence, knowing that they’re securely fastened to your car.