While heading towards a local hill for a road trip or for a ski vacation, there is definitely a need to transports the snowboards and skis appropriately. Using the backseat for storing them is not a best option as they take up space and serve as a source of discomfort for the people sitting in the rear.
It is true that skis don’t pack up pretty well and they are long and bulky and thus can’t be made fit into small spaces. Hoarding them on top of wagons with the help of ski racks could help freeing up some valuable space inside the vehicle.
Adding a car rack is the best solution to fit these ski and snowboards in small vehicles, as otherwise they have to be sticking out of the windows in the rear seat, which is not a recommended option too.
There are a number of available options for ski and snowboard roof racks in the market depending on the type of the car and the number of skis and boards to carry and if they can be mounted on the same rack.
Let us discuss some of the Best Ski and Snowboard Roof Racks here and their specifications and how best they could help in skiing endeavors.
The 6 Best Ski and Snowboard Roof Racks – 
- Thule SnowPack Extender Ski/Snowboard Carrier
- Thule Force Cargo Box
- Yakima Skybox Carbonite Cargo Box
- TMS J-Bar Rack HD Kayak Carrier Canoe Boat Surf Ski Roof Top
- RoofPax Car Roof Bag & Rooftop Cargo Carrier
- Kodiak AeroGrip Universal Roof Rack Crossbars
Best Ski and Snowboard Roof Racks
Best Ski and Snowboard Roof Racks Reviews
- Weight: 16.5 pounds
- Extendable: Easy to load and unload
- Ultra-soft rubber arms
- Thule one key system
- Rooftop design
- Oversized push buttons
The Thule Snow Pack Extender is an excellent Slide out rack for loading and unloading the skis and snowboards conveniently. The rack is extendable without stretching on the roof of the car, thus is easy for loading and unloading.
Its Ultra soft rubber arms hold the snowboards securely without scratching and damaging the surfaces. Its raised design and tall bindings offers added roof clearance. Its Thule one key system with locks helps to lock the ski to the rack and the racks to the car.
The roof top design of the rack is consistent to carry all types of snowboards and skis and its push buttons helps in easy opening and closing of the rack with the help of gloves. There are a number of mounting options available with the Thule rack system, its round bars and T-rack and Speed Link around the bar mounting system enables easy mounting.
The rack is packed with integrated versatility and carries thick skis and snowboards. Its vertical spring system decreases carrier height during unloading.
- Dimensions: 78 x 32.5 x 15 inches
- Aerodynamic shape
- Highly durable: Diamond textured Aero Lid
- Quick grip mounting system
- Secure lock system
- Dual side opening
- Thule rack system and round bars
The Thule Force Cargo Box is a perfect blend of convenience, design and style. It is combination of value and space with a large interior capacity to hold snowboards and skis. Some of its inherent features are quick grip mounting without the need for any tools, aero skin technology for durability, aerodynamic shape that tears through the air, secure lock lids opening on dual sides.
They are available in four sizes to fit the hauling needs of the user and the size of the vehicle. Its diamond textured aero skin shell is made of durable ABS plastic. It is capable of holding the toughest weather conditions and could be left in the vehicle for even a year.
The aerodynamic design reduced drag and noise and does not impact fuel efficiency. The lid offers dual side access from both the driver and passenger side of the vehicle. The Secure lock technology ensured that the lids on all the edges are well closed and its elements are easy to hold even with gloved hands in winter.
- Dimensions: 90 x 36 x 20 inches
- Weight: 75 pounds
- Fits large skis and snowboards
- Crossbar spread: 24-36 inches
- Aerodynamic design
- Internal lid stiffeners
- Integrated lock system
The Yakima Skybox Carbonite Cargo box is an excellent rack that fits skis and snowboards of larger sizes on the top of cars. It is possible to convert every road trip in to an excellent luxury cruise by loading all the boards on the cargo box on the roof of the vehicle.
The rack is made up of 80% recycled material. It is extremely light weight and thus it is possible to carry a number of gears without having to weigh the car down. Its aerodynamic design is capable of skiing through the air and its internal lid stiffeners ensure enhanced efficiency at less noise.
The skybox opens on either sides and is accessible from both the passenger and driver seats. Its super latch secure closing system closes the lid pretty tightly and would not open even at top speed drives. The gear box is kept extremely safe with the help of its SKS lock system.
Another efficient feature of this rack is that, it fits skis and snowboards that are pretty long, up to 72 inches. Its crossbar spread is about 24 inch to 36 inch to load many boards at a single time.
- Dimensions: 18 x 7 x 7 inches
- Weight: 8 Pounds
- Adjustable padding
- Stainless steel design
- Fast installation and removal
- J style carrier
The Kayak carrier is capable of mounting on crossbars on top of the vehicle and fits into all types of load bars and crossbars available in the market. The carrier is in the shape of J and secures the kayak on its sides so that it consumes minimal space on the roof top of the vehicle.
The rack is made up of high grade steel and features adjustable padding for added strength and to protect the kayak and snowboards. The J bar is wide mouthed and makes it easy to load and unload the kayak.
Its easy hardware helps in quick removal and installation of kayak and its patented J style carrier leaves ample roof space too. The vacuum sealed installation hardware ensures durability and versatility of the carrier.
- Dimensions: 47.2 x 35.4 x 19.8 inches
- Weight: 11.65 pounds
- Safety door hooks
- Extra storage space
- Military grade heavy duty material
- Built in protective mat
Roofpax car roof bag is the most secure cargo bag that offers excellent safety with door hooks instead of straps. The car top bag is made up of military grade waterproof material with water repellent coating and dual seam technology.
There is also a built in protective mat and elastic strap restrainers that avoids flapping of straps. The bag also features a number of security features such as SBS Zipper, NIFCO buckles and ten strong straps with Velcro stripes.
This luggage carrier to be mounted on roof tops does not require roof racks and could fit in any SUV or car. It is easy to install within minutes and offers cargo storage up to 19 cubic feet. The storage bag mounted on car roof top could carry luggage up to six suitcases and stays safe in all weather conditions.
Its waterproof materials protect the bag from wind, sun rain and snow. The zippers and Buckles have warranty against tear and breakage. It is easy and quick to install without harming the door and window seals.
- Dimensions: 56.6 x 6.3 x 5.2 inches
- Weight: 12.95 pounds
- Ultra-secure roof rack
- Compatible with all boards
- Load capacity of 150 pounds
- Anti-theft lock
- Adjustable length
The Kodiak Aero grip feature the most advanced strap lock design which is simple to install and does not budge under high speed and heavy load. Its universal T track slot is present along the full length of the aero grip cross bars and allows boards to stay secure throughout the journey. The anti-theft locks secures the cross bars from theft.
The rack is made of lightweight aluminum featuring a cross section design that enables it to bear load up to 150 lbs. the aerodynamic design of the bars manages air resistance and renders good balance for the skiing equipment carried in it.
The grips of the Kodiak roof rack are adjustable to fit the roof rails of both cars and SUVs that are in the width range of 36” to 48”. The cross bars are specifically designed for vehicles that have raised roof rails.
The cross bars are in the shape of a saddle and feature rubber under covers to fit securely with any raised side rails. It is possible to lock them with special keys after installation to prevent theft.
How to Choose the Best Ski and Snowboard Roof Racks?
There are a number of defined factors to keep in mind while picking up a ski and snowboard roof rack as they need to be highly versatile and durable for the purpose it serves. Those factors are discussed here and would definitely influence the purchase decision of our readers.
- Number of skis and boards to carry
- Security Features
- Type of Vehicle
- Weight Limits
- Ease of Installation
- Fuel Consumption
- Ease of Driving
Number of skis and boards to carry
Typically a ski and snowboard rack could carry four sets of skis on its roof top rack. Some racks are able to carry a combination of both skis and snowboards whereas some are item specific. Larger and wider racks could generally accommodate this combination. But the specifications are to be read in detail in contrast to the needs before investing in a rack.
It is important to choose ski racks that have the facility to lock for security purposes. Most people use these roof top racks when they are a long drive, preferably to a hill top and would stop in-between to refresh. Inbuilt security systems help in keeping motivated thieves at bay and secure the belongings.
The roof top rack should be able to hold multiple racks to meet the desires of a multi-sport user. It should be able to hold skis, kayaks, surf boards, paddles etc., to meet the different needs of the occupants of the car.
Type of Vehicle
The vehicle type plays a major role in choosing racks, while some fits in cars and some in SUV a majority of them can accommodate in both types of wagons. Also some vehicle feature inbuilt rails and hitch while other need this added installation. The user should also read the owner’s manual of the car to know its capacity to hold the additional weight or if it would get inundate by it.
Before buying the rack based on the number of boards to carry, we have to ascertain the weight limitations of the car. The overall weight of the occupants of the vehicle along with the overhead weight of carrying boards is to be kept in mind before buying a roof rack.
Ease of Installation
The roof rack should be easy to install and remove when required as their use depends on season. We are not going to be surfing on snow slopes all through the year. Thus, it should have easy protocols of use and the gear should be easy to get on to the top of the car while fixing them. The bolds and fixtures are to be made of high quality steel so that it does not coat with rust and debris when exposed to rain and snow.
Roof racks have to clear their way through the wind especially when they are holding equipment. This could cause drag in the vehicle and consume extra fuel and mileage. It is good choices to invest in racks that have aerodynamic design like the Thule force cargo box so that they would handle the wind resistance better.
Ease of Driving
Roof racks are generally attached on raised rails on top of the vehicle; this enhances the height of the vehicle considerably. There could be problems while entering the garage and some parking places owing to this enhanced height. One good solution is to invest in roof tops that have adjustable springs.
Types of Racks
There are generally three types of Roof racks with different purposes. These are roof racks, hitch rack and cargo boxes. The roof rack is the best option to carry skies whereas others could carry skies along with other essentials.
These attach to the top of the vehicle and are slim and durable. They stay at all times of the roof top and are capable of carrying snowboards and skis. They are good enough to carry bikes and kayaks as well.
They install on the side rail or cross bar on top of the car and are the best option for a long drive without blocking visibility. They are comparatively cheap, easy to use, and easy to install and remove as well.
They have few downfalls as well, it might be difficult to load them at that height and there is a compromise on overhead clearance. It is not possible to get them on and off frequently and demand maintenance as they get too much exposed.
Loading them heavy could affect the stability and fuel efficiency of the vehicle. They are capable of whistling noise as well, at top speeds.
They behave like a roof rack and find their place on top of the car. They are not only thin racks but are big boxes that could carry all of the camping supplies and luggage along with skies and snowboards. Most of the cargo boxes come with secure locks and are made water resistant, UV resistant and dust proof.
They could reduce the interior space of the car considerably and store everything overhead without blocking visibility. But they would consume extra fuel, render good whistling noise and are poor at overhead clearance.
Hitch Racks are attachments that fixes with the hitch receiver at the car’s rear. It is important to check the compatibility of the vehicle before installing the hitch rack. They are easier to install and it is easy to load them as it does not require much lifting.
But they could block access to the trunk and the equipment could get dirty as they are close to the ground. Drag is not a problem with them but parking into tight spaces is an issue.
Roof Racks Maintenance Tips:
- It is important to remove the roof rack periodically for inspection and cleaning.
- They can be brought to a great shine with soap and water
- It is important to lubricate all the washers, bolts and locks and tightening knobs.
- Replace all corroded parts immediately.
- Inspect for wear and tear and for loose buckles and warn straps.
- Buy from trusted brands so as to not risk the lives of costly skies and boards.
The best ski and snowboard Roof racks are an important piece of accessory for those indulging in snow sports and trekking activities. It helps them to carry their equipment at ease as they are mounted on the roof of cars.
They are able to carry up to 6 skis and snowboards. They render a lot of interior space for car inmates and offer clear visibility for the driver as they are mounted overhead.
Slim and streamlined racks prove less fuel consumption and drag on the wheels. They are feature safety lock system for a safe and relaxed road trip.
For more of our top gear recommendations, check out these popular outdoor gear guide links : Best Ski and Snowboard Roof Racks | Best Avalanche Beacons | Best Snowboard Goggles | Best Snowboarding Gloves | Best Snowboarding Jackets for Women | Best Snowboarding Jackets for Men | Best Women’s All Mountain Skis | Best Men’s All Mountain Skis