Main Photo Credit: Sergey Novikov via Shutterstock
The best budget ski and snowboard racks for cars are not easy to find. Since there are many options you can choose from, it is not usually worth sacrificing the quality you need for maximum affordability. But in some cases, you can find good designs that can carry your skis and snowboards for a fraction of the price of the leading options on the market. The following 5 options are easily mounted and pretty good quality considering their lower price points.
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1. Editor's Pick: Inno Racks Gravity Snow Rack
The Inno Racks Gravity Snow Rack is among the most affordable options in its class. It works like a charm when it comes to carrying 6 pairs of skis. Four snowboards can be carried with the rack as well.
Even with its lower-grade materials, it still keeps the boards in great condition, as the contact points are rubberized. The rack is made by a company that has been designing car racks for years and this can be seen in its practicality. Just as with the most expensive racks, it can be handled with ease even when you are wearing gloves, as it comes with a large release button for the locking arms. The rack is also lightweight — it combines lighter materials such as plastic and aluminum. But the choice for plastic might actually work in your favor so the rack won’t be too affected by salt from the snowy roads.
2. Thule Flat Top Ski Carrier
Although it is not the most affordable rack on the list, the Flat Top Ski Carrier comes with impressive versatility. It even works for water skis. The affordable option from Thule can be used with up to 6 pairs of regular skis at a time. Snowboarders are able to fit up to 4 boards at a time without forcing its hinges.
In terms of construction quality, the rack is durable, even if it is not Thule’s best offering. Partly made from extruded aluminum, it maintains its low weight profile. This rack could be a popular choice for new skiers and snowboarders. Part of this appeal is based on its simplistic operation, which is based on an oversized release button. Apart from coming with an included safety lock, there is one major reason to consider it overs its rivals in this class. That reason is the lifetime warranty. Thule covers any manufacturing defects for life and this can be a reassurance, even in this space of maximum affordability.
3. Rhino Rack Ski Carrier
The compact Rhino Rack Ski Carrier is 250 mm long in its base model. It fits up to two pairs of skis or two snowboards. Even as one of the most affordable options on the market, it still manages to have its own identity. Its all-black design makes it perfect for maximum stealth or for black cars. It is also made with a waterproof and rustproof design, which means that you are able to use it for the entire skiing or snowboarding season.
The rack can be easily fitted on most cars. It even comes with a clamp system so that the process doesn’t take more than a few minutes. Furthermore, it can also lock your gear with a master key should you decide to leave it unattended. With such a compact size, it is also the choice to have for limited storage space.
4. SportRack Groomer Ski & Snowboard Rack
At a weight of just under 8 pounds, the SportRack Groomer Ski & Snowboard Rack is among the lightest designs you can purchase. But its low weight does not negatively impact its performance. The ski and snowboard rack features a built-in locking system that is a great solution to prevent theft. Although it’s light, it’s also large enough to hold up to 6 pairs of skis or 4 boards.
The gear is affordable, but this doesn’t mean it’s not good or practical. It is made to fit square or round rails, or the rails that are fitted on your car as the standard by the manufacturer. With protective rubber and a large release button, it is very close to the leading options in terms of performance.
But since no rack is perfect, there are two aspects you need to consider. The durability of the rack does not recommend it for lifetime use. The locking system also isn’t the best quality. As long as you are aware of these drawbacks, it can be one of the fastest and most affordable ways to carry your own skiing and snowboarding gear.
5. Car Racks Rooftop SnowRack
The Car Racks Rooftop SnowRack is one of the very affordable options for skiers and snowboarders. With a low profile that can reduce fuel consumption, it is one of the recommended options for hatchbacks, sedans or SUVs. There is little doubt that the rack is also very capable when it comes to keeping your gear safe. It comes with the rubberized arms that lock and hold up to 6 pairs of skis or up to 4 snowboards.
The rack comes with an integrated lock with keys so you can protect your gear. Its design is similar to what you can find with more expensive options and can be installed within 15 minutes. Being a budget option, it doesn’t come with premium materials, which is reflected in the limited 1-year warranty. But if you’re looking for affordability, this type of warranty will be pretty standard fare.
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