There’s no need to settle for low-quality ski and snowboard racks for cars. Thule has been on the front line of innovation in the outdoors segment for decades. Over the years, the company has designed and manufactured an impressive range of racks. But with over 16 ski boxes and a number of roof racks, which choices are the most inspired and why?
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1. Editor's Pick: Thule Pulse Cargo Box
The Cargo Box is an intriguing option for ski and snowboard carrying. You may not think that carrying your skis or snowboard is possible with this design at a first glance, but the Cargo Box comes with impressive load capacity that includes the medium 14 cubic feet option, the large 16 cubic feet option, and the Alpine 11 cubic feet option.
Installing the rack is not complicated. Made with a smart design, the Cargo Box attaches to the crossbars with the help of the Easy-Grip knob together with the groves on the bottom part. You won’t need any tools to perform the installation and you should be ready to use the rack within 5 minutes.
In terms of practicality, the rack comes with lid lifters that keep the lid open for you. It is a simple design characteristic but it proves to be a great advantage when you are in a rush or when dealing with long skis or snowboards and you need both hands for your task. Since it is made from durable materials, Thule even informs skiers that the Cargo Box can be left of the car year-round.
2. Best for Ease of Use: Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier
Made to fit AeroBlade and SquareBar designs, the Motion XT is among the leading racks in terms of build quality. It is the premium option from Thule and this can be seen in its features. For example, the lid of the carrier can be opened to both sides. With the Secure SlideLock System, the carrier is among the best in its class for safety. The sliding locking mechanism is also very intuitive.
There are 4 versions you can choose from. The basic version of the rack is the XT Alpine. Even this version is able to carry skis and boards with lengths of up to 215 cm. The base rack option can hold between 5 and 7 skis or between 3 and 5 boards. With such versatility and with a distinct glossy finish, it is also one of the most practical and attractive options that come with an elegant design to fit most modern cars.
3. Best Value: Thule Snowpack Extender
The Snowpack Extender is one of the leading racks when it comes to carrying your skis and snowboards. Based on a modern and simple design, the rack is easy to install and easy to use.
Unlike many similar other roof racks, it is made with the exciting feature of the extendable design. There is no need to stretch over the roof of the car to reach your skis or to grab your snowboard. The rack works great with both skis and snowboards as the locking mechanism is the same. It uses rubber materials for a firm grip but at the same time, it protects your skis and snowboard from scratches. Since winter gear can easily scratch, the extendable system of the rack is an added plus to keep it in good condition as long as possible.
Using One-Key lock cylinders, the rack can be easily secured to the car. The rack can fit 4 snowboards or 6 pairs of skis. If you are unsure about the mounting options of this inspired design, you need to know that it is compatible with Thule racks, round bars, and factory-mounted racks. It is also compatible with T-bars with its SpeedLink design.
4. Best for SUVs: Thule Project Tram Hitch Ski Carrier
This hitch-mounted carrier is a leading option for both for skis and snowboards. The first thing many users notice about the Hitch Ski Carrier is its soft rubber arm holds. While they are not new to the manufacturer, they certainly prevent your gear from getting scratched.
The upright design of the rack may be unusual, but it comes with many impressive advantages. One advantage is the fact that it can carry the gear for your entire family. It is able to carry up to 6 pairs of skis or up to 4 boards.
One of the main concerns of those looking to move towards rear-mounted racks comes with the installation process. The good news is that you can easily install it yourself if your car has a hitch receiver. Such receivers come as standard with some cars, especially SUVs and 4×4 vehicles. If your car has such a receiver, installing the rack won’t take more than a few minutes.
5. Best for Storage: Thule SkiClick Carrier
With one of the smallest and most simple designs on the market, the compact carrier can be installed on the crossbars of any car. Since it is so small and versatile, it can also serve other purposes as well, like wall storage capabilities for your skis.
Of course, its compact design comes with other benefits, one of them being the reduced wind resistance, which means less noise and reduced drag as you drive. The small size also makes it easier to store when you’re not using it on your car.
So who is the ideal user of the carrier? Made for a single pair of skis, it is a recommended solution for the solo skier. If you are looking to go skiing with your family, you will need another rack that holds more than one pair.
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