There are three main types of ski and snowboard racks made by Yakima. They are the cargo boxes, which are mounted on the roof of the car, the rooftop mounts, which are mounted on the crossbars, and the hitch-mounted options, which are made for cars like SUVs.
The popular manufacturer produces some of the most interesting and durable ski and snowboard racks. If you are an outdoor enthusiast, you are probably wondering about the right choice for your needs. Keeping in mind that the right ski and snowboard rack needs to be chosen according to the car you drive and according to the gear you have, here are the 5 best Yakima ski and snowboard racks for cars.
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1. Editor's Pick: Yakima Skybox Carbonite Cargo Box
Not all Cargo Boxes are the same. The Skybox Carbonite is a special choice. It is made with 80% recycled materials. The total volume of the box is 18 cu-ft, which places it around the average of its class for carrying capacity.
Its main strength is its practicality. With a lid that sits up by itself and with a no-tool installation, it can be an option for singles or those with families. Made with the SuperLatch system, it ensures that your gear is safe against theft. Among other characteristics that are worth noting, you can also the box comes pre-assembled, so you don’t need to drill any holes to install it as with some alternative options.
Its size allows it to be a great option for long skiing and snowboarding gear. You should have no problems fitting skis with lengths of up to 215 cm. If you want to carry additional gear and you need extra space, you can always choose the 21 cu-ft version of the Skybox.
2. Best for Low Wind Noise: Yakima HitchSki
No list of recommended ski and snowboard racks can be complete without a hitch-mounted design. They are not as popular as the roof-mounted alternatives, but they can be practical if you already have a hitch. The HitchSki made by Yakima requires you to already own a tilt-away bike rack from the manufacturer. Purchasing both of them may not be appealing, but if you already own a bike rack from the manufacturer, the HitchSki is one of the simplest choices you can make.
Made for vertical storage, the rack is easily mounted on the rear of your car. It holds 6 pairs of skis or 4 snowboards. Unlike the box-style carriers, it has no limit on the length of your gear. However, make sure you understand where you can and can’t go while your gear is mounted on the rack. Accidents can happen when you don’t consider the required overhead clearance.
This rack uses Yakima’s SKS lock system, which allows you to close multiple racks with a single key.
3. Best for Load Capacity: Yakima ShowCase 20 Rooftop Cargo Box
Yakima’s ShowCase 20 Rooftop Cargo Box is not a simple luggage carrier. It also works for your skis and snowboards. In many situations, it can be among the most interesting solutions when it comes to protecting the skis from dirt or the salt that dominates the roads during wintertime. In many cases, people who use the rack can also take full advantage of its functionality during the summer as well as it can carry camping equipment, water skis, or a number of other outdoor equipment.
The Showcase 20 is one of the longer racks in its class and can carry skis of up to 210 cm in length, with enough room for four people’s gear.
Among its unique design characteristics, it is worth noting that the lid comes with internal stiffeners. But most importantly, the lid can be open both to the left and to the right, which makes it one of the top options for functionality.
4. Best for Affordability: Yakima FreshTrack 6 Ski Rack
As its name suggests, the FreshTrack 6 ski rack can hold up to 6 pairs of skis or four snowboards. The rack is installed with no tools using a clamp design that you might be familiar with if you have used Yakima products before.
This rack allows you to lock your skis and boards to keep them safe in the parking lot overnight, as not all hotels have a dedicated room for gear storage. With its rubberized arm, the rack helps minimize scratches and other damage. Other benefits include the reduced size, especially when you compare it to cargo boxes. It means that you can easily store the rack once the winter season is over.
5. Best for Design: Yakima FatCat 4 EVO Ski/Snowboard Mounts
All Yakima fans know about the versatility and the quality of the FatCat 4 EVO. The ski and snowboard rack impresses with its aerodynamics and minimalistic design. The compact design and the aerodynamic shape makes it suitable for long drives to your skiing or snowboarding destination. However, the rack will produce noise at higher speeds.
At 9.6 lbs, it is among the lightest car racks in its class. It is also lighter than its FatCat 6 EVO bigger brother. Of course, this means that the installation is easier as well, as you’ll be able to handle the rack with no help, even on the roof of your car.
You can easily fit up to 4 pairs of skis or 2 pairs of snowboards on the rack. These can be any type of skis or snowboards. Furthermore, there’s no need to worry about the efficiency of the rack as it grips your gear with its rubberized arms to keep it pristine-looking for longer.
Handling the rack once you get to your ski or snowboarding resort is easy as well. You can open and close it while wearing gloves as there are no small pieces to handle. At the same time, you can also close your gear with the integrated locking system while you are out enjoying a hot drink. There aren’t many drawbacks to the design. Some people would love to see an extendable system mounted on the rack, but then it would lose its lightweight appeal.
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