Best Ski Racks: Safely Transport Your Winter Sports Gear

These top ski racks allow you to safely store your skis and are easy to install

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Winter is coming, and you may be thinking about planning a ski trip. But what’s the best way to secure your skis or snowboard to your vehicle? Trying to arrange everything in the back of the vehicle can be challenging and time consuming. Skip the hassle by investing in one of these best-rated rooftop ski racks to carry your gear safely.

  • Best Overall
    INNO Gravity Universal Mount Ski/Snowboard Rack
    Summary
    Summary
    This dedicated ski and snowboard rooftop mount can carry up to six skis or four snowboards and has soft as well as hard cushions to hold gear of different thicknesses.
    Pros
    Pros
    Has an anti-theft locking system. The universal memory mount fixes onto aero, square, and round crossbars. It can be opened from both sides of the car.
    Cons
    Cons
    Has a potentially fragile locking mechanism. It requires a base rack, which costs extra to purchase.
  • Best Value
    Yakima EasyTop Loader Multipurpose Roof Rack
    Summary
    Summary
    This rooftop mount can carry up to five pairs of skis or two snowboards and also serves as a multipurpose rack for carrying other gear like kayaks, boards, ladders, etc.
    Pros
    Pros
    It does not require a base rack system. Creates an instant, removable rooftop rack for any vehicle—just loop it through the door frames and buckle it.
    Cons
    Cons
    No anti-theft locking system. If it rains, the nylon straps get soaked and may drip water in your car.
  • Honorable Mention
    Yakima FatCat EVO Rooftop Ski And SnowBoard Mount
    Summary
    Summary
    This dedicated ski and snowboard rooftop mount can carry up to six pairs of skis or four snowboards and has a sleek, aerodynamic design with a mirror finish that does not spoil the look of your car.
    Pros
    Pros
    Has anti-theft SKS (Same Key System) locks. Features a large button to open the rack for easy access to your skis even with gloves or mittens on.
    Cons
    Cons
    It requires a base rack system on the vehicle, which costs extra. Mounts can be hard to close when storing more than three pairs of skis.

Tips

  • It is better to buy a rooftop rack instead of a rooftop cargo box. Keeping skis in a cargo box carries the risk of them moving around and creating a lot of noise or breaking something else in the cargo box.
  • Make sure the rack you’re buying is compatible with your car or base rack. For example, many hitch-mounted ski racks are not an all-in-one solution and require you to have a hitch-mounted bike rack as a base rack.
  • The best way to load skis on a rooftop rack is by pairing them together and placing them tips backward. This reduces any damage to the skis due to wind impact.

FAQs

Q: What is the difference between a roof rail and roof bars/racks? 

A: Roof rails are the factory-fitted rails that run from the front to rear on both sides of the roof. They cannot be used as roof racks on their own. Roof racks are a set of bars that are often mounted on the roof rails or on factory-fitted fixpoints. These serve as the base rack for mounting your dedicated ski rack.

Q: How much weight can I carry with multipurpose racks?

A: You should not exceed the maximum load provided in the mounting instructions. You must also consider the maximum roof load provided by the car manufacturer and follow the lower limit between the two.

Q: Do rooftop ski racks make a lot of noise?

A: Rooftop ski racks are generally not noisy. However, if you happen to hear a whistling sound, it can be stopped by moving the front bar slightly forward or backward.

Final Thoughts

Our top pick is the INNO Gravity Universal Mount Ski/Snowboard Rack since it is made for the specific purpose of carrying skis and snowboards and has an anti-theft locking system.

For a more budget-friendly option, consider the Yakima EasyTop Loader Multipurpose Roof Rack.