Best Ski Rack

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Seasoned skiers will know that the equipment you need for heading out to the slopes is cumbersome, heavy and difficult to safely transport in a car – especially if you want to keep your upholstery clean and dry!

If you’re new to the sport, or you usually pick up a rental board when you arrive but recently took the plunge and purchased your own, a ski rack can make your journey much smoother and safer all around, with way less mess and fuss.

No need to scour the net for recommendations, as we’ve selected five racks to suit a wide range of customers and appeal to a variety of needs, as of course, every skier and every car is different.

Prefer to know everything about a product before you to commit to purchasing? More power to you! Our crystal-clear buyer’s guide highlights the key features you need to consider in order to get your hands on a quality rack.

At the end of the article, you’ll find a frequently asked questions section, where we’ve rounded up and answered common queries amongst customers, so any lingering doubts or worries can hopefully be allayed there. See you on the slopes!

Raring To Rack And Roll? Here’s Our Top Pick:

Rhino Rack Ski
Rhino Rack Ski
  • Simple storage for six pairs of skis
  • Easy release, secure lock with keys
  • Rust-resistant aluminum body
YAKIMA - PowderHound 6 Ski & Snowboard Mount
YAKIMA – PowderHound 6 Ski & Snowboard Mount
  • One-touch opening mechanism
  • SKS security locks for protection
  • Fit up to six pairs of skis or four snowboards
Apex SKI-4 Ski and Snowboard Roof Rack
Apex SKI-4 Ski and Snowboard Roof Rack
  • Suitable for use with all vehicles featuring rectangular cross bars
  • Sturdy construction – made for the slopes
  • Firm, non-scratch grip from rubber padding

1. Rhino Rack Ski Carrier

No. 1
Rhino Rack Ski Carrier
9.4/10 Our Score

Available at ten, thirteen, twenty or twenty seven inches long, we’re recommending the Rhino Rack as an excellent choice for customers in a hurry, without time to check out their options, though our focus is on the largest of their offerings, the 27” variety.

Able to hold six pairs of skis or four snowboards, even fishing rods if you like, it’s a versatile rack that’s simplistic in design, simply snapping closed once full without the need to mess around with complicated clasps

Heavy-duty aluminum construction means this bad boy is ready for whatever you throw at it, especially given it’s been reinforced to be rust and corrosion resistant, ready to protect your equipment on the longest drives.

With an easy release, key-locking mechanism perfect for gloved hands, it’s easy to access before and after you’ve hit the slopes, and a rubber gripping profile protects your skis, snowboards and rods from scratches or scuffs.

You’ll find it fits even the longest, widest skis and snowboards with ease, and included in your purchase are a set of two ski arms, universal mounting brackets and four keys, so there’s always a spare in the glove compartment to avoid disaster.

  • Simple storage for six pairs of skis
  • Easy release, secure lock with keys
  • Rust-resistant aluminum body
  • Suitable for all vehicles
  • On the expensive end of our list… but it’s worth it

2. YAKIMA – PowderHound 6 Ski & Snowboard Mount

No. 2
2. YAKIMA - PowderHound 6 Ski & Snowboard Mount
9.4/10 Our Score

Elegantly mounting to your car for storage of up to six pairs of skis (with 96mm wide tips) or four snowboards, the YAKIMA PowderHound is an excellent choice for a family of skiing enthusiasts or a single rider who wants to take plenty of options.

Going the extra mile, the designers have included an OverHang clamp attachment point, which serves to make reaching your equipment even quicker and easier, so you’ll be out on the slopes in no time.

Integrated security SKS (same key system) locks have been added as an improvement to previous models, for further security on pit stops or when leaving equipment on your car roof overnight… if you’re brave enough.

A one-button, easy press opening system means grabbing all of your gear or loading it back up at the end of the day is as simple as hitting a button, which also means you don’t need to remove your gloves. Win-win!

No power-tools, no sweat, no drilling into your car: installing your new roof rack is as easy as can be, and all you’ll need to do it is the provided mounting equipment and hex wrench, supplied free of charge.

  • One-touch opening mechanism
  • SKS security locks for protection
  • Fit up to six pairs of skis or four snowboards
  • Patented OverHang technology makes unpacking even easier
  • Base rack system required (e.g cross bars)

3. Apex SKI-4 Ski and Snowboard Roof Rack

No. 3
3. Apex SKI-4 Ski and Snowboard Roof Rack
9.4/10 Our Score

More compact in its design, but still proffering plenty of room for four pairs of skis (or two snowboards, if you prefer), the aptly named Apex Ski-4 may be affordable but that is not reflected in the quality of design.

Built from a combination of aluminum and heavy duty plastic, it’s capable of standing up to tough weather conditions, and shouldn’t succumb to erosion or rusting, protecting your skis and kind to the roof of your car, too.

Compatible with the majority of rectangular crossbars, it’s lightweight at just under fifteen pounds, so your fuel consumption won’t increase too much on long journeys, and shouldn’t be noticeable at all after a quick trip.

Your equipment is held gently but firmly by soft, supportive rubber grips in the wide 22 inch carrying cavity, and is released with no trouble using the large push button to unlatch the top grip.

Two keys are included to secure the rail’s locks, which should deter any potential ski thieves on the lookout, but will hold tight in the event of tampering, so you can stop off for supplies or repack the car after skiing without having to worry.


  • Suitable for use with all vehicles featuring rectangular cross bars
  • Sturdy construction – made for the slopes
  • Firm, non-scratch grip from rubber padding
  • No power-tools necessary for installation
  • Smaller than other offerings we’ve chosen

4. Thule 91725U Universal Snowsport Carrier

No. 4
4. Thule 91725U Universal Snowsport Carrier
9.4/10 Our Score

Thule are a reputable brand amongst skiers, so it’s safe to say your equipment is in good hands with this rack, which can hold either six pairs of traditional shaped or blade style skis or four snowboards.

Packing your boards from base to base is easy thanks to the larger than average capacity of this rack, which means they’re more securely stored, won’t rub together on the road, and will stay sturdier for longer.

Use of a wide, semi-rigid rubber means your skis are cradled for a snug fit whether in a bag or not, and they’re locked in place with the included Thule One Key System cylinders to offer maximum security.

Surprisingly sleek at under eight pounds altogether, though it’s a larger ski rack for carrying multiple boards, you won’t see a dramatic increase in fuel consumption as it will cause very little increase in your car’s air resistance when driving.

Mounting is simple and the universal hardware supplied should be suitable for most factory-installed crossbars or racks, installed using only four screws, so you won’t waste an afternoon trying to get to grips with the manual.


  • Fits six pairs of skis or four boards but remains lightweight 
  • Patented security system from Thule included in-box
  • SpeedLink mounting allows for fitting on most car cross bars
  • Wide push button for easy access
  • May not be suitable for larger SUVs

5. AA Products 33” Aluminum Universal Ski Roof Rack

No. 5
5. AA Products 33'' Aluminum Universal Ski Roof Rack
9.4/10 Our Score

Don’t be fooled by the fact this listing has the lowest price on our list: customer reviews reflect that this universal rack from AA products is high-quality enough to compete with our higher-end selections.

With ultra-soft rubber arms meant to grip without scuffing or scratching, it holds up to six sets of skis, but is also suitable for snowboards, ski poles, water skis, even fishing rods – the possibilities are (somewhat) endless!

Durable aluminum construction offers a corrosion resistance superior to pricier products on the market, and the included mounting system should fit well on most vehicles with cross bars.

Suitable for all popular styles of ski, it should please a wide range of customers, with an easy access one-button opening mechanism for gloves-on operation, and a reliable lock and key to prevent unwanted access.

It’s worth taking a risk on a lesser-known manufacturer on this occasion, as every purchase comes with one year’s warranty for customer peace of mind, so even if you aren’t satisfied you can get a replacement or a refund without any hassle.

  • Budget-friendly but dependable
  • Superior protection with supple rubber arms
  • Quick one-press access
  • Family sized, for up to six pairs of skis
  • Plastic mounting may not feel as secure as other alternatives

Buyer’s Guide

You could be forgiven for thinking that as long as a rack holds your skis securely to the roof of your car, it’ll do the job, but there’s actually a bit more to it than that if you don’t want to have to buy another every season. For instance…


A rack that has been made well and will be long-lasting is your priority, which does mean spending a little more money than you would on something shoddily crafted that will only work for half the time.

Solid, sturdy metals like steel or aluminum will ensure that your rack is safe in all weather conditions, no matter how snowy or stormy, especially if they’ve been coated with rust-proof or corrosion resistant materials.

You might also want to consider fuel efficiency here, as any weight added to your car (whether that’s more people, more equipment or a roof rack) is going to increase your consumption of gas, by nature of the increase in air resistance.

Racks for longer journeys should be as lithe and aerodynamic as possible, as this will minimise the additional fuel consumed, though remember, it’s impossible to reduce this number to zero!

Size Of Car

This one is probably common sense, but we’re including it just in case: you need to measure up your car’s roof to find out what sort of dimensions you can accommodate in a rack, which can limit the size you purchase.

There’s nothing worse than getting excited about a new, timesaving gadget only to spend hours trying to assemble it and discover it won’t fit properly, so be really precise in your measurements here.

Similarly, your car’s compatibility with the rack is especially important, as certain racks are designed for use with specific kinds of crossbars, where others are more ‘universal’ and should attach to most cars with ease.

Ease Of Load And Unload

Nobody wants to spend the first hour they could be skiing unpacking the roof rack, but at the same time, you don’t want something that allows your skis to be freed too easily, so it’s all about compromise.

For easier access in colder climates, we recommend a rack with a large release button, so you won’t need to unwrap or remove your gloves in order to access your equipment, which is certainly a big plus.

How Many Boards?

Some racks have been designed to hold up to six pairs of skis at once, where others are built to accommodate only one or two sets; if you’re taking the whole family with you, you’re going to need a bigger rack.

Likewise, if your group is split, with some of you snowboarding and others skiing, you’ll need a rack with room enough for both, so double checking that the one you go for is suited for all types of equipment is a good idea.

Of course, you might only have one pair of skis right now, but perhaps in the future you’ll invest in more and you’d like to have choices at the slopes, so there’s no shame in buying one you can’t fill up yet, just in case. Investments are good!


Even if you’re only driving twenty minutes away from home to get to your skiing destination, you’re going to want a rack with some kind of locking mechanism; for one, it will deter thieves from even trying to get at your expensive equipment.

Moreover, an additional step of security to hold your skis in place can only be beneficial, particularly if you’ll be hitting the high speeds of the freeway or traveling for lengthy periods of time.

It might be possible to purchase a lock for your rack separately, should you find a model you really like that doesn’t feature its own security system, so there’s no excuse to skip this step, and you’ll only regret it if you fall victim to stealing!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you put a ski rack on a car?

Whilst you don’t need any specialist tools for installation, nor does it require any excessive skill, it’s a process that should be followed carefully, as failure to install correctly could result in injury or a serious road accident.

Your car will need to be pre-loaded with cross bars, as it’s impossible to get a rack to adhere to your roof otherwise, without going down the route of strapping things down with ropes and hooks, but this guide assumes they are already installed.

Remember: every rack is different and so too will the installation process be, so always check the user’s manual and make sure to follow their specific instructions, though you’ll be able to follow our steps loosely.

1. Where will you put it?

Prior to installation, decide where the rack will be mounted on your crossbars, whether that’s more centrally for a symmetrical fit, or leaning closer to one side to access equipment more easily

2. Ready your mounts

Using the mounts that should be supplied alongside your rack, attach to your crossbars, beginning at the car’s rear and moving forwards as you go

3. Position and secure the rack

Align the rack with the mounts, positioning it so that the mount’s hole and the rack’s hole are in exactly the same place, then insert the supplied bolts, again moving from the back of your car forwards

4. Tighten those bolts

Now thread the wingnuts on top of the bolts and tighten them until it’s too difficult to turn with ease – you don’t want them too tight as you could cause damage to the vehicle, but too loose and it will all fall apart!

Do roof racks damage your car?

Any sensible car owner might be worried about the idea of securing something large, heavy and metal to the top of their car, and then adding even more weight on top, as they are expensive and not easily repaired when damaged.

Thankfully, so long as your roof rack has been properly installed, is the right size and weight for your car, and is not too tightly bolted, there’s no reason why you’d cause any damage to the vehicle itself.

However, even the most accurately installed roof racks can be damaging if overfilled, whether that’s to your car or another on the road, so do not exceed the maximum weight or number of skis recommended by the manufacturer.

Is it bad to leave skis in or on a car?

You might be tempted, after a particularly heavy ski session, to simply toss your equipment into your car or back on the roof rack, without first ensuring everything is dry and ready to put away.

Saving twenty minutes of your time could seem worth it, but in hindsight, damp skis are prone to rusting, so leaving them anywhere overnight, whether on your rack or inside your car, is never a good idea.

Always make sure to thoroughly dry your skis and repack them properly after every session; it will be more hassle in the short term, but you’ll thank yourself in the future when you don’t have to replace your rusty skis after one season!

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