There’s something special about the anticipation involved in loading up your car and heading to the mountains to snowboard. I know some riders even have rituals where they play the same song and eat the same food whenever they start a boarding trip. Some of us are lucky enough to live close to a mountain, while others have to travel quite a ways. Either way, almost all of us drive to get there.
A roof rack makes your drive to the mountains quite a bit easier, especially if you’re traveling with friends and family. By securely fastening your boards to the top of your vehicle, you free up extra room inside for the passengers and any extra gear you want to bring along. Here are some of the best snowboard roof racks around to help you get stoked and organized for your next trip.
- This YAKIMA Fresh Tracks Ski & Snowboard Mount is one of the best roof racks you can find. It fits most vehicles, is well made, and is quite spacious. It can hold up to four boards at a time.
- Another great option that’s also pretty affordable is the Inno Racks Gravity Snow Rack. Functional and durable, this is a solid choice that won’t break the bank.
- The Rhino Rack Ski Carrier is a compact, versatile option that can hold your snowboards in the winter and fishing poles during the summer.
Who Should Get This?
Roof racks are an ideal way to transport your snowboard anytime you want to head up to the mountains. The racks listed here are all easy to install and fit on almost all vehicles. A rack will save you space in the interior of your car so you can fit more people and equipment wherever you go. A roof rack can also protect your board and vehicle from damage because if it’s left loose in the car, it can bounce and shift around pretty easily when you drive.
You don’t need to own a roof rack, but I would definitely recommend it if you snowboard a lot. Also, if you tend to just ride by yourself and don’t need extra room in the car for people or gear, you might not need a rack. However, it’s a cheap and easy way to transport your board and it also looks pretty dang cool.
Best Snowboard Roof Rack: What to Consider
One of the first things to consider when looking at a roof rack is how many snowboards you want or need to carry at a time. A full-sized rack will typically give you the ability to safely stow and transport four boards at once. Since that’s roughly the capacity of most vehicles, it’s enough for most riders.
However, that can change depending on your car size. If you have a large vehicle, such as a van or truck, you might be able to get an even larger rack that can hold six or more boards at a time. Smaller racks will only allow you to store two boards at a time, but that can free up extra room on your roof for another rack to store bikes or anything else.
An absolute must for any quality roof rack is the ability to lock. Since there’s a good chance you’re going to leave your board in the rack when you go get gas, grab a bite to eat, or during any other stops on your way to the mountain, you want something that can keep your gear locked up and secure. Most racks come with a small key that you can use whenever you need. Don’t get a rack without the ability to lock. It’s not worth getting your board stolen.
Another aspect to take into account with a roof rack is the way it will attach to your vehicle. All of the racks listed here come with a universal mount that will easily attach to the existing roof rack on your car. Nearly all vehicles come with some sort of built-in rack on top of the roof. It’s usually in the form of two long bases that run front-to-back with two cross members going from side-to-side. You need that in order to attach the roof racks in this guide to your car.
With a universal mounting system, installation is quite easy. Each model varies slightly by design, but they all utilize a strap or latch that goes underneath the roof rack cross member. You then screw or otherwise tighten these fasteners into place on both of the cross members and your rack will be ready to go. It should only take a few minutes to mount your rack if everything goes according to plan.
Best Snowboard Roof Rack: Our Picks for 2020
The YAKIMA Fresh Tracks is one of the best racks on the market. It can safely store up to four snowboards at once and uses an easy-open push-button design to give you access when you make it to the mountains. The universal mounting system will work with nearly every vehicle and is easy to install. Beyond that, there is a built-in same key locking system that provides security and peace of mind when you have to leave your boards for a while. Effective and sturdy, this is a great roof rack.
- Stores up to four boards
- Easy to install with universal mounts
- Locking design
- No tools needed for install
The Innov Racks Gravity Snow Rack is another solid option for snowboard transport. This rack can hold up to four boards at a time, but also has a slim profile that the company states helps improve fuel efficiency. The built-in universal mounts are easy to use, adjust, and install, and they will fit most vehicles. The model also comes with an included locking mechanism and key to keep your gear safe at all times.
- Slim profile
- Holds up to four boards
- Universal mount
- Comes with lock and key
- You’ll need an extended bolt if your vehicle’s cross members are extra thick
The Rhino Rack Ski Carrier is another awesome snowboard roof rack. This one is available in multiple sizes, which is nice if you want extra room on your roof for another rack. It has an easy-release design that opens right up with the push of a button and features a well-built lock for much-needed safety. This rack is also durable thanks to the strong, rustproof aluminum construction.
- Versatile, multiple size options
- Universal mounts
- Secure lock
- Easy to open
- Strong construction and rustproof
- Mounting system isn’t as intuitive as other designs.
Useful Tips & Resources
A good thing to know about a roof rack, if you haven’t used one before, is how snowboards actually fit inside of it. When you’re transporting multiple boards, they will stack on top of one another base-to-base. The models listed above that allow up to four boards to be carried will have two rows of two boards sandwiched together. That might seem weird at first, but it’s a safe way to transport your boards.
If your car doesn’t have cross members to hold a roof rack, don’t worry. You can get these installed pretty easily so you can carry your boards. You first need to find the correct size specific to your vehicle, but once that’s done installation is a breeze. Check out this video explaining how to install the crossbars and the roof rack.
A roof rack is a great piece of equipment for any snowboarder that needs to drive. They allow you to safely transport your board on the top of your car without worrying about it getting damaged or stolen. If you want extra room in your car the next time you go riding, a roof rack is a must. Plus, they are affordable and easy to install as well.
Do you have a roof rack on your vehicle? What kind did you get? Let us know in the comments below!