The eternal battle between skiers and snowboarders rages on as it ever has; while childish name calling and ill-favoured generalizations have a tendency to arise from either camp, both sides can agree on one simple fact: regardless of the preferred powder-shredding method of conveyance, having the right equipment to get your gear to the slopes is of the utmost importance.
Skier or snowboarder, no one wants to arrive at their winter wonderland contorted and sore, unable to hit the slopes right away for fear of aggravating the pinched nerve they suffered in your vehicle – something that is easily avoidable by investing in a carrier.
Thule Tram 9033 Snowsport Carrier
Accommodate skiers and snowboarders alike with the Thule Tram 9033 Snowsport Carrier, a rig that allows you to transform your summer bike carrier into a winter sports transporter. Conversion requires a Thule hitch or spare tire carrier model: 963 PRO, 9031, 9030, 9029, 9028, 9027, 9026, 9025, 956, 957, or 958.
Because the surface of your boards and skis are vulnerable to scratches, the Snowsport carrier comes equipped with incredibly soft rubber arms to safely secure your equipment. Thule thought of everything with this model, incorporating extra large push buttons so you can manipulate the carrier while keeping your gloves on and your hands warm, and the included lock keeps your equipment secure from those who would seek to abscond with it.
The Snowsport has the capacity to accommodate up to 6 pairs of skis or 4 snowboards (on 2″ receiver racks or 4 pairs of skis or 2 boards on 1 1/4″ receivers and using the Thule spare tire carrier), freeing up a ton of cargo space for other Canadian winter getaway staple items; including but not limited to several cases of quality Canadian beer.
The point is this: using a rack like the Snowsport will keep your vehicle free of cumbersome equipment, allowing your and your passengers to have an enjoyable trip to the snow capped peaks that beckon.
Yakima Hitchski Ski & Snowboard Carrier
Another multi-season carrier, the Hitchski allows you to get the most out of nature with your existing mast-hitch; working as a bike rack in warmer times and converting to a ski and snowboard carrier once the snows of winter commence.
Like Thule, Yakima uses soft rubber arms to firmly hold your gear in place, and the accompanying Armlock or Deadlock means that you needn’t worry about someone running off with it when you eventually stop at Tim Horton’s on the way to the resort to use the bathroom.
The Hitchski is compatible with most mast-style hitch racks, fitting most 4 and 5 bike rigs. This rig can accommodate up to 6 pairs of skis or 4 snowboards, matching the carrying capacity of Thule’s Snowsport carrier.
When not in use, this lightweight carrier takes up very little room, making it the perfect winter sport accessory.
Roof mounted carriers
If you’re not a fan of, or don’t have a mast-style hitch to convert to carry your winter accessories, you may want to consider a roof-mounted carrier. While both styles adequately serve to get your gear safely to your destination, roof-mounted carriers have benefits not found in hitch-mounted carriers.
Thule Snowcat Snowsport Carrier
The Snowcat shares a lot of the same qualities as the previously mentioned Thule carrier; both can accommodate up to 6 pairs of skis or 4 snowboards, each comes with a secure locking mechanism to safeguard your equipment, and each takes into account the vulnerable surfaces of your equipment, using soft rubber arms to mitigate any damage from the rig.
A roof mounted system adds an extra element of security, being that your equipment is secured at height and therefore making it a little more conspicuous for potential thieves making an attempt at taking your equipment. That being said, retrieving your gear from a rooftop carrier can be a little more difficult, so Thule has incorporated integrated push buttons for easy operation.
The Snowcat uses a telescoping steel bar that adjusts perfectly to the width of your vehicle for a precise fit and maximum support.
Yakima Snow Mount Ski & Snowboard Carrier
Attach Yakima’s Snow Mount Carrier to your existing roof rack for a sleek looking rig crafted from anodized aluminum. The Snow Mount is compatible with most factory crossbars, and can accommodate the thickest style of skis and boards. Yakima’s Snow Mount uses an integrated SmartLift design which raises the carrier giving it additional roof clearance.
While this unit is ideal for transporting your winter sporting equipment (which coincidentally, mirrors the capacity of the other mounts listed in this review), many owners enjoy the aesthetic appeal it adds to their vehicle, therefore making seen equipped during summer months – even though the lightweight composition and minimalist design makes it an easily storable accessory.