If you live in a place where it snows at some point during the year, then you know that it takes a lot of work to drive anywhere in the winter time. Not only do you need to bundle up in warm clothes just to go outside, but you need to be prepared for inclement weather: ice scrapers, all-weather floor mats, proper windshield washer fluid, rubber cargo liners, snow tires and chains…the list goes on and on. Are you a snowboarder, skier, or snowmobiler? If you live any sort of an active lifestyle in the winter, then you know all these things are just the details. You know that you need some serious gear to deliver you, your friends and all their equipment to the great outdoors in comfort and style. With gas prices being as high as they’ve been, many have made the switch to a smaller, more economic vehicle. The unfortunate trade off here is the amount of cargo space. Can you no longer get all you’re boots, bindings, tuning kits and extra clothes into the trunk? Then you should consider racking up your new roof!
Roof racks are an incredibly handy invention. You can mount numerous things to them: cargo carriers, ski racks, bike racks, kayak racks, that shiny new queen size bed you just bought, siblings/cousins/friends…you name it and there’s a way to rack it and strap it. Roof racks can be mounted on just about any car or SUV. If you’ve got a truck, there’s special solutions made for you and your gear.
If your vehicle has roof rails on it already, you can buy specially made “towers” that clamp onto your factory roof rails. Then you just need crossbars and your roof rack is complete. If you have a naked roof (i.e. no roof rails), you’ll need “towers” that clamp onto the windowsill and a pair of crossbars to construct your rack. I always cut my crossbars to length for style points and so you & your passengers don’t bonk your heads on it when getting out of the car. Just make sure not to cut too much off!
Ski racks are obviously useful in the wintertime. Thule and Yakima are the big players in the ski rack and cargo carrier game. Most ski racks can mount 4 sets of ski’s or 4 snowboards, but there are a few racks that can mount more, like the Yakima FatCat 6, the Yakima FreshSesh, or the Yakima Big PowderHound. Each of these racks are extra wide to accommodate up to 6 pairs of ultra wide powder skis or 4 extra wide powder boards. Each has unique features and styles, so look into those Yak Racks if you need the extra capacity.
For more information about gearing up for winter, check out these links: roof racks, thule, yakima, and ski racks.