Learn How To Choose The Snowboard Racks Like A Pro: All You Will Need To Know

Andy Bowen

by Andy Bowen

June 17, 2019

Snowboard Racks Buying Guide

Take a closer look at any snowboard or a pair of skis and you will see it has sharp edges and metal hardware. Then measure them and you will see they are big, obviously. All of this means that if you transport them inside a car you risk an injury and your cargo space will be significantly decreased. The answer to your prayers is a snowboard rack. Today, we will help you learn how to choose the snowboard racks that are just right for your car and your snowboard. Stay tuned.

How to Choose the Snowboard Racks

Basic considerations

Before ordering the snowboard racks you just like and don’t really understand, let’s take a closer look at the nature of these accessories and let’s explain them. These are basic considerations that will help you more than you think and will prepare you for the next section here.

A cargo box Vs. snowboard rack

One of the biggest and the most important questions is choosing between a cargo box and a snowboard rack. There are several pros and cons of each type and we will help you understand them. Basically, cargo boxes are larger and they require more space on a car and in the garage. They are more expensive as well. On the other hand, they will keep snowboards clean while transport.

A snowboard rack won’t keep them clean while transport, which is the only drawback. However, it is a far more affordable option and easier to use. They don’t require a lot of space and installation is as simple as it sounds. That’s why we always prefer a snowboard rack over a cargo box.

Capacity

Capacity refers to the number of snowboards you can transport. If you take a closer look you will see that most racks can accommodate up to 4 snowboards. This is ideal if the entire family is using them or you have a need to transport up to 4 snowboards at some point.

There are smaller models as well that can transport up to 2 snowboards. Be free to choose any size you prefer. We honestly like larger racks due to the fact they are more versatile and can help you at some point.

Color

You will see that snowboard racks come in several colors. They are black, gray and silver. Here you can have two options. You can either match the snowboard rack color to the color of a car or go for a black rack. It is individual preference and you should make a choice you are comfortable with. There is no good or wrong and each person can get a unit that looks the best for him. It is one of less-important elements of how to choose the snowboard racks guide.

Mounting

Mounting refers to the installation of snowboard racks to a car. You need to have cross bars installed in order to use a snowboard racks. This is the same requirement for all the models and it is also mandatory for cargo boxes.

There are several options. The first one is a steel strap which is the most common and the most affordable. However, they can’t provide extreme durability or safety. A much better option is T track mounting hardware. It is far safer and more appealing for heavy-duty purposes. The third option is round bar mounting hardware which can be used on round crossbars of a car. In addition, steel strap is universal type and considered as a standard option. Some models offer T track hardware as an optional extra.

Cost

Cost has been one of the biggest advantages snowboard racks provide to all new owners. And as usual, it is one of the main factors to consider. In a nutshell, decent snowboard racks will cost you between $150 and $300. There are plenty of models that fall into this price range and each unit is well-made, comes with all the essentials and has a lot to offer. We should add that they are the most popular racks at the moment.

If we take a closer look at cargo boxes we can see that they are far more expensive.  A decent unit will cost you $1000 or even more. Now you have a clear idea of how and why we prefer snowboard racks.

Types

Not all snowboard racks are the same. As a matter of fact, there are 3 main types and each one is completely different than the other type. Below are all three types explained alongside their main pros and cons.

Crossbar

Crossbar is the most common type of them all and you can see them literally anywhere. The name refers to the fact they are mounted in the cross layout of your roof racks. Using them is extremely simple. All you have to do is to attach them to roof racks, attach a snowboard to them and clamp into place. You are done. They look elegant and they are very affordable. Installation is also the simplest of them all so this may be one of the main reasons why so many people choose crossbar snowboard racks. Due to the slightly increased height of a car, you will need to make sure the added height isn’t an issue in tight spaces. Of course, the difference isn’t a problem for most drivers and in most cases.

PROS

  • Easy to use
  • Look elegant and stylish
  • Easy to install
  • Value for money
  • They fit most cars

CONS

  • Can be used on cars with roof racks only

Siderail

Siderail snowboard racks are different than the first type. They are mounted alongside the roof of your car and they require siderails hence the name. The biggest advantage is the number of snowboards and skis you can transport. Then there is the price. They are affordable due to the fact you don’t need crossbar installed before you install the snowboard racks. We can see that some of the most popular models are members of this type. The aerodynamics of the car won’t be changed as much as with crossbar type, an important sub-factor for some drivers. This is very important for drivers who want to improve or maintain the efficiency of their vehicle and to decrease fuel consumption.

PRO

  • Can be installed without crossbar roof racks
  • Easy to use
  • For snowboards of all sizes
  • Many models available on the market

CONS

  • Can’t be moved from one vehicle to another easily

Hitch

Hitch snowboard racks are opposite than the first two types. Instead of mounting the snowboards on the roof of your car, you will mount them on your hitch. As you may believe the snowboards will be vertically mounted. This makes this type less popular than the other two types. On the other hand, we have the ability to transport snowboards and a bike at the same time. In addition, most of these models can be used for multiple snowboards. There is no need for roof racks nor any other accessory on the top of your car. As such, we can deduce that hitch snowboard racks are suitable for people who don’t have roof racks and who don’t like installing anything to the roof of their car.

PRO

  • Don’t require roof racks
  • Suitable for shorter people
  • Roof is free to pair with a cargo box
  • Versatile and practical

CONS

  • Snowboard will be mounted in a vertical position which is an issue for some people

Fit Guide

Now is the time to explain the fit and why you need to consider this factor as well. First of all, keep in mind that snowboard racks come in different widths. Some are 25 inches and they are the smallest. Others are 40 inches and they are considered as the largest models.

To get the precise fit, measure the distance between the roof racks of your car. You will get a number which should be paired with the overall width of the snowboard racks. This makes the choice obvious and you should consider that particular size.

If you have two cars and want to use snowboard racks on both of them, measure the width of both vehicles and add that to the equation. Most models can be easily removed from one roof and installed to another. Just make sure that the width is compatible so you don’t need to purchase two separate models.

The situation is slightly different for hitch snowboard racks. They are usually made to fit a specific vehicle or a type of car. You can also find a list of compatible vehicles paired to that very hitch snowboard rack and you will do just fine. For some, this is the simplest model to choose from and it can make a massive difference.

Conclusion

We helped you learn all about the snowboard racks and all factors you should consider when looking for a new unit. All of this may sound complicated but it is extremely simple and easy to comprehend. Just take your time and find a model that will match your criteria to the smallest point. It is already available on the market, so all you need to do is to find it and install it.

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