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Thule Snowcat or SportRack?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I am getting tired of wet ski gear making my car stink so I have decided to buy a ski rack.  The two racks I have been focussing on are both designed to attach onto the factory side rails rather than the traditional cross bar approach (since I don't have crossbars).  The current choices are:


(1) the SportsRack ABR53DL: http://www.amazon.com/SportRack-ABR53DL-Pair-Snowboard-Carrier/dp/B000UUM1HK


(2) the Thule Snowcat: http://www.amazon.com/Thule-Snowcat-w-Locks/dp/B002UC8KYY


I assume that the Thule is the safer choice since I am more familiar with their products but it is more money and it does not appear to be compatible with my wife's vehicle (not a huge factor but a plus factor for sure).  The SportsRack appears to be compatible with both vehicles and costs less.  Anybody have any experience with either rack or with SportsRack products generally?  Thanks for your help.

post #2 of 8
We have the Thule on our wagon and love it. Will easily hold 4 pairs of wider skis (the 6 pairs according to the manufacturer must be based on super narrow sticks). Locks are very easy to use and have not had a problem with them freezing. Best part is that they're easy to remove at the end of the season (which should be May at this rate at Whistler).
post #3 of 8

Do yourself and your skis a favor and don't get either.  Buy a box instead,   Not only will your gear be protected from the elements (road salt wreaks havoc on bindings and ski edges) but you might also have room to throw other wet gear in there.  I have three sets of ski racks, Yakima, Thule, Jeep.....and don't use any of them after I saw what driving with skis on the roof did to my then new skis.  One long trip from Vt to NY was sufficient to have noticeable permanent damage.

post #4 of 8
Originally Posted by Richie-Rich View Post

 Buy a box instead

And as they say in Jersey, you can also throw a body up there in a pinch.


post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the suggestions--I will look into the box idea but leaning toward the Thule Snowcat since virtually all my ski commutes are 25-30 minutes.  Anyone had any experience with SportRack products generally? 

post #6 of 8

I got the sportrack a couple years ago and have the following issues which may or may not be the sportrack's fault:


1. The rack creates a whistling sound when mounted.  I have found the closer to the front it is mounted, the more muted the sound.  Kinda hard to tell if this is just with my particular setup (presumably different aerodynamics with other models of vehicles may be completely different)


2. By the time I get to/from the resort (4hr drive), the whole rack (just the front one) is leaning back at say a 60-70 degree angle instead of the 90 degree it started out at.  I tighten the bolts as tight as possible without risking over tightening so I don't think that is the problem.  I think it is caused by the abnormal ovalish shape of the side bars on my vehicle, and if there were more square edges on the bars this would not happen.


Again, not sure if these issues are sportrack's fault.  I called in to their technical help and the guy was very helpful so I was truly happy with the rare excellent custoimer service.  I think thule owns sportrack btw.

post #7 of 8

I second Richie, get a box. Just look at how dirty your car is after a ski trip (any length) when it is snowing and the roads are being treated. You want the inside of your bindings to have that stuff on/in them? There is also the potential for damage to the bases and topsheets from riding unprotected. When I got back from my last trip to Vermont, there was a thick coating of road chemicals and crud on the car. Luckily, my 4 sets of skis were safely inside.

post #8 of 8

I recommend the Thule Snowcat.  I have had one for 6 years on my wagon with no problems.  Easy to get on and off and no issues with the durability of the locks. 

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