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Roof Box or Rack Questions

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Just purchased a new vehicle, so I need to install a roof box or roof carrier for this upcoming season.  I need to carry 1 snowboard and up to 4 pairs of skis.  I have looked at the Yakima Big Powderhound, but not sure if it will fit what I want.  I also don't know if roof racks can carry poles.  A box I could use for other stuff besides skiing.  If I go with a box, do you have any suggestions?

post #2 of 25
Yakima Skybox. I have the Skybox 12, great for a 6 pair of skis or a couple of skis and a couple of snowboards. Good for camping gear for two people, if you could use more space they have larger boxes.
post #3 of 25

Packasport. www.packasport.com. These are, IMO, the best made. Best construction, best hardware and materials, very aerodynamic, absolutely a top quality product. Fiberglass, with white or balck gel coat finish {like a fiberglass boat}. Carpet lined. I bought my first one almost 20 years ago, and my second about 10 years ago. The first was the series 90, and that can hold a huge cargo on a big vehicle. Our kids were serious alpine racers. That roof box has been driven across the country at least a dozen times. The second one, once again a series 90, has been used on vehicles of all sizes of ours, Subie Outbacks to Landcruisers. Our son has used the older one, every DAY of the winter {not each weekend....every day} for the past 8 years, and it been on one of our vehicles every day of the winter for 20. Works perfectly. It makes a half dozen 1000 plus mile trips a year. 

 

They cost much more than average roof box, for good reason. $1K seems like a huge amount of money for a box {and it is}, but I have yet to meet anybody who's bought one who wasn't disappointed, and didn't thing that it was of value. My family has owned almost everything, starting with the original Yakima Rocket Box 30+ years ago. I dropped about a six year old box form one of those well marketed companies at the dump this spring. Destroyed. $850 over 20 years and counting isn't bad.

 

Obviously, I highly recommend them. Check out the website. I have no interest in the company....just a very satisfied customer. In fact we're about to order a third to replace the one that ended up in the dumpster. $400 for limited use over what was really four years. I should have bought the Packasport at that time. Will go on our daughter's wagon. 

post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muleski View Post
 

Packasport. www.packasport.com. These are, IMO, the best made. Best construction, best hardware and materials, very aerodynamic, absolutely a top quality product. Fiberglass, with white or balck gel coat finish {like a fiberglass boat}. Carpet lined. I bought my first one almost 20 years ago, and my second about 10 years ago. The first was the series 90, and that can hold a huge cargo on a big vehicle. Our kids were serious alpine racers. That roof box has been driven across the country at least a dozen times. The second one, once again a series 90, has been used on vehicles of all sizes of ours, Subie Outbacks to Landcruisers. Our son has used the older one, every DAY of the winter {not each weekend....every day} for the past 8 years, and it been on one of our vehicles every day of the winter for 20. Works perfectly. It makes a half dozen 1000 plus mile trips a year. 

 

They cost much more than average roof box, for good reason. $1K seems like a huge amount of money for a box {and it is}, but I have yet to meet anybody who's bought one who wasn't disappointed, and didn't thing that it was of value. My family has owned almost everything, starting with the original Yakima Rocket Box 30+ years ago. I dropped about a six year old box form one of those well marketed companies at the dump this spring. Destroyed. $850 over 20 years and counting isn't bad.

 

Obviously, I highly recommend them. Check out the website. I have no interest in the company....just a very satisfied customer. In fact we're about to order a third to replace the one that ended up in the dumpster. $400 for limited use over what was really four years. I should have bought the Packasport at that time. Will go on our daughter's wagon. 

 

Didn't know that brand... not a lot of marketing! A little disappointed with the 1 year warranty though, looks like a short period for a brand that claims to make bullet proof products!

 

to the OP, you are gonna have a hard time finding a rack to carry all this, your solution is a roof box, which one will depend on your car, since some of the biggest boxes don't fit smaller cars without interfering with the liftgate!

post #5 of 25

I've had my Thule Forester for about 10 years or so and it shows no signs of giving up.  All it needs is a squirt of WD40 on the locking mechanism about every two years and it's good to go.  You need something a bit bigger and wider, though.  A rack is not what you want.  The box allows you to use it all year round for all kinds of activities.  I used mine once for a solo trip to New Orleans.  (People down there don't seem to use cargo boxes, and I had a guy at a oil change place in Lafayette, LA ask me if it was a kayak!  So, now its official name is "the kayak.")

 

The Packasport described above sounds deluxe, but I worry about the carpeting inside.  I tried carpet in my box for a while, but I ski a lot and the snow would melt off of my bindings and onto the carpet almost daily.  Our weather would not let the carpet get dry all season, leading to mold and mildew.  Yuk.  I threw out the carpet and now use a piece of closed cell foam that does not soak up water, and it works great.

post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by River Hill View Post

Just purchased a new vehicle, so I need to install a roof box or roof carrier for this upcoming season. I need to carry 1 snowboard and up to 4 pairs of skis. I have looked at the Yakima Big Powderhound, but not sure if it will fit what I want. I also don't know if roof racks can carry poles. A box I could use for other stuff besides skiing. If I go with a box, do you have any suggestions?

Go with a box. I have a Yakima skybox 12 for my snowboard

Also have a big powderhound for the big trips to use in addition

2FF0B6CF-3AC8-4E0C-8C1B-967AE4EBB5CB-1258-00000248D5B7251D.jpg

Sent from my iPhone. There may be horrible grammar and misspelling involved
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post

...  I tried carpet in my box for a while, but I ski a lot and the snow would melt off of my bindings and onto the carpet almost daily.  Our weather would not let the carpet get dry all season, leading to mold and mildew.  Yuk.  I threw out the carpet and now use a piece of closed cell foam that does not soak up water, and it works great.

 

I found a lot of rust forming on edges when using closed cell foam, with skis sitting directly in the melt.  So, another alternative - rubber mesh rug pad (eg, http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Rug-Pads/1285/subcat.html#Home-Garden/Ultra-Non-slip-Rug-Pad-5-x-8/3962803/product.html?refccid=5NBBDSACIKMLQ7SELX6RBPLVCU&searchidx=2) .  Like closed cell foam, it provides padding for the skis and sound insulation for car occupants.  But also the mesh allows melting snow to collect down on the bottom of the box and your skis up on top will stay drier. 

post #8 of 25

I picked up a Yakima skybox lopro this summer:

 

http://www.yakima.com/shop/cargo/cargo-boxes/skybox-lopro-titanium-new

 

It's great because we can park in the garage even with it on our SUV, since it's the shortest box available.  I'm very happy with it.... a taller box would have already been destroyed by my wife, as she said she forgot about it when parking in a parking structure and was surprised it fit fine.  It has great capacity for skis and snowboards, it just can't fit taller items.

 

If you can wait until an REI sale, they almost always have 20% of Yakima and Thule.

post #9 of 25

Phil and I got the Yakima SkyBox 21 instead of the lopro mostly because its what was available when we needed one. It's ridiculously big but we use it to its potential. 

 

JayT took this shot of it packed with 14 pair of skis on the trip to Big Sky. 

The Yak is awesome.  Phil's packing skills are incredible. 

900x900px-LL-072ef09c_2013-03-2322.47.18.jpeg

 

 

Don't forget to get your EpicSki stickers to add some street cred to your roof box 

post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by River Hill View Post

Just purchased a new vehicle, so I need to install a roof box or roof carrier for this upcoming season.  I need to carry 1 snowboard and up to 4 pairs of skis.  I have looked at the Yakima Big Powderhound, but not sure if it will fit what I want.  I also don't know if roof racks can carry poles.  A box I could use for other stuff besides skiing.  If I go with a box, do you have any suggestions?

Since it seems you're not 100% set to go with a box, and also wonder about poles on a rack, I'll rehash my post about using ski bags. If any of the gear you mention is for kids, I highly recommend the bags for schlepping everything to the lodge area.

"I've used padded double ski bags on the roof rack cross bars (mini-van in this case) for years now. Held down with a couple bungie cords. I can fit 5 sets of skis/poles (ok, some are small kid's skis) in those 2 bags, then it's a piece of cake for me to just carry the lot up to the ski rack and unload by the lodge, skipping that scene of family members fumbling with skis and poles and dropping pieces all the way to the lodge - yeah, you've seen that! Then I just fold the bags and stow 'em in the lodge along the wall with everybody else's bootbags, lunch bags, etc., until its time to pack up and go. Of course, the boots go in the car to keep toasty for the trip.

Advantages:

- truly portable (then fold bag to stow while on the slopes)

- protects skis on the car AND getting to the lodge

- nothing to remove on non-sking days to save gas mileage

- cheap and simple


Masterlock makes a cable lock (Python) that I snake through the roof rack mounts and the bag straps to further secure it. Works just like one of those cable-ties, you pull the cable back through the one-way locking head to take the slack out and keep everything real tight - also works great to lock skis to the rack at the lodge."
post #11 of 25

Boxes prevent salt damage (I suppose ski bags do the same).  I have a Thule Ascent, which works well -- I know I've put a snowboard and three pairs of skis and poles in it.  The Thule website has a fit guide that covers most cars -- make sure to check ski length, too.

post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiersLeft View Post


Since it seems you're not 100% set to go with a box, and also wonder about poles on a rack, 

 

works just fine as long as they are within a distance that allow you to put your poles, I have a box that I use for long trips but usually have a rack for my local ski hill... I have my poles on the rack just bellow the grip and above the basket on the other end! works just fine!

post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ts01 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post

...  I tried carpet in my box for a while, but I ski a lot and the snow would melt off of my bindings and onto the carpet almost daily.  Our weather would not let the carpet get dry all season, leading to mold and mildew.  Yuk.  I threw out the carpet and now use a piece of closed cell foam that does not soak up water, and it works great.

 

I found a lot of rust forming on edges when using closed cell foam, with skis sitting directly in the melt.  So, another alternative - rubber mesh rug pad (eg, http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Rug-Pads/1285/subcat.html#Home-Garden/Ultra-Non-slip-Rug-Pad-5-x-8/3962803/product.html?refccid=5NBBDSACIKMLQ7SELX6RBPLVCU&searchidx=2) .  Like closed cell foam, it provides padding for the skis and sound insulation for car occupants.  But also the mesh allows melting snow to collect down on the bottom of the box and your skis up on top will stay drier. 

This is a good idea.  I have not had rusting problems because I put my poles on the bottom and place the skis on their side on top of them so that they're suspended above the wet.  I like your method better, though.  I'm going to look into it.

post #14 of 25

I use 2 pieces of the round foam you normally use for insulating outdoor pipes in winter - cheap  no moisture problems and no rattles or skis sliding on corners .  

post #15 of 25

IMO it depends on the distance you're traveling, and also personal preference. We have 2 SUVs, one with a roof box and one with a roof rack and are very familiar with the tradeoffs of both approaches. Both are primarily used to ski at our home hill, which is quite close to our ski house and there really is no difference in convenience or utility between them. We use the roof box SUV to travel greater distances to other ski hills where there would be greater salt exposure than our normal short local trip. Also the box holds a lot more so is our choice when we pile a bunch of folks into one vehicle to travel to ski together (ours will just fit 7 skiers and gear). However, the box also reduces our mpg by 1-2, so we take it off in the summer months and store it, and then put it back on in the late fall. The rack has a negligible effect on mpg, so that just stays on year-round.

 

Rack tricks from the days of yore before roof boxes, when there were only roof and trunk racks, are to put a gaitor bag (very short bag with elastic ends) on the skis that just cover up the bindings and let the tips and tails hang out, to keep road grime and salt out of the bindings. There were also wax sticks you could run up and down the skis' edges for a quick couple of quick passes before the trip, to coat them with a thin wax layer and keep them from rusting due to the salt exposure.

post #16 of 25
Far as I'm concerned, you put them in the car or you put them in a box. I never leave then in a closed space after skiing unless it's cold enough to assure no melting (and thus no rusting). These days you pay so much for a rack plus ski mount that skimping by avoiding buying a box is a false economy. Please excuse any brusqueness stemming from tiny screen and keyboard.
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakespapa View Post
 

Boxes prevent salt damage (I suppose ski bags do the same).  I have a Thule Ascent, which works well -- I know I've put a snowboard and three pairs of skis and poles in it.  The Thule website has a fit guide that covers most cars -- make sure to check ski length, too.

 

Good advice. 

post #18 of 25
Here's a couple things to consider. One, if I can't put the skis inside, I like a cargo box. Yes you put the poles inside the box also. Some cargo boxes come with bracket or braces to hold the skis off the bottom of the box. They tend to rattle though.

Another thing to consider is how high up the box will be. I'm normal size (5'7"). On top of an SUV, in a snowy parking lot with snow boots on, this can be challenging. I have an Xterra and would end up standing on the tires to get things out of the box.

You also have to be carefull of wind blowing the box closed on your hand.
post #19 of 25
Put a little three-step stepladder in the trunk.
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post

Put a little three-step stepladder in the trunk.

No way. Too easy. I took the cargo box off and carry the skis inside wrapped in a heavy moving blanket.
post #21 of 25

I usually put our skis in the ski sack in my wagon inside the car. When we have a longer trip or need the middle seat in the back I throw on the Thule Atlantis 1200. It is low profile and easy to use. I usually put a bunch of old towels on the bottom and use them to fill in the spaces between the skis and poles. The box is handy for loading the soft items - bulky ski clothes, sleeping bags, and pillows.  I never leave the box on the car outside of when we are using it. The towels are always removed and washed. They also suck up the excess melting if there is any melting during our trip.

post #22 of 25

Box.  No doubt about it.  I don't think the brand matters, just get the size  you need.  I have an older Thule box and have been known to just leave skis in it all season.  I have had up to 5 pair of skis and a couple of snowboards in there.  I leave an old blanket and a few old towels in it if needed to dry edges and cushion skis.  Also sometimes throw sleeping bags, etc up there.  The box also comes in handy for beach and camping vacations.  It does not hurt gas mileage much at all.  Oh, I do carry a little 3-step folding ladder as mentioned by a previous poster...makes it a lot easier to get stuff out.

post #23 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for the suggestions.  

 

I carry a 5 gallon bucket in the back for loose items and I have been known to step up on that to reach things and yes I have fallen off as well :)

post #24 of 25

BOX. We used ours last winter to carry 4 pairs of skis and two snowboards. When we travel across the state to visit the grandparents in the summer, we put most of the luggage in there, which frees up a ton of room in the Outback. 

 

Caution: If you start to notice a strong wind while driving, stop and tie or strap down the top lid to the roof rails. Two years ago we saw the lid fly off of a Yakima box (and the ensuing garage sale on the interstate) due to a strong crosswind. These boxes are aerodynamic in one direction.

post #25 of 25
Rack .

1 board can go there and then your skis to the right . Or he'll do 2 racks .

Also better Mpgs and way less of a hassle than dealing with the Thule . Those locks suck on the boxes too and it's a pain to deal with them especially when the locks freeze

Also how often do you load that big thing up with crab and you never use jt all. Bring what you need
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiersLeft View Post

Since it seems you're not 100% set to go with a box, and also wonder about poles on a rack, I'll rehash my post about using ski bags. If any of the gear you mention is for kids, I highly recommend the bags for schlepping everything to the lodge area.

"I've used padded double ski bags on the roof rack cross bars (mini-van in this case) for years now. Held down with a couple bungie cords. I can fit 5 sets of skis/poles (ok, some are small kid's skis) in those 2 bags, then it's a piece of cake for me to just carry the lot up to the ski rack and unload by the lodge, skipping that scene of family members fumbling with skis and poles and dropping pieces all the way to the lodge - yeah, you've seen that! Then I just fold the bags and stow 'em in the lodge along the wall with everybody else's bootbags, lunch bags, etc., until its time to pack up and go. Of course, the boots go in the car to keep toasty for the trip.

Advantages:

- truly portable (then fold bag to stow while on the slopes)

- protects skis on the car AND getting to the lodge

- nothing to remove on non-sking days to save gas mileage

- cheap and simple


Masterlock makes a cable lock (Python) that I snake through the roof rack mounts and the bag straps to further secure it. Works just like one of those cable-ties, you pull the cable back through the one-way locking head to take the slack out and keep everything real tight - also works great to lock skis to the rack at the lodge."

Novel idea I like it
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