long-time lurker and infrequent poster here, hoping I can get some advice from you guys. I’ve read through many threads here and elsewhere about ski racks, ski boxes, and in-car transportation suggestions for skis, and I’m now trying to figure out what makes sense for me.
Background: I live in vancouver, ski whistler pretty much every weekend. I’m looking at leasing a new car in the next few months for occasional city use, road trips, and to get met o the hills and back. I don’t have a family yet and it’s often just me and 1 or 2 other fellow riders/skiers, if any. After a lot of research, I’ve narrowed the car choice down to either a new VW Golf or Jetta with the 1.8Tsi and a 5-speed, and slapping on winter tires for ski season. I’m leaning towards the Jetta, though it’s an older design than the brand new Gofl, because of the added length afforded by the trunk (really like the wagon, too, but it’s overpriced when leasing); whereas with the Golf I’d require a ski rack or box, as I otherwise wouldn’t want skis encroaching into the driver/front passenger area.
I've always put my skis in a bag and thrown them in the back of my current subaru legacy wagon, with the seats folded down. But now i’m reading so much about how unsafe this is, where if I were to get in an accident, the skis would be dangerous inside, so that I’m now considering plunking down $1000 for a rack/box combo.
But truthfully I’m often the only one driving up, and having a box for just my (or one other person's) ski gear when I could easily fit my skis in my car seems like overkill, even from a safety standpoint. Anecdotally at least, i’ve been fine up until now (knock on wood) with skis in the car, and most of my friends transport their gear this way. So my question is…what would you do? If you were in the market for a new car, would you also fork over $1k (or $600 used) for a box? Or would you just get a car with a trunk and continue to leave the skis in a bag inside? I figure with a trunk, versus a totally open hatchback/wagon layout, the sudden movement of skis and boards is somewhat more restricted and restrained, which would imply it to be a safer option than the hatch. I also figure if said ski bag is padded and strapped down inside with a seatbelt, if I got into an accident, they would still stay securely in place. But I'm not sure if that’s actually true.
Anyhow, sorry for rambling - clearly I’ve thought a lot about this! - and realize I am probably overthinking it, but any advice would be appreciated.