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Ski racks

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I was wondering if anybody had some good advice on buying ski racks. I know that the two big names are Thule and Yakima, I have also looked at both websites...I just can't seem to find a difference. If you have any preference at all, please let me know and why. Thanks!
post #2 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by pettey
I was wondering if anybody had some good advice on buying ski racks. I know that the two big names are Thule and Yakima, I have also looked at both websites...I just can't seem to find a difference. If you have any preference at all, please let me know and why. Thanks!
I have some great advice! Buy mine! Buy mine!

I have a Yakima Qtower system with 48"poles that I took off of a 2002 Mazda 626 this season. There is a rack for 4 pair of skis included and a set of load guides as well. It's all there. If you wanted to get a box rather than a rack, the system would accept it (Qtowers and bars). I bought a Subaru and they threw in a rack for it.
The yakima is set with locks, 4 with one key, 2 with another. I had bought a set of 6 locks to replace the existing ones so there would only be one key, I'll throw that in too. If you want to talk send me a PM.
post #3 of 22
I've got a Thule box. Great for extra gear. Leave it on all year and even haul my canoe on top (taking out one thwart).

Doesn't leak. Only a problem once with iced locks and a shot of white grease in the key slot solved that.
post #4 of 22
Is there a difference between Thule and Yakima? I have not found any. I bought Yakima bars, towers and bike rack and a Thule box. Price was my determiner. I couldn't find any qualitative difference, though there may be one that I'm not aware of.
post #5 of 22
This not based in any scientific study or research, but here it goes anyway...

1- Yakima is (or was) made in Washington state, a US company.

2- When I was working at the bike shop, I was told by somebody NOT in the scientific or Physics community, that round tubes (Yakima) are stronger than square tubes (Thule). Not sure if this is true or valid.

3- Thule is a foreign made product.

4- Rack systems could be bought through Ebay at tremendous savings.

5- I have been using Yakima products since 1988 and I have been really happy. They offer great and prompt customer service.

Good luck!
post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by yuyax
1- Yakima is (or was) made in Washington state, a US company.
Your fundamental point is, so far as I know, accurate, but Yakima (the city) is in Washington State, while Yakima (the company) is in California.
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjjohnston
Your fundamental point is, so far as I know, accurate, but Yakima (the city) is in Washington State, while Yakima (the company) is in California.
Good catch. Thanks!
post #8 of 22
If your close to Canada, there is a company called "sport racks", they are the same quality of build as yakima or thule, and are half the price.
post #9 of 22
One (ok several) more thing.

What you are buying is not only a ski rack. You are buying a system that will let you carry other type of items on top of your car.

The ski rack is only the beginning. There are attachments for the rack to carry almost anything. Canoes, kayaks, bikes, windsail (including the mast), surfboards or just general junk.

On my rack, I have carried a sofa and two upholstered chairs and that did look pretty funny. Granted, the sofa was a little bigger than a loveseat and the total weight wasn't that heavy.

I have also carried all kinds of building materials with the use of the gumwale brackets (Yakima). 2 x 4's, 6's, plywood, windows, doors (hung and pre-hung), 40ft extension ladder (20ft collapsed), etc. The metal baskets (Loadwarrior) allows you to carry more junk.

Again, my recommendation is for the Yakima system. I should mention that I have noticed that most bent car rack bars are rectangular/square Thule bars. This is not based on a large study or sample. Just from what I have seen on the road.

YMMV
post #10 of 22
I've been a loyal Thule user for years. I have never had a problem with any of their equipment (various bike and ski racks). Changing vehicles undoubtedly causes a need for other attachment components, but I think that is likely to be true for Yakima too.

As I recall, my initial purchase decision was based on the fact that I got a good buy on four Thule upright bike carriers. Those particular units were not compatible with Yakima racks, so taking advantage of the deal required buying the base Thule system.

I would suggest you consider all of the attachments you think you will eventually wind up with and price them collectively from each manufacturer. You might find, as I did, one system to be a much better deal.
post #11 of 22
If you've got any kind of sloped roof that you are putting the towers on, the square bars of the Thule are much harder to get lined up than the round bars of the Yakima, which allow you to infinitely adjust the angle of any components on the bars.
post #12 of 22
I have found the Thule to be easier to use the my buddy's Yakima. It is easier to change over from the box to the bike racks. It's not that I do it that often but I'm glad I bought a Thule. I think it's a better thought out system.
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the good advice guys!! I just put up a bid on ebay for a yakima system (sorry teach, but thanks anyway). I have been asking around a lot and I've gotten about the same feedback, that really it comes down to round or rectangular, and I think round makes more sense. Thanks again.

Pettey
post #14 of 22
I use a Yakima system myself.......but if you're after a ski rack only, you would be better off buying a ski rack. Much cheaper and fewer parts.
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by pettey
Thanks for all the good advice guys!! I just put up a bid on ebay for a yakima system (sorry teach, but thanks anyway). I have been asking around a lot and I've gotten about the same feedback, that really it comes down to round or rectangular, and I think round makes more sense. Thanks again.

Pettey
Hey, that's ok. I've offered it here since February and no one seems to want it. Maybe I'll sell mine on Ebay and get more for it than I was planning to sell it for here.
post #16 of 22
A box is much better, keeps the road salt and other stuff off your skis, as well as hides them from view.
post #17 of 22
I second the "you are buying a system" comment. The accessories are not interchangable (as far as I know). I bought the Thule bars and box, mainly because the box (2003) seemed to have better features. It seems that Thule and Yakima leap frog each other from model to model.

The Thule (square bars) are much louder on the highway than the round bars. I will be adding the faring this year, but you have to take it off to add the box. I had planned to leave the bars on year round. Conclusion...it is just as easy to take the bars on and off than it is to take the faring on and off.

Other than this dribble, the Thule system works great.

If I were buying now, I would buy Yakima.
post #18 of 22
I must add that Yakima makes clamps that work on rectangular, Thule, and round bars. So their attachments will work on Thule also.
post #19 of 22
Quote:
A box is much better, keeps the road salt and other stuff off your skis, as well as hides them from view.

A Rocketbox will keep your skis out of sight of your Boss (or your wife) so you can sneak out of work to go skiing without raising any suspicion.
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCWVA
A Rocketbox will keep your skis out of sight of your Boss (or your wife) so you can sneak out of work to go skiing without raising any suspicion.
Though the pants might tip them off, even if the goggles don't.
post #21 of 22
My advice is buy a box, not a rack. No dirt, surprisingly roomy, no wind noise. I was told at an REI shop that the Yakima boxes were made by Thule. Don't know if that's true though.
post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by youngsman
My advice is buy a box, not a rack. No dirt, surprisingly roomy, no wind noise. I was told at an REI shop that the Yakima boxes were made by Thule. Don't know if that's true though.
You have to put the box on something -- that usually means a rack, no? Most factory racks aren't rated for anything more than 100 lbs, and the most popular size of roof boxes tends to be about 16 cu/ft models. The Thule Evolution 1800 weighs 58 pounds just by itself, without any gear in it. A few pairs of skis in there, and that's your max factory rack weight.
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