4 Best Hitch Racks for Skis and Snowboards

The Best Hitch Racks for Skis and Snowboards

Summary

Whether you’re familiar with hitch racks and already know how convenient they are, or you’ve never heard of them and on the fence about buying a system, this article is for you!

Roof racks are the most common form of carrying skis or snowboards on you car, however hitch racks are pretty useful too. Hitch racks are installed through the trailer hitch on the back of your car, truck, or SUV (make sure to check if you have a hitch first). The main benefit is that you have your gear on the back of your car for easy access rather than having to climb on top.

You more commonly see hitch racks for carrying bikes (which some ski hitch racks can adapt to).

Below, we will cover a handful of the best hitch racks for skis and snowboards. Let’s take a look!

Best Choice

5/5
BUZZRACK BUZZSKI - Hitch Mounted ski & Snowboard Rack | Fits 2' or 1.25' Receivers | Tilting Away

It’s not easy to find a hitch rack for skis and snowboards that’s sturdy, versatile, and accommodates plenty of gear, luckily, this hitch-mounted board from BUZZRACK BUZZSKI offers all of this and more.

Not only will this rack fit on receiver hitches of 1 ¼ inch and 2 inches size, but it’ll also offer you a generous capacity receiver hitches while doing so. Using this unit, you can load your vehicle up with 6 pairs of skis or 4 snowboards. 

Alternatively, you can carry a mix of 2 snowboards and 3 pairs of skis to match your groups’ winter sports needs. All this transporting will be safe and reliable as the rack is equipped with padded arms and clips that secure your precious gear for maximum protection. 

Among the best features of the BUZZRACK BUZZSKI hitch-mounted ski and snowboard rack is how easy it folds at the joint, which makes for hassle-free access to the trunk of your car (while mounted) and convenient storing away when the season is over. 

The height of this hitch rack can be adjusted to fit skis and snowboards of different sizes. Moreover, you also get independent separators for each snowboard or pair of skis, which you can adjust or remove according to your needs. 

The BUZZRACK BUZZSKI hitch-mounted rack comes with a hitch pin lock, 3 safety straps with rubber protection, and lockable trays. Whether you’re looking for durability, capacity, or ease-of-use, this hitch rack will surely deliver.

Why We Like This Hitch Rack for Skis

Other Product Specifications

  • Dimensions: 13 inches x 15.35 inches x 55.12 inches
  • Capacity: 6 pairs of skis / 4 snowboards / 2 snowboards and 3 pairs of skis
  • Item Weight: 6 pounds
  • Locks: Optional Locking Kit (For Skis and Snowboards to the Rack)
  • Material: Stainless Steel + Padded Arms

Best Value

5/5
YAKIMA - HitchSki Ski & Board Conversion Mount For Bike Hitch Rack, Fits Up To 6 Pairs of Skis or 4 Snowboards

If you’re in the market for a reliable and versatile hitch rack for your skis and snowboards but the options we talked about above are too pricey for your budget, then you should consider the HitchSki from YAMIKA. Don’t worry, you won’t be compromising on quality with this more affordable candidate since YAKIMA is one of the most well-known manufacturers of racks and carriers.

When it comes to hitch-mounted racks for skis and snowboards, the HitchSki is truly one of a kind. Its design and finish make for a super elegant tool that will look great on your car. 

The mechanism of the HitchSki converts your mast-style hitch rack into a rack that can hold skis and snowboards with maximum efficiency. In other words, if you already have a hitch rack for bikes, you can install this to carry your skis or snowboards.

This means you get to carry gear that lets you enjoy activities for every season. It’s also compatible with most hitch racks with a capacity of 4 to 5 bikes, so you can use it on a range of bike rack types.

Like the previous models, this conversion carrier has room to accommodate 6 skis or 4 snowboards, so it’s a good deal for larger trips. Additionally, the rack features adjustable lower arms and 2-position upper arms to give you freedom for mounting skis and snowboards of different sizes. 

To ensure your gear doesn’t get damaged, the arms are equipped with soft and flexible rubber padding. Your mind will be at more peace thanks to the included SKS (Same Key System) locks that’ll keep your precious gear nice and secure.

One last thing we love about the YAKIMA HitchSki rack is the simple installation process that requires no extra tools.

Why We Like This Hitch Rack for Skis​

Other Product Specifications

  • Dimensions: 50 inches x 22.00 inches x 5.50 inches
  • Capacity: 6 pairs of skis / 4 snowboards
  • Item Weight: 40 pounds
  • Locks: Integrated SKS Locks
  • Material: Stainless Steel + Padded Arms

Editor's Choice

5/5
Tyger Auto TG-RK1B707B Folding Hitch-Mounted Ski/Snowboard Rack Fits 2' or 1.25' Receiver Carries 6 Pair Skis or 4 Snowboards | Key Lock | Security Strap | Vertical Adjustable | Tilt Access

A close second to the BUZZRACK BUZZSKI, the Tyger Auto TG-RK1B707B Folding Hitch-Mounted Rack for Skis and Snowboards is specifically designed to transport such gear with the highest level of efficiency and safety. 

Not only is this unit made of durable steel and reinforced with a rust-resistant black powder e-coating, but the manufacturer also offers a 5-year warranty to keep your mind at peace. 

The TG-RK1B707B system has a decent capacity that accommodates 4 snowboards or 6 pairs of skis, and you can use it to carry 2 snowboards and 3 pairs of skis if the need be. This is ideal for family or group trips because you can fit everyone’s gear in minimal space. 

One of the best features about this rack is its compatibility with most vehicles boasting a hitch receiver of size 1 ¼ inch or 2 inches. The plates on this rack are also adjustable and you can easily fold it down into a compact structure for more convenient storage. 

The Tyger Auto TG-RK1B707B hitch rack features height-adjustable rack plates which you can easily fold when not in use. Not to mention, you can tilt the main pole by 120 degrees down to boost accessibility to the vehicle’s trunk.

This ski/snowboard hitch rack includes a Tyger hitch lock that ensures secure mounting of the rack onto your car. Additionally, there are dual anti-theft keylocks for the top rack and the hitch receiver to give you better security for a worry-free. 

For extra protection, the Tyger Auto TG-RK1B707B hitch rack comes with 3 safety straps to securely fasten the gear on the padded arms of the unit.

Why We Like This Hitch Rack for Skis​

Other Product Specifications

  • Dimensions: 32 inches x 16.25 inches x 8 inches
  • Capacity: 6 pairs of skis / 4 snowboards
  • Item Weight: 9 pounds
  • Locks: Dual Anti-Theft Key Locks
  • Material: Sturdy Steel Construction w/Black Powder Coating
5/5
Thule Tram Hitch Ski Carrier

Last but not least, we have the Project Tram Hitch Ski Carrier from the leading brand Thule, which pretty much speaks of the high-quality construction you’ll be getting.

Similar to the HitchSki, the Thule Project Tram transforms your car’s bike rack into a rack for skis and snowboards. This way, you get an all year round service. 

This unit offers an impressive capacity of 4 snowboards or 6 pairs of skis, allowing you to save the seating space for your family and friends while protecting your gear from accidental damage. 

The Project Tram but holds your gear in an upright position via soft-rubber padded arms for maximum safety of the vehicle and the gear. The loading width is 29 ½ inches, so be sure to check the rack’s compatibility with your car’s rear.

One thing we particularly like is the easy opening and closing process that’s made fool-proof thanks to an over-sized push button. More so, this attachment features 2 One-key locks that secure snowboards and skis in place for a smooth, worry-free ride.

This hitch-mounted rack for skis and snowboards is meant to go on the Thule Hitch Race, the Thule Spare Tire Carrier, or 1 ¼ inch hitch receivers.

Why We Like This Hitch Rack for Skis​

Other Product Specifications

  • Dimensions: 5 inches x 26 inches x 9.4 inches
  • Capacity: 6 pairs of skis / 4 snowboards
  • Item Weight: 23 pounds
  • Locks: 2 One-key Locks (For Skis and Snowboards to the Rack)
  • Material: Stainless Steel + Padded Arms

What is a Hitch Rack? - Types of Racks for Skis and Snowboards

Racks for skis and snowboards come in 3 main types crossbar racks, side rail racks, and hitch racks. This may come as a surprise to you, but hitch racks are not as nearly as popular as the other two types of racks. 

As you can probably tell by the name, hitch racks are designed to be mounted onto the hitch receiver of your vehicle. However, this is the main reason they’re not common to use. 

You see, most vehicles (such as SUVs) are equipped with a rack on top of their roofs that’s readily added by the factory to help you transport cargo and bags. 

So generally speaking, these rooftop racks render hitch racks pretty much without a purpose unless you’re transporting a lot of gear to far off spots.

Another reason is, of course, the fact that the majority of hitch racks available on the market are built to carry bikes only. This made it near-impossible to find good-quality hitch racks for skis and snowboards. 

However, we did the homework so you don’t have to and ended up with a list of 4 reliable ski/snowboard hitch racks which we reviewed above. All of these hitch racks offer the capacity to transport up to 6 pairs of skis or 4 snowboards, and sometimes get the option to carry both gears.

What about the other types of racks for skis and snowboards you ask? Well, here’s a simple breakdown of each:

Crossbar Racks

contrary to hitch racks, crossbar racks are very popular among winter sports enthusiasts and are the most commonly used rack type on vehicles. These are the factory-made rooftop racks we mentioned earlier where the gear sits over the rooftop of your car. 

Crossbar racks can be found on most SUVs and family vehicles. They provide similar convenience to hitch racks for transporting skis and snowboards, but you do need to keep an eye out for some details. For example, you need to choose the style of bars (aero, square, or round) that best works for your vehicle and gear.

Side Rail Racks

These racks are meant to go on the already existing rails of a vehicle, except they don’t feature crossbars. Although side rail racks are practical to use on trips, they’re somewhat risky because drivers around you may not pay attention to avoid damaging your gear.

Why Buy a Hitch Rack for Skis and Snowboards?

Since hitch-mounted racks for skis and snowboards aren’t common to use on vehicles, why should you consider buying them? That’s a legit question to wonder, but it’s not an issue.

Hitch racks may not be the typical choice, however, they offer a couple of helpful features that we think are worth the investment.

It saves you the hassle of reaching up to the roof – installing your gear onto conventional roof racks can be difficult, especially for people on the shorter side and those who aren’t very strong physically. Just imagine having to lift a heavy rack over the top of your car and then bring it down again safely time after time

This is where hitch racks come to the rescue as they’re more accessible and less tiresome to install.

It provides better security and protection for skis and snowboards – various wrong moves can cause damage to your gear if you just toss the skis and snowboards into the back of the vehicle. Without proper mounting, your skis and snowboards will be at risk, so you need to install a ski/snowboard rack to provide maximum safety.

Such racks let you adjust the arms and the grips just enough to hold your gear firmly in place. Add in the multiple locks and safety features available nowadays, and it’s obvious that hitch-mounted racks are the superior option.

It saves a lot of space – when arranged in an upright position, skis and snowboards will take minimal space, allowing you to use as much as possible of the available room.

It’s easier to drive with – a hitch ski rack goes on the rear of the vehicle which takes away the worry of driving with extra height and allows you to easily maneuver through tunnels and garages. Moreover, you won’t be dealing with any drag issues as with roof-mounted models.

How to Choose the Best Hitch Rack for Skis and Snowboards

Versatility

While some hitch racks are meant exclusively for holding skis and snowboards, others are designed to be attached to conventional bike racks so you can use them throughout the year. 

This is also a great idea to help save you the trouble of installing and uninstalling two different systems when seasons change. But if you don’t need a bike rack, buying a hitch rack that you can store away when not in use is a better idea.

Capacity

All the hitch racks we reviewed today can carry both skis and snowboards. What you need to keep in mind is the capacity of the rack you’re planning to buy and whether or not it matches your needs. 

The general capacity among hitch-mounted racks is about 6 pairs of skis or 4 snowboards.

Material

The material of your hitch rack doesn’t just correspond to the durability of the rack, but it also contributes to the protection of your gear.

For these reasons, you need to look for a sturdy construction that features a sort of padding to absorb blows and jerks.

Installation

The installation process should be quick and easy to save you time and effort. This will also help you enjoy the trip without worrying about the hassle of mounting and dismounting the unit. Of course, this isn’t an issue in first-time installations. But if you’re on the road and your car breaks down, this will come in handy.

Anti-Theft Lock

An anti-theft lock system on the hitch rack is crucial to keep your precious gear safe while on the way to your retreat. 

Think about it, when you’re on a vacation, the trip should be stress-free. You can’t have fun while your head is swimming with worries that your expensive skis or snowboard might get stolen!

Final Thoughts

Choosing the best hitch racks for skis and snowboards can be a tough call, this is why we included only the top-performing options on the market to make sure you end up with a great deal no matter what.

That being said, we recommend the BUZZRACK BUZZSKI Hitch-Mounted Ski & Snowboard Rack as today’s winner thanks to its high durability, impressive security, and generous capacity, although the Tyger is extremely similar.

However, if you already have a bike rack, take a look at the Yakima HitchSki conversion to take advantage.

Best of luck transporting those skis and boards!

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