4 Best Hitch Racks for Skis & Snowboards

There are several different types of ski racks out there, but a hitch-style rack is popular for anyone whose car is equipped to tow or already has a luggage carrier on the roof of their vehicle.

Hi, I’m Christine, the founder of this blog and a lifelong skier. I’ve been on many different ski and snowboard adventures, and I’ve used nearly every style of rack to haul my gear. I know how to find the best rack options available in the market. 

The Thule Tram Hitch Ski Carrier is my pick for the best ski hitch rack for skis and snowboards of the season. This option will attach right to your bike rack and allow you to hold up to six pairs of skis or four snowboards.

I’ll provide you with all of the best hitch-style racks in this post. If you are driving to the mountains often, you’ll need a good way to transport your equipment, and the options you see here will help you out.

Let’s secure our gear and get out there. 

Who Should Get This

If you don’t live in a ski town, you’re going to have to travel to the resort. That means loading up your car with all of your gear. If you want to bring your friends or family along for the ride, you need to get a rack to keep your equipment from taking up all of the space inside the vehicle. 

Hitch ski and snowboard racks are great for anyone with a tall vehicle who doesn’t want to reach up high to get their skis on and off.

Hitch racks are also nice because they are easy to install and remove whenever you’d like. You can quickly pull the rack out of the hitch receiver when you’re back home and install it when you’re ready to head up to the mountains. 

These racks all work with snowboards as well, which means you can bring along all of your friends. If you prefer a roof rack or don’t want a rack at all, you can still pack your gear in a vehicle without a hitch rack.

Best Hitch Ski/Snowboard Rack: Top Picks

Here are all of my top picks for the best hitch-style ski and snowboard racks of the season. All of these will give you the ability to carry several pairs of skis and a number of snowboards simultaneously. 

1. Thule Tram Hitch Ski Carrier

  • Best for: Overall 
  • Key features: Strong construction, sturdy design, lockable, easy to open while wearing gloves
  • Capacity: 6 pairs skis/4 snowboards 
  • Style: Conversion 
  • Cost: $$$$

The Thule Tram Hitch Ski Carrier is my top pick for the best ski hitch rack for skis and snowboards. This high-quality option will give you a large carrying capacity to haul your equipment to the mountains. 

The rack features sturdy aluminum construction that will stay in place even on bumpy roads. This means all of your gear will be protected and secure no matter how far you drive. 

The Tram also comes with two locks that allow you to keep your equipment safe from theft when you need to be away from your vehicle. An easy-open design with an oversized push button is another nice touch.

This rack is pretty expensive, and you’ll need to have a Thule hanging hitch bike rack to make it work.   

2. YAKIMA Hitch Ski and Board Conversion Mount 

  • Best for: Conversion 
  • Key features: Easy to install, SKS locking system, durable design, sturdy and secure
  • Capacity: 6 pairs skis/4 snowboards 
  • Style: Conversion 
  • Cost: $$$

The best conversion style rack to turn your bike hitch rack into a ski and snowboard carrier is the Yakima Hitch Ski and Board Conversion Mount. 

This is an easy-to-install option that can convert a mast-style hitch rack into a ski carrier that’s able to hold up to six pairs of skis or four snowboards. You can also hold any combination of those you wish to. 

It features soft rubber padding to keep your skis in place without damage and the SKS locking system provides excellent security.

This is another conversion style option, so you’ll need to already have a bike rack or purchase that separately. 

3. Tyger Auto TG-RK1B707B 

  • Best for: Security 
  • Key features: Comes with hitch lock, locking rack mechanism, adjustable plates, strong design
  • Capacity: 6 pairs skis/4 snowboards 
  • Style: Upright Hitch 
  • Cost: $$$

The Tyger Auto TG-RK1B707B is another tremendous hitch-style ski rack, especially with the safety of your ski and snowboard equipment in mind.  

This option comes with a hitch lock to secure the rack to your car, as well as a locking mechanism on the rack itself to keep your skis safe and secure. 

The adjustable rack plates allow you to easily carry up to six pairs of skis of various sizes, and everything is sturdy and well-built. It also has a tilt feature to make for easy access to your trunk or bed. 

This rack is heavy, so you might need a hand when installing it or taking it off. 

4. BuzzRack BuzzSki

  • Best for: Design 
  • Key features: Tilting design, durable, height adjustment feature, lockable 
  • Capacity: 6 pairs skis/4 snowboards 
  • Style: Upright Hitch 
  • Cost: $$$

The BUZZRACK BUZZSKI is a highly recommended hitch rack built and specially designed to easily transport your skis and snowboards. 

This rack fits both 1 ¼ -inch and 2-inch receiver hitches, the standard size for most vehicles. The 99.2-pound load capacity is strong as well.

This rack comes with a desirable tilt function that will allow you to have easy access to your vehicle’s rear door or tailgate without needing to remove the rack. 

It also has a height adjustment feature that allows you to keep different sizes of skis secure, and the design allows you to fold the rack when it’s not in use to save space. 

This is another heavy option, so be sure to ask for help when installing it on your vehicle. 

How to Choose a Hitch Mounted Ski/Snowboard Rack

In this section, I’ll highlight some important factors to keep in mind when choosing a hitch-mounted ski or snowboard rack.

Carrying Capacity

An initial consideration with any ski or snowboard rack is carrying capacity. That means how many pairs of skis or snowboards can actually fit at once. Depending on your needs, you may want a larger or smaller option. 

Most hitch racks are typically in the four-to-six pairs of skis range, or two to four snowboards, and not really available in smaller sizes than that. That makes them great for a family or a group of friends carpooling to the slopes.

Tilt Feature

One thing to know about a hitch rack is that it can block access to the tailgate or rear hatch on your vehicle. This might not be a big deal if you don’t need to open that gate or hatch, but if you do, you’ll want a hitch rack with a tilt feature. 

That allows the rack to tilt away from the rear of your vehicle and gives you the ability to open the hatch or tailgate of your car without removing the rack. It’s a simple design improvement that really comes in useful. 

Security

Make sure that any hitch rack you choose has security features built directly into its design. The rack should have a locking mechanism that will keep your skis securely in place at all times. This is very important if you will leave your car with the gear on it. 

A lock will prevent theft and provide you with peace of mind when you leave your vehicle with skis still attached to the rack. I wouldn’t suggest buying a rack unless it comes with some type of reliable locking mechanism.

Useful Tips & Resources

Installing a hitch rack to your car is pretty straightforward. The main thing you need to do is make sure the hitch pin is in place and that you have the cotter pin in place on the other end to prevent the main pin from sliding out. 

Here’s a quick video showing how to install the Yakima HitchSki rack to give you a good starting point.

Another thing to keep in mind when you have a hitch rack installed is that your car will be a little bit longer. That means you’ll want to be extra careful when backing up or parallel parking. It can also block a reverse camera if you have one installed. 

Final Verdict

The Thule Tram Hitch Ski Carrier is my pick for the best hitch-style ski and snowboard rack of the season. This is a high-quality item that will give you reliable performance to easily haul six pairs of skis or four snowboards up to the mountains. 

Hitch-style racks can be highly convenient, especially if you already have a tow hitch installed on your vehicle. The models you see here are some of the best options available, and all have quality construction to deliver stand-out performance.

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