Let’s face it, most of us don’t have the luxury of living right at the base of a ski resort. That means we have to take some sort of transportation to the mountain. For many of us, that comes in the form of a vehicle. Skis can take up quite a bit of room inside your car or truck, which is why a rack is a good idea if you ski a lot or take a lot of people with you on a trip. You can get away without a rack, but you will lose precious cargo space without one.
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. Let’s take a look at some of the best ski hitch rack options here so you can load up your gear and head out to the mountains.
- The BUZZRACK BUZZSKI is a great ski hitch rack option. This model is easy to attach to a vehicle and fits both 1 ¼ -inch and 2-inch receivers. It also has a tilt function that allows you to still access a tailgate.
- Another recommended option from a trusted brand is the Yakima HitchSki. This is another well-designed rack that can easily hold six pairs of skis while you drive.
- The Tyger Auto TG-RK1B707B is another quality rack that fits into most standard receiver hitches. This option comes with a secure locking mechanism to keep your skis safe.
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 ski rack to keep your equipment from taking up all of the space inside the vehicle. Hitch ski racks are great for anyone who has a tall vehicle and doesn’t want to reach up high to get their skis on and off.
Hitch ski 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 skis in a vehicle without a hitch rack.
Best Ski Hitch Rack: What to Consider?
An initial consideration with any ski rack is carrying capacity. That means how many pairs of skis can actually fit at once. Depending on your needs, you may want a larger or smaller option. Ski hitch racks are typically in the four-to-six pairs of skis range and not really available in smaller sizes than that. That makes them great for a family or a group of friends who are carpooling to the slopes.
One thing to know about a ski 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.
Make sure that any ski 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. 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.
Best Ski Hitch Rack: Our Picks
The BUZZRACK BUZZSKI is a highly recommended hitch ski rack that is well built and specially designed to easily transport your skis. This rack fits both 1 ¼ -inch and 2-inch receiver hitches, which are the standard size on most vehicles. It’s able to hold up to six pairs of skis or four snowboards and features a strong, durable design that will last for years of commuting up to the mountains. 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 the rear door or tailgate of your vehicle 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. There’s even a locking mechanism to prevent theft.
- Well made
- Carrying capacity of up to six skis
- Tilt feature
- Height adjustment feature
- A little heavy
- Height adjustment knobs can get stuck with ice and snow
Another high-quality option from a great brand that makes excellent racks for a variety of outdoor sports is the Yakima HitchSki. 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. It features soft rubber padding to keep your skis in place without damage and the SKS locking system provides great security.
- Easy to install
- Holds up to six pairs of skis
- SKS locking system
- Durable design
- Need to have a hitch rack already to use this option
The Tyger Auto TG-RK1B707B is another great hitch-style ski rack. 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.
- Comes with a hitch lock
- Locking rack mechanism
- Adjustable rack plates
- Strong, durable design
- 5-year warranty
- Tilt feature
- Can be difficult to assemble out of the box
Useful Tips & Resources
Installing a hitch rack to your car is pretty easy. 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.
A ski hitch rack is an easy way to transport your skis to the slopes. You won’t have to reach on top of your car with any of the options found here, and they still give you the benefit of freeing up space in your vehicle for other people and gear. Whatever you pick, you’ll come away happy.
Do you know of a good ski hitch rack that didn’t make the list? Let us know in the comments below!