Transporting Skis

Stuff that doesnt fit anywhere else.

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LewLasher
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Re: Transporting Skis

Post by LewLasher » Sun Jul 07, 2019 2:47 pm

I just got a new car that came with (in addition to various other optional "accessories" that seem to have no use) cross bars on the roof. And so naturally now I am intrigued with the idea of getting a ski rack and or cargo box. There does seem to be a consensus that a ski rack is asking for trouble, but I'm wondering if it might not be so bad for a 3 mile commute to the ski area.

But I am more interested in knowing what models of cargo box people have used. So far, the Thule Ascent 1100 seems like a strong candidate. There is one available on Craigslist in my region, not in perfect shape (it only opens on one side, not both), but probably good enough. The Ascent 1100 seems to be one of few cargo box models that is long enough for cross-country skis but which is not that heavy (31 pounds). By comparison, in the Thule Evolution line, the 1600 is not long enough for classic skis, but the 1800 weighs 58 pounds.

Any other cargo boxes that people have had success with?

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Montana
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Re: Transporting Skis

Post by Montana » Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:27 pm

Sometimes a 3 mile trip to the trailhead will be fine with the skis on the roof exposed to the weather. Other times road salt and gravel will be all over the road and vehicles in front will kick that up onto your skis. If I had $600+ skis with $100+ bindings I would not subject those skis to the vagaries of the crap on our roads.

I use an Yakima Skybox. I use it all winter for carrying skis and in the warmer months I carry camping gear up there. Works great and everything is out of the weather.
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LewLasher
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Re: Transporting Skis

Post by LewLasher » Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:26 am

Montana wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:27 pm
I use an Yakima Skybox.
Thank you for the extremely fast reply.

I see that the Skybox comes in 5 sizes. The smallest size, the Skybox 12 (12 cubic feet), is probably the best size for me: long enough (92 inches = 234 cm) for skis, but only 24 inches wide, and a reasonable 41 pounds.

Since you use yours year-round, you may well have benefited from a larger box (18 or 21), still about the same length.

LewLasher
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Re: Transporting Skis

Post by LewLasher » Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:50 am

Does anyone know any significant differences between the Yakima Skybox 12 ($499 new) and the Yakima RocketBox Pro 11 ($429 new)? The latter, besides having a stupider name, is slightly smaller, 89 inches long (so: can fit 210 cm skis but 215), 1 less cubic foot, 3 pounds lighter.

MN Hoser
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Re: Transporting Skis

Post by MN Hoser » Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:22 pm

Lew, you didn’t mention your car. A car with a rear hatch (like an Outback) may have an issue with a box depending on size. So the old style Thule (long) box won’t let the rear gate open fully, but a 10 year old Thule (forget the name) that is barely long enough for classic skis and shoved all the way forware, has about an inch to spare. Measure carefully if you have a hatch.

Jay

LewLasher
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Re: Transporting Skis

Post by LewLasher » Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:44 pm

I ended up getting a brand-new Thule Pulse Alpine box that was being sold (used, but never used) on Craigslist for $300. It probably isn't as sturdy as some of the older boxes, but it is extremely easy to put on the car and take off. I really only need a cargo box for the 2 annual weekend ski trips where I have passengers, and the box will allow me to transport 3 passengers instead of 2, because I won't need to devote part of the back seat to skis.

I was skeptical that the box would fit on the (new 2019 model) Prius (with all-wheel drive, since you asked). As the box is currently positioned, it does not interfere with the rear hatch, but it does overhang the front windshield by perhaps a foot and a half. It is easy to adjust the position, and I might decide that it is not necessary to be able to open the hatch all the way, and move the box back a little.

As I said, I really only need a cargo box for 2 weekends a year, but I am having fantasies about becoming a Lyft driver (even though I know perfectly well that this would be, for many reasons, a terrible idea) and driving tourists to and from the airport. (In related car accessory news, I also got a car vacuum, which, in my fantasy, I would use to clean up the barf in the back seat.)

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Montana
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Re: Transporting Skis

Post by Montana » Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:51 am

MN Hoser wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:22 pm
Lew, you didn’t mention your car. A car with a rear hatch (like an Outback) may have an issue with a box depending on size. So the old style Thule (long) box won’t let the rear gate open fully, but a 10 year old Thule (forget the name) that is barely long enough for classic skis and shoved all the way forware, has about an inch to spare. Measure carefully if you have a hatch.

Jay
I use the longest Yakima Rocket Box on my 2015 Subaru Forester. I can mount the box far enough forward that the rear lift gate can open all the way. The Rocket Box attachment points can be moved forward and back and the Subaru OEM crossbars can be moved as well. Another feature of my Subaru (which has an automatic opening lift gate) is that there is a "memory" feature that can set the gate to only open a set distance less than the full opening height. This allows easy opening of the gate to a point where it will not touch a pod on top that is not or cannot be mounted far enough forward to clear a fully open gate. This does require attention when loading and unloading the cargo compartment so as to avoid crack the skull.

On other thing to keep in mind regarding the length of a Yakima Rocket box is that the hinges are mounted at the front and rear inside of the box. This takes up some of the room there. So be sure your skis will actually fit in the box before purchasing.
40th consecutive Birkie in 2020!
Ralph Thornton, Ear Mountain Photography

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