Save 10% off on rooftop bag rental | Use Promo Code VIPCLUB |FREE Return Shipping On All Rental Items |

Ski Travel Tip: What is the difference between a ski rack and ski cargo box?

Ski cargo box

Ski Travel Tip: What is the difference between a ski rack and ski cargo box?

A Ski Travel Tip: Ski Rack v. Ski Cargo Box

Upcoming ski trip? Trying to determine if you need a ski rack vs a ski rooftop cargo box for your road trip? You have googled the right answer.

Here are several main differences to be aware of when determining what works best to protect your ski or snowboard on your next road trip.

Difference #1: $$$$ski cargo box

Ski racks generally run between $150 to $300 brand new. Hard top quality ski cargo boxes run $350 to $1000 brand new. Thus, think long and hard about this process before you make a decision. 

Difference #2: Exposure to the winter elements

Ski rooftop cargo boxes completely enclose your skis or snowboards when you are driving preventing winter weather from touching your ski equipment. A ski rack does expose your skis or snowboards to the winter elements when in use as the rack only secures the skis or snowboard to your car. A ski rack doesn’t enclose it completely. Remember though skis and snowboards are made to handle into snow so this winter weather exposure can be ok. 

Side note: Both ski racks and ski cargo boxes do come with locking systems to secure your ski equipment when you are away from your vehicle. 

Difference #3: Ease of Installation

A ski rooftop cargo box needs to be installed to a roof rack in order to work properly. Ski racks depending on the model may or may not need to be installed to a roof rack.

Further, a ski rack is normally smaller and generally is quicker to install than a ski cargo box. 

Thule Sidekick Rooftop 682 Cargo BoxSeaSucker Ski and Snowboard Carrier - Vacuum Cup Mounted - 4 Skis or 2 Snowboards Rent Luggage

Difference #4: Ski Equipment Storage Space

A ski rooftop cargo box generally gives you more space to store other items such as boots and helmets. Ski racks normally can only hold skis and poles. Ski racks don’t have features to attach your ski helmet or ski boots.

Difference #5: Storage Space after use

golf travel bag hard vs softA ski rack can generally fold down into two pieces when your ski trip is over allowing you to place them in a closet or basement. Ski boxes don’t have that luxury and can easily take up a significant portion of your garage or basement.

Side note: If you rent you won’t face this storage dilemma. 

Want to read more ski travel pro tips and tricks? Read our Beginner’s Guide to Selecting a Ski Rack to learn more


Enjoyed our pro ski travel tips? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter. We will send you rental deals and ski travel tips to make your life more fun and less stressful. 

Simple Subscribe


Leave a Reply