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How to choose a sport rack

Securing equipment for winter and water sports to the exterior of your vehicle frees up interior space for a comfortable and safe drive. With larger items, it may be your only option. ​

how to choose a sport rack fwt how to choose a sport rack fwt

Ski and snowboard racks

Roof-mounted ski and snowboard racks can accommodate up to 4 to 6 pairs of skis or 2 to 4 snowboards and need to be attached to a complete roof rack system with crossbars on your vehicle. These racks are designed with integrated locks to protect your gear – ideal for those pit-stops on the way to or from the slopes, and some models have oversized buttons for ease of use with winter gloves 

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Kayak, canoe and paddleboard racks

Roof-mounted racks made for transporting kayaks, canoes and paddleboards have either a J stacker design, which is the easiest to load and offload, or a side stacker design, which has a greater capacity. Generally these racks are made to secure up to 2 vessels and need to be attached to a complete roof rack system with crossbars on your vehicle.

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Foam block cradles

These can be used to transport kayaks and canoes on a vehicle without roof racks. The vessel is placed on top of the vehicle with foam blocks resting inside the gunnel for stability. The accompanying straps are used to secure it to the roof.

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Roof rack with crossbars

All rooftop cargo carriers require a roof rack with crossbars installed on your vehicle. Make sure to choose a system that’s compatible with your vehicle by consulting the vehicle selector tool on the product page.

If your vehicle already has crossbars, you may not need to add a roof rack. Most sport racks and cargo carriers are designed to fit existing crossbars as well as roof racks.

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Roof racks without crossbars

Some sport racks can mount directly to the vehicle without the use of a mounting system. These carriers are a good solution for occasional users, but not recommended for long-term use, heavy loads, or frequent use.

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