April 18, 2024
Car Rack

The Perfect Storage Solution For Your Car: Everything You Need to Know About Car Racks

Types of Car Racks

There are several different types of car racks available on the market to suit different storage needs. The most common types include:

Roof Racks: Roof racks are mounted directly to the roof of your vehicle to provide storage space on top. They are open-top designs that allow gear to be tied down securely. Roof racks are suitable for larger and bulkier items like canoes, kayaks, skis and snowboards. Made from light but strong materials like aluminum or steel, roof racks don’t interfere with normal driving and only add minimal weight to the car.

Hitch Racks: For vehicles with trailer hitches, a popular option is a hitch rack. These mount directly to the receiver on your vehicle’s rear bumper. Hitch racks provide storage space both above and behind the vehicle. They are convenient for bikes, kayaks, and other equipment since they allow rear access to gear. Some models fold up compactly when not in use.

Trunk Mounted Racks: If roof or hitch mounting isn’t an option, a trunk rack provides additional storage mounted to the lid or side of your trunk/boot. They work well for smaller items that wouldn’t require roof clearance like skis, snowboards, or folding Kayaks. Trunk racks are quite affordable and don’t alter your car’s normal profile when not loaded.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Rack

There are important factors to consider when choosing the best Car Rack for your needs:

Vehicle type – Consider the make/model of your car and whether it can support roof, hitch or trunk mounting. Clearance for items on a roof rack is also important.

Item size – Measure bikes, kayaks, or whatever you plan to carry. Choose a rack with adequate length/width to securely fit your gear. Overhanging loads may not meet legal requirements.

Weight capacity – Racks specify the maximum weight they can safely support, distributed evenly. Don’t overload and check your vehicle can accommodate added weight.

Ease of use – Some racks are simpler to load than others. Consider features like folding arms, integrated locks, and how easy it is to secure your items.

Aesthetics – Roof racks can slightly impact fuel efficiency and wind noise. If appearance is a concern, low-profile models integrate smoothly into your vehicle’s design.

Durability – Look for racks made from weather-resistant materials. Moving parts should feel sturdy with corrosion-proof finishes. Quality brands offer long warranties.

Price – Affordable basic racks start around $100 but high-end models with all the features run $500 or more. Define your needs to get the best value.

Choosing the Right Rack for Bikes

Bicycles are a very common item that car racks are used to transport. When choosing a bike rack, in addition to the general factors above, also consider:

Bike Attachment – Racks use one of three common attachment methods: Fork-mounted trays hold bikes by the front wheel and frame; rear-mounted trays cradle the rear wheel; roof-mounted bike racks secure bikes upright.

Bike Size – Accessories like fenders or cargo racks can affect bike width. Choose a rack that accommodates your widest bike comfortably.

Weight Limit – Heavier electric or mountain bikes require racks with higher weight ratings than a children’s bike.

Anti-sway – On long trips, stabilization features like padded frame contact or rear-mounted hooks reduce bike sway.

Theft Protection – Integrated locks secure bikes and the rack when parked. Choose designs that meet ISO standards.

Ease of use – Consider the effort required to load bikes, especially for rooftop racks you need to reach.

Best Racks for Kayaks or Canoes

Paddlers require racks tailored for their watercraft’s length, width and weight. Here are some top rack options:

Yakima Hullavators – A sophisticated hitch rack regarded as the gold standard for stability and security holding boats up to 36 ft. Ratcheting cam straps cinch kayaks down.

Thule Pacifica/T2 Pro – Sleek rooftop systems use aluminum cradles and straps or adjustable clamps to securely transport boats up to 17 ft.

Rhino-Rack V-Series – Affordable hull-supporting trays on this hitch/roof rack fit boats up to 16 ft. Convenient rear ladder access.

Inno Roof Box – For protection from the elements, a roof box provides fully enclosed storage. Compatible models fit boats up to 16 ft.

Malone Auto-Mate – Trunk mount racks work for shorter boats under 12 ft with streamlined low-profile design.

Choosing a high-quality, properly rated car rack is an important investment that will serve your active lifestyle for years. Do your research, consider your specific needs, and the right solution will provide safe, reliable transportation for all your gear.