A ski cargo box is a detachable storage unit that allows car owners to transport items such as luggage, skis, and fishing equipment on the roof of their vehicle without taking up interior space. If you are always on the go, you should get your hands on a ski box before your next ski trip. So, you might be wondering: how much does a ski cargo box cost?
The cost to rent skis cargo box is $179.99 for three days or $229.99 for three weeks and The cost of buying skis cargo box is around $300-$1,500 at stores like Walmart and Amazon, however you can buy a used skis cargo box that has been fully configured from the Facebook marketplace (or similar sites like craigslist) with pricing ranging anywhere between 200 bucks all way up into thousands!
ski cargo boxes come in a wide range of sizes and prices. Cheaper ones tend to be flimsy and often have durability issues. But getting the most expensive one on a whim is not a wise choice either. You have to take many factors into account before investing in this sort of gear. Lucky for you, in this article I’ll talk about some of the best ski cargo boxes and explain their price range.
Top 7 ski cargo boxes You Can Buy
There is no universal ski cargo box that can cater to everyone’s needs. Sometimes the most expensive ones might not be compatible with your vehicle. You might also need a longer or shorter one, depending on your gear.
After considering all of that, I made this list that has something for everyone:
1. Thule Force XT Ski Box
The Thule Force XT is one of the longest ski boxes on this list. It is very streamlined in both appearance and performance. Its design allows it to have maximum compatibility with a lot of vehicle types. It is also relatively flat, so it won’t add too much height to your car.
This one is also a very easy-to-use ski box, as it has a smooth mounting and dismounting mechanism. It will stay closed even if you accidentally forget to lock it. However, I highly encourage you not to do that. This ski box is perfect for people who need longer skis, as the interior can easily store multiple sets of 200 cm+ skis.
The body material is hard plastic. It doesn’t have any slack or flexibility in the body. So when you push one side up, the other side will also follow. The rigid exterior is resistant to road salt. So, the surface will stay undamaged for a very long time.
- Manufacturer: Thule
- Length: 229 cm
- Weight: 23.5 kg
- Capacity: 4-5 skis (Pairs)
Torque Indicator: Most people like Thule because of their considerate designs, like the power click system. The torque indicator is an automatic switch that locks down the ski box once you finish mounting it. The power click latches make it far easier to mount than most other ski boxes.
Fix Lock System: The locking mechanism of this thing prevents you from pulling your key out until it is locked in place. The locking system is very simple. It has two metal bars that go through a bracket when you twist the key.
- Can fit longer skis
- Lots of storage space
- Slim design
- Very aerodynamic
- Can seem a bit too big for some people
- Rather expensive
2. SportRack Vista Ski Box
SportsRack Vista is a compact ski box for smaller skis. Hauling a giant ski box to carry a pair of short skis does not make sense. Not to mention, larger ski boxes are a lot more expensive than shorter ones. SportsRack vista is the perfect solution for that kind of situation.
This ski box comes pre-assembled by the manufacturers. So your only job is to mount it on top of the roof. There are four thumbscrews on the interior that you need to use to secure it on top of the rack. The interior features a nice ABS plastic surface, but there are no built-in fasteners for your gears.
You can always use a rope to secure your gear inside. The caps of the thumbscrews double as hooking points. The exterior body is 48 cm in height. So, it does fall under the taller ski box category. However, the aerodynamic shape reduces drag and wind noise, so the added height is not a huge issue. Just be careful driving under gas station pipes.
- Manufacturer: SportRack
- Length: 152 cm
- Weight: 12.7 kg
- Capacity: 3-4 skis (Pairs)
Release Mounting System: The mounting hardware does not require any additional tools to set up. It has quick-release knobs that you secure by hand. It also has a vinyl cover to protect the contents against moisture.
ABS Plastic and UV Protection: The Vista is one of the toughest ski boxes because of its construction design. The ridges in the plastic structure give it an unmatched rigidity. The covering layer is also resistant to UV radiation.
- Very easy to install
- Back entrance
- Too Short for longer skis
3. Yakima SkyBox 16 Carbonite
The Yakima SkyBox Carbonite is huge, with a lot of interior space. It is around 248 cm long and 29 cm high. That might sound tall, but it looks decent because of its overall dimensions. You can easily store larger skis in it without much hassle.
It weighs very little, despite being one of the tallest boxes on this list. The Skybox clocks in at just below 25 kg. The aerodynamic design is very efficient at canceling noise, far better than most others. It is also surprisingly budget-friendly.
You can open the box from both sides of your car. The top cover has two reversible hinges connecting it to the bottom. The latches on both sides act as locking mechanisms as well as hinges. The clamps at the bottom are very easy to move from the inside.
- Manufacturer: Yakima
- Length: 248 cm
- Weight: 24.4 kg
- Capacity: 5-6 skis (pairs)
Interior Reinforcement: The total size of this ski box is too big for the plastic to support. So they added metal reinforcements to increase the rigidity of the structure.
Enhanced Aerodynamic Surface: The surface of the box has small indents. The same kind you can find on golf balls. These indents reduce air drag.
- Very Durable Exterior
- Opens both ways
- Quick Release Clamps
- No Fasteners Or buckles inside
4. Thule Pulse Alpine Ski Box
The Thule Pulse Alpine is a dedicated ski box for longer skis. It has a lot of internal capacity to store multiple snowboards and skis. The material composition is a thermoplastic polymer, so it has heavy protection against the weather. Thule claims it is one of the strongest ski boxes they have.
Pulse Alpine also has the highest vehicular compatibility. The mounting gear is very flexible and can latch onto any type of crossbar. It is also fairly easy to install. The one downside is that the lid only opens from the passenger side. There is no double-sided lid system with this one.
It is also very flat, so you can easily fit your car in the garage after installing it. But I would still measure the garage height before bringing it in. That is partly because everyone has a different-sized garage. One downside to Alpine is that it restricts the back trunk from opening all the way up.
- Manufacturer: Thule
- Length: 223 cm
- Weight: 15.4 kg
- Capacity: 5-6 skis (pairs)
Flexible Grip Mounting clamps: The Thule Alpine has 4 sets of claw-like clamps that can move across a track. The tracks allow a wide range of motion, so you can easily secure the clamps on almost any rooftop.
Tie Down Straps: I love that Alpine has dedicated straps for holding down skis and snowboards. These straps connect to the clamps to hold everything down. That adds more stability to the clamps too.
- Can store larger skis
- Lots of security measure
- Can mount on most cars
- Weather protection
- Partially blocks rear storage
5. SportRack Horizon Ski Box
SportRack Horizon has an exceedingly low price range compared to most other large ski box models. That, coupled with its 193 cm length, makes it one of the most economical choices for a top-tier ski box. It is made of hard plastic polymer, so its durability is fairly high. But its relatively higher weight makes it a bit cumbersome for a lot of people.
This model has the most secure mounting technology among all the ski boxes on this list. But it is both a blessing and a curse. You see, there are four mounting points on this box. And each of these mounting points has 2 large screws, 3 metal plates, and a thumbscrew. Therefore, it can be very annoying to mount and unmount.
The U-bolt mounting system is fairly rigid. It does not give too much leeway for adjustments. So you would need matching cross beams to mount this thing. Other than that, its performance is top-notch. It also added reinforcement to the interior for structural rigidity.
- Manufacturer: Sportback
- Length: 193 cm
- Weight: 19.5 kg
- Capacity: 4-5 skis (pairs)
Impact Resistant Material: The Horizon has a relatively high wall thickness. That, combined with its streamlined structure, gives it an impact-resistant shell.
Hybrid Mounting Mechanism: The SportRack Horizon has a hybrid mounting mechanism that combines thumbscrews with traditional U-bolts. Although it may seem a bit cumbersome, the level of security it provides is unmatched.
- Large cargo space
- Secure mounting gear
- Durable structure
- Annoying installation process
6. Thule Vector Ski Box
The Thule Vector is a ski box with a lot of bells and whistles. It is the go-to model for those who want the best of the best. You could even consider it a luxury model among premium ski boxes. The only catch is that it is very expensive.
It has a body length of 231 cm, which makes it one of the largest ones yet. If your skis do not fit into this one, then they probably won’t fit into any other ski box. The Thule Vector ranks very high in terms of design too. It almost has a futuristic design with a separate lid and bottom.
The exterior structure is very well-crafted for high rigidity. Its surface has texture reinforcement to reduce scratches and dust accumulation. The plastic material is also resistant to road salt corrosion. The lid is reinforced from the inside to withstand impact. That helps prevent damage if you accidentally hit a garage door or overhead pipes.
- Manufacturer: Thule
- Length: 231 cm
- Weight: 29.8 kg
- Capacity: 3-4 skis (pairs)
Felt-lined interior: The felt-lining is the feature that makes this thing the true epitome of luxury. Premium felt-lining will also protect your ski gear from any sort of damage. It almost looks like a jewelry box on the inside.
Motion-activated LED lights: The interior has built-in LED lights to allow you better visibility at night. This feature also comes in handy in foggy weather.
- Impact-resistant lid
- Scratch-resistant surface
- Very Expensive
7. GoPlus Ski Box
The GoPlus ski box offers a lot of service for a relatively cheaper model. It’s one of the smaller ones on this list, so you can’t put longer skis in it. But it works fantastically for medium to small skis. The interior has a lot of extra space, so you can store quite a lot of additional gear.
It has the same premium clamps as the Thule Alpine. That gives this little ski box a lot of compatibility with almost any roof rack. However, the lid is quite a bit thinner compared to some of the other models on this list.
It has a double-sided opening feature. But the lid opens at a lopsided angle. That may seem like a malfunction, but it’s not. This happens because the reversible handle does not have enough space to bend. You should also avoid trying to open the lid from all four sides at once. That will take the lid off completely, and it’s a hassle to put it back.
- Manufacturer: GoPlus
- Length: 160 cm
- Weight: 11.3 kg
- Capacity: 3 ski (pairs)
Metal Lid Stiffeners: The wall density of this ski box is a bit thin. That helps it reduce weight, but also affects its rigidity. That is why there are metal stiffeners to help compensate. These stiffeners also add a layer of stability.
Quick Connect anchors: The mounting equipment is a premium quality connector. It can grip almost any roof rack.
- Lots of storage
- Easy to install
- Can’t carry long skis
How To Know If A Ski Box Is Worth Your Money?
A ski box can be a fairly expensive investment. These boxes need meticulous height and weight measurements to fit a car without encumbering it. The manufacturers also need to pay a lot of attention to aerodynamic alignment to reduce air drag. That is why these things tend to be more expensive than people expect.
Getting a wrong fit or a low-quality one can be a costly mistake I’m sure you do not want to make. That is why here are some things you should always consider before buying a ski box for your car:
1. Ski Box Length
Length is one of the most crucial factors when choosing a ski box. These ski boxes come in a lot of varying sizes. Some of them can barely store kid-size skis. Even the larger ski boxes can confuse new buyers because the body length does not mean internal space.
I always advise getting ski boxes a few inches longer than your longest skis. That way, you will always have enough room for any of your skis. But make sure to not make it too big for your car. Oversized ski boxes can prevent the tailgate from opening. In some cases, it can also hinder vision in the front.
Durability is a major issue with ski boxes. It can even lead to road hazards in more extreme cases. A ski box has to face a lot of air drag when moving, no matter how aerodynamic their body is. That is why you should pay attention to all the safety features before buying them.
Always remember to secure all the latches before starting your car. The last thing you want is to have your ski gear tumbling down the road when you swerve your car. Pay attention to the exterior material too. Avoid ones that are made of thin plastic or feel too bendable.
These ski boxes are not very light things. They weigh over 20 kg on average. The longer ones can even reach up to 30 kg, and that is without counting the weight of your ski gear. This weight contributes to gas mileage too.
Another thing to check is your mounting hardware. Your car’s roof rails also have a carrying capacity limit. Anything that outweighs that limit might damage them. Check these things on your car manufacturer’s website before getting a ski box.
So, how much does a ski box cost? The cost ranges from $500 to $1,000 and higher. You might be able to find ones that are a little less expensive, but that involves a lot of digging around. It is generally better to stick to a trustworthy brand when it comes to buying a ski box.