Despite the persistent chill, winter is winding down. Before we know it, we’ll be trudging through crusty-topped swathes of half-melted snow, interspersed with thick mud and swampy old fallen leaves. And while no one’s stopping you from planning that spring trail ride, don’t be so fast to give up hopes of hitting the slopes a few more times this season. But whether it’s to the local ski lodge next week or cross-country to colder weather next month, one thing’s for certain: You need a solution for all that gear!
From roof racks and cargo boxes to specialty snowsport mounts, Yakima has a quality product to secure your stuff outside the vehicle, so there’s more room inside for the stuff that counts—like friends for the ride.
Check out the tried and true Yakima Skybox to keep cargo safe and warm or the hot new FatCat EVO for quick, versatile storage.
I think we can all agree that no one likes sitting in a dirty vehicle. So, why do you keep throwing those wet skis and snowboards back there like you won’t have to explain away the weird stains they leave behind? Lucky for you, we’ve got some quality solutions lined up to save your upholstery—and your friendships. First up is the new FatCat EVO.
FatCat EVO 4 or 6 Ski/Snowboard Mounts
Dubbed as the manufacturer’s “sleekest, quietest, and sweetest ski and snowboard mount,” the FatCat EVO —a new product evolved from the regular ol’ FatCat —is exactly what you need to evolve your cargo-carrying habits.
Featuring a solid construction with a sleek mirror-black finish, the FatCat EVO looks as good as it performs. The aerodynamic design adds some streamlining, as well as a quiet ride. (No one needs that thwap-thwapping sound while ripping down the highway.) And the setup accommodates up to four pairs of skis or two snowboards, with an integrated SkiLift to ensure those bindings aren’t touching the vehicle’s roof. (If you need to carry more, check out Yakima’s FatCat EVO 6, which holds six pairs of skis or four snowboards.) Additionally, the installation is a breeze, mounting tool-free to virtually any roof rack. Yakima even offers helpful install videos just in case ‘following directions’ isn’t one of your strengths.
The FatCat EVO uses strong and sturdy clamps, as well as integrated SKS locks, to keep cargo safe and secure from wind, speed, and sticky fingers. And at just $249 for the EVO 4 and $309 for the EVO 6, they’re a BARGAIN. (Seriously, I’m willing to bet your bar bill at the ski lodge is higher than that.)
If, however, cost is a concern, check out Yakima’s new FreshTrack 4 or FreshTrack 6. While they require slightly more patience with assembly and installation, you’ll save yourself close to a hundred bucks and get essentially the same basic functionality. Keep in mind though, that the FatCat EVO 4 and 6 are designed to accommodate thicker boards and skis and are T-track compatible, while the FreshTrack models are not. But at $179 and $219 respectively, they’re budget-friendly and do the trick.
Seeking some drier storage? Don’t worry, Yakima’s got you covered too.
An oldie but a goodie, the Yakima SkyBox has been racking up gold-star reviews since you were still on the Bunny Slopes. Available in five convenient sizes—Lo, 12, 16, 18, and 21 cubic feet—there’s an option for every vehicle and corresponding enthusiast.
First, the construction. Yakima is proud to say that each cargo box is “a testimony to smart engineering, advanced equipment, and [its] California crew’s commitment to craft.” For you, that translates to a thermoformed carbonite shell made of 80% recycled material that has been handled start-to-finish by a skilled worker with an eye for detail. Regardless of the size you choose, every Yakima SkyBox sports a sleek aerodynamic design with a tapered back end that cuts down on drag and wind noise, as well as integrated locks for security and internal lid stiffeners that add rigidity for unexpected bumps along the road.
Better yet, the company has remembered that it’s the little things that matter. That’s why the Yakima SkyBox is blissfully easy to install and operate. No assembly. No tools. And dual-sided opening for access from either side of the vehicle. (Great for when your only option is a tight-squeeze parking spot.)
Use it for winter gear now and then load it up with all your camping essentials come springtime. The Yakima SkyBox has room to spare. And for those thinking, “I’m lazy. I refuse to pull that thing off every time I need to park inside,” you’re in luck! The Yakima SkyBox Lo, while packing the same length and width as the SkyBox 18, sits 4.5 inches shorter, so you can zip into garages and under carports worry-free.
Price-wise, the SkyBox 12 starts at $499, with the 16 coming in at $549, the 18 and Lo at $599, and the 21 at $649.
So what are you waiting for?
You’ve got two solid leads for addressing that nasty back seat full of dirty snow and who-knows-what-else. Do yourself a favor: head down to your local dealer and outfit your ride in something that’s sure to impress. (If rooftop storage isn’t your bag, be sure to check out the clever Hitchski.)
And do us all a favor, will ya? Grab some quality seat covers while you’re there. Ain’t nobody sitting back there as-is.