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We’ve had a number of vehicles over the years. Cars, trucks, vans, SUVs, sports cars and even an RV. But no matter what size our vehicle is, we usually want to carry something the vehicle was not made to carry. I know there are literally thousands of rack option out there, so how do you select just 5? Well, we can’t include them all, so we’ll focus on the rack solutions that serve the greatest purpose. These are also our favorites:
Trailer Hitch Rack: We like the Yakima hitch collection. We can carry bikes, canoes, kayaks, surfboards, snowboards, skis, and more. We use the Yakima trailer hitch Fulltilt for our bikes and in the winter, we add the ski/snowboard attachment and we’re set. We’ve found them to be very durable, easy to use and the rubber straps that keep the bikes and attachments in place look great after 3 seasons.
Roof Racks: We have to go with Thule here. They are amazing at figuring out all the ways to strap a couple of bars to the top of your vehicle. We’ve used ours on 4 different cars and each time we just needed new “feet” for the new vehicle. With the bars attached to the roof, it’s time for bikes, surfboards, paddleboards, skis, snowboards, cargo carriers, baskets, kayaks, canoes and more. There are two more items, I need to mention. The Thule awning looks awesome and the Express Straps we use every day. They are so simple for attaching anything to the bars.
Truck Bed Rack: Thule again wins here. If you need to lug around a longboard, paddleboard, kayak, canoe and have a truck, there is nothing better. Yep, we’ve tried the tailgate pad, but most trucks have short beds these days, and everything sticks out way farther than it should.
And if you’re a contractor, you’ve got a 2fer! You’ll be the coolest cat carrying material to the job site with these racks!
All-Vehicle DryRack: Of course, it has to be the Malo’o DryRack. We’ve got all these racks that are going to help us get our gear out to our favorite destination, but once there, what are we going to need? We’re going to get wet, sweaty, soggy, soaked, and we’re going to need to get dried off along with our gear. We need a DryRack. It will hang from the side mirrors and racks and dry our gear. It’s padded, so it won’t scratch. It’s collapsible and portable, so it can be taken anywhere, and won’t take up a lot of space. At $39.99, can anyone afford to be without one?
Van Rack: It’s Aluminess here. These guys are out of San Diego and do an amazing job. We have one for our 4x4 Sprinter that covers the entire top, cuts around the A/C unit and has the optional surfboard/paddleboard side rack. The Aluminess racks are custom designed and built. Bigger bars on top? Wider slats on floor? Ladder in back instead of on the side? Add lights? Awning? Nothing is too much for these guys.
So, these are our top recommendations and we’ve used them all. The product, customer service and quality are great on all of them. Each provides you a couple of way to purchase them and for Outdoor Adventurers like us, they are necessary gear!