Need Roof Rack Advice

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Need Roof Rack Advice

Postby shreddermom » Thu Nov 08, 2007 10:22 am

I have a Honda Civic with no roof rack. (It does have a sun roof) The kids are getting bigger and their boards won't fit in the trunk this year. I'm ready to get a rack of some sort but I don't even know where to start! I live about five minutes from the hill so I would like something that's really easy to load and unload because we make frequent trips.

I would love some advice about the kinds of roof racks that work best for snowboards, how much I can expect to spend, where to buy, etc..... or maybe a rear mounted rack like a bike rack? Suggestions anyone?
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Postby John » Thu Nov 08, 2007 10:50 am

I can still get away with sticking my board inside the car.

REI has some information that may be of use. Here's a link to their site:

(Their link is too long to fit into this screen, so I went to and got a smaller version).
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Postby welshscarry » Thu Nov 08, 2007 12:31 pm

We have similar cars. I have a Subaru. I have a roof rack by Yakima. It is the "small" Powderhorn. You can load 2 boards and 2 sets skis on it. The larger Powderhorn is twice as big. I think my small one cost less than $80 or 90 dollars. With a small car I think it;'s pretty easy to load up the boards. Your kids can help you too!

Yakima has a great web site, try it. You can also type in the type of car you have and it will tell you what type set up you may need. NOTE that on many cars (where the sun roof bars give you a little "curve" in your top line across), you have to mount the Yakima rack with the "lift"--- the boards ride at an angle on the top of the car.

Can you try a hands on Outdoor store that sells racks? You may get more help there with exactly all the parts that you need. REI?

With all that, I am happy with it. I also have a Yakima bike rack, and I just switch out the two when the seasons change.
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Postby SteveH » Thu Nov 08, 2007 1:48 pm

I recently got a roof rack from They have widgets that will advise you on racks that will fit your car for both Yakima and Thule. Their prices were very good. I had a problem placing the order on their website and a phone call immediately got a knowledgeable, live person speaking actual English.

I have the Thule Pull top system that holds 4 boards and slides out to the side of the car for easier loading and unloading. It's a big benefit on my SUV, but is likely less necessary for a lower vehicle.

Note that for the Thule system at least, you need to buy the locks separately.

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Postby bernwern » Thu Nov 08, 2007 3:02 pm

First off, I assume your Civic is a 4 door.....because 2 door models usually need an "extension" kit for the rack to support the weight correctly.

I have a 99 Camry and got a rack this year as well. Not only does it save space, but it also prevents damage to the interior of your car. I recommend a Yakima rack, and I will elaborate....

I highly recomnend using the fit guide on REI's site to figure out all the components you need......and then get a Yakima Q-Tower setup. You will definitely need: Q towers, 48" crossbars, 6 lock cores, 4 q-clips, and I suggest the Big Powderhound rack (as you can fit 4 snowboards or a 8 skis on it, or a combination).

Why Yakima? I trust them, as many others I know have their racks as well. Also, you can get other attachments for the crossbars to carry bikes, canoes, kayaks, cargo carriers, and more.

Lastly, check ebay, or better yet, check craigslist. I purchased the Q-towers, crossbars, lock cores, and the Big Powderhound rack from craigslist for $150. I ended up getting the vehicle specific Q-clips from REI for $50 on sale. Retail, this would have been $400, so I saved 50% :)

Hope this helps.

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Postby MunkySpunk » Sat Nov 10, 2007 11:00 pm

I got lucky on craigslist. Some surfer guy was selling his yakima setup right off the same type of car I had.. I got the q-towers, clips, and crossbars for a steal. I picked up a big powderhound to hold the snowboards and I'm ready to go.

Both yakima and thule's websites are practically identical when trying to figure out what you need and ebay is a great place to buy used roof racks for a great price.
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