Choosing Between A Roof Rack And A Roof Box | Goldwing Autocare

Choosing Between A Roof Rack And A Roof Box

Ottawa's Thule Snowsport Rack Expert

Roof Rack Vs. Roof Box

A debate we hear in our Ottawa showroom is often whether a exposed roof rack or an enclosed cargo carrier is best to carry your Winter snowsport gear. While there is no easy answer, we’re laying out some pros and cons to each snowsport carrying solution so you can make an informed decision in selecting your rack system. The most popular brand of snowsport rack we carry is Thule so we’ll be keeping this blog post pertaining to that brand only. For our take on other makes that we carry such as Yakima, Sport-Rack, and Rhino Rack, just call or visit the shop and ask!

Rooftop Ski Racks

Sportracks that attach to crossbars are the most accessible and affordable form of snowsport racks. These often require model-specific Thule foot-kits to attach directly to your vehicle’s roof. These racks cater to both skis and snowboards so your entire family can take their gear to the mountains, without the mess in the back seats. Our premier product in this line is the Thule Snowpack L.


  • These are versatile and are suitable for hauling a wide range of equipment.
  • Mounts are available that can be easily locked for added safety.
  • They are available at affordable prices.


  • May not fit all skis and boards, can only be used for Winter season.
  • The resistance caused by wind may produce some noise which is easily noticeable.
  • To safely load gear on top of your vehicle, you must reach overhead.

Cargo Roof Boxes

Cargo carriers are versatile hard-plastic boxes that attach onto pre-existing crossbars. These boxes can typically fit 1-6 sets of skis or 2-3 snowboards. They lock to prevent theft and can be used all-year-round. Our most popular Thule box in Ottawa is the Force XL.


  • These are versatile and are suitable all-year-round.
  • Locks closed to prevent anyone from removing equipment.


  • Some vehicles may not have the “perfect” size of cargo carrier.
  • The resistance caused by the wind has an impact on your vehicle’s aerodynamics. It may have an impact on the gas mileage.
  • They are costly on top of a new roof rack system.

At The End Of The Day…

We want you to be confident that the sportrack system you choose will work best for you. We have no problem spending the time in-store with you discussing the various types, sizes, and accessories of sportracks to ensure you’re comfortable with the setup. Have the system ordered to our store and we can professionally install it for you. We will also give you a crash course in how to use your snowsport rack system properly.

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