Looking for a ski rack that’s sturdy as all get out and can carry hoards of boards and skis? The RockyMounts LiftOp may be for you.
Constant throughout our winter gear testing this season was the RockyMounts LiftOp Biggie Ski Rack. I checked out a sample around November and have been putting it through its paces ever since.
In short: The RockyMounts LiftOp ski rack is super sturdy and worked well in a variety of winter conditions. On top of its awesome design elements (like an easy grab latch and double locking system), this rack can hold up to four pairs of skis. And compared to other racks on the market, it all comes at a really reasonable price.
RockyMounts LiftOp Rack Testing in Sleet, Rain, and Snow
I loved lots of things about this ski rack, but mainly that it’s extremely sturdy, durable, safe (locks), and easy to use. And it’s under $200.
I tested this rack carrying from one pair to three pairs of skis to see how it worked with a light load versus loaded down. (I could’ve fit a fourth pair but didn’t have any more skis on hand.)
A note on its sturdiness: This rack won’t budge. Windy weather, highway speeds, you name it — you won’t hear any noise, shifting, or wobbles coming from the top of your car.
I’ve driven with this ski rack over several mountain passes, on highways, in snowy weather, and during high wind advisories, and it worked great.
It’s also safe. It has two locking systems, a safeguard to make sure the rack isn’t going anywhere. (Details and notes on the locking system and cables below.)
Third, it’s easy to use. Coffee in one hand and wearing bulky mittens, I was still able to open and close the rack with no problem. The keys also work well, are easy to turn, and the lock hasn’t stuck or froze thus far. (The smooth-to-operate locks are extra exciting because I’m a lefty — opening doors and locks is usually a troublesome task for me.)
The only con? It’s not the lightest rack on market. That being said, it’s not too bulky, and its weight doesn’t pose any issues.
- Holds: 4-5 pairs of skis or 4 snowboards (varies by size)
- Components: 2 rack units, 2 plastic cradle mounts, internal locking cables, comes with 2 keys and spare parts
- Weight: 14 lbs.
- Price: $180
Locking the Rack: RockyMounts Doubles Down
The LiftOp keeps security front of mind in this ski rack design. Whether you’re parking at a lodge for a night or traveling across the country, you want to make sure your skis are safe. Yes, safe from flying off the back of your car. That should be a given. But also, they’re safe from opportunist thieves.
So RockyMounts doubled down on the locks: the cable system ensures not only that the rack is locked securely to your vehicle (it won’t budge, it’s sturdy), but that the skis themselves are locked to the rack via two key locks. The steel wires and cables that lock around your car’s crossbars run through a protective cover. Essentially, there’s no way to tamper with the cables, as they’re internally routed inside the rack.
And you can only access the locking cables from the inside of the rack, with the key, when it’s open.
The thing I love most about the key system is the angle and access from the ground: I can easily reach the rack, turn the key, and push on the large, glove-friendly latch to unload my gear. And even on days of wet and cold weather, the locks haven’t frozen or caused problems.
Really the only finicky step was setting up the rack. Several customers have noted it’s very easy to mount. It is. But don’t be like me and attempt to set it up by yourself in 30-degree weather. It’s much easier with two people. So grab a friend.
I’d also like to point out that the instructions are simple and well-written — with one exception. When you get to the step of opening, tightening, and locking the cables to the car, you have to loosen the cable screw, cleverly hidden inside the mounting unit. (This step wasn’t quite clear to me, but we had the rack on in under 20 minutes.)
The RockyMounts LiftOp Biggie functions great, has lots of awesome features, and also comes at a really great price. And the jackpot comes in the number of skis it can carry.
Its price tag is good; depending on how many seasons the rack lasts for, it could be great. It’s not too heavy, and setup was a breeze. And it can carry equipment for your whole car. It works simply, keeping your skis on your car, locked and loaded, and won’t wobble when winds get up to triple digits on I-70.
But at the end of the day, it’s the simplicity that gets me. It’s a not-very-expensive yet quality ski rack that does its job.
RockyMounts is based in Grand Junction, Colo., and has been making various ski and bike racks since 1993.