The Best Gear-Hauling Tools
Five ways to protect your expensive stuff in transit
Making sure your favorite bike, surfboard, and camping kit are protected and secure is an essential part of any outdoor adventure. Invest in some peace of mind with these items that’ll keep your gear storage game on lock when you’re on the road.
Yakima Dr.Tray ($599)
Designed to mount two road, mountain, or fat-tire bikes with enough extra space between your rigs to avoid dings and scratches, this aluminum hitch-mounted bike rack is also the lightest in its class, at 34 pounds. A well-designed tilt lever moves the rack up or down, a QuickChange lever allows mounting adjustments while the bikes are loaded, and a heavy-duty cable lock attached to the main frame keeps your bikes from rolling off.
Yeti Panga Duffel ($400)
The laminated, high-density nylon, molded EVA bottom, and special Hydrolok zipper make this duffel watertight and basically indestructible. At 32.5 inches long, it’s also large enough to store just about anything on rafting trips, overland expeditions, or foul-weather camping excursions. Plus, the backpack-style straps are comfortable for long hauls, and six lash points mean you can hitch it to almost anything.
Thule Motion XT XL ($730)
This rooftop cargo carrier will take everything you throw at it—or, rather, in it. The Motion XT XL can fit up to seven pairs of skis or five snowboards up to 200 centimeters long. Its turnkey mounting system audibly clicks when properly secured. The carrier opens on both the driver and passenger sides and features a lock that indicates when the lid is properly closed. Its sleek, aerodynamic design mounts forward on your roof, so it won’t get in the way when you open the trunk.
Denver Outfitters The Classic Rod Vault Fly ($499)
Someday my fly-fishing skills will warrant a kickass rooftop rod holder. When that day comes, the Classic Rod Vault will be the one. Handmade from aircraft-grade aluminum, it’s built to withstand the elements and last a lifetime. Medical-grade nylon inserts keep your poles snug inside, while super-tough polycarbonate clamps keep them attached to your roof on rough approaches to the water.
Dakine Daylight Deluxe Thruster Surfboard Bag ($70 to $90)
Protect your board from dings and the hot sun with this heavy-duty day bag, which sports quarter-inch foam padding, a reflective tarpaulin bottom, a tough printed polyester top, and a vented tail to shed heat and prevent wax melt. It has a soft, removable shoulder strap for easy carrying and a pocket for stashing a fin key. This palm-printed version is available in sizes 5'4″ to 6'10.”