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Kuat Ski and Snowboard Racks Review - 2014 Toyota Prius v

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Review of the Kuat Ski and Snowboard Racks on a 2014 Toyota Prius v

Hi everyone. It's Evangeline here at Etrailer, and today we'll be taking a look at our Kuat Grip Ski and Snowboard Carrier, right here on our 2014 Toyota Prius V. So you have your Prius V, and you got that MPGs, you have all that storage space, but what if you wanna carry your skis and snowboards, not inside of your spacious trunk, but on top of your vehicle. That's where the Kuat Grip comes in handy. Because of the slope of the Prius V, it is kind of tricky to get the right angle of things or accessories to carry your skis and snowboards. You wanna make sure you get something that can adjust very easily, and enough to carry those things.

So what we have here is the Kuat Grip, which has really good adjustability, and it has the slide out feature to make it easier to load those skis and snowboards. The 4 can carry four pairs of skis or two snowboards, but the Kuat Grip 6 can carry up to six pairs of skis or four snowboards. So it just works the same way, has the same features, but is longer. You can also get either of the sizes in different colors. So like this one's black, but you can also get it in gray or Pearl.

I personally would get gray to match my Prius, but it's nice to have those different options. So other than the number of skis, another question is what kind of skis, and what sizes So let's take a look at our roof clearance just to give us an idea. So with our skis, where they are right now, I'm gonna measure from the center of our ski pair, to the roof, and we have eight inches of height. So if you have extra tall bindings, you can see here that I just have normal size bindings, and I still have a good amount of clearance with my Prius. So that might be something you wanna think about if that's gonna be a big issue for you, you can also just have them where their bindings are facing up.

All right what if I still wanna open up my hatch with my skis on. So I have 153 centimeter skis up there right now, and you can see how we have plenty of clearance, so from the tips to the hatch, it's another 22 inches of clearance. Now you cannot move the roof rack around, you're stuck with a fixed roof rack. So you can also see how there might be some issues with moving them back and forth, to get the best space. This is a premium carrier, and you might also be carrying premium skis.

All in all they can be pretty pricey, and pretty tempting. So you have a bunch of different lock cores on this. You have a lock right over there, you have locks for your clamps as well. So one, two, three, four, five, and six. So just make sure to use your key, that you can use one key to access the whole system, and it is included with the carrier. And then on the end you have these large handles. I actually really liked the handle set design, because when I have my thicker skis in there, I just use my weight to bring this down, and then secure it. And when I want to take my skis off, even if I'm wearing big mittens or big gloves, I just need to push up, and then it adjust, and then it pops up. And let's take a look at the most important feature, in my opinion, which is a slide-out feature. We have a lever on the inside, pull that lever and just slide this out. So this is a lot easier for me because this is a shorter car compared to the larger SUVs I've tried this on, but with it slid out like this, you can see now how easy it is, just to take our skis off, and then we put them back on again when we're ready to go back on the road. And with our skis off, we can take a closer look at the inside of our carrier. First thing I would like to point out is how cool are these rubber teeth So other skis and snowboard carriers, they have a round rubber design, which allows them to carry the skis and snowboards but its just straight across rubber. This actually has teeth, which is very different in my opinion. And I kind of like it. You get the grip, which makes it a Kuat grip, but you also get the softness, that means you're not damaging your skis and snowboards. This has a very easy to use slide in function, or slide out function, and then once you have it in place, it snaps back into place, and then you can lock it with this over here. So I talked about how this hinges up and down. I like it with the end up position, because then it makes it easier to put our skis and snowboards up, and not have to hold the arm up at the same time. And once they're in place, you have a little notch right there, it's just a tab or a lever that just automatically slides into place. And then you have, we could hear a couple of different clicks. So that was that adjusting around the different sizes of skis and snowboards.` Now comparing the Kuat Grip with other ski and snowboard carriers, well this is definitely the premium and I think the best option. We do have other options right here at Etrailer as well. One thing that might have you considering another type of ski and snowboard carrier, is I recommend the FatCat EVO, because you can also use it as a fishing rod holder. Well, these teeth are nice, the traditional design is nice for versatility with other items. So if you wanna use this as a ski and snowboard carrier, and then carry your fishing rods during the off season, you might wanna take a look at the Yakima FatCat EVO. I personally think that this is an aerodynamic design, especially compared to the taller Kuat Ski and Snowboard Carrier. If you wanna leave this on your vehicle, you can. Yes, you'll probably register one or two drops in MPGs, but let's take a look at the outside. We have a very nice sleek finish. We have these curves allowing it to try to cut down on that wind drag and wind noise, but let's take some measurements just to see how it sits on top of our vehicle without skis and snowboards. Shooting the one on our front crossbar, this is gonna be different depending on where you are, where you're measuring, but measuring from our roof to the top of the carrier, it sits at only nine inches of height. And earlier we showed where our ski sits. So hopefully that will help you figure out whether you have enough space for your skis, and you probably won't have any issues with driving into your garage. This doesn't take up much room on your crossbars, especially since it just has a strap that goes around, very easy to install, much better than other skis and snowboards that utilize a U bolt with wing nuts, and those could be annoying if you have to install them often. Now for the space that it uses on your crossbars, it's gonna be from the furthest end of the clamp, to the furthest end of the other clamp, 19 and a half inches. I have this one installed on the overhang. I'm using extra long bars from Yakima. These are the 60 inch long jet stream crossbars, just because I liked that overhang. That leaves me enough space on the other side for more accessories. So, I talked about the install process. It has a smart grip feature, which allows you to set the tension once, and never have to set it again. So let's take a look at that process. So to install this, this just fits around your crossbars. I'm gonna actually install this onto our overhang, because even though it slides out, I still like to get as much reach as I can. So with this all on our overhang, we're then going to attach our straps. They go around our crossbars and into the clamp. Fits right in there, and then tighten it down. So the first time you have to install this, you tap the adjuster tension. So once you have it on your crossbars, use this tool in the back to tighten it down. You'll only have to do this once, every time after it you'll remember that tension. So once that's tightened down, what we're also gonna do is we're gonna adjust the bolts on the inside, so that we can adjust our tilt, especially since the Prius V has a slope in the front, this is gonna be very helpful. So I'm gonna tilt it a bit backwards, just to see if we can get this aligned with the top. So what I found was the best position or best angle, was the front one goes back a little bit, and then the rear one tilts forward a little bit. That seems to line up. And with everything tightened down, you have one, two, three, four on the clamps, and then your center ones as well. You're now ready to activate the slide-out because you have now installed your Kuat Grip Ski and Snowboard Carrier. So my personal thoughts about the Kuat Grip Ski and Snowboard Carrier is it's definitely one of my favorite ski and snowboard carriers. Yes, it is a premium carrier, with a premium price, but it's not a gimmick when it comes to the price because you get really good features with this. You have a unique teeth design, I really liked that slide-out feature, and when it comes to the Prius V, that slope is an issue for a lot of accessories that go on the roof. So I really like how much adjustability we had with the angles, and I didn't have to work hard at it. It's very easy to use, very user-friendly, so if you're the type of person that wants to invest in the carrier, and doesn't wanna stress about it, and doesn't wanna take up too much time, this might be a really good option for you. Especially if you have nicer skis and snowboards, and you wanna protect your investment, with all the different lock cores, it really helps deter theft, and gives you that peace of mind when you're on the slopes as well. So all in all, that was a really quick look at the Kuat Grip, make sure to check out the other colors, and the other sizes as well, just to make sure you get the right fit for your Prius V. And that was look right here at our Kuat Grip Ski and Snowboard Carrier here, on our 2014 Toyota Prius V..

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