Art Director Chris Rowat is now a sled head. Or at least he’s using a sled these days to access some backcountry stashes and he’s taken the Cheetah Factory Racing Mountain Rack along for the ride. This is his review.
For 15 years I have happily explored the same car-accessible ski-touring areas here in the Kootenays, from the Whitewater backcountry to Kootenay Pass. But the deeper, more remote valleys were always a bit out of reach. Two years ago a few of us pooled our money and bought a used 4-stroke snowmobile. It’s been great fun driving it up logging roads to access new terrain. We soon added brackets to the back of the sled to hold skis and snowboards. Most recently we added Cheetah Factory Racing’s (CFR’s) Mountain Rack to hold our packs.
Cheetah Factory Racing is based in Whistler, BC, and was started in 1999 by snowboarder Dave Basterrechea. The company makes a variety of snowmobile-specific after-market parts, including racks, brackets for skis and snowboards, and handlebars.
Snapshot: Cheetah Factory Racing Mountain Rack
- Pros:You can get the pack off your back while driving the sled, or carry a jerry can of gas to extend your range. Add a cushion and some side panels and you could bring your dog.
- Cons: I’m still searching for a con to this rack. Some people might want a bigger rack that can hold more, or maybe some integrated straps. But CFR seems to have focused on making things simple and strong.
- Price: CAD $229.95
- Who Should Buy:Anyone who goes ski-touring with a snowmobile
- Who Shouldn’t Buy: If you have one of those older sleds that is basically one long bench seat right to the back.
- Helpful Hack: You need the space behind the seat to mount this rack. carry some extra bungie-cords, because sometimes they break or just disappear mysteriously.
- Author’s overall rating: 9/10. It’s amazing nobody thought of these before!
I have to admit that we only mounted the rack at the end of last season, so we haven’t put it through a lot of testing. But we’re looking forward to putting it through it’s paces this winter.
The rack is light, tough, simple, and well made. The company provides lots of information on their website for mounting the rack to your sled. The rack held my pack easily with a few strong bungy cords. We already had our own ski-brackets mounted to the sled, but CFR makes their own brackets that mount nicely to the side of the rack. This would eliminate drilling more holes into your tunnel!
My friends and I will never have the skills to go roopin’ and hoonin’ in untracked powder like you see in the movies, but it’s nice to know that the rack was designed by snowmobilers Dan Treadway, Rob Alford and Chris Brown. But for getting to the skin track in style, and carrying your pack, skis, or extra fuel, these racks do the job.
I also appreciate that the racks are not covered in cheesy graphics. Just a small logo and a simple paint job. Classy.
Stay tuned for a follow-up review at the end of this winter!
Cheetah Factory Racing Mountain Rack: The Deets
- MSRP: $229.95 Cdn
- Weight: 1.36 kg (3 lb)
- Height: 9.5 cm (3 3/4″)
- Material: 3/4″ structural tubular aluminum, powder coated
- Colours: white, flat black, orange, green and blue
- Load Capacity: carries up to a 20L (6 gallon) jerry can & two pairs of skis or snowboards with bindings