Mont Blanc Boot Rack Review
|Time to setup :||45 mins|
|Instructions :||Very Good|
|Quality :||Very Good|
Last month you may have read that we reviewed the Mont Blanc Roof Rack carriers, so it seems only fitting that we complete the guide with a review of the boot rack.
So why would you want a boot rack over a roof rack? Price! Boot racks are quite a lot cheaper than their roof rack alternatives making them a much more desirable option. You may also have a smallish car that doesn't take a roof rack very well and hence this is your only choice. Whatever the reason, read on to find out more about the Mont Blanc Easy Grip S2 Boot Carrier.
The carrier itself is made of metal tubing, light to lift, but strong and sturdy to hold your bikes. On first impressions looking at the carrier you would assume it can be put together quite easily, however if ever there was a product to read the instructions for, this is it. Not because it's impossible without them, but more, you want to get it right so that the rack stays securely on your car.
The rack is quite versatile and will adapt to a number of different cars. With the rack is a guide on the different setup positions for each car. After 45 minutes we had assembled the rack and it was now ready to go on.
The rack comes with 2 sets of quick release levers in order to make securing it to the car easier. Unlike other boot racks that use a variety of fabric ties to secure the rack to the car, the Mont Blanc rack simply has 2 feet that hook on the bottom of your boot, and 2 arms that hook on to the top of your boot. So once you have hooked these up, simply tightening the quick release levers secures it to the car. However, it did still take 2 of us, to get it into the right position first. Once secured you can fine tune the fittings, rotating the quick release levers clockwise increases the tightness of the rack to your car.
The Mont Blanc rack is designed to sit the bikes on clever expanding rails, rather than hanging them from arms like other makes. These metal rails, slide to increase their length and provide the basis for the 2 wheels. Once the bike is lifted into position, and located on the rails, simply pulling one of the swinging arms and securing it round your bike frame is all that is required to fix your bike to the rack. What's great about this over the roof racks, is the incredible ease for loading the bikes, perfect for shorter people like myself. On the racks there are also 2 fabric fasteners just to hold the wheels tight to the rails.
For those that read the review about the roof racks, one of the slightly negative comments was about the ability for the basic bike carrier to support a bike like the Trek Y Series, because of it's abnormally shaped frame. No problems here however as the arm slides left and right, up and down and has a big secure fastener for fitting round the frame. The other concern was how the arms would deal with mud guards and bottle cages, but once again as you can see from the picture below, absolutely no problems there either.
Of course one of the major disadvantages of a boot mounted rack, is that once its on you can't get into your boot. This rack however, (although we must stress we never fully tested it), will allow the boot to open with no bikes on it, but any other time, you've had it.
Driving with the boot mounted bike rack felt much more satisfying than the roof mounted carriers, for the simple reason, you can see your bikes. It gives you an added sense of security, you don't have to worry about restricted height entries, or that your bikes are wobbling about on the roof as you can see them all the time. With the Mont Blanc's approach to sitting the bikes on raised rails, it also leaves a suitable gap for seeing out your rear view mirror.
Boot Rack or Roof Rack?
So if I had to choose between the 2? it would have to be the roof racks. There is however really not much in it, but the roof racks will always be out the way, safely stored on the roof. They will never be an inconvenience getting in and out of the boot, and also give you the ability to lock your bikes to the car, which is something the boot mounted rack lacked. Despite that though, the boot mounted rack is one of the best we have come across, in terms of ease, quality and style, it certainly is worth it's money and if you only take the bikes away every now and then, this is more than ideal!
For more information about the carriers tested, please see them on Mont Blanc's site...