Last summer, I bought my first snowmobile. Yes, despite a decade as a snow industry guy, I’d managed to get by with the borrow/rent/double approach to this point, but I finally dropped in. And with that purchase of an old Arctic Cat, I knew I needed a rack. So, I turned to Canadian mountain goat Dave Basterrechea and Cheetah Factory Racing.
Cheetah’s been making snowboard-specific sled racks for a while now. Based out of Pemberton, BC, CFR grew out of necessity—as Dave and his cohort pushed further into their Coast Mountain backyard, they needed a reliable way to haul snowboards, fuel, food and other essentials for a big day deep into the backcountry. So, they built their own.
After a decade-plus of refinement, CFR now offers a full line of sled accessories, from tunnel mountain racks to snowboard and ski attachments, handlebar risers, sled bags, and so on and so forth. Their first priority is bombproof design. As any experienced backcountry enthusiast knows, failure is not an option when you get out deep.
I went with the iRack 2.0 and a pair of snowboard brackets. As a photographer, I knew I’d need something a little bigger, and the iRack 2.0 falls in between their ultralight Mountain Rack and long-haul options like the Expedition Rack. Having brackets for multiple boards for quick double-ups was essential. The install took less than an hour and involved drilling a couple small holes in the tunnel of my sled, but it varies based on your year/make/model. And once the rack was installed, it was bombproof. Its low profile, welded aluminum design keeps boards and assorted gear secure without a significant weight penalty.
The brackets are a simple design, obviously adapted from binding parts in the beginning, but now fabricated specifically for hauling boards. Ladder straps and ratchets are a time-tested retention device, and the sliding edge-saver helps to adapt to different lengths and widths of snowboards. There were no issues with icing or snow buildup, and I was able to quickly access and adjust my boards when moving quickly in the backcountry and chasing light.
I have full confidence it will carry me through many more winters with little need for maintenance, and fully expect it to outlast that aging Arctic Cat. If the brackets do wear down over time, fresh parts are going to be easy to obtain.
Simply put, my Cheetah Factory Racing setup works. There’s a reason backcountry heavies like Chris Rasman, Charles Reid, John Jackson and Travis Rice rely on their products year after year.
And about that old Arctic Cat? Sold it for a newer Skidoo. My first move will be slapping on an iRack 2.0.