Uncii Rethinks Gear Racks L et’s face it, there’s nothing enjoyable about loading a roof rack onto a car before a long outing or removing one at the end a long day on the mountain. Many racks today are complicated to attach and remove and can be a hassle to deal with. What’s more, roof racks have been proven to affect fuel mileage, impacting both consumers and the environment. According to a joint study from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), roof racks can increase a gaso- line bill by as much as 25 percent due to aerodynamic drag. One company that’s making it eas- ier, more affordable and more sustain- able to transport gear is Uncii, offering modular racks that can be used for hauling ski gear to and from the moun- tain. According to owner and founder Steve Nevener, the concept for Uncii stemmed from personal experience hauling ski equipment in Colorado. “I got the idea for Uncii after I spent way too much money on a ski rack that would only see the light of day a few times a year,” said Nevener. “Most consumers will only ski about six or seven times per year on aver- age, and so it doesn’t make sense to buy an expensive rack.” Nevener began asking around and realized that other skiers had the same dissatisfaction with the racks they were using, suggesting a need for a rack that is simple to set up, affordable and quiet on the road. “I knew there had to be a better solution,” Nevener said. “This led to the creation of Uncii, which is a system that can easily attach to the roof of just about any vehicle with a crossbar, us- ing a simple ratchet strap. And when they’re not in use, Uncii racks can be quickly and effortlessly removed and stored in a bag until you’re ready to hit the mountain again. So, you don’t have to drive around with a rack on your car all the time.” Uncii racks are made of durable, black polycarbonate and are compat- ible with a variety of vehicles from the last 15 years, said Nevener. They are designed to work with OEM crossbars and with a variety of models including Toyota (Land Cruiser, Sequoia, 4-Run- ner and RAV4), Subaru, Honda (ex- cluding Acura), Lexus, Mazda, Ford, Kia and Hyundai. According to Nevener, Uncii racks are safe for all the above-mentioned models, as they elevate ski equipment above the rack and the rooftop, eliminating scratching and scraping. The company is also in the process of expanding. In addition to ski racks, Uncii is preparing to launch more products in the coming months including racks for transporting oars and fishing gear. In addition, Uncii is in the process of creating a universal rack to carry industrial compo- nents such as lumber and piping. “Here at Uncii, we have a simple mission to reduce fuel consump- tion and headaches,” Nevener said. “We want to make outdoor excursions — and gear transport, in general — easier and more enjoyable for our customers.” Uncii also is a company that’s bringing local innovation to the Denver market. Nevener and his family are based in the area and are proud to be a Colorado-based organization. “We are a small, Denver-based startup and looking to make greater inroads with the local community,” explained Nevener. “Colorado is my home, and the abundance of nearby ski opportunities makes Denver a great place to do business.” Uncii presently sells direct to con- sumer, and models have an SRP of $110. However, retailers should keep an eye on the company as they will be pursuing retail partnerships soon. “We’re looking to connect with interested retailers and look forward to building strong relationships in the near future,” said Nevener. m PROFILE InsideOutdoor | 31