Contest Winner: The Ford Expedition & The Ominous Odor
Winner: The Ford Expedition & The Ominous Odor
With three kids in hockey it was bound to happen. One spring not so long ago when the weather heated up, we were amazed to find a conspicuous odor in the back of our Ford Expedition. We searched and searched to “get the stink out” and tried everything from Bounce sheets to Febreze and couldn’t seem to pin point the Ominous Odor. Was it remnants of an old hamburger from a post-game meal eaten on the way home from the rink? No the stink was too bad. Did the 5-year-old spill milk on the carpet and now we were living in the sour world? No, and the mystery continued—until we were ready to sell the car and give up.
One day we were packing for an out-of-town trip when I couldn’t take it any more. Even the gas mask from the local Army/Navy store wouldn’t help the ride. We inadvertently lifted up a flap that covers a space between the back seat and the cargo area and almost fainted from the hidden treasure inside. After talking my wife out of calling 911 and sifting through the plastic army men who had given their life in that crevasse, we found a hockey glove. Yes, a long lost hockey glove who tried to tell us he was back there by giving off every last bit of sweaty hockey funk he could. The celebration began as if we were Stanley Cup champs and this was the game winning goal in game 7. Finally we can get to the rink in peace.
1982 Buick Regal Box, Color Brown: Nine Players, Nine Bags
When I was in high school, this was my first car and we fit nine players and equipment for each player in the car/truck with the help of a bungee cord, of course. It was a short trip from Champlin Park High School to the Ice Forum in Champlin, MN, but it was frigid as we didn’t have enough room to roll the windows up and it was in the dead of winter. –Kelli
Dodge Caravan: Space to Nap
After researching, five years ago we switched from a giant 88 Suburban truck to the Dodge Caravan. I have a son that is on a travel team, a husband that coaches a house team and a daughter that is along for the fun. We can actually fit four hockey bags stacked in the way back if needed. We loop the bag handles around the rear seat head rests so they don’t fall out when you open the hatch.
Usually, the four of us are in there with one equipment bag, puck bag, water bottles, coaches bag with tools and first aid kit, the dry erase board all in the way back. Plus the car emergency milk crate with jumper cables, a tire air compressor and a tool box. The sticks go along the side. Luggage goes in the third seat, easily accessible with blankets and pillows.
It costs no more then $40 to fill the tank when gas prices are high. All the seats recline. When the van is emptied at the hotel, we have plenty of room to recline the seats or lay the very back where the bench seat lays flat and we can take naps between games (which my daughter and I often do for those double headers). All of us are very comfortable and there is plenty of room for the stuff. AND our clothes bags don’t have to mingle with the stinky hockey equipment. Plus there are rear window vents that let out the rear odor. We love it and have racked up some serious mileage. –Shari
Dodge Grand Caravan: Six Bags, One Tailgate Party
Like I say to goalies, “Dodge this.” Hands down, the Dodge Grand Caravan is the best vehicle for hockey bags. Push a button on the key fob and the tailgate opens up for hockey players with tired arms and full hands. The floor of the van is at waist level, so no need to bend down into a trunk to drop off or pick up the hockey bag. Sticks fit easily right down the middle, no matter how long they are. Take the bags out and pull up the rear seat in the back-facing position so it faces outward for a tailgate party or a picnic! CD/DVD satellite radio options liven up the after-game picnic or party. I can fit six hockey bags easily in the Caravan and more if necessary. One goes, we all go! I love my Dodge Caravan and still have it, despite being an empty-nester! –Nina
Honda Accord: Goalie Pads Inside
I have a Honda Accord and it’s perfect for hockey. It has a roomy trunk that can fit up to three hockey bags (goalie shin pads have to rest on someone’s lap). There’s also a door in the middle of the back seat so hockey sticks can fit through. It’s a great design and I get way better gas mileage than all the parents with SUV. –Tanya
Honda Element: Doubles as a Doghouse
Honda Element, with the back seats removed, guess what? Rubber flooring! You can stack about 12 bags with no problem! I have one back seat removed, recline both passenger seats and the existing back seat. This leaves me a huge space for my bag, my sticks and I still have plenty of room. My two dogs ride with me to my games and then chill in the car (windows cracked, water available) when the weather is acceptable! I have taken the other back seat out and traveled to tournaments. Sleep in the back and put your hockey bag on the roof! –David
Saab 9-3: Three Bags, Four People, 33 mpg
I drive a Saab 9-3 and I can fit hockey bags in it for myself, my 9-year-old and my 4-year-old—plus a puck bag and sticks (mine have to go inside the cabin). I get 33 mpg on a bad day on the highway, and my wife and kids can all fit in the car even with all the above mentioned gear. –Chris
Scion xB: Compact Does the Job of an SUV
Well, I am a mom of a first time Mite hockey player and until now, I never realized why most hockey parents own SUVs. Don’t worry, I have the perfect little car for the big job though. I drive a Scion xB and I can fit two hockey bags and sticks in the trunk with seating for five. I haven’t had to worry about tournaments just yet, but if I do, don’t worry, the backseat flooring is enough space for luggage and we’ll still make it. You can’t beat a compact car that can still do the job of an SUV. I love it! –Angela
Editor's Note: Thanks to all the readers who shared their stories about the challenges of driving with bulky, smelly hockey bags (and possibly bulky, smelly kids!).
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