Best off-road accessories | Overland Expo West 2022
With the pandemic spurring interest in overlanding, the industry has been overflowing with newcomers. And that interest has helped spur new product development. The 2022 Overland Expo West showcased a host of new and innovative off-road accessories for enthusiasts to add to their rigs. From knives and water taps to wheels and portable toilets, there are the best items that caught my eye this past weekend at Overland Expo West in Flagstaff, Arizona.
These wheels from Nomad have sparked interest with their attractive designs. It is clear that all these rims take a classic look and bring it up to date. All these wheels are fluorescent (a process that begins with a base casting, which is then heated while being stretched and compressed) and will be very strong for any surface application. Compared to standard gravity cast wheels, they are much stiffer and lighter. In fact, the company itself is actually a sub-brand of Raceline wheels, one of the market leaders in manufacturing high performance wheels for off-road, track and street use. Their product expert couldn’t give me any pricing info, but I’d venture a guess that these wheels might go for around $300 a pop.
Upon entering the Hitent booth, I was more than a little surprised to see toilet paper rolls hanging from the edge of the exhibit tent. I looked closer and realized that these TP rolls were hanging from a device called Poola Hoop. While these may seem super simple – and frankly hilarious – they solve a critical problem you sometimes encounter when landing (and really camping in general): dropping your toilet paper before you do your business.
There was no shortage of great facilities with fully built bathrooms – showers and all – at the Expo. However, not everyone has $400,000 to spend on what is essentially an apartment on wheels. That’s why this toilet solution from Thunderbox caught my eye. It’s basically a collapsible toilet that makes any place the right place. When deployed, it’s the same size as a standard household toilet to civilize the experience of doing a number two in the woods.
Dirt Complex Trail Swing Adventure Series
When it comes to tire carriers, Dirt Complex is one of the industry leaders. So what separates the brand from the rest of the crowd? Its lightweight Trail Swing tire carrier fits easily onto your standard bumper hitch. Without forcing you to opt for a heavy and, frankly, expensive complete bumper replacement, this high-clearance tire carrier can accommodate up to a 35-inch tire. It’s great, but one of DirtCom’s claims to fame is structural integrity; the anti-sway hitch mount prevents the tire from swinging and shaking the tow hitch.
iKamper ExoShell 270
Roof top tents are all the rage. And they’re awesome, but I’ve seen a lot going on with awnings walking around the Overland Expo this year. Take the 270 awnings from iKamper. They provide 270 degrees of shade around your vehicle. Whether it’s protecting you from the rain or the sun, these awnings open up a ton of space around your vehicle that would previously be unused. Although the photo shows a number of anchors securing the shade device to the ground, these are not always necessary – the show saw wind speeds in excess of 20mph that day.
The shower bag
Seasoned campers who don’t have access to a shower will likely be experts at taking a “bath” with wet wipes. However, these often feel microscopic and difficult to use when it comes to getting a good clean. That’s why Shower Pouch decided to make a huge wet wipe. Compared to one that may seem the size of a postage stamp, these are one foot wide and two feet long. In addition to its larger size, the full body wet wipe is organic and reusable. Sure, it wasn’t the flashiest product on display, but it was certainly one of the smartest.
Dometic hydration water tap
Overlander veterans will know that running water is super underrated at a campsite. Whether it’s for a quick shower or rinsing your hands before cooking dinner, there’s no substitute for simple hand washing. Called the Hydration Water Faucet, this solution has a magnetic base that keeps it in place and a touch button on the top for easy use. In this configuration, it is connected to Dometic’s 11 liter hydration carafe via a quick disconnect fitting. The battery is good for dispensing 150 liters of water and is easily recharged via micro USB.
Messermeister Overland Chef Collection
When it comes to overlanding, cooking shouldn’t involve compromise. Even without considerable expense, you can cook delicious meals at your campsite with relatively little equipment. Avid camping chefs will know that knives are invaluable in a camping kitchen. That’s why Messermeister’s Overland Chef collection caught my eye; it includes a 4.5 inch utility knife as well as an 8 inch chef’s knife. Each knife features a Nitro B steel blade, which will hold its edge while being easy to restore, as well as a Micarta handle and leather sheath. Although these knives are designed for cooking on the go, I would buy them just as well for my kitchen at home.
Air mattress Luno 2.0
During my time in college as a painfully average mountain bike racer, I spent more than a few weekends camping in the back of my Volkswagen GTI. After folding down the rear seats and laying out a sleeping pad, I faced an uphill battle to get comfortable and keep things organized. Luckily, Luno’s inflatable air mattresses are custom made to fit your vehicle and quickly create a comfortable sleeping space. Luno also sells a handy magnetic storage bag that sticks to the outside of your vehicle – no more stinky shoes inside your car.
Leitner Designs ACS Forged Rack
Amid the crazy constructions that adorn the show grounds at Overland Expo, Leitner Designs racks and accessories have an iconic look that’s hard to miss. Known as the Active Cargo System (ACS), the “forged” variant of the rack can support up to 85 pounds of gear thanks to its one-piece aluminum alloy uprights and aluminum alloy mountings. custom steel. For those of you worried about drilling into your tailgate, the Forged ACS only has two brackets that require drilling holes in your vehicle. You’ll notice in the photo above that these racks are tall enough to allow room for a decked cargo system as well.
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