July 26, 2018
Overland Expo is "the world's most unique event for do-it-yourself adventure travel enthusiasts." If you're looking for a safe place to drool all over badass overland rigs and check out all the latest overland gear, look no further. With hundreds of the top brands from around the world, informative classes, live demos, and tens of thousands of like-minded overland enthusiasts, it's no wonder it's one of the most highly-anticipated overlanding events of the year. Click here to learn more about Overland Expo.
Most people come to Overland Expo for the overland vehicles, but our favorite thing to do each year is learn about all the innovative new overlanding gear hitting the market. Keep reading if you want to learn more about the best overland gear and equipment we discovered this year.
Skottle grills have taken the overland community by storm over the last few years. These super handy cast iron camping woks run on propane and have different cooking zones allowing you to throw everything on all at once and alternate as needed. When you're done cooking, just wipe off your skottle, pack it up, and toss it in your rig ($185-395). These bad boys are a great addition to your camp kitchen setup if you've already got a 2 burner stove.
This camping oven is powered completely by the sun! Similar to a crock pot, just prep your ingredients in the morning, toss everything in the oven, and go explore while your meal simmers to perfection. The Solavore oven absorbs the sun's energy throughout the day and traps it in, creating a mini-greenhouse effect. ($287 with reflector, $244 without). Looking for a more traditional propane setup? Check out this portable oven with 2-burner stove.
Constructed from laser cut 11 gauge steel, this flat-packing little camping grill-fire pit combo is all you need to cook over an open flame in the middle of nowhere. Rumor has it, these things were so popular, they sold out halfway through the show last year. ($149-219)
Decked makes some of the nicest sliding storage systems we've seen. They're light, strong, convenient, and made from recycled materials. (Starting at $1079) These drawer systems are so awesome, we even designed our high-performance camping sink to fit perfectly inside.
The folks at Aluminess make some pretty badass bumpers and racks, but their overland storage boxes are what caught our eye this year. Specifically, this swinging Deluxe Box on the back of a Four Wheel Camper with some really nice 1UP Products bike loading racks mounted on top. ($675 for the box, $189 per rack)
There were several awesome campervan outfitters at Overland Expo, but the one that really stood out was Adventure Wagon. Their Adwag Modular System is a standardized interior kit that comes with insulation, fans, power outlets, and tons of L-Track for easy plug-n-play seating, storage, and bed configurations. Buy a fully outfitted van, have them outfit the one you already own, or rent one to try before you buy.
2018 Update: After seeing all the innovation in the campervan conversion space, we couldn't resist developing our own all-in-one kitchen and sink solution, The TK Van Kitchen. Considering a DIY campervan conversion? Check it out!
Mount this aluminum tube directly to your roof racks and let the sun passively heat water wherever you go. Pressurize it with a bike pump and use it to take a shower, clean off your gear, or wash the dishes ($300-400). Looking for more ways to make a splash? Check out our growing collection of high-performance camping water systems.
Raise or lower your truck's camper shell above the rim of the bed with the push of a button. This nifty 12V system was originally designed to accommodate larger loads like ATVs, but their Weekender Camper Package, pictured here, seals up like a tent, making it a pretty neat alternative to a cab-over camper. (Starting at $1300)
Our very own overland kitchen with sink turned out to be a big hit at the show. Throw it in the back of your Jeep, SUV, or Subaru and bring this self-contained unit wherever you go for the ultimate off-grid experience. At Trail Kitchens we're dedicated to creating the best camp kitchen setup for every overlanding rig on the planet, so the Jeep JK was a natural starting place ($2490)
This all new CVT Trailer is outfitted with 31" tires, 3500HD Timbren axles, LEDs, and a locking tailgate. Toss all your gear inside the main compartment of this overland trailer and attach your rooftop tent to the racks on top of the aluminum lid. ($6800)
These efficient little hot water and cooker systems from South Africa run off of propane and can be used for showering, washing dishes, and anything else that requires hot water. Some of them even convert into single-burner camping stoves. The whole unit weighs less than 10 lbs and comes with a 12V pump and hose to attach to a jerry can. (Starting at $350)
Gear Aid makes lots of awesome products that can be used for overlanding, and this LED light + power station is no exception. Use it to light up your vehicle or campsite, all while charging your tech gadgets via USB. They also sell some really handy GoPro-style suction cups and magnetic mounts that allow super convenient, 100% hands-free illumination. ($50-150)
Made from weather resistant silicone and woven fiberglass, the Campfire Defender prevents sparks and embers from leaving the fire while protecting your fire and fire-pit from inclement weather. It also controls the burn rate of the wood in the campfire, prolonging the life of the coals for up to 8 hours. ($140-250)
There are lots of freeze dried food options out there, but few are as healthy as Thrive Life. These guys have everything: fruits, veggies, dairy, meats, grains, sauces, seasonings, and beverages, you name it. Use them as meal toppings, mix them together to create complete meals, or just eat them right out of the bag. They're lightweight, ultra-convenient, and they last forever. ($5-15 average)
Coffee made specifically for overlanding? You betcha! And boy did this stuff hit the spot after 3 long days under the hot Arizona sun. These single serving pour over style packets rest on the rim of your mug and hold 16 grams of coffee grinds, resulting in an extremely fresh and delicious cup o joe that all your friends will envy. ($11.25 for 5)
Trails Offroad is an online directory of over 2,000 off-road trails around the US. Each trail has its own page, complete with a detailed description, helpful stats, photos, and an awesome map. There's also an option to download GPX files, which is especially cool. (Free)
This is one handy piece of overland vehicle equipment. Attach this ultralight self-recovery anchor to trees, rocks, or bury it in the ground to winch yourself out of a variety of sticky situations. ($160)
Nomad America rents all-terrain 4X4 expedition vehicles to people traveling in Costa Rica. Their rigs are ideal for local roads (i.e., Jeep Wranglers, Land Rover Defenders, Toyota FJ Cruisers and Tacomas/Hilux, etc.) and come fully-equipped with camping, cooking, and sports gear, giving you an all-inclusive road trip around some of the most wild and scenic parts of Central America. (Starting at $55/day)
Got any experience with any of these overlanding products? Have a question about one? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!
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