The Best Gear from Overland Expo

May 31, 2017 0 Comments

people and vehicles checking out  overland expo west 2017 in flagstaff arizona at fort tuthill county park

Overland Expo is the ultimate trade show for people interested in overland rigs, expedition-quality gear, and everything in between. With over 250 exhibitors from around the world, informative classes, live product demos, a film festival, on-site camping, and plenty of food and beverage vendors, it's one of the biggest and best overlanding events in the world. We brought the whole Trail Kitchens team to Flagstaff, AZ this year, so we were able to get out and see a lot more than usual. Here's a collection of the best overlanding gear we came across at Overland Expo West 2017.

Overland Cooking Equipment & Food Products

Tembo Tusk: The Skottle Grill

tembo tusk skottle overland grills extreme duty
Skottles were all the rage this year at Overland Expo. These cast iron wok-style cooking discs 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, just wipe it off, pack it up, and toss it in your rig. ($185-395)

Fold-A-Flame: Portable Fire Pit & Grill

overland expo best seller fold-a-flame portable grill and firepit for off-the-grid adventures
Constructed from laser cut 11 gauge steel, this flat-packing little 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. ($149-219)

Solavore: Solar Slow-Cook Oven

solavore solar slow cooker oven
This 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 oven absorbs the sun's energy throughout the day and traps it in, creating a mini-greenhouse effect. ($287 with reflector, $244 without)

Thrive Life: Healthy Freeze Dried & Dehydrated Food

thrive life dehydrated food for outdoor adventures and off-grid camping pre packaged for overland expo
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)

Overland Coffee Company: Pour Over Coffee Packets

overland coffee company pour over single service coffee pouches at overland expo
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)

Expedition Vehicle Add-ons 

Decked: Gear Storage Drawers for Trucks & Cargo Vans

decked truck bed storage system for tools and overland gear
Decked makes some of the nicest sliding storage systems on the market. They're light, strong, convenient, and made from recycled materials. We think these drawer systems are so awesome that some of our products are designed to fit perfectly inside. (Starting at $1079)

Aluminess Products: Storage Box w/Dual Bike Rack

aluminess deluxe box on rear of truck with camper and mountain bike rack attachment from 1up
The folks at Aluminess make some pretty badass bumpers and racks, but their 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)

Road Shower: Roof-Mounted Solar Shower

road shower air compressed solar shower for your roof racks
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)

Topper EZ Lift: 12V Truck Cap Lift System

topper ez lift truck cap lifts powered by 12v with camping add-on
Raise or lower your topper 17.5" above the rim of your truck 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)

Trail Kitchens: Wrangler Camping System

trail kitchens wrangler camp kitchen and portable water system for jeeps suvs and subarus
Our very own slide-out camp kitchen-water system combo 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. ($2490)

Cascadia Vehicle Tents: The CVT Trailer

cascadia vehicle tents CVT trailer with rooftop tent and durable storage for multi-day off road exploration
This beefy new edition to the CVT catalog is outfitted with 31" tires, 3500HD Timbren axles, LEDs, and a locking tailgate. Toss all your gear inside the main compartment and attach your rooftop tent to the racks on top of the aluminum lid. ($6800)

Off-Grid Campsite Essentials

Kariba Products: Portable Propane Shower + Stove

kariba portable gas powered shower system demo booth at overland expo 2017
These efficient little units 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 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: Power Stations w/Rechargeable LED Lights

gear aid powerbanks with led lights and gopro style mounts for convenient lighting on the go
Gear Aid has makes lots of awesome outdoor products, 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)

Campfire Defender: Fireproof Blanket for Campfire Management

campfire defender campfire safety system tarp to put out campfires
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)

Other Innovative Stuff

Adventure Wagon: Insanely Modular Sprinter Van Kits

adventure wagon custom sprinter van conversion kits for outdoor exploration completely modular l track
There were several awesome sprinter van 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. Online Directory of 4x4 Trails

trails offroad website for 4x4 trails online directory for overlanders
Trails Offroad is an online directory of over 2,000 offroad 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)

Deadman Offroad: Deadman Earth Anchor

deadman earth anchor recovery system from deadman offroad
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. These guys have a Kickstarter campaign going on that ends June 11th, so if you're looking to get in early and beef-up your recovery kit, definitely check them out. ($160)

Nomad America: Adventure Vehicle Rentals in Costa Rica

nomad america booth at overland expo west 2017adventure vehicle rentals in costa rica
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 products? Have a question about one? Let us know in the comments below. 

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