Staff Favorites: Gear Each of Us Wouldn’t Want To Live Without
Douglas McColloch, Editor
Price: $409.95 (Model PT-15)
Ever-changing government regs may make it difficult for us to precisely control our vehicles’ carbon footprint, but one thing we can control is our 4x4’s rubber footprint—specifically, the amount of tread that’s in contact with terra firma. On most trails, more is generally better, and to aid with airing down our tires, there are a number of quite good deflators on the market. But what happens at the end of the day, when you need to air up before hitting the pavement home? Enter the Power Tank, an onboard, super-high-pressure (200 psi), fast-flowing (40 cfm) CO2 air supply that should be considered a must-have on any trail rig. Available in a variety of capacities and flow ratings, the PT-15 model (PT-10 model shown) is likely the optimal tank for most wheelers: It’s only 36 pounds in weight and 30 inches high, so it doesn’t take up a lot of space; it can be mounted just about anywhere, including your ’cage (using Power Tank’s optional rollbar clamps); and it can pump 30 pounds of air into twenty (!) 35x12.50 tires, all on a single tankload, in under 45 seconds per tire, so you can air up your buddies as well as yourself, quickly.
Sean P. Holman, Tech Editor
ARB Fridge Freezer
Price: $799.99 (street price)
Once you have had the pleasure of camping with the ARB Fridge Freezer, you won’t want to go back to a cooler. The Fridge Freezer, now comes in four sizes (37-quart, 50-quart, 63-quart, and 82-quart), but I am still partial to the original 50-quart size. It is big enough for a weekend’s worth of perishables, takes up no more space than a large cooler and eliminates the problem with sloshing ice and soggy sandwiches. And for those really dusty days on the trail, I can fit 72 12-ounce Dr. Pepper cans inside. The Fridge Freezer temperature can be set through the electronic control panel also has an incredibly low amp draw, ensuring that you can camp for a couple of days without having to start the rig up to top off the battery. Yep, nothing like surprising your group with a box of ice cream bars after a long, hot day in the backcountry.
Ken Brubaker, Senior Editor
Agri-Cover SnowSport HD Utility Plow
Price: Prices start at $1,450
Living in an area that gets snow means you have to push it out of the way. A few years ago, I began using the SnowSport HD Utility Plow, and it has become one the most useful tools on my truck. The SnowSport is about half the cost of other plows and it comes with everything needed including the vehicle-specific mount. There’s no hydraulics or anything like that, so installation is easy. It’s amazing how much of the white stuff the SnowSport will move. It just makes sense to put my 4x4 to work and it sure is nice not to have to sit out in the cold on a tractor or pay someone to plow the snow.
Robin Stover, Feature Editor
Mac’s Custom Tie Downs Trail D-Vice
I think the Trail D-Vice from Mac’s Custom Tie Downs is the ultimate trail companion for anyone with a receiver hitch. It simply makes sense to have a vise to hold items while attempting trail repairs in the outback. The product features an assortment of ultra-smart attributes that you don’t even know you need until the time comes to use them. For instance, got a stubborn bar pin to press in or out of a shock bushing? The D-Vice saves the day by allowing you to clamp said parts together much like the way you would with a hydraulic press. Need a hard flat surface to hammer some flexibility into the end of a stiff heater hose? The D-Vice includes a handy flat surface that is eager to take a beating. Need a way to tighten up that 25⁄16-inch hitch ball on that new drop hitch? Simply clamp the ball into the aggressive pipe jaws of the D-Vice and tighten away—with both hands on one wrench. I could go on and on about the many uses of the Mac’s D-Vice, but until you own one, you simply won’t understand the versatility this particular tool adds to your arsenal.