Not all the gear you buy, build, or bolt to on your Jeep is meant to increase horsepower, torque, traction, or outright performance of any kind. If that’s all you ever thought of, your rig would be great on the trail or a road trip for about an hour, if that. There is another side of that Jeep gear coin, which is the type of gear that makes your trips more comfortable and using your Jeep more convenient. No, we’re not talking about ‘rhoid pillows. We mean things such as ice chests, radios, axes, soft tops, and other products or equipment that won’t make your engine roar but will certainly make trail life more enjoyable. Here are 10 things we like having on or in our Jeeps to make trail rides more comfortable and convenient.
The Trasharoo hanging from the spare tire is a 30-gallon rubberized container that is very convenient to use for trail trash. The best part of the Trasharoo is that you don’t have to remember to clean the trash of your Jeep at the end of the day: the trash is all in one easy to empty and durable bag dangling on the back of your Jeep.
At a shade more than 3 feet wide, the Yeti Tundra 110 cooler was designed with the off-road community in mind and fits in the back like the Jeep was designed around it. With 2 inches of insulation and a freezer-style gasket, you won’t have to constantly top it off with ice (which is good, because you don’t pass too many convenience stores on the trail). Just prechill it, and your ice can last up to four or five days.
Mounted higher on the Rugged Ridge RRC bumper’s upper loop (so the lights can beam out better over the rugged terrain), the Rigid Industries D2 six-LED driving lights reach out to light up the trail at night. Mounted lower for less reflection in fog and snow, the D2 four-LED Rigid Industries Hyperspot lights are covered with amber lenses.
The Bestop Trektop NX gives the Wrangler a stylish fastback look and is designed to reduce flapping on the highway and minimize water puddling. The top can also be flipped back to open up the sky to the front passengers. You get protection from sun and rain when you need it and the wind through your hair when you want it. The Bestop paintable-skin half-doors also allow protection from road debris and a better view to the side so you can see trail obstacles easier.
These 7-inch United Pacific S2010LED Conversion Headlights are from Summit Racing, and we chose them because the Jeep’s front running lights and turn signals went away with the front fenders. Even though we had already installed small LED turn signals, the Jeep didn’t have any parking lights, so the turn signal control activates both sets of amber LEDs. The crystal lenses sparkle with halogen lighting to illuminate your way. The LED portion of these conversion lights is for parking lights and turn signals.
We had planned on having separate taillights and backup lights to replace the original boxy surface-mounted Jeep taillights, but then we saw these flush-mount Maxxima Hybrid 4-inch Round Lightnings Low Profile Red STT/Back (M85415R) lights. Twelve red LEDs operate high and low for taillights and turn signals. Twelve white LEDs are for the backup function. The unit comes with two standard female three-pin connectors attached and a built-in standard three-hole flange.
We have a Sport Bar Trail Bag from Rugged Ridge on both sides of the Jeep. This black zippered rectangular bag straps to the roll bar, can be mounted on either side, and is below the driver’s line of sight. These bags can be used to store just about anything from tools to trail snacks in a convenient and easy to reach location. Heavy-duty rubber floor mats from Rugged Ridge also protect and insulate the Jeep’s floorboards, and they’re easy to clean.
The Smittybilt Tire Repair Kit comes complete with everything you need to mend a punctured tire. Having one of these in your Jeep at all times is not only smart but also makes quick tire repairs on the trail convenient. Smittybilt’s Trail Axe is three tools in one with a survival kit and compass in its handle and includes the protective sheath. The machete’s 18-inch serrated stainless steel blade cuts through the deepest bush. The rubber handle is easy to grip for comfortable use. The M16 Smittybilt Tactical Rugged Utility Knife is a bayonet-style knife with a wire cutter and screwdriver tip (also includes a built-in sharpening stone).
For on-trail communications, a great choice is the Midland 1001LWX 40-channel CB digital tuner with a NOAA weather scanner. The radio automatically scans and locks on the strongest signal from the National Weather Service to bring you important weather information as you travel. The unit also shows incoming signal strength and transmission power. Its automatic noise limiter improves reception to a weak received signal, and the CB has a PA function.
Summit Racing offers heavy-duty vinyl tire covers in many sizes to fit many tire diameters and widths. The tire cover protects the spare tire from the sun, weather, mud, and dirt. Having to clean dirt or dried-out and crusty mud out of the stud-bolt holes before mounting up a spare tire when you’re on the trail just plain sucks.