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The Best Products for Your Next Expedition

Posted in How To: Tech Qa on January 11, 2017
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Photographers: Courtesy of Manufacturers

What do you get for the off-roader in your life who has everything? Shopping for them might be easier than you think, as their favorite gear wears out and new products come to market that they might not even know they needed until now. We skipped the coilover shocks and beadlock wheels in favor of items that most families can afford on a modest budget. If you are looking to purchase a complete suspension or set of tires for someone special this year, well, let us know if you are adopting!

Under $100

Kevin Tetz Paintucation DVDs From LMC Truck
Like to work on your own truck but looking for some tips from the pros? LMC offers a series of videos from Kevin Tetz on topics including body shop basics, body panel replacement, how to paint your car, metal prep and rust repair, and color sanding and buffing. The videos are available individually or as a set to help you repair and restore your vehicle’s body from start to finish. MSRP $29.95. Information: LMC Truck, 800.562.8782, lmctruck.com

Tread Lightly Membership
The biggest tires and strongest axles won’t do you any good if you have no place to use them. That is why a membership to a land advocacy organization, such as Tread Lightly, is such a good idea. For $25 you can get a one-year membership that includes a subscription to the Trails newsletter and discounts from Falken, Discount Tire, and Goal Zero that far exceed the membership price. MSRP $25. Information: Tread Lightly, 800.966.9900, treadlightly.org

Quadratec Tailgate Cargo Shelf
Looking for more storage in your JK? Quadratec’s cargo shelf safely stows tools and gear inside of your JK tailgate. The one-piece design is constructed from 11-gauge steel that is formed, welded, and finished with a textured black powdercoat. The shelf floor measures 19 3/4 by 7 3/4 inches with 3 1/4-inch-tall sides and has a capacity of 40 pounds. Installs easily with no drilling required. MSRP: $99.99. Information: Quadratec, 800.745.2348, quadratec.com

Daystar Dash Panel Cellphone Cradle
Upgrade your factory dash to sleek usable space with Daystar Products’ new upper dash panel and cellphone cradle. This panel offers recessed compartments for glasses, coins, and other treasures. The adjustable cradle fits current smartphones or GPS units and rotates 360 degrees, allowing you to safely talk, navigate, or record on- and off-road. MSRP $37.99. Information: Daystar Products, 800.595.7659, daystarweb.com

Warn Winching Gloves
Any time you are doing recovery or moving rocks it is a good idea to wear gloves. These Warn winch gloves are designed to protect your hands from the sharp barbs and abrasion that may occur when handling wire winch line. They are made from durable synthetic leather with Kevlar reinforcement to resist abrasion. The wrist and pull strap are neoprene, and the back has a terrycloth sweat wipe. MSRP $22.99. Information: Warn, 800.543.9276, warn.com

Summit Racing Equipment Steel Works Construction Toy Vehicles
Why should kids have all the fun? Bolt together a good time with these Steel Works Construction Kits from Summit. Take your choice of a 4x4, dune buggy, or dump truck—each kit has a steel chassis components, body panels, and hardware; chunky plastic wheels and tires; free-spinning bearings; and more. The kits also come with tools and step-by-step instructions. When you're finished, take it apart and build something new! MSRP $19.97. Information: Summit Racing Equipment, 800.230.3030, summitracing.com

Synergy Manufacturing Grab Handles
Synergy Jeep Wrangler (JK, TJ, LJ, YJ) Grab Handles are manufactured from high-quality 1-inch, 0.083-wall DOM tubing. A powdercoat finish eliminates corrosion that can occur under extreme elements. Each pair of handles includes all the hardware necessary for a quick and easy installation. Grab handles are compatible with both hard and soft tops. MSRP $90. Information: Synergy Manufacturing, 805.242.0397, synergymfg.com

Rubicon Express Monotube Steering Stabilizer
The all-new Rubicon Express 36mm monotube steering stabilizer is the ideal bolt-on replacement for your Jeep Wrangler JK OE unit. It features a monotube gas pressure design that eliminates foaming and cavitation. Designed to aid in reducing steering vibration and wear and tear of your steering components. The finish features a durable powdercoat finish for long-lasting good looks. MSRP $79.99. Information: Rubicon Express, 877.367.7824, rubiconexpress.com

Bestop Sun Bikini
The Bestop Sun Bikini gives you sun coverage while also letting you savor the open-air experience. It is an easy-to-install interior sun shade and will not interfere with your regular soft or hard top. You never have to remove it. Offering filtered sunlight or complete shade, the Sun Bikini straps easily into the factory windshield header loops and the center sport bar. MSRP $79.99 and up. Information: Bestop, 800.845.3567, bestop.com

Poison Spyder LED License Plate & Third Brake Light
On many modified Jeeps the license plate has been relocated from its stock mount, which also requires a solution for illuminating the plate at night. Likewise, aftermarket spare tire carriers often delete the stock third brake light, also requiring some sort of a replacement to remain legal. The Poison Spyder LED license plate and third brake light solves both problems by providing high-intensity, low-power-draw LED lights for both the license plate and the third brake light, on a single compact, great-looking package. MSRP $39.99. Information: Poison Spyder Customs, 951.849.5911, poisonspyder.com

Fabtech Stealth Series Shocks
Stealth monotube shocks are built for vehicles with oversized tires to provide superior ride quality both on- and off-road. Each shock features a 46mm high-flow piston and a Nitrocarburized piston rod for excellent durability and corrosion resistance. The Nitrocarb rod and shock body is finished in black for a complete “blackout” shock package. MSRP $69.99 and up. Information: Fabtech, 877.432.2832, fabtechmotorsports.com

M.O.R.E. Exterior Door Peg
Need a step up or a place to rest your foot? M.O.R.E.’s exterior door peg fits on the hinge of your 2007 or later Jeep Wrangler JK when you take your doors off. Easy to install. Includes all necessary nuts and bolts. Powdercoated black for durability and visual appeal. Sold individually, driver or passenger side. MSRP $81.37. Information: Mountain Off-Road Enterprises, 877.JEEP.A2Z, mountainoffroad.com

Husky X-act Contour Floor Liners
The Husky Liners X-act Contour perfectly matches the contours of your truck or SUV and brings together indestructible strength with a soft, comfortable cushion. Add to that a premium look and our exclusive features and you’ve got liner gold. The FormFit Design process perfectly forms each liner to the specific contours of your vehicle. Stay-Put cleats keep the liner from shifting around underfoot. Punch it, slap it, flick it, kick it. MSRP $64.95 and up. Information: Husky Liners, 800.344.8759, huskyliners.com

Pittsburg 6-Ton Jackstands
The combined weight of these two heavy-duty jackstands is under 14 pounds, yet they can support and hold even the biggest of rigs. These jackstands feature an adjustable height from 14 1/2 inches to a maximum of 23 3/4 inches to easily position under your vehicle for repair work or storage. Portable and tough, these heavy-duty jackstands are the perfect addition to any garage or auto shop. MSRP $39.99. Information: Harbor Freight, 800.423.2567, harborfreight.com

Gorilla Clear Repair Tape
The toughest, clearest repair tape on the market, Gorilla’s Clear Repair is the ideal solution for almost any repair, from a cracked smartphone screen to broken headlights or torn plastic, such as soft top windows. With an extra-thick adhesive layer and tough, ultraclear backing, Gorilla Clear Repair is a translucent, durable bond to repair almost any surface. MSRP $6.99. Information: Gorilla Tape, 800.966.3458, gorillatough.com

Premier Power Welder Learn to Weld DVD
Knowledge is a gift that lasts forever. If you want to be prepared to weld on the trail, pick up Premier Power Welder’s Learn to Weld DVD. Experienced welding instructor Michael Vanvakaris explains to Rick Russell exactly how to weld on the trail, beginning with the basics on the safety equipment needed. Then it’s on to preparation, electrode types (rods), striking an ARC, and welding patterns. MSRP $20. Information: Premier Power Welder, 800.541.1817, premierpowerwelder.com

Spidertrax Wheel Spacers
Spidertrax wheel spacers are a great way to increase the track width of your rig to prevent rubbing. The company has been providing the off-road market with quality wheel spacers since 1999 with vehicle specific designs, aluminum anodizing for critical corrosion resistance, and a no-risk money back guarantee. All Spidertrax wheel spacer kits come complete with two 6061-T6 anodized aluminum wheel spacers, preinstalled wheel studs, lug nuts, and thread locker. Proudly manufactured in the USA. MSRP $99. Information: Spidertrax, 800.286.0898, spidertrax.com

ORS Waterproof Adventure Bag
Keeping gear clean and dry is a critical part of any trip to the outback, but traditional waterproof storage bags just don’t meet the needs of active outdoor enthusiasts. Off-Road Solutions now offers the Adventure Bag, a compact waterproof storage solution that is packed with features and attachment points to suit any active outdoor activity, whether it’s kayaking, hiking, or off-roading. MSRP $85. Information: Off-Road Solutions, 901.231.5071, ors4x4.com

BOLT JK Hood Lock
BOLT (Breakthrough One-key Lock Technology) now offers a Jeep hood lock that fits all 2007 and newer Jeep JK models. The lock uses the same key as your ignition, eliminating key clutter while also being a strong deterrent against theft and tampering. It easily installs into preexisting holes. MSRP $53.99. Information: BOLT, 844.972.7547, boltlock.com

MasterCraft Safety Pocket Roll-Up
Constructed from rugged 100 percent cotton duck canvas, these MasterCraft Safety organizers fit open-end/box wrenches and close with a hook-and-loop strap. Available in two different sizes in either black or red, they are an excellent way to keep your tools clean, organized, and rattle-free on the trail. MSRP $29.95. Information: MasterCraft Safety, 800.565.4042, mastercraftsafety.com

Power Practical Luminoodle LED Light
The Luminoodle provides bright, spread-out light to see your surroundings. It is flexible, waterproof, dustproof, and powered by any USB battery or power source. The Luminoodle comes with universal ties, embedded magnets, a utility loop, and a lantern bag so you can stick, strap, hook, or hang it to add light to your night. Available in 5- and 10-foot lengths. MSRP $19.99 and up. Information: Power Practical, 801.335.5064, powerpractical.com

Stanley Classic Stein
Stand out from the crowds and keep your beverage of choice ice cold or toasty warm with your very own Stanley Classic vacuum-insulated stein. The latching lid with steel inner lining keeps your drink safe from debris, carbonated, and tasting great longer. Most important, it retains temperature for nine hours. Dishwasher safe and made from 18/8 stainless steel that’s naturally BPA free, this stein, as well as all Stanley products, carries a satisfaction guaranteed Built for Life lifetime warranty. MSRP $39.99. Information: Stanley, stanley-pmi.com


$100-$200

Leatherman Crunch
Locking pliers that fold away make the Leatherman Crunch unlike any multitool available today. The Crunch clamps up to a 1-inch-diameter tube, and if you remove the adjusting screw you will find a hex-bit adapter built right in. With 15 tools, including locking blades that release with the push of a button, the Crunch will take a bite out of any job. MSRP $110.85. Information: Leatherman, 800.847.8665, leatherman.com

Rust-oleum Truck Bedliner
Rust-Oleum’s truck bedliner kit is a two-component epoxy/rubber based product designed for maximum protection and easy do-it-yourself application. This easy-to-apply coating can be used to recoat and restore worn, unfinished, or previously finished metal truck beds. It is an extremely durable coating that protects against truck bed damage caused by scratches, rust, and weather while enhancing the appearance of the vehicle. MSRP: $143. Information: Rust-Oleum, 877.385.8155, rustoleum.com

Rancho RockGEAR Oil Pan Skidplate
Rancho’s oil pan skidplate protects the oil pan in your Jeep from direct contact with rocks and other obstacles on the trail. Constructed from 1/8-inch-thick steel with a distinctive red powdercoat finish, the skidplate installs easily over the factory oil plan to protect it while maintaining drain plug access. Rancho’s RockGear oil plan skidplate is available for 3.8L and 3.6L V-6 engines used in 2007 and later Jeep Wranglers. MSRP $129.99 and up. Information: Rancho, 734.384.7804, gorancho.com

Pittsburgh 4-Ton Floor Jack
This 4-ton steel floor jack features a lifting range from 4 to 20 1/2 inches to elevate your 4x4 in only 3 1/2 pumps! A protective foam bumper on the floor jack keeps your vehicle or materials from being damaged while lifting or lowering. With a knurled aluminum handle for a steady grip and a solid, welded steel construction, this rapid-pump floor jack is built for comfort and heavy use. MSRP $129.99. Information: Harbor Freight, 800.423.2567, harborfreight.com

Classic Tube StopFlex DOT Brake Hoses
Classic Tube offers StopFlex stainless steel DOT braided brake hoses featuring a three-layer design with applications for stock and modified 4x4s. A Teflon core with a PTFE liner is followed by a stainless steel braid and a clear outer vinyl cover. These hoses have reliable weight-saving crimp/swage fittings that exceed industry standards. Use for brake and clutch applications to eliminate the spongy pedal feel and provide greater braking efficiency and clutch operation. MSRP $199 for a complete kit. Information: Classic Tube, 800.882.3711, classictube.com

Offroad Design Steering Box Brace
The straight-axle GM trucks are notorious for frame cracks in the steering box mounting area. This kit from Offroad Design is designed to prevent that problem by eliminating the frame flex caused by increased steering loads like lifts, big tires, and off-road use. The bolt-on brackets triangulate the mounting area to stiffen it up before it breaks. If the frame is already broken, ORD also offers a weld-on repair kit. MSRP $115 and up. Information: Offroad Design, 970.945.7777, offroaddesign.com

Optima Digital 400 Battery Charger
The Optima Digital 400 automatically maximizes battery life and performance with Optima’s built-in battery health mode, which can recover discharged batteries that others cannot. LED indicators prompt user for quick and easy selection of charge and maintain profiles by battery type including AGM and standard flooded batteries. MSRP $119.17. Information: Optima Battery, 888.867.8462, optimabatteries.com

AEV ProCal Module
Planning out modifications on a JK? Don’t forget the AEV ProCal Module! This essential tool provides JK owners an easy, low-cost way to make many useful changes not offered by dealers or any other reprogrammer, such as correcting the speedometer and gear ratio when larger tires are installed. MSRP $170. Information: American Expedition Vehicles, 248.926.0256, aev-conversions.com

Napier Sportz Cove Awning
Experience more enjoyment from your everyday outdoor adventures with the new Sportz Cove! The Sportz Cove is a compact, lightweight awning that attaches to the back of your SUV or minivan. It provides shade and shelter while you’re on the go for any adventure. The universal attachment sleeve seamlessly connects to your mid- to fullsize SUV, creating additional shade and comfort and making it the ultimate vehicle accessory. The compact and lightweight package is perfect to keep behind the seat for any unexpected adventure. MSRP $129.99. Information: Napier, 800.567.2434, napieroutdoors.com


Over $200

Painless Trail Rocker System With Overhead 6-Switch Box
Your only weather resistant option for controlling up to eight accessories on your JK Jeep. This kit mounts six LED switches overhead using existing mounting holes. The power center includes a bolt-on bracket to mount under the hood with 200 amps of fused protection. Easily installed with a detailed instructions and plug-n-play design, the high-quality TXL output wiring is included, allowing you to avoid the inferior wire provided with some accessories. MSRP $499.99. Information: Painless Performance, 888.350.6588, painlessperformance.com

MetalCloak JK Tire Carrier
The MetalCloak Jeep JK tire carrier holds an oversized tire securely with a tub-mounted, rectangular tube exoskeleton structure linking your tire to your Jeep. The machined reinforcing billet brackets add the needed strength to the factory hinges. This system works flawlessly using the OEM gate handle to open, requiring no additional latching mechanism, and mounts in factory locations for an easy installation with simple handtools. MSRP: $599. Information: MetalCloak, 916.631.8071, metalcloak.com

G2 Brute Differential Covers
G2’s aluminum differential covers are engineered to protect your ring-and-pinion by cooling the gear oil, as well as providing additional protection from impact. Made from heat-treated aluminum, these covers have internal and external cooling fins that help dissipate the heat from your oil. The Brute differential cover comes coated with a premium UV-stable powdercoat for a superior finish. The covers include a magnetic dipstick and drain plug and all necessary stainless steel hardware. MSRP $249.99. Information: G2 Axle & Gear, 877.852.7720, g2axle.com

ARB AR21 Intensity LED Light
The new 7-inch AR21 Intensity LED driving light is available in either spot or flood beam configuration. With 21 LEDs, the performance really packs a punch considering the compact size, while utilizing cutting-edge technology and designs pioneered by the AR32 Intensity LED models. MSRP $485.99. Information: ARB USA, 866.293.9078, arbusa.com

Miller Digital Elite Helmets
Miller recently released two new graphics to the Digital Elite Series Helmet line up: Blue Flame and Hot Rod Garage. The helmets feature a 9.22-square-inch viewing area, four operating modes, four arc sensors for superior lens response, and auto-on/off power control that triggers the lens at the strike of an arc. MSRP $317. Information: Miller Electric, 920.734.9821, millerwelds.com

sPOD Power Distribution
With the growing demand for high-power distribution, sPOD has designed and engineered a system that is fully programmable to link switches, flash, strobe, dim, and momentary. Ultimate control for 12-volt electrical accessories such as light bars, lockers, air compressors, fans, fridges, air horns, undercarriage lighting, and more. MSRP $435 and up. Information: sPOD, 661.775.7799, 4x4s-POD.com

RuffStuff Heim Steering Kit
RuffStuff's 7/8-inch Heim Steering Kit uses heat treated 7/8-inch chromoly rod ends and 1.5x0.250-wall DOM tubing for extreme strength and reliability. Hex head tube adapters allow for easy tuning and adjustment on off-road rigs that are subjected to extreme conditions. MSRP $250. RuffStuff Specialties, 916.600.1945, ruffstuffspecialties.com

Evo Manufacturing Pro Series Hinged Gate Carrier
Lift kits and larger tires have become the norm on the Jeep Wrangler JK, while the factory tire carrier and tailgate were never intended to handle the loads associated with larger tires. Evo Manufacturing’s JK Pro Series hinged gate carrier is a body-mounted tire carrier made from laser-cut 3/16-inch steel that is designed to allow you to carry up to a 37-inch-tall tire while retaining your vehicle’s one-handed, easy access to the rear cargo area. MSRP $629.99 and up. Information: Evo Manufacturing, 714.879.8913, evomfg.com

Bulldog Claw LED Lights
The Bulldog Claws are a compact floodlight that is great for use as rock lights, interior lighting, or anywhere else you need extra light. They easily mount using the supplied screws our doubled-sided tape, and they wire directly to your battery using the supplied harness. Claws are available in a variety of colors to customize your vehicle to your specific taste. MSRP $309 for a four-pack. Information: Bulldog LED Lighting, 855.533.2855, bulldogledlighting.com

Fab Fours Grumper
The Fab Fours Grumper offers a revolutionary combination of both grille and winch bumper. Fully customizable with four removable inserts, this aggressive yet sophisticated piece is sure to change the way we look at bumpers going forward for the Jeep JK. It is available in full-width and stubby options, both of which are winch compatible and include D-ring mounts and turn signals. MSRP $1,375 and up. Information: Fab Fours, 866.385.1905, fabfours.com

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