40 Holiday Gift Ideas - Gear For Your JeepPosted in Product Reviews on November 27, 2013
Happy or merry whatever!
With each passing year, it seems like the month of December is stuffed more than a Thanksgiving turkey—there are religious festivities, nonreligious festivities, festivals of festivities, festivities of festivals, and so on. But what it all really boils down to isn't special time spent with family and loved ones—it's gift-getting season! And to help you get ready for the month ahead and to sort out what should be on your wish list, we've put together 40 gift ideas that we'd like to get and what we think you and your Jeep also need and want to get.
1. Coker Tires
Why It's a Good Gift: I have lots of vintage Jeeps, ranging from military to simply old classics, and Coker has a tire for each one. Although I'd be tempted to get myself a set of military-spec NDTs, some tubes, and flaps for my M-170 army ambulance, I think ultimately I'd rather have some 12-15 STA Trailbreaker vintage off-road tires for my CJ-6.
How Much: $336 each
Where: Coker Tire, 800/959-6700, cokertire.com
2. Vintage Seats
Why It's a Good Gift: Most of my really older Jeeps have missing or completely worn seats. High-back suspension seats are nice, but just don't fit the period-correct vibe I'm going for with some of those builds. Simple low-back, nonreclining bucket seats from Smittybilt in classic black vinyl are like bacon; they go with everything.
How Much: $129 each
Where: Smittybilt, 888/717-5797, smittybilt.com
3. Powerbraid Wire Wrap
Why It's a Good Gift: Other than simply cinching them together with zip-ties, I've never paid much attention to making my underhood wiring look good. Painless Powerbraid comes in several different precut lengths, and can handle up to 425 degrees, to clean up and help protect your wiring nightmare. A couple different diameter bundles would do me just fine.
How Much: Pricing varies by diameter, but it'll run you around $20
Where: Painless Performance Products, 800/423-9696, painlessperformance.com
4. Onboard Air
Why It's a Good Gift: Cause no matter what, compressed air is just one of those things you need on or after just about any wheeling trip. And if you don't, you can be sure one of the people you're wheeling with will. Viair offers its 400C Heavy Duty (2.54 cfm) or 450C Constant Duty (1.66 cfm) in a complete kit form that includes everything you need to mount and plumb the compressor in your Jeep. No chasing down small parts. The company even has a kit to fit the tight underhood confines of a JK Wrangler, mounting the compressor to the brake booster with a supplied bracket.
How Much: In the $400 range
Where: Viair, 888/618-1998, viair.com
5. Tool Box
Why It's a Good Gift: No matter how much tool storage you currently have, you'll fill it…and then some. I've got two large rollaways plus a wall of shelves and drawers and I still don't have enough room to store all the tools I've accumulated. Harbor Freight offers pretty darn good toolboxes at the best prices around. While its 26-inch eight-drawer roller with top cabinet for $299.99 would be tempting (PN 67831), I'd go for the company's 56-inch 11-drawer industrial cabinet and would use the top as an auxiliary workbench.
How Much: $799.99
Where: Harbor Freight Tools, 800/423-2567, harborfreight.com
6. Sweet Cooler
Why It's a Good Gift: Coolers are like socks. You can never have too many and enough different styles. Well, technically all my socks are white, but you get the message. I've cheaped-out on coolers my whole life. Just once I'd like to have a real quality one like the Yeti Roadie 20 with extra insulation, an O-ring gasket, steel handle, heavy-duty latches, and all the other top-flight components and specs that make Yeti one of the best coolers on the planet.
How Much: $229.99
Where: Yeti Coolers, 512/394-9384, yeticoolers.com
7. Tire Repair Kit
Why It's a Good Gift: Murphy's Law happens…frequently…and especially to Jeepers. From a simple nail through the carcass to a gashed sidewall, nobody is harder on tires than off-roaders. Power Tank has put together one of the best tire repair kits on the market (PN KIT-8132). Cleanly housed in a durable high-impact storage box, the kit includes aluminum-handle tools (light weight), plugs, patches, wire to sew up sidewall gashes, valve core tool, lube, razor knife, needle-nose pliers, and more. It's everything you'll need to affect a tire repair in the bush.
How Much: $39.95
Where: Power Tank, 209/366-2163, powertank.com
8. Night Light
Why It's a Good Gift: Normally, I've been happy with the stock sealed-beam lights powered by a wheezy old 35-amp alternator. But recently I got to drive some really high-end Jeeps equipped with low-amperage, high-performance LED lights. The LEDs pull less power than the sealed beam and emit a ferocious amount of light for safer and more enjoyable off-roading. They come in all shapes, sizes, styles, and configurations, but I suddenly have a hankering for a roof-mounted LED bar like the Anzo USA Rugged Vision (PN 881029).
How Much: $843.99
Where: Auto Anything, 888/591-8561, autoanything.com
9. Dewalt Cordless Electronic Impact Gun
Why It's a Good Gift: We kind of laughed at the guys who always went for these things right out of the gate, but now that we have one, we use the heck out of it, too. No airline to drag behind, trip over, or leak, just a charged battery and we're good to go. Most people have their own preference for power tools and for cordless tools, and we trend toward Dewalt. It easily gets bolts as tight as our air-powered impact gun and has no problems breaking stuff loose. We've even managed to snap bolts with it. Not only is it a great tool to have in the junkyard, it's useful on the trail, and we use it at home way more than we thought we would.
How Much: $199
Where: Dewalt, 800/433-9258, dewalt.com
10. Power Tank
Why It's a Good Gift: Not all of us have Jeeps that we can just bolt an extra compressor to the engine. Many of us aren't huge fans of electric compressors, and what if you've got more than one Jeep? Outfitting them all with onboard air gets really expensive really quick. With one Power Tank and multiple mounting brackets you can easily outfit every Jeep with air. Plus a Power Tank can flow more cfm which better allows running air tools and it easily fits behind the back seat in many Jeeps. And with a Power Tank, reseating beads is much easier than it is with a compressor-driven system.
How Much: Around $500
Where: Power Tank, 209/366-2163, powertank.com
11. Bestop Frameless Soft Top
Why It's a Good Gift: Also known as the Trektop NX, it features factory-style surrounds and a Sunrider sunroof feature unlike many competitors. With the rear windows pulled out, the top becomes a bikini top. The factory door surrounds are hard to find if you're moving over from a hardtop, which makes Bestop's polymer surrounds nice to have. Also, the top features Bestop's top-of-the-line fabric and a "Top Arch Bar" to reduce flapping and overall noise. The top comes with tinted rear windows standard and no upper doors. We also like the fastback look of the bowless setup. Available for all '97-present Wranglers.
How Much: About $653
Where: Bestop, 800/845-3567, bestop.com
12. Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
Why It's a Good Gift: An Android phone with Ip-67 rating, it's dustproof and water-resistant up to 1 meter for up to a half hour. But note the operative word there: the Active version. For those of us who use our phones as GPS units in our Jeeps, this is one that we don't have to worry about rain, snow, or mud getting into. While the 5-inch screen isn't a tablet size, it is still big enough to use in a Jeep while moving (off-road only of course). Add to that, the LED display can actually be seen in direct sunlight (as opposed to most AMOLEDs), which makes it great if we aren't running even a bikini top (on the Jeep).
How Much: Likely between $150-$500
Where: Samsung, 855/726-8721, samsung.com
13. Lincoln Electric Power MIG
Why It's a Good Gift: At some point in every Jeeper's life, drilling and bolting just aren't going to cut it anymore and melting metal becomes a necessity. If your Jeeper doesn't already have a welder, they'll never forget receiving one as a gift. While we lean toward welders that can run on 220-volt power, this little guy can actually do 3⁄16-inch-thick steel on one pass. The newer version, the Power MIG 180, can still do that on 120 volts, but can also be run off of 220 if you wanted to go for a big increase in welding abilities. They can be run as shipped with Innershield wire or add gas and switch to full-on MIG.
How Much: $977, most likely
Where: Lincoln Electric, 216/481-8100, lincolnelectric.com
14. Viking Winchline
Why It's a Good Gift: Steel winch cable is better suited to bridges than for the front of our Jeeps. Viking winchline is stronger, lighter, and safer than regular cable and makes a good upgrade for any winch. It won't cut you up like a steel cable will when you're handling it. Also, Viking line floats on water if your Jeep is doubling as a submarine, so it is much less likely that it will get tangled on stuff at the bottom of the pit. If you follow the instructions from Viking, it's even possible to repair the line while on the trail.
How Much: Around $320
Where: Viking Off Road, 818/842-0595, vikingoffroad.com
15. Mac's Trail D-Vice
Why It's a Good Gift: It takes up a minimal amount of space in the Jeep, but it can be used for so many things. Gone are the days of replacing U-joints with rocks or bumpers. Mac's Trail D-Vice plugs into any 2-inch receiver and almost makes working on stuff on the trail like working on it at home. Heck, we even use the thing when we're home, too. The Trail D-vice can hold round things (like tie-rods), square things (like shackles or broken frame sections), and everything in between. We've even used it as a free-hanging C-clamp to hold a busted-off control arm mount while it was being welded back on.
How Much: Around $160
Where: Mac's Custom Tie Downs, 800/666-1586, macscustomtiedowns.com
16. Benchmade Knife
Why It's a Good Gift: We've been using and abusing Benchmade knives for almost two decades now and we've never had one let us down. From hammering them through wood to make kindling to literally cutting sheetmetal to using them in an emergency to cut power on a short circuit in a Jeep, we never leave home without one. As far as we are concerned you can pick basically any knife in the Blue or Black classes and end up with a very well made and nearly indestructible, made-in-the-USA knife. We say Blue or Black only because we have no firsthand experience with any of the other classes of Benchmade knives.
How Much: Many models, from $100-$150
Where: Benchmade Knife Co., 800/800-7427, benchmade.com
17. Gamo Outdoors USA Bone Collector Blowgun
Why It's a Good Gift: 'Cause shooting stuff is fun, even if all you have for propellant is hot air…which we are full of. You can sit around the shop or campfire nailing empty beer cans or a dartboard with a vengeance. Oh, and sorry blowguns may not be legal in New Jersey, California, and, who knows, probably not legal in Chicago, either. Check your local laws.
How Much: $11.99 for a 48-inch-long version, including 12 darts
Where: Cabellas, 800/237-4444, cabelas.com
18. Danner Light Boot
Why It's a Good Gift: Hiking for fun, or up a trail taking pictures for Jp, a good boot is hard to beat. These are comfortable and resoleable if the tread wears thin. That's not really an issue though, as the last pair of Danner boots we bought are still going strong. Danners are made in the USA and that means the quality is topnotch. Danner Lights are available with a 100-percent waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex liner, full grain leather uppers, 1000 Denier nylon side panels, Vibram soles and handcrafted stitchdown construction. Danner also offers many different boot designs to please practically any taste and to fit almost any environment.
How Much: $330
Where: Danner, 877/432-6637, danner.com
19. Milwaukee Deep Cut Variable Speed Band Saw
Why It's a Good Gift: You can never have too many ways to cut metal, and with a brand name like Milwaukee you can't go wrong. Currently we're having dreams about cutting steel tubing at extreme angles for rollcages or Jeep chassis or cutting up exhaust tubing. Then if we needed to, we could cut up 2x4s for junior's tree house, fence posts, and old scrap iron headed to the recycler. Either way, we'll have many jobs for this handheld band saw.
How Much: About $300
Where: Milwaukee, 800/729-3878, milwaukeetool.com
20. Steven Raichlen'sThe Barbecue Bible
Why It's a Good Gift: Grilling is, for most, a religious experience, but not knowing how to grill something is a sin next to heathenism. The Barbecue Bible by Steven Raichlen is a hallowed collection of recipes that involve direct or indirect grilling on a barbecue. From grilled meats and sauces to veggies, breads (including grilled pizza), and even a section on grilled beverages from around the world, if it involves a grill and a specific memory of charred food it's probably in The Barbecue Bible. This book also discusses methods and equipment to make sure that whatever you're charring is burned to perfection. This is a must have for recent converts of the religion that is barbecue to the lifelong devotee of the church of charcoal.
How Much: Paperback $15.76, hardcover $37.96, Kindle $9.99
Where: The Barbecue Bible, barbecuebible.com
21. Tub O' Towels
Why It's a Good Gift: We used to carry tubes of hand cleaner that did not require water and a bunch of old rags in our Jeeps for trail-side repairs. When one of our pals who works 40 a week for a utilities company introduced us to no-water cleaning towels like those from Tub O' Towels, we were hooked. These things clean grease and grime off of your hands almost as well as mechanic's hand cleaner and a sink. We're not sure what's in these things, and they work so well it's almost scary. Available in tubs o' 90 wipes, smaller tubs with 40 wipes, or individually sealed packs, you can bring these wipes on any off-road adventure and keep your hands and tools clean. Oh yeah, did we tell you that they are made in the USA? We like that, too.
How Much: Starting at $15
Where: Tub O' Towels, 800/846.7325, tubotowels.com
22. Currie E-Z Deflator
Why It's a Good Gift: Even long trips down dirt roads are safer and more comfortable with aired down tires, let alone treks over hard-core rockcrawling trails. We got a Currie E-Z Deflator for a birthday several years ago and it almost always makes it from one Jeep to the next just before heading out on the trail. We've used it on everything from RESQ1 to our nearly stock YJ Number Two when a little more traction or bump absorption was needed. This thing has lasted despite many years of use, only occasionally requiring a little lubrication to keep all the seals happy. Using the E-Z Deflator takes a little getting used to, but after a couple of uses, you'll get it.
How Much: $31.95
Where: Currie Enterprises, 714/982-5298, currieenterprises.com
23. Lisle Eight-Piece Tap Socket Sets
Why It's a Good Gift: Anyone who uses taps to cut threads in metal needs a set of Lisle tap sockets. These sockets fit over most tap heads and allow the use of a 1⁄4 or 3⁄8-inch drive ratcheting wrench. That means you don't have to weasel that tap T-handle into odd places and or take it on and off with every half turn when something is in the way of one of the handles. These things will help you cut threads and retain your sanity. Last Christmas we bought a set for a friend and one for ourselves and we have used them several times on various Jeep-related repair and modification projects.
How Much: Around $30
Where: Lisle Corp., 712/542-5101, lislecorp.com
24. Weber Go-Anywhere Gas Grill
Why It's a Good Gift: As a barbecue purest, I shudder to think of a grill not fired by charcoal, but alas, I finally concede that gas is easier to deal with especially when camping in fire-ban areas/seasons. When I saw the Weber Go-Anywhere Gas Grill I knew I wanted one. Why? Well, it's small, storable with a locking lid, and, heck, Weber makes great grills. Nice. We can bring it on our Jeep-based camping trips and with its 160-square-inch grill area we can cook plenty of victuals. Also, the grill is available in a charcoal-fired version, but heck, as said, gas is easier and badly roasted animal flesh is better than no roasted animal flesh.
How Much: $70
Where: Weber Grill, 800/446-1071, weber.com
And More Gift Ideas…
25. Airaid MXP Series Cold-Air Intake
Why It's a Good Gift: Would you regift horsepower? No way you'd give it away. That's why Airaid's MXP Series cold-air intake is the perfect gift; 8 more ponies and 12 lb-ft of torque can be possible, making this gift a total keeper. It's kind of the nice supplement to the other power-borrowing things you'll be gifted, such as bigger tires and a winch. A high-flow 1,100-cfm air filter gets the job done.
How Much: About $378
Where: Airaid Filter Co., 800/498-6951, airaid.com
26. Atturo Tires Trail Blade MT
Why It's a Good Gift: We'd never turn down a gift of rubber, and in this case it's the Atturo Trail Blade M/T mud terrain. Knowing it would see severe off-road abuse, the company made it with 8- or 10-ply construction plus a three-ply sidewall. It even has a built-in rim guard.
How Much: $220 for the 33x12.5R17 (each)
Where: Atturo Tires, 888/642-5999, atturo.com
27. AMP BedStep Trail Series Step
Why It's a Good Gift: You might have already asked Santa to give you the gift of height, but just in case that doesn't work out and you're looking for an easier way to reach the stuff on your cargo rack, check out the BedStep flip-down bumper step. It's for the JK and has a load capacity of 300 pounds.
How Much: About $222
Where: AMP Research, 800/309-6823, amp-research.com
28. Bully Dog GT Tuner
Why It's a Good Gift: As much as we don't want to say we care about fuel economy, we do when fuel prices are this high. So, something like Bully Dog's GT appeals because it monitors not only mpg but also power for '07-'13 Wranglers. Perhaps the neatest part is that it's designed for off-road use, so there's the ability to calibrate for changes in gear ratio, plus traction control on/off, engine fan on/off, sway bar disconnect, and more. Check this issue for more info on the GT Tuner.
How Much: The MSRP is $599
Where: Bully Dog, 940/783-9914, bullydog.com
29. BedRug and BedTred
Why It's a Good Gift: The liners are for your JK and offer a spray-in look, which we dig. In fact, they can be hosed off, despite having carpet-ish fibers. They're waterproof and mold/mildew resistant, and the gift-giver can get you front and/or rear kits.
How Much: Depends on the configuration, but plan for a couple hundred bucks
Where: BedRug, 800/462-8435, bedrug.com
30. Derale Trans Cooler Kit
Why It's a Good Gift: We like direct-fit and plug-and-play, and that's what Derale's remote transmission cooler is all about. The Atomic-Cool fan-enhanced aluminum plate and fin cooler are part of the package, and the whole thing bolts right onto any auto transmission the '87-'06 Wrangler was born with.
How Much: The MSRP is $395
Where: Derale Performance, 323/266-3850, derale.com
31. Banks Ram-Air Intake
Why It's a Good Gift: We want this because we like easy installations. This system for the 3.6L Wrangler is said to see power bumps of 8 horses and 11 lb-ft of torque. It replaces the factory air filter with a high-flow setup. There's also a Helmholtz Resonator, which tunes flow frequency to avoid engine drone, but still makes things sound cool.
How Much: About $341
Where: Banks Power, 800/396-9196, bankspower.com/ra3
32. Engo Lightbar
Why It's a Good Gift: Lighting up the trees and house for the holiday? How about your Jeep, too? The Engo EP Series 50-inch LED lightbar for the JK is a 288-watter and perfect for if you're wanting to wheel in night-for-day conditions. The bar is made of lightweight diecast aluminum and uses a spot and flood pattern, aka center and corners.
How Much: MSRP is $875
Where: Engo USA, 360/573-0882, engousa.com
33. speeCup Wireless Speaker
Why It's a Good Gift: A Bluetooth wireless 8-inch speaker with gesture control and is Siri-enabled that fits right in the cupholder? And it's portable? And it plays music and acts as a hands-free speakerphone? What's not to want?
How Much: $129
Where: speeCup, speecup.com
34. HTP America Flow Meter
Why It's a Good Gift: It's a total stocking stuffer: the Dual Flowmeter for MIG and TIG welding both steel and aluminum. You definitely want this if you're connecting the same gas tank to various machines or plan to back-purge and don't have a second tank for that. Output flow can be adjusted from 10-60 cubic feet per hour. Also, the meter's outlet will fit female 9⁄16x18 nut and male 5⁄8x18 fitting.
How Much: $99.95
Where: HTP America, 800/USA-WELD, usaweld.com
35. Innovation Factory SnowMover 2.0
Why It's a Good Gift: The only thing better than getting a snowplow? Getting a handheld snowplow. The SnowMover 2.0 replaces the old school way of removing snow from your vehicle: the credit card. It's got a contoured handle which makes for easier de-roofing of snow, and there are also what the company calls "whiskers," or rubber bristles that whisk away the debris.
How Much: It's around $18
Where: Innovation Factory, 610/789-1137, innovationfactory.com
36. Odyssey Battery
Why It's a Good Gift: Reliability is important in a battery when you've starting making all sorts of electrical demands on it. The vibration-resistant Odyssey Performance Series 34-790 battery has deep-cycle capabilities up to 400 cycles at 80 percent depth of discharge, said the company. If you're a battery nerd: 792 CCA, 114 RC minutes.
How Much: Around $237
Where: Odyssey Batteries by EnerSys, 888/422-0317, odysseybattery.com
37. Magellan eXplorist 710
Why It's a Good Gift: Paper maps aren't all the rage: GPS is where it's at, and the eXplorist handheld unit from Magellan with a built-in 3.2-megapixel camera allows for recording and sharing (even geotagging). Of course it's still a pro at mapping, the World edition has 2D and 3D viewing angles. There's also the Summit Series topographic mapping program for finding trails and land-use areas. There's also way, way more buried within this unit than we have space on this page.
How Much: About $500
Where: Magellan, 800/707-9971, magellangps.com
38. Millermatic 140 Auto-Set MIG Welder
Why It's a Good Gift: This welder from Miller Electric has Auto-Set, which means it automatically sets the wire speed and voltage; you set wire diameter and material thickness and it's ready to weld up to 24 gauge, 3⁄16-inch mild steel.
How Much: Around $755
Where: Miller Electric Mfg., 800/4-A-Miller, millerwelds.com
39. PMT Control Arm Kits
Why It's a Good Gift: These kits are for the '97-'06 TJ and ZJ, and they feature TIG-welded construction and 4140 alloy threaded components. What's cool is that the company will do special lengths for lifted or tweaked suspensions. They'll also do customization and bushed/spherical bolt-in replacements.
How Much: $899
Where: PMT Fabrication, 214/592-2308, pmtfabrication.com
40. Tuffy Security Lockbox
Why It's a Good Gift: Nothing says happy holidays quite like the gift of, "people are going to try to steal your sh*t!!" and that's where Tuffy comes in. It's got this 16-gauge-steel mini storage box that's perfect for the little stuff, like that GPS unit, your phone, the stereo's faceplate, and your wallet.
How Much: $97
Where: Tuffy Security Products, 800/348-8339, tuffyproducts.com