8 Cool Must-Have Off-Road Products Under $500Posted in Product Reviews on April 3, 2014 0) (
We’re here to help spend your tax return. In this story, we’ve collected eight items in the $101 to $500 price range (approximate street price at time of print). This is a high-yield range because there are a number of cool items that you can buy that will make your 4x4 perform better, stand up to the elements better, record your adventures, or entertain you while you wheel. You’re welcome.
1. Bed Mat
How much: Starting at $139.95
Hard facts: Are you looking for a quick, easy way to protect your pickup truck’s cargo floor? Say hello to the Access Truck Bed Mat. The drop-in Truck Bed Mat prevents damage and it helps keep cargo from shifting. It’s marine-grade and made from 100-percent recycled soda and water bottles. Adhesive snaps are included and the mat can be used with or without them. The Truck Bed Mat is said to be compatible with drop-in and spray-in bedliners, too.
2. GoPro Camera
How much: $399.99
Hard facts: Pics or it didn’t happen! How many times have you heard that while telling your friends about your latest wheeling adventure? Shut ’em up and wow ’em with video and photos from the GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition. The company says this camera is the most advanced GoPro yet, and it features video resolutions up to 4K, 12 megapixel photos up to 30 frames per second, built-in Wi-Fi, and SuperView (wide-angle) and Auto Low Light modes. It’s waterproof up to 131 feet and there are 18 mounts available, including a rollbar mount.
3. Locking Differential
How much: $500
Hard facts: If you’re looking for an easy and inexpensive way to add a locking differential to an axle on your rig, check out the Powertrax No-Slip locker. Installation is simple because no ring-and-pinion setup, special tools or oil is required. The Powertrax uses a precise synchronization mechanism that eliminates the ratcheting sounds of other locking differentials. A special gear and spring design reduces the backlash and therefore driveline windup. The Powertrax is available for a wide range of axles.
4. Pioneer Audio
How much: $500
Hard facts: If you want the latest and greatest DVD receiver in your 4x4, take a look at the Pioneer AVH-X5600BHS. This amazing unit includes a 7-inch touchscreen display; MOSFET 50-watt x 4 amplifier; three sets of high-volt RCA preouts for system expansion; Bluetooth (hands-free calling and audio streaming); Siri Eyes Free voice recognition support; a HD Radio tuner; SiriusXM Satellite Radio capability; iPhone and Android Pandora radio app compatibility, and much more. It’s also accepts the Pioneer AVIC-U250 add-on navigation system.
Contact: Pioneer Electronics
5. Brake Pads
How much: $300
Hard facts: If you’re looking for a way to improve your rigs braking quickly and easily, EBC Brakes Truck Yellowstuff Sport brake pads can help make that happen. EBC says the pads have a high friction formula that improves brake effect 30-40 percent; they offer zero brake fade; very minimal rotor damage characteristics; and they’re a full FMVSS grade higher in friction level than most stock pads. We’ve installed and used the pads on an SUV application and were very impressed at the results.
Contact: EBC Brakes
7. Voltage Increase
How much: $299-$499
Hard facts: If you have a rig with a coil-on-plug ignition, you can increase performance with Performance Distributors’ Sultans of Spark (SOS) coils. These coils are available for Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep Hemi engines; Ford modular V-8 and V-10 engines; and ’97-’13 GM Vortec engines. Benefits include more voltage, which can translate to better performance and fuel efficiency.
Contact: Performance Distributors
6. Ride Height-Adjustable Shocks
How much: $100 each
Hard facts: Do you have a 4x4 with a coilover suspension? Do you want new shocks and the ability to adjust the ride height? If so, look at the Bilstein 5100 Series Ride Height Adjustable Shock. An alternative to a leveling kit, the shock uses your factory coil springs and has multiple snap-ring grooves to position the spring seat at different heights so you can raise the ride from 0 to 2.5 inches depending on application. The shock’s features also include self-adjusting deflective disc valving with independent rebound and compression tuning and a zinc finish with multi-layer coating.
8. Protective Coating
How much: $119.95 to $139.95 per gallon
Hard facts: Go ahead, slather your truck in it if you want. Durabak polyurethane protective coating can be sprayed, brushed, or rolled on. Do you have a wood flatbed on your rig? Slather that too, because Durabak sticks to wood, along with metal, concrete, or coated surfaces. Durabak is available in a wide range of colors in both smooth and textured coatings. The company says that one gallon of Durabak will cover approximately 60 square feet or one 6-foot pickup bed.
Contact: The Durabak Company