Jeep Overlanding Parts Buying Guide

Upgrades and accessories to help turn your Jeep into a more capable overlander

If you're starting from scratch or thinking about converting your already built Jeep into an overlander in order to stretch its capabilities, you're probably looking for some guidance on what parts and accessories are best suited for your Jeep. It seems like everyone in the truck and off-road aftermarket parts industry is making something for overlanding these days, but not all of it is designed specifically for Jeeps. To help guide you down the overlanding path, we're going to focus on some of the overlanding parts and accessories we found that are developed with the Jeeper in mind.

We've stayed away from suspension systems, winches, bumpers, tires, and some other categories of Jeep upgrade parts that are not unique to the overlanding Jeeper and better explored in buyers' guides devoted exclusively to those specific categories. We will do that later. For this Jeep overlanding parts guide, we looked for a mix of the expected and standard as well as the things you might not have thought of, and there's no doubt we will be visiting this subject again soon.

Check out this Jeep Overlanding Parts Guide, make some notes, and then make some calls to the manufacturers listed here to see what will work best for your Jeep project. If we've missed your favorite product or a brand you've reliably used, please send an email to jpeditor@jpmagazine.com and let us know what's worked for you and what overlanding parts, upgrades, and accessories have made your Jeep explorations better, easier, and more rewarding.

AEV
American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) offers a number of parts for your Jeep that help turn it into an overland-friendly vehicle. The AEV JK Roof Rack for four-door JKs is designed to maximize cargo capacity and optimal weight distribution; it's made from extruded aluminum and glass-filled nylon, and the 76x55-inch rack will carry up to 68 pounds of cargo. Installation is through the hardtop directly to the OE rollbar, allowing the factory Freedom Top to be removed when desired. Also of great interest are accessories like the AEV Recovery Gear set, a new line of field-tested recovery equipment that includes a 29,000-pound rated Kinetic Recovery Rope, snatch block, soft shackle, winch isolator, winch extension rope, and utility rope; the AEV 10.2-gallon Fuel Caddy option (also pictured) for its JK rear tire carrier designed to work with 17-inch wheels and larger; and the AEV water-tank upgrade option for its JK rear bumper that includes corner tanks with 5-gallon capacities. A pump is included, and the tanks can be plumbed together. Information: American Expedition Vehicles, 248/926-0256, aev-conversions.com

ARB
The TRED Pro off-road recovery board device features a unique patented grip profile, specifically engineered to engage with the water evacuation channels on the tire. Utilizing 3D scanning and CAD modeling of the most popular tire brands from around the world, a database of the world's bestselling off-road tires was collected. Real data dimensions were used to optimize teeth/nodule design and layout to make TRED Pro the ultimate in traction for recovery board devices. And to make it even better, the TRED Pro Carry Bag features gear storage pockets for your tow straps, shackles, and winch blocks—and anything else you need to carry. The webbing straps attach the bag to your spare tire carrier, roof rack, or anywhere you strap it down. ARB also offers roof racks, fridge/freezers, lights, snorkels, tents, and awnings that are just right for the overland enthusiast. Information: ARB, arbusa.com

Baja Designs
Baja Designs produces a wide selection of lighting options for the overland Jeeper, including the S1 LED Work Light and the waterproof LED Dome Light. The new Baja Designs S1 LED Work Light is available with a 2,375-lumen work/scene beam pattern to illuminate campsite and work areas in a smooth circle approximately 40 feet in diameter. It features an aluminum housing that is MIL-STD-810G impact-compliant and offers O-ring weather-sealing to allow the lens to be replaced by the user if necessary. For illumination in cargo areas, engine bays, and elsewhere, Baja Designs offers waterproof LED Dome Lights with an integrated switch, 180-degree optics, and an output of 400 lumens. Weighing only 1.8 ounces, the Dome Lights measure 2.7 by 1.2 by 0.45 inches. Information: Baja Designs, 760/560-2252, bajadesigns.com

BruTek
Coffee is the elixir of life, and good coffee makes life even better. BruTek can help you out with that drive for the perfect cup of coffee when you're in the wild. The BruTrek Steel Toe (pictured) from Planetary Design is a 20-fluid-ounce French press to-go mug with the unique Bru-Stop plate that stops coffee grounds from brewing further when fully pressed down, preventing your favorite roast from becoming overly extracted and bitter. A full range of remote coffee-brewing products are available in the BruTek line from Planetary Design. Information: Planetary Design, 406/728-7008, planetarydesign.com

Cascadia 4x4
Cascadia 4x4 has launched a new 100-watt hood-mounted solar panel designed specifically to fit the 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler JK. Part of the company's Vehicle Specific Solar System, or VSS System, this sleek, low-profile panel adheres directly to the vehicle's hood with no roof rack or mounting hardware needed. Unlike a portable solar panel, there's no need to set it up or stow it inside of a vehicle, which can eat up precious cargo space, and the complete plug-and-play system is said to be installed in less than 1.5 hours. Information: Cascadia 4x4, 604/562-8809, cascadia4x4.com

DMOS Collective
The Delta Shovel is a compact, portable tool from DMOS Collective. State-of-the-art engineering and American manufacturing were combined to create a shovel designed for the off-roader in mind. With its three-part aluminum, telescoping, and indexed locking shaft, the Delta can extend to a fullsize length (51 inches) and collapse down to a portable size. The foldable three-position head allows the Delta Shovel to be packed down to a small footprint, so it can be stored without sacrificing precious cargo space in your Jeep. The rattle-free mount installs on a wide variety of roof racks, truck beds, and spare tire carriers. Information: DMOS Collective, 833/DIG-DMOS (344-3667), dmoscollective.com

EVO Manufacturing
Way ahead of the curve on parts, upgrades, and accessories for the 2020 Jeep Gladiator, EVO Manufacturing offers everything, including the kitchen sink. Its Jeep Wrangler JT Gladiator Bed Rack Half Height (kit pictured) is 57 by 52 inches in size and stands 14 1/2 inches above the bedrail. It's the perfect start to turning your new Gladiator into a capable and durable overlander. The kit comes complete with all hardware, illustrated instructions, and a hardware torque specifications chart for the installation. Also of interest from EVO Manufacturing is the JL Unlimited Trail Roof Rack. Its flat upper platform gives unlimited options for carrying capacity with five T-slot crossbars. The EVO MFG JLU Unlimited Trail Roof Rack is laser-cut and CNC-press-brake-formed from steel. Information: EVO Manufacturing, 714/879-8913, evomfg.com

Fireside Outdoor
If you're searching for minimal-impact, leave-no-trace fires, look no further. The Pop-Up Pit with its patented heat shield allows for fires on any surface by keeping heat from transferring to the ground, so you can have worry-free fires on grass or wood decks without damaging the surface. Its fold-up legs and sides make it packable to 27 by 5 by 5 inches, and popped up and standing, it measures 24 by 24 inches and stands 15 inches off the ground. Information: Fireside Outdoor, 623/207-9333, firesideoutdoor.com

Front Runner
The Slimline II rack kit from Front Runner contains all the components needed to mount the cargo carrying rack to a Jeep JL four-door, including the Slimline II tray, the Jeep Extreme Mounting System, and a Wind Deflector. All Front Runner Rack Kits contain installation instructions as well as all the components needed to mount the Slimline II Tray to your vehicle. Front Runner also offers its Cargo Slide that provides easy access to the contents of your Jeep's rear storage area with this slide designed specifically for the four-door Jeep JKU. The Cargo Slide can hold a refrigerator along with chairs, cargo boxes, and other gear. Many other overlanding accessories are also available from Front Runner. Information: Front Runner, 818/253-1322, frontrunneroutfitters.com

Garvin
The Adventure Rack from Garvin Industries is a perfect option for overlanding enthusiasts looking to mount a canoe, kayak, or rooftop tent on the top of their Jeeps. With Garvin's available optional accessories, the Adventure Rack can easily turn your Jeep into a full-on off-road adventure rig. The rack frame is manufactured from 1.75x.095-inch steel tubing. Available for 1998-and-newer Wranglers, it mounts to the front windshield and frame holes in the rear of the Jeep, and all 2007-and-newer Wrangler models require no drilling for installation. The Adventure Rack can be tilted back to lower or raise the soft top, and yet it still holds up to 200 pounds while off-roading. Information: Garvin Industries, 619/440-7415, wildernessracks.com

Kai USA
A knife is a tool; a good knife can be a lifesaver. A good knife like the Kai Zero Tolerance Model 0223 is must-have for the overland Jeeper and any off-road adventurer. Designed by Tim Galyean, the 0223 takes its inspiration from a classic military knife, but ZT's version is a folder. The blade is a clip-point style and the CPM 20CV blade steel offers exceptional hardness and wear resistance to take and hold a sharp edge, toughness to resist impact, and with the highest level of chromium of any high-vanadium steel, it has excellent corrosion resistance. The 0223 has a sturdy titanium frame lock with a hardened steel lockbar insert for reliable lockup. ZT's KVT ball-bearing system, combined with a highly ergonomic flipper make the 0223 quick and easy to open. Information: Kai USA, Ltd., 800/325-2891, kaiusaltd.com

KC Lights
Providing a wide variety of lighting upgrades, including lights of all designs and purposes, lightbars, and light mounting kits for just about every Jeep, KC Lights offers new products for the Jeep JL Wrangler as well as the all-new Jeep JL Gladiator. The KC Lights Jeep JL/JT Overhead Bracket with A-pillar mounts is made of textured black powdercoated steel designed to easily mount KC Gravity LED Pro6 and C-series lightbars to factory bolt positions. Also ready to go from KC Lights are Jeep Wrangler JL/JT Gravity LED Pro7 DOT headlight kits that include all the brackets, wire adapters, and hardware to make it an easy swap for the factory headlights. Information: KC Lights, 888/689-5955, kchilites.com

Leitner Designs
Leitner Designs has jumped light years ahead of the competition with its modular truck bed rack Active Cargo System (ACS) by introducing newly designed and forged upright arms. All the same great features of the previous Classic-version Active Cargo System are present—the sliding back load bar, side-mounted storage, modular-based brackets for all types of accessories, and the T-slotted bar system that accepts most third-party M8 T-bolt-mounted accessories. This new rack boasts a 400-pound off-road capacity. All legacy Leitner Accessories like its GearPod storage systems (pictured on a Classic ACS with a custom onboard air system inside), universal mounting brackets, light brackets, and awning brackets will work with both the Forged and Classic versions of the cargo system. The ACS Forged should be available for pre-order now, but it is not slated to ship until January 2020. Information: Leitner Designs, 949/395-3049, leitnerdesigns.com

Midland Radio
If you're looking for onboard communication equipment, check out Midland Radio. It offers two devices that are good for caravanning and exploring around camp. The MXT275 Micro Mobile GMRS 2-Way Radio is a full 15-watt in-cab mounted radio with eight repeater channels, fully integrated control mic, 142 privacy codes, 10 NOAA weather channels with weather alert and scan, and a backlit display. Midland also offers the handheld T290 X-Talker GMRS Two-Way Radios featuring 22 channels plus 14 additional pre-programmed channels, 121 privacy codes (essentially making 2,662 channel options to help block other conversations), NOAA weather alert and scan, and voice activation. Information: Midland Radio, 816/241-8500, midlandusa.com

MORryde
The Overhead MOLLE Panel from MORryde occupies the space in the center of the rollcage that would be otherwise underutilized and installs directly to the rollbar with no drilling, securely locking just underneath the roof. The panel can be unlatched and swung down, and it provides a place to mount tools, spare parts, and gear you might need quickly and easily like a Hi-Lift jack or first aid kit. Additional MOLLE pouches for compartmentalizing gear can be added too. The MORryde Overhead MOLLE Panel is compatible with all JKU four-door Jeep Wranglers. Information: MORryde, 574/293-1581, morryde.com

Oracle Lighting
Among the lighting system parts available from Oracle are retrofit High-Performance LED Headlights that are DOT/SAE-compliant and fit JK, TJ, and CJ (with some trimming) Jeeps. They use Phillips Luxeon ZES Chips to produce 3,600 lumens on low-beam and 4,800 on high-beam. Replacement LED interior bulbs for many popular bayonet and festoon-style halogen bulbs can also be had through Oracle. One of our favorites is the Bed Cargo Light kit (pictured), which includes a pair of 60-inch waterproof strips with white LEDs. Installation is as easy as 3M adhesive backing. Information: Oracle Lighting, 800/407-5776, oraclelights.com

Pelican Products
From the same company that makes those legendary cases comes a rolling cooler that's bear-resistant certified. The 45QT Wheeled Cooler is made in the USA and guaranteed for life. With claims of up to 10 days of ice retention, the 29.66x20.00x19.25-inch cooler has a 2-inch polyurethane insulation with a freezer grade gasket and offers a built-in bottle opener, wide press and pull latches, sloped drain, molded tire downs, and molded handles with a built-in trolley handle. Information: Pelican Products, 800/473-5422, pelican.com

Rebel Off Road
Rebel Off Road offers a variety of parts, upgrades, and accessories to help build your Jeep overlander. The XPLOR Rack from Rebel Off Road for the 2020 Jeep Gladiator offers customization front and center. With the ability to mount Rebel Off Road carrier plates on the outside, inside, and top of the rack, you can create the perfect setup for your next adventure. Half-inch bolts are for mounting to your existing factory framerails and 3/8-inch carriage bolts are used throughout the frame for added strength and reliability. This rack allows either a Halo Rack or the Rhino Rack Pioneer platform on top for additional mounting/storage options. The kit consists of front, middle, and rear brace bars and their corresponding crossbars, four carrier plates for exterior side mounting, and six top channel braces perfect for mounting rooftop tents or other accessories. Information: Rebel Off Road, 866/900-8841, rebeloffroad.com

Road Shower
The Road Shower offers a choice of 4, 7, or 10-gallon-capacity models that can deliver pressurized water anywhere with no propane or electrics. Mounted in a location such as the rear of a rooftop cargo rack, it can be filled and pressurized by attaching and filling it with a garden hose. Then in camp you have instant and easy access to a hot or cold pressurized spray of clean water. The Road Shower can also be filled from a jug or hose and then pumped up with a compressor like a bike pump. Information: Road Shower, 505/231-1108, roadshower.com

Rugged Ridge
Top-down driving with the utility of a roof rack is what the Rugged Ridge Exo-Top (pictured) is all about it. The Exo-Top combines the features of a welded tube cargo platform and a fully retractable soft top into one package. Featuring an externally suspended soft top and the Sun Slider retractable roof that offers open-air driving accessed from the driver's seat, it is rated for a 300-pound capacity. Rugged Ridge offers a wide range of upgrade and replacement products for all sorts of Jeeps. Also new and notable for the overland enthusiast are the Rugged Ridge AmFib Modular Snorkel System with its Low Mount Snorkel design that integrates with the factory cowl screen and the Rugged Ridge Traction Kit, which pairs two traction boards with a compact folding steel shovel. Information: Rugged Ridge, ruggedridge.com

Tepui Tents
Offering soft and hard tents that will fit virtually any vehicle roof rack, Tepui's innovative hybrid rooftop system, HyBox, is a rooftop tent and cargo box built into one sturdy and easy-access hard-shell. A comfortable tent or a spacious gear container, it opens up with latches on both ends to create 23 cubic feet of space. The box is an aerodynamic shell with an interior upper lined with a reinforced quilted insulation for sound damping and cold-weather insulation. It's s blend of ABS and welded aluminum substructure with the company's felt-lined honeycomb polypropylene panels for reinforcement. A thick polyester-coated fabric with a waterproof rating of 3000mm and YKK zippers create the encloser when the top is fully extended. The other item of interest from Tepui is the Camp Lounge kit that includes a camp table with telescoping legs to always have a level surface, reclining camp chairs, and a double-wide chair. Information: Tepui Tents, 800/301-9874, tepui.com

Thule
The Thule Canyon XT cargo rack has a low-profile design with tapered side walls for easier loading and unloading, and it gives it a smooth airflow over your cargo with the included wind fairing. The versatile mounting system fits a broad range of vehicles and includes a T-track mounting option. It measures 50.25 by 41 x6 inches, weighs just 29 pounds, and has a cargo capacity of 150 pounds. You can make the cargo area 20 inches longer by adding the Thule Canyon Extension XT. Thule, 800/238-2388, thule.com

Walls Outdoor Goods
Walls is a clothing company, and its specialty is sturdy work clothing, but they also offer a full line of outdoor apparel ranging from technical waterproof hooded rain jackets to flannel shirts. We found these to be a natural fit for the four-wheeling lifestyle. One of our favorites is the Walls Windcrest Storm Protector Jacket (pictured). The Storm Protector features a waterproof/breathable hard-faced ripstop outer shell material to seal out weather, but it also allows sweat and steam escape; it's lined with polyester Sherpa fleece, has fleece-lined zip-up hand-warmer pockets, and offers a three-panel hood for improved flexibility and peripheral vision. Walls work jackets turn out to be really good outdoor coats too, and they're perfect for those cold- or damp-weather Jeep trips. The Walls Angus line of work jackets is also worth a look, with tough 9-ounce duck material that's sturdy but flexes with movement, flannel inside to add warmth, and four pockets help keep things handy and organized. Information: Walls Outdoor Goods, 844/259-2557, walls.com

Warn
On the rocks or on the road, the durable Epic Tool Roll Organizer is a convenient place to keep wrenches or travel accessories high, dry, and inside your Jeep. It features two 7x4-inch pockets, one medium 14x4-inch pocket, and one large 14x8-inch pocket—all zippered for secure storage. Top and back flat-zippered compartments offer even more storage and integrated D-rings allow the roll to be securely attached to things such as seat backs or headrests; carabiners and strapping keep the organizer in its rolled-up configuration. Warn Industries, 800/543-9276, warn.com

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