New Products & Great Gift Ideas Spied at Off Road Expo
Spied at Expo
There are a lot of different segments among off-road enthusiasts. Some like to go fast in the desert, some like to go slow in the rocks, some like to go camping in remote places, and some just want the off-road look without all of the dirt. We can appreciate most of those off-road disciplines, and nowhere are more trucks on display and more parts that appeal to all of them than at Off Road Expo.
Held at the Fairplex in Pomona, California, since its inception about 15 years ago, the show has always been about all things off-road. This year was no different, with equal parts rockcrawler, desert trucks, UTVs, and Overlanders all on display. Aside from appealing to the off-road masses, Off Road Expo is only about a month before the SEMA show and thus also an excellent venue to get a sneak peek at many products that will make their official debut in Las Vegas.
We strolled the hallways of the biggest Off Road Expo in recent memory on the hunt for cool stuff to check out. There was the expected first wave of what will be a mountain of products for the Jeep Gladiator, but there was also plenty of other stuff to check out for all of the different makes, models, and niches. What follows is part new products, part gift ideas, and a good chunk of what cool and drool-worthy in the world of off road.
Gen-Right Aluminum Rear Bumper for Jeep Gladiator
-What it does: Protects the rear of your shiny new and expensive JT truck without adding a bunch of weight. The company offers a front bumper to match and similar components for the JL.
-Why we love it: Gladiators are the hot new thing in the Jeep market, and it's great to see how quickly companies are bringing out cool new products. We also love the lightweight protection that aluminum bumpers offer, and this one looks pretty cool, too.
-What it costs (retail): $1,099
Badass SD Workbench
-What it does: Gives you a sturdy horizontal surface to work on stuff, plus a lot of storage. In addition to the base workbench, the company offers all kinds of options, from different drawer and top configurations to casters, wire mesh shelves, powdercoating, and much more.
-Why we love it: Most of the time workbenches are ugly homebuilt affairs that are stained with rust and dirt. This is a professional-grade workbench that would look right at home in a clean, well-organized shop space. Plus, from all of the sizes and options the company offers, it looks as though Badass would build you anything you want. The pivoting drawers are pretty cool, too.
-What it costs (retail): Starting at $2,750
TrailReady Forged Aluminum Beadlock Wheels
-What it does: Proven beadlock technology that is now available with the superior strength of a forged aluminum wheel. A variety of different anodized colors for the lock rings are also available. The current size available is 17x8.5.
-Why we love it: These wheels were initially developed for desert racing and have seen thousands of brutal miles under everything from trophy trucks to Ultra 4 cars. The company recently expanded its offerings with additional wheel bolt patterns and production capacity to reduce lead times. Double-beadlocks are also available.
-What it costs (retail): $889
TrailReady Beadlock Wheels
Rugged Ridge Arcus Front Bumper for Jeep JL Wrangler
-What it does: Provides a bolt-on solution for adding frontend protection to the JL Wrangler and a sturdy winch mount at the same time. Recovery points are integrated.
-Why we love it: We like the stamped steel look of this bumper as opposed to the angular, flat surface look you usually see on aftermarket bumpers. It softens the lines of the bumper and makes it blend in better with the increasingly curved shape of late-model Jeep sheetmetal.
-What it Costs (retail): $499
SeeDevil LED Baloon Light
-What it does: Provides a quick and convenient way to add an impressive amount of light to an area using LED technology, so power consumption is kept to a minimum. It also collapses into a very small package so it's an easy to pack away.
-Why we love it: These things put out an impressive amount of light without any of the glare that comes with ordinary light fixtures. It's an awesome way to light up a campsite, a remote pit, a backyard barbecue, and much more. Tripods are available, but it would be just as easy to hang it from a tree or just toss it on top of a vehicle.
-What it costs: Starting at $325
Milestar Patagonia X/T Tires
-What it does: Milestar's latest offering in a growing line of light truck tires, according to the company, the Patagonia X/T is an (Xtreme All-Terrain) offers a three-ply sidewall, aggressive face and shoulder tread, and a quiet ride while delivering a 40,000-mile warranty.
-Why we love it: More and more all-terrain tires are hitting the market with a tread pattern on the more aggressive end of the spectrum. This trend blurs the lines between an all-terrain and a mud-terrain, providing a solid middle ground for people who need the ride and longevity of an all-terrain with a slightly more aggressive tread for additional traction in the dirt.
-What it costs: Starting at $196.50
Pro Eagle Kratos Off-Road Jack
-What it does: Designed from the ground up to be a true off-road jack, the Kratos features large non-pneumatic tires, a full-length skidplate to avoid sinking in the sand, an 8-inch adjustable rubber pad, and a 3-ton capacity with an overall lift height of almost 2 1/2 feet.
-Why we love it: The Pro Eagle off-road jack may not be a brand-new product per se, but it's so cool that it deserves to be included here, as we haven't seen many of these outside of the desert-racing world. Everything about this jack is geared toward addressing the unique challenges of operating a floor jack on soft and irregular surfaces.
-What it costs: $469.99
Mastercraft Trail Runner Restraints
-What it does: The Mastercraft Trail Runner restraints are a high-quality four-point harness system aimed toward recreational off-roaders. Available in a variety of colors, optional shoulder pads are available for additional comfort.
-Why we love it: Five-point racing harnesses can be cumbersome and can be difficult to adjust and latch, not to mention being overkill for recreational applications. The Trail Runner offers much more security over a traditional three-point seatbelt. It has a traditional seatbelt latch for the lap belt along with new shoulder harness and lap belt adjusters that make it much easier to adjust their length, especially for people not familiar with race restraint latches and adjusters.
-What it costs (retail): $99.95
Flex-A-Lite Transmission Cooler for Jeep Wrangler JK
-What it does: Flex-A-Lite recently released a whole new line of transmission coolers that offer greater cooling capacity and more durable construction. This new cooler and mounting brackets offer a simple, bolt-in way to improve the stock JK's transmission cooling capacity, offering greater protection against failure when subjected to hard use.
-Why we love it: It seems like 37s and 40s are becoming the norm on a JK, and that's a lot of added rotating mass that introduces additional strain to the engine and transmission, even after regearing. Everyone focuses on axle upgrades with big tires, but few are paying attention to the stress added upstream of the axles. This is a bolt-in way to increase cooling capacity and protect the tranny.
-What it costs (retail): $240
Fox iQS Coilover Shock System for UTVs
-What it does: Fox recently released its iQS technology for trucks and SUVs, a system that allows instant in-cab adjustments to shocks that range from soft to firm. Fox has now expanded that technology to a growing line of UTV shocks, bringing the iQS echnology to the side-by-side market.
-Why we love it: This is pretty cool stuff! The only constant off the pavement is change, so the ability to instantly adjust shock valving via a dash-mounted rocker switch is potentially game changing. We'd like to see the company expand its truck applications but understand why it is moving into the UTV market with this technology.
-What it costs (retail): N/A
Fox Racing Shox
Rockhard JL Cage Brace System
-What it does: Provides an easy bolt-in solution for adding more rollover protection to the front and rear seat occupants of 2018 and newer JL Wranglers, and coming soon for JT Gladiators.
-Why we love it: Not everyone is satisfied with the OE efforts to protect occupants in the event of a rollover, and fewer still want to rip apart the interior of their brand new Jeep to install a custom rollcage. The Rockhard solution ties key components of the factory system together for additional strength. Best of all, it simply bolts in place.
-What it costs (retail): $529.95
Mr. Gasket Battery-Operated Transfer Pump
-What it does: Provides a quick and easy way to transfer fluids (as in fuel) from one storage jug to another or from a jug to a vehicle by simply pushing a button. The pump runs on four AA batteries and includes adapters that are compatible with most storage jugs. It even has an auto-stop feature when the tank is full.
-Why we love it: Anyone that has hoisted a 5-gallon fuel jug on their shoulder only to fight with the spill-prone and infuriatingly slow nozzles of modern fuel jugs can appreciate the benefits of this product. We also like the simplicity of off-the-shelf batteries and the adaptability to a variety of different fuel cans.
-What it costs: $77.95
Daystar Jack Pad
-What it does: Provides a safe and secure way to add lift height to any floor jack. Two heights are available, 3 1/2 or 5 1/2 inches.
-Why we love it: No more using sketchy blocks of wood on the pad of your floor jack in order to gain enough height to get your 4x4 off the ground! The throw of many floor jacks falls short of being able to reach the axles of a lifted truck equipped with larger tires, and this is a safe and viable extension that can mean the difference between being able to use your floor jack or not.
-What it costs: $29.95
Socket Roll Pro
-What it does: Provides an easy way to keep your socket set organized and secure while on the go. Several sizes and configurations are available.
-Why we love it: This is way better than having to root around in the small mound of random sockets at the bottom of your tool bag. You can quickly find that socket you need, and even better, you can be sure you don't leave a socket in the dirt after a field repair. Best of all, the roll keeps the sockets secure, even when bouncing around on a trail.
-What it costs: Starting at $39.95
911 Motorsports Four-Point Jack Adapter
-What it does: Provides a versatile way to hold just about anything with a floor or transmission jack. The modular design enables you to quickly convert an ordinary jack to support things like axlehousings, fuel tanks, transfer cases, bumpers, and much more.
-Why we love it: Big and heavy truck parts are almost always very awkward to lift and move around. The easily adjustable arms of the adapter make it useful for moving and lifting a wide variety of items, adding a lot of versatility to a conventional jack without a lot of cost.
-What it costs (retail): $274.95
Antigravity Microstart XP-10HD
-What it does: This compact personal power supply packs is about the size and weight of an old day planner but packs enough punch to jumpstart a diesel engine. Aside from jumpstarting a truck, the kit includes various adapters to charge phones, laptops, and just about any 12-volt device.
-Why we love it: You can jumpstart a 7.3L Powerstroke with a battery that fits in your back pocket, plus power or charge just about anything that runs on 12 volts. What more needs to be said?
-What it costs (retail): $219.99
Power Tank Power Shot Trigger
-What it does: A simple, compact, and lightweight system for airing up UTV and other tires up to 31 inches tall. Boasting enough power to reseat a bead, the Power Shot Trigger includes a roll bar mount, a tire repair kit, an air chuck, and a squeeze trigger.
-Why we love it: Though geared toward UTVs, this extremely compact system would work well as an emergency air source for a car or any other application equipped with smaller tires. The kit is also available with a twin bottle system.
-What it costs (retail): $296.95
Swag Off-Road Ammo Can Mounts
-What it does: Provides secure, lockable, and removable storage via commonly available ammo cans in a variety of sizes.
-Why we love it: Ammo cans are the perfect waterproof storage solution for off-roaders, but tying them down is a pain and permanently mounting them compromises their watertight seal. These Swag mounts keep the cans secure and makes them easily removal for better access to their contents.
-What it costs: Starting at $46.95
Swag Off Road
Accutune Bolt-On Coilover Brackets for Jeep JL Wrangler
-What it does: Offers a convenient bolt-on or weld-on way to add 2.0x12-inch coilover shocks at all four corners. Accutune offers the brackets by themselves or with complete custom-tuned coilover packages with your choice of name-brand shocks.
-Why we love it: These brackets offer an easy way to add some serious shocks to any JL Wrangler. You can utilize just the brackets if you've sourced your own coilovers, or tap into the company's vast experience with custom tuning shocks with a complete shock package.
-What it costs (retail): Starting at $719.90
BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 New Sizes
-What it does: The wildly popular KM3 now has expanded applications with the introduction of new sizes aimed at the UTV market.
-Why we love it: Adding the traction and toughness of the KM3 is pretty cool, but even better, these smaller sizes open up a world of possibilities for adding gnarly mud tires to all kinds of unusual applications, like a Subaru Brat, a Mazda Miata, or any number of other offbeat vehicles that could potentially dominate the dirt.
-What it costs (retail): Varies