20 Off-Roading Gifts You Can Afford
Best Buys: $100 - $250
If orange is the new black, then $150 is the new $20. Heck, it takes us $100 to top off the tank of a couple of our 4x4s, and dinner at a decent restaurant can approach $200 nowadays. So, if you’ve become as numb to the thought of dropping over $100 on a single purchase as we have, check out some of these gift ideas in the $100-$250 range.
1. What: Going topless is unquestionably a great thing, but it’s not always appropriate every day. When inclement weather or morning dew threatens the interior of your Wrangler, toss on a Bestop All Weather Trail Cover to protect your Jeep’s interior. What did you think we were talking about?
How much: $180
Where: Bestop, 800/845-3567, bestop.com
2. What: We don’t know who originally thought of putting carpet in a 4x4. Carpet traps dirt and 4x4s live in dirt. Adding a set of WeatherTech floor liners will trap all the mud, snow, dirt, slush, muck, and junk your feet drag in from the trail. They’re tailor-fit for each vehicle and can be easily removed for cleaning.
How much: $207
Where: WeatherTech, 800/441-6287, weathertech.com
3. What: Without electricity, you’re not going anywhere. There’s nothing worse than spinning the key and hearing a sickening “fzt” sound. Ensure your vehicle always has starting juice with an Optima BlueTop battery. This battery is a deep-cycle unit that can withstand heavy winching and draining loads. Plus, it has wingnut terminals on top for convenient attaching of auxiliary electrical devices.
How much: $175
Where: Optima, 888/867-8462, optimabatteries.com
4. What: We’ve got X Factor, Fear Factor, Max Factor. Now there is finally a Factor we off-roaders can give a turkey about. The Prolink from Factor 55 is a safety winch thimble that attaches to the end of your winch line and accepts any standard 5⁄8-inch shackle. It keeps your hands free and clear from the fairlead when spooling in and provides a much more secure attachment point to what you’re winching. Built from 6061 aluminum and secured to the winch line with a 5/8-inch titanium pin, you’ll rip your winch off your vehicle before you hurt it.
How much: $142
Where: Factor 55, 208/639-1674, factor55.com
5. What: It’s nice when a pretty girl’s eyes go all aflutter as you approach, but it’s not quite so nice when it’s the hood of your JK doing the same. Once you level your JK hood, the decreased rake allows air to buffet the underside of the hood, pretty much until you’re borderline crazy. The Drake JK Hood Latches replace the flexible factory rubber hold-downs with a solid metal offering that looks great.
How much: $130
Where: Drake Off Road, 800/999-0289, drakeoffroad.com
6. What: If only all the trinkets you needed to safely and competently take on any winching situation were collected and housed in a durable carrying bag. Warn is way ahead of you, with its Medium Duty Winch bag. It includes twin D-ring shackles, a snatch block, tree saver, 30-foot strap, and a pair of heavy winching gloves, all housed in a red or camo bag.
How much: $203
Where: Warn, 800/910-1122, warn.com
7. What: You’re heard about the one-legged man in the ass-kicking contest? That’s what you’ll feel like trying to perform a field fix without a method of securing what you’re working on. Mac’s Trail D-Vise slides into your receiver hitch to turn the rear of your vehicle into a portable workshop, with the clamping power to safely hold any job you’ll need to do on the trail.
How much: $159
Where: Mac’s, 800/666-1586, macscustomtiedowns.com
8. What: One of the worst parts of fabrication is spending an arm and a leg on custom tabs to hold your seats, shocks, or whatever you’re working on. In addition to offering individual tabs, RuffStuff Specialties offers Shop Supply Kits so you can buy an assortment of commonly used tabs at substantial savings over purchasing individually.
How much: $175-up depending on tab style
Where: RuffStuff Specialties, 916/600-1945, ruffstuffspecialties.com
9. What: Just because something is inexpensive doesn’t mean it’s cheap. Summit Racing’s in-house products are darn good. The Four Wheelerstaff has used them on a lot of project vehicles. One of the better bargains is the company’s long-tube headers. The flanges seal, the collectors are solid, and the ones we’ve used haven’t cracked and fallen apart. Plus, there’s that horsepower and torque boost as well.
How much: About $120, depending on application
Where: Summit Racing, 800/230-3030, summitracing.com
10. What: Disco may be dead, but the automotive styling of the 1970s will live forever. Take, for example, this Sunpro Retro Tach. With a chrome body, flat or curved column mount, and vintage half-sweep face, it’s a dead ringer for the classic tachs of yore.
How much: $130
Where: Sunpro, 800/228-7667, sunpro.com
11. What: What real off-roader hasn’t spent the night shivering under the stars? Wait, shivering? Why would you sleep in a cold bag when Cabela’s Magnum 44 sleeping bag will keep you toasty to -20 degrees?
How much: $199
Where: Cabela’s, 800/237-4444, cabelas.com
12. What: Whether in your home or auto, Tuffy’s Conceal Carry Valuables Tote makes it easy to lock your valuables away from prying fingers. Available in vehicle-specific under-seat brackets or universal, we like the version with the push-button combo lock instead of a key. Additional sleeves are available to mount the tote in more than one vehicle or location.
How much: $184 (push-button combo lock) or $159 (keyed lock)
Where: Tuffy Security Products, 80/348-8339, tuffyproducts.com
13. What: Need a tug? Bubba’s got your back. The Bubba Rope Renegade is a 3⁄4-inch-diameter, 20-foot-long kinetic energy rope (think truck bungee) with a breaking strength of 19,000 pounds. The high-strength, high-quality rope comes in its own mesh duffle and is more useful for “unstucking” rigs stuck in mud and glop than a standard strap.
How much: $130
Where: Bubba Rope, 877/499-8494, bubbarope.com
14. What: Need a diff cover that’s literally bulletproof? Great Lake Extreme Off Road manufactures super-heavy-duty covers for many popular applications, and they’ll honestly stop a rifle round.
How much: $125
Where: Great Lake Extreme Off Road, 260/387-1428, greatlakeoffroad.com
15. What: There’s no need to go carrying around dedicated tools like a sledge, shovel, pick, or ax. That’s because Hi-Lift’s Handle-All kit includes these accouterments, along with a convenient two-piece handle, all in a handy, easy-to-carry bag.
How much: $147
Where: Hi-Lift, 800/223-2051, hi-lift.com
16. What: Why keep your factory cast-iron intake manifold when Edelbrock most certainly makes a high-flow, smog-legal aluminum intake that will unchoke your engine’s potential? Available for a super-wide range of American V-6 and V-8 engines and made right in the USA, the Performer line lives up to its name.
How much: About $140-$210, depending on application
Where: Edelbrock, 310/781-2222, edelbrock.com
17. What: Now that’s a knife! AEV has contracted with Benchmade, one of the premier blade manufacturers, to design a good-looking, top-quality assisted-opening knife. Based on Benchmade’s 581, the blade can be had in regular or semi-serrated design and will last a lifetime.
How much: $235
Where: AEV Conversions, 248/926-0256, aev-conversions.com
18. What: Want to blind squirrels and deer for pennies on the dollar? Rugged Ridge’s 13-inch LED lightbar throws over 6,000 lumens from both a driving and flood beam pattern and has an estimated life of over 30,000 hours.
How much: $240
Where: Rugged Ridge, ruggedridge.com
19. What: Do you eat? Do you hold things in your hands in perpetuity? If the answers are yes and no, you probably use a table from time to time. Rock-Slide Engineering’s Tailgate Table affixes to any vertical surface in your vehicle (like your Jeep’s tailgate) to provide an easily accessible fold-down table at the flip of the wrist.
How much: $180
Where: Rock-Slide Engineering, 435/752-4580, rockslideengineering.com
20. What: The CB craze of the 1970s may be over, but the need to stay in touch with the outside world and your fellow wheelers isn’t. Firestik offers antennas and mounts for just about any application—even if you don’t have a convenient place to put it—with high-performance antennas will help you reach out for help when you really need it most.
How much: $109
Where: Firestik, 602/273-7151, firestik.com