There was no shortage of great 4x4 gear that was released over the last 12 months. From exhaust systems to light bars and communications gear, we have picked the 12 best bits of 4x4 gear of 2019.
Yakima LockN’Load Jerry Can Holder
Yakima continues to punch out top-notch gear for its highly regarded Lockn’Load Platform roof-rack system, with this new jerrycan holder the latest piece of kit in the ever expanding range of accessories. The holder has been specifically designed for the Lockn’Load Platform and can be used to store 10- and 20-litre jerries.
The holder can be used with either plastic or metal jerrycans and it features a robust powdercoated finish to ensure it is up to the roughest treatment when out bush. Included with the kit are the holder and a ratchet strap. Another nifty design idea for this holder is the low height of the base cage; this allows for easier loading – always welcome when you’re trying to wrestle 10 or 20kg of full jerrycan up on to the roof.
Bushranger Night Hawk LED VLI series single-row light bars
The latest model in Bushranger’s VLI (Variable Light Intensity) Series, the Night Hawk LED offers the same slimline design of the previous-gen model but ups the effective lumens by 82 per cent across the range. This ensures “…considerable distance and width gains” in terms of illuminative coverage from the high-output OSRAM LEDs.
The VLI wiring system allows Bushranger to bring easily adjustable brightness control via a dial setup (wiring system sold separately). You can also create your own beam pattern, with each 13-inch to 51-inch light bars able to be set up as a full spotlight, full flood, or a combo of the two thanks to the ability to mix and match the supplied covers (a set of both spot and flood covers come with each kit).
The extruded 6061 aluminium housing and cast alloy mounts ensure durability, while the inbuilt temperature monitoring of the LEDs keeps it all cool and working to capacity.
RRP: From $115-$595
4x4 gear: LED light buyers' guide
Outlaw 4x4 Stainless Steel Exhausts
Outlaw 4x4 has recently expanded its range of stainless steel exhaust systems for 4x4s. Most of Outlaw 4x4’s exhausts are offered as ‘turbo back’ systems, which include a high-flow turbo dump pipe for maximum turbo response, a high-flow diesel-spec catalytic converter where applicable, mandrel bent tubing, a premium quality flex joint for system longevity and minimal NVH (noise, vibration and harshness), and high-flow tube and muffler designs.
All systems are manufactured using 409-grade stainless steel, and full stainless steel mufflers are also employed to ensure they operate as designed long after lesser mild steel or aluminium coated mild steel systems have failed.
EFS Vividmax High Performance LED and mount brackets
This new schmick lighting setup from EFS incorporates three high quality 9-watt Osram LEDs for the best bright white light output (5000-6300k). The lights offer a 20,000-hour life, include reverse-polarity protection and are 12-36 volt.
The Vividmax is built tough too; an IP67 water/dustproof rating, along with high-quality aluminium construction, polycarbonate lens covers and a claimed operating temperature range of between -40°C and 85°C ensure these things will last for years and years.
There are a number of mounting bracket size options (VM-BKT1 is 50mm; VM-BKT2 is 63mm – both can be used for aerial, light bar, spotlight) constructed of aluminium with stainless-steel fittings (rubber insulated). The VM-BKT3 (50mm) and VM-BKT4 (63mm) offers a side-mount option for the light bar.
ARB mid-height drawer
ARB has come up with a great solution to cater for the myriad ways in which off-road tourers set their vehicle’s cargo area up for storage. This mid-height drawer covers those who cannot fit a full-height drawer in their rig, but are after more storage height than low-height drawers. With 105mm of in-draw height, the new ARB mid-height drawer is the perfect solution.
It is available in three lengths – 945mm, 1045mm, 1355mm – so accommodates the full range of vehicles ARB builds drawers for. The drawers bolt in quickly and easily and include a roller floor that allows for fast access to anything stored on top of the drawer. Both the drawer itself and the roller floor feature aluminium drawer runners for optimum durability.
Ironman 4x4 kinetic snatch rope
Ironman 4x4’s new kinetic snatch rope measures 9m in length and is 22mm thick. The use of kinetic rope means there is a smoother, more gradual build-up and release of kinetic energy during a recovery situation, making it more effective than conventional webbing recovery straps.
The rope is designed to stretch up to 30 per cent (most traditional webbing recovery straps only stretch up to 20 per cent) and has a rated 9500kg minimum breaking strength. The rope is manufactured with a high-strength nylon 66 (polyamide) double braid cover with an abrasion-resistant core. The eyelets are coated reinforced polyurethane for ultimate strength and durability and there’s also a polyester protective sleeve. The rope comes in a handy carry bag, too.
Invicta Lithium battery range
Invicta Lithium is a premium range of batteries consisting of the highest quality Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) composition. LiFePO4 has been selected for the Invicta range due to its convenient cell voltage, high energy density, cycle-life and most importantly due to it being one of the safest Lithium technologies available. This makes batteries in the Invicta Lithium range suitable for applications ranging from high-cycle, such as 4x4 rigs, RVs and caravans/campers.
Another benefit of these powerhouses for 4x4s is that fact that these batteries are 50 per cent lighter than comparable Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) batteries while offering up to a claimed eight times the cycle-life. There are even Bluetooth versions that allow you to monitor the state of the battery using the free app which communicates with the battery’s integrated management system.
4x4 gear: Dual battery systems explained
LedLenser iF8R light
This latest LedLenser light source is high in technology and functionality. The iF8R (powered by rechargeable batteries) offers an output of up to 4500 Lumens via its Xtreme LED – and can be controlled via your smartphone if need be, so you don’t need to get out of that camp chair to adjust lighting levels at the campsite.
The iF8R offers three light settings – power, mid power and low power (for up to a claimed 12 hours on this setting). The light has an inbuilt power bank, meaning you can charge your mobile phone off it if needed.
A unique feature is the iF8R’s built-in magnet, which allows you to affix the light to any steel surface (such as the side/back/front of your rig). The iF8R also has an efficient cooling element to ensure optimum – and long-lasting – light performance. It is rated IP54 for water protection (can withstand powerful sprays of water), weighs 1740g and measures 142mm high, 44mm deep and 307mm wide.
MSA 4X4 Tradie Gear Canvas Seat Covers
MSA 4X4’s new Tradie Gear Canvas Seat Covers are manufactured from heavy duty 14oz polyester and cotton blend canvas. They are polycotton lined to deliver protection for vehicle car seats by providing a barrier between the canvas and the seat.
In addition, the Tradie Gear Canvas Seat Covers are claimed to be 100 per cent water, dirt, mud, kid and pet proof, and are quick and easy to install. Importantly, all Tradie Gear Canvas Seat Covers are certified ADR compliant. The current Tradie Gear range includes seat cover patterns to suit tradie-relevant and fleet-relevant 4X4s.
RRP: $325 per row; $620 (complete front/second-row set)
Terrain Tamer parabolic spring: Toyota Hilux
Terrain Tamer has released a new Parabolic Leaf Spring for Toyota Hilux KUN25/26 and GGN25 models, utilising the same impressive parabolic design as the popular spring released for LandCruiser models in 2018, and adding to the company’s extensive existing suspension range.
Applying modern technology to a well-established idea to provide a quieter and more comfortable ride, Terrain Tamer’s parabolic design contains fewer leaves than regular leaf springs. A parabolic spring is thicker in the centre and thinner toward the ends, rather than the usual linear design. Eliminating the weight of often heavy, thick traditional leaf packs, the parabolic design dramatically reduces the unsprung weight of the vehicle.
This design also works to help the spring remain flexible, yet still strong enough to bear the weight of heavy loads – particularly useful in 4WD applications. The parabolic design allows the spring to compress or extend with ease, without the leaves touching each other until there is a reasonable load on the vehicle (up to 500kg).
4x4 product test: Terrain Tamer parabolic leaf springs
Thunder 5W 80-channel UHF
This compact UHF features 80-channel scanning capability and a backlit LED display and keypad. The Thunder 5W features digital selective calling, an external speaker jack and a 75cm 5dB antenna with 35mm black stainless-steel barrel spring.
Outstanding performance with an18km range combined with a sleek, unobtrusive mount for modern vehicles is ideal for the adventurer. For what it lacks in size, the radio packs a punch with built-in loud speaker housed by a durable case. The compact size makes the radio very easy to mount. There is digital selective calling and a quick release cradle as well.
4x4 gear: UHF radio buyers' guide
GME TX616XO radio
The new TX616XO is a limited edition blaze-orange handheld radio that offers class-leading five-watt transmission power, IP67 dust/water ingress protection and robust construction at a very competitive price point.
The brightly coloured radio (perfect for never losing the thing, if you ask us) claims a 30-hour battery life, courtesy of its 2800mAh Li-ion battery pack, and features include VOX hands-free mode and a built-in LED torch. GME also claims this new unit offers improved scan speed, while there is a rotary power/volume control that enables easy operation.
The TX616XO is compact and light, too, measuring only 285mm tall, 110mm wide and 95mm deep, and it comes with a desktop charger, AC adaptor and a belt clip. GME offers a two-year warranty.