With a booming 4x4 market in Australia, 4x4 enthusiasts have never had it better when it comes to aftermarket gear. With such a wide variety of brands and products available, we've listed what we think is the best 4x4 gear released so far this year.
Hutch rooftop tent/Rubicon hitch rack
Unique in its design and execution, the Hutch rooftop tent is rear-mounted on your 4x4, courtesy of the also-unique Rubicon hitch tent rack. With this system, you can carry two rooftop tents, one up on the roof and the other on the hitch at the back.
If you only use one tent, the Hutch’s rear-mounted design means you lower wind-resistance and free up roof rack storage space. Plus, if you leave camp for vehicle-based exploration, you don’t have to pack the tent up – it is detachable, allowing it to be left fully erected at camp.
The tent is made from top-notch ripstop poly/canvas that is breathable, waterproof and mould- and mildew-resistant. It also has large side windows (with mesh screening) to enable plenty of ventilation. Available in both two and four-person sizes.
RRP: $1799 (Rubicon hitch tent rack)
RRP: from $1599-1899 (Hutch Tent; capacity dependent)
4x4 gear: Rooftop Tent buyers' guide
Narva Explora 175 LED Driving Lights
Narva’s new Explora 175 LED Driving Lights feature ‘Advanced Optic Drive Technology’ claimed to produce brighter light (3800 lumens and 1 lux of light at 535m) up to 20 per cent compared to more traditional 175mm free-form LED driving lights. The lights feature XHP50.2 Cree LEDs controlled using Optic Drive technology to ensure light is focused where it’s needed. An LED position light pipe is included in the modern and compact design, and each light weighs just 600g.
The fully sealed polycarbonate housing includes a Nitto breather vent and hard-coated lens, while a pressure, diecast aluminium heatsink and Active Thermal Management System (ATMS) keep the LED chipset cool. Installation is easy thanks to an included three-pin DT connector, and the mounting brackets and hardware are manufactured from stainless steel. An optional wiring harness and polycarbonate lens protectors are also available.
RRP: $299 (pair)
4x4 gear: Halogen v HID v LED driving lights
Sherpa 4x4 240V AC Motor Ramp Winch
As well as a great range of 12/24V winches for vehicle applications, Sherpa 4x4 now offers a 240V AC winch designed to haul boats or other equipment up steep ramps and into you garage. The Motor Ramp Winch is available in 7000lb (high speed) and 12,000lb capacities, and both variants feature push-button controls and a simple plug-and-play design.
The winches come standard with a single-phase motor or can be supplied with an optional three-phase motor. The winches are suitable for outdoor installations thanks to an IP55 rating, and are fitted with double lip seals and O-rings to keep water out. The 240V winches are covered by a two-year warranty.
EFS 4X4 Accessories Diff Drop kits
EFS 4X4 Accessories has developed a range of Toyota Diff Drop kits designed to assist in the realignment of vehicle CV joints when a suspension lift has been introduced. The Diff Drop kits include all required spacers, flat/spring washers, bolts and rings. The spacers are made from tough T6061 high-grade aluminium alloy and all nuts and bolts are made from high-quality nickel-plated 10.9 or 8.8 grade bolts.
The range includes Diff Drop Kits to suit Prado 120 and 150 models, FJ Cruiser, MY2005+ Hilux and LC200. In addition, EFS has developed a Centre Bearing Spacer to suit MY2015+ Mitsubishi MN-MQ Tritons which is designed to reduce the vibration often associated with a suspension lift on this model.
RRP: From $124.80
MSA 4X4 Fridge Barrier
The new MSA 4X4 Fridge Barrier allows the safe and secure storage of accessories and luggage around the fridge, while retaining access to fridge contents without having to unpack gear. It features a black powder-coated steel frame for safety, strength and durability, and has practical side pockets to store small items such as stubby coolers, cups and bottle openers.
The Fridge Barrier has been designed to fit perfectly around the MSA 4X4 Drop Slide and Fridge Slide range, and the smallest possible footprint to maximise vehicle cargo space. The barrier is easy to install and is covered by a lifetime guarantee.
RRP: From $399 (plus delivery)
Video review: MSA 4x4 accessories storage solutions
Projecta Charge N’ Maintain chargers
Projecta has updated its Charge N’ Maintain battery chargers by introducing new features across four new models. The ‘smart chargers’ have switchable charging stages, allowing them to regulate load and optimise charging, depending on the battery’s level of charge and stopping when full charge is reached.
Instead of a heavy transformer, the chargers feature ‘switch mode’ tech to convert 240V AC to 12V DC, so they are light, compact and portable. Another feature includes spark-free operation.
RRP: From $55 (800mAh model)
myCOOLMAN ‘The Transporter’ 30L Fridge/Freezer
The Transporter from myCOOLMAN is ideally suited to smaller vehicles or shorter trips thanks to its compact external dimensions, yet it can still store up to 32 330ml cans. The single-zone fridge is powered by a 12/24V compressor and has a digital control system with an easy-to-read display.
Features include a multi-level compartment with a deep section for tall bottles, an adjustable storage basket, a USB port and charger with 3000mA output, an LED interior light, two built-in bottle openers, and recessed carry handles that double as tough tie-down points. The fridge can be controlled and monitored using a Bluetooth-compatible smartphone with myCOOLMAN’s free Apple/Android app. Extras include an insulated cover ($109) and myCOOLMAN’s magnetically attached Power Pack ($399) that can run the fridge for up to 18 hours.
Terrain Tamer heavy duty wheel bearing and combination swivel housing kits
Designed and manufactured for Land Cruisers and Hiluxes operating in extreme conditions, the kits comprise made-in-Japan bearings with a Rockwell hardness rating that is 2.5 points higher than OE. The bearings are made using a new forging technique with an upgraded heat treatment procedure, to enable a longer service life. The kits include an innovative range of heavy-duty hub seals that rotate on their own internal surface, thereby eliminating wear on other components.
According to Terrain Tamer, “the seals utilise a labyrinth construction to better prevent the loss of oil and lubricating fluids and better protect against the ingress of dirt and other contaminants”. Supplied with all required components, and all parts are covered by a 12-month warranty.
RRP: HD Wheel Bearing Kits from $120; HD Swivel Housing Kits (with Swivel Hub and Wheel Bearing) from $400
Ironman 4x4 rated recovery points
Ironman 4x4 has developed a range of rated recovery points to suit Toyota LandCruiser 80, 100 and 105, Nissan Patrol Series 3 and 4, and Nissan Navara D40 and NP300 models. The NATA tested and approved recovery points are manufactured from premium-grade materials – SPHC oil and pickled steel (not mild steel) – for maximum strength and corrosion resistance. Each recovery point has a 5000kg Working Load Limit and has been designed to accept a 4.75t shackle or rated soft shackle.
The recovery points, which attach directly to the vehicle chassis with 10.9 grade high-tensile bolts, are finished in a red powdercoat for easy identification. They are supplied in a pair with all mounting hardware included and can be used with an equaliser strap to evenly distribute recovery loads over the vehicle’s chassis.
4x4 gear: Rated recovery points explained
Direction Plus TransChill Automatic Transmission Cooler Kit
When you are towing with your 4x4, your transmission is working hard – and it gets hot. The Direction-Plus Transchill Transmission Cooler kit is designed to resolve this potentially damaging (and trip-ending) problem, by reducing excessive transmission heat caused by towing, sand driving and driving with heavy loads where the transmission has to work harder.
The Direction-Plus Transchill Transmission Cooler is claimed to be able to reduce the temperature of the auto’s transmission fluid by as much as 330ºC. Even a reduction of just 110ºC can help you double the life expectancy of your rig’s transmission, so it’s a win-win.
Response Plus Performance Chip
The Response Plus Performance Chip ensures any of your vehicle’s power, torque and fuel efficiency that is usually lost due to the restrictive factory programming of your rig’s on-board computer is returned with interest. The Performance Chip does this by significantly improving the air-to-fuel ratio for optimum engine efficiency, which then leads to better fuel consumption while boosting power to make the most of each drop of fuel.
The Response Plus Performance Chip suits a wide range of diesel vehicles, being specifically programmed for make/model/engine type, and it is ideal for towing heavy loads and for an all-round power increase. Plus, it’s an easy install: just plug the module into the existing factory component, and away you go.
MaxTrax Hitch 50
The MaxTrax Hitch 50 is available now. Designed specifically for use with soft shackles, the Hitch 50 is precision-machined from 6061 billet aluminium and features an anodised finish for corrosion protection. The design allows for multidirectional pull in both vertical and horizontal axes and the hitch fits all standard 50mm (two-inch) hitch receivers. It has a working load limit of 8800kg and a destructive test break load of 44,000kg.
ARB Zero Fridge Freezer
Keep your beverages cool and your dinner frozen with ARB’s all-new Zero Fridge Freezer range. Available in two sizes – 69 litres and 96 litres – the Zero offers easy access to contents thanks to a side-opening, quick-release lid. It also features handy front and rear DC inlets, while there’s also a front AC inlet for when camping at powered sites. A USB outlet also provides a charging point for gadgets and gizmos. The dual cooling zones on both units can be independently controlled via a panel or wirelessly via a Bluetooth-enabled device.
The 69-litre unit has one lid and an internal freezer compartment that can be removed if desired to increase fridge space. The 96-litre unit features two separate compartments, each with its own lid, completely isolating the freezer and fridge sections from each other. Both Zero models also feature a ‘boost’ function to rapidly cool down contents, as well as ‘anti-condensation technology’.
RRP: $1599 (69L); $1799 (96L)
4x4 gear: Portable Fridge buyers' guide