Electricity might play second fiddle to fuel and food in importance on your list of 4x4 trip preparations, but having an ample supply of it on hand can make any journey more enjoyable and even get you out of a tight spot.
So don't be left out in the dark on your next 4x4 road trip with these handy electrical gadgets.
EFS Vividmax light bar
The team at EFS has released a new addition to its accessory range: Vividmax light bars. This light bar is available in four different sizes – 21, 27, 34 and 40-inch – and it uses a super-bright 6000K true white light to illuminate the track ahead of you.
The light bar features top-notch Cree LEDs and it comes with waterproof connectors as well as tough stainless steel mounts and hardware. All models of the light bar incorporate a spread and spot beam and are housed inside a durable aluminium casing that also provides improved heat dissipation when the lights are working.
The light bar is rated IP67 water- and dust-proof and is built to the usual high standards you’d expect from EFS. With a size to suit every vehicle and bullbar mount the Vividmax light bar is well worth considering, especially at a great bang-for-your-bucks price.
RRP: $219 (21-inch 90W); $280 (27-inch 120W); $320 (34-inch 150W); $375 (40-inch 180W)
Barebones Living Trailblazer flashlight
This rugged torch features a 6W LED light that can blast out a maximum 500 lumens of brightness. The torch can maintain this mega-bright output for 2.5 hours. The maximum lighting time is 24 hours when on the lowest (38 lumens) output setting.
The Trailblazer’s construction is of robust aluminium (with steel belt-clip and rubber on/off switch) and it features a telescoping lens and indicators for adjustment of lighting angle and scope (ideal for spotting those possums up the tree with the kids).
The torch is powered by a 16.5Wh lithium-ion rechargeable battery (recharge times are a claimed four to six hours from flat) and measures 234mm long x 54.6mm wide. Also included are a 5V/1A micro-USB input and a 5V/1.5A output.
Dometic solar panel
The new PS180A solar panel from power gurus Dometic includes highly efficient monocrystalline panels (more efficient than other tech) for a longer lifespan.
The panel’s heavy duty, three-stage 20amp rated automatic solar charger ensures battery charge is kept at optimum operating levels, thanks to its ability to swap between battery and solar power as needed.
The built-in battery temp sensor ups reliability by keeping track of the temps during operation and making sure there’s no risk of overcharging. The PS180A’s aluminium frame and three adjustable feet make it easy to turn the panel to the ideal angle for maximum input from the sun.
The PS180A is a compact, lightweight unit that, when folded, is stored inside a protective carry bag. Additional features include a five-metre lead, an Anderson plug and alligator clips.
Uniden Jumpstart Kit and Power Pack
Whether an off-road tourer, camper or boatie (or all three), becoming stranded due to a flat battery can make that fun escape sheer misery.
Uniden’s compact UPP136 jumpstart kit and power pack is a powerful 13,600mAh portable battery pack that includes a set of jump cables, as well as doubling as a charger for handheld gadgets (using the included two-in-one USB cable). The vehicle charge limits are for petrol engines up to 5.0 litres, or a diesel engine up to 3.0 litres.
The UPP136 includes a battery percentage LED indicator and recharged using the AC power adaptor or in transit via the included charge cable. There is an inbuilt spike and surge protector, and the kit includes a three-mode LED flashlight. It has a lifecycle of 1000 discharges.
The head-torch gurus at Ledlenser have released the MH10, which promises plenty of lighting grunt (maximum output is 600 lumens), courtesy of its Power LED light source, and a light weight (158g). The MH10 is built tough, too; the removable and washable head strap is over-engineered for durability, while the battery case and pivot-mount light are designed to withstand dust and water.
The MH10 has a maximum run-time of 120 hours, plus an emergency light function for when battery power is low. There are three lighting modes: low power, mid power and power.
The light is easily operated one-handed, thanks to the pivot mount behind the light itself. Changing the focus from flood to spot lighting is also possible one-handed via the ring on the light housing’s outer edge. The hi-tech lithium-ion battery allows for fast recharging (three hours to reach 80 per cent capacity) via USB.
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