CAMPSITE life is already bliss, but here are a few camping products to make sitting back at camp after a hard day on the tracks even better.
ARB compact camp table
There’s nothing worse than having to balance your (often hot) meals on your lap when out camping because you haven’t got a suitable camp table to fit your family around.
ARB’s new compact camp table can fit a family of four and utilises full-diameter slats that offer a strong supportive surface on which to place your dining utensils and plates, and also a nice heat-resistant area that can be used for meal preparation.
The table top is further supported by cross braces, and the square tube legs are considerably more robust than most found on other camp tables of this size and design. The table is designed to roll up neatly in a compact storage bag, so it takes up minimal space in the back of your rig.
RRP: $79 (Aus metro)
4x4 opinion: Outback camping - the circle of life
Victorinox Alox Limited Edition Swiss Army knife
Victorinox releases its Alox Limited Edition Swiss Army Knives each year, incorporating some of its most popular models in different colours. For 2019 the LE series – comprising the Classic, Cadet and Pioneer – is available in gold. Each knife is complete with its own certificate and the year of release is stamped on the back of the knife.
The Classic Alox LE is compact (58mm in length) and includes blade, screwdriver, scissors, nail file and key ring; The Cadet Alox LE is 84mm long, with blade, reamer, punch, can opener (with small screwdriver), nail file (with nail cleaner) bottle opener (with both small screwdriver and wire stripper) and key ring.
The Pioneer ups the length to 93mm and incorporates a large blade, reamer/punch, can opener (with small screwdriver), bottle opener (with screwdriver/wire stripper) and a key ring.
RRP: $89.95 (Classic); $110 (Cadet); $115 (Pioneer)
BlackWolf Strato 40 Technical Daypack
For that everyday gear you take with you in your rig – or for those day hikes from your campsite – the BlackWolf Strato 40 is a nifty solution. The pack has plenty of well thought-out features, including a safety whistle, a night reflective daisy loop and an internal pocket for a hydration bladder for when you’re out on those longer exploratory walks.
The best part about the Strato 40 is it is equally ‘at home’ doing commute duties in town. There’s RFID protection for security from digital theft (aka skimming), a waterproof rain cover, sturdy zippers, a comfortable padded waist belt and shoulder harness, and a sternum strap that helps distribute the weight of heavier loads.
You will also find a padded laptop holder and hard-case for your laptop, plus a removable key holder (you’ll never lose them again!) and an external headphone port.
4x4 product test: Black Wolf Tuff Dome Plus
Oztent Red-Belly & Taipan HotSpot chairs
These two new camp chairs from camping icon Oztent are a brilliant mix of rugged engineering and innovative design. Both the Taipan and Red-Belly utilise HotSpot heating pouches to ensure you’re just as comfortable when sitting back relaxing on a cold winter’s camp as you are any other time of year.
Both chairs each have four insulated HotSpot pockets (and both come with two HotSpot pouches) to ensure the ultimate in passive heating. The Red-Belly weighs in at 3.7kg but has an awesome 200kg weight capacity – enough for the burliest camper – while the Taipan is 4.4kg (the additional weight is courtesy of the alloy arm-rests on the Taipan) and can handle a 150kg occupant.
The frame is robust magnesium alloy, while the material used is tough 600-denier polyester. Both seats utilise Oztent’s patented adjustable lumbar support, the aforementioned HotSpot pockets, are fully padded, include an insulated drink holder, and the carry bag can be stored in the headrest. Clever and bloody comfy!
RRP: $219.95 (Red-Belly); $229.95 (Taipan)
LedLenser iF8R portable light
This latest LedLenser light source is high in technology and functionality. The iF8R (powered by rechargeable batteries) offers an output of up to 4500Lumens 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 metal 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.
4x4 gear: Top 10 weekend camping essentials