Gear

PRODUCT TESTS & NEW STUFF

WORK HARD, PLAY HARD

Want a side-by-side thatís sporty yet built for work? Polaris has one. The new 100Hp ĎGeneralí side-by-side combines the offroad utility of its Ranger vehicle with the championship-winning pedigree of the Polaris RZR sports series. It has a 272kg rated dump box, can tow 680kg, and has electric power steering.

Thereís also an engine braking system and all-wheel drive.

Lifting the sports stakes, the Generalís suspension travel is 311mm at the front and 335mm at the rear (compared to 254mm on the Ranger), and it sits on independent double wishbones at each corner to provide 305mm of ground clearance. It also has anti-sway bars front and rear, and a full-body underside skid plate. Two General versions will be in Australia by late March; the premium, RRP $24,995; and the Deluxe, RRP $27,495. Both include a 4500LB winch, lowprofile front bumpers, 14-inch alloy wheels, with eight-ply Dirt Commander tyres. Website: polarisindustries.com.au

CHEF AT WORK

Inspired by a Santoku chefís knife, the Freescape Camp Kitchen Knife is a versatile addition to any camperís kitchen and is just at home outdoors as it is inside. The short length, wide profile at the heel and tip, flatter design, and fine straight edge makes the Camp Kitchen Knife handy for working on smaller boards when chopping, dicing and slicing your meal. The grippy, textured handle is designed to keep the knife firmly in your hand no matter what the conditions and the bright green accents make it easier to find in your bag or in the dark. It comes with durable sheathes to keep your knife safe and near at hand on your belt loop. RRP: $79.95.

Website: http://au.gerbergear.com m acc wit you

GET DOWN!

Some people will happily pay $150 for a motel room and a lumpy bed. So why skimp on a camping mattress thatíll give you comfort for years? The Exped DownMat has an integrated pump to ensures swift inflation of the mat. Use both hands to inflate within a minute Ė after a bit of practice. The mat has two low-profile valves, one for inflation and the other for deflation, to ensure ease of use. The valves are flat and not on the matís edge, so they donít protrude and are protected and durable. Light foam blocks at the matís ends prevent down from escaping or migrating between chambers.

RRP Ė from $180 to $255, plus post.

Website: www.andystrapz.com

COOL COMPRESSOR

A portable compressor is a handy investment for anyone who likes to go off-road and CoolDrive Distribution reckons the versatile compressor from Jaylec is ideal for off-road, camping and home use.

The 150psi Jaylec Portable Compressor is made for use in off-road conditions when tyres need reinflating after use on sandy or muddy terrain. Itís fully portable and is powered by a 12V battery via heavy-duty alligator clamps, which are included. Alternatively, the compressor can be hard-wired and permanently mounted. It has a built-in low-pressure 4x4 tyre gauge and 8m inflation hose, an oil-less motor, automatic thermal cut-out switch, a 45Amp circuit breaker with reset button, and an easily cleaned air filter.

RRP $150 Website: http://ishop.cooldrive.com.au/ MINI-TRUCK So youíve been out four-wheel driving all day and youíre So youíve been out four-wheel driving all day and youíre now sitting at camp, knackered. What do you do? Grab a tinny and get out your remote-control truck: Axialís Yeti Score Trophy Truck. This thing is so lifelike youíll be wishing you were the inventor from Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. The off-road 4x4 replica is a 1/10 scale version of a full-size, authentic trophy truck and has a solid rear axle and independent front suspension, waterproof electronics, BF Goodrich Tyres, King shocks and more. Just throw in a battery and charger and youíre ready to go.

RRP: $649.99. Website: HTDirect.com.au.

MAX HEADROOM

We all appreciate protection from the harsh elements while travelling and thatís why vehicle shade awnings are worth their weight in gold. But reality is they can often be impractical due to height issues.

Well, not any longer. Rhino-Rack has developed the Dome 1300 Awning which provides additional head clearance when mounted to the front, side or rear of a vehicle. Made from heavy-duty ripstop polycotton fabric, itís not only weather/water-proofed but mould resistant and UV50+ protected. The roof domes up, giving it superior water run-off in wet conditions.

The awning covers a large space, opening out to 2.5x2.4m and stands well over 2m depending on the vehicle you mount it to. The Dome 1300 Awning is also quick to set-up and easy to use, compatible with most roof rack channels, and comes with a one-year warranty. RRP: $379 Website: www.rhinorack.com.au

HOLD THAT THOUGHT

Sometimes square or rectangular-shaped equipment just doesnít fit properly in the storage areas of modern vehicles. Enter Projectaís cylindricallyshaped Pro-Wave 150W Sine Wave Inverter. This thingís shape means it can sit comfortably and securely in your vehicleís cup holder. The PW 150 connects to a vehicleís electrical system via a 12V accessory socket. Appliances are charged and powered via the unitís powerful 2.1A (5V) USB port or through the conventional power plug outlet. And the PW 150 is ideal for powering and charging small appliances on the go, such as laptops, tablets, camera, and mobile phones. It can also be easily transferred from one vehicle to another. Available at 4x4 outlets throughout Australia. RRP: $190.00.

BETTER SAFE

Youíre mad to go bush without a decent first aid kit Ė simple as that. The Australian outback is filled with all sorts of nasties and accidents waiting to happen.

With that in mind, ARB has developed three first aid kits designed to keep you and your family safe when medical help is far away: the ARB Family First Aid Kit, RRP: $199.00, which is waterproof and has 42 quality first aid provisions; the ARB Personal First Aid Kit, RRP: $99.00, which has 33 quality first aid provisions; and the ARB Snake and Spider Bite Kit, RRP: $39.00, which has materials designed to aid in the event of a bite, as well as an emergency first aid booklet and a Snake Ďní Spider information booklet. Website: www.arb.com.au/first-aid/

LED THERE BE LIGHT

Narva has taken the Ďstab in the darkí out of searches for hidden tools and other knickknacks with the release of its latest highpowered LED strip lamp in a convenient locker light kit.The new LED locker light is ideal for use in a toolbox, locker or cupboard and has been designed for easy mounting above the door, delivering a smooth, powerful spread of light without interfering with access.

The kit includes a 45-degree pre-drilled aluminium mounting bracket, highperformance automotive-grade 3M adhesive foam tape and all the mounting hardware required for convenient, no-fuss installation.

Features of the 12V locker light are an inbuilt on/off switch and the latest SMD LED technology which provides high light output, low current draw of 0.34A, and excellent durability. RRP: $59.00. Website: www.narva. com.au/products/browse/led-strip-lamps