GEAR

PRODUCT TESTS & NEW STUFF

TJM OUTBACK BAR COLORADO (2016+)

This tough steel bar has been beefed up even more for the facelifted Holden Colorado, with more aggressive styling to match the ute’s new front-end design. The bar is made of 63mm tubing and features 8000kg-rated recovery points, LED combination lights (steel-mounted) that sit flush in the bar, LED foglights and an integrated winch mount (winch mounting kit required and sold separately). The bar’s design ensures the best approach angle is attained, and it can be fitted with large spotties and dual radio aerials. There is also provision for relocating the vehicle’s parking sensor. The bar is airbag and ADR-compliant. The bar also includes reinforced recovery jack points and full cato straps for maximum strength.

Website: www.tjm.com.au

ARB ELEMENTS 60L FRIDGE

ARB’s 60-litre Elements weatherproof fridge-freezer features 304-grade stainless steel construction, protective corner mouldings, electronic lock system (to keep beer-thieving mates out), gas struts, heavy-duty stainless steel hinges, provision for a padlock and more. It’s ideal for fitment in any 4x4, but especially in 4x4 ute trays, where it can be locked down securely thanks to a tamper-proof mounting kit (there’s also a tie-down kit and fridge slide available). A uniform temperature in-fridge is achieved via the full-height evaporator that adds surface area and thus improved efficiency. The control panel is weatherproof, with its touchpad easily accessed. The touchpad keys are backlit and the display also shows DC voltage supply for monitoring of power use. The front and rear handles are recessed, as are the AC and DC sockets.

Dimensions are 440mm (H), 820mm (D) and 490mm (W), and it weighs 31kg.

Website: www.arb.com.au RRP: $1699 (east coast metro pricing)

OPPOSITE LOCK REAR STEP TOWBAR

Oppy Lock’s premium steel rear step towbar range covers all the popular current-model 4x4 utes on the market: Ford Ranger, Holden Colorado, Isuzu D-Max, Mazda BT-50, Mitsubishi Triton, Nissan Navara, Toyota Hilux and VW Amarok.

The heavy-duty tow hitch is rated specifically to each model’s towing capacity, and the 63mm steel tube and plate guard, designed for optimum departure angle, means the bar is super tough. The mounting points for both Anderson and trailer plugs are up high as well. The bar is phosphate-cleaned and powdercoated black and includes an aluminium checkerplate step, plus high-lift jack mount points. The loop tube design offers ample protection for your rig’s rear end. The full kit includes rear step, towball-mounting hitch, rego plate light and rear sensors (where applicable).

Website: www.oppositelock.com.au RRP: $1099

GARMIN INREACH SE+ & INREACH EXPLORER+

The inReach SE+ and Explorer+ combine sat-phone technology (via Iridium network) to allow two-way text messaging, emergency (SOS), and GPS navigation. Both units include inbuilt GPS, with the Explorer+ true to its moniker and adding preloaded topographic maps, as well as a barometric altimeter, compass and accelerometer. The inReach SE+ and Explorer+ can send and receive text messages from any email address, mobile phone, or another inReach unit. The interactive SOS triggers an emergency response from GEOS (24-hour international emergency response) or you can set up your own emergency contacts list so they are alerted once you hit SOS. Both units claim up to 100 hours of battery life per charge in tracking mode and 30 days in powersave mode.

Website: www.garmin.com.au RRP: $599 (inReach SE+); $699 (inReach Explorer+)

IRONMAN 4X4 INSTANT AWNING

Ironman’s popular Instant Awning has been revamped. The awning’s cam-lock telescopic uprights and supports have been upgraded and flexible nylon joints have been added to allow for movement due to strong winds, thus ensuring the track system doesn’t damage. Velcro pull-over clamps now make unrolling of the awning faster and easier. Ironman uses tough 280gsm rip-stop polycotton fabric for durability, and the stitching is seam-sealed, ensuring the awnings are fully waterproof. The fabric is also rated to UV50+ sun protection and the awning is stored inside a 1000-denier waterproof PVC cover. Other features include an integrated LED light strip (with strip light dimmer), glow-in-the-dark guy ropes and a comprehensive installation kit. The Instant Awning is available in three sizes: 1.4m x 2.5, 2m x 2.5m, and 2.5m x 2.5m.

Website: www.ironman4x4.com RRP: $245 (1.4m x 2.5m); $270 (2m x 2.5m); $295 (2.5m x 2.5m)

OZTENT KING KOKODA CHAIR

Oztent’s new King Kokoda sits within the new HotSpot chair range and is rated to 150kg. An Oztent HotSpot is a heating pouch that slots into any of the King Kokoda’s four HotSpot pockets. The HotSpot pouch is warmed by placing it in the supplied microfibre bag, immersing this in a billy that you bring to the boil and let simmer for five minutes. The warmed pouch is then placed in one of the pockets and you’re set for an hour of warm comfort. The pouch can be used/reheated up to 500 times. The King Kokoda is built tough – heavy-duty steel frame, solid alloy armrests, comfy padded polyester – and features adjustable lumbar support. The carry bag stores in the headrest.

Website: www.oztent.com.au RRP: $139.95

YAKIMA LOCKN’LOAD CORNER BRACKETS KIT

Yakima’s LockN’Load Platform system has been going gangbusters since its release, and the company continues to add accessories to it, with this Load Corner Brackets Kit the latest. The kit comprises four heavy-duty steel brackets, so it’s built tough for touring. The included eye bolts are used with tie-downs and the whole set-up can be positioned anywhere on the platform (additional eye bolts are also available as a two-pack). This robust bracket set-up ensures those boxy, bulky items (think: toolbox, etc.) can be secured up top. As with all the LockN’Load gear, this bracket kit has been subjected to plenty of testing to ensure it fits in perfectly with the platform during off-road driving.

Website: www.yakima.com.au RRP: $75

OSPREY TRANSPORTER DUFFEL

Highly regarded backpack brand Osprey has just released its all-new Transporter duffel bag range, ideal for throwing all your gear in for that big trip. The Transporter is made using super-tough 800-denier double-coated nylon, so will cop plenty of rough treatment. The duffel features a stowaway harness with a full yoke and contoured straps as well, making it easy to carry to the airport or to and from your rig. The main compartment is lockable and has overlapping rain flaps, plus there are four handles and additional lash-points to secure the bag if need be.

In addition, there are two side pockets for small items.

Available in four sizes – 40L, 65L, 95L, 130L – and five colours, it’s a great carry-all that is near bombproof.

Website: www.osprey.com RRP: $179.95 (40L); $199 (65L); $229.95 (95L); $249.95 (130L)

EFS ADVENTURE SERIES BULLBARS

EFS has released a premium steel bullbar range for a number of popular 4x4s: Toyota Hilux, LC76-79 Cruisers, Nissan Navara NP300, Mazda BT-50 (2011-16), Ford Ranger, Mitsubishi Triton (2015-onwards), Holden Colorado (2012-16), and Isuzu D-Max (2012-onwards). The bar was designed, tested and developed here in Australia and features an oversized 63mm tube bar fitted with LED indicators and driving lights. The bar is also winch-compatible thanks to its inbuilt winch cradle mount, and it also has lower bar bash plates and twin radio aerial mounts.

The EFS Adventure bars are ADR-compliant and meet all vehicle airbag regulations.

Website: www.efs4wd.com.au RRP: $1480

TROJAN MOVABLE ANCHOR POINTS

For ute and trailer owners, Trojan has released two new anchor points: the Movable (in a twin-pack and rated to 125kg capacity) and the Heavy Duty (420kg capacity).

The versatility of the anchor points means you can avoid drilling unsightly holes in your ute tray, as they can easily be attached to – and moved between – ute and trailer. The anchors feature extended-length screws for securing to different thicknesses and through different surfaces. The Movable model has a rubber covering on its base and sides to avoid scratching ducos, while the Heavy Duty jobbie has a tough zinc-plated finish. The Heavy Duty anchor also includes a pivoting ring that offers up to 180 degrees of rotation to ensure easy access and effective tie-down force.

Website: www.trojanparts.com.au RRP $39.95 (Movable, twin-pack); $34.95 (Heavy Duty, single unit)

ROLA TITAN FLAT TRAY SYSTEM

This new flat roof-rack system from ROLA is made from anodised aluminium, so it’s light rust-resistant. It’s available in a number of sizes: 1200x1200mm, 1500x1200mm, 1800x1200mm and 2000x1200mm. The Titan has an optional side rail kit and plenty of other accessories, including recovery track mounts, LED light bar bracket, jerry can and gas bottle holders, spare-wheel holder and awning bracket.

The Titan will fit most popular off-road vehicles, is rated up to 300kg (check your rig’s roof-weight limit, of course) and comes with a five-year warranty. The patented design allows for the mounting of accessories on all sides of the tray, and the tray has been engineered and extensively tested in Australian touring conditions. Look for an extensive test in an upcoming issue.

Website: www.titantray.com.au

KLEAN KANTEEN INSULATION BOTTLES

Featuring food-grade stainless steel construction, Klean Kanteen’s Insulation bottle range is brilliant for your camp kitchen and built to last. The stainless steel option means no BPA and/or toxins in the material that contains your water and there are no problems with taste/odour retention like there are in plastic water bottles. The Insulation range is vast, ranging from bottles in various sizes (as featured here) through to coffee mugs and more. Klean claims up to 100 hours of keeping water cool in these jobbies, achieved via its unique double-wall insulation (dubbed Climate Lock Vacuum Insulation by Klean). The bottle range also includes standard (44mm) and wide-mouth (54mm) openings. And yeah, it’ll also keep that tea/coffee warm for ages. Yes!

Website: www.kleankanteen.com

WAECO CFX75DZW FRIDGE/FREEZER

This new twin-compartment fridge/freezer from Waeco continues the company’s push into Wi-Fi tech, which means temperatures can be monitored remotely via the Dometic CFX app on your smartphone or tablet. The fridge/freezer features improved Variable Motor Speed Optimisation, enabling the compressor to maintain optimum cooling speed via ‘soft start’ or ‘turbo’ modes, and a three-stage battery protection set-up.

It measures 887mm (W) x 472mm (H) x 495mm (D), with a weight of 20.5kg. The low power draw is the result of thicker insulation in the unit. Inside, there’s LED lighting, and the evaporator plates are mounted flush, enabling easy cleaning.

There’s also a USB charge point and tough latches, hinges and handles for securing it to your cargo area.

Website: www.dometic.com RRP: $1799

THE CATCH: THE STORY OF FISHING IN AUSTRALIA

Fishing is one of Australia’s most popular pastimes, with an estimated 3.5 million Aussies throwing a line in each year. In fact, the net worth of recreational and commercial fishing is in the billions of dollars. Writer Anna Clark delves into Australian fishing’s rich history, starting off with its importance to indigenous Australians. The techniques used by indigenous anglers, including details on the innovative line fishing techniques of indigenous women, are covered. Clark follows the early days of the colonial fishing industry, when keeping the fish fresh for market was one of the problems faced, and then details how the commercial industry exploded in the 1970s, nearly imploded due to over-fishing by the 1990s, and became the hi-tech industry of today. A cracking read for all anglers.

Website: publishing.nla. gov.au/pages/home.do RRP: $39.99 he ed me f d a. o