GEAR

PRODUCT TESTS & NEW STUFF

TJM FOX MONOTUBE SHOCK ABSORBER

Aussie aftermarket brand TJM has partnered with FOX suspension to produce a unique and innovative monotube shock tuned to Australian driving conditions.

This all-new damper features a single-wall design (for faster heat dissipation), a twoinch smooth bore and honed alloy steel tube that ups the oil capacity for enhanced damping grunt, and nitrile rubber bushes to keep everything quiet underneath. The shock’s internal floating piston is designed to offer optimum on- and off-road handling by separating the oil and gas in the shock, thus reducing shock fade. The shaft is constructed of 16mm hard chrome-plated, heat-treated alloy for robustness and the shock is compatible with vehicles that are 50 to 75mm higher than standard. At launch, the shock is available for Jeep JK Wrangler, Nissan GQ and GU Patrol, Toyota LC79, LC78 and LC76 wagon, plus 80 and 105 Series Cruisers. The TJM FOX monotube shock absorber comes with a three year/100,000km warranty.

Website: www.tjm.com.au

SUUNTO SPARTAN SPORT WRIST HR BARO

Yep, it’s a mouthful, but this new GPS sportswatch from Suunto is packed with a lengthy list of features for adventurers and tourers. The watch uses GPS/GLONASS satellites to ensure accuracy when you’re outside, and it now includes an inbuilt barometer, which increases accuracy of altitude and location readings plus offers storm warnings if it detects a sudden drop in air pressure. The watch includes all the sports/training related features, with heart rate measured via its internal wrist heart rate monitor (at the back of the watch) and a daily activity tracker.

Sunrise and sunset times are inbuilt, and advanced navigation features include route navigation, POI notification and estimated time of arrival – perfect for bushwalkers, mountain bikers, paddlers and tourers. You can also download ‘heatmaps’ (routes) that showcase popular tracks and trails.

Website: www.suunto.com.au RRP: $800

PELICAN 50QT ELITE COOLER

Famous for its tough waterproof protective cases, Pelican also produces high-end coolers that are just as bombproof. The 50QT Elite features 47 litres capacity, stainless-steel hardware, along with 50mm of polyurethane insulation and a freezergrade gasket for a claimed 10 days of ice retention. The 50QT’s robust build comprises a sloped drain and tethered threaded plug, moulded handles (with inbuilt trolley handle), tie downs and a lock hasp, and rugged wheels for dragging it around the campsite. There’s also a cool (excuse the pun) fish scale on the lid to check the length of your catch and an inbuilt bottle opener.

Pelican’s reputation for robust products is also reflected in the cooler’s lifetime guarantee.

Website: www.pelicanstore.com.au RRP: $429.95

IRONMAN 4X4 NO LOOP BULLBAR

This new steel bullbar from Ironman 4x4 offers a minimalist appearance without sacrificing toughness or the ability to fit accessories such as lights and radio aerials. The No Loop bar improves a 4x4’s approach angle and includes integrated mounting points for fitment of driving lights. There is provision to fit a winch, and the bar includes inbuilt fog lights and LED indicator lights. The bar meets ADR standards and is airbag compatible. The black powdercoat finish is matched by the rugged polyurethane bumpers, and you can option a single chrome loop for an additional cost. The No Loop bar is available for NP300 Navara, MQ Triton (2015+), Hilux (2015+), PXII Ranger and Everest, MY17 Colorado and MY17 D-Max. The single chrome loop kit is available for all these vehicles.

Website: www.ironman4x4.com RRP: $1315 (bar); $247.50 (optional single chrome loop kit)

OZTENT RX-4

The RX-4 is a two-room, full-height waterproof tent that expands on the original OzTent design. The full RX-4 package contains a number of new features – zip-in heavyduty heat-sealed PVC tub entry floor, a SkyMesh skylight (this unzips and has a flymesh screen), and included fly – and is made from the new ModCan material developed exclusively by OzTent.

This new material is rated to CPAI- 84 flame retardant, is waterproof, UV-resistant, super-strong and more ‘breathable’ than regular canvas, thus further minimising condensation. The RX-4 offers a fast set-up bush accommodation that, when all combined, offers two spacious rooms that are weatherproof. You can also opt to set up the single tent by itself for even faster camps. All flyscreens are No See-Um mesh and the full-height areas make this a great option for the touring family.

Website: www.oztent.com.au RRP: $1999

YAKIMA SHOWDOWN

Just in time for summer, Yakima has released the ShowDown.

This load-assist setup provides between 30 to 45 per cent weight assistance (figure dependent on boat width) when you are loading your watercraft on top of your vehicle. The load limit is 36kg – plenty for a river/sea kayak or two SUPS. The universal mount system fits most racks (the ShowDown can’t be used with clamp-style roof-racks), is easy to fit and folds down flat when not in use. The ShowDown brings the boat holders down to waist level (tilting down approximately 650mm), making loading your watercraft onto a tall 4x4 a doddle. The felt-covered cradles prevent scratching/damage and are designed to flex to conform to your kayak’s hull. All tie-down straps are included.

Website: www.yakima.com.au

EVAKOOL RV18 FRIDGE/ FREEZER

For those with minimal spare space in their 4WD, this new compact fridge/freezer from Evakool is perfect. With space for 16 375ml cans or a mix of drinks and food (including a dairy shelf), the RV18 is ideal for those on road trips or overnight camping adventures. The slim design (230mm width) means it can be fitted between passengers in the second row. The RV18 features an Evakool CK15 compressor and can be run as a fridge or as a freezer, with an operating temperature range of 10°C and -18°C. The unit is light in weight (a paltry 8.7kg), has an impactresistant polypropylene cabinet and lid, an internal LED light, digital control panel, and can be operated via 12V, 24V or through 240V mains (using an adaptor). The RV18 comes with a two-year warranty.

Website: evakool.com RRP: $549

PROJECTA SMART CONTROLLER

Projecta has just released a new range of compact automatic four-stage Smart Solar Charge Controllers. These units deliver a four-stage charging process and enable users to alter settings and charging profiles to suit their particular power management requirements, such as the battery type used (Wet, AGM or Gel). The models – SC220, SC245, SC260 – all offer similar features (including two 5V 2.4A USB ports), with the biggest difference being the amp capacity each can handle from the solar panels they are connected to. For example, the SC220 is designed for use with 20amp solar panels, hence the ‘20’ in the model number. The units are all EMC-approved, offer digital LCD screens and are equipped with a low-voltage disconnect function for battery protection.

Website: www.projecta.com.au

OPPOSITE LOCK 65L FRIDGE/FREEZER

Oppy Lock has boosted its fridge/freezer range with the addition of this 65-litre single-door unit. Featuring a tough stainless steel cabinet with 60mm high-density polyurethane foam insulation, this fridge is built for outback touring. The stainless steel latches, handles and hinges ensure reliable and durable service. The fridge can be powered via 12V, 24V and 240V, and includes three low-battery voltage cutout settings. Its 66W Snomaster compressor ensures smooth running and a low current draw of 2.5A (low speed) and 5A on high speed. The temp range is -22°C to 10°C and it comes with a five-year compressor warranty and two-year Aus-wide parts warranty. Also included are a wireless temp/battery monitor and a transit bag. Inside the fridge is an LED light – plus, it also has an open-lid alarm.

Website: www.oppositelock.com.au RRP: $1549

TOUR DE OZ

Overlanding means just that for today’s off-road tourers, but for four intrepid adventurers just prior to the turn of the last century, it meant jumping on a bicycle to become the first to circumnavigate Australia using human power on two wheels.

What started as a grand overland adventure for West Australian cyclist st ad e e n nd r West Australian cyclist Arthur Richardson, whose aim was to be the first to complete this 18,507km epic feat, soon turned into a race against a trio of eastern seaboard riders. Melbourne-based Kiwi brothers Frank and Alex White and Brisbane-based Aussie Donald Mackay were aiming for the same goal, but following a counter-clockwise route. The ensuing ‘race’ saw the four riders ride over and through some of Australia’s toughest country. A cracking read of a time when ‘overlanding’ was bloody wild stuff.

Website: www.harpercollins.com.au RRP: $30

MSA 4X4 DASH ORGANISER

Designed to mould to any dash shape, MSA 4x4’s dash organiser design has been upgraded. Ensuring all your at-hand travel essentials can be easily accessed, the organiser now features five pockets for small items (think sunnies, mobile phones, etc.) and a large pocket for your map. Objects are secured via elastic straps to ensure they don’t fall out negotiating bumpy terrain, and the unit is secured to your dash (or dash mat) using Velcro and adhesive strips. The organiser’s unique ability to mould to the dash is due to the internal flexible aluminium strip, with the overall manufacturing quality what you’d expect from this Aussie company. The dash organiser measures 185mm long by 365mm wide, making it an easy fit to all 4x4 dashboards.

Website: www.msa4x4.com.au RRP: $69.95

TERRAIN TAMER WATER PUMP

These tough new replacement water pumps feature a one-piece casting for robustness, with each unit precisionmachined for excellent sealing and to eliminate the potential for leaks. This top-notch engineering also means a proper fit to your rig. The Terrain Tamer water pump range features heavyduty bearings, ceramic seals and nitrile O-rings for maximum durability and longevity. Plus, these features also assist a regulated flow, with each unit tested to ISO/TS16949:2009 quality standards for optimum safety and reliable performance.

This new range from Terrain Tamer is constantly expanding and currently offers water pumps for popular Toyota, Nissan, Ford, Isuzu, Mazda and Mitsubishi 4WDs.

Website: www.terraintamer.com