PRODUCT TESTS & NEW STUFF
Oppy Lock has just released two Premium steel bullbars for Mitsubishi’s Pajero Sport. The bars have been designed to support the advanced tech of the different Sport models; the Exceed-specific bar allows for front camera and radar operation, provision for that model’s headlight washer assembly, and includes a unique parking sensor mount. The bars are made from top-end steel and allow for fitment of driving lights, three aerial mounts and a light bar. Underneath are a three-piece protection plate and a central-split air dam that ensures optimum airflow, as well as recessed LED indicator lenses to reduce the risk of damage. The bars are all engineered for airbag compliance and for low-mount winch fitment, and they’re phosphate-cleaned and finished in matte black powdercoat – or colour coding.
Mapping legends Hema Maps has released the 12th edition of its Road & 4WD Atlas, with a complete update combining new cartography and even more detailed mapping than before. Hema Maps reckons the new cartographic style is easier to read and the Atlas is available in five different formats: the spiral-bound Easy Read version is 293mm x 396mm; there is a spiral-bound 252mm x 345mm version as well as a perfect bound version of the same size; the Touring Atlas version is 215mm x 297mm; while the Handy Atlas is 184mm x 248mm (both the Touring and Handy are spiral-bound). In short, there’s a version of the atlas for everyone. The latest mapping for all of Australia’s best off-road destinations – Cape York, the Top End, Vic High Country and more – is included, as are other detailed 4x4 tracks, fuel locations, points of interest, national parks, a distance grid, info centre list, rest areas, and a complete index. A copy should be in the 4X4 Australia office soon; this writer bags first dibs.
Not content to rest on its laurels, Rhino-Rack has revamped and improved its popular Sunseeker awning. The Sunseeker is available in two sizes – 2.0m and 2.5m – and is made using tough 150D rip-stop poly/cotton that offers a water-resistant rating of 2000mm. Rhino-Rack engineers added protective patches on the corners of the awning for improved durability when it’s being rolled/unrolled and stored, and all the awning hardware is protected by plastic caps, ensuring no ripping or snagging during extension or retraction. The extrusions are anodised and black powdercoated, while the 540gsm black PVC outer bag protects the awning when not in use, with the zips easy to operate. The Sunseeker is also rust-proofed, has easy-toadjust tension tabs and can be fitted to not only Rhino-Rack roof racks but some other brands as well.
Website: www.rhinorack.com.au RRP: $309 (2m); $349 (2.5m)
This new rooftop storage bag range from Ironman 4x4 comprises five different sizes – 200L, 250L, 350L, 500L and 600L – and are built tough for touring. The weatherproof bags are made from robust 500D PVC with tear-resistant fibres and will mount to most roof racks, luggage baskets or roof trays. The heavy-duty tie-down buckles and straps are designed for quick mounting, while the water-resistant zips combine with the inbuilt Velcro overlap to keep the elements at bay where the zips meet. The different capacities ensure there is a storage bag for any off-road vehicle and any requirements, whether it is a weekend jaunt or that big outback adventure. The 200L model measures 1400mm x 500mm x 300mm; the 250L is 1100mm x 800mm x 300mm; the 350L is 1500mm x 960mm x 300mm; the 500L is 1500mm x 1100mm x 300mm; and the big-bopper 600L is 1800mm x 1100mm x 300mm.
ARB brings high-tech to off-road accessories, with the release of its new LINX touchscreen interface. The LINX consists of a Bluetooth-enabled touchscreen, main control unit and magnetic gimbal mount that allows the unit to be mounted near the driver for easy access to the controls. The main control unit is fitted out of sight. The LINX enables full control of Air Locker diff locks (front and rear) and how they are activated, as well as your ARB air compressor and monitoring of your tyre pressures via input of a target pressure (selected by the user). In total, the unit offers control of six pre-installed and self-explanatory modules: Front & Rear Traction, Compressor & Pressure Control, Battery Monitor, Speedometer, Air Suspension and Accessories. The Accessories module allows control of up to six additional accessories such as high/low beam, reverse lamps, etc. Battery Monitor does just that – it monitors your battery and you can set a low-voltage alarm if needed.
OzTent has brought its many years of experience building what are some of Australia’s toughest touring tents to the swag market, with the release of its new RS-1 swag. This king single swag offers the same 30-second set-up time of its larger OzTent brethren thanks to its internal frame, thus doing away with that sometimes painful process of threading swag poles through eyelets.
The RS-1 includes an integral awning fly for additional weather protection, answering that concern of all swag owners of how to stay dry when exiting their swag when it’s raining. The awning can also be flipped over the swag to act as a fly if needs be. The mattress is a 50mm jobbie, ensuring plenty of comfort, while the new ModCan material used is rated CPAI-84 flame retardant. The 350g PVC tub floor keeps you dry, while the No-See-Um fly mesh keeps biters out.
The swag measures 215cm (L), 105cm (W), 100cm (H) and packs down to 154cm (L), 14cm (W) and 39cm (H). The weight is 14kg and it comes with a two-year warranty, four guy ropes, 12 pegs, two awning guy ropes and two telescopic poles (for the awning). It packs in easily to its own zippered carry bag.
Website: www.oztent.com.au RRP: $599.95
The masterminds at Evakool have created a fridge/freezer that makes the most of the spare space in a caravan, camper trailer or 4x4. With its unique front-opening drawer, this 40-litre unit does away with the need for fitment of a fridge slide.
The drawer fridge/freezer features a relatively low profile; at 325mm tall it doesn’t eat too much into cargo space or tunnel box of a caravan/camper trailer. The unit operates via either 12V, 24V or 240V mains (via an adaptor). Temperature range is -16°C to 10°C and is easy to check via the LED display. The tough metal cabinet is fully insulated and features two speed settings, including turbo mode for fast cooling. The compressor is Evakool’s proven and quiet CK25, which can operate at angles of up to 30 degrees. Plus, it includes auto-reverse polarity protection. The DC40-DRW comes with a two-year warranty.
Website: www.evakool.com.au RRP: $799
Peter Fitzsimons has released this hefty tome based on the famous – and fatal – Victorian Exploring Expedition, led by Robert O’Hara Burke, who was accompanied by a team of 18 including surveyor William Wills. The team’s goal was to cross Australia from south to north, which would mean crossing some of the world’s harshest terrain, including the Australian desert country and the Gulf’s mangrove swamps Gulf’s mangrove swamps and big rivers and, on top of that, cope with the wild weather. The story is wellknown, but this book brings new life to the tale, adding his personable writing style (and extensive research) to this tragedy. From the lack of food, to the team’s spurning of assistance offered by the local indigenous people they encountered, to the fatal decision of Burke, Wills, Gray and King to make that rush to the Gulf and back, the book covers it all in detail.
Yakima’s latest rooftop-based bike carrier is its most versatile and easy to fit yet. The HighRoad will fit bikes (up to 1219mm wheelbase) with tyres ranging from 26- to 29-inch (plus) and weighing up to 20kg. Requiring no adjustment, it’s just a matter of loading the bike on the rack and it does the rest. The HighRoad is a front wheel-on carrier, the two hoops at the front end simply ratchet down to the exact pressure required to hold the wheel in place.
You cannot overtighten the hoops either, as the TorqueRight knob ‘clicks’ when the correct torque is reached. The carrier is a tool-free install, so the straps will wrap and lock around any shape of roof bar. You can also opt to fit a T-slot kit for attachment to bars. The HighRoad weighs 11kg and can be fitted, and removed, in about five minutes.
Website: www.yakima.com.au RRP: $349
Rooftop tents are hugely popular with off-road tourers, with one of their only bugbears being the fact they are often quite time-consuming to remove. Front Runner Outfitters has solved that problem with the release of its new quickrelease mount kit, specifically for rooftop tents. The kit comprises four mounting brackets and base bushes. Once these are installed on your roof rack, the tent base simply slides into these brackets. Removing the tent is just as fast: once you release the locking tabs, the tent just slides out. The brackets are small but strong and tough thanks to their powdercoated stainless steel construction, and they can be left on the roof rack when your tent isn’t there.
This improves your garage access dimensions and helps fuel consumption when the tent isn’t up top increasing wind-drag. The mounts work not only with Front Runner rooftop tents, but also other popular brands’ rooftop accommodation.
For off-road tourers with less cargo space, this new fold-up table from Helinox is ideal. Weighing a paltry 1.59kg and packing down to 60cm (L) x 17cm (W), the Table One Large folds out to a generous 76cm x 57cm and has a weight capacity of 50kg. It sits 50cm above the ground when erect, and its tough alloy frame ensures it will last for years. The poles are linked with elastic shock-cord (similar to how tent poles are linked) so assembly is easy and fast. The hard-top table surface comprises lightweight rigid panels sewn into a folding top cover. The Table One Large comes with a fiveyear warranty. This compact camp table is perfect for just leaving in the vehicle thanks to its small packed size and light weight. Helinox also has a range of chairs and smaller tables, all featuring similar construction methods.
Website: www.helinox.com.au RRP: $196
Legendary Aussie wheel maker, ROH, has released the schmick ROH Vapour in three popular sizes: 16 x 8-inch, 17 x 9-inch, and 18 x 9-inch. The Vapour is part of the ROH Dakar Proven Wheels range and is available in a matte black undercut machined finish, complete with anodised aluminium bolts (not the cheap chrome plastic bolts you see on some other wheels). These ano bolts and stainless steel centre cap screws combine with the twin six-spoke design to stand out, thanks to the undercut machining on the wheel’s outer lip. The wheel includes ROH’s Easycleans Matt Black Baked Enamel finish for excellent durability in all weather and terrain conditions. The Vapour will fit a number of the popular off-roaders, including Hilux, Colorado, Ranger and BT-50. It’s also load-rated for the 200 Series Cruiser in 17x9 at 1500kg per wheel and 18x9 at 1250kg per wheel, making them the ideal wheel choice for those looking to fit a GVM upgrade.