GEAR

PRODUCT TESTS & NEW STUFF

MSA 4X4 SEAT ORGANISER

The crew at MSA 4X4 continues to churn out top-quality accessories, and this new seat organiser (with lifetime guarantee) is just another example. The seat organiser fits all standard vehicle seats and has been designed to be attached and removed as quickly and easily as possible; adjustable straps and buckles making short work of this process. The organiser features an internal aluminium frame, so it won’t sag once it is packed full of kids toys and – if the young’uns leave you any space – your own gear. Plus, the heavy-duty canvas material means this thing will withstand plenty of rough treatment. There are 12 pockets of varying sizes in the organiser, ranging from compact through to pockets that will hold a magazine (4X4 Australia, of course). There’s also a separate seat organiser model with a drop-down table for iPads, books, etc.

RRP: From $108 Website: msa4X4.com.au

EFS VIVIDMAX LIGHT BAR

The team at EFS has released a new addition to its accessory range: Vividmax light bars. This light bar is available in four different sizes – 21, 27, 34 and 40-inch – and it uses a superbright 6000K true white light to illuminate the track ahead of you. The light bar features topnotch Cree LEDs and it comes with waterproof connectors as well as tough stainless steel mounts and hardware. All models of the light bar incorporate a spread and spot beam and are housed inside a durable aluminium casing that also provides improved heat dissipation when the lights are working. The light bar is rated IP67 water- and dust-proof and is built to the usual high standards you’d expect from EFS. With a size to suit every vehicle and bullbar mount the Vividmax light bar is well worth considering, especially at a great bang-for-your-bucks price.

RRP: $219 (21-inch 90W); $280 (27-inch 120W); $320 (34-inch 150W); $375 (40-inch 180W) Website: efs4wd.com.au

BAREBONES LIVING TRAILBLAZER FLASHLIGHT

This rugged torch features a 6W LED light that can blast out a maximum 500 lumens of brightness. The torch can maintain this mega-bright output for 2.5 hours. The maximum lighting time is 24 hours when on the lowest (38 lumens) output setting. The Trailblazer’s construction is of robust aluminium (with steel belt-clip and rubber on/off switch) and it features a telescoping lens and indicators for adjustment of lighting angle and scope (ideal for spotting those possums up the tree with the kids). The torch is powered by a 16.5Wh lithium-ion rechargeable battery (recharge times are a claimed four to six hours from flat) and measures 234mm long x 54.6mm wide. Also included are a 5V/1A micro-USB input and a 5V/1.5A output.

RRP: $170

Website: amke.com.au

DOMETIC SOLAR PANEL

The new PS180A solar panel from power gurus Dometic includes highly efficient monocrystalline panels (more efficient than other tech) for a longer lifespan. The panel’s heavy duty, three-stage 20amp rated automatic solar charger ensures battery charge is kept at optimum operating levels, thanks to its ability to swap between battery and solar power as needed. The built-in battery temp sensor ups reliability by keeping track of the temps during operation and making sure there’s no risk of overcharging. The PS180A’s aluminium frame and three adjustable feet make it easy to turn the panel to the ideal angle for maximum input from the sun. The PS180A is a compact, lightweight unit that, when folded, is stored inside a protective carry bag. Additional features include a five-metre lead, an Anderson plug and alligator clips.

Website: www.dometic.com

REESE TAILGATE PADS

A ute tray is tailor-made for lugging long loads and bikes, and finding a way to eliminate the potential for scratching or damaging the top lip of the tailgate is a priority – and we don’t mean by using a stop-gap solution, such as a towel or blanket over tailgate. Reese tailgate pads are designed to protect the tailgate (and the load sitting on top of it) from dents, scratches, etc., while also ensuring the load doesn’t slide from side-to-side across the tailgate. The pads are secured using straightforward strap/buckle attachments and are supertough; 600-denier heavy-duty weather-resistant fabric is used, in conjunction with an internal soft-foam core, resulting in a protective layer between tailgate and load. There are additional top attachment points to eliminate movement. The pads, available in two sizes, can be purchased from Repco outlets.

RRP: From $50

Website: reeseproducts.com.au

RHINO-RACK BATWING

This new awning from Rhino-Rack offers 270 degrees of coverage. The Batwing is very easy to fit thanks to brackets that include a high and low fitting position, eliminating the need for U-bolts or drilling into a roof rack. Upping the usability factor, the Batwing incorporates integrated poles, twist-grips for height adjustment, and extend to a maximum height of just under 2.3 metres, which means no more ducking down to get to the shade. Adding further security when set up, the Batwing pole-fittings include two peg holes, and you can also utilise the included eight guy ropes for maximum stability. The heavy-duty rip-stop fabric is water- and mould-resistant and is tested to a UPF50-plus rating. A UV-resistant storage bag is also included.

RRP: $849

Website: rhinorack.com.au

MR SWAGMAN DOG SWAG

It may sound a tad amusing, but we reckon it’s a brilliant concept, especially for those who do plenty of travel with Fido on board. The Mr Swagman dog swag means you no longer have to pack that hard-shell dog bed or leave him/her outside under the camper trailer/vehicle/caravan for those trips away. The dog swag is made from 15-ounce rip-stop green canvas, which is rot- and mildew-resistant, waterproof and UV stabilised – it’s the same as what features in Mr Swagman’s premium swag range. It comes complete with a high-density 20mm foam mattress, which is secured under a canvas floor to keep it clean. Set-up is via a single centre rope (tied to a tree/bullbar, etc.) and you can also use the brass corner rings to secure it to the ground (and/or tie your dog to them). Dimensions are 800mm wide by 800mm deep and 800mm tall (rolled up: 800mm x 100mm diameter), so most pan-lickers should fit in without a worry.

RRP: $140

Website: mrswagman.com.au

IRONMAN 4X4 RECOVERY POINTS – RANGER/EVEREST

Ironman 4X4’s new recovery points for the Ranger PX/PXII and Everest (2015-onwards) have an individual working load limit of 5000kg and are supplied as a pair. The recovery points are designed to work with a 4.75-tonne shackle, and an equalisation strap can be used with the two points to distribute load/stress across both sides of the vehicle. The kit includes all the mounting hardware you will need. The recovery points are NATA-tested and attach directly to the chassis via high-tensile bolts. The bolts have a Geomet coating which lubricates the bolts and assists in rustresistance, with test periods of 1000 hours under salt spray producing no corrosion.

Website: ironman4X4.com

UNIDEN JUMPSTART KIT AND POWER PACK

Whether an off-road tourer, camper or boatie (or all three), becoming stranded due to a flat battery can make that fun escape sheer misery. Uniden’s compact UPP136 jumpstart kit and power pack is a powerful 13,600mAh portable battery pack that includes a set of jump cables, as well as doubling as a charger for handheld gadgets (using the included twoin-one USB cable). The vehicle charge limits are for petrol engines up to 5.0 litres, or a diesel engine up to 3.0 litres. The UPP136 includes a battery percentage LED indicator and recharged using the AC power adaptor or in transit via the included charge cable. There is an inbuilt spike and surge protector, and the kit includes a three-mode LED flashlight. It has a lifecycle of 1000 discharges.

RRP: $149.95

Website: uniden.com.au

CEL-FI CELLMATE

The Cel-Fi team has made its awesome mobile phone repeater – the Cel-Fi GO – mobile, in the true sense of that word, with the release of the new Cellmate. The Cellmate comprises a Cel-Fi GO housed inside a robust Pelican Case 1400 (IP67 watertight, crushproof and dustproof), allowing users to transfer the unit from vehicle to vehicle (or to a boat, even), compared to the ‘regular’ Cel-Fi GO unit, which is usually hardwired in the vehicle. The Cel-Fi GO Repeater has been tested, authorised and approved by Telstra for use on its mobile network and is designed to boost a 3G or 4G mobile signal across this network. The Cel-Fi Cellmate includes the repeater, an internal antenna in the base of the case (a separate external antenna is also required), 240V mains power, 12V power and a Cel-Fi backup battery for an additional 10 hours of power.

RRP: $1852.40

Website: powertec.com.au

LEDLENSER MH10

The head-torch gurus at Ledlenser have released the MH10, which promises plenty of lighting grunt (maximum output is 600 lumens), courtesy of its Power LED light source, and a light weight (158g). The MH10 is built tough, too; the removable and washable head strap is over-engineered for durability, while the battery case and pivot-mount light are designed to withstand dust and water. The MH10 has a maximum run-time of 120 hours, plus an emergency light function for when battery power is low. There are three lighting modes: low power, mid power and power. The light is easily operated one-handed, thanks to the pivot mount behind the light itself. Changing the focus from flood to spot lighting is also possible one-handed via the ring on the light housing’s outer edge. The hi-tech lithium-ion battery allows for fast recharging (three hours to reach 80 per cent capacity) via USB.

RRP: $174.95

Website: ledlenser.com.au

SEA TO SUMMIT ALPHA SET 4.2

Aussie outdoor brand Sea to Summit has released a cracking lightweight and compact camp kitchen ‘solution’. The Alpha Set 4.2 packs down small (packed size is 135mm x 203mm; complete weight only 1.2kg), with the DeltaLite bowls and Insul mugs nesting inside the pots. The hard-anodised Alpha pots (3.7L and 2.7L) include straining lids and a textured base for stability on the camp stove. These pots feature a patent-pending Pivot-Lock handle that rotates horizontally and locks in place for a secure grip when you’re using it, and then it can be folded away after use, locking the lid to the pot. The bowls and mugs are made from BPA-free glass-reinforced polypropylene, are easy to wash and are microwave friendly. The full set includes the two pots, two 1L DeltaLite bowls, two 900ml DeltaLite bowls, and four 350ml DeltaLite Insul mugs.

Website: seatosummit.com