GEAR

PRODUCT TESTS & NEW STUFF

TJM OUTBACK BAR: TOYOTA PRADO

TJM has released its Outback frontal protection bar for the 2018 Toyota Prado, with the all-steel bar sporting a more aggressive, bush-tough design. The bar includes 63mm side loops for optimum protection of the Prado’s lights, along with full cato straps for strength and protection. The bar design ensures the vehicle retains an optimum approach angle, and the recovery points are rated to 8000kg. The bar includes inbuilt LED fog lights, an integrated winch mount (can fit up to a 9500lb winch) and reinforced recovery jack points. There’s space for fitment of two aerials and large driving lights, and the bar has provision for the vehicle’s parking sensor to be relocated. It is airbag and adaptive-cruise control compatible, as well as ADR compliant.

Website: www.tjm.com.au

IRONMAN 4X4 FIRST-AID KITS

Ironman 4x4 has collaborated with Australian paramedics to develop two first-aid kits ideal for those heading outdoors. The kits comprise an innovative fold-out pouch system, with each pouch containing the implements necessary for particular injury types, whether they are small/large wounds, snake and spider bites, or sprains and fractures. The small kit packs plenty in, including latex-free gloves, face shield, wipes of varying types, adhesive strips, dressings, different-sized bandages (including conforming and compression type bandages), safety pins, scissors, an emergency thermal blanket and a quick-reference guidebook. The large kit also includes nonadherent dressings, burns gel, single-use instant ice pack, and other emergency essentials you might need.

Website: www.ironman4x4.com

CTEK ON-BOARD CHARGING SYSTEMS

CTEK has released two on-board charging systems that are compatible with smart alternators. The systems are available as a 20Amp Off Grid and 140Amp Off Road solution. The Off Grid system delivers a safe, powerful 20Amp charge to the battery while you’re mobile and is designed so that, even if the smart alternator shuts off, the Off Grid won’t. It includes a specific AGM charge voltage for faster charge rates, for batteries of that type. There’s also a solar panel connector. The 140Amp Off Road system offers much more grunt and, when battery voltage levels are low, the charging system disconnects nonessential items to ensure critical appliances retain power supply. It also includes a Start Assist function that utilises the service battery’s power to start your vehicle if the actual starter battery is flat.

Website: www.ctek.com/au

4WD TREKS OF THE HIGH COUNTRY

Now’s the time to start planning that spring/summer High Country epic, with Boiling Billy Publications’ new spiral-bound guidebook to 26 of the best off-road adventures in the Vic/NSW alpine region. The guide, written by touring gurus Craig Lewis and Cathy Savage, includes more than 150 colour photos as well as plenty of information on the history and highlights of this popular touring destination. There are old gold mining towns to discover, vistas to enjoy from mountain peaks and a thorough guide to the best campgrounds in the High Country. Add in comprehensive route directions and you’ve got the perfect planning tool to make that mountain trip an unforgettable one.

RRP: $49.95

Website: www.booktopia.com.au

GARMIN FENIX 5 PLUS

Garmin’s latest version of its popular GPS watches features built-in routable full-colour topographical maps, storage for music playlists, Garmin Pay contactless payment solution and wrist-based Pulse Ox Acclimation1 for blood oxygen saturation awareness (just in case you’re scaling a mountain to connect that winch strap). The three variants of this watch range – the 5 Plus, the 5S Plus and the 5X Plus – range in size from 42 to 51mm and include a bright, sunlight-readable display. The 5 Plus series is available in two finishes – stainless steel and titanium – with each version or model including the full-colour Garmin Chroma display. Battery life varies from seven days in smartwatch mode with 5S Plus, to 10 days for 5 Plus, and 20 days for 5X Plus.

RRP: from $999 to $1699

Website: www.garmin.com/fenix

SAMMITR STEEL CANOPIES

Utilising the most up-to-date manufacturing processes, Sammitr (SMM) steel canopies are made using highquality automotive steel to provide maximum strength, durability and security. SMM produces three canopies – SMM V2 Executive, SMM V2 Tradesman and SMM V4 Executive – suitable for a variety of dual-cab utes. Features vary for each model, so head online to check them all out. An example is the range-topping V4 Executive that includes tinted lift-up side windows, a strong-pressed GalvanNealed 0.8mm steel shell and frame, colour-coded baked paint system with EDP coating, twin-rotary door locks, remote-control locking, rear window demister, auto interior light, fully lined interior and epoxy-coated roof rails. The SMM canopy range comes with a five-year warranty.

Website: smmcanopies.com.au

PELICAN 7620 TACTICAL TORCH

Pelican is renowned worldwide for its tough protective cases, but it also produces equally tough torches, including the 7620 Tactical. This torch is ideal for camping and has a type-3 hard-anodised finish and full-time battery level indication. The 7620 can be powered a number of ways: two AAs, two CR123, three CR123 or Pelican 18650 lithiumion rechargeables. The output – at maximum power using three CR123 batteries – is 1124 Lumens. The 7620 has four light modes – low, medium, high and strobe – that can be programmed in five different combinations, so you’ll always be able to get the right type/amount of illuminative output you need for any scenario. The hard-anodised outer means the torch can cop some serious punishment and still function perfectly. The belt clip also means you’ll never lose the thing at camp.

RRP: $89.95

Website: www.pelicanstore.com.au

MSA 4X4 TRAVEL CUP SET

Forget ever needing to replace those always-cracking and breaking plastic camp cups with MSA’s travel cup set. The six anodised aluminium cups (housed in a canvas storage bag) will last years. Available in three colours (two blue, two pink, two green) these jobbies will keep drinks cool and won’t deteriorate over time. They also won’t affect the taste of your drink, like the crap plastic cups do. The kit weighs just on 1kg and is compact. They remind us of the tough aluminium cups from decades ago, and we reckon these MSA 4x4 cups will be just as long-lasting.

RRP: $38

Website: www.msa4x4.com.au

LOST BATTALIONS

Aussie writer Tom Gilling brings us the intriguing and little known story of two Australian battalions abandoned in Java in February 1942. Gilling recounts the circumstances that led to the battalions’ capture by the Japanese, and follows the 2000 diggers’ continued misfortune as they spend years as prisoners of war working on the Thai-Burma Railway and in Taiwanese and Japanese coal mines. Trying to stay alive during this experience saw WWII veteran, Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop, write that the diggers showed “fortitude beyond anything I could have believed possible”. Gilling draws on personal diaries, army records and interviews with survivors to recount how the diggers fought the Japanese before surrender, and then fought harder to survive in captivity.

RRP: $33

Website: www.allenandunwin.com

VICTORINOX WOOD COLLECTION

Victorinox, the maker of the iconic Swiss Army Knife (SAK), has just released its new Wood Collection, comprising three SAK models that feature a sweet walnut wood casing. Even cooler is that each casing is unique, thanks to the walnut’s natural grain. The Spartan Wood is an incarnation of the legendary Officer’s knife and includes large and small blades, can opener, bottle opener, two screwdrivers, and more. The Huntsman adds scissors and a wood saw, while the Swiss Champ jams in more than 29 functions and includes a ruler, pliers, screwdriver, bottle opener, corkscrew, fish scaler, wood saw, nail file, sewing awl, scissors and blades. All three models are compact: Spartan is 91mm long and 57g; Huntsman is 91mm and 95g; and Swiss Champ is 91mm and 185g.

RRP: $84.95 Spartan; $119 Huntsman; $239 Swiss Champ

Website: www.victorinox.com

YAKIMA GATEKEEPER

Lugging multiple mountain bikes in your tray just became easier thanks to Yakima’s new GateKeeper tailgate pad, with its five-bike capacity. The GateKeeper’s tough nylon outer material is great, while under the GateKeeper is one of its unique features: soft-felt backing that protects the tailgate from wear and paint damage. In addition, the GateKeeper’s integrated SitTight padded bike cradles do the same for your MTB’s paintwork. With this new cradle closure system, the bikes are well secured and stable, which means they don’t move around or rub on the bike downtube. Add in the cool HindSight tuck-away cover for the ute’s reversing camera and you’re all sweet.

RRP: $199

Website: www.yakima.com.au

SHERPA 4X4 STALLION WINCH

This uber-winch has a massive 25,000lb rating. It comes with 35m of 12mm synthetic rope (or steel cable) and is powered by an 8.9hp motor with 12 or 24V options. Sherpa 4x4 winches are compatible with all types of synthetic rope, as the brake is designed into the gearbox which results in a trouble- and heat-free winch/brake combo. Inside, the Stallion includes a fully sealed (water- and dust-proof) Albright International solenoid pack for optimum reliability regardless of the conditions. The Stallion also features higher-load brass bushes for the heavier loads it is capable of. There’s also an optional remote wireless kit available. Sherpa 4x4 offers an excellent five-year warranty.

RRP: $1799 (steel cable); $1999 (synthetic rope)

Website: www.sherpa4x4.com.au