GEAR

PRODUCT TESTS & NEW STUFF

ARB CLASSIC FRIDGE SERIES II

ARB has just released the second incarnation of its popular fridge range, with a new colour scheme and updated electronics, along with the ability to operate your fridge via a smartphone app. The new fridges include a backlit touchpad for optimum visibility and use. The display is now dimmable (high and low) and there’s also a 12-volt power input readout. The app requires a transmitter (sold separately), which is attached to the fridge’s rear. Once transmitting, you can view the power input voltage, you can set the temperature (and check it), and it’ll keep you updated on how the compressor is going (whether it is at idle or running). The app also offers a warning if the lid is left open. As well, you can turn the fridge on/off via the app, adjust the temperature (or use preset ones), toggle between the various battery protection levels and display brightness, and even assign your fridge a name. Excuse the pun, but that’s cool. Website: www.arb.com.au

LEATHERMAN FREE P2/P4

Just when you thought there was no way Leatherman could improve on its iconic multi-tool design, the company brings out the FREE multi-tool series, and packs it full of new tech, based around a technology as old as the earth: magnetism. The P2 (with 19 tools) measures 108mm long and weighs 215g, while the P4 (21 tools) is the same length, but slightly heavier, at 244g. Both share the same main blade length of 70mm, and both utilise a magnetic system to enable users to open and close the FREE one-handed, as well as each individual tool in the unit. The handles of the FREE are held closed by magnets, but are easily opened with your thumb even with the FREE in the palm of your hand – yep, that’s right, no more nail grooves in the tools are needed. All implements are on the outside of the tool for easier access. Speaking of which, the usual implements are included, such as two pliers, scissors, bottle opener, four screwdrivers (one of which is Phillips-head) and plenty more.

RRP: $294.95 (P2); $339.95 (P4)

Website: www.leatherman.com.au

HELL OF A TIME

Go back in time to the start of the Great War of 1914-18 with this publishing of a Digger’s personal diaries. Philip Owen Ayton was a Sydney tram worker at the time, but answered the call and joined the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) in August 1914. Ayton experienced Gallipoli firsthand as part of the AIF’s First Division where he was badly injured. He subsequently recovered and rejoined the AIF in the mud and misery of the Western Front in France until war’s end. From the very beginning Ayton kept notes and then would transfer these to his diaries that record not only the hardship and heartbreak of the battlefield, but also the off-duty shenanigans of the Diggers and their allies. It’s a brilliant read filled with Ayton’s thoughts and unique archival images, as well as a postscript written by one of Ayton’s sons.

RRP: $35

Website: www.textpublishing.com.au

BLACKWOLF COMPACT DIRECTORS CHAIR

BlackWolf’s new camp chair adds a bit of luxury and convenience to your campsite with a heavy-duty steel frame and handy foldaway side table (with a drink holder; perfect for the coldie). The chair is built tough and this is reflected in its 130kg weight capacity, while it is also built smart; the non-slip foot design ensures you and the chair stay put. The seating is padded and the high back section and wide arm rests add to the comfort levels. Impressively, the chair is quick to set up and also to fold down flat and, when stored, it takes up hardly any room in the back of the 4x4. There’s also a zipped accessory pocket and the chair weighs a featherweight 6kg. Available in blue and khaki.

RRP: $140

Website: www.blackwolf.com.au

SPINIFEX MANUFACTURING POWER PANEL

The Spinifex Manufacturing Power Panel is a plug-and-play design that allows you to control all your power needs from the one panel, such as the battery monitor, circuit protection, wireless switching, DC-DC charger (prewired for connection to a house battery, solar or a starter battery) and more. All this is driven by the Enerdrive ePower 40amp DC2DC+ battery charger, which offers variable (and programmable) DC charge outputs of up to 50amp, with three stages of charging on offer. The Power Panel is solar-ready, thanks to its input solar regulator that can cope with inputs of up to 45V with up to 800W of solar panels. As expected, the Power Panel is compatible with 12V or 24V systems and can be used with Gel, Flooded, AGM or Lithium batteries. All accessory circuits are controlled via the Trigger 6 shooter wireless switch unit (also app-controlled with your smartphone). Nice!

RRP: $2599

Website: www.spinifexmanufacturing.com.au

LEDLENSER MH11

Head torch tech has advanced super-fast the past decade; from AA- or AAA-powered small lights that barely lit up the camp box or fridge interior, to LedLenser’s new MH11 and its massive light output. This big bopper is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and offers three light settings – Power (750 lumens), Mid (300lm), Low (10lm) – an SOS mode, and Boost which sees this head-torch punch out 1000lm for a limited timeframe. The light’s housing can also be removed from the head-strap for use as a hand torch. Battery life varies according to mode used, with Power offering four hours, Mid going for eight and 100 hours available on the Low setting. Surprisingly, the MH11 is quite light at 179g. You can even operate the MH11 via Bluetooth and the LedLenser connect app. Cool stuff.

RRP: $249.95

Website: www.ledlenser.com.au

ITGA PERFORMANCE PRO FILTER

ITGA has drawn on its extensive motorsport past to produce this new performance air filter for the Ford Ranger PX-I and PX-II and its Mazda BT -50 twin (2011-2018), covering the three engine options for those vehicles (2.2L, 2.5L, 3.2L). The washable/reusable filter comes pre-oiled for an easy install and is claimed to improve throttle response, fuel economy and power outputs when compared to the OE filter. The drop-in design uses a tri-foam system (reticulated polyester foam) that ITGA says offers better performance in terms of optimising airflow, cleaning efficiency (can block high volumes of airborne dust while keeping the engine fed with clean air), and can absorb large amounts of dust without affecting its airflow capacity.

RRP: $152

Web: williamsraceservices.com.au/itg-ford-ranger-3.2-air-fi lter

YAKIMA JUSTCLICK 3

Yakima’s JustClick 3 is one of its latest towball-mount bike carriers designed to carry three bikes (with the option of four if you add the JustClick +1, RRP $199) and is built tough. It’s strong enough to carry e-bikes as well as regular treadlies (with a max tyre width of 3.25-inch), thanks to its total max bike weight of 60kg. The JustClick 3 has wheels for transport and storage, weighs 20.3kg (easy for one person to fit to the towball), and also tilts for access to the vehicle’s cargo area. The bikes attach via wheel straps and locking arms and for those bigger, heavier bikes, there’s an optional drive-up ramp (ClickRamp, RRP $89). The JustClick 2 two-bike version is also available.

RRP: $1099 (JustClick 3); $999 (JustClick 2)

Website: www.yakima.com.au

IRONMAN 4X4 90L AIR CHAMP COMPRESSOR

Ironman 4x4’s new portable air compressor pumps out a healthy 90L/minute of airflow, with a maximum pressure of 150psi. The 12V 450W motor features a 45mm cylinder and a 40amp maximum current draw. Ensuring this grunt all performs at its best, there is an integrated auto shut-off protection switch. The inline pressure gauge (with an easyto-read face) includes an 8m heavy-duty, heat-resistant rubber hose. The host is easily fitted to the compressor via a snap-on quick-release head. The compressor’s battery clamps are insulated and there are three additional screw-in fitting attachments for other inflating duties, such as your kids’ rubber pool, soccer balls, etc. The compressor is built for tough treatment, with extensive moisture and dust sealing, and it all packs into a cool carry bag.

Website: www.ironman4x4.com

SHERPA 4X4 KINETIC RECOVERY ROPES

Sherpa 4x4’s new kinetic recovery ropes offer a minimum 30 per cent stretch to ensure that slingshot effect necessary for an effective recovery that doesn’t damage the stuck vehicle with any jolting or jerking. The rope itself is constructed of double-braided nylon and the rope eye includes a protective coating for maximum durability. The rope is also UV/abrasion and chemical resistant and is clearly labelled with its rating. The 22mm recovery rope has a minimum breaking strain rating of 13,300kg so well within the recommended rating of three times your rig’s GVM. The 38mm recovery rope offers a huge 33,600kg rated MBS. Both ropes measure 9m in length. There’s even a wet/dry carry bag for the rope, meaning it can be packed neatly in the back of your rig without getting tangled or taking up too much storage space.

RRP: $229 (9m x 22mm); $449 (9m x 38mm)

Website: www.sherpa4x4.com.au

SACHS MAX SHOCK ABSORBERS

ZF Services Australia has introduced SACHS 4x4-specific MAX shocks – specifically designed for 4x4 use – to the local market, with the MAX big bore dampers designed for both standardheight and lifted (up to 50mm) suspension setups and will cover some of the most popular 4x4s, including the Ford ranger, Toyota’s Hilux and Land Cruiser, as well as Nissan’s Navara and the Isuzu D-Max. The shocks are of a heavy-duty larger bore design, which incorporates larger pistons and cylinders for increased durability. This larger design means more fluid inside the shock, helping achieve a reduction in heat levels and a consistent ride over rugged terrain.

Website: www.zf.com.au

RHINO-RACK PIONEER GRAB HANDLE

Rhino-Rack has added more to its Pioneer rack system with this new grab handle, designed to aid in loading/unloading your gear and for tying it down on the roof-rack. It is also designed to take your weight if you need something to hold on to as you drop down from the rack. The Grab Handle is nice and large and therefore easy to grab no matter hand size, as well as a super-strong anchor point for securing gear. The Grab Handle is of diecast aluminium construction and powder-coated. The handle has a 120kg load capacity and is easy to affix to the roof rack. The Grab Handle is compatible with the Pioneer Platform, Tray and Tradie setups and has a three-year warranty. The kit includes two Grab Handles and essential hardware.

RRP: $59

Website: www.rhinorack.com.au