Trucks.com’s Guide to Off-Roading Essentials

December 10, 2019 by Amanda Ellis, @WanderRedFox

Off-road enthusiasts enjoy challenging themselves and their vehicles on technical terrain. So, off-road vehicles are usually highly modified and driven on a recreational basis — although some adventurers adopt the full-time overlanding lifestyle.

Whether you’re looking for off-road gear for yourself or picking out a gift for a friend, check out this list of off-roading essentials. We’ve included picks spanning all budget ranges to ensure you’ll find something that meets your needs.

OFF-ROADING ESSENTIALS ON A SMALL BUDGET (UNDER $100)

Rightline 4x4 Duffle Bags

4×4 Duffle Bags by Rightline Gear

Why we picked it: You can carry gear on or inside your vehicle with these weatherproof 4×4 Duffle Bags from Rightline. Offered in 60-liter and 120-liter sizes, these bags are durable enough to hold your recovery gear, sporting goods, camping supplies, tools or roadside equipment. Constructed from reinforced PVC coated mesh, the bags feature welded seams, urethane-coated zippers, and a hook-and-loop-close main zipper flap designed to keep water out. A hard, plastic insert in the bottom helps maintain its shape, and a wide zippered opening makes for easy packing.

Both sizes feature side pockets, a shoulder strap, two attachment straps and a setup guide. Whether you need to store gear in your cargo basket, rear cargo area, hitch rack, roof top or truck bed, these bags fit the bill. The 60-liter bag costs $75, and the 120-liter bag costs $90.

ARB E-Z Tire DeflatorARB E-Z Tire Deflator

Why we picked it: Leaving the beaten path often requires deflating your tires. The ARB E-Z Tire Deflator saves you valuable adventuring time by allowing you to quickly deflate your tires to the desired pressure. Its unique, patented design allows for removal of the valve core and provides an accurate tire pressure reading thanks to the bronze Bourdon Tube gauge design.

The gauge is not affected by changes in temperature, humidity or altitude and features a protective rubber guard. Single psi increments make the dial easy to read. The ARB E-Z Tire Deflator includes a protective canvas pouch and retails for $40.

Factor 55 Hitch Link

Factor 55 HitchLink 2.0

Why we picked it: Recovery gear is necessary when you’re off-roading, and the HitchLink 2.0 allows you to use your receiver as a recovery point. It’s constructed from precision CNC-machined 6000 series aluminum and is lightweight, weighing just under two pounds. The HitchLink 2.0 is rated at 9,500 pounds, with the brand claiming ultimate failure at 51,000 lbs.

The product fits standard 2-inch receivers and common ¾-inch screw pin shackles/D-Rings. The HitchLink 2.0 is available for $80.

OFF-ROADING ESSENTIALS ON A MID-RANGE BUDGET ($100-$400)

Universal Tire MountUniversal Tire Mount by JCROffroad

Why we picked it: Available in five bolt patterns, the Universal Tire Mount was designed to adjust for the exact backspacing of your wheel. Two wheel styles are available: the Jeep five-lug pattern and the Truck six- and eight-lug patterns.
The mount is constructed of .188-inch-thick steel and works with a maximum of 5-inch wheel backpacking. Wheels with more than 5 inches of backspacing will require the use of a spacer.

The product includes mounting hardware, wheel studs and lug nuts. The Universal Tire Mount costs $109.

Wilco Bed Mount Tire Carrier

Wilco Bed Mount Tire Carrier (Flat)

Why we picked it: Truck drivers will appreciate the Wilco Off-Road Bed Mount tire carrier. The flat version is designed to securely mount an oversize spare tire directly to the truck bed. The mounting plate distributes extreme loads often encountered while tackling technical terrain. A Y-Bar and polyurethane wheel cone keep the spare in place while allowing for fast wheel changes.

As an extra security measure, a steel safety cable loops through a flush-mounted D-ring to function as a leash, connecting the spare to the truck. The Bed Mount Tire Carrier costs $170.

Zeus Open Eye Rope

Zeus Open Eye Rope

Why we picked it: A lightweight alternative to closed-eye ropes that require heavy metal shackles to attach to a 4×4, the Zeus Open Eye Rope replaces closed eyes with soft shackle technology by integrating stronger-than-steel SPECTRA fiber. This unusual design allows for multiple attachment points and is much easier to carry and stow than traditional ropes with shackles.

The rope is available in multiple sizes, ranging in thickness from 7/8-inch to 1 1/4-inches. The Zeus Open Eye Rope includes a carrying bag with Velcro straps and costs $390.

OFF-ROADING ESSENTIALS ON A LARGE BUDGET ($400-PLUS)

Yamaha EF 1000IS

Yahama EF1000IS Portable Generator

Why we picked it: Ideal for off-road camping, the Yahama EF 1000IS Portable Generator provides 1,000 watts of power and weighs only 28 pounds. The generator features a compact design for easy transport and storage and ranks as one of the quietest in its class. The SmartThrottle, load-sensing rpm control provides greater fuel efficiency by automatically adjusting the engine speed.

The EF 1000IS features 12 Volt DC output, battery-charging cables and large fuel fill access. An auto-warm up feature ensures smooth power delivery during cold startups, while the centralized control panel is accessible and user-friendly. The Yahama EF 1000IS Portable Generator meets emission regulations in all 50 states and starts at $880.

ADV Light Cannon Kit

Vision X 6.7-Inch ADV Light Cannon Kit

Why we picked it: The 6.7-Inch ADV Light Cannon Kit is ideal for nighttime driving in varied terrain. The product combines the distance of Iris Reflector technology with the spread of elliptical optics to make for a powerful 1,800-foot beam. The kit is equipped with a smooth back-lit halo and a tough four-bolt steel trunnion bracket.

The brand claims the 6.7-Inch ADV Light Cannon Kit has a lifespan of 50,000 hours. The kit costs $750.

Ryan ZumMallen July 3, 2019
Toyota Tacoma owners famously outfit the midsize truck with parts from a vibrant aftermarket industry to prepare the pickup for rugged adventure.

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