Our Favorite New Gear from Overland Expo
As overlanding has exploded in popularity, these companies come up with increasingly inventive camping gadgets
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Rig’D Supply RambleRack-1 Bike Rack ($900)
Rig’D calls this an off-road bike rack because it’s meant for people who want to haul their bike down dozens if not hundreds of miles of bumpy and rutted dirt roads and not worry about the rack or the bike. They assured us the bike would stay absolutely locked in place and not get bent out of shape thanks to a number of factors, including a symmetrical front wheel tray and a burly front arm that locks in place at 90 degrees and never touches the frame. The rack itself will take plenty of abuse thanks to a high-quality steel build. The RambleRack-1 is designed to work in conjunction with the company’s swing out tire carrier but can also be mounted straight into a rear receiver. Right now they’re only offering a one-bike version but they told us a two-bike model is on the way.
Trelino Composting Toilet (from $500)
Most camping toilets have one catchment that combines liquids and solids, creating a mess that stinks up your vehicle. But Trelino, which is based in Germany, smartly divided their small camping toilet into two compartments so that each kind of waste is separated. The liquids go into one plastic and solids into another that’s lined with compostable bags. If you dump a little ash or saw dust onto the solids, they almost immediately dry out and won’t stink up your rig. For disposal, check city regulations. Some allow you to put the dried and bagged solids in the garbage, while others, including Moab, Utah, do not (you can usually bring them directly to transfer stations, though). As for the liquids, you can empty them at a dump station, into a vault toilet, or into your toilet at home.
Go Fast Campers Chase Frame ($2,100)
Go Fast is best known for creating a lightweight but bomber camper shell that has a well-designed rooftop tent built in (keep your eyes open in the West and you’ll see them all over the place). Now the company is launching a lightweight but bomber bed rack. The advantage of a bed rack is that it allows you to keep your truck bed open for hauling wood, boxes, building materials, etcetera. But the Chase Frame has mounting points so you can also haul every piece of gear known to man including bikes, rooftop tents, surfboards, Maxtrax, jerry cans, awnings, and anything else you think to bolt or strap on.
Geyser System (from $260)
The Geyser creates a highly efficient way to wash yourself and/or your dishes on the road. Using less than a gallon of water pumped through a tube into a connected sponge, it gives you about 15 minutes of use to wash off dirt and grime. The water flow is just enough to get your entire body thoroughly soaped and rinsed. It also comes with additional sponges so you can use one for baths and another for washing camp dishes. If you buy the lower cost model you’ll need to boil a third of your water in a camping stove and then mix it with two thirds room temperature water. The more expensive one comes with a built-in heater that gets the water to somewhere between 99 and 108 degress Fahrenheit. Both models need to be plugged into an external battery for power.
Factor 55 HitchLink Pro 2.0 ($135)
If you have a vehicle with a two-inch receiver in the back, it would be smart to carry one of these whenever you go off road. It slots into the receiver, locks into place via a pin (bought separately, from $15) and acts as a recovery point that another vehicle can use to tow you out of a jam. The Pro version just launched and it’s designed to work with both hard and soft shackles and is cross drilled so that you can rotate it 90 degrees in your receiver for either a horizontal or vertical orientation. Made from machined billet aluminum and tested to a breathing strength of more than 50,000 pounds, it’s a high-quality product that will help ensure you can get unstuck.
TruckVault Base Camp 1 Drawer System ($4,420)
There are several truck drawer systems on the market but this one drew our attention because the passenger-side drawer is specifically set up as a camp kitchen. When you arrive at camp all you have to do is pull it out and you have immediate access to a platform with your camp stove as well as a built-in cutting board, several smaller cubbies that store all your spices and dry ingredients, and a drawer space for cooking utensils and other items. The driver-side drawer stores camping gear and the top of the system becomes a sleeping platform or storage area for additional gear. TruckVault says the Base Camp 1 can be customized to fit all the most common truck bed designs and lengths on the market.
Step 22 Quoll HD Packing Cube Multicam—Small ($27)
Regular packing cubes prove their value in your suitcase or backpack by organizing small items. The same goes here, but the Step 22 cubes are made from a 500-denier Cordura to hold much heavier overlanding items—from tools, to kitchen utensils, to extra nuts and bolts for your vehicle. Step 22 also makes organizers for your tech gear (GoPros, drones, etc.) and bomber toiletry bags.
Colfax Design Works Q.D. Camera Strap ($69)
The Q.D. camera strap stands out in a very crowded field for several reasons. First, it’s made from one-inch mil-spec webbing, which means it qualifies for heavy military use and is ultra durable so it won’t fail and leave your pricey camera on the ground. Next, Colfax makes a super reliable and fast quick-disconnect system so it’s easy to take the strap off if you want to sling your camera onto a tripod or gimbal. And finally, the adjustment is buttery smooth so it’s easy to lengthen or shorten the strap.
Hest Dog Bed (Starting at $149)
Your dogs are likely more tired than you during a camping trip because they spend the entire day running laps and jumping in the water. To make sure they’re rested, Hest developed a dog bed that’s lined with two layers of premium memory foam. The outside is covered with a tear-resistant and waterproof layer, and when not in use, the dog bed easily rolls with integrated compression straps up for storage.
Eezy Supplies Rig Caddy V2 ($200)
This is just a metal shelf that attaches to your truck via magnets. But we thought it was one of the more brilliant gear designs we saw at Expo because it smartly organizes a bunch of disparate gear. The shelf is the perfect spot for small but important items like keys, sunglasses, and cameras, and it also works with a series of add-on attachments that hold everything from a beer to cook tools to fishing poles. Each Caddy comes with one attachment of your choice, then additional attachments can be bought separately. The magnets, which can support up to 15 pounds, are rubber coated so you never have to worry about it scratching your paint.