Here's the latest gear for your off-road adventure

Rooftop tents are a big seller in the off-road world these days. You can set them up anywhere and sleep comfortably knowing you’re off the ground | Photo: Cindy Goodman, North Shore News

For many people who drive an off-road vehicle, getting cool gear is just as fun as going into the bush.

“People like to accessorize and personalize their vehicle. It can be anything from extremely mild to completely wild,” says Glenn Schatroph, managing director of North Shore Off-Road Centre. “Two per cent of our clientele is the serious off-roader and 98 per cent is the weekend warrior or somebody who wants to go camping. It’s definitely an interesting segment of the automotive business. It’s grown like crazy.”

We scoped out some of the hot products in the industry to help out both the weekend warriors and the Mad Max clan. Here are some of the fun ones.

Rooftop tent

This is one item that is taking the off-roading world by storm.

“The thing that has really lit the world on fire recently is the RTT, the rooftop tent,” says Schatroph. “I’ve been in this business since 1984. Over the last three or four years, tents has definitely been one of our go-to things that people are buying. We bring in a container of them at a time and then we sell out of them pretty darn quick.”

RTT kits can start at around $1,200 and go up from there. The appeal is knowing that you can set it up in nearly any location and sleep in comfort.

“The Jeep will get you off-road, but where do you sleep?” says Schatroph. “You generally sleep on the ground. With this the nice thing is … you can actually have the tent up above, so now you’re six feet off the ground.”

Car fridge

This is another popular item that helps you prolong your trip without worrying about your food, or your battery, getting spoiled. The trick is in the design that allows that fridge to stay cold without using too much energy, even when your vehicle is shut off.

“The draw is one to two amps per hour. Even if you don’t start up your car for 12 or 13 hours, it won’t drain your battery,” says Fabian Kosari, owner of West Coast Off-Roaders, adding that many models have safeguards to ensure that you don’t kill your battery. “It has a switch that will shut itself down.”

Products range from $1,100 to around $1,600.

Car fridge

You can get car fridges now that are designed to keep your food cold without killing your battery. Photo: Cindy Goodman, North Shore News

Mini compressor

Lots of off-roaders like to monkey with their tire pressure depending on the conditions, and there are products that can make that process much easier and more precise.

“If you’re going to go off-road and are fairly serious about it, a lot of people will air their tire pressure down to get a bit more of a footprint, a bit more traction,” says Schatroph. “So when you come back to the highway you don’t want to be driving down the Sea-to-Sky with six PSI of air in your tires. We sell the compressors and hose kits to allow you to fill your tires up and get them back to the pressure you need to run on the highway. We also sell deflators. … you just screw it on the valve stem and you pre-set the pressure that you want it to shut off at.”        


This product from ARB acts as a kind of central nervous system for your accessories.

“It’s basically an interface – it’s a device that looks exactly like a phone,” says Kosari. “You run all the wires into that board for all the accessories you have – lights, windshield, whatever you have, all the electronic accessories you have in your car. You run the wires into that board and the board is connected to the interface device by a Bluetooth. … Instead of drilling holes or putting switches all over your dash, you run everything off that Android device.” The Linx runs for about $845.

Rain visors

Here’s a simple one that can make a backcountry trip much more enjoyable, particularly here on the rainy West Coast.

“They allow you to open up your window a little bit without water pouring in on you,” says Schatroph. Rain visors will set you back around $50 to $75.

North Shore News