Sometimes great travel requires a 4X4. We hunted down some hardy gear to kit out your adventure vehicle.
Also read: On top of the world: 10 great rooftop tents
Our favourite 4×4 gear
1. Coolaroo Shade Sail
R1 249, coolaroo.co.za
The first thing you’ll notice about the ready-to-hang Coolaroo Shade Sail is its compact travel size when packed (about the surface area of an open Getaway magazine). Six metres of rope is stitched into each corner of the 3,6 x 3,6-metre square fabric covering which means it requires very little effort to set up – attach the ropes to a roof rack or similar sturdy structure (no tools required) to create ample shade for your picnic or camping area. The fabric is breathable but still offers up to 90% protection from UV rays. The colour is also great – an unassuming beige which won’t stick out on the beach or in the bush.
2. Heated seat covers
From R1 500 for two seats, sold as an extra for Takla seat covers, takla.co.za
The first in South Africa to offer heated seat covers, these tough Takla Hot Seats are waterproof, durable, non-shrinking and incredibly comfortable. Plug them into your 12-volt lighter socket, select one of the temperature options and, in seconds, it’s warm. Perfect for icy winter holidays. Available for most SUV’s and 4×4’s.
3. Suspended scrubbing: rack mount shower arm
If you’re one for remote camping the Front Runner Rack Mount Shower Arm is great for showering alongside elephants in the bush. Mount the base plate to the roof rack, retract the folded arm and hang up your shower.
4. Heavy duty air jack
R1 980, 4x4megaworld.co.za
Air jacks have some great benefits – they’re quick to get going, require no recovery points and are steady on soft ground. I saw the Desert Heavy Duty Air Jack in action during a trip to Lesotho where we tested it on snow, but it also works on rocks or other uneven terrain.
You plug the hose into your exhaust or compressor, which fills a bag with air and gently lifts your vehicle off the ground.
It’s a great gadget to have for a quick recovery emergency and comes with two protection mats and a heavy-duty carry bag.
5. Tyre pressure monitoring system
R1 499, planetworld.co.za
As the name suggests the Steelmate Tyre Pressure Monitoring System is a nifty gizmo that keeps an eye on your tyres while you drive. Screw a sensor onto each tyre valve, plug the monitor into your cigarette lighter and off you go.
- The air pumps at garages are often out on their tyre pressure readings – use these sensors to double check.
- Use the system to detect slow punctures.
- Ensure all tyres are pumped up equally – different pressures can lead to unnecessary exertion on your vehicle and mechanical problems later on.
- The monitor is easily visible and beeps loudly when there’s a problem.
- You’ll have peace of mind and enjoy your travels without worry.
6. Portable power bank
Weighing in at just 270-grams (think the size of a big Nescafe instant coffee jar) this waterproof, shockproof, sandproof, travelproof Outdoor Tech Kodiak Portable Power Bank is fit for Bear Grylls – if he condoned such luxury in the outdoors. Here at Getaway we know various necessities have to be plugged in at some point, and we need a way keep our devices juiced. Made with impact silicone, the Kodiak is protected from falls and a handy power indicator lets you know how much power is left on the 6000mAh unit. In layman’s terms, this means you’ll get roughly three charges for your smartphone.