The overlanding world’s most innovative companies and leaders gathered this past weekend in Flagstaff, AZ at Overland Expo West, the second of three such events this year. Attendees test drove Ford Broncos and Harley-Davidsons, learned about motorcycle packing and survival skills, lusted after 4×4 display vehicles, and gawked at the latest gear for outfitting their rigs.
Over the weekend, we scoured the massive showgrounds, which was packed with 400 exhibitors, and looked for the best new and noteworthy products. From compact cooking systems to lightweight self-recovery gear to the most outrageous truck camper you’ll ever see, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite finds below.
The Coolest New Gear from Overland Expo West
1. Omnia Stovetop Oven
For most people, one of the major downsides of prolonged van or vehicle travel is giving up oven-baked meals like pizza, bread, pies, or cinnamon rolls. But the Swedes figured out a solution with the Omnia, which essentially looks like a bundt pan with a lid. The circular aluminum container has a hole in the center and sits on a stainless steel base that can be placed over a heat source (such as a propane stove). Because of the base, hollow center, and ventilation holes, heat spreads evenly and cooks your food as it rises. With this gadget, you can whip up scones, pumpkin bread, quiche, scalloped potatoes, or any of the other recipes Omnia has curated, all at your campsite. You can add in silicon molds or a thermometer to your compact, portable cooking kit, too.[$67; buyomniaus.com]
2. Step 22 Gear Storage Bags
Toiletry and electronic bags are nothing new, but the design of these organizational pouches are some of the smartest we’ve seen. Every model is made from rugged all-weather materials, has lash points and sturdy YKK zippers, and features pockets that can be removed from or customized within the larger bag. The Hedgehog Toiletry Roll has seven compartments (two can be removed to take on shorter trips) and rolls up into the size of a loaf of bread. The Tenkile Tech Pouch has separators that can be oriented in different ways depending on the number of sections you need. Every product is named after an endangered or beloved animal, and the brand gives back to a multitude of conservation organizations.[$20 to $145; step22gear.com]
3. iKamper Disco Series
Tired of cooking meals in aluminum foil? Try this thing. The tripod design works in a few different ways: You can either use chains to suspend the cast iron disc over your campfire, or you can set it up as a freestanding burner plate. The included plate is a whopping 15 inches in diameter—big enough to cook a meal for your entire extended family. A birch plywood table hooks onto the legs, and it has a metal dowel for hanging utensils or other items you need within reach while the steaks are sizzling. Because every component is modular and adjustable, you can create your own cooking adventure. Preorders start in October, but you can sign up now for exclusive pricing and updates.[$490; ikamper.com]
4. Deadman Off-Road Earth Anchor
Getting stuck (and hopefully unstuck) is a given when you’re off-roading. Launched on Kickstarter in 2017, the Deadman has become a staple in overlanders’ kits because it weighs less than five pounds, can easily stow under a seat, and is easy to use. Should your four-wheeler get stuck, wrap the Earth Anchor’s center parachute-like fabric around a tree or rock as an anchor point to winch yourself out. Even better: Use the ground as your anchor. Just dig a knee-deep hole in sand or dirt, bury the open fabric with the straps out, attach the straps to your winch system, and try again. You might be skeptical at first, but it really works.[Starting at $280; deadmanoffroad.com]
5. Snow Peak Takibi Tarp Octa
This isn’t a new product, but it’s fitting for anyone looking to overland all year round. Even when it’s raining, snowing, or gusting, you can still enjoy the campfire or cook outside without getting totally exposed. The tarp’s interior lining is made from fire-resistant aramid, the same material used in Japanese firefighting suits, so it won’t catch fire when it’s hung over an open flame (or your camp stove). The exterior is cut and sewn from a water-resistant 210-denier polyester, so it sheds moisture. Use the tension ropes to string it up next to your truck or RV for a covered space that can comfortably fit eight people. Wing poles are sold separately for an extra $90.[$720; snowpeak.com]
6. Dometic Water System
Known best for energy-efficient fridges and coolers, Dometic is now turning to clean water systems with two compatible products. The HYD-J11 Hydration Water Jug is an 11-liter container that can be refilled from any water source and cleaned by a filter or purifier that attaches to the standard-sized opening. The HYP-WF Hydration Water Faucet then turns the jug (or any other water container) into an outdoor kitchen sink. The spigot dispenses one liter per minute and lasts for 150 liters per battery charge. It comes with two magnetic bases with double-sided tape that you can stick anywhere. Both products launch in March 2022.[$75 for the HYD-J11, $99 for the HYP-WF; dometic.com]
7. Loki Basecamp Falcon Series
Out of all the truck campers at Overland Expo, we asked the most questions about this one. The rear hatch first caught our eye because it opens up for panoramic views, but it also has a standard door you can use on colder days. It’s fabricated in Quebec City, Canada for the self-sufficient traveler who wants to explore the unknown for days or weeks on end: The lithium battery bank is rated for 600 amp-hours and the water tank holds 30 gallons of fresh water. Heating, AC, and four-season insulation help you control the temperature, while blackout roller blinds provide privacy. The Falcon Series comes in three sizes to match most standard pickup beds.[Starting at $95,000; lokibasecamp.com]
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