If we won the Lotto tomorrow, these are the ten off-road goodies we’d have-to-have!
Here at Unsealed 4X4 we get to take away some of the coolest camping products on the market. Everything from swags, cooking gear, tents, trailers, motorhomes – you name it. So over the years, we’ve developed a keen eye for some of the finer things. You know the kind of thing I’m talking about: those products that make you feel like you’re not exactly “roughing it” anymore. The products that make you feel both smug and a little ashamed at the same time.
They make life simultaneously easier and usually more comfortable, but you do lose that sense of ‘oneness’ with your natural surroundings. Kinda like how the first campers felt about matches: “Yeah, they’re handy and make lighting this fire heaps easier, but I do sorta miss rubbing two sticks together.”
Don’t get us wrong, we still regularly get away with nothing more than a swag, camp oven and a couple of nights’ worth of food, but I’d be lying if I said that occasionally camping in complete opulence was a drag. So we thought we’d share with you our favourite pieces of pure, unadulterated off-road decadence from the past couple of years.
For images and the full Unsealed 4X4 experience, read this in our online magazine.
RANGE ROVER VOGUE SE SDV8
We first took the Range Rover Vogue SE SDV8 out about a year ago, and it has been the benchmark for luxury ever since. If money were no object, this would be our tow vehicle, bush limo and daily driver of choice.
The Vogue literally has everything you need, as well as a few things you probably don’t. Heated (or cooled) seats that give you a decent massage while you’re driving; gobs of power and torque from the 4.4 V8 turbo diesel; an interior layout that was designed by someone who is probably the Rainman of ergonomics; great fuel economy (around 7L/100km on the highway), plenty of storage room… this thing is simply a pleasure to drive, either down to the shops or over the desert. Not it’s not cheap, but the feeling of arriving after a four-hour drive to camp with a freshly rubbed-down back, feeling like you’ve just spent a week at a luxury resort – if you have the money, it’s so totally worth it, and frankly, it’s difficult to not feel a little smug.
PRICED FROM: $222,610
FOR MORE INFO: landrover.com.au
SLR COMMANDER MOTORHOME
It’s big, it’s the definition of luxurious and it is super expensive… so we had to include the SLR Commander off-road motorhome in our off-road decadence list. This behemoth houses a creamy leather couch, full bathroom and kitchen setup, and there is even a massive bed that can be raised or lowered when required. Dishwasher, washing machine, microwave… these off-road motorhomes are legit nicer than everyone at Unsealed 4X4’s houses combined.
The Commander sits on a MAN 4X4 truck with front and rear diff locks, and a powerful turbo diesel engine with twin fuel tanks. There is even a spot to store your quad bike, and an outdoor BBQ for when it is too nice to sit on the comfy couch inside. C’mon, this is getting slightly ridiculous guys… but in the best kind of way!
Priced from: $450,000 – $600,000
For more infor: Slrcaravans.com.au
COMPLETE CAMPSITE EXODUS 11
Of all the camper trailers we’ve tested over the past 12 months, the Complete Campsite Exodus 11 redefined hassle-free set-ups for us. You literally open the door, push the strut-assisted roof up and you’re done. No catches, no zips, no mucking around whatsoever. Inside, it’s like a mini apartment with an innerspring mattress, seating area and LEDs everywhere. The comprehensive kitchen is under a wind-out awning (seriously, why are these not offered on 4WDs?) and there’s even a super simple-to-put-up shower annexe out the back. A huge fridge on a slide-out keeps the food and bevvies cool and within easy reach, and the Exodus 11 actually has some pretty decent suspension, so this ain’t no caravan-park cruiser. I’d happily take this on just about any long trip, and live like royalty while doing so.
PRICED FROM: $81,950
FOR MORE INFO: completecampsite.com.au
LIGHTFORCE HTX DRIVING LIGHTS
The LTX series of driving lights from Lightforce would have to be the most advanced driving lights on the market, and it must be said they are also some of the most expensive. They combine the best lighting technology currently available, incorporating a ring of LED lights for superb amounts of spread as well as a centre-mounted HID element to take care of long-distance duties. Each component can be operated independently too, so you can pick and choose the best lighting solution for the terrain and situations you are driving through. Not only is the performance offered from these lights nothing short of staggering, they are well packaged. Which is marketing talk for man… they look so sweet!
Priced from: $799 each
For more info: lightforce.com
When the word “decadence” gets thrown around, you may not think of a lump of cast iron with legs and a chimney. Let’s be honest, the Ozpig looks more like your weird hippy neighbour’s garden art than arguably the most useful cooking implement this side of a Thermomix, but that’s exactly what it is… and is far less likely to result in serious facial injuries… unless you hit someone with it, but I digress.
The Ozpig is actually a beaut thing to have on hand where open fires are not permitted and does away with the whole musical camp chair shuffle trying to avoid the smoke from your fire. It also allows you to whip up a bush feast without the need for a gas burner which is always a winner in our books. And then there’s the impressive amount of heat it puts out – cast iron thermal conductivity for the win! Don’t believe us? Try it out for yourself and you’ll wonder how you ever got by without it.
PRICED FROM: $370
FOR MORE INFO: ozpig.com.au
DARCHE NEBULA 1550
Ok, swags and luxury aren’t usually the most mutually inclusive of terms, but have you seen some of these modern swags lately? Take the Darche Nebula for example. We took this thing down to Tumut in NSW, which in terms of temperature is roughly equivalent to a Siberian wasteland in the middle of winter, after dark.
Not only does this thing have a 90-second set up time, it also has enough room to have a slumber party with a few (close) friends and will keep the wind and rain off – even in the middle of an icy Southern Highlands storm (ask us how we know). I don’t know about you, but compared to my old rollout canvas sleeping bag these things are a bloody Taj Mahal. If you’re a little claustrophobic but love the idea of the simplicity of a swag, you need to get on board with these bad boys. Comfort plus!
PRICED FROM: $749.99
FOR MORE INFO: darche.com.au
ARB TWIN COMPRESSOR
The ARB Twin portable air compressor won our massive air compressor comparison back in issue #17 of Unsealed 4X4
(Click here to read the article). It deserved to win too, as it was lighting fast and whisper smooth to operate. The Twin gets its name as it is based off a twin-head design; imagine if your 4X4 had two engines and you can now understand why this advantageous. This then feeds into a 4L air-tank that stores additional pressurised air. It is the Big Mac with cheese of the air-compressor world as far as we are concerned, and is even available in a portable casing for easy storage and no installation woes. It really looks the part too, like a scientific kit you would see on those crappy American crime shows… Secretly, I like to pretend I am forensically investigating my tyre pressures when using the ARB Twin and not just pumping in some air like a common peasant.
Priced from: $879
For more info: arb.com.au
ENGEL 80L UPRIGHT FRIDGE
Now here is something you don’t see everyday… well, let me rephrase that. You do at home. An upright fridge. It’s not something you see in a four-wheel drive though. That is until our good friend Sam Purcell recently fitted one to his project 130 Land Rover. Now that he has a canopy on the tray, there is plenty of space. He decided to give the upright a go as it is lighter than a traditional 80L fridge, and it is also cheaper. With the canopy sides lifted up on his Landy, access to the fridge is ridiculously easy, and everything stores neater than a librarians book collection. This is one of the swankiest fridge setups we have seen, and if you have a similar setup (ute with canopy) consider looking at the Engel 80L Upright fridge. “Now pass me the Pimm’s and cucumber please, Sam!”
Priced from: $1325
For more info: engelaustralia.com.au
There is something so luxurious about lazing away in a hammock, even while a hammock traditionally costs as much as a ham sandwich. Hennessy Hammocks on the other hand, cost a lot more and are packed with so many features. These aren’t just for chillaxing under a palm tree at a seedy resort, these hammocks are lightweight camping solutions. The model we are talking about here is the Deep Jungle Asym Zip, which has been designed with ultimate bug protection in mind (100% mozzie proof apparently). Included with this hammock is mosquito netting, a detachable rain fly, support ropes and a stuff sack to store the whole box-and-dice. On a cool note, you actually lay sideways in the Hennessy Hammock, so your back and torso are supported. Think of it like being gently rocked to sleep, while camping anywhere in the world.
Priced from: $290 (USD)
For more info: hennessyhammock.com
NOMAD COLAPSIBLE HOT TUB
Life doesn’t get more decadent than having your own portable camping hot tub. As if you can’t imaging lounging around in the Nomad Hot Tub at the end of the day, or even for the entire day if you are a creature of comfort. The Nomad is collapsible for easy storage, and is heated with a unique wood (or gas) heated coil (optional extra) which flows sunny warm water throughout the tub. There is even the option of including a Honda WX10 portable water pump for easy and fast filling. It might look a bit over the top, but you would be the life of the campground with the Nomad Hot Tub… unlike old mate in the picture.
Priced from: $415 (USD)
For more INFO: theoriginalnomad.com