Besides MaxTraxx, what traction boards/mats do you use?

pugslyyy

Expedition Vehicle Engineer Guy
Get the cheapest thing available. They all get you those coveted overlandy points when mounted so carefully on your roof rack as to attract maximum views from fellow overlandy types. All cost the price of one tow if you are off the beaten path.

Yes, I'm poking fun and yes i have a set, never used.
Ha, I misread your post as "felon overlandy types" not "fellow" :)
 

rnArmy

Adventurer
X-Bulls. I paid about $75/pair for them (so two pair - four tracks - about $150 total). Used them twice so far; no issues.

MaxTrax are around $325/pair (so for two pair - four tracks - about $600 -to $650 total). Are they worth four times the cost of the X-Bulls? Probably not. If I were going to go spend a year in Africa or to the tip of South America and back would I choose the MaxTrax over the X-Bulls? Probably - just to be on the safe side. But if you can afford an overlanding trip like that, then the cost of the MaxTrax is probably a minor concern at that point.
X-bull.2.jpg
 
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Herbie

Rendezvous Conspirator
Get the cheapest thing available. They all get you those coveted overlandy points when mounted so carefully on your roof rack as to attract maximum views from fellow overlandy types. All cost the price of one tow if you are off the beaten path.

Yes, I'm poking fun and yes i have a set, never used.
Continuing with the good-natured ribbing, I will say that tows must be cheap where you travel. A quick recovery out in Anza Borrego starts at $320, last I heard. I've only used my mats once to help extract a heavy Sprinter from some silty sand in the Oregon desert, but I've deployed my shovel to assist in Borrego more times than I can count.
 

rnArmy

Adventurer
Traction boards and a shovel will get you out of a lot of situations (I still have winches on my Jeeps though). I carry a large pointy-tip shovel on my trailer all the time. Sometimes I'll put a large square-tip shovel on the roof-rack with the traction boards (which are pretty much always on the Jeep) if I'm not taking the trailer or I'll be in snow country, and I've always got a little pointy-tip shovel on the side of my roof rack just-in-case (mounted with a couple quick-fists) - also best for digging cat holes. Better to have a little shovel then none at all.

And sometimes the traction boards are on the trailer instead of in the roof rack (last picture). They're light; you just have to find a home for the traction boards.
 

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Herbie

Rendezvous Conspirator
Sometimes I'll put a large square-tip shovel on the roof-rack with the traction boards (which are pretty much always on the Jeep) if I'm not taking the trailer or I'll be in snow country, and I've always got a little pointy-tip shovel on the side of my roof rack just-in-case (mounted with a couple quick-fists) - also best for digging cat holes. Better to have a little shovel then none at all.
Good discussion on the differences in shovels. I've traditionally carried a square-nosed shovel as I'm more likely to need to move soft sand than do real digging. That said, if I ever needed to break some hard earth, I'd be struggling with that shovel. I'm due for a replacement soon (weather has taken its toll on current shovel), so I may opt for a pointy-tip... It'll still move sand, if less efficiently.
 

Ducky's Dad

Explorer
I always carry a D-handle spade and a long handle hoe. Most of my offroad travel is in the desert, so the hoe is very handy for pulling sand out from under the truck or from around the tires. Also very handy in snow and mud.
 

Outdoorsben

Observer
I bought a set of GoTreads and they have treated me well for recovery and leveling. I think I paid for $100 for a pair and they folder under the seat in my Jeep. I chose them for the compact storage footprint.
 

zelseman

Observer
X-Bulls. I paid about $75/pair for them (so two pair - four tracks - about $150 total). Used them twice so far; no issues.

MaxTraxx are around $325/pair (so for two pair - four tracks - about $600 -to $650 total). Are they worth four times the cost of the X-Bulls? Probably not. If I were going to go spend a year in Africa or to the tip of South America and back would I choose the MaxTraxx over the X-Bulls? Probably - just to be on the safe side. But if you can afford an overlanding trip like that, then the cost of the MaxTraxx is probably a minor concern at that point.
I understand how you got here, but our mileage has been really unsatisfactory. We have used our XBulls for 1 year of moderate use (5-10 leveling campsites and 3 light extractions) and they are showing serious wear. The knobs are nearly gone in places and I was not nearly as impressed with them after using them as I was right after buying them. They are a great value as a back-up that you never plan to use, but if you off-road at a regular interval I'd spend a little more. We travel full time and our next set will not be the Xbulls.
 

rnArmy

Adventurer
I understand how you got here, but our mileage has been really unsatisfactory. We have used our XBulls for 1 year of moderate use (5-10 leveling campsites and 3 light extractions) and they are showing serious wear. The knobs are nearly gone in places and I was not nearly as impressed with them after using them as I was right after buying them. They are a great value as a back-up that you never plan to use, but if you off-road at a regular interval I'd spend a little more. We travel full time and our next set will not be the Xbulls.
If I traveled full-time like you (or had a bigger budget), I would go high(er)-end on a lot of my gear, including traction boards. If you can afford the MaxTrax you can't go wrong - they seem to be the ones everyone compares to.

I know the knobs will get worn down if you spin your tires on any of them (see #5 & 6 in picture below). Don't know of any side by side tire spinning tests with MaxTrax vs X-Bull (or any other brand). The few times I have used my X-Bulls for recovery (and careful not to spin tires) I was pleased. And the one time I was using them for someone else I'm sure I repeated myself numerous times reminding them not to spin their tires.


MaxTrax instructions-for-use-1024x744.gif
 
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krick3tt

Adventurer
I use the aluminum version of the Marston mats and have fabricated angle iron runners to put them under my FR roof rack. They stay there and are not a hindrance to on the rack.DSC04856.JPG
 

rnArmy

Adventurer
This popped up on one of my feeds today. Not real in-depth, but mentions some I'd never heard of.


(spoiler alert - they liked the X-Bulls).
 
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