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Overland Expo West 2024 :: More Gear

Overland Expo West 2024 More Gear

There are some subtle shifts happening at Overland Expo. With new owners since the middle of last year (Emerald Expositions, purveyors of huge industry events like Outdoor Retailer), the purpose and scope of the four yearly Expos are slowly moving. This was inevitable, given the sheer scale of Overland Expo now (especially the Flagstaff event). With tens of thousands of attendees and hundreds of exhibitors, Expo West is starting to feel a lot more like a trade show in the vein of SEMA than the travel- and education-focused event it used to be.

In fact, the number of courses and expert panel offerings for attendees felt distinctly slimmer and different in theme this year. For example, there were no hands-on 4×4 training or motorcycle classes, former cornerstones of Overland Expo’s educational mission. The upside of that move is that the center of attention at Expo now pivots to the rows and rows of vendors hawking shiny new rigs and kit for all aspects of overland travel. My colleague Graeme already covered a range of the newer stuff, but we found even more gear to feature.

Butler Maps Adventure Series Maps

Butler Maps - More Gear

Butler Maps is a small company with a catalog of slick, information-rich, and beautifully rendered paper maps. They are most well-known for their line of maps that detail each of the Backcountry Discovery Routes (the California North map just recently dropped), but they have a new range of maps they are rolling out called the Adventure Series. I’ve argued this before, but paper maps aren’t just a backup for GPS-driven mapping apps and software, they are the only cartographic tool that allows you to see both scale and detail simultaneously when you are finding your place in the world or planning your trips. Modestly priced and made from rugged, waterproof, and tear-resistant material, they stash easily in your tank bag or glove box.

From $19.95 | butlermaps.com

Alaskan Campers

Alaskan Campers has been around for a very long time, and their unique range of slide-in and flatbed campers has stuck with their tried-and-true telescoping expansion system for many years. However, since the truck camper market has evolved swiftly in the last half-decade or so, their designs and aesthetic have not aged all that well—I might even call them dowdy or outdated. No more. The newly updated truck camper the Washington-based firm showcased in Flagstaff this year featured a fully-revised interior with modern and high-grade materials, as well as a new exterior design that feels futuristic, not nostalgic.

From $39,000 | alaskancampers.com

Decked Drawer Systems

In many ways, Decked has defined the truck-bed drawer-system segment. Their lightweight composite materials and precision construction make these systems a snap to install in nearly any pickup, and they’re strong enough to support heavy loads like motorcycles. Decked rolled out a series of new upgrades last year, claiming that they redesigned their entire product from the ground up. These improvements included improved use of available storage space, reduced dust ingress, a 10% reduction in weight, and a new optional “Super Drawer” with up to 30% more storage capacity. The Decked drawers retain their straightforward D-ring mounting system but with added mounting points for more stability. Decked also offers an extended line of bespoke accessories.

From $1,599 | decked.com

Ignik Topside Heated Blanket and Flipside Heated Bed Cover

One element of the high desert environment that is often overlooked, even for seasoned travelers, is that it can get darn cold at night, even if temps flirt with the 80s during the day. Such was the case in Flagstaff this year. The first two nights I was there, the nighttime temperatures dipped into the low 30s, so I was happy to have Ignik’s Topside heated blanket and Flipside heated bed cover to keep me cozy. Both can be powered by a 12-volt auxiliary battery via a standard vehicle adapter, have a 48-watt max heat output, and are made of fully recycled materials. With a 4-amp draw, they are also fairly efficient. Look for a thorough review of these two pieces of heated sleeping gear in the near future.

From $200 | ignik.com

GOAT HUB Coolers and Storage

The polyethylene plastic rotomolded cooler used to be a fairly niche product, given their historically high prices and bulky construction. But as more companies have stepped into the market with versions of their own, costs have come down and innovation around their design has stepped up. GOAT adds a range of diverse integrated storage options and accessories to their cooler construction, including food-safe containers. Simply pick a cooler size (50-liter or 70-liter), add storage units, and pick kits to fill them—from spices and sauces to first-aid kits to water filters. The HUB coolers also come in a range of interesting colors to match or contrast your build-out.

From $500 | goatboxco.com

RoamRest Beds

A good night’s sleep will transform your overland adventures. Waking up refreshed and ready to meet the day with a comfortable eight hours on the pillow makes everything you do during the day that much more vibrant and joyful. It’s an underrated aspect of travel, especially if you’re on the road long-term. RoamRest aims to improve your dreamland journeys with its line of technologically advanced, but also high-style mattresses for campers, trailers, and vans. Their multi-layered foam construction comes in a range of firmness options and offers breathability for moisture management as well as anatomical support for all kinds of sleepers. Advanced cover materials are easy to clean and come in colors and patterns you might not expect that add a splash of flair to your habitat. RoamRest has a big catalog and builds its mattresses both in generic sizes as well as shapes for rooftop tents, and specific vehicles and campers, like Storyteller vans and Jayco trailers. Don’t forget Fido, either, with their RuffRoost dog bed.

From $375 | roamrest.com

Daylodge Inflatable Shelters

Inflatable shelters are having a moment in the overland world, from entire camper trailers, like the Opus OP4, to truck canopies, such as those from Flated, to roof tents (I’m currently testing Dometic’s TRT 140 Air roof tent). Daylodge brings inflatable tech to its awnings for vans and other overland vehicles. Its AirHaven 40 awning weighs just 6 pounds with its bag and attachments and inflates to 8psi with any standard high-volume air pump, the kind used for SUPs and driftboats. It’s highly rigid and wind-resistant, and with its universal mounting systems, you can quickly share it between vehicles. An optional annex ($300) adds extra living space.

From $699 | daylodge.com

74Weld Portal Axle Conversions

From the “Wow, look at that!” department comes 74Weld’s portal axle conversions for both solid axle and independent suspension pickups and SUVs. What’s a portal axle, you ask? In simple terms, it’s an integrated drivetrain component built into the wheel hub structure of your four-wheel-drive truck that transfers drive from the driveshaft to the wheel via a gearset. There are several advantages to portal axles, including reduced stress on drivetrains, increased strength, and an integrated lift (in the case of 74Weld’s portals, 3.88 inches) that does not change the factory steering or suspension geometry of your vehicle. You can add a massive wheel and tire combination without fear of damaging driveline components in rough terrain. The kit is not cheap, but it includes everything you need to convert the entire vehicle (they claim it can be installed at home with common tools), and it is available for Ford Bronco as well as Jeep and Toyota platforms.

$20,000 | motorsports.74weld.com

Overland Explorer Vehicles Hudson Bay Flatbed Camper

OEV’s campers have a clean and spare feel to them, with smooth-to-the-touch interior materials, logical layouts, and subtle white color schemes that complement any rig you might bolt them to. The Hudson Bay flatbed truck camper (also available as a chassis mount) is their flagship model for full-size pickups, and it comes in 8-foot and 6.75-foot sizes. Interestingly, it is also available in both hard-side and pop-up versions, with the latter model featuring either a manually operated pop-top or a powered one. The powered pop-top integrates 360-degree visibility through huge windows that bring in massive amounts of light and air, inviting the outdoors inside.

From $85,000 | overlandex.com

Read more: Overland Expo West 2024 :: Top Rigs

Images: Stephan Edwards, Alaskan Campers, Ignik, Daylodge

Our No Compromise Clause: We do not accept advertorial content or allow advertising to influence our coverage, and our contributors are guaranteed editorial independence. Overland International may earn a small commission from affiliate links included in this article. We appreciate your support.

Stephan Edwards is the Associate Editor of Expedition Portal and Overland Journal. He and his wife, Julie, once bought an old Land Rover sight unseen from strangers on the internet in a country they'd never been to and drove it through half of Africa. After living in Botswana for two years, Stephan now makes camp at the foot of a round mountain in Missoula, Montana. He still drives that Land Rover every day. An anthropologist in his former life and a lover of all things automotive, Stephan is a staunch advocate for public lands and his writing and photography have appeared in Road & Track, Overland Journal, and Adventure Journal. Contact him at edwards@overlandinternational.com and @venturesomeoverland on Instagram.