September is here, and with it, a flood of new product launches from manufacturers of every kind. The big news of course was Land Rover’s new Defender, which you can read all about here, but there was also so much more. Just this week our inboxes have been filled with press releases unveiling everything from awnings to knives, and eventually, it reached a point where we decided to skip writing individual articles altogether. Instead, we’re wrapping up a few of our favorite launches of the week right here in one convenient location. We hope you enjoy!
Rugged Ridge Venator Bumper
Although Rugged Ridge has been unveiling several products for the JL and Gladiator platforms, we wanted to talk specifically about their new Venator bumper. Rugged Ridge states that they wanted a more aggressive contour than the Jeep’s factory bumper, so they started from a block of clay, sculpting muscular lines that complement the JL/JT’s aesthetics instead of fighting them. They incorporated a winch mount, recovery points, a skid plate, and spaces for fog lights, making sure the look was just right before crafting the production models from powder-coated steel. The Venator carries a five-year limited warranty, fits 2018-2020 Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Gladiator, and is available for $799 USD.
To learn more, visit the Rugged Ridge website here.
Darche 180 Rear Awning and Gen 2 Eclipse Awnings
We’ve used the previous generation Eclipse 270 awning and thought it was quite good, but had some room for improvement. Well, Darche has made some revisions, and now they’re unveiling the second generation of eclipse 180 and 270 awnings, as well as introducing an all-new 180 awning designed for the back of your vehicle. Let’s start with the updated Eclipse series though.
The new Eclipse awnings will mirror many of the great aspects of the previous generation, like dual-hinges which provide coverage all the way to the front of the vehicle, a good fit and finish, and a relatively affordable price, but it will also feature two key changes. The first is that they will now be made with a 320 GSM ripstop canvas instead of the lighter 280 GSM. This will give the fabric greater durability and longer life. The second change is a reduction of weight, by 6 kgs to be precise, which Darche states they achieved without any reduction in strength.
Then there’s the new 180 rear awning, which boasts the same quality materials and design as the standard side awning but on a smaller scale. It provides a total of four square meters of shade, about half that of the larger units, which makes it perfect for your kitchen and cargo area on the back of your truck, or for smaller vehicles like Subarus, Jeep Renegades, or Rav4 Aventures. Pricing information has yet to be released for the US.
To learn more, visit the Darche website here.
Terrain 365 Invictus-AT folding Knife
Terrain 365 is a relatively new company, but their founders are far from green when it comes to producing quality kit. Michael Vagnino has been crafting blades for 25 years and has earned the rank of Master Bladesmith with the American Bladesmith Society, while co-founder Patrick Ma has been designing and selling products for the outdoor industry since 1997, with specialties spanning through hiking, climbing, overlanding, diving, tactical and more. The Invictus AT is their debut folding knife with their unique “Terravantium” super-alloy edge-holding blade and a framelock designed for use in any environment, even underwater. Every component used in the Invictus is 100% non-ferrous, non-magnetic, and rustproof guaranteeing lifelong performance and enjoyment.
If you’re wondering what the heck Terravantium is, you’re not alone, and Patrick was kind enough to provide an explanation.
The 2 primary material components are cobalt and carbide. It is their combined properties and how we process the precision bar stock castings that yields the superior performance characteristics. These types of cobalt alloys have actually been around for many years. Industrial applications are their use as engine valve seats, medical implants to lining the barrels of MK46 machine guns. Cobalt alloys are tough and long wearing. Unique to our Terravantium variety is that we do not roll our precision cast bar stock. This retains the original, dendritic crystalline structure of the carbide particles, best described as the microscopic saw teeth, which give our blades their cutting power and edge holding properties. Dendritic cobalt alloys are expensive and were not readily available to the consumer knife industry, but my partner and Co-Founder at Terrain 365, Michael Vagnino worked closely over years to develop and integrate a direct relationship with a foundry specializing in cobalt alloy so we are able to have a regular supply made to our specs and use in our edged tools. ”
The Invictus-AT folding Knife comes in at $395 USD, and you can learn more by visiting their website here.
MPOWERD Luci Core
It’s a pretty safe bet that you’re familiar with MPOWERD by now even if you don’t realize it. Most of us know them from the Luci light, those inflatable solar-powered lanterns you see sitting on the dashes of countless overland trucks, but recently they’ve expanded their line with new options like string lights and the baselight, and now they’re adding one more called the Luci Core. This non-inflatable lightweight light is just an inch tall and 4″ wide but produces 40 lumens of cool white light through three LEDs. It is IPX4 waterproof rated, features an adjustable silicone arm which you can use to hang or strap the light to just about anything, and can be charged by solar power or USB.
Pricing has been announced at $14.95 USD.
To learn more, visit MPOWERD’s website here.