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Sunday, June 16, 2024

2021 Holiday Gift Guide – Gifts Under $2,500

Photo by mapodile via iStock

With the holidays just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about the gifts you want to buy for your overlanding and off-roading friends (or yourself!). And boy, do we have a list for you!

With a budget of $2,500, you can buy all kinds of goodies that will make overlanding or off-roading a far better experience.

From battery management to shocks, bumpers to diesel heaters, this 2021 holiday gift guide has some excellent overlanding gift ideas.

REDARC RedVision Manager30 Kit

overlanding gift idea - RedVision vehicle management system

When you’re overlanding, you need to be able to reliably manage power. And that’s exactly what you get from REDARC.

I have their RedVision vehicle management system and their Manager30 battery management system in my Turtleback Expedition trailer, and I couldn’t be happier with the setup. The overlander on your holiday shopping list will also be more than pleased with this kit that combines these two incredible products to make one heck of an overlanding gift idea.

Let’s start with RedVision…

RedVision vehicle management system

This bad boy allows you to control multiple devices in your vehicle or trailer. For example, you can turn on the lights or water pump, manage loads like the refrigerator or TV, and monitor water levels and temperatures, too, all from a single device.

RedVision has an in-vehicle display for quickly and easily taking stock of the managed devices, or, if you prefer, you can use a companion mobile app for control and monitoring of your rig’s functionalities. And since this device was designed, built, and tested in Australia, you know that it’s built to withstand harsh conditions.

RedVision vehicle management system

This kit also includes the Manager30, a 30-amp battery management system that streamlines the process of charging the auxiliary batteries in your vehicle.

What’s great about this overlanding gift idea is that the Manager30 has AC, DC, and solar inputs to give you all sorts of options. The device also works with various types of batteries, including lithium-ion, AGM, calcium, gel, and lead-acid.

It’s really a six-in-one device in that it is a 110-volt charger, a battery isolator, a solar regulator, a load disconnect controller, a remote battery monitor, and it charges the auxiliary battery from the vehicle as you drive.

You really can’t ask for a better power management system than this kit! Get one for your favorite overlander (or for yourself) this holiday season.

Learn more about the REDARC RedVision Manager30 Kit

Overlanding Gift Idea: Planar Heaters 2kw Portable Diesel Heater

planar heaters diesel heater

Next up on my list of overlanding gift ideas is something to keep you toasty warm…

If you’re shopping for a loved one that enjoys cold weather camping, it’s hard to beat a diesel heater as an ideal gift option.

Think about it…

They’re out cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, enjoying the snow-capped mountains around them, and at the end of the day, they can come back to their trailer or rooftop tent and enjoy a toasty warm environment thanks to the diesel heater you gifted them this year.

But not all diesel heaters are made alike. At the top of your list should be the Planar Heaters 2kw Portable Diesel Heater.

planar heaters 2kw portable heater

Perhaps the greatest feature of this overlanding gift idea is that it’s portable. It can be used in RVs or travel trailers, tents, boats, and even your house if the power goes out! Wherever you need heat, this sucker is for you!

No matter where it’s being used, this heater benefits from a crushproof and rain-resistant case that’s easy to handle, too. 

In addition to being ultra-portable, this heater gives you the option of running off of diesel or kerosine (both of which also require 12v power), from which you can get 8-15 hours of runtime off of a half a gallon of fuel.  

Another point of flexibility is that the heater comes with a wired remote, so you don’t even have to get out of your warm sleeping bag to turn the heat up or down!

wired remote for portable heater

Add in a silencer to quiet the heater’s operation, the ability to operate at up to 8,200 feet above sea level and higher, and easy and intuitive setup and operation, and you have the makings of one heck of a gift for your favorite off-road or overlanding enthusiast.

These heaters are designed and built by a family-owned company in Canada. These folks know what it means to create something of high quality that will be durable, so purchasing this heater for yourself or a loved one isn’t just an investment now, but an investment in an overlanding gift idea that will keep on giving for years and years to come.

Learn more about the Planar Heaters 2kw Portable Diesel Heater

Briter Products Lithium-Ion Battery

lithium battery

When I took delivery of my Turtleback Expedition trailer, it had dual AGM batteries. While those batteries were fine, I wanted to upgrade the batteries to lithium-ion so I could take advantage of the many benefits that lithium-ion batteries provide (i.e., better depth of discharge).

I spent months researching lithium-ion batteries and discovered many different excellent options from a range of companies. But I didn’t just want a good battery, I wanted the best. And I found it with the Briter Products lithium-ion battery.

briter products top view

At the time of this writing, I’ve had my new Briter Products batteries in my trailer for about two months. I’ve had the opportunity to take numerous trips since the installation of the batteries, and I can safely say that these batteries don’t just meet expectations – they absolutely crush them.

Get a load of some of the specs on these batteries, and you’ll see why I’ve been so impressed:

  • Superb depth of discharge (up to 80-90%)
  • Long lifespan (up to 5,000 cycles!)
  • Small and lightweight (these batteries are just 13” x 6.7” x 9.8” and weigh 41 pounds)
  • No discharge memory
  • Ultra-short charge time (1.5-2.5 hours, depending on the charger)

Likewise, lithium-ion batteries like these have a better energy density compared to AGM batteries (up to 265 watt-hours!).

briter products build

But it isn’t just the technical specifications that are so impressive about these batteries…

They come with a five-year warranty, so if something goes awry I’m totally covered. But even after the five-year period is up, these batteries are fully serviceable, so parts can be replaced as needed, the batteries can be reset, and I can continue to use them with full confidence (and without having to buy new batteries).

briter products lcd

As if that’s not enough, these batteries have an ingenious LCD display on the top that allows me to quickly check the battery’s charge and the status of the DC power system. These batteries are also Bluetooth compatible, so I can monitor their levels from my phone. Nice!

Add to that the fact that these batteries can be charged via your vehicle’s alternator, other batteries, a generator, or solar, and you have the makings of an ideal gift idea for folks that love to camp, overland, and off-road!

Learn more about the Briter Products lithium-ion battery

Camp Chef Woodwind WiFi 24 With Sidekick Sear

woodwind 24

One of my favorite things about camping and overlanding is getting back to camp in the late afternoon or early evening after a day of fun exploring and cooking up some great food.

Heck, the same is true in my everyday life at home! When I have a long and stressful day at work, I like to unwind in the backyard next to my grill.

And, no matter if I’m home or on an adventure, nothing beats cooking with wood.

Of course, there are all sorts of options when it comes to smokers, but I’m recommending the Camp Chef Woodwind WiFi 24 with Sidekick Sear because it’s simply a market-leading smoker with amenities galore.

woodwind pellets

This smoker uses Smart Smoke Technology to help you get the perfect smoke on your meat. With adjustable smoke settings from 1-10, a temperature range of 160-500 degrees, and a PID controller for consistent temperatures (+/-5 degrees), this smoker gives you pinpoint control over how your food is cooked.

As if that’s not enough, this bad boy has a full-color screen controller and is compatible with the Camp Chef Connect App. That means you can set timers, change the temperature of the smoker, and get notifications, all on your smartphone.

woodwind sidekick sear

Once your food is done, cleanup is a breeze with the Woodwind WiFi 24…

For starters, it features the patented Ash Kickin’ cleanout system. But the smoker also has a pellet hopper cleanout/purge and a grease management system that helps with cleanup as well.

But you get so much more with this smoker – four stainless steel meat probes, a bottom utility shelf, a stainless steel firebox, and heavy-duty 50mm legs.

woodwind 24 wifi

And with the Sidekick Sear, you get a pellet grill attachment, a built-in temperature gauge, a True Seasoned Finish cast-iron grill grate, and heat diffuser plates that turn flames into infrared heat that instantly vaporizes grease drippings.

I mean, who knew that one smoker could have so many features (and technology!)?

Cooking is all about passion and having the right tools, and with the Camp Chef Woodwind WiFi 24, how could you not be passionate about what you’re cooking?

Learn more about the Camp Chef Woodwind WiFi 24 With Sidekick Sear

Planar Heaters 2D-HA-PU27 Diesel Air Heater Kit

gifts under $1000 planar

If a portable diesel air heater like the one discussed earlier isn’t the right fit for your needs, this diesel air heater kit from Planar Heaters might just fit the bill.

This particular heater is a DIY kit that costs less than the portable heater option, yet still offers the same great performance and heating capability.

You can opt for a 12V or 24V version that runs on diesel fuel. This unit burns a little more than a quarter of a gallon of fuel for five to eight hours of operation, so you can stay toasty warm without draining the fuel supply.

What’s more, the heater operates independently of the engine, so you can get warm, dry air in your RV without having to idle the engine.

Overlanding Gifts Under 1000 Planar

You’re sure to love the plug-and-play installation as well as the fully automated temperature control that makes this heater so easy to use. The compact design of the heater is a nice feature, too – after all, when you’re overlanding, space is always at a premium!

In addition to all of those features, this unit has a digital controller, a self-adjusting fuel supply, and it can operate at altitudes of 8,200 feet and above. A basic installation kit also comes with the heater so that you can install it yourself.

If you like to camp in the winter like I do, having a reliable, easy-to-use heat source is a must – and that’s precisely what you get with this heater!

Learn more about the Planar Heaters 2D-HA-PU27 Diesel Air Heater Kit

Blackfire 1500W Portable Power Station

blackfire 1500w portable power station

While the person on your holiday shopping list might love to camp or overland to get away from it all, the chances are good that they also want to have some creature comforts while they’re away… things like running small appliances and the ability to charge up their electronics. The Blackfire 1500W Portable Power Station delivers the ability to have those kinds of amenities.

This power station has a 982.8Wh lithium-ion battery that can be charged via solar, AC, or DC power. In fact, you get a mobile AC charger, a fast AC charger, and a DC carport charger to go with the power station.

blackfire 1500w under 2500
And just like there is a wide range of ways to charge the power station, there are many ways to discharge that power, too. Actually, this unit has far more options for powering devices than any other power station that I’ve used. It has three Type-A USB ports, three Type-C PD ports, a 12V DC output, and four 120V AC outputs rated at 1500W with 3000W of surge power from pure-sine wave AC ports.

blackfire 1500w display

To keep track of how much juice the power station has, it has a nice display that shows battery information, input and output data, and the time until the onboard battery is empty or full. This power station even has an air filtration system with a replaceable air filter for the cooling intake, a handy storage compartment on top, and with optional solar power input, this unit can act as a rechargeable generator when you’re off the grid as well.

That’s a lot of features that any camping or overlanding enthusiast will love!

Of course, size and weight are always a concern for folks that enjoy time outdoors, and Blackfire was aware of that when designing this portable power station. At under 44 pounds, it’s less than half the weight of my big gas-powered generator. And with dimensions of 15.8” × 10.8” × 10.4”, we can firmly place this bad boy in the “small but mighty” category.

blackfire 1500w storage

On top of all that, while Blackfire is a newer player in the market, they’re backed by Klein Tools, a trusted tool company that’s been around since the 1800s. Heck, I’ve used Klein tools for about three decades going all the way back to my days building custom homes in upstate New York.

The point is that Klein is known for its commitment to designing and developing quality, durable products that you can trust in the most important situations. I have no doubt that this new line of Blackfire portable power stations will fit in nicely with that narrative.

At the end of the day, this 1500W portable power station offers clean, reliable power with all sorts of flexibility and functionality for charging the unit and then discharging that power to a wide range of devices. It’s a holiday gift that oozes with functionality – and one that anyone who camps or overlands would love to have in their collection of gear!

Learn more about the Blackfire 1500W Portable Power Station

Overlanding Gift Idea: KC Pro6 Gravity LED Light Bar

kc light bar

What overlanding or off-roading enthusiast wouldn’t welcome a badass light bar as their holiday gift?

A light bar is a great overlanding gift idea and a huge benefit on the trail as it allows you to supplement your driving lights and fog lights when you’re traveling at night or in less-than-ideal visibility.

I have the KC Pro6 Gravity light bar on my Jeep Gladiator, and I’ve loved every second of having it on my truck.

Each light in the array is a Cree XPL HD LED that puts out 18,400 lumens with 6,700 lux at 10 meters.

The lights offer a 5,000K color temperature and a beam distance of 1,637 meters as well.

You get all this in a 160-watt package that’s about 6 inches tall, 3.33 inches deep, and just over 51.5 inches wide.

overlanding gift idea - KC Pro6 Gravity LED Light Bar

As I discovered, installation is simple and straightforward, so if the overlander on your list has any mechanical knowledge at all, they should have no problem installing this light bar.

And since it offers loads of flexibility – the lights are available as driving lights, spots, or wide-40 beams – whoever you give this light bar to will have the ability to customize the light output to their specific needs.

With a brand like KC HiLites, you know you get a quality product as well. They’ve been in the business for a long time and have developed a reputation for being the best for a reason – because they are!

Learn more about the KC Pro6 Gravity LED Light Bar

Warn Zeon 10 Winch

warn zeon 10 winch install

What better overlanding gift idea than a winch? After all, it’s one of the most critical pieces of recovery gear you can have.

I have the Warn Zeon 10 Winch on my Jeep Gladiator (shown above), and it has proven time and again to be a reliable and durable overlanding and off-roading accessory. Of course, that’s exactly what you expect from warn!

This 12-volt electric winch has a 216:1 gear reduction ratio and a 10,000-pound max line pull. It’s also free spooling and is capable of a 4.8 feet per second line speed. With automatic operation with a handheld remote, it’s easy to operate, too.

warn zeon 10 winch

You can get the winch with a wire line or a synthetic line, and since this is part of Warn’s premium line of winches, you also get goodies like full metal armor, a symmetrical design, and a larger diameter drum that helps protect the line from stress.

Installation is a breeze, too – it direct-bolted to my Rebel Off Road Summit bumper, so it took me less than an hour to get the winch all set up.

That’s just an added bonus that makes this overlanding gift idea one of the best of 2021!

Learn more about the Warn Zeon 10 Winch

Overlanding Gift Idea: Rock Slide Engineering Step Slider

rse step sliders

If you want an overlanding gift idea that keeps on giving, you might consider investing in a set of Rock Slide Engineering Step Sliders.

These steps are badass, if I do say so myself…

They automatically lower when a door is opened to assist in ingress and egress, and then a couple of seconds after all the doors are closed, they raise up and out of the way.

These steps have a bolt-on install, so like the winch I discussed earlier, it’s a super easy installation process.

rse step slider specs

But the best thing about these steps is that they are incorporated into rock sliders. So not only do you get the benefit of side steps, but you also get rock sliders that are rated for mild to moderate protection.

The 11-gauge steel construction offers strength and durability, and helps the steps handle up to 650 pounds. They have a sealed motor in case you need to cross bodies of water, plug-and-play electrics, and a one-year warranty as well.

I love overlanding gift ideas that pull double duty (or triple duty!) and these steps do just that. Whether you’re buying for yourself or someone else, these RSE steps are just what the doctor ordered.

Learn more about Rock Slide Engineering’s Step Slider

TeraFlex Falcon 3.3 Fast Adjust Piggyback Shocks

overlanding gift idea - teraflex falcon shocks

Yet another prime overlanding gift idea is a solid set of shocks. That’s precisely what you get with the TeraFlex Falcon 3.3’s…

These shocks offer incredible adjustability from soft to firm. With custom options, an 8-position dial, and a fast adjustment knob, they also give you the ability to adjust the shocks on the fly and to your specific needs.

I’ve had these shocks on my Jeep for over a year now, and I’ve been extremely impressed with the ride quality on city streets and freeways as well as the handling and stability they provide when I’m off-road. It’s the best of both worlds!

overlanding gift idea - teraflex shocks

The design of the shocks gives you maximum clearance, too – on my rig, the front upper offset stud design allows for excellent shock-to-frame clearance during articulation. Plus, the outboard mounting increases clearance if your vehicle is lifted.

Whether you or the person you’re shopping for does a little bit of off-roading or a lot, these shocks will perform and perform well for years to come!

Learn more about the TeraFlex Falcon 3.3 Fast Adjust Piggyback Shocks

Overlanding Gift Idea: Rebel Off Road Summit Bumper

4wd lighting guide

As I noted earlier, one of the best overlanding gift ideas is a solid winch. But you’ll need a solid bumper on which to mount the winch.

For me, there was no other choice than top put a Rebel Off Road Summit bumper on my rig. As I discuss in my review of the bumper, I wanted something that looked great, performed well in overlanding and off-roading applications, and that offered me the ability to add other accessories, like lights.

This puppy does the trick!

The bumper is welded from .188 Mild Steel and laser cut and press brake formed from 3/16″-thick USA steel. In other words, it’s built like a tank…

lighting placement

Yet, it’s also compact. It fits tightly against the frame of the vehicle so you get good approach angles and it will accommodate 40-inch tires (or bigger, if needed).

On top of the bumper is an integrated heavy-duty winch tray that enables easy installation of a winch. The winch mount is recessed, too, which gives your rig a lower center of gravity and improved airflow for better cooling.

Add in 3.25″ square fog light cutouts, extra heavy-duty 1-inch thick recovery shackle tabs,  a 14-bolt easy-install mounting system, and a price that’s way below the $2,500 mark, and you have the makings of a great overlanding gift idea for yourself or a loved one!

Learn more about the Rebel Off Road Summit Bumper

DiamondBack HD Truck Bed Cover

diamondback hd bed cover

If you or the overlander that you’re shopping for has a truck, a truck bed is the ideal gift idea for holiday giving.

A bed cover simply gives you so much utility – it secures the truck bed, gives you additional covered storage space, and in the case of a cover like the DiamondBack HD, you get a beautifully constructed cover that offers easy access to the bed.

diamondback hd truck bed cover locks

These things are impeccably built, too. They’re made of .100″ 3003 alloy aluminum for durability and feature 7 structural studs for additional strength. The fully weather-sealed cover has EPDM compression gaskets around the perimeter and stainless steel exterior hardware.

diamondback hd truck bed cover cleats

There are 12 cleats around the perimeter of the cover for securing gear, and each panel has a 50-pound load weight. All told, the cover has a 1,600-pound haul capacity, so you can put your bikes, coolers, and other small items on top to save space inside the cab or your trailer.

The covers come in rugged black, smooth black, and aluminum options, and are custom-fit to your vehicle for a factory-fit appearance. They also have a limited lifetime warranty! What’s not to like about that?

Learn more about the DiamondBack HD Truck Bed Cover

Overlanding Gift Idea: Black Rhino Armory Wheels

Nitto Grapplers on 2020 Jeep Gladiator

No offense to Jeep and their factory wheels, but I had to replace them with something more rugged (and good-looking). That meant turning to Black Rhino…

As overlanding gift ideas go, Black Rhino wheels offer looks and performance that can’t be beat.

These wheels have a bolted face, a tactical style, and offer sizes that range from 16×8 up to 20×12.

Black Rhino also offers offsets that range from -44 to 0 mm and various bolt patterns, including five, six, and eight-lug. Add in large lips that provide safe bead seating for oversized tires as well!

Learn more about Black Rhino Armory Wheels

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