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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

2022 Holiday Gift Guide – Gifts Under $2,500

Photo by quavondo via iStock

Overlanding and off-roading can be expensive undertakings. Shopping for someone that enjoys these activities can be expensive, too!

But, sometimes you have to pay to play, and if you want to give your loved one the ultimate adventure gift this year, consult our 2022 holiday gift guide with ideas under $2,500.

With this kind of budget, there are all sorts of possibilities, from a new set of tires to custom organization for an overlanding vehicle to the gift of reliable heat for cold-weather camping adventures. Like I said, there’s a long (and varied) list of possibilities. Let’s check them out!

Cargo Dog

cargo dog 1

If you’re like me, when you head out on an overlanding trip, you have some pricey items with you. In my case, I have a lot of camera gear to document my trips – gear that would be irreplaceable if it were stolen.

Likewise, I carry a firearm with me when I’m overlanding, and that’s definitely not something I want to be stolen. So, what can you do to protect your gear?

You get a discrete, in-floor locking storage system to protect your valuables! And for that, you should turn to Cargo Dog.

cargo dog wrangler pic2

Cargo Dog specializes in rugged made-in-the-USA storage solutions for Jeep Wranglers, and soon, Gladiators too. As you can see above, the compartments have robust locking mechanisms for safety, and each compartment has lighting to help you find what you need. 

The Cargo Dog concept is pretty simple…

cargo dog wrangler pic4

Remove part or all of the backseat and replace it with a flat-top storage box. You get three locking compartments for keeping your gear secure if the entire seat is removed. If you remove part of the seat, you get two locking compartments. Either way, you have a prime setup for storing your expensive items or gear that needs to be under lock and key.

cargo dog 2

What I appreciate most about Cargo Dog is that it has a flat top, so you can still use the back of your Wrangler or Gladiator for storage (or for sleeping, if you need). And even when the back of your Jeep is empty, the incognito design of Cargo Dog doesn’t draw attention to the fact that there might be items worth stealing inside.

cargo dog wrangler pic5

Better still, unlike other storage systems like this, Cargo Dog is simple to remove, giving you much greater flexibility for how you use the space in the back of your Jeep.

You’d like to think that when you’re off-roading or overlanding that you don’t have to worry about people stealing your stuff. Unfortunately, that’s the world we live in. But you can protect yourself and your gear with a smart storage solution like Cargo Dog. And now that we’re firmly into the holiday season, you can get one for your favorite overlanding enthusiast as well!

cargo dog 3

Speaking of gift-giving, one of the best aspects of Cargo Dog is the price – roughly half of our $2,500 limit for this gift guide. That being the case, you can give Cargo Dog as an awesome gift to a loved one and still have a nice amount of money in your budget to spread holiday cheer to other people on your list.

I’m all about gifts that have utility, and Cargo Dog certainly ticks that box. Don’t bother with flash-in-the-pan gifts this year. Instead, give the outdoor adventurer on your list a gift like Cargo Dog that will keep on giving for years and years to come. Better still, use the coupon code 4WD10 to get ten percent off your order!

Learn more about Cargo Dog

Planar Heaters 4kw Portable Diesel Air Heater

diesel heaters are ideal for overlanding

If your loved one enjoys cold weather camping, one of the best gifts you can give them is the Planar Heaters 4kw portable diesel air heater.

I’ve used this heater for more than a year, and it has proven time and again to be a reliable, powerful option for heating my large ground tents.

Now, I usually camp with my Turtleback Expedition Trailer that has the Planar 2kw diesel air heater installed in the nose. But when I load up the truck and tack a ground tent, the 4kw portable diesel air heater comes along with me. In fact, this heater is so powerful that I can heat my tent and a buddy’s tent at the same time!

diesel heaters for overlanding

Aside from providing instant, dry heat, this heater comes with a host of features that make it an ideal holiday gift idea.

For example, it’s housed in a bright yellow crushproof case that’s both easy to see when you’re walking around camp and extremely durable to stand up to the rigors of camping in adverse conditions. The unit is completely self-contained, so all you need to supply is the fuel (either diesel or kerosene) and 12-volt DC power.

wired remote for portable heater

Unlike some diesel air heaters, this unit from Planar Heaters is extremely quiet (thanks to the silencer). I have no trouble firing this bad boy up, crawling into bed, and drifting off to sleep. Speaking of which, if I wake up and need a little more heat, I can use the wired remote to make adjustments. Talk about a feature your loved one will appreciate!

Something else to appreciate about this heater is that it can run all night (about eight hours) on 3-4 liters of fuel. Again, there’s no worry with having to get up in the middle of the night to tend to the heater. Just turn it on when you head to bed and you’re good to go for the rest of the night.

diesel heater case

While I use this heater for winter camping trips, your loved one can use it for any number of outdoor activities – hunting, ice fishing, or even as a backup heating unit in case the power goes out at home. Since it’s relatively light (33 pounds), they can take it wherever they need instant, dry heat, and do so without breaking their back.

When I’m camping in the middle of winter in the mountains and it’s been a cold, snowy day, there’s nothing more satisfying than crawling into a tent that’s been warmed up for me by my Planar Heaters portable diesel air heater. It’s been one of the best pieces of gear I have in my kit, and I’m sure it will be for your loved one as well!

Learn more about the Planar Heaters 4kw Portable Diesel Air Heater

Ultimatron 100Ah Lithium Battery

ultimatron 1When you load up for an extended off-grid trip, the last thing you want to worry about is the batteries in your trailer. Unfortunately, many off-road trailers come with run-of-the-mill AGM batteries that don’t offer the same level of performance and power as comparable lithium-ion batteries.

That’s why an Ultimatron Lithium Battery is such a great gift idea for the overlanding enthusiast on your holiday shopping list!

These lithium iron phosphate batteries offer a long service life, so it’s a gift that will keep on giving for years and years to come. 

It’s a safe gift to give as well – these batteries feature the safest modern technology and come without risk of fire or explosion. They offer high stability under extreme loads, too.

This battery even features Bluetooth capability and a heater!

Better still, you get superb performance, even in extreme conditions like heat and cold. It’s that kind of reliability and performance that your loved one will appreciate most about this gift! The small size and relative low weight are further features they’ll appreciate.

You can also give the gift of an Ultimatron battery with peace of mind because there’s a five-year manufacturer’s warranty.

That sounds like a recipe for the ultimate holiday gift to me!

Learn more about the Ultimatron 100Ah Lithium Battery

Ultimatron 200Ah Lithium Battery

ultimatron 200ah 1

If one of the smaller Ultimatron batteries doesn’t offer enough power storage for your loved one’s overlanding adventures, this 200Ah lithium battery should do the trick.

Like all Ultimatron batteries, this battery comes with a host of excellent features and amenities that make it a reliable, durable option for off-grid power.

For example, lithium batteries have a greater depth of discharge than AGMs. In fact, you don’t have to run through full charge and discharge cycles with this battery. Instead, you can use it to 50 percent capacity and charge it full up, run it down to 25 percent capacity and charge it back up to 75 percent, or drain it all the way to zero – or any point in between!

These are safe, durable batteries as well. Ultimatron uses the safest technology to ensure there’s no risk of explosion or fire. Their superb designs and build quality are backed by a five-year manufacturer’s warranty for added peace of mind.

ultimatron 200ah 2

These batteries offer excellent performance in a variety of conditions, too. Whether your loved one enjoys winter camping or summer trips to the desert, Ultimatron will have their back with reliable performance and high stability under extreme loads.

Another feature that’s worth mentioning is the size of this battery. At 20.59 inches x 9.25 inches x 8.74 inches, it has a low profile that allows for a greater number of placement options in a trailer, RV, or camper van. Space is at a premium on overlanding trips, so the space that’s saved with this battery can be used for additional items.

With a built-in battery management system, Bluetooth capabilities, and a built-in heater, this battery is a fully-featured gift that any overlanding or off-roading enthusiast will love. And since it’s backed by the Ultimatron name, you know it’s a great investment!

Learn more about the Ultimatron 200AH Lithium Battery

Cutco Signature Set With Steak Knives and Block

cutco signature set knife block under 2500

Last year when I was at the California Powersports Expo, I was at the ALP Generators booth 

having a chat with the ALP folks when I noticed the booth next door – Cutco.

I wasn’t in the market for knives as we already had a nice set of nice German knives at home. However, Dorothy Dunn, “the Cutco Lady,” (who’s been in the business for 23 years) was quite sociable, and since I enjoy meeting new people and learning about new products, I spent some time with Dorothy at the Cutco booth.

I’m glad I did.

cutco signature set carver

After learning a little about Cutco’s history and getting all the details on the Signature Set of knives, I decided to grab a set. I’ve had them for a while now, and I have to say that it’s been a very good investment thus far.

I opted for the Cherry finish oak block with a blackish-brown handle for the 24-piece set. Not only does it look like a million bucks, but these knives also perform like a million bucks!

Case in point…when I get a new knife I gently run my finger across the blade to see how sharp it is. Right out of the box, these knives were next-level sharp.

In fact, there’s sharp, and then there’s Cutco sharp. I simply cannot explain how finely sharpened these blades are. It really is incredible!

cutco signature-set-woodblock

This set comes with all the blades you need to do meal prep. You get a paring knife, a trimmer, and a spatula spreader. You also get a traditional cheese knife, a five-inch petite santoku, and a hardy slicer. Additionally, the set comes with:

  • Petite carver
  • 9-inch carver
  • Butcher knife
  • 9 3/4” French chef’s knife or a 7 3/4” Petite chef’s knife
  • 9 ¾-inch slicer
  • Turning fork
  • Carving fork
  • 10 steak knives
  • Super shears
  • Small, medium, and large cutting boards
  • Knife sharpener
  • Signature set block

Clearly, Cutco has carefully curated what comes in the signature set, that way you have all the tools you need to whip through meal prep in no time.

Now, if you’re like me, you meal prep at home before you hit the road for an overlanding or off-roading trip. If that’s the case, a knife set like this will make all the difference in the world.

cutco signature set french knife

High-quality cutlery makes the process of preparing meals go so much more smoothly. That’s especially true when you’re armed with knives that have such a sharp, durable blade.

On a recent trip to Arizona, I happened to mention to my mother that I ordered a set of Cutco knives. Her face lit up as she jumped up from the table to go retrieve something from the pantry. She brought out a set of Cutco knives that she bought 30 years ago. Never once has she had to sharpen them. If that doesn’t explain what “Cutco sharp” means, I don’t know what does!

If you love to cook, or if you have a loved one that enjoys cooking, a quality knife set like this is the ultimate holiday gift. Head over to Dorothy’s website to explore the knives and other accessories you can purchase for your loved ones this year. Not only will you get a quality product, but you’ll also save money. It’s a win-win!

Learn more about Cutco

Bolton Technical PSU

bolton technical under 2500 1

Sometimes, our adventures take us to areas where connectivity is spotty at best and utterly impossible at worst.

And while I’m all for unplugging from the world now and again, operating multiple businesses requires me to be connected more often than not. If you have someone on your holiday shopping list that also has connectivity needs, the Bolton Technical PSU is a prime choice for a holiday gift.

Here’s the details…

bolton technical 2

This battery-powered unit provides a reliable LTE connection and fast WiFi. When turned on, the booster enhances cellular reception, which is broadcast as a reliable WiFi signal, all from a compact, portable unit packaged in a Pelican 1620 protective case. The case is dustproof, watertight, and resists impacts, so it’s primed and ready for use in even the toughest conditions. A handle and wheels are included to aid in transport.

bolton technical 3

Inside the kit are a weBoost Home Room Signal Booster and a Bolton Blazer LTE CAT 6 Router. This setup works with a variety of networks, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. Likewise, this setup accommodates multiple wireless devices and up to five wired devices for maximum connectivity options.

In fact, users can enjoy an internet connection of up to 300Mbps, and with a dual-SIM feature, this unit allows you to stay connected with less worry about spotty cell phone coverage.

bolton technical 4

Powering all this are dual M18 lithium batteries, which provide up to 18 hours of operation. Simply plug the unit in to charge the batteries, or, if there’s shore power or a generator handy, you can run the PSU as long as there’s electricity.

You can quickly and easily monitor the PSU’s battery levels with the LED voltage meter. There are also built-in USB ports and a power strip to power other accessories.

In other words, the Bolton Technical PSU is a one-stop shop for staying connected and powering devices when off the grid. This unit is built like a tank, easy to set up, and even easier to use. With the freedom that the PSU provides, you can give a wonderful holiday gift that allows your loved one to stay connected, even when they’re off-grid. 

Learn more about the Bolton Technical PSU

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

Set of Milestar Patagonia Tires

milestar patagonia 1

If your loved one’s overlanding or off-roading rig needs new tires, it’s an ideal opportunity for you to give them a gift that will keep on giving!

I recently swapped out my Nitto Trail Grapplers for a set of Milestar Patagonia tires, and I’ve been thoroughly impressed with their on-road and off-road performance.

These tires have cross-direction siping that offer super tread block strength. This siping also makes the tires more resilient in all sorts of conditions, including mud, rain, and snow.

milestar banner 3

Additionally, Milestar has implemented a three-ply sidewall called MILETECH, which gives the tires improved rigidity and durability for the long term. These sidewalls are also extremely pliable and flexible, which is exactly what you want when you need to air the tires down to get better traction.

As I discuss in my video below, another benefit of these tires is that there’s a silica-based compound on the tread that gives the tires improved chip resistance, better cut, and longer tread life. The aggressive tread design also features large voids between the treads that help the tires rid themselves of mud and debris.

Speaking of debris, Milestar has also incorporated stone ejectors in the tread to ensure that stones are ejected rather than getting stuck in the tread. This helps improve traction, as do the angled biting edges of the tires.

Add to that a center rib design for improved on-road comfort, 32 different tire sizes, and the outstanding customer reviews, and you have the makings of a fantastic gift for the adventurer on your holiday shopping list! Get them a set of four tires plus a spare, and they’ll be ready to roll – and you’ll be well below your $2,500 budget, too.

Learn more about Milestar Patagonia tires

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: 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

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