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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

4 Essential Jeep Overlanding Accessories

This article was last updated on May 1, 2024.

So, you have a Jeep, and you want to go overlanding. Nice! Now what?

Well, as someone with a Jeep (a 2020 Gladiator) who loves to go overlanding, I think I have a few insights into how to make Jeep overlanding trips a success.

You need a solid plan of attack, of course, including a general idea of where you want to go, when, and for how long. But it also helps to have certain Jeep overlanding accessories that help make the trip more organized, fun, and functional. 

With that in mind, let’s take a look at four Jeep overlanding accessories that you need to add to your kit.

Table of Contents

Essential Jeep Overlanding Accessories – Keep Your Gear Organized With a Gear Plate

jeep overlanding accessories Aiden James Customs gear plate

Remember those long road trips with your family when you were a kid? I certainly do. Being mashed into the backseat with my brother and what seemed like a tsunami of stuff was never comfortable.

It also wasn’t organized – something that’s absolutely essential when you’re overlanding. When you need something, you need it right then, not 30 minutes later with all your gear strewn across the side of the road. That’s where the Aiden James Customs gear plate comes in.

aiden james gear plate jeep wrangler jeep overlanding accessories

As you can see above, this plate fits perfectly into the back of a four-door Jeep Wrangler JL or 4XE. The plate comes with T-nuts already inserted into every hole to secure your gear, so it’s a simple matter of using the factory tie down bolts into the factory holes in the back of your Jeep to hold the plate down.

The advantage of a gear plate like this (apart from the ease of installation, of course) is that it serves as a base for organizing your gear.

aiden james gear plate jeep overlanding accessories

You can add gear slides or a fridge, a jack, or utilize the mounting points to secure loads in the back of your Jeep. If you happen to have a slide already and want to use it with this gear plate, no problem! Aiden James Customs will happily add the mounting points for your slide to the plate.

floor access aiden james gear plate jeep overlanding accessories

This particular gear plate also has doors that allow you to access the in-floor storage areas of the Jeep so that space doesn’t go to waste.

Made of Baltic Birch and covered with a black 3mm Rhino Lining, these gear plates are also built to be used and abused. Overlanding can be wet, sticky, smelly, and muddy, and these plates can handle it!

jeep overlanding accessories

As the old saying goes, prior planning prevents poor performance. And in an overlanding situation, part of the planning process is ensuring you have all the gear you need, that you can easily access it, and that it stays organized.

Keep Your Gadgets Organized, Too

When I’m on an overlanding trip, I have a ton of gadgets along with me. It’s part of having multiple companies that require me to be available to clients (and having various YouTube channels for which I need to film my adventures).

So, rather than having my phone, my GoPro, my iPad, and other gadgets sliding around on the floorboard or passenger seat, I have them mounted on the dashboard of my Jeep using the 67 Designs Series 55 Rail Mount system.

I know it sounds like I have a lot of gadgets to attach to this rail system, but it actually holds much more – up to seven accessories, so you have everything you need right at your fingertips.

67 designs series 55 rail

Whether you’re on a long stretch of highway, a rough two-track, or somewhere in between, this rail system will keep your electronics within arm’s reach and at eye level, that way you can interact with your gadgets as needed without taking your eye off the road. Speaking of which, 67 Designs created this rail system with visibility in mind, so its low-profile design ensures you have an unobstructed view out of the windshield.

67 designs with ipad

Best of all, there are various mounts, holders, and arms you can use with the rail system, so you can add virtually any device you need. I have a mount for my phone, my iPad, and my GoPro to create a little “command center” as I drive.

Again, having your gear organized and secure is a critically important part of any overlanding trip. This rail system from 67 Designs helps you achieve that goal and maintain a safe and orderly cabin as you progress on your trip.

Essential Jeep Overlanding Accessories – Prepare for Sticky Situations With a Winch

warn zeon 10 winch install

There’s a host of recovery gear that you should have in your overlanding kit – a recovery kit, a jack, and recovery boards, to name but a few.

A winch is also a really good idea…

Winches are great for getting yourself out of a jam, but they can be used to help your buddies out, too. When it comes down to it, there’s not many Jeep overlanding accessories that are as important for your safety and the safety of others in your convoy as a good winch.

warn zeon 10 winch specs

Of course, a “good winch” for many people – myself included – means going with Warn. After all, Warn has established itself over the years as a tried-and-tested brand that designs and develops some of the best winches on the market.

I went with the Warn Zeon 10 for my Gladiator, which, with a 10,000-pound max line pull, is overkill for my Jeep. However, I’d rather go overboard than under!

warn zeon 10 winch

There’s plenty of features that make this winch a joy to use, too. It has a 216:1 gear ratio, automatic operation with a handheld remote, and 4.8 feet per second line speed.

I also like the fact that the Zeon 10 has a larger drum, which helps minimize stress on the line and dissipate heat buildup faster. It also helps that installing this bad boy was as simple as it gets!

I wrote a review of the Warn Zeon 10 a while back, so if you want more details about it, give it a quick read. Spoiler alert – this winch is awesome!

Have a Comfortable Place to Rest

smrt tent summit suite first impressions

We have great ways to keep our gear organized, our gadgets at the ready, and for recovering our vehicles. Now we need a comfortable place to rest after a long day of adventuring.

You can go so many routes here. If you have a Jeep Gladiator like I do, you might crash in the bed of the truck for the night. Perhaps you get a spacious ground tent and crash next to your rig. Or perhaps you fancy a small trailer to tow behind your Jeep, which is what I do.

But, if you want to have a comfortable place to rest without the fuss of a trailer or the need for extra space for a ground tent, a rooftop tent is an ideal solution.

basic specs of the SMRT summit suite

I have an SMRT Summit Suite on top of my Turtleback Expedition Trailer, but the tent can be mounted directly on top of your Jeep for a streamlined setup (provided you have the appropriate roof rails).

This tent collapses down to just 6.3 inches tall, so when you’re heading down the road, wind drag is at a minimum. And when you get off the pavement and onto more adventurous trails, the low profile ensures the tent won’t get hung up on low-hanging branches or other obstacles.

SMRT tent

The tent itself is roomy, with more than 33 square feet of floor space, which is great for my son and I. There’s canvas panels and mosquito netting on all windows and doors so you can get a nice breeze inside without worrying about bugs. You can sleep soundly on the high-density three-inch EPS foam mattress, too.

Also inside are multiple pockets and bags that give you a place to keep your stuff nicely organized and out of the way.

smrt tent build quality

The outer shell is constructed of honeycomb and extruded aluminum, so it can handle the rigors of all sorts of weather and temperatures. The shell has high-quality weatherstripping, too, which means the upper and lower shells seal up to prevent the ingress of dirt and moisture.

You can also add accessories to the tent, like an awning or a shower room, to extend its utility while you’re overlanding.

SMRT Tent really thought of everything here. This tent is easy to set up and take down, offers a comfortable place to rest, and is built like a tank. What more could you ask for?!

Final Thoughts on Jeep Overlanding Accessories

where to put 4wd lights

This list of Jeep overlanding accessories is obviously not a complete one. But, the four items I’ve included here are among the most important for my overlanding adventures, and they can be for you as well.

As always, before you invest in any gear for your overlanding rig, be sure you think purposefully about what your needs are and what gear can help you meet those needs. What I use for my trips works really well for me because I spent months and months and months investigating the different options I had. 

I will say this, though – whatever gear you decide to buy, buy quality stuff. Good gear usually costs more upfront, but the durability it provides for the long haul more than pays for itself over the years. There’s no point in buying cheap gear that needs to be replaced more frequently when you can spend a little more money on quality items that last for years and years!

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