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Sunday, May 19, 2024

The Best of 2023

With the end of 2023 in sight, it’s time to reflect on the gear I’ve used and identify the products that had the most significant impact on my overlanding and camping experiences.

But my list of the Best of 2023 isn’t just based on individual products. Instead, I like to shout out companies that are on the leading edge of innovation and whose products make overlanding, camping, and other outdoor adventures a more enjoyable experience.

I test a lot of gear over the course of a calendar year, making developing a list like this somewhat difficult. Nevertheless, I’ve listed some of the most impressive products I’ve used in the guide below. Let’s get to it!

Table of Contents

MORRFlate TenSix Pro Portable Air Compressor


At the top of my best of 2023 list is the MORRFlate TenSix Pro portable air compressor. I’ve had the pleasure of putting this bad boy to the test for the majority of the year, and spoiler alert – it’s nothing short of awesome!

Now, let’s talk power…

With the capability to pump out 10.6 CFM at 0 PSI and 6.5 CFM at 30 PSI, this portable air compressor has the juice to air up six tires simultaneously when paired with the MORRFlate MegaQuad Hose Kit. And, true to MORRFlate’s reputation, the unit is small, compact, and highly portable, measuring just 14” x 7” x 9″.

morrflate pro air compressor

Installation is a breeze as well – you can either mount the TenSix Pro to your vehicle in any direction or orientation, or, if you’re like me, stash it under the seat for on-demand use without taking up valuable space.

This 12-volt unit offers 90 amps of peak power and boasts a 50 percent duty cycle. In practical terms, that means it runs for 15 minutes and then takes a 15-minute breather. Plus, while it’s in action, enjoy relatively quiet operation with a decibel reading of 70-75 from about a foot away.

But as I explain in the video above, the fun doesn’t stop there – the TenSix Pro comes with a host of accessories that make it the ultimate trail companion. The package includes a six-foot electrical cord with high-amperage alligator clips to connect to your vehicle’s battery, a six-foot compressor hose, and a bag to keep it all organized.

And let’s talk style. The distinct neon green color of the compressor and hoses not only looks awesome but ensures visibility in low-light situations!

The real magic happens when you put this unit to work…

MORRFlate TenSix Pro features

Thanks to its high CFM output, you can use multiple hoses to split the power among up to six tires. Airing up four 35-inch tires from 10 PSI to 40 PSI takes a mere 6.5 minutes, letting you get back on the trail in a flash!

What’s even better? The MORRFlate TenSix Pro has an automatic setting, allowing you to set the desired PSI, walk away, and let the air compressor work its magic. You can set a range of 10-120 PSI in automatic mode and 1-150 PSI in manual mode – talk about versatility!

morrflate tensix in use

So, whether you’re wrapping up a day at the beach or conquering desert dunes, airing up your tires doesn’t have to be a tedious task. Why waste time inflating one tire at a time when you can invest in a high-output rig like this and use the MegaQuad kit to inflate all your tires simultaneously? It’s a game-changer!

For off-roading enthusiasts like myself, this is hands-down one of the favorite tools in the arsenal. And if you’re on the hunt for one of the best outdoor items this year, the MORRFlate TenSix Pro is a stellar choice. Trust me; it’s a must-have for anyone hitting the trail!

Learn more about the MORRFlate TenSix Pro

SNO Trailers Remington R-20 Trailer

sno trailers r-20 1

The SNO Trailers Remington R-20 is a true beast in the world of overlanding and camping. This bad boy is not just a trailer; it’s a mobile adventure base packed with features that’ll make your outdoor experience top-notch. Why would you expect less from a partnership between SNO Trailers and Remington (yes, that Remington!)?

Let’s start with the frame details because a solid foundation is key. The Remington R-20 boasts a proprietary anti-rust base coating, a powder-coated steel frame, and an aluminum body – talk about durability that stands up to the elements. No need to worry about wear and tear when you’re out there chasing horizons!

sno trailers r-20 5

Now, the body details are where things get exciting. It’s not just a trailer; it’s a mobile command center. The premium roof rack with Prinsu accessory mounts lets you bring along all your gear. The Timbren suspension ensures a smooth ride, and those 14″ Method wheels with 29/9/R14 premium tires are ready for any terrain. With a spare tire rack, towing-max coupler, and three sleek color choices – SNO White, Storm Gray, or Desert Sand – this trailer is as stylish as it is rugged.

sno trailers r-20 3

But wait, there’s more!

The storage and kitchen zones are designed for efficiency. A stainless steel top kitchen pullout and a fixed storage compartment above it make meal prep a breeze. The large rear compartment with a slide pullout accommodates a powered cooler or portable fridge freezer, ensuring you’re always well-stocked on the road.

Molle panels on the large side doors add versatility, and the wide body kit with two side boxes, internal drawers, dividers, and stainless-steel drop-down shelves keep your gear organized. With Switch-Pros panels and USB ports, you’re always connected.

sno trailers r-20 9

Now, let’s talk electronics. The Remington R-20 comes equipped with a Renogy AGM battery, a battery monitor, Switch-Pros panels, a Renogy waterproof solar charge controller, and a solar plug. Stay powered up and in control of your energy needs with the Noco Genius battery charger, on/off battery switch, and multiple charging ports strategically placed for convenience.

And for your fluid needs, the trailer features a water tank with variable capacity and two 5 lb propane tank holders – keeping you hydrated and your meals cooking.

sno trailers r-20 2

But here’s the best part – the available upgrades. From a custom trailer wrap and premium color match to awning mounts, RotoPaX mounts, and a variety of pullout slides, the Remington R-20 can be tailored to your exact specifications.

Add a rooftop tent, awning, portable hot water kit, shower, solar panels, coolers, refrigerator/freezers, stove, sink, recovery boards, and more. The possibilities are endless, and SNO Trailers has thought of everything to make your overlanding experience truly epic.

So, if you’re in the market for a game-changing overlanding companion, the SNO Trailers Remington R-20 is the one to beat. It’s not just a trailer; it’s your ticket to the ultimate adventure on wheels – which is why it’s on my list of the best of 2023!

Learn more about the SNO Trailers Remington R-20 Trailer

Inergy FLEX 1500 Power Station

inergy flex 1500 with three batteries

The Inergy FLEX 1500 power station with its trusty sidekicks, the FLEX batteries, are certainly among the best of 2023. Back in May, I invested in this gear, and let me tell you, it’s been a game-changer for my camping adventures.

Let’s talk about size first…

The FLEX 1500 power station is a compact marvel, measuring just 14″ x 8″ x 8.9″ and weighing in at a manageable 29 pounds. No need for a crew to help you move it around – the sturdy handle on top has got your back.

inergy power station

Now, the impressive part – the power. This little beast comes with a 1,000-watt FLEX battery, and if you throw in another, you’ve got a whopping 2,000 watts of power! The FLEX 1500 boasts a 1,500-watt pure sine wave inverter with a surge power capacity of 3,000 watts – perfect for any overlanding adventure.

The power delivery options are just as diverse:

  • Six 110-120VAC floating outlets
  • Two 60W USB-C ports with PD and QC 3.0
  • Two USB-A ports with QC 2.0
  • Two 5.5mm x 2.5mm DC outputs for Basecamp LEDs & future accessories
  • Two 15A cigarette lighter ports with 13.8V regulated DC output (20A at 13.8VDC total combined DC output)

inergy power station graph

And it doesn’t stop there – the power station comes with a console LCD providing system performance details and vitals. With separate AC and DC power buttons and ample cooling vents, it’s designed for efficiency.

The FLEX batteries are a breeze to use with their LCD displays, showing current levels. Plug-and-play simplicity means aligning connectors, locking them into place, and you’re good to go for clean, quiet power.

Now, I’ve got three FLEX batteries – some might say it’s a lot, but hey, too much power is always better than not enough! And get this, the system can expand up to 96 batteries for a colossal power setup.

inergy power station overland west

I use my FLEX 1500 to keep my camping experience top-notch. It powers my Starlink internet, runs small appliances like my coffee maker and Zero Breeze Mark 2 portable air conditioner, and charges my laptop and phone. The options are endless, making it an excellent item for anyone needing power for a small trailer or camping essentials.

And on top of all that, charging is a breeze with multiple options – shore power, DC power, and solar, which you can use simultaneously for speedy recharging. Inergy has thought of everything with this system – robust construction, user-friendly, expandable, and a variety of power options.

Learn more about the Inergy FLEX 1500 Power Station

Peak Refuel Coconut Curry Freeze-Dried Meal

peak refuel chicken coconut curry review


Let me spill the beans on one of my top camping discoveries of 2023 – the Peak Refuel Coconut Curry. Trust me; it’s a game-changer in the world of trail-worthy meals.

First things first, these folks take taste and quality seriously. I mean, why settle for bland when you’re out in nature? Peak Refuel has crafted a flavorful, just-add-water backpacking meal that’s as good as what you’d whip up at home. Whether you’re conquering a mountain or chilling at your favorite campsite, this Coconut Curry is ready for the adventure. You can read more about it in my full review!

peak refuel chicken coconut curry back

Now, let’s talk protein because, well, who doesn’t need a good protein punch? Peak Refuel doesn’t mess around – 100% real meat, no TVP or fillers here. They’ve got your back with USDA-inspected meat, offering nearly double the protein per serving compared to most outdoor meals. It’s a protein-packed party in a pouch!

But here’s where it gets really interesting – premium freeze-dried ingredients. These meals lock in the good stuff, maintaining that natural texture and flavor. No cardboard-like meals here. And hey, they only source the best, non-GMO ingredients. No junk, no artificial preservatives – just pure, tasty goodness.

peak refuel chicken coconut curry pouch

Now, let’s address the practical side of things. Weight matters on the trail, and time is of the essence. Peak Refuel meals get it. They’re lightweight, need less water to cook or rehydrate, and boast a quick 10-minute prep time. As I discuss in the video below, that means less waiting, more eating, and more time enjoying the great outdoors.

All Peak Refuel meals are freeze-dried and proudly packaged in the good ol’ USA, too. They stand by their products, and if you’re not satisfied or have any questions, they’ve got your back. Contact them directly, and they’ll make it right.

So there you have it – Peak Refuel Coconut Curry, a taste of home in the great outdoors. It’s not just a meal; it’s a flavorful companion on your camping adventures – and one of the best of 2023 by a wide margin!

Learn more about the Peak Refuel Coconut Curry Freeze-Dried Meal

Hest Foamy Wide Camping Mattress

hest foamy unrolled


This year, my outdoor adventures reached new heights of comfort, thanks to the Hest Foamy Wide sleeping pad. It’s specifically designed for people who prioritize comfort and support, and boy, does it deliver!

The Foamy Wide boasts impressive dimensions, measuring 78″ long, 30″ wide, and 8.8″ thick. Weighing a manageable 13 pounds, it strikes the perfect balance between portability and luxury while giving me all the room I need to get a good night’s rest.

hest foamy thickness

The Foamy Wide’s standout feature is its two layers of high-performance memory foam. These foam layers are meticulously engineered for optimal body alignment, pressure point relief, and temperature regulation. The top layer, which is plush and contouring, ensures comfort and temperature regulation, boasting an impressive R-value of 8.8. The bottom layer provides essential pressure point relief, catering to the needs of stomach, back, and side sleepers alike.

hest foamy handle

Built for the demands of outdoor excursions, the Foamy Wide features an integrated compression strap for easy transport and storage. Its durable, temperature-resilient memory foam is complemented by a waterproof lower fabric, ensuring a dry and comfortable night’s sleep even in damp conditions. The mattress’s grab-and-go design, facilitated by its easy roll-up and integrated handle, eliminates setup hassles, making it an ideal companion for road trips in trucks, trailers, or RVs.

hest foamy top view

The thoughtful design of the Foamy Wide extends to details like a pocket at the top for essentials like your phone and a compression harness that doubles as a convenient mat for changing. Hest has also incorporated connector clips on the sides, allowing you to expand the sleeping space by combining two mattresses.

So, the Hest Foamy Wide stands out as a game-changer in outdoor comfort for 2023 for a lot of reasons. It offers a perfect blend of innovation, convenience, and durability for a superior camping experience. What’s not to like?!

Learn more about the Hest Foamy Wide Camping Mattress

Tailgater Tire Table

tire table 26


When it comes to outdoor gear, the Tailgater Tire Table may not steal the spotlight in terms of being the flashiest item, but its unwavering utility makes it an indispensable part of my adventures.

Whether I’m taking off on an overnight camping trip or hitting the road for an extended overlanding experience, this table consistently proves its worth, serving a myriad of functions from meal preparation to sharing moments with my son at dinnertime to creating a mobile workspace.

Tailgater Tire Table with Kettle

The Tire Table is available in various sizes. The regular-sized black aluminum version, weighing just under six pounds, is a great option if you need something lightweight and supremely portable. Its features speak to the practicality of the table:

  • Dimensions: 23″ W x 29″ L x 1.5″ D
  • Weight capacity: Holds up to 50 lbs.
  • Versatility: Fits most tires 14″ and larger
  • Stability: Retractable leg for additional support
  • Material: Aluminum construction with a powder-coated finish

As I demonstrate in the video above, setting up the table is a breeze. Simply hook it over your vehicle or trailer tire, deploy the leg for that added stability, and you’re good to go—no tools required. The days of searching for a level spot or wrestling with a cumbersome folding table are over!

Regardless of the ruggedness of the terrain, this table ensures a stable and level surface. No more compromises or hassles in finding that perfect spot for a table setup. With the Tailgater Tire Table, it’s the peak of convenience, offering the best of all worlds!

Learn more about the Tailgater Tire Table

Goal Zero Skylight


Say goodbye to stumbling through the dark to set up camp after work on a Friday—enter the Goal Zero Skylight, your solution to nighttime camping with an impressive 6000 lumens of portable, weather-resistant light!

What makes the Skylight a game-changer for overlanding, off-roading, and outdoor adventures is its exceptional customizability. With four different brightness settings, a versatile stand adjustable from four to 12 feet high, and six adjustable light petals offering a 180-degree range, you can precisely illuminate any area you choose.

goal zero skylight setup 2

The Skylight’s 3250K color temperature is a perfect match for outdoor adventures. It provides pleasing lighting that isn’t too warm or too bright, ensuring a visually comfortable environment wherever you go.

Setting up the Skylight is a breeze, too. Simply remove the lid from the carrying case, adjust the light petals, set up the tripod legs, and raise the light to your preferred height. That’s it—camp illumination made effortless!

Weighing in at just 14 pounds (or 17.9 pounds in the carrying case), this light is easy to carry from one spot to another. Its collapsible design ensures it won’t hog precious cargo space in your vehicle or trailer, making it a practical choice for those on the move.

goal zero skylight fully extended

Adding to its appeal, the Skylight features an integrated rechargeable battery that provides up to eight hours of runtime on the lowest setting. Connect it to a Goal Zero Yeti 1000X power station, and that figure extends to an impressive 250 hours. Opt for a larger Goal Zero power station (like the 1500x I discuss later on…), and you’ll enjoy extended illumination for even longer periods.

With all these features, plus the practicality offered by the Goal Zero Skylight, it’s a no-brainer to include it on my best of 2023 list.. Whether it’s for your campsite, backyard, or any point in between, this versatile light is sure to brighten up your outdoor experience!

Learn more about the Goal Zero Skylight

Overlandish Basecamp V2.1 Tent

overlandish base camp v2 with planar heater

I’ve been using the Overlandish Basecamp V2 tent (shown above) for several months now, and it is an absolute beast of a tent. Not only is it incredibly well designed and built, but it’s also rock-solid in all sorts of weather conditions – including roaring winds.

Inside, the V2 offers ample space for sleeping, or if the weather outside is frightful, you can use the tent as a gathering place for eating dinner, playing games, and so forth. It’s just a killer tent – check it out in more detail in my video below:

But Overlandish is kicking things up a notch with their new-and-improved V2.1 tent, which is all the more reason to include Overlandish on my list of the best of 2023!

The question is, what does the V2.1 have under the hood?

overlandish interior

First off, they’ve decked it out with new multipurpose wall ports. Now I can easily plug in heaters or AC units to stay comfy in any weather. Plus, the tent has wire management for all your lighting needs, because who doesn’t want a well-lit Basecamp, right?

And get this…the corners are now upgraded and reinforced, making the new Basecamp V2.1 practically bulletproof. I mean, talk about durability – Overlandish nailed it with this one!

Now, here’s the real kicker – they’re rolling out a bunch of accessories soon, so you can pimp out your Basecamp even more. I’m talking about taking your camping setup to a whole new level!

overlandish base camp v2 review

Oh, and did I mention the new color? Olive Drab Green. It’s sleek, it’s stylish, and it’s perfect for blending in with the great outdoors. I cannot wait to get this bad boy out in the wild – it will be awesome!

But let’s get into the nitty-gritty. The Basecamp V2.1 is still the all-season champ. It sets up in ONE minute, and the interior now stands at a lofty 6’9″. Packing down to just 4’11” and weighing in at 59lbs, it’s the ideal fit for your Jeep, SUV, or the bed of a short-bed truck.

Key features? You got it. Triple-layer insulation for year-round comfort, water-resistant, wind-resistant when staked down right, and a setup that’s a breeze with its tension beam internal structure. Cleaning up? Easy peasy with the unzip floor, and the included screw stakes tackle even the toughest terrains.

overlandish base camp v2 camping

And now, the new and improved features…

Like I said a moment ago, the interior height is boosted to 6’9″, giving you that extra room to stretch out. They’ve added color choices, with Black, Gray, and of course, the cool new Green. The floor is thicker and more durable, zippers are top-notch with YKK quality, and the bug mesh on the doors keeps those annoying critters out.

But wait, there’s more! There’s windows with fully removable clear and mesh panels, sealable roof vents, and the option for a Weather Pack with a footprint and a rainfly. The exterior material got an upgrade too, using the most waterproof insulated material available.

The Basecamp V2.1 is certainly a contender for your go-to tent. When you’re looking for that perfect campsite and want to keep your vehicle ready for exploration, this bad boy should be at the top of your list. Overlandish really knocked it out of the park with this one!

Learn more about the Overlandish Basecamp V2.1 Tent

Tire-Rite Severe Duty Performance Digital Air Inflator

tire rite digital inflator

I picked up the Tire-Rite Severe Duty Performance Digital Air Inflator earlier this year, and it quickly established itself as a must-have for my toolkit.

Designed with the rigors of off-road environments in mind, this IP54-rated air/hydraulic digital gauge boasts an impressive range, measuring tire pressure from 0-300 PSI with +/-.1 accuracy. The auto-locking feature, coupled with high-precision threaded fittings, ensures an airtight seal, too!

tire rite under $150 gift guide

Operating this gauge is a seamless experience, thanks to the patented one-finger release locking DREAM Auto-Air Chuck. Simply depress the handle all the way to inflate the tire, and halfway to deflate—it’s effortless precision at your fingertips.

But that’s not all…

Tire-Rite goes the extra mile by equipping the gauge with a blue backlight featuring an auto shut-off mechanism and a Continental ContiTech F5 Hybrid hose. Powered by AAA batteries (which are included), the unit guarantees over 3,600 hours of usage. Additionally, the gauge provides readings in PSI, kPA bars, and kgf/cm2.

tire rite inflator

Built to excel in extreme weather conditions, whether you’re navigating waterlogged tires, mud, muck, or facing rain and snow, this gauge rises to the occasion. All of this functionality is neatly packaged in a compact 10 × 4 × 4-inch frame, weighing a mere 1.5 pounds.

In essence, the Tire-Rite Severe Duty Performance Digital Air Inflator is a compact, functional, and impeccably crafted gauge that seamlessly fits into your vehicle, ready to assist you on the highway, tackle challenging wilderness trails, and everything in between!

Learn more about the Tire-Rite Severe Duty Performance Digital Air Inflator

Goal Zero Yeti 1500x Portable Power Station

711+wL8KJQL. AC SL1500


The Goal Zero Yeti 1500X is on my best of 2023 list because it’s a powerhouse for outdoor adventures (and unexpected power outages!). This thing is a beast when it comes to keeping the lights on, literally!

Picture this: 10 versatile ports ready to juice up anything from phones and laptops to electric barbecues and TVs. This portable backup power supply is your ticket to endless power, whether you’re off the grid or stuck in the dark during an emergency. And hey, it comes with everything you need – one power station, one wall charger, and one user guide to keep you in the know.

71IDXhAaa+L. AC SL1500

Now, let’s talk capacity. With a whopping 1,516 Wh, the Yeti 1500X is no slouch. It’s got the juice to power most small and large appliances and even back up home circuits. We’re talking full-size refrigerators, microwaves, you name it! The pure sine 2000 W (3500 W surge) AC inverter ensures everything runs efficiently.

What about construction? Well, it’s built like a tank. The heavy-duty anodized aluminum enclosure and tier 1 lithium battery cell make this power station a durable companion that’ll keep the lights on for years. Plus, it operates super quietly, and here’s the kicker – no gas or toxic fumes. Safe and reliable, just the way we like it for use camping, overlanding, or at home!

81HC0pxkXJL. AC SL1500

On top of all that, the Yeti 1500X isn’t just a power station; it’s a solar generator in disguise. Pair it up with a Goal Zero solar panel, and you’ve got yourself a renewable energy powerhouse. The power stations come equipped with a 600-watt MPPT charge controller, boosting solar input by up to 30 percent. Talk about unlocking indefinite power!

And let me share a little something about Goal Zero. These folks are inspired by a passion for adventure, a deep respect for the planet, and a humanitarian heart. They’re not just providing portable power; they’re paving the way for a new era in power use. Plus, they’re making sure all communities have the resources they need to reach their full potential. If that doesn’t say “best of 2023,” I don’t know what does!

Learn more about the Goal Zero Yeti 1500x Portable Power Station

Outdoor Vitals StormLoft Down TopQuilt


For anyone passionate about cold-weather camping, the Outdoor Vitals StormLoft Down TopQuilt stands out as a stellar choice for a high-quality sleeping system. Forget traditional sleeping bags—this TopQuilt offers comparable insulative value while being significantly lighter and more compact. It’s the perfect product for people like me who prioritize minimizing the bulk of their gear.

hest foamy on cot

Weighing in at less than two pounds, the StormLoft is a featherweight option that’s available in regular or long sizes, with varying temperature ratings. Its compact nature makes it an ideal companion for those who value efficient packing and lightweight travel. This TopQuilt doesn’t compromise on comfort, making it an excellent holiday gift for outdoor enthusiasts.

Designed with a thoughtful width and curved shoulders that gracefully contour to the neck, the StormLoft comes equipped with a draft collar, ensuring a snug fit and eliminating any potential cold breezes that might otherwise disrupt your sleep. Whether you prefer sleeping on your stomach, back, or side, this TopQuilt is optimized to cradle your body, providing warmth even in temperatures as low as zero degrees Fahrenheit.

outdoor vitals stormloft

What sets the StormLoft apart is its versatility, catering to different sleeping positions while maintaining its insulative prowess…

Unlike traditional sleeping bags, it won’t limit your movement, allowing for a more natural and comfortable sleep experience. This makes it a more than worthy contender for the best of 2023, especially if you appreciate adaptability and a restful night’s sleep in varying conditions!

Learn more about the Outdoor Vitals StormLoft Down TopQuilt

A quick heads-up: If you snag something through our affiliate links or check out our sponsored content, we might earn a commission at no extra cost to you. But fear not, we’re all about recommending stuff we’re truly stoked about!

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