Overland Expo West 2023

We are now 14 years into this Overland Expo thing, and based on the 2023 edition of Overland Expo West, enthusiasm for the event is as strong as ever. The original Overland Expo continues to be a gathering of community where folks from all over the world and all walks of life spend the weekend catching up, checking out the latest gear and vehicles, and attending classes on everything from Drones to Driving techniques.

As is tradition, I logged 10’s of thousands of steps walking around the vendor booths, moseying through the campgrounds, dropping in on classes in both the classrooms and driving area to try and capture a sampling of everything that is Overland Expo. In no particular order, here is a selection of cool stuff from Overland Expo West 2023.

Black Rhino / Axial – Booth engagement is a thing – how do you draw folks walking down the aisle into your booth? I think the Black Rhino crew figured this one out by partnering up with Axial RC to make a RC crawling course where the fastest time won a set of wheels. Scale RC cars are pretty neat, and this sixth scale Axial rig had my attention.

TRED – TRED Outdoors had a some properly burly screw-in stakes and their new line of vehicle leveling products on display. Hit their website for all of the details on their new leveling products which look well made and well thought out.

ARB – The folks at ARB have been busy working on everything from the new 2024 Tacoma to a host of other products for other platforms. The new summit bull bar pictured for the 3rd gen. Tacoma looks brilliant, as do the new Ford Bronco bits like the compressor mount and JACK mount. ARB is expanding their rack offerings with new platform and bed rack options.

74 Weld – Speaking of impressive Toyota parts, 74 Weld had their portal axle kit on display, which makes stuffing 37’s on a 3rd gen taco an easy thing. The kit uses OEM geometry, and provides the gear reduction to maintain factory ratios. Plus, you get disk brakes on all four corners.

LEXUS – It’s always interesting to see which OEMs are going to show up at Overland Expo on a given year, and 2023 marks Lexus’ first appearance at the show. GX / LX Overland builds are verymuch a thing, so it’s always good to see an OEM recognize what their customers are doing.

GMC – AT4X all of the things! GMC is applying the AT4X treatment to all of their truck platforms from the Canyon up to new new Silverado HD. In partnership with AEV, these rigs are turn key with fancy shocks, lockers, and real armor so you can just load them up and go have fun. A detail I appreciate is the ability to remove the steps from the rock rails shown on the Canyon AT4X.

EQUIPT – The Paul May isn’t scared of a little electronics work in the rain, and I happened to catch Paul in the middle of installing a new control board in a National Luna fridge. This retrofit control board adds Bluetooth control to most all National Luna fridges (check with Equipt for your specific model), so NL owners do not have to shell out for a new fridge to take advantage of the company’s latest wares. Equipt also had Eezi-Awns new sword hard shell root tent on display.

AT Overland – The Aterra Truck Topper and Aterra XL Camper we’ve had the opportunity to check out at Desert Rendezvous made it’s official debut at Overland Expo. The Aterra Topper is a particularly appealing option for anyone who is interested in a slide in camper.

GOOSE GEAR – The new Park Series from Goose Gear is a DIY interior system for Subarus and Toyota Rav4s – and it looks just as awesome as any other Goose Gear system. Goose Gear also had their new interior for the Scout Tuktut on display as well.

Dometic – Dometic is continuing to press headlong into the Overland-o-sphere with a new roof top tent and inflatable shelter system. The TRT 140 roof top tent uses air poles instead of aluminum to save a little weight up high on your vehicle and the HUB 2 is the inflatable version of an EZ-UP. Color me interested to see how these new products work.

Overland Kitted – The folks who have been the US importer for MAXTRAX have launched mounting systems for MAXTRAX recovery boards, and other externally mounted accessories (rotopax shown for example). They’ve also got the lastest from InDeFlate – a digital two hose unit.

Kakadu – New to the US market, this established Aussie brand has some great kit on display like their 1P and 2P sleep systems. They were also showing off a very interesting shower system and based on the specs and initial impressions it all looks very good.

Surefire – Piece of the sun in your pocket maker Surefire had a couple of their new Turbo EDC lights on display at Overland Expo. The EDC2 and EDC1 lights are specifically designed to project light to extreme distances and can be powered by 123s or rechargeable 18650 cells.

Kelty – It’s always interesting to see how established outdoor brands approach the overland industry, and Kelty had an appealing selection of gear on display. Their Backroad and Sideroad awnings are great options for affordable, packable shade that work with SUVs, trucks, or vans, and their multi-seat chairs are always a win.

Rollercam – The company that reinvented the cam strap now has a solution for anyone who can’t remember a trucker’s knot, or anyone who likes an easy to use solution for tying stuff down. The Roperoller works just like the Rollercam, and is a game changer for anyone who has struggled to guy something off.

Zero Breeze – A/C for Overlanding is officially a thing. It will be interesting to see how this segment of the market fares in the coming years.

Tembo Tusk – The company known for the Skottle actually started off as a fridge slide company, and their latest product is a tilting fridge slide. As always, the Tembo Tusk crew were throwing down on their Skottles all weekend serving up all sorts of food.

Total Chaos – If you’ve heard about how some older Toyotas had issues with their lower ball joints suffering a rapid unscheduled disassembly – here’s your fix.

Arctic Trucks – The legendary Icelandic manufacture of vehicles that have driven to both poles of the planet is now established in the United States. Having watched videos of these trucks in action for so many years, it was a treat to see one in person and nerd out with the folks from Arctic Trucks USA.

RUX – Bags are a dime a dozen – everyone makes them, so how do you stand out? You make bags like Rux. This Canadian manufacture uses RF welding to build some extremely well thought out bags that are absolutely worth checking out if you like well made, highly functional, durable gear.

Polaris – UTVs are officially overland vehicles. Polaris’ new line of Side-by-Side / UTVs have all the farkles, enclosed cabs, heat, A/C, and a price tag that makes some mid-sized trucks look like a deal.

Step 22 Gear – Step 22 gets a crisp high five for making custom laser etched patch labels which work great on all of their awesome bags or any other place you need a label. Their bags and mounting panels like the Reef shown here continue to impress with their design and attention to detail.

Deep Cycle Systems – Another example of more awesome from Aussieland are DCS batteries. Featuring shapes and sizes that can fit in the voids left in many vehicles and high charge / discharge ratings, these batteries look awesome.

2024 Tacoma – Toyota pulled the cover off of the all new 4th generation Tacoma at Overland Expo. Two models were on display – a PreRunner which initially had a gigantic snow plow of an air dam that mysteriously disappeared shortly after the launch, and the Trailhunter which is directly targeted at the overland crowd. Let us know in the comments what you think about the new Taco!

Classes – Overland Expo has classes on everything: From the expected offerings like driving, spotting, and recovery, to more wildcat offerings, there hundreds of hours of courses availible so the challenge becomes picking the courses that interest you the most.

Cool Rigs – It’s always a treat to get to take a walk through the campgrounds at Overland Expo. Here you’ll find a spectrum of setups as unique as the people that use them. To a person, everyone I chatted up about their camping setup was more than happy to talk to me and generally stoked to be out actually using their gear. It just goes to show – it doesn’t matter what you drive or where you sleep, but that you’re out there actually doing the the thing.

THE BIG PICTURE – Early in 2023, Lodestone Events announced that they had been acquired by Emerald Expositions – the company that puts on industry trade shows like Outdoor Retailer. Yet from a boots on the ground perspective, not much has changed. Overland Expo continues to be run by the same small crew of passionate folks, and many of the familiar faces can been seen making the event run. Time will tell how this new owner changes the heading of their latest acquisition. Despite some classic Flagstaff spring weather (it rained hard on Friday), the show saw plenty of attendees, and the venue seemed to be mostly full of vendors.

Speaking of vendors, most all of the familiar brands were there, and while there is a trend of new names continuing to sell the same Chineseium with their stickers on it (recovery gear and roof top tent cloners I’m looking at you.) there continues to be cool and new things coming market – you just have to seek out the quality kit. One thing that hasn’t changed is that there is no shortage of cool stuff on display. If you attended OXW 2023, let us know about your experience in the comments!

SEMA 2019

The SEMA Show.  For a week in November, the automotive industry as a whole congregates in Las Vegas to completely fill the Las Vegas Convention Center to show off absolutely anything that relates to the automotive industry.  From aftermarket parts, to tools, to chemicals, to safety, to raw materials, to OEMS, you won’t find a more comprehensive selection of auto-related stuff to check out.

The Overland Industry is continuing to expand it’s footprint at SEMA, and this year was the first year to feature the “Overland Experience.” In this area, Overland industry professionals gave presentations, and there were a number of rigs on hand for show attendees to check out.  Throughout the rest of the show, there were more and more Overland style builds in booths, and more brands that serve the Overland market were on hand to show off their wares.

From companies just getting off the ground with new products fueled by passion to well known companies coming out with more and more SKUs to serve even more needs, there was plenty of awesome to check out – and of course it wouldn’t be SEMA without the… well… interesting products.  You’ll know ’em when you see them.


Antishanty has figured out how to take the best parts of so many different types of trailers and fuse them into one awesome trailer that is poised to stand head and shoulders above the other overland trailers that simply carry a roof tent, or are a glorified teardrop, or that weigh more than your tow vehicle.

Check out these Antishanty features:  Timbren independent suspension, aluminum construction (no wood), light weight, insulated, a toy hauler style rear door, a pop top, plenty of sleeping space, and a heater and a cook stove.  If you need a trailer to haul your gear, be your base camp, and do just about everything else a trailer can do – you need to check out Antishanty.


Warn had a pile of new stuff on display.  For the Jeep JT and JL, Warn has new bumpers, sliders, and door kits.  They’ve expanded their line of semi-hidden bumpers with fitments for the Subaru Crosstrek and many other platforms.  Their lines of winch accessories and bags are also becoming more robust as well, notably with soft shackles and new winchlines that feature a reflective braid.

Icon Vehicle Dynamics and Icon Alloys

Icon was on hand to show off what they’ve been up to, and I’m happy to report that they’re making some cool new improvements to their existing products as well as continuing to develop new, award winning products.

For their 2.5 inch series shocks, Icon is switching to an aluminum shock body which will provide better heat dissipation performance as well as better resistance to the elements.  Features like gold CDCV knobs and finned reservoirs will also be spec’d on certain fitments.  Icon’s 2.5-inch JL system won an award at the show this year, and the new Vector 6 wheel by Icon Alloys looks great!


Dometic has a new generation of electric fridges that feature innovative new features, and they’ve updated their CFX app to help you better understand how your 12v fridge is using power.  With the app you can now plot power consumption versus temperature through a bluetooth connection to your cooler (the old version used wifi) and Dometic has also made the process of adding a dedicated circuit to your vehicle much easier with an everything you need kit.

The new CFX Gen 3 coolers have a new design, beefier cast aluminum handles, and control interfaces that are much easier to use than the older versions.  The new CFX 55 even has an ice maker to help take your wilderness mixology to the next level.


Milwaukee Tools was new to SEMA this year, and I have to say it was awesome to finally get to see every red tool all in one place.  Milwaukee is getting into hand tools, and I have to give them a nod for adding a meaningful feature to their new line of sockets – square tops which prevent the socket from rolling away from you when you set them on the ground.  Ever watch a 10mm socket roll into oblivion? No more with Milwaukie tools. They had a really cool booth with lots of cut-a-way tools, and of note were the M12 & M18 Red Lithium batteries where you could see the genuine Samsung cells inside.

American Expedition Vehicles

AEV always brings something cool when they’re going to a show, and this year was no exception.  On display was their new recovery gear, as well as several platforms with all kinds of new goodies.  The RAM Prospector XL gets a completely new bumper, which is sporting a brush guard and AEV’s own 7″ lights.  Out back AEV is spec’ing a 41″ spare tire carrier, 5th gen bed rack, and a new rear bumper.

The Jeep JL Wrangler and JT Gladiator are also getting the full AEV treatment with a few bits on display, and a whole bunch of other products in the pipeline.  AEV has also been working on the Chevy Bison platform, and the new version will be able to clear 35s.


Yakima continues to come up with more cool products for carrying your toys and tools on your vehicle, and their new bike racks, fishing rod carriers, tool holders, and platform racks look great.  Of note are their tool holders which won’t stretch out like other products, and their platform racks which are a welcome place to mount all of the existing Yakima gear you may have or just about anything else.

Factor 55

Factor 55 is known for making some of the best recovery gear out there that’s engineered, built, and tested to destruction in the USA using only American made materials.  They had a pile of new kit on display at the show, like their Rope Retention Pulley (RRP) which adds a brilliant feature to the recovery ring in the from flexible fingers that will keep your rope from dropping out of your ring should you slack your recovery system out.  They’re also starting to package all of their top shelf recovery gear into complete recovery kits.

Leitner Designs

I spied the new Leitner Design FORGED ACS rack on a couple of rigs at the show.  The new forged version of the ACS takes the years of learning from the original ACS and harnesses that into a lighter and stronger system.  Check out this custom unit on a Jeep Gladiator with a Traeger grill.


sPOD had a new baby Bantam on display at the show, which is designed to fit into modern builds which have less and less space for extra stuff under the hood.  This Source LT has all of the great sPOD features you would expect, but in a six circuit system.  HD and switch panels will be available for control, and everything they offer is made right here in the USA.


Hi Lift had a signature edition Jack and number of new vehicle mounts on display at the show, like this floor mount for the Jeep Gladiator.


On display in the RAM Mounts booth were new magnet bases, new phone holders and the tough wedge, which allows you to place a RAM ball anywhere you can wedge this product and inflate it using the attached pump to inflate the wedge, securing it in place.

Red Arc

Red Arc had a new Brake Controller and Battery Management system on display.  Their brake controller is notable for taking the “knee-knocker” and installing that elsewhere in the vehicle, so you’re only having to deal with a small knob that allows you to adjust things like gain and mode.

James Baroud

Portuguese tent-makers James Baroud had their new tunnel system on display, which allows you to connect your tent to a specially made awning, providing a covered place to enter and exit your tent when the weather isn’t playing nice.


Scheel-Mann makes some ridiculously comfortable and supportive seats, which were a big hit with folks who were in search of a place to get off of their feet for a second.  After test driving one myself, I have to say that I would love to have them in my rigs.

MSA 4×4

MSA 4×4 had their new tow mirrors on display at SEMA.  These mirror arms telescope, and the actual mirror pivots at the end of the arm, providing several modes of adjustment to get your mirrors set to work with your trailer. I really wish they had brought their custom 6×6 200 Series that was on the banner at the back of the booth to show off the mirror (and the rest of the vehicle) too.


The Ford booth always has cool stuff on display, like this well built Ranger and the stunning Bronco.  Ford also came up with a pretty nutty E-Mustang, but I couldn’t get a good shot through the crowd of people gawking at it.

Lincoln Electric

What’s awesome about SEMA is that tool manufactures come to the show too, so not only can you find cool parts for your rigs, but you can find cool tools to work on your rigs with.  These new multiprocess welders from Lincoln use large displays to help make it easy for folks to learn to weld.  Select what you want to weld, and the machine helps you select the right gun, gas, wire and rollers to let you use the right process for the job.

Baja Designs

Baja Designs always has cool stuff on display, and this year they were showing off their new LP4, and the new S1 series lights, which are essentially a quarter of their proven XL 80.  They also packed one of their super-cool laser chips in an S1.  We’ll have a test on Baja Designs’ laser lighting soon.

Go Fast Campers

Parked in the Mobil 1 booth was the GFC Tacoma, sporting a sharp looking camper with a red colorway.  But the really cool stuff was hidden in back, where GFC had their new modular flight deck platform and a really slick twist and lock style tie down.  GFC makes some killer gear, and I can’t wait to see more on these new protos.


Let us indulge our inner kid here for a second.  Traxxas is making some seriously cool RC cars these days.  Check out this 6×6 G wagon, complete with LED lighting and portal hubs.  This scale crawler has fully functioning tracks… which is a great segue into what I saw next…

PPE / Howe and Howe

Hopefully, this thing needs no introduction, but just in case – meet the RipSaw E3 . Everyone wants one of these!


ARB is a major player in the Overland scene, and they are going BIG with the Ranger, this blue truck was decked out with the full compliment of ARB goodies.  They’re also working on making complete build kits for select FCA platforms like Jeeps.  Simply pick your use, from crawler, overland, or off-road, and ARB has a parts kits tailored to that use.

Of note on the Ranger bumper in the second photo, ARB is now a Tier 1 supplier to Ford, so that bumper meets all of Ford’s requirements for crash and cooling, etc.

The Overland Experience

Overlanding has officially gone mainstream, and the last few photos here are from the Overland Experience area.  There were some cool rigs here like the 73-series Cruiser and the crossovers.  Check out that tent-only version of the AT Overland Habitat on the VW Atlas.

The Other Stuff at SEMA

When I said that the SEMA show caters to the entire automotive industry, I wasn’t kidding.  There’s stuff at SEMA that’s well… I’ll let you decide what to call it, but I thought it was a fancy axle truss…

I know for a fact that I missed cool stuff.  That’s the problem with only having a day to do SEMA – there’s just too much awesome to see, even if you’re on the move for the entire duration of the show day.  Next year, I’ll make sure to take more time so that we can share more cool stuff with you.  Thanks for reading!