Essential 4×4 Equipment That Everyone Should Have

Offroading/4WDing is a great hobby and exploring the countryside is a pastime for many families but as with many things, the difference between having the time of your life or your worst nightmare is preparation.

Making sure you have the right equipment before getting off the beaten track is a critical part of the preparation step and to make sure you get the best bang for buck with the equipment you need we have devised a list of what we feel is

A quick word on where we get our equipment: I also exclusively have done all of my 4wd equipment online using SparesboxI find of all the online 4WD shops out there Sparesbox is the easiest place online to navigate and find what you’re looking for. They personally tick alot of boxes for me as they are the cheapest out there for most gear, they are also based in Australia, have a 1300 number and you can even chat to them online if you need help and best of all its free shipping over $50.

Don’t be a sucker and buy brick and mortar anymore, while like the rest of you, I enjoy holding and touching the item, places like BCF, Supercheap, ARB are normally full retail and offer little to no backup support. With the amount of information on the internet, there should be no excuse to not be able to make an educated decision before purchasing.

A quick word on Mean Mother – you will see alot of the products I recommend are from Mean Mother. They are not paying me or anything and I haven’t received any freebies from them either.

I just really like there products and there support they offer (one of the perks of being Aussie made and owned! Yes you can find cheaper Chinese alternatives (Cough* 4wdsupacentre) but Mean Mother is a product of Haigh Australia who has been in the industry for over 40 years and all of there gear adheres to Australian standards when applicable

The Basic 4wd Equipment ( Requirement For All Adventures) *Updated 2020*

Our Top Picks For Tyre Care:

Maxi Trac 4×4 12V 160LPM 150psi Air Compressor

Why We Picked It:

Seriously this compressor is a weapon, I recently upgraded to a MAxi Track from a Bushranger Blackmax 2 and boy was I impressed. It has won numerous awards but what I really like is how fast it inflates (160 lpm)  for the price, couple that with a pretty impressive duty cycle this compressor should be double its price as it competes with the super premiums like ARB twin Compressor.

What They Could Improve:

Nothing that I have found yet. Will report once I find something

Get The Maxi Trac 4×4 12V Compressor On Sparesbox Here

Drivetech 4×4 Tyre Repair Kit

Why We Picked It:

It has all you need to do emergency tyre repair while out and about and everything has its place in the kit which is also nice, The kit itself is also blow moulded plastic and very sturdy.

I also like how there are basic instructions on the inside of the lid for those who need a refresher (check out our article on repairing a punctured tyre here to go into more detail) and theres actually a small amount of extra room in the recess for a few bits and bobs

What They Could Improve:

The pointy nose pliers are on the cheaper side, I ended up replacing mine with a set of good ones just to be on the safe side.

Get The Drivetech 4×4 Tyre Repair Kit On Sparesbox Here

Mean Mother Tyre Deflator Kit

Why We Picked It:

If you have been out and about already especially out on the sand with others, nine times out of ten you will see a pack a staun deflators come out, while the theory is great on stuans, they are actually quite slow to deflate and are notorious for failing. I have opted from the start to have a tyre deflator that actually removes the valve stem of the tyre itself, this way you can get the job done quick (1 psi per second) and on the trails sooner.

I personally like the Mean Mother deflator as is has a neat bypass attachment that allows you to check the pressure easily, It also can be used as a standard tyre gauge with the gauge attachment that comes with the kit. They take seconds to put on and once you get the knack for them you’ll be leaving your mates behind in your dust.

What They Could Improve:

I wish it was cheaper, but I believe with a thing like a tyre deflator you get what you pay for besides the initial purchase price I have had no issues with this deflator and highly recommend it.

Get The Mean Mother Tyre Deflator On Sparesbox Here

Our Top Pick for A Off Roading Shovel:

Mean Mother Multi Shovel

Why We Picked It:

When it comes to shovels, the trusty flat bladed long-handled shovel from the back shed will do just fine and I personally used this for years, but then I came across the multi shovel from Mean Mother and I was hooked, Its made from reinforced steel core with a PE outer skin, so it feels good in your hand and its super sturdy at its longest length.

The shovel head is made of Carbon Steel with a heat treated carbon tip so no chance of breaking it.  I also love that you can put the handle in the middle of the shovel for when you’re going to be digging for a while.

It has five configurations of which I really use the long and short versions of the shovel. It also comes with a handy compartmentalised carry bag. Honestly, once you get one of these shovels you will never look back.

What They Could Improve:

It would be nice if they offered a few different heads ie: a shovel head with a tip for those sticky mud situations

Get The Mean Mother Multi Shovel On Sparesbox Here

Our Top Picks For Off-Road Comms:

GME UHF CB Radio Ultimate Value Pack

Why We Picked It:

Firstly, GME is the king of radio communications in Australia and they still to this day designed and manufactured in Australia for Australian Conditions. What I like about this pack is it has the TX3350 which has your display on the handpeice and in my rig, I tucked the body of the unit behind the dash so only the handpiece was exposed which I prefered cosmetically, it also has the added benefit of being able to change channels volume etc without having to reach over and muck around with the body like a traditional unit.

The kit is great because it also includes 2 antenna! and everything else you need to mount it and the unit.  The Tx3350 unit itself is normally around $500 not including antennas or brackets

What They Could Improve:

It can get a bit tough sometimes to hear through the unit, I find myself holding it pretty close to my ear when the windows are down or there is alot of noise. In saying that this was the same as my previous body mounted GME unit.

Get The TX3350 Ultimate Value Pack On Sparesbox Here

Uniden 1.5W UHF Handheld – Twin Pack

Why We Picked It:

I was able to try one of these handsets while on a trip with a mate, and I found myself using it alot. You simply cant beat having a set of handheld UHF’s from everything to helping with recovery, comms when reversing to giving to the kids when they are running around the caravan park. I found these 1.5w units to be a good balance between price and battery life.

I have a little AC adaptor in the car in which the docking station plugs into so they are always on charge when the car is on, when we set up camp we move the dock to the camper.  Not that I have ever used it, but it also comes with an external headphone jack to allow you to hear better with background noise. It also comes with a clip which is nice.

What They Could Improve:

Its more a cosmetic thing but they feel light and cheap for some reason, considering the price they could have a bit more meat to them.

Get The Uniden 1.5 Handheld Twin Pack On Sparesbox Here

Offroad Recovery – With A Buddy

Front Recovery Point

I personally believe having rated front recovery points is an absolute requirement if you intend to go anywhere there is a chance of getting stuck. Your 4wds stock tie down or tow points are not rated and will simply snap off if you try to snatch off them becoming a missile in the process which can and has been known to kill.

I would recommend heading over to spares box to buy mine, they have RATED recovery points for almost all makes by drivetech 4×4.

Check out the link Here To Go To The Recovery Point Search Results

Mean Mother Recovery Hitch 4.7T

Another important recovery point to have is a rated rear recovery point for the inevitable rear recovery. The easiest and cheapest way to do this is to have a towbar mount recovery hitch, This replaces your tow ball and puts a rated D shackle in its place which you can then snatch off. Its a much of a muchness when it comes to rear shackles, just make sure that whatever you purchase complies with AS/NZ 2741.2002 standard and your bow shackle is rated. I personally went with the Mean Mother flavour

Get The Mean Mother 4.7T Recovery Hitch On Sparesbox Here

Drivetech 4×4 Equaliser Strap Kit 8 Tonne

Why We Picked It:

An equaliser strap is essential for evenly distributing the load on your vehicle (and recovery points), I landed on the drivetech kit because it comes with 2 rated 4.75T shackles as part of the kit which makes it pretty decent bang for buck

Get The Drivetech 4×4 Equaliser Strap On Sparesbox Here

Drivetech 4×4 Kinetic 9mm Recovery Rope 11,000Kg

Why We Picked It:

This is a decisive pick, you may be wondering why there are no recovery kit recommendations on here, well I don’t see the point in paying a couple of hundred dollars for a kit that requires a winch (which I don’t have) with half the gear I’m not able to use. I decided that I would do the research and only buy the gear I need and add to it when the time arises. I LOVE my kinetic rope which is used instead of a snatch strap, I decided on the 11T rope just to be on the safe side.

There are many advantages to a kinetic rope over a snatch, one of the biggest benefits is that it makes for a smoother recovery with a lot less jolt when the rope takes the load, it also has a longer life as a traditional snatch strap can only be used a finite amount of times.

Its also really nice it comes with a drying bag which is super handy when its wet and muddy.

What They Could Improve:

There is one massive downside to a kenetic rope, and that is that it takes a long time (like 5 Mins) between snatches because you can use it again. Because it streches so much you have to wait until it returns to normal size because you can use it so if you dont get out on the first snatch it can be very frustrating.

Get The Drivetech 4×4 Recovery Rope On Sparesbox Here

Mean Mother Recovery Blanket

Nothing particularly special about this recovery dampener, just please be sure to buy and use one, there are plenty of videos on youtube of the damage that can be caused by points breaking off during recovery, dampeners work by bringing whatever flying object is on the end of the wayward strap to the ground.

Get The Mean Mother Recovery Blanket On Sparesbox Here

Mean Mother Recovery Bag Large

Now that you have all this flash gear, you need something to store it in. I really like this recovery bag because its rigid and retangular, it also has really decent straps to carry it with and decent zippers. Its also well priced.

Get The Mean Mother Recovery Bag Large On Sparesbox Here

Self Recovery

Recovery Tracks

Man, this is a tough one. I had a set of maxtrax and I also had a set of Xbulls, to be honest, I was happy with both, expect the Xbulls were a 1/4 of the price. Im going to withold a recommendation on what tracks you should buy but I definitely think you need a set (or 2 sets).

I think it would be worth watching this video by Michael Sanders (make sure to subscribe to him as hes very knowledgeable) where puts the premiums and the ebay specials to the test

Mean Mother High Lift Jack

Why We Picked It:

I think if you are going to go off road a high lift jack is a smart addition to your kit, It can be used in situations where it is necessary to lift, winch, clamp, pull and push. They are useful in lifting a vehicle clear from obstacles that come into contact with the underbody. By lifting the vehicle holes can be filled or articles such as rocks, wood or sand tracks can be positioned to assist in creating traction for the wheels.

This is one hell of a jack, i was recommended this jack by a mate about 2 years ago which coincided with my purchase of a Camper Trailer and tied in well as i needed it first trip away with it. One of the standout features of the Mean Mother Jack is its Whopping 1500KG working load limit which is best in class for a 48″ Jack, It also complies with the AS/NZS2693:2007 Jack Safety Standard which should be a given this day and aged but you will be surprised how many don’t.

What They Could Improve:

Nothing that I can see

Get The Mean Mother 1500KG High Lift Jack On Sparesbox Here

High Lift Jack Accessories

If you are going to buy a Hihg Lift Jack, I would highly recommend you look into the following attachments. They all serve different purposes and you may use them every now and again but when you need then, you by sure need them so its worth keeping them in your kit.

Drivetech 4×4 High Lift Jack – Stand Base

Anyone that owns a high lift jack knows how important a stand base is. Its basically a plastic base that increases the jacks footprint and spreads the weight, perfect for the sandy and muddy situations that you will face. Make sure to get one unless you are going to carry a peice of wood around with you.

Get The Drivetech High Lift Jack Stand Base On Sparesbox Here

Drivetech 4×4 High Lift Jack Bumper Lift Kit 

This neat bit of kit is used to hook onto a steel bumper to assist lifting from the rear, in saying this is have used it to lift from the bull bar and several places on my Camper Trailer, its a must have

Get The Drivetech High Lift Jack Bumper Kit On Sparesbox Here

Drivetech 4×4 High Lift Jack – Wheel Lift Hooks

Another neat bit of kit is wheel lift hooks, they hook into your rim and allow you to lift the wheel and get some traction underneath it.

Get The Drivetech High Lift Jack Wheel Lift Hooks On Sparesbox Here

Mean Mother Exhaust Jack Kit 4,000kg

Why We Picked It:

I must admit I have only had to use the trusty exhaust jack a handful of times when I have it’s been great with this mean mother version. I had one particular situation where it wasn’t practical to use the exhaust gas so I used the compressor fitting (which is the reason I went for this model) and it blew it up like a treat which sealed the deal for me on the Mean Mother version. It also has a 4000Kg working load which is nothing to sneeze at either. Considering its features is actually one of the cheaper exhaust jacks out there.

What They Could Improve:

It could do with another protective mat, but i ended up using my rubber floor mat which works well.

Get The Mean Mother Exhaust Jack On Sparesbox Here

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