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Wheels Afield: Best Off-Road Vehicle Gear of the Year

Wheels Afield: Best Off-Road Vehicle Gear of the Year

We've featured a bunch of gift ideas for the sportsman/woman in your life. It is that time of year, after all, but what about the gear heads out there? Here is a collection of the best vehicle-related products that we have tested over the past year that would make even Santa's sleigh run smoother.

Jerry Cans

The ubiquitous NATO (originally German/Jerry) can was designed back in 1936, and interestingly enough it is still the gold standard today. These NATO cans, newly manufactured in Europe, are constructed of stamped and welded steel, then powder coated for rust resistance. Avoiding screw-on caps that leak, the NATO can sports a cam-locking lid that seals completely. The lid also can be locked to prevent fuel theft and has a replaceable gasket. The distinctive tri-handle design is unique and is not just for looks. Weighing around 44 pounds full, single NATO cans are carried easily enough in each hand with the middle handle; if long distance hauling is required, two people can share the load using the outside handles. The outside handles also help bucket brigade from person to person for fast fuel transport, and empty cans can be carried two per hand. The raised portion on top of the can allows for vapor expansion and the throat has a built-in breather tube to eliminate gulping when pouring. It's an ingenious design that really hasn't been improved upon in 75 years. Price: $35

Polaris | Engineered Vehicle Care

With the price of ATVs being what it is, it makes sense to give them the best care possible. Luckily, Polaris introduced seven products with care in mind. Dubbed Engineered Vehicle Care, it consists of XP Spray Wash, XP Wash, Mud Shield, Polaris Polish, All Purpose Cleaner, Instant Detailer, and Never Rust Spray. While maintenance to your off-road partner should be done throughout the year, now is the perfect time to give your ride a complete once-over before putting it away for the season. Price: $6-$40

Toyo Tire | Open Country R/T

I have logged tens of thousands of miles on Toyo's wonderful M/T tires. They wear well, are relatively quiet (for Mud Terrain tires), and are extremely capable in muddy conditions. So when Toyo released their slightly less aggresive Rugged Terrain (R/T) tire this year based loosely off the M/T design, I was all ears. Fitting squarely into their lineup between the existing All Terrain (A/T) and M/T Open Country lines, they fill a unique niche. The R/T not only looks great due to the aggressive tread and sidewalls, but also are noticably quieter for everyday driving. The new R/T may be an ideal solution for those looking for a quiet daily drive, but with enough meat for weekends in the field. Made 100 percent in America at Toyo's Georgia facility, the R/Ts also feature a 45,000-mile treadwear warranty. Price: $300-$400

Edge | CTS Evolution

If you really want to know what is going on under the hood of your favorite ride as well as have the ability to fine tune for performance, fuel economy, or towing, the touchscreen Edge CTS Evolution tuner is just what the inner-mechanic in all of us ordered. The dash-mounted, full-color 4.3-inch screen lets you monitor, control, and tune your vehicle on the go, and the accessory port allows you to cleanly add accessories like a DVD player or backup camera for one clean, factory-looking display. The unit is available for a wide variety of makes and models in both gas and diesel configurations. For a limited time, the Edge CS and CTS are available in Mossy Oak Infinty Break-Up. It's just what the favorite gear head outdoorsman in your family has been hunting for all year. Price: $450-$665

Adventure Tool Company

In a world of throwaway everything, it is refreshing to see a company produce use-inspired products that will last. Tired of either poorly designed or poor-quality products, Paul Carrill and his wife Amy founded Adventure Tool Company. Based in Colorado, all ATC products — tool rolls, atlas cases, tarps, tool and throw bags are handmade in the USA using 12 oz. waxed canvas, high-tensile strength nylon thread, YKK zippers, and MILSPEC components. I abused them across the West for two straight months this past fall. Other than a bit of mud, they are like new. Best of all, there isn't a 'Hecho in China ' tag found anywhere. Price: $19-$99

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