Outside Adventure Expo

Outside Adventure Expo

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As everything gets back to semi-normal after the great pandemic of 2020, most in the overland community are getting back to attending expos and rallies. There are old standbys like Overland Expo West and East, and for the first time Overland Expo Mountain West held in August. A new, smaller expo also premiered in July, The Outside Adventure Expo in Salt Lake City, Utah. Hosted by Lodestone Events, the same organizers behind the Overland Expos.


The inaugural Outside Adventure Expo was held at the Utah State Fairpark, July 17-19. We left on a Friday and made our way there with neighborhood friends in tow. This time I also brough my daughter who had always expressed an interest in joining me at Expo West, but it was usually held during school in May.

Although it was not ideal for this wilderness camper, we stayed at a nearby KOA Campground. We arrived at “camp” on a warm Friday afternoon, set up our campsite and headed to the event for a few hours before it closed. Many familiar brands were there as well as the friendly faces from past Expos. We said our hi’s and shook hands from booth to booth. My daughter was excited to meet Clay and Rachelle Croft and Kurt Williams at the Expedition Overland booth. She’s seen every episode because it’s a family affair in our house every time new seasons are released. She even has a XO hat signed by team XO from Overland Expo 2015.

Expedition Overland at Outdoor Expo Salt Lake City 2021 Toyota magazine

The crowds were plentful, and a steady stream wandered from booth to booth while others attended workshops and classes. Everything from Outdoor Eats to Blueprint 101: How to Find Your Perfect Urban Adventure. There was also a film festival of sorts, featuring short adventure films on climbing, mountain bikers, backcountry skiers, kayakers, trail runners and more.

Every imaginable type of 4x4 brand was showcased in various booths, from the standbys; Land Cruisers, Tacoma, 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, GX 470 & GX 460 to the new Ford Bronco, Chevy Canyon, Dodge Power Wagon, Wrangler and Ford trucks. Van Life was in full effect as well with Sprinter, Ford, and Dodge vans showcasing all the available gear and accessories. It wouldn’t be an outside expo without offroad/overland trailers showing off the latest in simple gear boxes on 2-wheels all the way to robust offroad capable RVs featuring the latest in amenities to elevate your camping status.

CBI Off Road - Prinsu Rack at Outdoor Expo Salt Lake City 2021 Toyota magazine

My daughter took up the duty of marketing assistant as she handed out official TCT Magazine stickers and postcards to each vendor we visited. Every time I struck up a conversation her face smiled and her hand shot out holding a sticker and a postcard about TCT. We chuckled and continued to talk about new products. Here’s a list of some of the notable conversations we had.

The ROAM Adventure booth was stacked with various sized storage cases featuring pressure valves, webbed handles, and gas strut assisted lids. Some of which were also coupled with their unique lid inserts; molle panels and modular lid organizing pouches. Kaycee marketing took me through each feature and explained their task and purpose. ROAM also had a rooftop tent and awning on display to round out their product lines. ROAMAdventure.com

Roam Adventure at Outdoor Expo Salt Lake City 2021 Toyota magazine

A notable newcomer to outdoor gear is Highroad Adventure Gear. David and Nikki are a husband and wife team offering up the WoodGaiter, a new solution to carry and store firewood to, from and within camp. It’s a rectangular piece of durable vinyl and nylon with two parallel webbed straps on one side.  Lay it flat on the ground, neatly pile you're firewood into it, roll it up like a burrito then use the straps to tighten the bundle. There are also cinch straps on each end to help contain the load. It’s easy to gather wood around camp, roll it up then carry it to your campfire or strapped to your roof rack for the next camp site destination. HighroadAdventureGear.com

Woodgaiter at Outdoor Expo Salt Lake City 2021 Toyota magazine

Dirtcom was on hand with their 65 lb hitch mounted spare tire swing out dubbed “Trail Swing”.  Designed for up to 35” tires, the Trail Swing features an auto latching hinge (rated for 1000 lbs), mounting points for Rotopax and license plate. A High-lift jack mount is coming soon. Additional Dirtcom accessories include a stainless steel fold-down table and hitch to mount bike racks or other 2” tow mounted accessories. There’s also mounting points to mount your own accessories. DirtcomUSA.com

Dirtcom at Outdoor Expo Salt Lake City 2021 Toyota magazine

Are you organized? One of the struggles with gearing up for overlanding or camping is the accumulation of stuff. Step 22 (the same people behind the famous Jackcovers) has stepped up their current product line with a clever storage system of purpose built, travel and gear bags … helping you tame the chaos that comes with organizing and transporting your gear. Several bags were designed and named after endangered wildlife like the Pangolin Tool Roll, Tenkile Tech Pouch and Stingray Flat Box. A portion of the proceeds is donated directly to several projects helping to save our planets endangered species. Step22Gear.com

Step 22 Gear at Outdoor Expo Salt Lake City 2021 Toyota magazine

South Australian company Redarc showcased its proven power and battery management systems in a well-appointed Land Cruiser 200. Redarc has been ramping up its push into the US overlanding market as a premiere solution for charging and managing your 12v systems and electrical accessories. Offerings include in-vehicle dual battery chargers and isolators, power management systems for accessories, solar, cargo equalizers and DC-to-DC charging units. The later being a recently new idea in the US market for charging in-vehicle dual battery systems. Modern alternators are not designed to fully charge and maintain your secondary lead acid, AGM, GEL or lithium battery systems, but a quality DC to DC charger like the Redarc units can do this effienciently and maintain the proper charge while on the move. Redarcelectronics.com

Redarc Electronics at Outdoor Expo Salt Lake City 2021 Toyota magazine

Custom fabricator and accessory maker Delta Vehicle Systems showed up with two 80 Series Land Cruisers outfitted to the hilt with various gear including their own modular rear swing out system, modular center console, modular rear cargo storage system and front bumpers. All products are meticulously designed and welded in their Boise, ID shop with serious attention to detail. Their wide ranging portfolio of LC, Lexus and 4Runner solutions is impressive. DeltaVS.com

Delta Vehicle Systems at Outdoor Expo Salt Lake City 2021 Toyota magazine

Another Idaho based company Factor 55 had their popular Closed Winching System on display and recently released Rope Retention Pulley (RRP). It’s a lighter aluminum alternative to heavier steel snatch blocks/pulleys and features a rope retention system through the use of rubber retention fingers around the inner portion of the pulley that help retain synthetic winch line. This helps the line stay put and from slipping out of the pulley causing premature rope failure. The RRP is teflon coated providing a smooth working surface and heat dissipation. The regular version is rated for 22,000 lbs. and the smaller UTV/ATV version is rated at 12,000 lbs. Factor55.com

Factor 55 at Outdoor Expo Salt Lake City 2021 Toyota magazine

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