Overlanding Has Passed A Major Milestone

Illustration for article titled Overlanding Has Passed A Major Milestone
Photo: MaxTrax/Adventure Imports, LLC

A friend of mine in the off-road accessory biz sent me a picture of MaxTrax’s latest product garnish–a turquoise color option for the stuck-truck recovery boards. At first, I thought he was kidding but, nope!


Overlanding, the idea of outfitting your vehicle for some self-sufficiency on super-long off-grid trips, has grown immensely in popularity over the last few years. The subculture is kind of having a moment the way tuner cars became somewhat mainstream in the 2000s. Similarly, I’m sure the casual fans will subside over the next few years but the hobby has gotten a lot more accessible thanks to an obviously flourishing aftermarket.

But I guess there’s only so much stuff you can bolt to your truck, so it’s time to start refinishing some accessories in fun colors!

The cynical comment here would be, like, “here’s how to spot a poser” but whatever. Sometimes I feel like fitting parts is more fun than actual driving, I can’t lie.

Photo: MaxTrax/Adventure Imports, LLC

MaxTrax, and knockoffs thereof, are among the more ubiquitous off-road dongles because they look cool externally mounted, don’t add much of a weight or aero penalty, and yes, when you need ’em, they can be indispensably helpful.

I will say earnestly that using MaxTrax to dig out and wedge under the drive wheels of stuck vehicles has gotten me out of bogs in Australia and Mexico. They do work.


These things list for hundreds of dollars, which seems kind of wacky for what just looks like long plastic shovels. Many less-expensive lookalikes exist but I’ve never tested any of them. Forums and friend groups I’ve asked about cheaper options usually say “the cheap ones work fine once, the good ones actually last.” So, like pretty much every other automotive upgrade, it sounds like if you want the look just grab whatever off of eBay. If you actually drive in places that occasionally require extraction–these boards work particularly well in medium-depth mud and soft sand–maybe pony up for brand name stuff.

Which, now you can get in turquoise! These would look awesome on an ’80s or ’90s rig with matching or high-contrast accents.

Jalopnik Staffer from 2013 to 2020, now Editor-In-Chief at Car Bibles


Arch Duke Maxyenko, Shit Talk Extraordinaire

Let me know when GOLD is available, I need them to match my LM002