AWOL Gear Roundup #8

patriot campers x2 tourer new offroad trailer with kitchen and pop-up tent

This week we’re focused mostly on gear you wear and tech you hold, but there’s still a bit vehicle stuff, like this extremely capable offroad camper trailer from Australia. From a flashlight that shines 1km away to comfy new hiking boots to a camera that fights deep fakes and more, here’s the best new adventure gear this week:

  • Patriot Campers X2 Tourer
  • iKamper Raconteur
  • KC Flex Era lights
  • Verge California Edition EV moto
  • NOCS binocular phone cam adapter
  • Leica M11-P anti-fake camera
  • NiteIze 1km flashlight
  • Fenix 21,000 lumen flashlight
  • Danner x Wilson boots
  • Beyond Drilite rain jacket
  • Moto vs MTB pricing
  • Jean-Baptiste Chandelier’s “No Way”

Patriot Campers X2 Tourer goes anywhere w/ full-featured simplicity

patriot campers X2 tourer offroad camping trailer with camp kitchen

The second generation Patriot Campers X2 Tourer keeps the offroad capability with 33″ mud terrain tires and optional air suspension, recovery points, and lightweight (850kg/1,873lb) design. The integrated hardshell pop-up tent sleeps two, but the slide-out L-shaped kitchen feeds many more.

A pop-up, wrap-around awning shields the cook area, and 150L water capacity and 240W solar panels provide offgrid essentials. Add rear storage slides, an inverter, Dometic fridge, diesel water/tent heater and more to customize it. Starts at $42,200. (video walkthru here)

iKamper launching roof rack & truck bed rail systems

iKamper Raconteur roof rack and rail system for toyota tacoma and forerunner trucks

With steel bodies, stainless hardware and lightweight alloy crossbars, the upcoming iKamper Raconteur rail and rack system should be the perfect base for mounting their rooftop tents. It officially launches in 2023 for 05-23 Toyota Tacoma and Forerunners, but limited units are available now. Models to fit the ’24 taco will follow.

The truck bed rail system includes the side and top framing plus MOLLE-compatible panels and rear grab handles, starting at $1,400. The roof racks come in various lengths to fit all cab models and the SUV, starting at $805 to $1,200.

KC Flex Era modular LED light strips

KC FE Flex Era LED lights with modular segments

KC Hilites new Flex Era LED lights come in four-bulb 10″ segments, each group pumping out a massive 7,912 lumens. Run one segment on its own, or link them together with a flush attachment, and angle them as you wish to create the desired beam pattern.

They come with combo & spot reflectors, light covers, and complete assembly kit for $499. Additional segments are $450, amber covers and colored bezels sold separately. Ships in January 2024.

Verge California Edition electric motorcycle

verge california edition electric motorcycle with hollow rear wheel

The limited Verge California Edition e-motorcycle has the brand’s TS Pro platform with 1000Nm torque, 124mph top speed, and 3.5-second 0-60. The motor is inside the hollow rear wheel, which makes room for a larger battery in the body, giving it up to 217 miles range! And it’ll full charge in just 35 minutes.

A special two-tone poppy orange & black colorway, large touchscreen display with custom graphics welcoming you on startup, and Ohlins suspension round out the package. Despite the name, it’s not available in the US until Q2 2024, but you can reserve one for $100. MSRP is $30,900.

NOCS Photo Rig lets you shoot phone pics through binoculars

Designed for their rugged little ‘nocs’ but compatible with most binoculars & monoculars, the NOCS Photo Rig positions your phone’s camera to shoot through the lens for huge zoom numbers. A self-centering frame helps you line up the lens, and a stiff, sturdy design keeps it in place for blur-free shots. MSRP $35, fits most modern smartphones and binocs with 20-50mm eyepiece diameters.

Leica M11-P DSLR authenticates photos to fight fake news

leica m11-p digital camera with content authentification metadata tagging to prevent deep fake photos

This is technology used for good. The new Leica M11-P digital camera tags each photo with Content Credentials, a verifiable digital authentication based on the CAI’s C2PA standard. Metadata like camera info, date, time & location are locked into the image file with a cryptographic key.

While people can still edit the photo, the digital signature attached to the photo can NOT be edited, and that allows the viewer to track it back to an unalterable thumbnail that’s created by the camera at the time of capture. This allows the original content of the photo to be verified as authentic and creates a breadcrumb trail of any edits made, which is HUGE in today’s world of deep fakes and AI-generated imagery. (Video demo here)

Specs include 256GB internal storage, perfect if a memory card fails or is full, a 60MP full-frame sensor, and a muted style without the signature red Leica icon. The only downside? The camera body w/o lens is $9,195. Fortunately, the content verification system is from an independent 3rd party, so hopefully we’ll see this on more cameras in the future…ideally even as a software update for existing models.

NiteIze Inova T4R Long Throw flashlight shines 1km away…

niteize inovo T4R long throw flashlight with concentrated spot light beam that shines one kilometer

Need to shine light really, really far away? The new NiteIze Inova T4R Long Throw shines a spot beam up to 1km way. It’s only 1,220 lumens, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but the engineered reflector sends all of them 1,000m down the trail.

The mil-spec construction and hard-ano coating make it impact/shock/crush/dust-proof and highly water resistant. Four modes range from 20 to 1,220 lumens with a respectable 2h55m run time on the highest output. MSRP $224.99, includes charging cradle & USB-C rechargeable battery.

…but the Fenix LR60R Search Flashlight is 10x brighter

21000 lumen fenix search and rescue flashlight

If you prioritize all out brightness over distance, the Fenix LR60R has 21,000 lumens and mixes them across 4 spot and 3 flood modes, plus combo, strobe & SOS. Max distance is 1,085m in “Turbo” mode combining both Spot and Flood in max output modes, however that’s best used for short bursts as it’ll quickly drop off from heat buildup. (video here)

Danner x Filson hiking boots

danner filson hiking boots with vibram outsole and waterproof goretex lining

With a combined 200+ years of outfitting adventurers, this Danner x Filson Trail 2650 Mid hiking boot collab looks and acts the part. They’re a non-insulated all-season weight, inspired by teh 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail.

They have a waterproof Gore-Tex lining, Vibram MegaGrip tread, reinforced EXO heel cup, Ortholite footbecd, and shock-absorbing EVA midsole cushioning. MSRP $218, available through Danner.com and Filson.com while they last.

Beyond Drilite Rain Jacket cut from military surplus

beyond drilite rain jacket for hiking, climbing, skiing, and mountaineering with durable ripstop goretex waterproof fabric

I usually think of Army Navy Stores when someone mentions “military surplus”, but Beyond Clothing gives it new meaning. The durable new Drilite Rain Coat ($230) is made from surplus material used to make their military issue garments, so it gets the same tough fabrics as field issue stuff, but with street style.

The Drilite has US-made Gore-Tex waterproof/windproof ripstop fabric with a cut that’s made to move and wear over thicker insulating layers. The adustable hood fits over ski helmets, but cinches down to stay put over your bare head, too.

Here’s why motorcycles cost the same as mountain bikes

This is fantastic. Just, fantastic.

Action Shot

And this is incredible. Now I need to learn paragliding.

Field Notes

Wandering Thoughts

I almost added the 2025 Subaru Forester to this recap, but in the end it just didn’t fit the vibe we’re going for.

Not that it’s a bad vehicle, we drive a 2019 Forester (which, unfortunately, is the non-turbo CVT year, but it still handles like a Subie!). It will have 8.7″ of ground clearance, which is only 0.5″ less than a 2023 Tacoma, so you could totally take it off road.

For many, it would be a fine, family-friendly adventure car, capable of doing most of what normal people do in a car on family road trips.

But we’re not normal people. We like to go on those roads that maybe aren’t quite roads. Or they used to be roads, and then someone forgot about them.

And the new Forester has a lot of front and rear overhang, so the entry and departure angles aren’t going to get us where we want to go.

Which is all a round-about way of saying that we’re dialing in our focus here at AWOL. I’ll explain more later, but the gist is vanlife, overland, and family adventure travel. Plus the gear and tech we love when we’re traveling, hence the camera and clothing stuff in this week’s post.

And sometimes we’ll just celebrate really kick-ass stuff like an e-moto with twice the range as normal and a hollow rear hub motor!

Here’s to heading off the beaten path,

adventurous way of life logo illustrates travel and van life ideas

Adventurous Way of Life covers the best new gear, gadgets, and tech for those who dig the outdoors, health, fitness, camping, cooking, overlanding, vanlife, and the adventurous active lifestyle. Subscribe here to get our periodic newsletter recaps by email.

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About Tyler 55 Articles
I'm a serial traveller and road trip lover who's crisscrossed the US so many times I've lost count. I've owned cars, SUVs, wagons, vans and a 37' class A toy hauler RV, and I've customized them all! I love the open road and getting off the beaten path to find new adventures, mainly traveling with Kristi and the kids to explore the world on our own two feet (and, usually, two to four wheels)!