Dry heat. Africa hot. Sweaty. Glistening. Nope, not writing summer haiku here. Call it what you want, and give its side effects whatever adjective or verb you need to, but it boils (literally) down to one thing: It can suck when it's hot out. Some of us have to suffer through many months of ugly seasons before we're able to resurrect the truck from storage and head to the hills and trails and suffer through hard-core high temps. And those aren't miserable just for you-your truck can also take a beating if not properly equipped for fun in the sun. That's why we've got tips and gear to keep both of you wheeling in comfort and completely prepared no matter how far north the mercury goes.
Blue and red are fine, but we dig that Add-Awn comes in camo. That's cool.
We could go into the specs of the Add-Awn Sport Shade, but what's the point? All you'll really care about when you're baking is the fact that it will provide between 80 and 150 square feet of shade. That'll feel like the moon is out. It'll mount on pickups, SUVs with roof racks, and trailers. OK, here's the tech anyway: It has low-profile brackets that go inside the truck bed, resulting in a clean fit, and it includes a carrying bag, so it's not a bulky item to store in your rig-year round (it's ideal for escaping from rain too). It has telescoping legs for dealing with uneven terrain and for angling.
FTM Enterprises, 760.732.3161, www.ftmbiz.com
Did you know that there are sleeping bags for different sexes? No, we don't mean that. We'
No More Night Sweats
Your sleeping bag keeps you toasty and warm all winter-but if you bought it because it's the dream sleeping bag for winter months, outfitted with flannel and such, you'll hate it when evening degrees are barely a relief from the day's. That's why if you're shopping for a bag, don't think simply seasonal but rather all-season. And if you'll be hiking to your destinations, pay close attention to the weight of the sleeper. Kelty hits both topics of consideration with its Light Year 3D. This one is even designed for wet climates. Comfort (and the name) comes from a Polarguard 3D insulation, which is a synthetic material that will give you warmth in the wintertime. There's a two-way locking zipper and zippered foot vent for making sure you can find a happy temperature for slumber, and it weighs in at 2 pounds, 6 ounces.
Kelty, 800.423.2320, www.kelty.com
The Freezer Fridge comes in three sizes: 33, 42, and 63 quarts (45, 53, and 70 pounds, res
Grab A Cold One
You know ARB best for its air lockers, but you'll love those Aussies even more for their portable refrigerator/freezer when it's hot out. Not a glorified cooler, the Freezer Fridge has two separate power cords-one for AC operation (120 volts) and the other for DC (12/24 volt)-and there's thermostat control so you can decide whether to make it work as a refrigerator or freezer. Extreme angles don't bother it, and it has a removable lid and basket. Its rounded corners won't tear up your vehicle's innards.
ARB 4x4 Accessories, 206.264.1669, www.arbusa.com
There's a bonus to going aluminum: shedding weight. Be Cool's aluminum radiators are 40 pe
Heat vs. Your Engine
Your OE radiator probably isn't up to the task of cooling off a higher-horsepower engine, especially on a hot day; and nothing takes the fun out of wheeling more than constant overheating. Switching to an all-aluminum radiator can lower the coolant temperature by as much as 20 degrees, and Be Cool has what you need to make this swap happen, even if you're dealing with a tight engine compartment or small grille opening. Be Cool radiators have epoxy-free construction to also contribute to heat dissipation.
Be Cool, 800.691.2667 or 989.895.9699, www.becool.com
The Sun Bucket is available in three colors and sizes M-XL.
We're all about slathering the SPF 75 over our exposed parts, but we often forget about our scalps, and our baseball caps do nothing for our ears. That's why the Sun Bucket is an easy solution. It features SolarShield fabric rated at 50+ UPF and has a Coolmax head guard for "moisture management" (the politically correct way to say, "You're sweating like a pig"). There's an adjustable and removable chin cord.
Outdoor Research, 800.421.2421, www.orgear.com
Liquid For Your Truck
It's a mouthful to say, but it's a key ingredient for your truck to run healthy in the heat. Ready? Prestone 50/50 Prediluted All Makes All Models Extended Life Antifreeze/Coolant. Whew! It's intended for topping off, and has the precise factory-fill blend: 50-percent antifreeze concentrate for temperature and corrosion protection, and 50-percent demineralized water for heat transfer. It can be added to any cooling system-it's compatible with all types of antifreeze, regardless of color.
Prestone, 800.862.7737, www.prestone.com
Not sure what antifreeze formula/engine type to put in your truck? P5050PAMAMELAC (we didn't really shorten it up, did we?) can go into anything.
Military camo is the traditional olive and khaki, while urban is black and white and deser
Nothing feels quite as awesome as an open-top vehicle-until the moment you're convinced that someone is holding a magnifying glass over your head and trying to spontaneously combust you under the searing sun. To keep the wind in your hair but gain sun block, an easy solution is a bikini top, such as this one from Bestop. The company offers them in multiple styles, including header, traditional, and strapless. To look the part of outdoor adventurer, there are three camo colors in the line: military, urban, and desert. The fabric tops have reinforced edges and industrial-grade buckles and webbing.
Bestop, 888.407.9456, www.bestop.com