While not everything can or should be labeled as the latest or the greatest, we can usually be satisfied that today's gear features some of the most up-to-date, cutting-edge items an outdoorsman or woman might want. The off-road ATV and UTV industry has been a good indicator of this fact. ATVs and side-by-sides for work and play have come a long way since the days of your grandad's three-wheeler. Outdoorsmen have long since seen the light at the end of the off-road tunnel and have become more than enamored by all the things that these awesome machines can do. These companies (along with others) have created some of the best and most useful accessories for the likes of you, and we wanted to suggest a few particularly good ones.
What the Best Off-Road Accessories Have in Common
Outdoorsmen and women should be looking to invest in the essentials and utility-based accessories, rather than a chrome bumper or a slick paint job. ATV and UTV four-wheel-drive vehicles may or may not have been built for the hunter—and, yes, the angler—but they've put it to the best uses that anyone ever thought of.
We are going to mention right at the top the most obvious piece of gear, since we surely want you to get back home safely: the helmet. Sure, not every state requires riders to wear them, but the truth is that your safety is far more important than any of these other cool accessories.
With a helmet secured and a sense of safety front of mind, here are the other items that an outdoorsman or woman would really appreciate.
For the Firearm Hunter Who Needs to Secure Their Gun
There's no question that there are many good choices for gun racks; in fact, we included more than one on this list to give you an idea of the versatility these accessories can offer. A solid gun rack, gun carrier, or whatever you prefer to call it will serve a great purpose for any hunter or recreational shooter. A model that securely holds two firearms is probably the most popular type, and installation is usually a simple process. Whether you need a system for carrying your turkey gun, scoped rifle, or even just a clay-busting shotgun, the Kolpin UTV Gun Rack will do the job. It's adjustable up to 45 degrees in both directions, so it can fit within pretty much any UTV's configuration (and even some golf carts, too). You can carry a firearm inside a sock-style case with this rack, or rely on the cushioned buttstock protector and adjustable V-blocks to hold it securely without risk of damage.
For the ATVer With No Room in Their Garage
Everyone wants to protect their machine from debris, birds, and rain. If you can't store it indoors or at least under a roof, this tough, 210-denier cover is ready-made to stand up to UV light, wind, and driving rain. When you are ready to pack it away, it also comes with its own storage bag, and the price is more than reasonable. As an extra bit of utility, these also come in a camo pattern for the serious outdoorsman who wants to keep a low profile. You can cruise into your hunting spot, and when you stash the ATV you rode in on, you can count on it being hidden under the camouflage cover.
For the Gang of Bowhunters
I have a hunting buddy who sees equipment like this and always says, "Now you're talking business!" He's a UTV owner, and when he needs room for multiple bows and archery gear, this is the sort of thing I need to introduce him to. The QuadGear UTV Double Bow Carrier fits Polaris, Yamaha, Kawasaki, and a few other UTV roll cages. It's got interior and exterior zipper pockets; a durable, heavy-duty fabric with water-resistant backing; and a series of secure quick-release buckles for when you need to detach it.
For the Angler Who Needs a Hand
That's right, a great rod holder for you and a friend who both live for some surf casting, or anywhere you can park, sit down, and relax for a day of fishing. The reality is that this rod holder is meant to transport your favorite spinning rod and reel rig safely and without damage. It fits ATVs, UTVs, and even motorcycles with mounting blocks and included U-bolts; it works for spinning reel stems up to one-half inch.
For the Land Maintenance Enthusiast
Since hand tools are a must for farmers, landowners, hunters, and other outdoorsmen, it makes sense to have a way to transport these tools so that they stay away from the rest of your gear. This keeps a shovel or other like-sized outdoor tools handy and accessible, especially for landowners who work food plots during the summer months.
For Those Needing Ample Storage
Cabela's Tac Gear Padded Bag gives you a great way to customize your way of loading the gear that you need to have with you on a hunt or simply a day trip in the field. This universal-mounting rear padded bag has molded foam lids to keep your gear safe during the trip and comes in two colors: black and TruTimber Kanati. It even comes with an orange interior color pattern to make your gear really stick out when you want it.
For When You Need to Load Up
This is one of the essential pieces of gear for every trail rider, and a must for all off-roaders. This Yutrax version offered by Cabela's will easily fit inside your pickup bed and be out of the way until you need it. This model offers an extremely strong aircraft aluminum, easy-entry overlap for the tailgate, and it has an extruded side rail to help keep any ATV on the ramp.
For Those Without a Trailer
Security for your ATV or UTV means not only keeping it locked safely to your vehicle while you are driving to and from the field, but also locked up tight to keep it from disappearing. You'll need a 2-inch square receiver and a 2-inch ball for this system, which can be adjusted up or down to the tune of 30 inches.
Obviously, having the right ATV or side-by-side for your needs is the first order of business. Since hunting, fishing, or property management generally covers a wide range of terrain, you might want an ATV that is easily adaptable to your needs.