Apple’s accessories department reportedly turned over $6.5 billion in only 12 weeks this summer. Little wonder then that when Land Rover launched the new Defender it made sure that almost any accessory you might conceivably want, and maybe ones you never knew you wanted or needed (inflatable tent, anyone?), were also Land Rover-branded products.
But, just like the iPhone, not all accessories for the new Defender are best just because they come with the manufacturer’s name on. With the old Defender there was an ecosystem of aftermarket manufacturers whose bolt-on equipment was as durable as the host machine. Fitting kit from established names such as Safety Devices and ARB meant that you knew your Gobi from your Grantham.
I have just swapped an old-shaped Defender for the new one. Having been on six Camel Trophy off-road challenges and led Land Rover expeditions to China and across America, I know what a Warn winch can do or when to use a snatch strap.
However, my new Defender spends most of its life between muddy lanes and London streets and carries a family of four, three dogs, two mountain bikes and associated paraphernalia. My aim is to discover what usable extras are worth adding to a vehicle that is already being given five stars and countless awards.