Journey to Woodlife Ranch in the beautiful Berkshires as our R&D brigade puts the latest must-haves through their paces.
Product Reviews by Sue Mead
Photography by Gustav Schmiege III
Produced by Angela Caron
GAME ON! That’s Mike Patten (above) behind the wheel of this hard-core LE edition of Honda’s flagship Pioneer 1000. Hunters, ranchers and outdoor lovers can choose between a 3- or 5- passenger version; both are endowed with a new I-4WD system. The “intelligent” tech incorporates the industry’s first off-road brake traction control and adds hill-start assist and electronic brake force distribution. Takeaways? Impressive grip on a broad collection of technical surfaces, a more relaxing drive, and no need to stop to engage differential locks.
Honda Pioneer 1000 LE
powersports.honda.com | From $19,999
The General has something to crow about: Its heavy-duty pickup line has been endowed with an all-new 6.6-liter V8 Duramax diesel engine that pushes out more horsepower and torque with improved fuel economy and emissions. The first thing you’ll notice is a chrome grille that in all likelihood can be seen from outer space on a dark night. The brash-but-polished front face, the hood’s bulging scoop, and the 20-inch chrome-cast aluminum wheels make a statement that throws serious shade on smaller trucks. The 3/4-ton and one-ton trucks can tow up to 23,300 pounds and haul more than 7,000. Upping the allure are wireless charging, 4G Wi-Fi hotspot, and Bose Premium sound.
2017 GMC Sierra Denali HD Diesel
www.gmc.com | From $55,790
Ready to saddle up the award-winning 2017 Titan XD Pro-4X Project Basecamp? Think of it as a home away from home for anglers and hunter-gatherers with a passion for riding the range. The 5-passenger, custom-made prototype is built on the 2017 Titan XD platform with more than 60 aftermarket parts and accessories that create a fully self-contained, self-sustaining base camp. Note the Titan’s beefier looks and underpinnings, a beastly 5.0-liter turbodiesel V8, load-leveling suspension, and a built-in Warn winch. Riding behind is a custom Patriot Camper X2 Off Road Adventure Trailer configured with amenities for outdoor lovers: CVT Tents’ Mt. Rainier Stargazer tent and vestibule; Black Forest portable Fridge Freezer; water canisters and fuel packs; a single deep-cycle, heavy-duty battery that can deliver power for days; and a plethora of survival essentials.
2017 Nissan Titan XD Pro-4X Project Basecamp
www.nissanusa.com | Titan XDs from $31,390
January 2017 marked 40 consecutive years that Ford has had the best-selling truck in America, and the 2018 F-150 King Ranch proves why. Smart yet tough, stylish yet rugged, this class act is dripping with deft touches such as King Ranch leather trim, a leather-wrapped heated steering wheel, and heated seats throughout. The two-bar-style chrome grille with chrome grille surround and Caribou-color mesh insert is standard. And so is a whole lot of get-up-and-go, thanks to 395 horses and 400 pound-foot of torque, courtesy of the 5.0-liter TiVCT V8. Long story short, this dual purpose truck will do you proud on the town and get the job on your land.
2018 Ford F-150 King Ranch
www.ford.com | From $51,600
There’s nothing square about this G550 (save its design heritage). This recipe starts with a superior permanent 4WD powertrain, a transfer case that dials in gear reduction, portal axels, impressive ground clearance and water-fording depth, and three locking differentials. All combine to make short work of rocks, gravel, snow and sand. Don’t limit the “G” just to the lands beyond. This bespoke ute is also a pavement cruiser with sublime rally-ready power that flows from its 4.0-liter bi-turbo V8 that elicits the feel, flavor, and resonance of a potent sports car. The cabin features carbon-fiber trim, ambient lighting, and heated seats for all, plus Apple Carplay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, and Harmon Kardon sound.
2017 Mercedes-Benz G550 4×4²
www.mercedes-benz.com | From $232,425
Feast your eyes on B&B’s Arcadia, a tiny home with sleek modern design and rustic details that are perfect for the outdoors adventurer. The 208-square-foot interior includes a loft and is kitted with premium fixtures and materials; tasteful accents include poured concrete countertops, a rain showerhead, a remote-controlled heating and cooling system, and a built-in Bluetooth audio system. The Arcadia is road-safe and can go off-the-grid or be hooked up to utilities. B&B specializes in small, livable, mobile spaces with a wide variety of options, including DIY Tiny House Shells that allow you to finish the home yourself.
www.bbmicromanufacturing.com | From $89,000
Honda’s lineup of FourTrax Rancher models is a proven recipe for success with a variety of quad offerings for work or play. Powered by a 420cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine with fuel injection, these ATVs are engineered with a wide band of low-revving muscle that is perfect for farm, ranch, and jobsite, or for motoring into the woods like Mike is doing here. Ranchers can be ordered in 2WD or 4WD with your choice of manual, electric shift, or automatic dual clutch transmission. Don’t forget the all-important Electric Power Steering, which is available on 4WD models. This feature gives an extra assist when maneuvering on rigorous off-road terrain.
Honda FourTrax Rancher
powersports.honda.com | From $5,349
This propane-powered torch cranks up to 1300 lumens. Translated into English, that means you’ll be able to see into the darkest of nights with push-button ease.
Northstar Elite Propane Lantern
www.coleman.com | $69
Fabricated using top insulation technology and a stainless-steel handle, the Rambler Half Gallon Jug keeps your joe piping hot and your iced tea ice cold.
Rambler Half Gallon Jug
www.yeti.com | $99
This no-compromise, guide-class wading jacket is made of a durable, custom-woven three-layer shell. Waterproof and breathable fabric has fully taped seams for added weatherproofing, with a Dolphin Skin Cuff system for additional weather resistance. Brushed micro-suede chin guard and zippered hand-warmer pockets bring added comfort. Rubberized tabs for tool docking offer easy access to gear and forceps. Other creative features include YKK AquaGuard water-resistant zippers; water-resistant side zips for ventilation and easy access to waders; two zippered, water-resistant vertical storage pockets; and an interior zippered security pocket. The three-way adjustable storm hood has a laminated brim.
Pro Wading Jacket
www.orvis.com | $349
Store and carry a multitude of accessories; the anvil-style top opening and handy side pockets are perfect for speedy retrieval of must-have-now items like maps and rain jackets.
Bighorn Kit Bag
www.fishpondusa.com | $155
This water-repellant, hooded outerwear is constructed with 9.8-ounce duck to resist abrasion and flex fabric to keep you on the move in any outdoor condition that the sporting life – or work – might require.
Sanded Duck Flex Mobility Jacket
www.dickies.com | $79
Take a closer look at John Patten’s accessories. They include two items from the Lone Survivor Foundation store: the Camo Cap ($19.95) and the Silicone Wristband ($5). Proceeds from the sale of these and other items at www.LoneSurvivorFoundation.org support the organization’s mission to restore, empower, and renew hope for wounded service members and their families through health, wellness, and therapeutic support.