Striking Gold at Overland Expo West 2024:

Trends, Insights, and Future Predictions

This month, CGPR had the privilege of attending the Overland Expo West, the first of four U.S. consumer overlanding events in 2024 and the leading consumer overlanding event globally. Overland Expo West was a goldmine for industry insights, innovations, and future predictions.

Key Trends and Highlights

Comfort and Luxury on the Road

As Owen Mesdag of Dometic emphasized, “Overlanding makes camping more comfortable and brings luxury and the comforts of home to camping.” This trend is lowering the barriers for newcomers who might be intimidated by traditional camping, making overlanding more accessible and appealing to a broader audience.

Accessibility and Affordability

James Denhalter of Jetboil highlighted the rising popularity of lightweight tow-behind rigs, (e.g. lightweight travel trailers). These rigs make overlanding more approachable and family-oriented, with lower price points encouraging participation. Denhalter also noted that the focus is shifting towards entry-level experiences, rather than premium products, making overlanding an activity that more people can enjoy.

Electrification and Sustainability

Electrification is a major trend in overlanding, highlighted by Shane Seymour and Paul DeNigris of LAND Energy. Their electric motorcycles, proudly made in Cleveland, Ohio, are advancing mobile electrification for both commercial solutions and consumer experiences. Additionally, REDARC Electronics Pty Ltd is pushing towards reducing generator use, underscoring the industry’s commitment to sustainable practices. For instance, designed, engineered, built and tested from the ground up in Australia, the GoBlock by REDARC is purpose built to thrive in the harshest conditions. The GoBlock is both a portable power source and a flexible in-vehicle dual battery system, capable of powering your electronics and accessories when you’re on the road.

Design and Convenience

Improvements in design are simplifying the overlanding experience. Take for instance Thule’s new hitch-mounted tent, the Thule Outset. With Thule Outset, comfort is not only key to providing consumers with a good night’s sleep, but also opening up a new and intimate way to experience nature. Emily Johnson of JackRabbit eBikes underscored the essential role of micro e-bikes in the overlanding experience because they are small and can be easily stowed in vehicles.

Trial and Community Building

Neil Robinson and Molly Phannenstiel of Outdoorsy, a peer-to-peer rental marketplace that connects RV, motorhome, and campervan owners with renters, stressed the importance of trial experiences for first-timers, especially younger consumers who may not have the disposable income to invest outright. These trial opportunities are proving effective in introducing overlanding to new demographics and fostering a sense of community.

Apparel for Adventure

Sarah Scott of KÜHL Clothing Company highlighted the demand for overlanding apparel that provides comfort, durability, versatility, and innovation, such as clothing with sun protection designed specifically for overlanding. This reflects the growing sophistication of overlanding apparel to meet the needs of modern adventurers.

Future Predictions

Diverse Growth Demographics: Future growth in overlanding will come from both young people experiencing independence for the first time and older consumers seeking travel and exploration opportunities. This demographic diversity will continue to expand the market.

Continued Focus on Electrification: Electrification will remain a key focus, with advancements like Dometic’sGO Hydration water faucet providing convenient, sustainable solutions for overlanders.

Emphasis on Comfort and Convenience: Products that create a more comfortable atmosphere in the outdoors will be in increased demand. Inventions such as inflatable shelters and solar blankets from Koru Overland, along with Dometic’s GO Area Camp Light with a bug mode, are expected to lead the way.

General Market Trends

The overland market is poised for growth driven by younger consumers and older adventurers alike. More casual and family-oriented participants are looking to spend quality time together, and the growth in affordable products reflects a strong market outlook.

Final Thoughts

Overland Expo West 2024 underscored the industry’s robust outlook and its continuous evolution towards greater inclusivity, technological advancement, and sustainability. As these trends and predictions shape the future, the overlanding community will continue to thrive and expand, welcoming new enthusiasts and veterans alike. It’s an exciting time to be part of this community, and we can’t wait to see how these trends and tools shape the future of overlanding. Looking forward to an equally exciting event next month, at Overland Expo Pacific Northwest (PNW) in Redmond, Oregon, June 28-30, 2024.

For more insights and updates on the latest trends in overlanding and more, visit CGPR’s LinkedIn and our website.

June 5, 2024