gear PRODUCT TEST Ė AEROKLAS CANOPY
AVAILABLE FROM: www.aeroklas.com.au RRP: $3554 (excluding fi tment).
WE SAY: Sleek lines, robust construction, weatherproof.
IíM THE kind of bloke who will research a pair of socks before I buy them, so when I was laying down a couple of thousand on a canopy for my Ranger, you best believe I looked at plenty of options before signing on the dotted line.
After much deliberation, I opted for the Aeroklas ABS unit. It had plenty of qualities that ticked the box for me, like a sleek profile so the roof of the cab and canopy are in line, full-length opening windows on either side, and a paint job that make it look like OEM gear. But the real question was how well it would hold up after more than 20,000km of lantana and wayward shopping trolleys? The short answer: good. The long answer: bloody good.
Aeroklas claims its canopies are painted to OEM spec, but frankly, thatís bull, as the paint on the canopy is holding up significantly better than the base vehicle.
While the Ranger itself has scratches everywhere you look (including one from a wayward dirt bike in the tray) the canopy itself still looks brand new. Itís been punted down more than a few dusty tracks, too, and,while the tailgate happily spews dust into the tray, itís clear no dust is coming in through any of the canopy windows or the seal between the tub and canopy.
The outside is colour-matched, but the inside layer (thereís an interior and exterior shell) is a clean, white colour, with an LED light easily lighting up the tray when the back window is opened. I did miss out on the central locking option (donít ask), but with all three windows keyed alike itís really not a huge issue to secure the canopy if Iíve got the back full of camping gear. Despite plenty of corrugations, the mounts are all still
securely in place and the windows still pull into the seals with confidence.
Aeroklas claim the internal supports can hold 80kg on the roof with a set of Rhino- Rack mounts, which is more than enough for a rack or roof-top tent but if youíre after more, an optional brace kit bumps that figure up to 150kg. A lack of sliding windows may scare off dog owners, but with the front window popped down, my German Shepherd and Wolfhound get plenty of airflow without worrying theyíll do the Harold Holt whenever we pull up at the lights.
All in all itís been a winner in my books.
Some canopies offer a little easier access through the rear hatch, but for an allrounder with style on its side, the Aeroklas unit has plenty to offer.