One of the hottest fads in roadtripping right now is called “overlanding.” It’s the practice of driving great distances—both on and off road—to reach remote camping spots. This, while remaining completely self-sufficient, in terms of water, power, and vehicle recovery.
Today, ahead of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) event in Las Vegas, Nevada, Honda entered the overlanding fray with its new Ridgeline Overland Project. And, I must say, I love the thing.
Honda started with its Ridgeline pickup and added a suspension lift, aftermarket wheels, all-terrain tires from BFGoodrich, and some underbody protection designed to keep the mechanicals protected from rocks and other obstacles on the trail.
Ensuring the project truck is in keeping with the overlanding fundamentals, the Ridgeline Overland is also carrying Rotopax for spare fuel and water. Topping it off, Honda threw one of its world-renowned Honda generators on the roof, which can be used to power up the campsite when you’re off the trail.
Of course, the rig is more than just a capable—but comfortable—way to get you from curb to campsite; it’s packing a pair of BOTE Board inflatable HD paddle boards. You can see the paddles on the rack in the pictures. You can’t see the boards, though, because they deflate and are stowed in the in-bed trunk. Yes, this truck has a big, waterproof trunk, too.
The Ridgeline Overland Project is just a concept. It does demonstrate, however, that you don’t need a huge truck to get out and explore off the highway—nor do you need to be a hardcore outdoors-person to get into overlanding.
What’s more, since the Ridgeline shares its underpinnings with the Honda Odyssey minivan (yes, really), it’s going to be a lot more comfortable on the road than most 4×4 trucks. And don’t let the Ridgeline’s lineage mislead you: it’s pretty capable. In fact, the Ridgeline just completed the grueling 1,700-mile off-road Rebelle Rally across the California and Nevada deserts.
No matter what, I love that this truck broadens the overlanding—and roadtripper—vehicle portfolio while also injecting some much-needed refinement into the range. Kudos, Honda.