Every year, the Specialty Equipment Marketing Association (SEMA) brings the American automotive industry to the Las Vegas Convention Center to showcase new products and vehicle builds. While the automobiles themselves are highlights, aftermarket products and accessories are equally popular.
After walking through hundreds of booths, we compiled a list of the best products that were on display at the show last week. With so much to see, we focused on accessories for detailing, overlanding, and classic vehicle restoration.
Retro Manufacturing Radio
Breathing new life into a classic car is a rewarding endeavor, but it doesn’t take long to realize that the original radios are well… kinda old. Modern head units bring a ton of functionality but often crowd the dash with their massive touchscreens. That’s why Retro Manufacturing makes radios with a classic aesthetic but updated functionality—including Bluetooth audio, USB, and auxiliary input, along with AM and FM radio. Their radios are compatible with over 2,000 classic cars and trucks, bringing just the right amount of connectivity without spoiling the look of your dashboard. This RetroSound 4HD unit (above) is fitted to NewLegend 4×4 owner Sean Barber’s International Scout II—the 4HD also lends the ability to listen to HD Radio.
Adam’s Polishes Matte Detailer
Plenty of automobiles nowadays are available with matte paint finishes. While these might be nice to look at, they present unique challenges when keeping your vehicle clean. Conventional detailing products like sprays, polishes, and waxes will simply blow through the matte finish, making it look like a normal gloss finish. That’s why Adam’s Polishes came up with its Matte Detailer spray—allowing you to spiff up the paint safely without adding any shine. Adam’s did this by taking out all of the silicone ingredients found in its regular detail spray, which are there to add shine. It might be a simple product, but it has its place.
Warn Epic Wheels
Warn is most well known in the off-roading world for its winches and recovery gear. However, the brand recently made a foray into producing aftermarket wheels. Called Warn Epic wheels, they’re available three styles, in two finishes, and two bolt patterns—the picture above showcases the “Jackhammer” style in gunmetal gray. Andy Lilienthal, strategic communications manager at Warn, called out the gold detail on the center caps, which is a nod to the brand’s classic locking hubs.
Decked Truck Toolbox
Decked has made a name for itself with its slide-out storage systems that drop into your truck bed—nothing you likely don’t already know if you’re into overlanding, as their boxes are popular among enthusiasts. And they work really well, but use up quite a lot of bed space, a hindrance if you need the extra room for bigger items in the back. That’s where the Decked toolbox comes in, bringing the same practicality as its drawer system without taking up so much space. That’s not to mention that it’s a big improvement over conventional truck toolboxes that are made from metal; the Decked box is built from the same steel-reinforced, injection-molded, high-impact polymer resin as all of its other products, meaning that it won’t ding, dent, or rust—all while staying water tight.
FrontRunner Expander Camp Chair
Camp chairs often present a critical tradeoff between comfort and packability. Comfortable chairs are usually bigger, heavier, and harder to pack down. However, chairs that are more compact aren’t very pleasant to sit in. Not so with FrontRunner’s Expander lounge chair. It’s able to fold to 1⁄16 of its size thanks to a clever telescoping mechanism, folding down completely in just three steps—no complex metal legs to get tangled with. Once everything was folded out, the chair itself was super comfortable, sitting at just the right height for someone of my five-foot nine-inch stature.
Dometic Rooftop Tent Concept
You might think this flashy new tent just looks like any other Dometic TRT-series rooftop tent from the outside. And you wouldn’t be totally wrong. However, it swaps the metal rods that held the previous TRT upright for air chambers; this new inflatable design allows for much more room once inside without any aluminum poles running along the sleeping space. The only other notable difference is the new tent will be a tri-fold, while the older model was a bi-fold—meaning it packs down in a taller but narrower package. Dometic says the tent itself can be inflated in just a few minutes with an onboard air compressor and will be available in the spring of 2023.
Matt Crisara is a native Austinite who has an unbridled passion for cars and motorsports, both foreign and domestic, and as the Autos Editor for Popular Mechanics, he writes the majority of automotive coverage across digital and print. He was previously a contributing writer for Motor1 following internships at Circuit Of The Americas F1 Track and Speed City, an Austin radio broadcaster focused on the world of motor racing. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona School of Journalism, where he raced mountain bikes with the University Club Team. When he isn’t working, he enjoys sim-racing, FPV drones, and the great outdoors.