Action Trax Recovery Boards: This is going to be an embarrassingly gushing review, though yes, I did manage to find a con, but we’ll talk about that a little later.
My first impressions were great, they arrived well packaged in a sturdy box, no extra frills or packing, which I find nice these days. I try to be as environmentally sound as possible and it’s a detraction right off the bat if something arrives that is overlay packaged.
Pulling the Action Trax out of the box, the very first thing you notice are the multiple stainless-steel bolts at each end of the boards. You can see right away a big step up in durability and traction because of the bolts. The next thing you notice is that the Action Trax boards have a very solid almost rubber like feel to them with a very slight softness, which belies the quality material Action Trax uses in building these. Okay, done with unpacking and there’s not much more to say here until I get them on the trail and under some wheels!
After all the snow up here in the PNW, it took me awhile from unpacking them to getting them out on the trail, but I managed to find some mud, though almost frozen mud, so I don’t yet have experience with them in the real soft stuff. I suspect they will do quite well in the soft stuff, especially considering that they will flex a little more giving them a bit more traction on the soil beneath them and hopefully not end up shooting out behind the tire as easily as some of the stiffer boards do.
One of the amazing attributes of these traction boards, which Action Trax demonstrates on their website, is how flexible they are, and so I wanted to test that out myself. I found a nice deep rut and placed them crossways making a bridge over the rut. I then drove over them multiple times. They would bend, bend, bend, all the way down to the ground and then pop right back into shape as soon as the tire was off them, even in the freezing test site temps. I was thoroughly impressed by this!
Okay, now for the con, not a big one, but I wish the boards came with recovery straps in the package. The company has them available on the website, though unfortunately only in black. I feel that anything that you are trying not to lose should be in some type of bright color. Traction board recovery straps are a very wise thing to have on your boards, even a short rope will do but there have been more than a few times when my recovery boards have disappeared, and it was only by seeing the strap that I was easily able to find them under the sand or muck.
Final impression is that these boards are very well made, very durable, have a lifetime warranty, and an incredible amount of traction especially during that critical transition point from soil or snow onto the traction board itself. I can almost guarantee you’re not going to spin your tires on these boards and if you do, then ouch, I hope you have a spare tire handy!
Action Trax – MSRP: $389 – BUY HERE
Todd Rogers – Owner Four Points Adventures: Todd has 25+ years of backpacking and overlanding experience, including 10+ years volunteering with the Sheriffs Mountain Search and Rescue (a portion of which he was the Snow and Ice Sergeant), 2 years as a backpacking guide in Yosemite NP. In addition he has 10 years experience as an overlanding guide in the deserts and mountains of the American West from the cold of the High Sierra to heat of Death Valley NP.
TAP DISCLAIMER: TAP is provided products to review for free, however we are not paid for reviews and do not earn any financial remuneration for any sales generated. Todd Rogers is an occasional in-field contributor to the TAP platform.