Post by Dawn
Original publish: 11 Apr 2017
Re-publish: 21 May 2022
If you own a Wrangler you should drive around for at least a portion of the year with the top and doors off… why? Because you can, that’s why! It’s an amazingly awesome feeling to have the wind on your face, in your hair, the sun on your head and the trail just a few feet below! BUT… it can be cold, I admit, and even though I’ve frozen my butt off quite willingly during more than a few road trips at less-than-stellar temps, I’ll jump at the chance for a little more comfort. So my husband surprised me today with the most fantastic thing ever – the ACE Lava Jacket by ACE Engineering!!!
This beaut looks like a very cool Jeeper’s windbreaker. Lightweight, water resistant, with a pic of a sweet Jeep on the back. But the hidden gem is stored inside the front kangaroo pocket – an extra length of fabric (like an extra sleeve) that pulls out and attaches to a provided plastic coupling, which snaps on to the round heater vent in your JK (they also sell an adapter for use in a TJ). Update 5/2022: ACE also has adapters to fit the Wrangler JL and Gladiator JT! There are no excuses for keeping those doors on now!
Crank the heat and the hot air flows through the extra fabric and into the jacket, keeping you roasty-toasty! One word of caution though – this jacket really holds in the heat so if you’re idling, such as at a stoplight, turn down the heater temp so you don’t burn to a crisp.
What about kids? Well, if they’re riding in the back seat you can purchase a jacket for them plus the extension that runs from the heater to the jacket’s length of fabric to reach the back seat. We didn’t order the extension, not really thinking about it, so I made my own from an old Cabela’s storage bag, water bottle, and elastic.
When you’re done wheeling in the freezing temps the Lava Jacket stows away and zips up into the front pocket. If you don’t want to lose the ring attachment you can carabiner-clip it inside the pocket for storage (recommended if your kid will be using the jacket).
I may never put my doors back on again!
Happy [open air] Trails!!
by Dawn Gallegos
Dawn Gallegos is the founding editor of the Chicks On The Rocks blog. When she's not working to fund her Jeep habit she's thinking up new ways to inspire others to explore the great outdoors!