External roll cage
The most expensive single item fitted. Two reasons why we fitted ours:
Firstly, as an ex-traffic policeman, I have seen several overturned Land Rover Defenders and know that the body from the windows upwards has little or no strength and will flatten in a roll-over. We would be off-road on our own for much of the time and a roll-over, either through our own fault or another driver or hazard, was a distinct possibility. It was fitted for self-preservation and despite the cost we hoped we never had to put it to the test.
Secondly, the vehicle handbook gives a roof rack weight limit, including the weight of the roof rack, of 150 kg for normal use and 30 kg off-roading. It doesn’t take much working out that our roof rack; roof tent; spare wheel; gas bottle; aluminium box of recovery equipment; 4 full jerry cans; laden wolf boxes and anything else we could fit up there, put us considerably way over this limit. This is not ideal as it makes the vehicle top heavy but needs must. To put all this weight onto a conventional roof rack would risk damaging the integrity of the roof and guttering; with a roll cage the weight is transferred down and through to the chassis. It is also very handy for climbing up onto the roof.
Despite the manufacturers limits it must be said we met many Defenders with plenty on the roof without a roll cage, but not sure they had done as much off-the-beaten-track work as us.
Another bag of charcoal goes on the roof - Zambia.