Maxtrax MK1 vs MK2

Maxtrax, an Australian recovery tracks company, recently released a new model of their famous recovery tracks. They now have the MKII (Mark 2) model. Just how different is this model from the original MKI (Mark 1)? What are the improvements made? In terms of pricing, is the MKII better than the MKI?

Let’s find out!

What is Maxtrax?

Maxtrax is a recovery board brand based in Australia. Compared to other recovery tracks of the same price, Maxtrax far exceeds the competition. It effectively eliminates the drama out of getting stuck in mud, sand, ice, and snow.

It’s designed to be easily stacked nicely on top of your 4WD vehicle, making it an easy inclusion into your camping or off-roading gear.

The only aspect of the product that other recovery boards from other brands get the better of it is the bridging feature. But then again, these products are meant only for recovery, not to serve as bridges. Those other boards that you can use for bridging are at least twice the price of Maxtrax.

Overall, Maxtrax is the best choice for recovery boards. It is a lot more affordable. But it doesn’t compromise in function, durability, and portability.

Maxtrax MKI

For its price, the Maxtrax MKI is very good. It is the first model of the Maxtrax recovery board. It gained popularity due to its unexpected durability. Why is it unexpected? Its material is different from the other more expensive brands. Maxtrax boards are made of engineering-grade reinforced nylon. That’s why it’s cheaper.

Despite being made of cheaper material, Maxtrax recovery boards are extremely tough. They can comfortably get an 8,500 lb vehicle out of sticky situations. Even more amazingly, they are extremely lightweight, weighing only eight lb each.

When stacked, Maxtrax MKI boards are just three and a half inches high. They are 45 inches long and 13 inches wide. They are highly flexible – able to wrap around a 33-inch tire without breaking.

The problem with the Maxtrax MKI is it gets brittle when left on top of their vehicle’s roof racks all year.

Maxtrax MKII

The Maxtrax MKII recovery boards took all that works well in the MKI model and improved them. Here are the changes with the newer model:

Maxtrax MKII is noticeably lighter than its older counterpart. They are stronger, able to handle more weight. They are easier to clean. They have more aggressive treads, which allows them to provide more grip. And they are easier to mount.

They are shorter, which is what probably makes them lighter. Also, they come with pegs for better portability. Instead of strapping them down on your vehicle roof racks, you can just peg them down when traveling.

In terms of price, the MKII model is more expensive, but still within reason. It doesn’t reach the price of “more high-end” brands like Treds. For all of its desirable features – its function, durability, portability – its price is very much well worth it.

Which is Better, MKI or MKII?

Of course, when comparing the two models, it’s obvious that the newer model is better. It is basically the old model but improved.

The newer model took the great features of the older model and made them better. It also included features that weren’t even part of the old model. All of this Maxtrax did without going off-brand. They didn’t greedily take this chance as an opportunity to milk a fortune out of their customers.

How to Use Maxtrax

The good thing about recovery boards is they are extremely easy to use. It is easy to get stuck – every four-wheel driver who went four-wheel driving knows this. Fortunately, if you have recovery tracks, it’s also easy to get out of those situations without breaking a sweat.

  1. Use the Maxtrax boards to dig a little bit of sand, mud, or snow out of your tire’s way. Maxtrax boards have handles that make it easier for you to use them as shovels. 
  2. After you have removed sand, mud, or snow out the tire’s way, wedge the board under the tire in the direction you want to drive.
  3. Do the first two steps for all the driving tires. The more tires that have a board under them, the easier it is to get unstuck. For four-wheel-drive vehicles, having four boards will work best. For rear-wheel-drive vehicles, having boards under the rear wheels is enough. For front-wheel drive vehicles, boards under the front wheels will work.
  4. Get inside the vehicle and drive towards the direction of the boards VERY SLOWLY. You don’t want to spin the wheels. You want your tires to get a grip on the boards.

Maxtrax Boards are Worth It!

As far as four-wheel drive recovery tools are concerned, recovery boards are the simplest to use. They are very safe. And they can get you out of mud, sand, or snow quickly. And among the myriad of recovery tracks available in the market, Maxtrax is by far the product that will get the most bang out of your bucks.

When NOT to Use Maxtrax Recovery Boards

Because Maxtrax recovery tracks are easy to use, it’s tempting to use them every time you get stuck. But there are times when you should use a winch, or another recovery method, instead of recovery boards.

When offroading, you might encounter a long stretch of unmaneuverable terrain. A fifteen-meter stretch of mud will deem your 2-feet long recovery boards useless. At times like this, it’s better to use a winch.

Here on WinchMania, we provide tons of helpful instructions that make offroading safer and more enjoyable for anyone interested in the activity. Whether you’re a newbie or an expert, you will learn a thing or two from our blogs, guides, and product reviews. Here are a few examples:

Offroad Checklist

How to Protect Yourself When Offroading

How to Use a Winch