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The Gadgets and Gear You Need for the Perfect Road Trip

The Gadgets and Gear You Need for the Perfect Road Trip

The perfect road trip requires preparation. We’re not just talking the right amount of beef jerky to last you a few states; we mean outfitting your car with helpful accessories. There are fantastic pieces of tech that can make your road trip a whole lot easier and far more enjoyable. What kind of products, you ask? Here are 10 of our favorites for your next epic adventure on four wheels.

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Few things are as dangerous while driving as using your phone. Checking out that last text or tapping through Spotify menus shouldn’t be done while you’re cruising down the highway. We all know it, but how many of us actually practice it? Chris is a solution. Chris is the world’s first digital co-driver, and it’s here to allow you to leave your phone in your pocket while you’re driving. Chris works with voice commands and simple gestures to allow you to access some of your most important apps while your eyes stay focused on the road. Fire off messages with your voice. Change songs with the wave of a hand. Chris makes using your phone a possibility while you’re behind the wheel. You can pre-order it now and have it in time for your next epic adventure. Link

Jackery New Spark

Here’s the rub with jumper cables. Even if you keep a set in your trunk for emergencies, you still need another car to help you out. That’s fine if you’re in a parking lot with kind strangers, but it won’t do you much good when you’re in the middle of nowhere or when you’re traveling through the dead of night. A better solution? Jackery New Spark. The Jackery New Spark jumps your car even if there isn’t another vehicle around. Not only that, it’s smart enough to recognize the current needed for your particular vehicle. That alone makes it a road trip essential, but it does so much more. It can also charge your smartphone 10 times over. And if your car won’t start and it’s dark out, it also has a powerful LED flashlight built into it, so you can find your battery and get it going again. Small enough to toss in your glove box, the Jackery New Spark is a lifesaver. Link

Hudway Glass

Unless you have a fine new car, your ride probably doesn’t have a heads-up display. That’s a shame since it’s an incredibly useful feature. Every time you take your eyes off the road to look at navigation or speed, you, well, take your eyes off the road. Hudway Glass is an affordable solution. By working with your smartphone and the Hudway app, your 1998 Toyota Camry can have a heads-up display just like a pricey Lexus. It works with any smartphone and is visible during the day and at night, so that long stretch through Alabama at 2 a.m. is just as easy to navigate as cutting through the city while the sun shines down. Besides navigation, the Hudway app can also display trip info, a speedometer, and other helpful tools. Link

AUTO-VOX Rearview Mirror Monitor

The rearview mirror in your car is horribly under assisting you. Sure it can show you if someone is riding your tail, but can it allow you to take Bluetooth calls? Does it adjust to the time of day and to the strength of the sun? Will it show you the parking image when you flip your car into reverse? No? Then you need to upgrade to these AUTO-VOX rearview mirror. It combines a 4.3″ screen with the standard mirror to give you a new world of possibilities. Now, as you spend hours on the road, your rearview mirror can do more than just occasionally let you see if you’ve annoyed another driver. Link

Mophie Charge Force Vent Mount

Mophie has long been the trusted source for backup battery packs for your iPhone. The sleek cases add a little bit of size but allow you to use your phone far longer than you would otherwise. When you add the Charge Force Vent Mount to the situation, you can wirelessly charge your phone while you drive. The mount connects to your vent and magnetically holds your phone in place as it juices it. That way, when you stop to take a few pictures of the gorgeous landscape you’re driving through, you can rest assured your phone has enough battery life for you to fire away. Link

Ember Temperature Control Mug

Road trips are not powered by Slim Jims and cans of Mountain Dew alone. For the early morning legs of your adventure, you’re going to want a caffeine infusion. Problem is, coffee has a way of getting cold when you’re preoccupied with driving. That’s why there’s the Ember Temperature Control Mug, a clever vessel that keeps your coffee or tea at the precise temperature you like. Fill up at a convenience store and have your coffee just as hot when you cross state lines at noon. Plus, since it’s leak-proof, you don’t have to worry about coffee spills in your cup holder. Link


Simply plug Automatic into your car (it works with most cars) and you’ll eliminate many of the headaches that come with driving for extended periods of time. That’s because Automatic opens up a whole world of knowledge. By working with the Automatic app, the device helps you decode what your check engine light means should it come on, gives you immediate assistance should you get into an accident, allows you to track how fuel efficient your drive is, and much, much more. It’s like tapping into your cars brain. With Automatic, it will be a worry-free road trip. Link

Hideout Travel Pillow

The Hideout Travel Pillow might not be considered a “gadget,” but it does improve on the standard travel pillow in such a way that it gets our nod for this list. How does it improve it? Well, it doesn’t take up precious space when not in use, as the Hideout Travel Pillow rolls up into a package smaller than a rain jacket. Then, when you need to drift off in the back seat, it inflates itself in less than five seconds. A memory foam core means it’s as comfortable as the pillow on your bed. After hours behind the wheel you’ll need some shuteye. Actually get some with the Hideout Travel Pillow. Link

Koolatron Compact Thermoelectric Cooler

For all the sodas, sandwiches, and perishable items, you need a cooler. But don’t settle for just any old cooler; get yourself a Koolatron, which uses 12 volt power to keep food cool. Even better? If you don’t want those leftovers to get cold, you can set the Koolatron cooler to warm and it will keep your snacks from getting cool and mushy. The quiet motor and slim design keep the Koolatron Compact Thermoelectric Cooler from being a nuisance for any passengers on your trip. Even if it were, we’d put up with that for some warm fries or cold sodas. Link

Garmin Drive 51 LMT-S

We know what you’re thinking: It’s 2017. Why do I need a GPS when my phone has multiple apps to get me where I’m going? Fair enough. But a road trip is different than everyday driving. First of all, you’re not going to want to chew through data if you don’t have an unlimited plan. Also, using your phone for directions means it’s annoying when someone needs to look up a restaurant nearby or what that last email said. In other words, there’s a reason to get a good navigation unit, and few are better than this Garmin. Not only does it come with lifetime map updates, but you can get traffic, warnings, and more, just like your favorite app. Selected by The Wirecutter as The Best Car GPS, the Garmin Drive 51 LMT-S is easy to use and relatively affordable. Take a load off your phone and turn to a dedicated GPS unit on your next road trip. Link