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7 Products that Belong in Your Car Emergency Kit

posted by on May 24, 2022 in Car Tech & Safety, Travel & Entertainment, Guides & Reviews :: 10 comments


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With the average age of cars on the road being 12.2 years old, breakdowns are more likely to happen. With these seven gadgets, you can be prepared for just about any car emergency. They're all highly rated and designed to help with everything from everyday problems, like flat tires, to life-threatening emergencies.

Mophie Powerstation Go Rugged with Air Compressor shown with jumper cables in front of a car tire.

Jump start your car: Mophie PowerStation Go Rugged with Air Compressor

If your battery dies, the Mophie Powerstation Go Rugged will put you on the road again in no time (and it can charge your phone and inflate your tires if the pressure runs low, too!). It can charge cars, trucks, and boats with its built-in 15,000mAh battery as a jump starter.

The process of jump starting your vehicle is simple. Once you attach the included mini jumper cables to your car's battery, you'll see the vehicle battery voltage. The start button flashes green as it does a safety check. If you've attached the cables incorrectly, the start button will flash red. Once the start button is solid green, you can attempt restarting your car.

There is a USB-C cord built into the PowerStation Go Rugged for recharging your phone and other USB-C devices. Or, you can plug your own cable into the USB-A port.

The PowerStation Go Rugged comes with a 24-inch air hose and nozzles to inflate your car tire, balls, bike tires, pool flotation devices, and more. Set the desired air pressure, and the air compressor will shut off automatically when the pressure is reached.

There's also a light built-in, which can act as a flashlight or a red emergency light. All of the components fit into a convenient carrying case with clear instructions printed on the outside.

Price: $159.95

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Slime Pro-Series Flat Tire Repair Kit show from the top with a hand pointing to the button used to set the tire pressure

Fix a flat tire: Slime Pro-Series Flat Tire Repair Kit

If you're not in a rush and can safely change your flat tire or wait for help, it is better to get your tire fixed without resorting to using a sealant. Your mechanic will have to rinse out the sealant and make sure your tire pressure monitoring system sensor is clean. If left too long, the sealant can become a sticky mess. However, I recommend adding a sealant to your car safety kit because there are times you can't safely change your tire, or it's an emergency, and that's when the Slime Pro-Series Flat Tire Repair Kit can save the day.

Using the kit is simple. Connect the Pro-Series Flat Tire Repair Kit to your tire, plug the Slime into your car's 12V outlet, enter your tire's suggested pressure, and hit the start button. When the tire is fixed and inflated, the device automatically shuts off. It takes just about six minutes to repair punctures up to 0.25 inches and inflate the tire. Repairs last up to 3 days or 100 miles.

There's also a 350-lumen light built into the device, which you can tilt to light up your workspace. And the kit comes with nozzles for inflating and deflating toys and pool accessories, a needle for balls, and a Presta/Schrader adapter for bikes. So even if you never get a flat tire, you'll find a use for the kit.

Price: $99.99

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Stonepoint Emergency Roadside Beacons set on the road near the front tire of a car at night.

Stay safe on the side of the road: Stonepoint Emergency Roadside Beacons

Working on your car on the side of the road can be dangerous, especially in the dark. The highly-rated Stonepoint LED flares (4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon with 1,000+ reviews) are visible for up to two miles, waterproof, and crush resistant (to 6,000 pounds): perfect for roadside use, no matter what the conditions. The beacons have two modes – flash and steady. In flash mode, the battery lasts for 60 hours on three AAA batteries, and in steady mode, the runtime is 20 hours. The magnetic base lets you stick the flares to the side of your vehicle for enhanced visibility.

Price: $24.95 for 3 beacons

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Eton Sidekick Weather Radio with Bluetooth shown held in two hands with the antenna raised.

Stay on top of the weather: Eton Sidekick Weather Radio with Bluetooth

Bad weather can sneak up on you when you're on a long trip, but the Eton Sidekick Weather Radio will keep you up to date on current conditions with its NOAA weather alerts. The device has a 2,600mAh battery that powers the radio and recharge your phone slowly (5 watts) via its USB-A port. You can charge the radio's battery three ways – USB, the built-in solar panel, or the hand crank generator (four minutes of cranking generates enough power for 10 minutes of radio use if you keep the volume low). The radio has a large light built into the back and can be used as a red emergency beacon. It's IPX4 rated, so you'll want to keep it out of the rain.

Price: $99.99

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ACR ResQLink Personal Locator Beacon attached to backpack shoulderstrap. Shows the shoulder and partial neck of person.

Get help whenever you need it: ACR ResQLink View Personal Locator Beacon

The waterproof pocket-size ResQLink View personal locator beacon uses GPS and a satellite link to contact emergency services with your location no matter where you are – no cell service and no subscription fee required. The battery lasts up to five years, awaiting activation, and 28 hours after you activate it for emergency use. It's a must-have for trips to remote locations.

Price: $389.95

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LifeStraw Go Water Filtering Bottle open and submerged in a stream. The the person's other hand is the top show the top with the filter straw.

Find drinking water anywhere: LifeStraw Go Water Filtering Bottle

The LifeStraw Go is a water bottle with a filter that removes 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria and 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites from water. That means you can find fresh water just about anywhere. And, it's good for filtering up to 1,000 gallons! An additional carbon filter improves the taste and eliminates chlorine, sand, dirt, and organic matter, and lasts up to 26 gallons.

Price: $39.95 for a 22-ounce bottle

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Lifehammer Emergency Tool on a white background

Escape an Accident: Lifehammer Safety Hammer Classic

The Lifehammer Safety Hammer Classic can break through car windows so you can escape from your vehicle when using the door isn't an option. And if the seatbelts have jammed, a super-sharp blade will slice through them. Don't just throw it in the glovebox. I recommend using the included mounts for the car door or middle console to keep the tool within reach of the driver. If neither mount works, there's also a generic mount with screws.

Price: $14.95

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Updated with new products on 5/24/2022

[Image credit: broken down car via BigStockPhoto, Zagg, Slime, Stonepoint, ETON, ACR, LifeStraw, Lifehammer]

For the past 20+ years, Techlicious founder Suzanne Kantra has been exploring and writing about the world’s most exciting and important science and technology issues. Prior to Techlicious, Suzanne was the Technology Editor for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and the Senior Technology Editor for Popular Science. Suzanne has been featured on CNN, CBS, and NBC.



Discussion loading

Why only Amazon

From Imme629 on August 07, 2017 :: 7:53 pm

Why not provide another seller besides Amazon?
After getting a few fakes from them, I’m hesitant to spend any serious money there again.

Reply

I'm surprised

From Josh Kirschner on August 07, 2017 :: 8:45 pm

We use Amazon because they have the broadest selection of products and, almost always, the best prices (fell disclosure: we also have an affiliate relationship with them). I would be extremely surprised if you got anything directly from Amazon that was fake. Perhaps with some of the third-party sellers, which is why you should always order directly from Amazon, when possible, but not from Amazon direct. And if you do have an issue, Amazon customer service will usually resolve quickly.

Reply

Exactly right! I've been a

From Buster Chappell on June 28, 2018 :: 11:26 am

Exactly right! I’ve been a Amazon customer since 2001 and have no complaints.

Reply

Analyzing fake reviews helps prevent buying fakes

From Shesca on December 02, 2019 :: 9:16 am

To avoid purchasing fake items from Amazon, you should use FakeSpot Analyzer (https://www.fakespot.com/), which analyzes the reviews for every Amazon product. It is excellent in identifying reviews that are fake, and attaching a score to the reviews that represents the level of fake reviews.
I have used it many, many times, and it is incredibly helpful.

Reply

Correct!!

From ACE on July 14, 2021 :: 10:36 am

I have gotten very few fakes but their delviery system is awful. Tired of searching for my merchandise and/or chatting with their reps to get replacements.

Reply

Maybe just a bit overboard?

From Kurt Spieldenner on August 08, 2017 :: 11:10 am

The cell phone battery pack you mentioned can be replaced with the jump-start pack, item number 3 on your list they also charge cell phones and have high capacity batteries so why carry both? Also as for buying a separate GPS unit you can just download the (free, no ads) Here! App on your cell phone and pre-download your state. Since you now have a battery charger to charge your cell phone you can just use that mapping software with your cell phones GPS and you don’t need an internet connection. And although the locator device is nice when you’re up in the mountains hiking around in the middle of nowhere, having one in the back of your car is questionable. This article strikes me as more of a sales ad than an actual emergency kit for the average person’s car. But if you have a huge trunk and lots of space to fill up with expensive gadgets then more power to you.

Reply

Fix a Flat? Maybe not!

From Buster Chappell on June 28, 2018 :: 11:26 am

https://www.dealnews.com/features/Heres-Why-You-Should-Think-Twice-Before-Using-Tire-Sealant/1742217.html

Reply

Slime

From Robert on June 17, 2019 :: 7:42 pm

Some (maybe all) versions of Slime will destroy your tire pressure sensors.  Really important to check recommendations with knowledgeable people before making them.

Reply

Slime won't destroy TPMS sensors

From Josh Kirschner on June 19, 2019 :: 12:49 pm

Slime doesn’t damage TMPS sensors, though it can gunk them up and make them inoperable until cleaned. So Slime advises that you remove the tire, clean out the slime (it is water-soluble) and repair the tire within 3 days or 100 miles, which you should do anyway since Slime is only meant as a temporary repair for emergency situations.

In an ideal situation, using a spare tire is the better solution. But if your spare is inoperable or you don’t have a spare (about 30% of new vehicles don’t), and roadside assistance isn’t available to tow your car to a tire repair shop or there isn’t a an open repair shop nearby (middle of nowhere at 1am?), then Slime could end up being a real life saver - cleaning a tire and TPMS sensor is well worth the trade-off in those situations.

Reply

Slime

From Robert on May 24, 2022 :: 2:23 pm

There are products that won’t damage TPMS sensors (and some that will).  That’s what you should get.  Slime used to be bad but they changed the formula and I believe it is safe now.

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