You might not be spending three months driving across the Sahara in a perfectly outfitted Overland machine, but that doesn’t mean your trusty Subaru or 15-year-old 4Runner shouldn’t be adventure ready. We’ve picked a handful of our favorite inexpensive accessories that will help you make the most of your next road trip, whether you’re going to Grandma’s or through the desert.
iOttie Easy One Touch 4 Mount ($25)
Navigate safely and hands-free with this dashboard (or windshield) cellphone mount. The adjustable frame can hold any phone, even if it’s in a case, and the attachment is strong enough to handle the roughest roads. If you don’t like the idea of mounting a plate on your dashboard, you can go with the CD-slot or air-vent mounting options.
Blue Ridge Overland Gear Molle Seatback Panel ($62) and Pouches (From $26)
Make the most of your front seats with these seatback panels. Velcro straps and loops allow you to attach a variety of storage pouches. Load them with your first-aid kit, a snack bag, or even your laptop case. All are made in the United States with military-spec material. You can swing the panel around to the front of the seat if you’re traveling solo and want one-hand access on the go.
Midland 1001LWX Radio ($70)
If you’re adventuring right, you won’t always have good cell service, which can make communications with the outside world difficult. The compact Midland 1001LWX offers plug-and-play CB capabilities with a 40-channel digital tuner and a weather scanner that gives you up-to-date info.
Bestek 400W Power Inverter ($40)
Plug this little box into your cigarette lighter to convert your car’s DC power into AC. You can power up your laptop, camera, phones—whatever you need to plug into its two AC outlets and four USB ports.
Rain-X Windshield Washer Fluid ($8)
It seems like a gimmick, but so many people swear by this stuff (and we do too). Spray Rain-X on your windshield to create a hydrophobic coating that forces water to bead up instantly and roll off the glass. Unless you’re in a downpour, you won’t need the wipers. Just be sure to reapply it every few weeks.
National Geographic Road Atlas Adventure Edition ($20)
Yep. An atlas. Made from paper. With all kinds of maps that you can stare at. We know you’re going to use your phone or GPS unit to navigate most of the time, but every once in a while, turn off the phone and find your way via a map, just like the Vikings did centuries ago. The National Geographic Adventure Edition atlas adds national park profiles to the state maps for extra inspiration.