The Best Winter Car Kit of 2021
Essential auto gear for the season’s worst-case scenarios
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Hestra Kobolt Winter CZone Flex Gloves ($30)
Ski gloves don’t offer enough dexterity for winter maintenance tasks. Instead, opt for the waterproof Kobolts, which are stretchy, slip on and off easily, and look better with use thanks to their goatskin leather. With their toasty 60-gram insulation, your fingers won’t freeze.
Rocky Talkie Adventure Radio ($90)
Keep these user-friendly, rechargeable radios—perfect for climbing or the backcountry—stashed in your car. If your vehicle ever breaks down on a remote road and you need to leave it for any reason, your passengers can still reach you up to 25 miles away depending on terrain, even without cell service.
Patagonia Provisions Organic Savory Grains and Chili Sampler ($39)
With some hot water, this six-serving sampler of dehydrated organic quinoa pilafs and red-bean chili filled us up better and tasted closer to homemade than most other quick-prep meals. We’ll always have a few of these packets in the trunk for emergencies (or parking-lot snacks).
Adventure Medical Kits Sportsman 300 first aid kit ($75)
Thankfully we haven’t had to use every item in this first-aid kit, but having it in the car gives us peace of mind. It’s loaded with gauze dressings, bandages, and pain medications like aspirin and ibuprofen and comes with a wound-irrigation tool and closure strips—enough for a week (for one to six people).
GSI Outdoors Lexan Gear Box ($19 and up)
Upgrade your car-camping gear organization with these polycarbonate storage bins. They are stackable and way tougher than the flimsy plastic ones you’ll find at most big-box stores, perfect for packing into a full trunk.
Therm-a-Rest Vela Double 20F/-6C Quilt ($370)
If your car breaks down at night in the middle of nowhere, you’ll want a quilt like this. It’s stuffed with 650-fill, PFC-free hydrophobic down (rated to 20 degrees). The mesh walls between the baffles boost loft and limit cold spots. Bonus: slip the roomy footbox over your sleeping pad to seal in warmth.
Hydro Flask 128 Oz Oasis Reservoir ($125)
The vacuum-insulated Oasis is a Goldilocks option for the driver who doesn’t have the space for a water tank but thinks a tall Nalgene isn’t quite enough. Use it for emergency water or fill it with hot drinks to serve fireside—the grab handle makes for easy toting.
Midland ER310 E+Ready Emergency Crank Weather Radio ($70)
This communication device was made to live in your glove box. It comes with a USB port for recharging important devices, an LED flashlight, and a radio for receiving emergency updates. Since it’s crank-operated, you don’t have to worry about running out of juice.