Travel Loot

12 Best-In-Class Essentials for Your Next Road Trip

by Daniel Schwartz

Hit the road. Photo courtesy of Autodromo.

Prioritize calm and comfort on your next automotive adventure with these road trip essentials.

Packing for a road trip is a big deal, whether you're spending the weekend in another state or driving a camper van across the country. How do you best equip yourself for such an exhilarating and unpredictable experience? Be judicious with your outfit choice, don't forget the phone charger (or the wet wipes, spare tire, and small change), and consider upgrading your gear to make the most of your time on the road.

Camp Crate Gear Rental

If you'll be camping but lack the essentials, get a crate full of gear delivered to your door or campsite. Once you're through renting the two-person tent, sleeping bag and pad, camp stove, water filter, backpack, and headlamp, drop them off at the post office. (from $68/day)

Wildsam Desert Field Guide

Photo courtesy of Wildsam.

Wildsam Desert Southwest Field Guide

Make sense of the open road with intel on the American southwest, including hotel recommendations, tips for desert photography, and interviews with local personalities. A New England version is also available. ($18)

Carchet Tire Pressure Monitoring System

Photo courtesy of Carchet.

Carchet Tire Pressure Monitoring System

Keeping track of tire pressure is key to avoiding flats. Newer cars do it automatically. Older models can use these attachable tire pressure trackers and a monitor that plugs into the cigarette lighter. ($90)

iOttie Easy One Touch 3 Phone Mount

Photo courtesy of iOttie.

iOttie Easy One Touch 3 Phone Mount

A telescopic car mount for smartphones of all sizes adheres to most surfaces and gives you hands-free access to all your favorite apps. Download maps for offline use and call it your GPS. ($25)

Crap Eyewear Joy Brigade Sunglasses

Photo courtesy of Crap Eyewear.

Crap Eyewear Joy Brigade Sunglasses

Stylish and affordable shades from Los Angeles make it possible to drive comfortably into the sunset. ($68)

Autodromo Stringback Driving Gloves

Photo courtesy of Autodromo.

Autodromo Stringback Driving Gloves

Live out your fantasies of cruising back roads in an old Aston Martin (even when you're stuck in a hatchback on the highway) with a pair of vintage-inspired racing gloves crafted from leather and crocheted cotton. ($125)

Ingear AutoXscape 3-in-1 Car Emergency Tool

Photo courtesy of Ingear.

Ingear AutoXscape 3-in-1 Car Emergency Tool

Fingers crossed that you'll never need it: a military-grade window breaker, seatbelt cutter, and flashlight. ($60)

Stanley Mountain Vacuum Coffee System

Photo courtesy of Stanley.

Stanley Mountain Vacuum Coffee System Bottle

Keep your coffee fresh and hot with the MacGyver of travel mugs — the vacuum-insulated thermos comes with an integrated stainless steel pot and French press for boiling and brewing on the go. ($40)

Yetti Hopper 30 Portable Cooler

Photo courtesy of Yeti.

Yeti Hopper 30 Portable Cooler

The last soft-side cooler you'll ever need to buy. It's leakproof, waterproof, bearproof, airtight when closed, stows in the backseat, keeps ice for days, and has enough room for multiple six-packs and foot-long hoagies. ($250)

Lo and Sons Rhodes Weekender

Photo courtesy of Lo and Sons.

Lo and Sons Rhodes Weekender

A minimalist travel bag for the maximalist in all of us — pack shoes in the bottom pocket, toss essentials in the side pouch, expand the main compartment to fit everything else, and set off for the weekend. ($348)

Trtl Travel Pillow

Photo courtesy of Trtl.

Trtl Travel Pillow

A solution to a passenger-seat problem: A neck wrap that prevents your head from tilting and bumping into car windows or backseat neighbors while you nap. Watch it in action to see how it works. ($30)

Exped MegaMat 10 Sleeping Pad

Photo courtesy of Exped.

Exped MegaMat 10 Sleeping Pad

Call it a night on this self-inflating sleeping mat — at the campsite, by the lake, in the back of your pickup, on the side of the road, wherever. It's that comfortable. ($229)

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I Want to Road Trip Across America. What Route Should I Take?

We make every effort to ensure the information in our articles is accurate at the time of publication. But the world moves fast, and even we double-check important details before hitting the road.