The 10 Best Emergency Road Kits

Updated April 06, 2018 by Chase Brush

10 Best Emergency Road Kits
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We spent 46 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Be prepared for any vehicular trouble on your next road trip with one of these emergency car kits. They include everything you might possibly need to keep you safe while waiting for assistance or to get you back on the road quickly, such as tools, jumper cables, first aid kits, flashlights, food and water supplies, and more. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best emergency road kit on Amazon.

10. Mayday Urban Road Warrior

Be smart and travel with the Mayday Urban Road Warrior, equipped with a fire extinguisher, a solar blanket, and a help sign, which make it useful in any situation. This rugged model is built to last, so you can rest easy knowing it will be ready when you need it.
  • storage sack is easy to carry
  • good gift for teen drivers
  • does not include seatbelt cutter
Brand Mayday
Model 661799622615
Weight 12.8 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. Picnic Time NFL

Football fans who are also responsible motorists can show their pride while having peace of mind with the Picnic Time NFL, which features a triangle-shaped case with your preferred team's logo on it. What's more, it also doubles as a road hazard sign.
  • included tools are good quality
  • jumper cables are too short
  • no survival equipment
Brand PICNIC TIME
Model 699-00-179-014-2-Parent
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. Stalwart 75-EMG2053

The Stalwart 75-EMG2053 is a compact 55-piece collection that comes with 10-gauge copper wire jumper cables, which will help revive a dead battery faster and more reliably than the 4-gauge ones included in cheaper versions.
  • exterior pockets on the case
  • red black and pink options available
  • does not have flares or glow sticks
Brand Stalwart
Model 75-EMG2053
Weight 4 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

7. Victor 22-5-65103-8

Arm yourself for roadside trouble with the affordable Victor 22-5-65103-8, which features a durable carrying bag with no-slip fasteners for secure attachment in the trunk. Plus, unlike other options, it comes with a tire inflator and sealant to use on the occasional flat.
  • available in three different sizes
  • handy rain poncho
  • jumper cables aren't very sturdy
Brand Victor
Model 22-5-65103-8
Weight 5 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

6. Top Gear Premium

With its reflective safety vest, the Top Gear Premium helps ensure other drivers see you as you work on getting yourself out of a sticky situation. It's also equipped with a 14-function, folding multi-tool that can help get you back on the road without outside assistance.
  • includes accident report forms
  • two 12-hour light sticks
  • a little too big to fit under seat
Brand Top Gear
Model 1006
Weight 4.2 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

5. Performance Tool W1555 Deluxe

The compact Performance Tool W1555 Deluxe is filled with practical items you might need to tow or jump start your car, check the engine in the dark, or to just scrape the ice off the windshield. It can be stored in the trunk easily until disaster or frost strikes.
  • reflective triangle on nylon case
  • 6-inch split joint pliers
  • very affordably priced
Brand Performance Tool
Model W1555
Weight 5.2 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

4. Bridgestone Auto

The Bridgestone Auto is a 47-piece kit that includes jumpers with generously long 12-foot cables, making for easy side-by-side boosts should your car's battery die in a parking lot. The storage bag has Velcro strips on it so it doesn't slide around in the trunk.
  • hands-free head lamp
  • several types of tape
  • doesn't have a lot of first aid gear
Brand Bridgestone
Model pending
Weight 7.1 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

3. Thrive Roadside Assistance

With everything from a socket wrench and electrical tape to a large first aid kit, there's very little that the Thrive Roadside Assistance leaves to be desired. The best part, however, might be the bag it all packs into, which is made of sturdy 600d nylon canvas.
  • made by fda-registered company
  • backed by satisfaction guarantee
  • great tool variety and quality
Brand Thrive
Model PB1EKIT
Weight 5.5 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Auto Club Hero

The Auto Club Hero not only contains everything you could ever want in a typical car emergency pack, like jumper cables and a tire repair kit, but also includes items to help stranded motorists survive in adverse weather conditions, like a Mylar blanket and a fire starter.
  • packaged food and water
  • emergency escape hammer
  • perfect choice for an rv
Brand AutoClubHero
Model VESK0216
Weight 14.8 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. AAA Excursion

The comprehensive AAA Excursion comes with an extensive combination of first aid materials and useful roadside emergency gear, so you will be equipped to handle any situation that arises. A capable 250 PSI air compressor can get you back on the road in case of a flat.
  • durable aluminum flashlight
  • loud whistle to alert passersby
  • cotton work gloves
Brand AAA
Model 4388AAA
Weight 7 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

The Properly Prepared Motorist

According to United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration reports, as of 2009, the last year for which comprehensive data is currently available, there were approximately 210 million licensed drivers in the United States. While the experienced and cautious driver can generally expect to get home safely each day through defensive and attentive driving, even the best driver in the world can't hope to avoid all vehicular issues.

Driving a car means accepting a certain level of risk, and at the extremes this includes accidents, which can be serious matters indeed. But it also means confronting the chance for a blown out tire, a torn timing belt, a cracked windshield, or an empty gas tank. It's important that you are always ready to deal with a car that is suddenly not working as it should.

If your vehicle experiences a sudden failure that necessitates you stop driving, if at all possible you should get your car off the road and out of the way of traffic as soon as possible. This helps ensure your safety, the safety of the other motorists with whom you share the road, and it minimizes the chance for damage to your vehicle as well.

One of the first and most important steps to staying safe once your vehicle is off the roadway (or once you determine that you cannot move it safely) is to decide whether or not you need assistance, and whether or not this help should come from the authorities or from a tow or service vehicle. If you are going to try to deal with your vehicle personally, a proper diagnosis of the issues must follow, as well as an assessment of the gear and supplies you have on hand to help. If you planned ahead properly, that means pulling out your roadside emergency kit.

Choosing A Kit For Common Vehicular Issues

Arguably the most important items in a good roadside emergency kit are those that help you to be readily seen from the greatest possible distance. Bright reflectors are a must when your car is stopped on or near a roadway; in fact, reflectors are even more important than flares, as even good slow burning flares will burn out.

While your vehicle's flashers are a good way to make your car easy to see in the darkness or the rain, you don't want to drain the battery too much. Make sure to carefully position reflectors to catch the lights of approaching cars, and set them well back from your location so that motorists have plenty of opportunity to slow down or steer around you.

While no halfway decent roadside service kit will come without jumper cables, it's important to make sure the cables you get are of a decent length. Cables much under eight feet in length might not span the distance across the front of your vehicle and another, thereby rendering them pointless. (Though two sets of jumper cables can be connected if needed.)

Also keep in mind that your phone may be an important lifeline during a roadside emergency, so consider bringing along an external battery pack to keep your device charged and ready to make calls as needed.

And do keep in mind that perhaps the most important roadside tools and gear are not going to be found in your kit: it's up to you to make sure that your vehicle's spare tire is intact and inflated, and that you have a working jack that you know how to use. Your car's manual should also be readily accessible, as you'll likely need to do some reading before you work on the issue at hand.

Choosing A Kit For Emergency Preparedness

If almost all of your driving takes place in the city or in a populated suburban environment, then a basic roadside preparedness kit is likely all you need to keep yourself safe and ready to deal with vehicular issues ranging from a flat tire to a dead battery to creating safe space for yourself, your passengers, and your vehicle as you wait for assistance with more involved issues.

However, if you often find yourself driving through more remote stretches of country (or in any area where help might not be readily forthcoming) then you need to keep a more thoroughly stocked emergency kit in your car. On any average day, basic needs like warmth and hydration can be happily taken for granted; if you find yourself stranded on a desolate highway in the middle of a winter night, then your vehicle's problems have just led you into a survival situation.

The well prepared traveler should choose a kit that comes stocked with items such as space blankets, water, food with a long shelf life, and a good first aid kit. The comprehensive vehicle emergency kit should also have at least two lights in case one fails and plenty of backup batteries.

Make sure not to consider any roadside emergency kit complete just because it includes numerous items. You should always be ready to add items you think you might need to a store bought kit, and don't be afraid to replace items in the kit with similar options you would feel more comfortable using.


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Last updated on April 06, 2018 by Chase Brush

Chase is a freelance journalist with experience working in the areas of politics and public policy. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, he is also a hopeless itinerant continually awaiting his next Great Escape.


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