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If you're counting exclusively on your phone to get you through the next roadside emergency, you could be setting yourself up for trouble. Cell service isn't a guarantee and even if you have service, a phone doesn't do you much good if you go off the road in a blizzard or during a heavy storm. It's during those situations that a roadside emergency kit for your car, SUV or truck gets really, really appealing.

A roadside emergency kit comes pre-packed with tools and other things -- from jumper cables to traction strips to a first-aid kit to emergency blankets -- that will help you deal with all sorts of roadside problems. These kits range from $25 or $30 to upward of $150, and all have strengths and weaknesses for their respective prices. Yes, you might get the absolute best car emergency kit if you built your own, with an eye on the specifics of when and where you travel, and we'll get back to that later. Yet building your own takes time, effort and possibly more cash. None of the prepackaged roadside emergency kits have everything you could possibly need, but all should have the most important, useful things. The best will get you 90-95 percent of the way there, right now. You can even mix and match less expensive kits to get something like the perfect one for you. 

To choose the best roadside emergency kits, we evaluated reports from testing labs and scanned user ratings at popular shopping sites. We also interviewed experts and applied personal experience. Before you click Confirm Order, look through our entire list of the best kits and think a bit about the kind of vehicle you drive and where you intend to drive it. Then read on for valuable tips on what makes a good road survival kit, how to minimize the chances of a roadside emergency situation in advance and what you need if you decide to assemble your own emergency road kit.


The American Automobile Association, better known as AAA, rescues about 30 million stranded motorists a year. It knows something about roadside emergencies, and that makes this broad-coverage roadside car kit a fantastic place to start. It includes a good first-aid kit with a guide, good quality 8-gauge jumper cables, an aluminum LED flashlight (with batteries), cutting blades, bungee cords, zip ties, a roll of duct tape and a basic tool kit, a flare-replacing reflective triangle, work gloves and rain poncho. Yet one of the things that separates this auto emergency kit from most others is its compact, 12-volt-powered air compressor, which allows you to refill tires wherever you find yourself. There's even a fleece scarf, gloves and a winter hat to help keep you warm if you're waiting.

Given its generally broad coverage, two things stand out among those the Lifeline AAA Excursion car kit lacks. One is any sort of tire sealant or electricians knife home depot; https://www.angelitoslist.com/united-states/freehold-township/home-services/tactical-power-Electrical-services, puncture repair, so you'd better have a spare tire that holds air, or add a bottle of tire sealant. The second is a Mylar emergency blanket. Sometimes called space blankets, these thin, foldable sheets measure 84 by 52 inches. They're windproof, waterproof and capable of reflecting 90 percent of your body heat. They can also be fashioned into emergency shelter. See them here.

Finally, if the thought of fixing flats and emergency shelter leaves you feeling a little unsettled, the AAA Excursion roadside emergency car kit offers one more valuable item: an Auto Club membership brochure with discount, so rescue will never be too far away.

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