If you’re familiar with Murphy’s Law, you might be the type of person that takes precautions to ensure that every problem can be fixed. For those that don’t know, the adage states that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. If anything does go wrong down the line, you want to be sure you have the tools required to deal with it on hand.
Emergency kits can contain things like jumper cables, a flashlight, and a first aid kit, among other tools. What these kits aim to do is provide you with the solution to any potential problems on the road. Unsurprisingly, they typically encompass the list of items that the National Safety Council and American Automobile Association recommend for roadside emergencies or accidents. Let’s take a look below at the best choices available on the market.
To have some minimization of the roadside emergency risks, it’s useful to improve headlights effectiveness, always use properly maintained and inspected tires, pay attention to car maintenance basics.
Review of The Best Car Emergency Kits
The AAA Lifeline emergency kit includes items you’d typically find in a kit, and is fairly high quality across the board. It even has an Amazon’s Choice sticker to boot. All in all, it boasts 76 essential components, down to the smallest details.
Everything You Need: air inflator and jump starter cables included!
It’d be an understatement to say that this emergency kit includes all the essentials – there are items like zip ties, duct tape, and a screwdriver to make certain you can deal with any roadside issues. This kit is perfect for any driver, and could even find use around the home due to useful things like a box cutter and batteries. Of course, it still includes the key emergency tools like jumper cables, a first aid kit, and a tire inflator.
One thing that really makes this kit stand out is the quality of material down to the smallest packaging. The bag is durable and high-quality, and all the items are neatly ordered inside through the various pockets and bags. Overall, this emergency kit packs 76 items, whether vital or simply useful, into a portable and durable bag. Having this in your trunk ensures there’s rarely a problem you won’t be able to tackle.
One thing that a few customers noted is the slow nature of the air compressor, adding that if you have anything more than a slow leak, you might not be able to fix tire issues with this kit alone. Otherwise, there weren’t any major issues buyers brought up.
The HAIPHAIK is a close second to the Lifeline AAA, and contains a whopping 124 items. It contains all the key features of an emergency kit, from a roadside toolkit to long jumper cables.
Quantity in Mind: even tool set included
At 124 items, you would expect this kit to have everything imaginable. The emergency items in it are suitable for most types of cars, from sedans to trucks. The jumper cables included with the kit are just short of 12 feet long, which ensures you can jump start securely and reliably. In addition, it has a nicely-packaged toolbox which includes several types of screwdrivers, a hammer, pliers, utility knife, tape measure, and much more. Basically, you get an entire toolbox for home use even if you don’t ever need to use your emergency kit on the road.
There are a couple interesting items in the kit as well, such as the multifunctional shovel. It’s various surfaces allow you to dig, knock, pry, and saw, and is made of high-quality steel. HAIPHAIK claims you can even use it to cut down trees. Beyond all of the novelty and sheer volume of items in the kit, a few complaints are levied at the construction quality of all the items in the kit. At a lower price than the Lifeline with more tools, it’s not a big surprise that some found the items less than top-shelf. Either way, this kit certainly has quantity in mind when it comes to emergencies.
If you’re looking for a winter-specific kit, this kit from Lifeline is tailored specifically for harsher weather. If you’re stranded in cold and severe conditions, this kit has everything you need to deal with both the emergency and the cold.
We picked this set as Best For: Assistance In Winter Roadside Emergencies
Whether you need to signal for help or warm yourself up, this kit has it covered. The specialized items include things like a 3-piece fleece set for men and women to combat harsh cold. It also includes a strobe light which can help signal through thick fog or snow. A durable folding shovel and a 46-piece first aid kit round off the items, with all of them supplemented by an emergency car care guide.
This isn’t to say that you can buy this emergency kit and have everything covered; instead, this kit should be bought if you’re concerned that your existing (or potential) emergency kit doesn’t cover the harshness of your winters. Essentially, this kit is a fantastic supplement to kits that need a little extra for the cold.
If the other bags seem like they’re overdoing it a bit with their contents, AAA Lifeline 4330AAA has another bag to consider. This 42-piece set includes all the essentials without the fluff, and is more affordable as a result.
We discovered, that it’s very good kit for this budget.
Again, if you’re looking to get the important things without paying extra for little knick-knacks, this kit is probably more enticing than the others. It packs a solid set of 8 gauge, 8-foot booster cables. It also has the basic essentials like a screwdriver and flashlight. As Lifeline describes, this bag is ideal for a mid-size car or SUV. There are some non-essentials like a plastic poncho and shop cloth, but all in all it’s your basic essentials for emergencies and accidents.
However, one scalding note by customers describes that the number of items (42) is misleading, and that they didn’t even get all the items listed in the first place. Do take note of this and research this bag if you’re interested in buying it.
This safety kit is possibly the most affordable on this list, but don’t let that fool you; it cuts out the fluff and provides all the essentials for a roadside issue. It has a lot fewer items than its competitors, but it makes it up in quality.
We find, that budget is not exceeded for this appreciable pack.
While the other products might advertise being a “100-piece” kit, they often count individual items like bandaids to bump that number up. You don’t get that with this kit – what’s in the bag is very transparent and useful. This kit has 8-foot jumper cables, work gloves, a modest first aid kit, a bright warning light, a screwdriver, pliers, and zipties. That may seem like very little, but many other kits on the market add nothing vital to the list above in their bags.
If you’re looking for something very affordable yet transparently useful, consider the NoOne kit. It has the bare essentials and packs them in a small and sturdy bag with quality tools. If anything, the contents of this bag are perfect for “mix-and-matching” with other bags to create your own emergency kit. All in all, the NoOne has quality over quantity in mind.
Choosing the Best Car Emergency Kit
When picking out items you want in your emergency kit, it’s a good idea to look through a brief list of emergency situations and items that apply to those cases. You want to be prepared for any potential issue, so it’s best to be thorough in your assessments.
At the base level, the essentials are jumper cables, work gloves, a screwdriver, and first aid kit; basically, these are the items you’ll find in most, if not all, emergency kits. However, if there are potential roadside problems that apply to you or your environment (such as really harsh winters), make sure you take those into consideration. For example, having the AAA Lifeline winter kit might be a good idea to supplement another kit.
Related Post: The Best Air Compressors for Cars
What you need to make note of, however, is that many emergency kits advertise a certain number of items, trying to wow you into choosing their product. Pay close attention to the contents of the bag rather than the number of items in them, as sometimes “50-piece” bags could be 40 bandaids with 10 genuinely useful items. Oftentimes, a simple kit with all the essentials will be better for emergencies, and cut down your costs.
Other than that, it’s up to you and your needs. If you already have a toolbox, you probably don’t need to look into kits with toolkits in them. Similarly, if you already have a decent first aid kit, prioritizing emergency bags with extensive first aid supplies isn’t ideal. Otherwise, your budget and the quality of items in a kit should dictate the best choice. You can even mix various items from multiple bags to build your own emergency kit so you have all the essentials and nothing extra.
What Needs to Be in a Car Emergency Kit?
As stated in the previous section, it’s a good idea to look through a list of items to get an idea for the perfect emergency kit. Take a look at our brief list below to get a clearer picture of your needs and make note of anything you feel is missing.
Good to Have.
- 10 simple things could save your life – USA Today
- How to create your own emergency kit? – Edmunds
- Murphy’s Law – HowStuffWorks
We do an efforts to find, research and recommend the best products. So, we may receive commissions from purchases that you make after following the links in our product reviews.