Road Trip Gear: Your New Essentials

What to pack the next time you pack up the car

By Matt Berical

Published on May 18, 2015

Pendleton Blanket
Pendleton Blanket

Like succulents and sweet tea, the road trip is one of summer’s many rewards—but it favors the prepared. Whether you’re escaping the office a few hours early for an impromptu epicurean picnic, embarking on an epic, Americana-filled cross-country quest, or simply driving off into the sunset, this is the gear that will help make the ride as smooth as possible.

1. Juno JUMPR
Don't let a depleted gadget or dead battery ruin your trip. The Juno Jumpr's 6,000 mAh power source can resuscitate an iPhone three times—and revive your ride. Attached to an engine via the included 12-volt cables, the slim charger provides enough juice to jumpstart a car. $100;

2. Fuji Instax Wide 300
Sheath the smartphone; road trips are meant for sightseeing, not Instagram-uploading. Instead, document backseat antics and roadside attractions with the Fuji Instax Wide 300. The retro-chic instant camera spits out colorful, 62 x 99mm prints that develop before your eyes and deserve to be shared the old-fashioned way: by hand. $149;

3. Mulholland American Bison Whisky Carrier
That Macallan didn't spend 25 years in an oak barrel only to end up wrapped in a black plastic bag. Give it the first-class treatment with a hand-stitched leather bag crafted from bison, alligator, and deer hide and lined with a temperature-preserving, quilted nylon design that will protect everything from scotch to Chablis. $765;

4. Pendleton Smoky Mountain National Park Blanket
Hosting impromptu stargazing sessions, delivering late night insulation, drying off mid-summer skinny dippers: a blanket serves many purposes. Our choice: The Pendleton Smoky Mountain National Park Blanket which is made of 100-percent wool and durable enough to last for decades. from $219;

5. Sol Republic Punk
While small enough to fit inside a pocket, the puck-shaped Sol Republic Punk packs the thump to shake a hula-dancer off the dashboard. A waterproof design and eight-hour battery life means the Bluetooth speaker can survive both spills and epic sing-alongs. $70;

6. Stanley Vacuum Bottle 17 Ounce
Why mess with a winning formula? The Stanley Vacuum Bottle 17 Ounce sports the same double walled design and tank-like build as the thermoses used to transport soup, sweet tea, and Sumatran roast for nearly 100 years. $26;

7. Handpresso Auto
Eyelids drooping? Fill the Handpresso Auto with grounds or a pod, add some water, and press the trigger: After a few minutes of gurgling, the 16-bar, 140-watt cup-holder-sized coffee maker produces a café-caliber shot of espresso. $160 (est.);

8. Best Made Co. Japanese Higo Knife
A sharp pocketknife is as essential on the road as a spare tire. The beautiful white steel blade of the Best Made Co. Japanese Higo Knife is handy for big emergencies (seat belt slicing) and small (hard salami cutting), and its hand hammered finish will have you fielding compliments for years. $65;

9. S'well Bottle
Leave the Poland Spring at the rest stop. The stainless steel S'well Bottle, available in 9-ounce, 17-ounce, and 25-ounce sizes, not only keeps liquids cold for up to 24 hours (or hot for 12) but is also available in a range of colors and patterns (cashmere, cabana wood) wild enough to match your wanderlust. From $25;

10. Tylt Y-Charge 4.2
You have multiple electronics; the Tylt Y-Charge 4.2 has multiple ports. Plug it into your car's outlet so you can refuel two USB-powered devices at once. It's a simple, efficient staple that should always be in the glove compartment. $35;

Matt Berical is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Men's Journal, Maxim, and ESPN the magazine. He once drove from L.A. to New York in three days.

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