- Roadside emergency car kits provide all-in-one assistance in case your vehicle breaks down.
- Our top picks are full of practical supplies like bandages, jumper cables, and even reflective materials.
- The Roadside Rescue Emergency Assistance Kit is our favorite with 110 pieces, including first-aid.
Don’t think of roadside emergency kits as “just in case” purchases; if you are ever in a situation where you’d need them, they’re invaluable. When my car broke down on the side of the road during torrential rain that kit was essential. It had everything I needed, including a poncho, reflective triangle, and roadside flares. And, the kit’s jumper cables were a plus; I’ve used them numerous times to help friends remedy their cars’ dead batteries.
We’ve identified the best roadside emergency kits to help ensure you’re well prepared. Our selections are based on a number of factors: the items contained in the kits, the quality of them, any valuable items that are missing, and the kits’ price points. Many of these bundles include items that the National Safety Council, Ready, and the American Automobile Association recommend in a roadside emergency kit, too.
What’s more, two of our picks include a first-aid kit (one of our 14 essential winter car items). They also make excellent gifts for new drivers, or for anyone who has a vehicle but doesn’t yet own one.
Here are the best roadside emergency car kits of 2021
- Best roadside emergency kit overall: Roadside Rescue Emergency Assistant Kit
- Best winter emergency kit: Lifeline AAA 66-Piece Winter Safety Kit
- Best high-visibility emergency kit: Always Prepared Roadside Visibility Kit
The Roadside Rescue Emergency Assistant Kit is a 110-piece grab bag that will have you prepared for just about any emergency you may encounter while on the road.
Pros: 110 pieces with a 64-piece first aid kit, items to get you back on the road
Cons: The jumper cables may be a bit flimsy
The Roadside Emergency Assistance Kit contains 110 practical supplies you’ll likely use, like a heavy-duty tow strap, a flashlight, and a tire pressure gauge. It also includes a few items you’re less likely to need — a seat belt cutter, an emergency blanket, a windshield breaker — but that are definitely worth having, if only for the peace of mind.
The comprehensive, 64-piece first aid kit is tucked inside the larger canvas duffle bag, and includes items like arm slings, medical tape, gauze, alcohol pads, and an assortment of bandages.
Other helpful supplies you’ll find: a magnesium fire starter, a roadside warning sign, and an 11-in-one multi-tool.
Though the included jumper cables may be a bit flimsy, it’s better than having none if you find yourself with a dead battery.
The best winter emergency kit
The Lifeline First Aid AAA 66-Piece Winter Safety Kit includes warming supplies in case of a winter weather breakdown, making it a must for colder-month travel.
Pros: Warming supplies, 45-piece first aid kit, shovel
Cons: Battery-powered flashlight would be better if replaced by a light with a hand crank, the kit would benefit from some emergency visibility supplies
Warmth will become a real concern in the event that you can’t turn your vehicle on or have limited gas, and the Lifeline First Aid AAA Winter Safety Kit is designed for these circumstances. Some of its 66 resources include warmth accessories such as tea candles, a fleece set of gloves, a scarf and hat combo, an emergency blanket, and hand-warmer packets.
Additional supplies include a folding shovel, LED flashlight, batteries, emergency whistle, and ice scraper. There’s a 45-piece first aid kit, too, which easily stores everything underneath your seat in a compact bag.
The true value of this kit is found in its warming items, which aren’t offered by many other kits. If you live in an area that receives harsh winter weather, this kit is well worth the investment. Pair this kit with some visibility essentials, like road flares, and you’ll have a well-rounded emergency supply collection for winter weather.
The best high-visibility kit
The Always Prepared Roadside Visibility Kit contains high-visibility supplies that provide extra protection for nighttime use.
Pros: Higher quality, heavy-duty visibility items, easy to use, compact storage fits under a seat
Cons: Should be paired with another kit for a more complete supply of emergency items
Many emergency kits fall short on quality, high-visibility products, but the Always Prepared Roadside Visibility Kit isn’t one of them. It focuses entirely on making you visible to other drivers, essential for safety if your vehicle breaks down on the side of the road at night. Increased visibility can potentially keep other drivers from hitting you or your car, too.
This kit contains everything you need to maximize your safety during a breakdown, including two reflective triangles that fold up for compact storage and can be displayed to draw attention to your vehicle. Another feature is a flashing LED emergency light, along with one neon safety vest, to help keep you safe and visible.
All of these items fit neatly inside a storage bag that can be tucked underneath a seat or placed in your trunk. Because it doesn’t contain other essential items, it’s best paired with another roadside emergency kit.
Check out our other emergency kit guides