Gadgets to make your road trip a breeze

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Festival season is here and that means road trip!  

If you're the one packing up the car, have we got a few great ideas and some cool gear that will make to a breeze and have you on your way no time.

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GASBUDDY – app for iPhone and Android

The GasBuddy app is free to download and instantly tells you the best price for gas closes to your location. Using crowd-sourced information, GasBuddy continuously updates the details. By contributing the price you see at the pump you help other drivers and gain points to win prizes. If you're curious about pump prices in other locations, you can ask about that, too. Interesting fact: There are 140,000 gas stations throughout North America.

BBQ at Canadian Tire

Napoleon Travel Q BBQ – Canadian Tire

The Napoleon Travel Q is by no means a lightweight or flimsy product. It’s as tough as the standard sized grills but is compact and comes on wheels. Sporting two circular burners that pop into action with a click of the electronic ignition, it can cook up to 19 burgers with 12,000 BTUs of evenly spaced flickering flames under cast iron cooking grills. A one-pound propane tank hangs under the shelf/handle or a hose can easily be attached for the larger tanks.

Grilling burgers is easy. Pull the BBQ to the desired location, release the lock on the wheels and lift the handle so the scissor-stand expands. Attach the propane, click the ignition, toss on the burgers, pull up the lawn chair, open a cold beer and let someone else do the rest of the work. The grill cools down quickly and is easy to clean and store until the next festival.


Glove Box Storage System – Canadian Tire

The people behind Glove Box think outside the box. The storage systems are tough and cater to nearly every need. The Trunk Organizer collapses for easy storage, but come festival time it will be filled to the brim. The two compartments can be broke into three or four and covered with a mess top to dissuade peering eyes. The handles on the end are strong making it easy to bring into the car and back onto the shelf.

The Road Trip Organizer is great for the front seat. The insulated cup holders hold coffee mugs or water bottles alongside a small cooler that works as a hard surface for maps and phones. The cooler pulls out of the carrying case easily to be cleaned. Stretchy little pockets surround the outer neoprene case making it easy to stuff pens and candy and gum for the road. It fits perfectly between the seats putting your snack within in easy reach.

Road Rockstar Charger

Road Rockstar 4-Port Passenger Car Charger by Belkin

What’s worse? The argument over who gets to plug in their device, or the tone-deaf singing from the gloating person who eventually wins the power in the backseat. Belkin has come up with the Road Rockstar, a compact solution to the family road trip dysfunction.

The Road Rockstar starts out as your standard two port car charger slipping into the 12Volt receptor. Two smart phones can connect to the charging port sharing 2.4 amps. The 1.8-metre-long cable reaches the backseat easily so two devices using 2.4 amps each can charge. That means the inhabitants in the backseat can plug in two devices, including smart phones or tablets. Also, the capacity is 36 watts so don’t plug in a laptop as they require 60 watts. The best part is how tidy the set-up is. The dual port is so small it fits in the palm of your hand and has a clip to hold it tightly to the back of the front seat. When it’s not in use it can store in the glove box.

Treeline Tent

Treeline Outdoors Roof-Top Tents

Pull into the festival campground and find a flat spot. Park. Unzip the load on the roof-top, flip the lid/base, prop the ladder and bang! Instant accommodations. Treeline Outdoors of Turner Valley, AB., offers Roof-Top Tents to keep you high and dry and away from animals (or party animals) that may go bump in the night.

Five models suit two to five campers. Each is designed with a light-weight aluminum honeycomb base that flips open to reveal a tent. Pop the waterproof rip-stop canvas walls open with the rugged poles, roll up the window awnings and it's ready for a super slumber. The high-density foam mattress and your sleeping bags are already in there. Other nifty features may include skylights, dangling shoe storage bags, utility nets on the tent base for storage, and yes, a unisex urinal is included for those rainy or scary nights. Add-ons include a ground level annex with floor, solar kits and camping gear. When folded up, standard two- to three-person units weigh roughly 100 pounds.

Car Booster

Eliminator Jump Starter and Power Bank – Canadian Tire

Flashlight? Check. Power charger? Check. Booster cables? Check. Power booster? Check. This little Eliminator 750 by MotoMaster is all-in-one. It can jump start totally dead batteries up to 5.0 L gas engines and 2.5 L diesel engines. It also boasts it's capable of holding enough juice to boost 20 times before recharging. A full charge only takes three hours and it will hold it for up to a year. Since it eliminatres the need to reach another vehicle, the 30-cm long cables are all you need. Other features include a brilliant multi-mode flashlight, including a strobe and "SOS" blink on one end and a 2.1 A charging port on the other end for smartphones and tablets. The plug ports are covered with rubble tabs so if it gets tossed into the dusty trunk they stay clean for those days you need a boost. Most likely though it will be in the backseat ready to charge the tablets for the road trip.

Road Shower

Pressurized hot water source as close as the cargo rack -

It’s hot and someone near you smells like sweat socks. Oh, it’s you! Check out the Road Shower from Colorado. Its sure to be any festival seekers new best friend. The six-kilogram, 143-centimetre-long black powder-coated aluminum tube holds 19 litres of water with a full weight of 24 kilograms. As you drive down the highway or are out enjoying your day at the festival, the sun does its job and heats the water. The manual says it takes about two hours to heat the water to 32+ C on a sunny day. On cold days, you can heat a bucket of water on the campfire and add it to the mix to shower in comfort.

It’s up to you to decide if you want a gravity-fed flow of water or to pressure it up to 20 PSI. Fifteen pumps of your floor model bike pump attached to a standard Schrader valve provides several minutes of pressurized water. The 1.4-metre-long hose has an adjustable garden hose nozzle set to pressure wash the stink off anyone.

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