While essentials like jumper cables, a first aid kit, and a tire iron should be in your car year round, it’s a good idea to have the best winter accessories for your car on hand when cold weather strikes. These accessories can help you prepare both the exterior and interior of your car for snowy and icy weather conditions and even help you out in a pinch.
When it comes to products that can help you clear snow and ice from your windows, there are actually a variety of options to choose from. A basic snow brush and ice scraper combo is always useful, but if you tend to get a lot of ice, snow, or frost, a spray-on windshield de-icer is ideal for tougher jobs. And a windshield cover can prevent the elements from getting on your windows in the first place.
When snow piles up or ices over on the ground, it’s helpful to have a portable shovel to dig your way out and even kitty litter to give your tires extra grip (yep, the cat litter thing is real). Since cold weather can cause a loss of tire pressure, having an air compressor on hand is important for emergency fill-ups.
There are also many handy accessories for inside the car, including an electric heated blanket that plugs into a 12-volt outlet to help you stay toasty and a set of heavy-duty car mats to protect your floors from whatever you accidentally track in. Oh, and if you’re looking for a way to organize all of these winter accessories, a trunk organizer is a lifesaver — you can thank me later.
A winter wonderland is beautiful to look at, and these eight highly rated car accessories can help keep you safe, warm, and protected on the road so that you can enjoy everything the cold season has to offer.
1. A Budget-Friendly Snow Brush & Ice Scraper
With more than 6,800 ratings on Amazon and a stellar 4.6-star rating overall, Amazon reviewers have attested that this Subzero snow brush and ice scraper is both highly effective and durable, especially considering the fact that it comes with a low price tag of under $10. The brush head has four rows of bristles for removing snow. And the 4-inch-wide scraper blade can break through thick ice with ease. This pick features a long, 26-inch handle — a must for reaching across the windshield — with a soft foam grip that provides both comfort and control.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "This brush is heaven sent in snowy weather. I moved to the NE and was not prepared for winter, so the first time my car iced over, things went a little sideways. I got one of these to help in the future, and I have not been disappointed. It's a very sturdy brush and the handle is very comfortable. It's long enough that I'm easily able to push the snow off the top of my SUV, and the brush catches it all. [...] This is a great option if you deal with a lot of snow and ice. It's well built, works great, and is easy to just toss in your car."
2. A Windshield De-Icer Spray For Tough Jobs
Tough jobs are no match for this de-icer spray from CRC, which can melt ice, snow, and frost on contact. It’s easy to use — simply spray it on the windshield and watch it go to work — and is effective in sub-zero temperatures. But don’t just take my word for it; Amazon reviewers were totally thrilled with this pick, too, giving it a solid 4.4-star overall rating on the site.
Beyond clearing off your windshield, this pick can also effectively thaw frozen locks so you won't have to shiver outside your car for longer than necessary on a cold day. And don’t worry — according to the brand, it shouldn't cause any damage to your car’s finish.
This pick is also sold in a two-, three-, or 12-pack.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "I love this stuff. My least favorite part of winter is when my windows on my car ice up, not only does it take forever to wait for my car to defroster to work, or my hands freeze off while I try and scrap the ice off. This spray solves both of those problems for me. It is easy to use, works fast, and makes my cold mornings pass by so much faster."
3. A Cover That Protects The Windshield
If you literally can’t be bothered by clearing snow, ice, and frost from your vehicle, you need this OxGord windshield cover in your life. The cover is basically like a big blanket for your car — drape it over your windshield before inclement weather begins, and it’ll keep your windshield perfectly clean. And the best part? It's super easy to install, no tools required. Simply put the cover on the windshield and secure it in place by closing its side panels in your doors and attaching the elastic bands to your car's side mirrors. No magnets or suction cups are needed.
The cover is made with multiple layers of polyester and PVC, so it’s thick and durable, and it has a thermal shield that traps heat in, keeping the windshield free of fog and frost. This pick is designed to fit most cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs, and OxGord also sells a version designed to fit your rear window.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "This has been one of my FAVORITE purchases to date! I live in Colorado and I park my car outside. This came in INCREDIBLY helpful overnight during the winter months to protect it from any frost that might accumulate. It saved me time and energy from not scraping. It has some flaps that you can close your door on and the straps to hold onto the mirror to hold it all down so that no one can steal it, and so that the wind does not take it away.
4. A Small Shovel That Breaks Down For Storage
Winter weather can be unpredictable, and you never know when you’ll need to shovel your car out of a snow mound. But when you do, you’ll be thankful to have this shovel from CARTMAN on hand. The shovel is made from aluminum, which is stronger and more durable than plastic options. It features a handle that adjusts from 25 to 32 inches in length so you can shovel comfortably no matter how tall you are.
And if you're thinking you couldn't possibly have room to store a shovel in your car, I promise you have room for this one. The shovel breaks down into three separate pieces, so it’s super compact. And it’s lightweight, too, at just over 1 pound.
Choose from three colors — red, blue, and black.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "This snow shovel is exactly what I hoped it would be. I purchased it to keep in my car for use when the need arises. It comes in 3 pieces, which simply snap together so the length of the handle can be adjusted ; then it may easily be disassembled for compact storage in the off season. I haven't used it yet, but it looks sturdy enough to last through many New England winters."
5. A Pail Of Cat Litter To Give Your Tires Grip
This cat litter from Purina isn’t just for kitties; it can also help give your car tires some much-needed traction when they’re stuck in snow or sleet. The key is to choose a litter that clumps, and this one does just that. To use, simply spread the cat litter in front of your stuck tires to give them that extra grip.
The 17 pounds of cat litter comes in a pail, so it’s easy to spread on the ground.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "If you have cats, or even if you use little so you don't slip on icy sidewalks or carry some in the car to help you get out of a snow drift, then this is the best stuff you can use."
6. An Air Compressor To Fill Tires
Cool temperatures can mean a major loss in tire pressure, but fortunately, this air compressor from P.I. AUTO STORE plugs into a 12-volt outlet and can inflate a midsize car tire from flat to 30 pounds per square inch in under three minutes. Despite being so powerful, it is compact in size — 7.1 by 6.7 by 2.9 inches (length by width by height) to be exact — and lightweight, too, at under 2 pounds. And Amazon reviewers totally back this pick, giving it a 4.1-star overall rating on the site, among 4,300 and growing ratings.
This pick has a built-in pressure gauge that allows you to quickly check the tire’s pressure on an easy-to-read LCD display that glows brightly at night. Auto shut-off ensures you won't ever over-inflate your tires. Other features include a red SOS light for roadside emergencies and a long cord that gives the compressor 13 inches of reach. It comes with a convenient storage bag.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "With the cold winter weather, my tires seem to lose air pressure with some regularity. I hate stopping at the tire dealer every few weeks just to get one or more tires "aired up," so I bought the PI Auto Store tire inflator. Wow––it works great and as advertised. It took only a couple of minutes to get everything unwrapped, the plug into the 12v outlet in the car and to check the pressure in my "low tire." I then set the pressure where I wanted and, two minutes later, it was done! I double checked with my own air pressure gauge and it showed exactly the pressure I'd set with the inflator. (The car's instrument panel confirmed as well.) What a great product and at a reasonable price! It's also very compact and efficient. Highly recommended!"
7. A Cozy Electric Car Blanket For Extra Warmth
This electric blanket from Stalwart will keep you toasty warm in even the chilliest of winter temperatures. Made from polyester, the blanket is cozy, soft, and lightweight, and it’s compatible with any car, truck, SUV, or RV with a 12-volt outlet. This pick has a 96-inch-long cord, so even passengers in the backseat can enjoy it. I personally gave this blanket as a gift to a family member, and can attest it’s a quality product that’s super useful to have around the car during winter.
Only downsides to this pick? You can’t adjust the heat settings, and it is spot clean only. Choose from six colors, most of which feature a plaid pattern.
The blanket is 59 by 43 inches in size.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "In our cold and snowy New Hampshire winters we often take my pick up truck to shop and run errands. I like it cool, my wife, on the other hand, likes to be toasty warm. My truck does not have dual controls for the heat so it was always a battle. I bought this blanket for my wife and it has made a world of difference. It's big enough without being too big and bulky, it folds up neatly and sticks behind the console in the cab. It is extremely well-made and, according to my wife, very, very warm. It does exactly what it supposed to do, how's that for a change. I definitely recommend it, it is such a thick sturdy blanket that it works even if it isn't plugged in."
8. A Fan-Favorite Set Of Heavy-Duty Mats To Protect Your Floors
With more than 27,000 ratings on Amazon and a solid 4.2-star rating overall, these car mats from Motor Trend are built to withstand harsh winter weather, protecting your car floors from the elements. The heavy-duty mats are made of durable rubber, and they’re tested in extreme conditions to ensure they don't crack, split, or deform.
This pick comes with three all-weather mats that can be trimmed with scissors, so they’ll work in many different vehicles.
Choose from six colors, including black, gray, or beige.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "These car mats are great quality for the price! They're thick but flexible. There's a nice depth to the grooves, not too thick but deep enough to catch dirt. I cut them down to fit my car, it's easy to follow the lines and trim to fit your individual needs. There was no odor. I think I'll have them for the life of my car, will be happy to have them in the winter to keep the snow and salt off of the carpet."