Do you feel as though you’re always in your car? You’re not alone. According to a Texas A&M mobility study, the average American spends 38 hours a year just stuck in traffic. That doesn’t take into account all those trips to soccer practice, piano recitals and gymnastics. It’s little wonder that automobiles have become more like mini homes away from home. Just in case you didn’t include these items when you first purchased your vehicle, here are some add-ons you should know about. Some aftermarket upgrades are convenient, and others are sanity-saving.
Second Row Seat Covers
Photo by Unlisted Sightings via Flickr
Cover the entire second row of seats and headrests so mud-covered children won’t grind dirt into your seats. They’re designed with perfect access to the center armrest bolster and will allow you to easily reach the child anchor latch. Made of a durable wetsuit-like material, these seat covers are water-resistant and can be machine washed easily. MSRP: $275, available through acurapartsoem.com.
Back Seat Mirror
The back seat mirror allows busy moms to see their babies as they ride in their rear-facing car seats. The mirror is strapped onto the headrest facing baby, and Mom can see her baby’s reflection by looking into her rearview mirror. The cost is $19.99 through Toys ‘R Us.
Photo by Keystones via Wikimedia Commons
Backed with waterproof rubber, a cargo liner will save your cargo space from the wear and tear of equipment as it loaded and unloaded. If you really don’t have time to clean that area of your vehicle, a cargo liner can be quickly removed for easy cleaning. In fact, once they’re brushed off, they’re ready to be put back in use. MSRP: $263, through Acura.
Keeping your coffee or tea warm while you’re on the run with this 12V heated travel mug that you plug it into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter. The mug was designed to fit easily into most standard cup holders. Available for $14.98 at Walmart.com.
Photo by YayAdrian via Flickr
A roof box mounts easily to MDX roof rails and crossbars and allows you 13 cubit feet of enclosed storage. If you’re tired of hearing balls and other equipment rolling around in the cargo hold, this roof box can be a lifesaver, particularly on long road trips. MSRP: $498, through Acura.
In-Car Refrigerator and Warmer
Photo by HighTechDad via Flickr
For long days spent at games, the portable mini-fridge/heater needs no refrigerants and plugs into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter. It cools food and drink down to 32 degrees below ambient temperature and warms them up to 150 degrees F. Available for $49.95 through Sears.com.
Even if you’re one of those moms who swore you would never install a television in the car, restless children may have you rethinking your strategy. The Boss headrest-integrated entertainment system can provide hours of DVD pleasure. $84.99 through Frys.com.