Surviving winter driving: Our tips, plus a guide to the essential products you’ll need!

 A winter road covered in snow

Winter is upon us, and (depending on where you live) the thought of surviving a couple of months of below-zero figures sends both physical and mental shivers down the spine. There’s the treacherous driving conditions in low visibility, slippery sidewalks and days that are mostly in darkness.

Worry not though, we’re here to bring you a guide to our reviews of products that work brilliantly, and can ease the stress of winter motoring and travel.

Clean and seal your car’s glass…

… (especially the windscreen), both inside and out. This will stop any extra glare from the sun bouncing off dirty smears etc. Then use a glass sealant on the exterior. We know from experience this will massively help ease the removal of ice and snow and save you time in the process.

What sealant do we recommend? Click here to see our Glass Products reviews, but we absolutely love both Nanolex Glass Ultra and Nubawax.com’s X2 Rainshield.

Nanolex Glass Urban test and review

Buy some decent sunnies.

Low winter sunlight, darker days and foggy weather make seeing what’s ahead difficult, stressful and at times frighteningly dangerous if you’re doing motorway speeds. Get yourself a pair of Serengeti sunglasses and give your eyes some relaxin’ time. The guys at Serengti Eyewear specialise in driving ‘glasses, and they’re worth every penny you’ll pay.

We reviewed their superb Lizzano sunnies not long back and were blown away. They have Photochromic Polarized Glass, meaning sharper vision in lower light conditions, and they adapt to varying brightness too. High tech lenses matched with top quality materials and build mean you’ll love these. Visit Serengeti-Eyewear.com to chose your pair…

Serengeti Lizzano sunglasses shown in case

Stop slippin’ and slidin’ about…

…with a pair of Ice Grips. Even stepping out of your car onto packed snow or ice can cause you to do several unintentional pirouettes, and to use weird muscles you never thought you had. Never again suffer the humiliation of this. Never again have your bag’s contents fly out and rain down around your fallen body like confetti. That humiliation is past people!

Ice grips quickly and easily pull over most shoe or boot, providing stability using small spikes, hard coils or other grippy stuff. Until you use ’em though, you can’t realise just how very good they are. We reviewed a couple of pairs – Yaktrax Pro and Petzl Spiky Plus. Buy, apply, grip (not slip). Click here for the Yaktrax Pro and Spiky Plus reviews

Petzl Spiky Plus and Yaktrax ice grips side by side

Light ’em up

As we get about half an hour of light per day in the depths of winter (or so it feels), and you’re having to get up early to clear ice and snow from your car, fill the windscreen wash bottle with de-icer, fix that broken headlamp bulb, or even change your wheel thanks to a blinkin’ flat tyre dammit.

Whatever the case, keep a torch in your bag or glovebox at all times – believe us, it will come in handy a stack of times over the next few months. We tested and reviewed some of the very best LED hand and head torches from Peli, Petzl, Princeton Tec and Maglite. Check out the reviews by clicking here: Hand-held torch group review or LED Head torch group review

Using a torch over an engine bay

Coffee fix

Several wintery scenarios here, pick the one that applies:

  • Your kids are playing outdoors football for their school team, and you’re watching on the sidelines; it’s so cold your feet feel like they’ll snap off if you stamp them hard enough. Sack that! Mummy and daddy will watch from the car kids!
  • You’ve just come down from a long snowboarding/skiing sesh on the slopes; chuck your gear in the boot and bang the heater on in your car to thaw out.
  • Getting up early for work in winter sucks. Heavy eyes and a ‘can’t do’ attitude abounds. Then you have stop-start traffic for 5 miles to work.

What’s needed for all these scenarios? Espresso! We reviewed the Handpresso Auto. Fresh, hot, and almost perfect espresso with ease right from your warm car! The Handpresso is an utterly brilliant piece of kit – Check out our review of the Handpresso Auto here.

Handpresso Auto E.S.E Portable Espresso Machine test. Images shows the espresso being finished off. ©CarProductsTested2012

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