Truck drivers are our un(der)sung heroes! They made our world go around this past perilous year as essential workers and, well, they know a thing or two (or seven) about staying charged up, refreshed and tidy during those long, long hauls. Whether you’re a truck driver, know one have a long road trip on your summer agenda, take it from the big-rig experts. These are the products truck drivers say they can’t do without.
The drivers we spoke to love their power inverters! These dynamos charge any and everything, including laptops, cooking gear, shavers and so much more. And that's just the 300-watt variety! Nomadic road warriors can opt for a heavy-duty 3,000 watt inverter that can power up items like refrigerators, microwaves and power tools. I’ll admit that this pick is also one of the best purchases of my life. Having a standard AC plug (or two) in the car is a game-changer!
Shop it: Bestek 300W Power Inverter with USB Car Adapter, $36, amazon.com
One driver we spoke to couldn’t say enough good things about this Ninja Foodi Grill for his 34-hour stops. Not only does it grill; it air-crisps, sears, bakes, roasts and dehydrates. The 500-degree cyclonic air system delivers char-grilled marks and the Smart Cook System has four protein settings with nine customizable done-ness levels so there’s no guesswork or under- or overcooking.
The four-quart crisper basket air fries with 75 percent less fat than deep frying and the smoke control system keeps the air clear, whether you’re cooking inside your cabin or out. Five-star reviewers rave that it churns out steaks better than their large outdoor grills, and it’s a much easier cleanup than the pans and pots they’d need to pull off these types of delicious restaurant-quality results.
Shop it: Ninja Foodi 6-in-1 Smart Grill, $220, amazon.com
When your car is your home, you prioritize keeping it neat. Truck drivers – and let’s face it, moms — love a powerful car vacuum that easily plugs directly to your vehicle’s 12V outlet and gets the job done. Like this model from the folks at This Worx. It's got a 106-watt motor for the oomph you need; its 16-foot cord allows you to vacuum every square inch of your space, its brush head picks up lint and dirt from carpets and upholstery, and the detailing flathead hose and extension tube is perfect for those hard-to-reach areas under seats and deep into your cab's crevices — you know, where all the fries end up!
You know how picky people are when it comes to vacuums; if it doesn’t work it’s immediately obvious and we are definitely vocal, but this sucker has nearly 150,000 positive reviews! That seriously speaks for itself.
Shop it: ThisWorx Portable Car Vacuum Cleaner, $37, amazon.com
We were surprised when more than a few truckers called out this BlueParrott headset in particular...but shouldn't have been. It’s a favorite among long-haul drivers for its over-the-head design and industry-leading noise cancellation, that latter feature being especially important during the noisy business of interstate driving. This one blocks out 96 percent of background noise so you can hear and be heard clearly. The padded headband and large cushioned ear cups is comfortable for all-day use and voice control allows you to stay safe on the road. Plus, this guy works for 24 hours on a single charge!
Shop it: BlueParrott Noise-Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones, $146 (was $170), amazon.com
Always being on the clock, drivers want to minimize stops. They also want to keep the caffeine flowing. What to do? This!
Wacaco's portable espresso maker will have you enjoying cafe-worthy java anywhere, anytime...without even having to leave your vehicle! It does it without any electricity or cumbersome accessories. No wonder it's gotten such incredible reviews from Amazon customers. Just add in grinds (or, using an adaptor, ready-to-go pods) and hot water, and the semi-automatic piston pumps out espresso right into the included cup. Prego!
Shop it: Wacaco Minipresso Portable Espresso Maker, $55, amazon.com
Not every driver has the space for a fridge, but they can now have ice at the ready anytime, anywhere with this amazing device. No wonder that, of all the must-haves we surveyed, this one proved most popular among the men behind the wheel.
This portable ice maker from Aglucky has nearly 5,000 positive reviews. Incredibly, it delivers bullet-shaped cubes, perfect for that iced tea, soda or (if you're done driving for the day) cocktail in just eight minutes! Just fill its water tank and it does the rest! The indicator alerts you to add more water and the transparent window lets you see how much ice you have at a glance. Incredibly, this machine can make up to 26.5 pounds in a day! Not only can it chill your beverages, it can keep food in coolers cold, too, which is key for drivers wanting to keep some homemade delicacies at hand.
Shop it: Aglucky Portable Ice Cube Maker, $125, amazon.com
All-night drives are part of the long-haul game, and it can definitely put a strain on your peepers. Drivers love these yellow polarized glasses from Optix, which they say give them “night vision” and reduce the glare of oncoming headlights and other bright beams that can be uncomfortable and distracting...and therefore dangerous.
These glasses are able to magically tune down bright lights so you can see in more detail around you, including crucial road markings and signs. The rubber finish is durable, and many reviewers say the frames fit right over their prescription glasses. Off-road, they're great for fishing, sport activities and for eliminating the blue light emitted from smartphones. The other thing impressing all these users? The $16 price tag!
Shop it: Optix Polarized Night Vision Glasses, $16, amazon.com
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