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Winter road conditions present some of the most dangerous driving conditions you can find yourself facing. From icy roads to deep snow to other drivers who are simply overconfident in their abilities or the quality of their tires, lots of things can go wrong. These kinds of winter conditions are actually the leading cause of stranded motorists. If you find yourself facing an unexpected road closure or severe winter storm in a rural area, you could be in for a long day, night or worse yet — even longer. We’ve already examined how being prepared for poor driving conditions is crucial in our Winter Safety Series piece: Emergency Essentials For Your Winter Car Bag.

But remember, the single most important thing you can do to stay safe and on the road in winter is to have a good set of tires on your car. Tire World USA is committed to providing the best-priced tires, and a great selection of them, to make sure that our customers have traction and control no matter what time of year it is. Tire World USA is a preferred tire retailer for all the name brands you trust and carries passenger car tires, SUV tires, all-terrain tires for trucks and more. Provide yourself with the peace of mind that your family is safer with a set of new tires from Tire World USA.

Today, we’ll continue to look at winter car bags in case you find yourself in a tough spot, and we’ll discuss whether it makes more sense to buy a premade winter survival bag for your vehicle, or build your own.

The Argument For Buying Premade Winter Vehicle Bags

Just like buying tires from a trusted tire retailer like Tire World USA, there are a lot of options when it comes to premade winter emergency bags for your car, truck, or SUV. Getting the essential gear you want to have in case of a roadside emergency during bad winter weather can be convenient, cost-effective, and even informative when choosing to go with one of the many prebuilt options on the market.


If you’re a busy person who wants to have a sense of safety for your snowy commutes, but you don’t have a lot of extra time, buying a prebuilt winter bag for your vehicle might be a good choice. The ease of access that online shopping offers allows you a wide variety of brands and contents to choose from. Additionally, premade survival bags of any kind typically come in a small backpack or tote, making them easy to move from vehicle to vehicle if needed. This is a great option for people who travel to snowy regions for business and rent cars or switch out cars with friends and family regularly. Despite the fact that saving time is important to you, we encourage you to remember that making the right choice by thoroughly reviewing your options is still a worthwhile investment.

Cost Control

Building your own winter emergency car bag can get pricey quick. A huge advantage of buying a prebuilt bag is cost control, making this route very attractive to the budget minded consumer. If you have a set dollar amount that you are willing to invest in your winter emergency bag, you can ensure that you won’t overspend by choosing a premade winter survival bag for your vehicle. You can expect to spend anywhere from $50 to $120 plus shipping and handling depending on how well stocked of a bag you want.

Professional Guidance

If you’re not someone who grew up in the boy scouts, campfire girls, or who spends a lot of time hiking and camping, the straightforward kind of supplies typically stocked in a premade winter vehicle bag might feel more accessible. Furthermore, virtually every commercial winter survival bag comes with helpful instructions for weathering a storm in your vehicle, tips for staying warm, and directions for using the geat in your bag. Having the right tools without the understanding of how to employ them properly does you little good in a survival or emergency situation. Some of the options we have seen even come with dedicated roadside assistance programs included or at a reduced cost as long as you register your product.

The Cons Of Buying a Premade Bag

As established, there are a lot of reasons to choose a premade winter survival bag to keep in your vehicle. There are, however, a handful of drawbacks to be aware of. Commercial winter bags for your car generally focus on the survival aspect of a winter roadside situation. There are plenty of scenarios where, with the right tools and knowledge, you can get your vehicle unstuck and get back on the way to your destination safely. Another thing to keep in mind is that premade bags are typically designed and packed for a single person. If you spend a lot of time with your family, children, or friends in the car, you likely won’t have enough supplies to go around. Finally, almost all of the premade bags on the market require a small additional investment in basic supplies like a scraper and brush, food, and water.

The Argument For Building Your Own Winter Vehicle Bag

You’ve lived in your neck of the woods for some time now and you know a thing or two about how bad winters can get and what kind of road conditions can be expected. This empowers you to be the best judge of what supplies, tools and what quantities of them you need to be sufficiently prepared for a winter roadside emergency.


When building an emergency winter survival bag for yourself, you can utilize your own knowledge of your area, the weather, and what kinds of methods you prefer for dealing with winter road conditions. Some people prefer cat litter over sand, while others have discovered that they see value in a long-term investment in reusable winter traction mats. Not a fan of a specific brand of handwarmer that comes in every single commercial bag? Pick the products that you prefer, the brands you trust, and give yourself the tools to use methods that you’ve been successful with for getting unstuck before. The personalization of building your own winter car bag is, for many people, enjoyable and comforting. Additionally, building your own bag from scratch gives you the ability to construct as minimal or as overblown of a survival gear set as you feel comfortable with.

Quality Control

Most of the gear that you will find in a prebuilt winter emergency bag is acceptable in quality, but not much more. If you are someone who insists on having the best when it comes to safety and survival, then building your own winter car bag is absolutely for you. Many people are of this opinion, and they aren’t disappointed when the time comes to make use of the materials and supplies that they have handpicked for durability, flexibility, and overall quality when their safety is on the line.

Reuse Of Gear

For avid campers, hikers, and general outdoorsy types, building your own winter survival bag for your car offers a great opportunity to get continued use of out older or outdated supplies and gear that would work well for a few days at most, but that you no longer want to use now that this year’s more lightweight or fuel efficient model has been released. Weight and size don’t mean quite as much when you are driving your survival gear around as opposed to carrying it on your back. This can also be a great way to flesh out a commercial winter car bag that is lacking a few key items or pieces that you would prefer to have access to.

The Cons of Build Your Own Winter Vehicle Bag

Building your own winter survival bag can be incredibly time-consuming and very expensive. Some would argue that these factors are minimal when compared to the need to be well-prepared, but that is for each and every person to decide for themselves. Furthermore, many people who make their own winter vehicle emergency bags build out a heavy and large collection of equipment that can be inconvenient to store and move, sometimes causing them to leave it at home when they really should have it with them.

Some Things To Keep In Mind

Before making a decision about what choice is right for you, ask yourself a few questions.

  • Where is the majority of my driving in winter done? Is it in an urban or rural environment?
  • How many people do I typically have in the car with me?
  • How much space in the cabin can I dedicate to an emergency winter car bag?
  • What is a budget I am comfortable spending on this?

Answering these ahead of time will help you make the right choice, but the most important questions can you can ask yourself us, “what kind of condition are my tires in?”

Let Tire World USA Help

If you need better tires to stay safe this winter, let Tire World USA help. We offer the best priced tires for making sure you have traction and control when you need it most. Our commitment to safety and quality is second to none, and we’d love to earn your business and help keep you on the road this winter. Shop today and find the tires you need to keep yourself and your loved ones safe this year.