Upgrade your commute to class with these clever car accessories

As summer vacation comes to an unfortunate close, students everywhere are gearing up for the school year ahead. Days at the lake and coast-to-coast road trips are being replaced by study groups and lecture halls, and although we can’t do much about the curriculum, we might be able to help make your commute more exciting.

We love cool car tech at Digital Trends, so we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite automotive accessories that’ll help you get to class on time, in comfort, and in style. Here are the best in-car gadgets for back to school.

Escort Passport Max2 HD radar detector ($530)


Back in the day, I was pulled over by my high-school security officer as I rushed to deliver donuts to my morning class on the last day of school. Ironic, right? Maybe the Escort Passport Max2, one the best radar detectors on the market, would have prevented it. With handy speed notifications and fewer false positives than most radar detectors, the Max2 could very well get you out of a costly and time-consuming ticket. Read our full review here.

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Garmin nüviCam LMTHD navigator with built-in dash cam ($394)


The Garmin nuviCam is spendy, sure, but it’s one of the most comprehensive driving aids on the market. With accurate navigation and a high-resolution screen, the nuviCam will help you select the best route to campus, but that’s only the start. The device also responds to voice commands, includes a high-definition dash cam that never stops recording, and trick driver-assist features like forward-collision and lane-departure warnings. Read our full review here.

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Viper 5706V LCD 2-way security + remote start system ($195)


Simply put, school parking lots can be playgrounds for car thieves. The 5706V system by Viper helps protect your vehicle with conventional alarm functions, but also offers a remote that will alert you if someone tampers with your ride. The remote boasts a one-mile range and remote-start technology.

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Cobra CDR 900 HD dash cam with WiFi ($88)


If you don’t need the extra features of the Garmin nuviCam, Cobra’s CDR900 could be right up your alley. The small dash cam is a snap to set up and features high-quality recordings, plus it offers applications that allow you to live stream video to your smartphone. Because of its compact construction, the CDR 900 can even be used to record lectures and presentations inside the classroom without obstruction, and can record 1.5 hours of footage without being plugged in. Read our full review here.

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Cobra JumPack jump starter + portable power pack ($68)


Nobody likes getting stuck in parking lot, and Cobra’s sleek, lightweight jump starter all but eliminates dead battery woes. The JumPack is very easy to use and even includes a bright LED flashlight so you can see under the hood. What’s more, it can charge mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Cobra’s product weighs less than 11 ounces and can fit in most pockets. Read our full review here.

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RoadPro 12-volt portable stove ($33)


Most experts agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it’s the one most of us skip in a rush to get to class or work. This portable 12-volt stove and food warmer allows you to prepare and reheat food during your morning commute. Whether it’s eggs, potatoes, beans, or even full-size meals like stews and rice dishes, this on-the-go cooker plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter and heats up to 300 degrees.

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Air Spencer CS-X3 air freshener + refill, squash scent ($20)


The CS-X3 is probably the least techie accessory on our list, but it’s one of the most essential — nobody likes a stinky car after all. Sporting a modern look and convenient refill cartridges, the Air Spencer can be placed anywhere in the car, the scent lasts for four weeks, and it exudes a wonderful “Squash” scent. Squash, you ask? It may sound strange, but you’ll have to trust us, because it really does smell quite lovely.

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