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Your car’s charging port may have started out as a way to light up cigarettes while on the road, but since then it’s evolved to be more of a power source for all your portable electronic devices. To take full advantage of it though, you’ll need a good car charger adapter.
How to Pick the Best Car Charger Adapter
Here’s what we suggest reviewing before choosing the right one for your ride and gadgets:
Ports: USB-A has been our go-to plug since USB started becoming commonplace in devices. But nowadays, you’ll want more than just that. Since USB-C has been increasingly in use over the last few years, an adapter that has at least one USB-C port will be more future-proof. Same goes for Micro-USB. However the most convenient is going to be wireless Qi charging, as long as your device supports it. This allows you to simply place your device right on the reactive charging pad, and you’ll still be able to use your phone as it refuels, though wired is generally going to be faster. For bigger devices like a small TV, go for one with an AC plug.
Wattage: A 45-watt USB-C plug will be able to charge up an average-sized laptop. For a regular smartphone, around 20 watts will get the job done just fine. The amount of power delivery in adapters is ramping up too, as some companies have started releasing models that claim to reach up to 100 watts when using just the USB-C port alone. It’s also important to remember that when using all the ports provided, the total amount of charging power is going to be divided between all the devices.
Fit: A loose or flimsy charger can quickly become frustrating to constantly adjust, not to mention unsafe while you’re driving. Finding an adapter with a snug fit may seem like a no-brainer since it’s not a technical spec, but it’s still an important attribute. If the adapter comes with a mount for your device, like some wireless charging models, there are a few different options, so take a moment to check before buying and make sure it’ll fit with your dashboard’s size and material.
What Are the Best Car Charger Adapters?
In this buying guide, we’ve picked the top adapters to power your devices on any road trip.
1. BMK Car Power Inverter
This adapter works goes far beyond just charging phones and tablets. With a total of 200W, the BMK is ideal for RVs, camping, and vans with multiple passengers. A fan inside runs silently, protecting against overheating and overcharging, and this works with a wide variety of devices large and small.
2. Hussell Car Charger Adapter
This sleek and shiny adapter supports just about every brand of phone, including both iOS and Android. QualComm’s QuickCharge 3.0 is built-in (as long as your device is compatible), dishing out 30 watts. There’s also a soft blue light that makes it easy to plug in devices on those nighttime drives.
3. Anker PowerDrive Car Adapter
Anker is a brand we’ve used and relied on for multiple different charging methods over the years. This well-designed adapter delivers a quick charge between its USB-A and USB-C ports, and due to its small size, can squeeze into tight spaces on your car’s panel. It’s UL-certified for safety, and works with phones, tablets, laptops, and even a Nintendo Switch.
4. Crave CarHub USB Charger
For multiple passengers’ devices, Crave’s excellent adapter has four USB-A plugs with varying voltages, and detects and delegates 54 total watts for how much power is needed for each. This is also guarded against overheating, overcharging, and short-circuiting, while remaining lightweight.