The Best Durable Charging Cables 2021: Lightning, USB-C, MicroUSB - Rolling Stone
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These Charging Cables Are Way More Durable Than the Ones That Come With Your Device

This is an upgrade you’ll appreciate each time you charge your tech

Amazon Basics Double Braided Nylon Cable

Amazon

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Durable charging cables are one of the few tech accessories that are important to have on hand regardless of which gadgets you use.

The charging cables most companies pack in with their devices is shielded with a thin layer of rubber, which typically frays around the connectors after a few months of regular use. It’s annoying to realize this when you’re at home, but can be a bigger issue if you’re trying to charge your phone using an external battery pack while you’re traveling.

To avoid this issue, it’s smart to replace your current cables with ones that were designed to survive thousands of twists, turns, and bends. By making this investment once, you can avoid having to replace your cables regularly, and continue to use the same ones after you’ve upgraded your devices. I switched over to using more durable cables with my devices a couple of years ago, and would never go back.

What Are the Best Durable Charging Cables?

There are many factors to consider when choosing the best durable charging cables for you; below are the most important ones, which we considered while we were researching this list.

Length: The standard length for a charging cable is 3-feet, but almost all of our picks are available in a variety of sizes — in some cases both longer and shorter — so you can find the one that works best in your situation.

Materials: The charging cables we recommend are made out of braided nylon, which is stronger and thicker without adding too much weight.

Connectors: This guide features cables with an array of different connectors (the end pieces that you plug into your device and power source). It doesn’t matter if you have an iPhone or Android phone, an iPad or Fire Tablet, a Kindle or Kobo, you’ll find what you’re looking for here.

1. Satechi USB-C to Lightning Cable

Best USB-C to Lightning Cable

Satechi USB-C to Lightning Charging Cable

Amazon

The fastest way to charge an iPhone is using a Lightning to USB-C cable, and your best option for this type of cord comes from Satechi.

This MFI (Made For iPhone) certified cable is 6-feet long, which is double the size of the one Apple includes with the iPhone. It’s wrapped in braided nylon that feels durable and soft to the touch. The material Satechi uses makes this cable thicker than Apple’s, but the trade off is totally worth it.

Satechi says this cable can charge an iPhone’s battery roughly 50% in half an hour, and our tests confirmed that statistic. One thing to keep in mind is that you’ll need a high-powered USB-C charger if you want to get those speeds.

If you use an iPhone or Airpods, and want to solve your low-battery blues, Satechi’s USB-C to Lightning Charging Cable is the perfect solution.

Buy: Satechi USB-C to Lightning Cable at $24.99

Note: There’s a 10-inch version of this cable if you need to charge your phone at your desk and don’t want clutter. It’s available at Amazon for $17.99.

2. Anker Nylon USB-C Cable

Best USB-C to USB-C Cable

Anker Nylon USB-C Cable

Anker

Most modern gadgets, from laptops to noise-cancelling Bluetooth headphones require a USB-C to USB-C cable to charge at their maximum speed.

Anker’s Nylon USB-C to USB-C cable is 10-feet long, and made out of a material designed to hold up after being bent 12,000 times. We were not only impressed by the quality of the cable, but the sturdiness of the connectors on both ends. There’s nothing flimsy here.

This type of cable is extremely common, but Anker’s cord stands out because it can charge devices at up to 100W if you have a power adapter that’s fast enough. Most charging cables have a maximum charging speed of 60W, which is 50% less efficient. If you’re trying to get a good charge before a flight, class, or work presentation, this makes a big difference.

If you need a cord that can charge your devices more quickly, and won’t flake out after a few months of regular use, Anker’s Nylon USB-C cable is the one to get.

Buy: Anker Nylon USB-C Cable at $29.99

3. Monoprice Pallete Series

Best USB-C to USB-A Cable

Monoprice Pallete Series

Amazon

USB-C to USB-C cables may charge your devices quickly, but you don’t need that speed if you’re charging smaller gadgets like Bluetooth earbuds.

In that case, your best bet is getting a USB-C to USB-A cable. Monoprice’s Palette Series USB-C to USB-A cable allows you to charge these devices using a standard USB power adapter, or your computer.

The cable is made out of tangle-resistant braided nylon, and is available in three sizes: 6-inches, 3-feet, and 6-feet, so you should have no trouble finding one that fits your needs. You can also use this cable to sync data between your device and computer, but it only supports USB 2.0 transfer speeds, which are a fair bit slower than the new USB 3.0 standard.

Still, if you want a durable charging cable that can be used with a growing number of devices, Monoprice’s Pallete Series USB-C to USB-A cable is the right choice.

Buy: Monoprice Pallete Series Cable at $29.99

4. Amazon Basics Double Braided Nylon Cable

Best Micro USB to USB-A Cable

Amazon Basics Double Braided Nylon Cable

Amazon

While most gadgets have made the move from Micro-USB to USB-C, there are still some big holdouts, most notably Amazon’s Kindle.

If you want to charge your legacy gadgets, the durable cable to get comes from Amazon Basics. Its braided Micro-USB to USB-A cable is available in 1-foot, 3-feet, and 6-feet sizes, and comes in three colors. Amazon says the material it used to make this cable was designed to withstand up to 10,000 bends. The company doubled down on durability by using gold-plated connectors

If the devices you rely on every day charge via Micro-USB, this double-braided cord from Amazon Basics is the right accessory.

Buy: Amazon Basics Double Braided Nylon Cable at $10.77

5. Nomad Universal Cable

Best Multi-Use Cable

Nomad Universal Cable

Nomad

If you can only get one durable charging cable, we recommend Nomad’s Ultra Rugged Universal Cable.

This is a MicroUSB to USB-A cable, which has two tips on the end for Lightning and USB-C, so you can use this single cord to charge all of your devices. It’s made out of military-grade nylon, which Nomad says makes it tear-resistant, and capable of withstanding 10,000 flexes. Beneath the braided nylon is a layer of PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), which provides additional protection.

I’ve used this particular cable with multiple devices for over two years, and have never had a single issue. Nomad doesn’t list a data transfer speed, but my iPhone and Kindle have synced quickly and without issue every single time. The only downside is that the 3-foot version of this cable is currently sold out. If you can’t wait a few weeks, the 1-foot option is the way to go.

This is cable checks all of the boxes, and it’s the first one I grab when I leave the house.

Buy: Nomad Universal Cable at $29.95

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