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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 3ft (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. Monoprice Pallete Series USB-C to USB-A Cable
USB-C is quickly becoming the defacto charging port for everything from Bluetooth speakers to ultra-powerful tablets. 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.
2. Anker Powerline+ III Lightning to USB A Cable
If you use an iPhone or non-Pro iPad, Anker’s Powerline+ III Lightning to USB-A cable is one of the most useful accessories you can get.
Available in 3-feet and 6-feet sizes, the cable is nylon braided and has a bulletproof fiber core. Anker says this allows the Powerline+ III to survive over 35,000 bends, and withstanding 175 pounds of force. The bottom line is that you won’t have to worry about this cable falling apart if it lives in your backpack, purse, or jacket pocket most of the time.
Like Monoprice’s cable, the Powerline+ III can only transfer data at USB 2.0 speeds, but, the cable is MFI (Made for iPhone/iPad) certified, so it’s guaranteed to work at full speed when connected to any computer. If you rely on your iPhone for work, gaming, photography, and directions, Anker’s Powerline+ III will help you keep it charged.
3. AmazonBasics Nylon Braided USB-C to Lightning Cable
If you want to charge your iPhone at its maximum charging speed, you need a USB-C to Lightning cable.
This durable one from AmazonBasics is available in 1-foot, 3-feet, and 6-feet sizes, and comes in three colors. The cable is MFI certified, and Amazon says it’s designed to withstand up to 4,000 bends. The company used braided nylon to protect the cable itself, and aluminium to reinforce the connectors, which are especially vulnerable to damage.
AmazonBasics’ cable can transfer data at USB 2.0 speeds, but makes up for that by being able to charge your iPhone’s battery by 50% in 30 minutes. Just make sure you connect your phone to a USB-C power adapter if you want to take advantage of fast charging.
4. AUKEY Durable Braided Nylon USB-C to USB-C Cable
AUKEY’s Durable Braided Nylon USB-C to USB-C Cables are my personal charging cables of choice.
Available in 3.3-feet and 6.6-feet sizes, the cables support up to 60W (Watt) of power transfer, which is more than enough to fully charge a 13-inch MacBook Pro. The cables have a double-braided nylon outer layer, and a TPE (Thermoplastic elastomer) coating beneath for increased durability. The connectors are made out of a zinc alloy, and are terminate at a 90-degree angle, so they don’t stick out of your devices when you’re charging.
AUEKY bundles these cables in a two-pack — one black, one red — so you can keep one at home and take the other with you. I’ve used these cables to charge my iPad Pro and a Windows laptop with a USB-C PD (Power Delivery) port, and they’ve done a great job. The cables feel solid in the hand (soft to the touch, but strong when bent), and perform really well, even if they’re stretched or put under extra force.
5. Nomad Ultra Rugged Universal Cable
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 this cable only comes in one size: 3-feet, so you have to be ok with that restriction. Beyond that, this is cable checks all of the boxes, and it’s the first one I grab when I leave the house.