8 Best USB Car Chargers | March 2017

We spent 35 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. If you need to have power on the go for all your mobile devices, check out our selection of reliable and powerful USB car chargers. They're capable of keeping all your family's electronics powered up, including phones, GPS systems, MP3 players and more, so your youngsters will stay entertained no matter how long the journey. Skip to the best usb car charger on Amazon.
8 Best USB Car Chargers | March 2017

Overall Rank: 4
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 5
Best Inexpensive
The extremely powerful 26 watt Omaker QC 2.0 Premium car charger is ideal for use with larger devices, like tablets, GPS units, or camcorders. This potent charger offers charging speeds as much as 75% faster than other options. Its aluminum base looks nice, too.
The Ailun 4.8A Universal Charger features a non-overbearing blue LED light for easy nighttime access to its two efficient working ports. It's built with voltage regulators, so it won't overheat, and accepts all USB cables. A lifetime warranty doesn't hurt, either.
The Hongyu 4 in 1 reports the voltage of your car battery, thus acting as both a charger and warning device all in one unit. It also displays the ambient temperature of your vehicle's interior, but only in Celsius, in case you were wondering about that.
If you drive a small car, or you just want to save space in a larger vehicle, the compact TopG Smart Mini is likely the best fit for your mobile charging needs. From your car's 12 volt battery it can create 3.1 amps of output. That's 2.1 amps on one side, 1.0 on the other.
  • less than three inches in length
  • features fuse-free design
  • durable casing protects circuitry
Brand G-TOP
Weight 0.3 ounces
The flashy PowerGen 2.4Amps has a port specific to Apple devices and one for other smart devices. It is available in different styles, and has a bright blue LED light that lets you know it's working. In fact, it is always on and hard to ignore.
  • reliable performance at economical price
  • sophisticated circuit design
  • a bit too long and bulky
Weight 2.9 ounces
The small and mighty 1byone 3-Port 7.2A makes a great car charger for the family that has a mix of tablets & cell phones. It can power multiple devices at the same time as long as you only connect smaller devices simultaneously. Its compact design won't take up much room.
  • high-quality safe for all devices
  • does not overheat
  • snug fit will not fall out of socket
Brand 1byone
Model O00EL-0424
Weight 0.3 ounces
The Anker 24W PowerDrive 2 comes in black or white, and also includes a handy three-foot long USB to micro USB cable. That means easier powering up of devices at an already impressive 2.4 amp charge per port. This allows for handheld use by passengers.
  • exclusive poweriq technology
  • fan-favorite option
  • carries eighteen month warranty
Brand Anker
Model B2310012
Weight 2.4 ounces
The fast charging Crave CarHub 54W not only brings your gadgets to full power quickly, but it also prevents overcharging and short circuits. Three 2.0 ports and one 12 volt port ensure your family stays connected on those long car rides. Its compact design fits anywhere.
  • well built and reliable
  • easily supply power to a gps unit
  • undeniable style and value
Brand Crave
Model CRVCH101
Weight 2.4 ounces

Understanding USB Devices

Technology manufacturers understand that making device-specific chargers is unsustainable and their solution has been to create more USB-chargeable products. Thanks to USB connectors, people no longer have to carry chargers everywhere they go. Smartphone owners can plug their device into a friend’s computer, or any product that has a USB port.

Within the USB network, there is always a host and a device. If the user plugs a phone into a laptop, the laptop is the host and the phone is the device. The host always delivers power to the device, but data can flow in both directions. When a smartphone is plugged into a laptop, the phone can send photos to the computer, but the computer can also send data – like music or apps – to the phone. Whether or not information can be transferred depends on the port. A standard downstream port — the type found on most laptops — delivers power and allows for an exchange of data, but a dedicated charging port only allows for charging. An AC wall plug with a USB port is an example of the latter.

Some ports deliver power faster than others. Many people report that their smartphone charges much quicker when it’s plugged into a laptop, than when it is plugged into a wall charger. The difference in charging speeds is due to the fact that not all ports are created equal. In fact, there are three main USB port types commonly found in devices. USB 1.0 and 2.0 sockets have four pins that carry a 5-volt power supply. USB 3.0 sockets have an additional 5 pins, and can deliver nearly twice as much power. The emergence of the stronger USB 3.0 has caused some people to worry about overpowering their devices. Smartphone owners who received a USB 1.0 or 2.0 wall charger are concerned that by plugging their device into a 3.0 port, they will cause an over surge. But you can plug any USB device and any USB cable into any USB port, without an issue.

How A USB Car Charger Can Save The Day

USB car chargers have a USB port on one end and plug into a cigarette lighter on the other end. The standard American vehicle’s cigarette lighter can send out 12 volts of power, which is more than enough to rapidly charge any personal electronic device.

Most individuals travel with several devices in their car at once, from smartphones to e-readers. It’s common to rely on a GPS app — such as Waze or Tom Tom — to receive proper driving directions and as such, one can be completely lost if their cell phone dies. Stopping at a business and asking for directions is not an option when on a remote road. Having the option to charge a phone through a car could save you from a dire situation.

A USB car charger can be extremely useful when a person is stuck in traffic, late for an important call, and their phone dies. There’s also the possibility of being the passenger on a long car trip with no way to pass the time. By plugging an e-reader into a car charger, one can have instant entertainment. Photographers who need to capture images while traveling can’t afford to have a dead camera on a road trip. Most digital cameras are USB compatible, so photographers can use their vehicle’s power to keep their camera on at all times.

How To Choose A Charger

A car battery can deliver more than enough power to charge several devices at once; it is one of the strongest USB hosts one can find. To make use of this unique resource, buy a charger with multiple USB ports and you could conceivably charge a smartphone, e-reader and camera all at once, and at a rapid speed.

If broken or unresponsive chargers have been a problem, one might appreciate a car charger with an LED light. The light confirms that charging is occurring. Trying to charge and use a device from the backseat is nearly impossible without a charger that includes a long USB cord. If the user can’t sit in the front seat for every ride, but wants access to a power source for their device, a cord that extends a minimum of 3-feet must be chosen.

Some car chargers tell the driver information about the car, like the charge in its battery, or the ambient temperature inside, which can be useful. People with children may appreciate a car charger with a protective cap — this will prevent damage if somebody spills a beverage in the car. It will also stop curious toddlers from putting their fingers inside the socket. If one’s car has an all-black interior, they should avoid the standard black chargers and buy a brightly colored one that is easily spotted between the seats.

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Last updated: 03/22/2017 | Authorship Information