The 10 Best USB Car Chargers

Updated June 16, 2018 by Ezra Glenn

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We spent 47 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. If you're in need of power on the go for your mobile devices, check out our selection of reliable and powerful USB car chargers. They're capable of keeping all of your family's electronics juiced up, including phones, GPS systems, MP3 players, and more, so you and your youngsters can stay entertained, informed and in touch no matter how long the journey. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best usb car charger on Amazon.

10. TeckNet PowerDash D2

If you drive a small vehicle or you just want to save space in your SUV, the sleek but port-plentiful TeckNet PowerDash D2 is likely a good fit for your needs. Its smart USB technology can power up to four devices at once, all while maximizing charging speeds.
  • lightweight at just 40 grams
  • no fast charging available
  • can interfere with tpm systems
Weight 2.4 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

9. Jebsens Volt Meter

The Jebsens Volt Meter reports the voltage of your car battery, a bonus safety function that sweetens an already good deal, considering it also offers dual 2.4-amp ports to keep your phone, tablet, and whatever else that needs juice powered up for the journey.
  • shows real-time output
  • self-adjusting current
  • cannot dim display for night driving
Model EL-04338
Weight 2.1 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

8. iXCC Road Trip

Designed to sit in one of your cupholders, the iXCC Road Trip plugs into your DC socket like most models, but puts your ports even closer to you. It offers a grand total of five amply-powered slots to keep you powered up on the go.
  • retractable 23-inch cable
  • backed by an 18-month warranty
  • bulkier than dashboard-based options
Brand iXCC
Model i-car-charger-10A-5u-bl
Weight 8 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. Nekteck 5.4A

If you've recently upgraded your Android device, it's time to upgrade your adapters too. Look no further than the Nekteck 5.4A, which has a built-in 40-inch cable for USB-C devices, plus a USB-A port compatible with virtually everything, as long as you take your own cord.
  • overcurrent protection
  • up to 3 amps per port
  • cable angle is a bit awkward
Brand Nekteck
Model 4019006
Weight 3.2 ounces
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

6. MaxBoost Smart Port

The MaxBoost Smart Port is certainly a capable enough model, with a 4.8-amp output and an intelligent circuit that will keep your devices safe. But it also boasts a unique ergonomic design, with a polycarbonate inner layer and a soft outer grip for easy handling.
  • comes in white or black
  • charging stops when battery is full
  • protrudes quite a bit from outlet
Brand Maxboost
Weight 4.8 ounces
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

5. Ailun Fast Charger

The Ailun Fast Charger features a subtle blue LED ring for easy nighttime access to its two powerful ports, which helps make up for its lack of flair elsewhere in the design department. It's built with voltage regulators, so it won't overheat, and accepts all USB cables.
  • 35 watts of power
  • backed by a 12-month warranty
  • not the most durable option
Model 4326583824
Weight 1.1 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

4. RavPower Quick Charge 3.0

The versatile RavPower Quick Charge 3.0 is ideal for use with larger devices, like tablets, GPS units, or laptops. It's designed to charge your electronics at maximum speed, with one fast 3.0 port and three 2.4-amp ports, ensuring you stay connected on those long rides.
  • weighs less than 2 ounces
  • impressive 54-watt output
  • some units burn out quickly
Brand RAVPower
Model RP-VC003B
Weight 2.4 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

3. Aukey CC-T8

With the Aukey CC-T8, there's no waiting around for your devices to return to full charge. Both ports on this basic, but highly efficient, adapter boast Qualcomm 3.0 technology, letting you simultaneously replenish your devices up to four times faster than standard models.
  • includes detailed user manual
  • universally compatible
  • no distracting leds
Model CC - T8
Weight 1.6 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

2. Belkin Road Rockstar

From a top name in electronics, the Belkin Road Rockstar looks like a standard 2-port option, save for the cord protruding from its underside. To the delight of your backseat riders, it leads to a power pack with a second pair of ports, so everyone can stay connected.
  • elegant black design
  • dual green led indicator lights
  • 6-foot cable for flexibility
Brand Belkin
Model E9M033bt06-BLK
Weight 2.7 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Anker PowerDrive 2

At just over ten bucks, the Anker PowerDrive 2 is simply one of the best budget buys on the market. It comes in black or white, reliably delivers 2.4 amps to each of your connected devices, and even includes a handy and durable three-foot long micro USB cable.
  • exclusive poweriq technology
  • compact but easy to remove
  • unobtrusive led indicator
Brand Anker
Model B2310012
Weight 2.4 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

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 on June 16, 2018 by Ezra Glenn

Ezra is a writer, photographer, creative producer, designer, and record label-operator from New York City. He's traveled around the world and ended up back where he started, though he's constantly threatening to leave again.

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