The Hunt for the Best Travel Adapter
Alright, I can admit right off the bat that travel adapters are far from the sexiest of travel accessories. Today, people are understandably preoccupied with things like laptops, tablets, smartphones, DSLR cameras, and portable juicers (trust me, they’ll change your life).
BUT none of these sexy travel accessories will work unless you have the best travel adapters making sure your goods are charged and working! So really, in a sense, you can consider the travel adapter the Lord Protector of the Travel Accessories (I don’t know how I’m going to manage until Game of Thrones Season 8, either).
In all seriousness, however, many misconceptions about travel adapters still abound. Some people think the only difference among travel adapters is the outlet shape compatibility, but the reality is many devices require different voltages (North America runs on 110/125V electricity, while most of the world runs on 220/240V), so a voltage converter may be necessary as well.
To figure out which of the best international travel adapters suits you, keep reading for 6 of our favorites!
The Best Travel Adapter 2018
1. BESTEK Universal Travel Adapter
For anyone who treats your smartphone as a camera first or loves streaming video and music to your smart devices, you know how batteries drain like sieves. It honestly has gotten to the point that it seems intentional, but that’s a topic for another article.
Regardless, the BESTEK Universal Travel Adapter solves all these problems with an impressive capability suite, even among the best universal travel adapters. The BESTEK includes 3 AC outlets and 4 USB ports, meaning up to 7 devices can be charged simultaneously – perfect for families and tech junkies alike!
The BESTEK has been found to be a tad loud, but there seem to be no complaints regarding its reliability or performance. Potential customers should also note that the BESTEK does not include a built-in voltage converter, so travelers with items like portable hair dryers should consider bringing a separate converter on your trip.
Also, despite having 7 total charging stations, the BESTEK weighs under 10 ounces, meaning one of the best travel power adapters will hardly weigh down your backpack or bag!
2. Syncwire Travel Adapter with USB Wall Charger
For those anticipating smartphones, tablets, and other USB-charged devices as your main travel accessories, the Syncwire USB Wall Charger is hands-down the best travel adapter with USB-only charging on the market.
The Syncwire’s four USB ports allow you to charge multiple devices simultaneously and, crucially, it comes with a built-in voltage converter that automatically converts the voltage depending on which device is charging. The Syncwire also comes with removable adapters compatible with United States, United Kingdom, and European Union outlets.
Despite all this functionality, the Syncwire weighs under 7 ounces and can easily fit even into the smallest of carry-on bags. One last thing the geniuses at Syncwire did to truly make this among the best travel converter adapters is install “Smart IC” functionality – when many devices are charging simultaneously and the Syncwire senses overheating or overcharging, it automatically shuts down to protect your devices.
3. Key Power Converter & International Travel Adapter
For travelers seeking both the ability to charge multiple devices and a built-in voltage converter from their travel adapters, the Key Power 200-Watt Step Down Voltage Converter & International Travel Adapter fits the bill perfectly.
The Key Power contains three AC outlets compatible with North American, European, and Asian outlet sizes, four USB ports – cleverly located completely opposite the AC outlets, to avoid the despair-inducing scenario when all your devices get tangled – and a step-down voltage converter that automatically enables American devices to be used internationally.
However, it is important to point out that the Key Power has a 200-Watt threshold, meaning devices with higher voltage (like hair dryers or straighteners) are still unsafe to use. Like the Syncwire USB charger, the Key Power also has built-in mechanisms to prevent overheating, which is an especially important safety precaution during travel, when it’s easy to get distracted.
At 12.5 ounces, the Key Power is definitely on the bulkier side, but the breadth of its functionality still earns its place among the best travel converter adapters.
4. OREI International Travel Adapter Plug Set
It’s important to note that the previously featured travel adapters exclusively work for popular Western tourist destinations – namely the U.S., U.K., E.U., and Australia. However, true globetrotters might find themselves wanting a more versatile travel adapter, which is why the folks from OREI created their 7 Travel Adapter Plug Set .
The OREI set provides electronic adapter functionality in the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, Germany, Africa, India, and Australia – AKA much more geographically expansive than most travel adapters on this list.
However, the OREI adapter does not covert voltage, so you’ll still need to check your device’s voltage requirements before charging or consider purchasing a converter. One aspect of the OREI that does come in handy is its double receptacle design, which allows two devices to be charged per adapter!
5. Travel Inspira Universal Travel Adapter and Converter
For travelers who want a multi functional travel adapter that’s still incredibly compact, it doesn’t get much better than the Travel Inspira Universal All-in-One Worldwide Travel Adapter.
Each of the two (sold as a set) adapters includes an adapter plug compatible with over 150 countries (U.S., E.U., U.K., and A.U. plugs), two USB ports, and a size smaller than most smartphones. For many who travel with the trifecta of laptop, tablet, and smartphone, the Travel Inspira is perfect – you can charge all your devices simultaneously with something the size of a wallet!
The Travel Inspira does not include voltage converting capabilities but, like many of the best universal travel adapters, it includes built-in fuse protection to prevent your devices from overheating!
6. Kensington International Travel Plug Adapter
A kindred spirit of the Travel Inspira featured above, the Kensington International Travel Plug Adapter is one of the best compact travel adapters featuring both USB ports and a traditional plug adapter.
The Kensington’s slide-out plug adapter is compatible with outlets in the United States, United Kingdom, European Union, China, Japan, and Australia, and its two USB ports allow for a total of 3 devices to be charged simultaneously.
Like the Travel Inspira, the Kensington does not convert voltage, but, unlike the Travel Inspira (or many of the best universal travel adapters, for that matter), the Kensington is engineered with an impressive 2.1 amps of output, which means the Kensington charges devices considerably faster than average – perfect for travelers with packed itineraries!
The Best Travel Gadgets – Summary Comparison Chart
To summarize, here’s a chart summarizing the best travel adapters to take on your next international trip.
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