Searching for the best car charger available today? Our teams researched over 50 top products and purchased 13 of the best to test side-by-side. With so many chargers on the market that appear identical, we understand that it can be tough to figure out which models are worthy of your purchase. Our road-tripping gearheads used every option in their own vehicles, closely evaluating them for charging speed, versatility, user-friendliness, and materials. This in-depth, hands-on review will help you quickly and easily find the best car charger for your specific needs and budget.
The Anker PowerDrive Speed+ 2 is the best overall car charger we tested. With IQ2 and PD 3.0 technology, almost any old or modern device will be supplied with enough power to charge as quickly as your device is capable. The IQ2 technology effectively delivers QC3 compatible devices, like most Samsung and Android devices, the power they require for 'fast charging' modes while also providing PD 3.0 technology for the wide range of charging rates on Apple devices, from smartphones to tablets.
It was difficult to find something to dislike about the Anker PowerDrive Speed+ 2, but if we had a single complaint, it is that the Anker is a little bulkier than similar models. Of course, it's a minor complaint as it's still plenty small. Overall, this is an exceptional and versatile car charger that has an approachable price tag and even includes an aesthetically pleasing lighted ring. Unless you need more than a single PD or IQ/QC compatible port, this is a near-perfect model and deserves your consideration.
The Spigen SteadiBoost is an incredibly capable car charger with a standard format and the technology to support both PD 3.0 and QC 3.0 compatible devices. It's also an affordable model and a model that we felt offered one of the most exceptional values from a two-port car charger on the market today.
It's hard to find specific things to criticize about the Spigen SteadiBoost, but if we had to really dig, we wish the power indicator light was a little brighter or larger or the actual USB ports were backlit. Again, our gripes are fairly minor, and this is an impressive model that amazingly offers QC 3.0 and PD 3.0 charging technologies for less than a twenty-dollar bill.
The Tollefe 78W 5-in-1 proved to be a very capable charger and a good option for adding smart charging options to a second-row seat. We like the arrangement of the five ports with two QC 3.0 and one PD 3 on the rear extension, as well as one QC 3.0 and one PD 3 port at the location of the 12v cigarette lighter adapter. Additionally, this model incorporates a voltmeter with a simple LED display that reads your vehicle or power source's voltage. While this may not be super important to many more modern vehicles, it's nice to observe the charge level of your power source, especially if it's an unregulated 12v lead acid battery, for the output voltage and health of your vehicle's electrical system.
The general design of the Tollefe 78W 5-in-1, with a 6-foot extension wire, means that it can get a little messy. Also worth noting is that it has five smart charging ports, but only three can be fully supported simultaneously before there is a significant degradation across all of the ports and charging performance. All around, it's a great option for large modern families with an older or classic vehicle.
Technology: QC, 2.4A | Ports: 6 (four QC, two 2.4A)
REASONS TO BUY
4 QC ports
2 2.4A ports
Consistent power to all ports
REASONS TO AVOID
No PD ports
The AI AIKENUO Multiport QC 3.0 is a great charger for those who demand a lot of power to keep multiple QC3-compatible devices charged while on the go. It simultaneously supports charging multiple devices at the maximum rates and does not reduce power to a given port as devices are plugged in.
Four simultaneously supported QC 3.0 ports in addition to two standard 2.4 amp USB-A ports cause the AI AIKENUO Multiport QC 3.0 to be just a little bit bulky; however, its design is sleek and aesthetic for its size. This car charger should be enough to keep multiple smartphones, tablets, and action cameras juiced up and ready for the next adventure, and it is worth considering if you have lots of QC or standard USB-compatible devices.
The iOttie Auto Sense Qi Wireless Car Charger is a fantastic device for those who frequently use their smartphone's wireless charging feature while on the go. The device is easy to use, with an automatic sensing system that allows you to simply place your phone on the charger and let it do the rest. The charger is also equipped with Qi wireless charging technology, which allows you to charge your phone quickly and efficiently without having to fuss with cords or wires. One of the standout features of this charger is its strong suction cup mount that will hold your phone securely in place while driving, even on bumpy roads. The charger is also compatible with a wide range of phone sizes.
While we liked the iOttie Auto Sense, the nature of its design makes it inherently bulky. We also liked that the charger includes an extra USB port, but we wish it was rated to either QC, IQ, or PD. Overall, if you're in the market for a high-quality wireless car charger, this model is definitely worth considering.
The BESTEK 300W Power Inverter is the best option for creators on the go. In particular, those with a 110 A/C power requirement. While we live in an increasingly modern world that is heavily dependent on mobile devices, and mobile media, nothing beats a laptop for content creation. Sure, you can use apps to produce shorts, but high-end photo touch-ups or cutting a film for more than a couple of minutes really require the use of a laptop, and in most cases, that laptop will require an A/C outlet.
Unfortunately, since the BESTEK is a 300-watt A/C inverter and not just a DC-to-DC charger, it's a little clunky. Also, while it has two USB-A ports, they are standard 2.4A ports and do not support fast charging standards like PD or QC. In terms of a smartphone charger, it's rather limited when it comes to speed. However, on a comparative scale to most two-outlet 300-watt inverters, it's relatively compact. We think it is a good tradeoff for creators on the go, who need to power action cameras, headlamps, and smartphones, but also need to do work on a laptop to do things like cut and publish videos.
Why You Should Trust Us
We began our review process by sorting through dozens of the most common chargers on the market and then narrowed down our selection to the most promising models. We made sure to include chargers with fast charging technologies, wide device support, and multiport chargers. We purchased these chargers for our rigorous hands-on testing process, which included very technical electric measurements, in addition to higher-level evidence gathering, like timed battery charging.
Our testing is divided into the following four key metrics:
Power Output & Charge Time: (35% of overall score weighting)
Ports: (25% weighting)
Features: (25% weighting)
Size (15% weighting)
For this review, we recruited Ben Hickok, who brings a strong electronics, IOT, software, and hardware background. Seeking the best climbing, skiing, hunting, and fishing adventures, he spends a lot of time in a car with the need to power objects like cameras that help him document and share his experiences. Working from the road, he frequently requires devices to keep laptops and smartphones charged. Unfortunately, keeping phones, cameras, laptops, headlamps, and other devices powered can be a challenge that often leads to a large mess of wires and electronics. Over time he's narrowed down his process and reduced his clutter by seeking out versatile and capable car chargers to keep him organized while on the go.
Analysis and Test Results
We've organized the thorough analysis following our testing by metric, identified notable models based on their respective performances, and also included details about different models that are important for choosing the best one for your needs.
A lot of travelers may not need to power laptops, GPS systems, or cameras while on the road, and for most, a charger that is capable of supplying power to a smartphone that is adequate for at least one of many 'fast charging' modes is enough. As such, an A/C inverter isn't the best choice to keep a phone powered on a work commute and wouldn't be the greatest value. Likewise, a single 2.4 amp charger isn't going to keep multiple action camera batteries powered up for the next adventure and would be an impractical purchase if that's your intent.
In general, some models stood out as a good value, based purely on an overall performance metric to price ratio. The Anker PowerDrive Speed+ 2 offers exceptional performance all-around, with support for a wide range of devices (IQ2 and PD), at what seems like an approachable price point. However, the Spigen SteadiBoost offers similar performance for about two-thirds the price, supporting devices with PD and QC 3.0.
If you just need a single QC 3.0 charger to keep that one Samsung or other QC-compatible device charged while on the go, then the Hussell 3.0 is a really economical choice from which you can expect good and reliable performance.
Power Output & Charge Time
When it comes to charging times, the most important factor to consider is the actual power output that each model can produce, as the charging times of most smart devices are limited to onboard circuitry and not just the limitations of any particular charger. This metric, given its critical importance, comprises 35% of each charger's total score.
Before diving into which models were top picks, it's important to disseminate and understand the different charging technologies, especially the most commonly used and supported ones. PD (Power Delivery), QC (Quick Charge), and IQ (Intelligent Quick Charge) are all different charging technologies used by various companies in their chargers and devices. Each technology has its own unique features and benefits.
Power Delivery (PD) is a charging technology that uses an advanced communication protocol to negotiate the charging voltage and current with the device being charged, allowing for faster and more efficient charging. PD can deliver up to 100W of power and is compatible with a wide range of devices.
Quick Charge (QC) is a charging technology developed by Qualcomm that enables faster charging times for compatible devices. QC chargers use a proprietary communication protocol between the charger and the device being charged to increase the charging voltage and current, resulting in faster charging times. QC is currently available in versions up to 5.0, which supports up to 100W of power, but the most common QC we see in small devices like a car charger is QC 3.0.
PowerIQ (IQ) is a charging technology that provides fast and efficient charging for compatible devices. IQ chargers use a proprietary communication protocol to detect the device being charged and adjust the charging voltage and current accordingly, resulting in faster charging times. IQ is available in versions up to 3.0, which supports up to 60W of power. However, IQ 2.0 is receiving wider adoption as it supports QC 2.0 and QC 3.0 compatible devices and powers them with their specific power requirements.
In summary, PD, QC, and IQ are all different charging technologies that offer various benefits and features. Understanding if your devices are intended to be charged with one versus another can help you choose the best charger for your specific needs.
The top scoring models for supporting quick charging technologies were the Anker PowerDrive Speed+ 2, Spigen SteadiBoost, and AI AIKENUO Multiport QC 3.0, in that respective order. The Anker PowerDrive earned high marks for an IQ2 port (which has overlapping support for QC 3.0) and a separate PD USB-C port. The Spigen is just as exceptional for reliably supporting a PD USB-C port as well as a QC 3.0 USB-A port.
The AI AIKENOU proved to be pretty great, too, although it has no PD ports. What it does have, is four QC 3.0 ports and two additional 2.4A ports, and it supplies enough power to all ports during simultaneous use so that the charging speed of each device won't slow down. So if you have four QC 3.0 devices that need to be frequently charged while on the road, this is a great option.
We also really liked the UGREEN USB C, as it generally tended to support both QC 3.0 and PD. However, using anything other than a shorter length of cable on the UGREEN caused the QC 3.0 to fail to supply our test device with the correct voltage and current to go into 'fast charging' mode. We repeated the test and tested against other top models that supported the protocol, and those other models were able to operate with longer-length cables.
The Joyroom 5 Multi-port and Tollefe 78W 5-in-1 both performed well in our testing. They proved to be rather good at supporting multiple devices, although their performances began to degrade as the connected devices exceeded three in specific combinations. Ideally, all five ports, whether QC 3.0 or PD, would supply the maximum power supported by the technology, with no degradation to charging rates as devices were connected.
The Nekteck USB Type C and the Hussell 3.0 followed behind the power output leaders, but each one supports at least one PD or QC protocol.
The BESTEK 300W Power Inverter was an anomaly to the rules; while its USB charging ports were standard 5v 2.4A USB-A ports, it is the only model we tested that inverts power to supply up to 300 watts across two 110-120V A/C outlets.
Our two wireless chargers were also anomalies to the rule, as they are heavily dependent on specific device technology. However, with the iOttie Auto Sense using the supplied charger to power the wireless platform, we achieved the 10w wireless fast charging rates (QI) supported by our test device. We achieved the same results using the CHGeek Wireless charging platform when connected to a QC 3.0 compatible car charger, as one is not supplied with this model.
Bringing up the rear in this specific test metric were the Scosche ReVolt Dual and the AINOPE Mini 4.8A. Neither model supports smart charging technology, and both are limited to 2.4A USB-A outputs.
Our second test metric awarded points for the number of rated ports, not just the quantity, and accounts for 25% of each model's final score. We use the term rated to refer to any of the common charging rate standards that most smartphones and devices are capable of using. We specifically refer to QC 3.0, PD 3, and IQ power standards. We also expected a model to support at least one version of these protocols on a single port and any other ports to be 5v 2.4A USB-A at a minimum. The better car chargers we tested support multiple ports with one or more protocols, usually QC 3.0 and PD 3.
If you are looking for the model with the most number of rated ports, the AI AIKENUO Multiport QC 3.0 won't disappoint, as it has six total ports. However, as the name suggests, it primarily supports QC 3-compatible devices. It includes four QC 3 ports, with an additional two USB-A 5v 2.4A ports, but it does not have any PD compatible ports, which should be a very important consideration for anyone that has devices that are only PD compatible.
The Joyroom 5 Multi-port and the Tollefe 78W 5-in-1 followed behind the AI AIKENUO Multiport QC 3.0 with five ports, respectively. However, all five ports are intelligent. Each model incorporates 3 QC 3.0 ports and 2 PD 3 ports.
The uniquely different physical format of these two models places a couple of ports at the location of the 12v cigarette lighter while placing a couple of others about six feet away via a long cable, giving second-row seats an opportunity to use QC 3.0 and PD 3 ports.
Unfortunately, neither the Joyroom 5 Multi-port nor the Tollefe 78W 5-in-1 can actually support the full charging rates of each port when all ports are being used, and the entire device is limited to about three compatible devices, as the charging rates will decrease at each port.
The Anker PowerDrive Speed+ 2 and Spigen SteadiBoost both ranked well again for their respective support for two rated USB ports. Only the wireless charging models we tested included a single charging port, or no port at all, which is understandable given the intended purpose of their designs.
Car chargers have some essential functions, but some have value-additive features that earn some models higher marks. The subtle details that our testers looked for account for 25% of each model's overall score.
Our testing and evaluations specifically identified whether or not models included charging indicators and power indicating lights, whether each port had a light, a voltmeter, an informative LED display, as well as overall build quality and finish. Other features we assessed that attributed less to each score were the existence of AC Ports or easily replaceable or resettable fuses. However, in the case of the models that actually supported PD, QC, or IQ charging technologies, we asserted that these models had more intelligent protection for their integrated circuitry.
Although it proved to be somewhat limited compared to the best models we tested, the AINOPE Mini 4.8A has an all-metal housing with a nice finish, and combined with its small size, it is almost elegant. Its small size also lets it sit flush in a 12v cigarette lighter, making it look like it always belonged there.
The iOttie Auto Sense has a simple-to-use button and a sensor to detect when a phone has been placed on the charger, and a locking mechanism activates. Another nicety is that it has a USB-A port, so other devices can be supported.
As far as simple features go, we found the Anker PowerDrive Speed+ 2 power light to be quite aesthetically pleasing. The circumference of the face is a blue ring that illuminates when plugged in. We also liked how bright the ports are on the Hussell 3.0.
The Tollefe includes a voltmeter, which is a clever feature. So you'll always have a good idea of when you need to disconnect objects from a 12v lead acid car battery or lead acid battery bank to prevent it from over-discharge and damage.
Lastly, we evaluated the size of each model and awarded more points for the compact nature of chargers. We took into consideration how the number of available ports affects each model's volume. This metric contributed to 15% of each charger's final score.
At the small end of the spectrum, the AINOPE Mini 4.8A and Scosche ReVolt Dual led the way for the smallest-sized chargers we tested. Unfortunately, neither of them supports QC, IQ, or PD charging and are unlikely to charge your most modern devices as quickly as they are capable of being charged.
Fairly average chargers from a performance perspective, like the Hussell 3.0 and UGREEN USB C, are similarly constructed and were only slightly larger than the smallest models, but both support one smart charging protocol at a minimum. In the case of the Hussell 3.0, it's a QC3 port, and in the case of the UGREEN USB C, it is a PD USB-C port. Worth noting though, is UGREEN claims to support QC 3.0 on the USB-A port, but our devices were unable to make use of QC 3.0, or it failed to detect and output an appropriate wattage when using anything other than a very short cable.
The better chargers we tested, especially more intelligent chargers that supported multiple smart charging technologies on more than one USB port, had a little more bulk to them, but additional circuitry for load detection and the correct DC-to-DC power transformation was likely the main factors for that extra mass. The Anker PowerDrive Speed+ 2 and the Spigen SteadiBoost are models that are rather exceptional overall yet still fairly compact.
As models increased in size, the design differences became more dramatic and purpose-driven. Larger models like the AI AIKENUO Multiport QC 3.0, Joyroom 5 Multi-port, and the Tollefe 78W 5-in-1 offer a lot more ports. The AIKENUO offers six total ports in a single unit, while the Joyroom and the Tollefe extend two to three ports, up to another three ports at the end of a 6-foot extension wire. They are not very bulky, and while they are extremely useful for delivering power to the second row of an older vehicle, there will always be a wire that needs to be tucked away somewhere.
We found the general designs of the wireless chargers we tested, the CHGeek and the iOttie Auto Sense, made them understandably a little bulky, although they can easily be removed or the telescoping arm on either one collapsed and folded down to preserve a little space when not in use.
The BESTEK 300W Power Inverter was the largest block-shaped car charger we tested. This is unsurprising, as this model is not just a standard two-port 5v 2.4A USB-A charger but a 300-watt inverter with two 110-120V A/C outlets in a solid aluminum housing that includes a cooling fan.
We hope our comprehensive testing and evaluation of the most promising car chargers on the market today provides enough information to help you understand the range of charging technology that exists and how device compatibility has a big impact on charging performance. Hopefully, you will be able to identify which charger is the best fit for you and your devices, as well as your vehicle and lifestyle.
GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.