Searching for the best car charger available today? Our teams researched over 50 top products and purchased 8 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 lighting fast Anker PowerDrive Speed+ 2 easily boosts your smartphone from 10% to 80% in roughly 20 minutes. The USB-A and USB-C ports allow for some versatility regarding cable compatibility, and the two ports can be used simultaneously. This powerful car buddy can even charge high-ticket items like Macbook computers. The PowerDrive is also small, and its ergonomic shape makes it easy to both plug-in and remove. The ring light around the outside indicates the power source is working, and the inputs are a lighter blue, providing some contrast and making them easier to see. The output max for each port is 2.4A, totaling 4.8A when both are in use.
While many electronics are moving toward USB-C charging cables, the standard is still a USB-A port. Having one of each makes the PowerDrive versatile if you use both types of chargers, but people who use older devices may find that they only use the USB-A port, making this car charger only able to charge one device at a time. It is also worth noting that the PowerDrive is somewhat expensive compared to other options in our test suite. Still, if you are looking for something small, travel-friendly, and fast, the PowerDrive is a great option.
The Scosche ReVolt Dual is the perfect car charger for the minimalist on a budget. Don't let its small footprint throw you; this dual port charger exports 2.4A per port, ensuring a pretty quick charge time, even for larger devices like iPads. The low profile is great for travel and compact cars. It is simple and easy to use, complete with the brightest port lights we've seen, making it very easy to navigate, even in the dark.
Some car chargers offer different USB ports to ensure a versatile charging experience. Unfortunately, the ReVolt Dual only offers USB-A. Because many electronics are shifting towards USB-C charging, this makes the ReVolt slightly less adaptable. Luckily USB-C charge cords often offer a USB-A side. The small ridge around the rim of the ReVolt sits flush with the DC outlet, making it difficult to remove; however, there are small grooves to help with this. Overall this is a great low-profile option at a friendly price.
The Nekteck USB Type C impresses us with its fast charging speeds and high wattage output, making it a great option for those with modern smartphones, tablets, and laptops. It has a combined output of 57 watts: 12 watts through the USB-A port and 45 watts through the USB-C port. This allows for simultaneous, fast charging of both smartphones and larger devices like tablets or laptops. Or, use the USB-C port to charge a modern smartphone with a quick charging platform. Few other car chargers on the market allow for such fast charging of a wide variety of devices. The product also comes with a C-to-C USB cable, adding value to your purchase. This charger is sturdy, built to last, and did not present any durability issues during our test period. The unit is easy to insert and remove from standard DC outlets and is independently safety tested and certified to prevent power surges and overheating.
One of the downsides of the Nekteck is that it has only one USB-A port, so if your devices are older and can't be charged with USB-C, you'll have only one useful port. Also, the charger head is a bit bulky compared to other two-port chargers. However, these minor drawbacks do not detract from this product's excellent performance.
Two ports feature Qualcomm Quick Charge compatibility
96 watts of current for charging tablets and laptops
Long cord for installation in central location
REASONS TO AVOID
Bulky compared to most other chargers
Not independently safety tested
Only USB-A ports
If you need a charger that can handle up to six devices simultaneously, then the AI Aikenuo Multiport QC 3.0 is for you. This charger has six USB-A-type ports, four of which feature Qualcomm Quick Charge technology, and the other two each offer 12 watts of current for traditional charging speeds. The result is a tremendously versatile charger that enables an entire carful of people to charge their power-hungry devices simultaneously. In the rare case that multiple large devices like tablets and laptops are connected simultaneously as multiple Quick Charge-enabled smartphones, you might see a dip in charging speeds. But otherwise, this charger provides all the charging a family or rideshare would ever need.
With so many ports, the Multiport is understandably larger than its two-port competitors. The charger block measures 3x4 inches and is about one inch thick. Although it is larger, its slender form keeps it from feeling too bulky. It connects to a DC outlet with an included 39-inch cord, so the charger doesn't have to be near the outlet, allowing you to place it in a convenient location that all passengers can access. It has a sleeve bracket that can be mounted to the dash via double-sided tape. Unfortunately, the tape is not very strong, and the charger block slides easily in and out of the bracket. The AI Aikenuo Multiport can also be turned on and off with the push of a button, preventing the unit from drawing too much power from the vehicle's battery. All in all, we think the Multiport is a great value, considering the number of ports and total wattage it provides.
Two USB-A ports and two AC outlets provide supreme versatility
Built-in cooling fan and safety fuse
300 watts for simultaneous charging of power-hungry devices
REASONS TO AVOID
Bulky compared to most other car chargers
Can't be used with heat-producing products or home appliances
Somewhat slow charging
The Bestek 300W Power Inverter is a fully-featured mobile charging device for remote professionals. It has two 120V AC outlets for charging larger devices like laptops, drones, and camera batteries, essentially making this little device an inverter. It also has two USB-A plugs for more conventional mobile devices like tablets and phones. The high wattage provides plenty of charging capability for multiple high-powered devices and is very useful for photographers and videographers who need to charge multiple batteries from their vehicles in remote locations. It features a cooling fan to ensure safe handling and a fixed 24-inch cord with a DC plug at the end. It even has an on/off switch to ensure the charger is not drawing from your vehicle's battery when not in use. All components are well-constructed and seem built to last, and we have not had any issues with durability during testing or beyond.
The two USB-A outlets can dish out up to 12 watts each, meaning that most devices see average charging times. The Bestek also lacks the fast-charging capabilities of USB-C and Quick Charge Devices. If you'll only be charging your modern smartphone or tablet in your vehicle, this charger is probably overkill, and you should check out some of the other small and fast chargers in our review. At five inches long, four inches wide, and two inches thick, the Bestek is rather large. The fan is also noticeable when the device has been running for extended periods. Compared to the sleek and unnoticeable two-port chargers on the market, this one certainly has a larger footprint, but for the right uses, it's worth the real estate.
Why You Should Trust Us
We began our review process by sorting through dozens of the most commonly used chargers on the market and then whittled down our selection to the top contenders. We made sure to include chargers with fast, modern charging technologies, older wattage capacities that work with most gadgets, and multiport chargers. We purchased these chargers for our rigorous hands-on testing process, which included multiple timed charges to take the same iPhone from 10% to 100% battery. We treated the chargers roughly, pulling them in different directions with charging cords and dropping them repeatedly to get a sense of their long-term durability. We also asked our testers to comment on the ergonomics and aesthetics of each charger in different vehicles.
All of these tests were divided across four key metrics:
Charging Speed (35% of overall score weighting)
Versatility (30% weighting)
User Friendliness (20% weighting)
Materials (15% weighting)
For this review, we recruited full-time road warrior and mountain guide Jeff Dobronyi, and full-time van lifer Hayley Thomas. Both Hayley and Jeff travel the country and the world, jumping from one place to the next seeking the best climbing and skiing adventures. Along the way, they document their experiences, ensuring a constant need for charging devices like headlamps, camera batteries, smartphones, laptops, and boot dryers. Jeff readily admits that his passenger seat often looks like a tangle of wires and electronics. Over time, both have learned the ins and outs of car chargers and can keenly make distinctions between seemingly similar options.
Analysis and Test Results
To provide a thorough analysis and objective assessment, we broke down the performance of each product into four categories: charging speed, versatility, user-friendliness, and materials. Following is our breakdown and evaluation of each.
An item's value is determined by the balance of its performance and price. While high-performing electronics are generally more expensive, you don't always need to buy the most expensive option on the market. Case in point is the Nekteck USB Type C — this is the one for you if you're looking for a slightly lower price point but still a speedy charge time. The AI Aikenuo Multiport QC 3.0 also hits a nice balance, with six charging ports that can all be used simultaneously, ultimately offering a great overall value. If you are looking for the most budget-friendly with a decent enough charge time, the Hussell 3.0 is the perfect option. It offers user-friendly features like a light-up USB-A port that is easy to see at night.
While the Anker PowerDrive Speed+ 2 is not an inexpensive option, we do feel it's well worth the money. The hyper-fast charge time, dual charging capabilities, and versatile USB-A and USB-C ports make this car charger a high-value option, even at the higher price point. If your main concern is charge time, there is no better option.
The most important characteristic of a car charger is its charging speed. We need chargers that will quickly and efficiently juice our batteries from empty to full, regardless of the length of our car ride. This metric is so important that many consumers disregard all other features. To test this metric, we noted how quickly each option could charge an iPhone 12 from 10% to 80%. We also plugged in other devices to see whether or not the charge time suffered.
Our testing revealed the Anker PowerDrive Speed+ 2 to be one of the fastest options. It charged our phone from 10% to 80% in a cool 20 minutes. The PowerDrive can also charge larger ticket items, like new MacBooks and iPads. The two ports work independently and do not affect each other's charge time.
The Nekteck USB Type C delivers 12 watts of power through its USB-A port and an impressive 45 watts of current through its USB-C port. This is enough to charge any modern smartphone, tablet, or laptop very quickly.
We are also impressed by the charging times of the AI Aikenuo Multiport and Scosche ReVolt Dual. The Multiport features multiple ports with Qualcomm Quick Charge technology — this charging system allows compatible devices to be charged up to 3 times faster than conventional 12-watt chargers.
Our testers value chargers that are compatible with many different devices and offer enough ports to charge all your electronics simultaneously. Because of that, we took stock of how many ports each charger has, each charger's total wattage, the model's safety certifications, and quick-charge technology capabilities. We also noted the types of ports on each charger.
The Bestek 300W Inverter enables a standard 12-volt DC outlet to power two USB ports and two standard AC power outlets. This allows users to charge devices in their cars that don't come with a USB charging method, like older laptops and some camera batteries. This wide range of compatible ports makes the charger extremely versatile.
We also like the versatility of the AI Aikenuo Multiport, which features six USB ports and a total of 96 watts. Not only can this device charge many devices at once, but it can also charge four of them with high-wattage Qualcomm Quick Charge technology. This is a great choice if you have a large family or drive for a rideshare service.
The Scosche ReVolt Dual and Hussell 3.0 have very low profiles, making them great for travel. They both offer two USB-A ports so you can charge multiple devices simultaneously and are very budget-friendly.
This metric speaks to how easy a product is to handle. We paid attention to how well each charger accepts cords, how much space it takes up, how easily it glides in and out of the DC outlet, and the general ergonomics. While this metric is not as important as the first two, the user-friendliness of these car chargers still has the power to hinder your overall user experience.
The Anker PowerDrive is one of our review's more ergonomic car chargers. It features a relatively sleek and low-profile design but is still easy to plug in and remove from DC power outlets. It doesn't stick out too far into the cockpit but is still large enough to locate and insert cords. The charger is mostly black, but the pop of color in the USB-A port makes it easy to navigate.
The AI Aikenuo Multiport offers light indicators for power, a very long cable for larger vehicles, and a double-sided tape mount (although the tape mount could use some improvement). Like the PowerDrive, the Multiport has bright colors in all six ports, making them easy to see. It also has an on/off button, so you can leave it plugged in without unnecessarily draining your car battery. It is larger than the two-port options but still surprisingly sleek and low profile.
Some runner-ups in this metric are the Scosche ReVolt Dual, Hussell 3.0, and Spigen SteadiBoost, all of which offer two ports and brightly colored interiors. The Hussell 3.0 and Scosche ReVolt ports light up, making them even easier to navigate at night.
While car chargers tend to spend their entire life inserted into the same DC power outlet, they are occasionally thrown into your carry-on or a new car. Like most electronics, car chargers also wear over time, so the materials and the number of moving parts can play a big role in how long they last. We put each charger in our lineup through the wringer, mistreating them a little to ensure their durability. We also performed plenty of preemptive research, reading through countless online assessments from other consumers in search of durability trends.
Unlike most car chargers, the Ainope Mini 4.8A is made entirely of metal. Unfortunately, it performs poorly across our other metrics, but considering most of the options in our test suite are plastic, the Mini deserves a big thumbs up for quality materials.
Another metal-constructed charger is the Bestek 300W. This one has a few more moving parts, like a cooling fan and AC outlets, but it showed no signs of wear during our rigorous testing and beyond.
The Hussell 3.0 is made of polycarbonate material rather than plastic, making it a little more durable than some of the other options in our test suite. Generally speaking, most of the options in our review performed well in this metric, but these three stood out from the crowd.
After putting some of the best car chargers on the market through a rigorous testing process, our expert testers are confident that they have assembled a comprehensive review of this category. From basic chargers to multi-port options and mini inverters for life on the road, we looked at a wide range of options and separated the best from the rest. We hope this review helps you sort through the options and select the best charger for your needs.
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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.