The 7 Best Car Chargers to Buy in 2017

Make sure your device never runs out of battery while on the road

These days, we're glued to our smartphones and tablets, but unfortunately it's hard to make sure they're always juiced up, so portable USB chargers have become a necessity. And, fortunately, there are a bunch of excellent inexpensive car chargers available that can be used for multiple purposes. For example, say the whole family needs a charge on a road trip? No problem. And if you need to give some extra juice to backseat riders? No sweat. Read on to find the top car chargers you need to make sure your phone never runs out of battery.

When it comes to charging your smartphone (or other electronic gadgets) in your car, look no further than the Scosche reVOLT. The compact size supports two USB 2.4A (12W) of power, which offers enough power to charge two full-sized tablets at once. The higher output also means you’ll get a slightly faster charge over standard car chargers. The Scosche measures just under 2 inches and is slightly smaller than the height of a credit card. If we had to offer any gripes about this model, it would actually be one that is reserved for all car chargers, regardless of price or manufacturer, one-way insertion. Unlike Apple’s lightning charger, standard USB ports still only accept cables in one direction. It’s a frustration, but given how widespread this is, it’s hardly a deal breaker.

Although a good number of cars being produced today offer USB integration, the charging speed of a vehicle charger only offers about 1 amp of output, which is not enough to keep up with a modern-day smartphone trickling out battery life while using Apple or Google maps. In this scenario, you’re likely going to end up at your destination with a battery that was less charged than when you started. At just .8 ounces, the Scosche offers a product that will charge your smartphone at the same speed as your wall charger. The inexpensive price, trusted name, small frame and glowing blue ports that make it simple to plug in when dark make the Scosche an easy recommendation for our top pick.

In general, car chargers don’t have a vast array of features that will differentiate the products greatly. And that’s OK, because it means there are lots of solid options out there. But the CC-S1 sets itself apart, thanks to design and affordable pricing.

One of our favorite things about the AUKEY CC-S1 car charger is that when plugged into your car’s cigarette lighter, it sits flush against the edge of the outlet, saving you space and giving off a sleeker design aesthetic. Like many others on this list, it has room to charge up to two devices at once, though the CC-S1 does it at full speed with 5V 2.4A of dedicated adaptive power output per USB port. Best of all, it has built-in safeguards that prevent your devices from falling victim to excessive current or overheating.

Each USB port supplies 2.4 amps of juice, which allows for charging two devices (smartphones, tablets and even Macbooks) at the same time. Weighing just 1.6 ounces and measuring 3.4” long, this model happens to be on the “larger” size compared to the rest of our top picks.

There are no bells, whistles, GPS location, but the 3-foot long cable is long enough to stretch to the back seat. If you’re looking for something that’s basic, budget-friendly and ready to go, there’s little question that you should wish list this Anker 24W Dual USB Car Charger PowerDrive 2 model right away. The lightweight, low-profile and out-of-the-way design make this sub-$12 choice a steal, and we’d recommend picking it up just to have an extra car charger lying around the house, if nothing else.

There aren’t a lot of pieces of technology that you can buy for $10 that provide you with as much peace of mind at this Maxboost car charger does. The 24W/4.8A charger plugs into your car and charges up to two devices at a time via its USB outputs. The outputs have blue LED lighting, so you can easily find them in the dark and its smart ports automatically optimize charging speed.

According to reviewers, it charges your devices about as fast as a wall charger does. People also praise its cute design, which features a polycarbonate inner layer, plus a flexible external molding that offers a soft grip. On top of that, it takes up minimal space as well, so you can keep your car tidy.

In addition to powering up your mobile device, the Zus Smart Car Charger is also a car locator, thanks to the free Android and iOS companion app. Not only will the Zus remember where you parked, but it will help guide you back to your vehicle via GPS. Connected via Bluetooth, Zus will notify you when you stop your vehicle, lets you know that the location has been saved and asks if you want to set a parking time. Once you’re out of Bluetooth range, GPS takes over and voila, you'll instantly find your car's location.

With 4.8A of total output (2.4A per outlet), the Zus can charge two iPads in roughly 3.75 hours. It is composed of military grade 810g German Bayer polycarbonate body and titanium coatings on the metal connectors. The LED highlights on top will help for use at night, and the included chip identifies the type of device you’ve plugged in providing the maximum rate of charge that your device will accept. If all you really need is a standard car charger, the extra expense of the Zus might seem unnecessary. However, if style, a lifespan more than 2x the competition and fantastic build quality are super important, than the Zus is a no-brainer.

The Belkin Road Rockstar is our vote for the best backseat charger. This 7.8-ounce product has a combined 2.4A in the front and two separate 2.4A openings for the backseat via an extendable USB hub. Combined, those two separate hubs means that everyone has charging options.

When designing the Rockstar, it’s likely Belkin had tablets in mind as the backseat chargers are designed more for tablet use, thanks to increased 2.4A separate USB ports. It’s perfectly OK to charge smartphones as well, but the original intent was clearly focused on rear-seat passengers boosting battery life on tablets. It would have been ideal for the Belkin to consider the higher-amp in the front passenger charging capacity as well, rather than separating the 2.4A between the two USB ports offering up a slightly slower charging time.

Aside from charging capacity, the Belkin includes a six-foot cable offering more than enough line to clip to a backseat car pocket. There’s also a three-meter double-side adhesive included if you have considered a more permanent charging option for rear-seat passengers.

Sometimes, you just need options that will keep the whole clan happy on a long road trip. Thankfully, Anker knows exactly that and introduced a five-port USB car charger complete with PowerIQ technology. Incredibly, Anker packed all of this into a package that weighs just 3.8 ounces and is 3.2” long. PowerIQ tech replicates the charging protocol of your device’s original charger and only charges at the fastest possible charging speed that won’t damage your device.

The cable itself is reinforced to prevent wear and tear, a real concern if you have five individuals all vying for the same USB ports on a regular basis. The family-sized 50 watts and 10A of power offer more than enough juice to power phones, tablets and any other devices a family of five might need at the ready. As if you needed even more reason to believe the Anker is family-friendly, the five-port option comes complete with surge protection and temperature control to keep everyone in the family safe and powered up. Anker even goes as far as claiming that one out of every three chargers sold on Amazon carries their name. With the quality of their products and the high reviews, there are very good reasons why this model gets a highly recommended rating.

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