The 7 Best Car Chargers to Buy in 2018

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.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Roav VIVA Alexa-Enabled Car Charger

The Roav VIVA is certainly one of the pricier option on the list, but that’s because it’s more than just a charger. This little device is actually an Alexa-enabled smart accessory, and it brings a whole new level of control to your in-car entertainment and navigation experience. Simply plug it into your console outlet, connect it to your phone via Bluetooth and instantly get directions, make phone calls, stream music and more, just by asking Alexa. The Viva’s built-in Acoustic Echo Cancellation technology is able to isolate your voice from the background and accurately pick up on what you say. And for those times when you don’t want Alexa listening, just press the single mute button on top of the charger to shut off the mics. 

But this device is still a charger at its core, and when it comes to speed and power, the Viva is one of the best. Its USB ports are created with Anker’s patented PowerIQ technology, bringing your devices up to full battery with lightning speed. And the dual-port design means both you and your passenger can plug in simultaneously. 

Best Budget: Anker 24W Dual USB Car Charger PowerDrive 2

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.

Runner-Up, Best Budget: RAVPower 24W Dual USB Car Charger

Compact, affordable, and notably powerful, the RAVPower 24W Dual USB Car Charger gives you excellent bang for your buck. It doesn’t boast any fancy extra features, but it doesn’t have to – this charger is durable, compatible with all USB-powered devices and designed to deliver a quick charge. Its two 2.4A USB ports are created with iSmart Technology to automatically determine the optimal charging current for your device, and they maintain a constant voltage for safer and more efficient charging. The outside of the charger has an anti-scratch metallic coating to keep it looking new, and the whole thing is designed for ease of use: a shape that’s simple to plug in and remove, and LED-lit ports so you can charge up in the dark. The RAVPower charger even comes with its own three-foot lightning to USB cable (compatible with newer generations of Apple devices). All considered, the RAVPower is a great deal for the price. 

Best 2-in-1: Nonda ZUS

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.

Best for Backseat: Belkin Road Rockstar

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.

Best for Families: Jelly Comb 6 Ports 65W/13A Lightning Car Charger

With blazing 65W rapid charging that supports up to six of your devices, there’s no better car charger for your family than the Jelly Comb. One of it’s most unique features is its smart identification technology that recognizes your device and distributes the maximum charge current possible with its 2.4A per USB output.

The Jelly Comb is built for families in mind. It’s made with an industry grade material with premium circuitry that makes it both reliable in safety and performance. Kids in the backseat don’t have to worry about stretching, as the Jelly Comb has a 3.3 feet adapter cable to make sure everyone can get their charge on. Don’t worry about compatibility issues either – the Jelly Comb offers universal compatibility with all USB powered devices (the iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, tablets, sports watches and more).

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