There’s no reason your traffic-laden commute to work can’t double as the perfect time to charge your Apple device. Although there are plenty of car chargers with Lightning connectors out there that are capable of getting the job done, only a select few deserve your attention and hard-earned money. Some may tout a lightweight design or additional USB ports, while others are compact and attempt to save space, but nearly all of them provide a quick and convenient solution for charging your smartphone via the 12-volt socket — aka the circular cigarette lighter — housed within your vehicle’s dashboard or main interface. Below are a few of our current favorites.
Shine Future’s car charger may be a little bulkier than others on this list, but it makes up for it by having two USB ports, and a Micro USB cable attached to the main Lightning cable; both of which can be retracted with the touch of a button. Not only can you charge multiple devices at once when you’re on the road, but the aforementioned Micro USB can be stored within the Lightning cable, thereby keeping it from being exposed when it’s not needed.
PowerBear’s offering is another charger that comes with a built-in Lightning cable and also has two extra USB ports for charging other devices simultaneously. The charger will adjust to the connected device to charge it as quickly as possible. Unlike the Shine Future charger, it is smaller, but depending on where your car’s 12V socket is, the USB ports and cable may be harder to access or, at the very least, the cable will be bent in an uncomfortable-looking direction. Should anything happen to the charger, it’s covered by a 2-year warranty, so you can reach out to PowerBear to get a replacement.
The car charger from E. T. Pocket features a retractable Lightning cable that puts out 1.2 Amps. It also comes equipped with one additional USB port in case you need it, and that’s really all this particular charger has to offer. Its design is straightforward and easy to use, which may be exactly what you want from a car charger.
If you don’t care about extra USB ports or the ability to retract the cable, and just want a charger with one use, Anker’s car charger is the way to go. It just has the one, 3-foot Lightning cable built-in to it and, overall, it may be one of the smallest products on this list. Anker notes that its charger isn’t compatible with Lifeproof or Otterbox iPhone 6 cases, so if you prefer cases from those manufacturers, this charger may not be for you. On a more positive note, though, it is backed by an 18-month warranty.
If you want your car charger to have good reach (specifically for those times when you need to charge a device that’s in the back seat) the Amazon Basics charger should be enough, as it can extend to 5 feet in length. It doesn’t come with more USB ports or support non-Lightning devices, but for Lightning-specific needs, it’ll charge those devices regardless of how far away they may be from the 12V socket. It’s a simple, straightforward charger, and comes with a 1-year warranty, which is always a good thing to have.
Eleckey’s charger features a blue LED light that makes it easy to tell if the charger is plugged in completely, and to see the orientation of the single USB port. That LED is the most unique thing about this charger, which is also a contender for being one of the smallest chargers here, but that’s not to say it won’t do exactly what you need it to, as it can deliver 2.4 Amps worth of power. It’ll charge your devices as quickly as possible.
Let’s be frank: Belkin’s offering is a compact, lightweight option with power to spare. Coming in at a commendable 10 watts and 2.1 Amps, the built-in lightning cable will charge any Lightning-compatible device quickly while remaining small enough for easy storage on the go — nothing more, nothing less.
Like the aforementioned Belkin Car Charger, Incipio’s Ultra Compact Car Charger lives up to its name. Incredibly compact and outfitted with an attached lightning cable, the device touts 2.1 Amps of power for lightning quick charges on the go. Also, although initially designed for the iPhone 5, the charger boasts compatibility with the other Lightning-compatible products, so you can buy this without worrying if it’ll work with current Apple products.
Apple and Incase go together like peanut butter and jelly, so it’s no surprise that at least one of Incase’s Apple-friendly offerings makes our list. Packing 2.4 Amps, the Incase Mini Car Charger offers quick charging capabilities, comes packaged with a detachable lightning cable, and has a handy, LED light that indicates when your phone is charging.
The PowerJolt SE car charger takes a cue from the chargers of yesterday with a coiled cable design. Outfitted with a lightning connector cable and compatible with most later-generation Apple products, the PowerJolt packs 10 watts of charging capacity while boasting a self-resetting SmartFuse used for guarding against power fluctuations. And at 3 feet in length, it’s the perfect for those long hours on the road.