Multiple devices charging from power strip

The Best Travel Power Strips of 2022

By Marvin Moreno AccessoriesNo Comments

Traveling light is something that’s becoming harder to achieve lately. 

Gone are the days when all you had to pack were a few essentials. Nowadays, many people include everything from mobile phones, laptops, and digital cameras to power banks, gimbals, and drones on their travel necessities list.

With that many devices, charging all of them during the trip can be challenging… unless you have a power strip.

While you can probably use one you’ve got lying around at home, it’ll likely be bulky and heavy, often lacking useful features like surge protection or USB sockets, and generally just not the best tool for the job. 

Instead, take a look at our recommendations for the best travel power strips you can drop in your suitcase and take with you anywhere. They don’t cost a lot, take up far less of that precious space and weight allowance, and are built with the specific needs of travelers in mind.

Sale
Best Travel Power Strip: Anker 521
  • Size: 4.6 × 2.0 × 1.3 inches
  • Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • AC outlets: 3
  • USB outlets: 2 x USB-A, 1 x USB C PD
  • Surge protection: 300J

Best Power Strip for International Travel: Foval EU/UK/US Power Strip with USB
  • Size: 3.9 x 3.9 x 1.1 inches
  • Weight: 11.3 ounces
  • AC outlets: 3
  • USB outlets: 4 x USB-A, 1 x USB C
  • Surge protection: n/a

Best USB Travel Power Strip: Anker PowerPort Atom PD 4
  • Size: 5.8 x 4.5 x 1.6 inches
  • Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • AC outlets: 0
  • USB outlets: 2 x USB-A, 2 x USB C PD
  • Surge protection: n/a

Sale
Best Mini Travel Power Strip: Belkin SurgePlus Swivel Charger
  • Size: 2.2 x 5.2 x 7.2 inches
  • Weight: 0.5 pounds
  • AC outlets: 3
  • USB outlets: 2 x USB-A
  • Surge protection: 918J

Sale
Best Cruise Ship Approved Power Strip: Cruiseon 3-Outlet Power Strip
  • Size: 3.5 x 3.0 x 2.0 inches
  • Weight: 5 ounces
  • AC outlets: 3
  • USB outlets: 2 x USB-A
  • Surge protection: n/a

Best Travel Power Strip: Anker 521

Anker USB C Power Strip, 521 Power Strip with 3 Outlets and 30W USB C Charger for iPhone13/12 , 5 ft Extension Cord, Power Delivery High-Speed Charging Station for Indoor, Dorm Room, Office, Home

The Anker 521 Power Strip takes our top spot mainly because it combines all of the features you need in a portable power strip, in a fairly compact and lightweight package.

This strip has three grounded (North American) AC outlets on the back, with a pair of 12W USB-A ports and a single 30W USB C PD port on the front. That’s a good mix for most travelers, providing plenty of flexibility without a lot of extra weight or space.

The sturdy five-foot cable is a useful length, long enough to reach outlets hidden away behind hotel furniture without being excessive. Speaking of furniture, the small, low-profile wall plug lets it fit behind dressers and TV stands more easily. It’s angled at 45 degrees to help avoid blocking adjoining outlets. 

The USB C port is powerful enough to charge small laptops at full speed, or any tablet, smartphone, or other mobile device. The total output from all three USB ports combined is also 30W, however, split between the various ports depending on how many you’re using at once.

I tested the output from each USB port, separately and together, and it matched Anker’s specification sheet. The USB C port charged my laptop at up to 30W by itself, or 20W when I was using one or both of the USB-A ports.

This meant that with all three ports in use, the USB-A ports shared 10W of power between them. That’s fine for charging lower power devices like fitness bands and headphones, but not really enough for phones or (especially) tablets.

There’s a limited amount of surge protection built into this power strip, and while 300 joules is lower than most of the other models we recommend, it’s certainly better than nothing.

Anker is a well-known brand, and a major manufacturer of chargers, batteries, and other power equipment. As well as the company’s usual 18-month warranty, there’s also a limited lifetime warranty of up to $25,000 for damage to connected equipment.

If you can live without the surge protection, Anker also makes a cube-shaped version of this power strip that’s somewhat smaller and lighter. You still get the same number of ports and 30W USB C fast charging, and it’s often a little cheaper as well, so it’s worth considering if luggage space is at a premium.

Pros
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Generous number of AC outlets and USB ports
  • USB C Power Delivery support (30W)
Cons
  • Surge protection relatively low
Buy on Amazon

Best Power Strip for International Travel: Foval EU/UK/US Power Strip with USB

European Travel Plug Adapter, FOVAL EU/UK/US Power Strip with USB C and 4 USB Ports, 3 AC Outlets, Wall Mountable, 5ft Extension Cord, Compact for Travel, Cruise Ship, Home Office

The Foval Power Strip is a versatile and adaptable power strip that’s ideal for international travel.

Usefully, it comes with a set of three adapters that cover the outlets found in most major tourist destinations: much of Europe and Southeast Asia, North America, and the UK. While you can buy adapters like these separately, buying them in a bundle like this saves a bit of extra hassle and cost.

This power strip provides three AC outlets, four USB-A sockets, and a USB C port. Given that the majority of travel devices are charged via USB these days, that’s a sensible mix for many travelers.

The USB sockets have a combined output of 25W, with the USB-A sockets capable of reaching 12W each and the USB C port ramping up to 15W. You won’t be able to charge five devices at full speed, but two or three won’t be a problem.

We like the compact shape of the power strip, which makes it highly portable and easy to drop into a daypack or carry-on bag. It feels durable overall, with a sturdy fire-resistant shell, although this makes it a little heavier than typical power strips.

We’d have liked to see a degree of surge protection included, even if it was only for the AC sockets. There’s also no voltage conversion, a common issue with almost all power strips, and a problem if you plan to use US appliances rated at 110V in a country with a 220-240V supply.

If this is a deal-breaker for you, consider getting the BESTEK Universal Travel Adapter instead. It has a slightly different mix of sockets and is somewhat heavier, but provides that much-needed voltage conversion and is otherwise quite similar.

Pros
  • Three bundled travel adapters make it suitable for many international destinations
  • Robust and durable
  • Five USB slots with up to 25W combined output
Cons
  • Heavier than many travel power strips
  • No voltage conversion
  • No surge protection
Buy on Amazon

Best USB Travel Power Strip: Anker PowerPort Atom PD 4 

USB-C Charger, Anker 100W 4-Port Type-C Charging Station with Power Delivery, PowerPort Atom PD 4 [Intelligent Power Allocation] for MacBook Pro/Air, iPad Pro, Pixel, iPhone, Galaxy and More

If you primarily use a power strip to charge mobile devices and don’t need extra AC outlets at all, the Anker PowerPort Atom PD 4 is the way to go.

This USB-only power strip has two USB-A slots and two high-speed USB C PD ports. With a total power output of 100W you’re able to power even large laptops without having to carry the factory charger, and overall it delivers one of the fastest USB charging speeds you’ll find in a travel-sized power strip.

You’ll get up to 100W if you’re using a single USB C port or 50W each if you’re using both of them, and a still-healthy 38W/38W/12W/12W if you’ve got something plugged into every port. In short, this means you can charge your laptop and phone or tablet simultaneously at close to full speed, or 3-4 devices more slowly, depending on what they are.

The Anker power strip is built like a rock, with a durable yet sleek exterior. It’s drop-resistant, scratch-resistant, and smudge-proof, with useful safety features like temperature control and voltage regulation.

Of course, the drawback of this power strip is the lack of AC outlets. If you need those, you’ll need to look elsewhere. For USB charging, however, the speed, extra power output, and reliability you get easily make this our top pick in this category.

You’re paying for quality and the high power output here, and the PD 4 is quite expensive compared to other power strips. If you don’t need the USB C port, you can get the slightly cheaper USB-A only Anker PowerPort 5 charger instead.

Pros
  • High USB power output, including 30W USB C PD, enables fast charging on almost any device
  • Very durable
  • Advanced safety features
Cons
  • Comparatively expensive
  • No AC outlets
Buy on Amazon

Best Mini Travel Power Strip: Belkin SurgePlus Swivel Charger

Belkin Wall Mount Surge Protector - 3 AC Multi Outlets & 2 USB Ports - Flat Rotating Plug Splitter - Wall Outlet Extender for Home, Office, Travel, Computer Desktop & Charging Brick - 918 Joules

The Belkin SurgePlus Swivel Charger is a very compact travel power strip with good features and specs for its size.

With a compact form that fits in your pocket, this power strip is easy to pack. It eschews wires altogether, eliminating any tedious cord management, instead plugging directly into the wall outlet. The swiveling plug section let you orient it in any direction, helping deal with space constraints.

As for safety features, it has a useful 918J of surge protection, slightly more than what most similar power strips offer. The outer shell is also durable and fire-resistant.

The Belkin mini power strip has three AC outlets and two USB ports, which is pretty generous considering its size. One drawback, however, is that the USB ports only have a combined power output of 2.1A. That’s not enough to fast-charge many phones, and can result in quite slow charging speeds if two devices are plugged in at once. 

To get around this limitation, you can charge your device using your usual charger in one of the AC outlets instead. Alternatively, you can opt for the Anker PowerPort Cube, which has an extra outlet and 3.6A combined USB output. While its longer 5-ft cable makes it bulkier to pack, that can also be a benefit when you need to plug into an outlet that’s behind furniture or halfway up a wall.

If you don’t need faster USB charging and want to keep your power strips as small as possible, however, the Belkin SurgePlus Swivel Charger is an excellent, flexible option.

Pros
  • Very compact
  • Useful mix of ports for its size
  • Swiveling plug provides flexibility in tight spaces
Cons
  • Low USB output power, both individual and combined
Buy on Amazon

Best Cruise Ship Approved Power Strip: Cruiseon 3-Outlet Power Strip

Cruise Power Strip No Surge Protector with USB Outlets - Ship Approved (Non Surge Protection) Cruise Essentials

Planning to go on a cruise ship soon? If you’re taking a bunch of devices with you, It’s important to note that most ships have strict policies on the kind of power strips you can bring onboard. Specifically, they must not have surge protection or an extension cord.

You’ll find a lot of cruise ship-approved power strips on the market that leave out those unapproved features, and the Cruiseon 3-Outlet Power Strip is the best of the bunch. 

It’s compact enough to fit in your purse or backpack while still providing more than enough sockets: as well as the three three-prong North American outlets, there are two USB-A sockets with a combined 12W output. We’d like to see a little more space between the outlets, but unless your plugs are particularly bulky, they still shouldn’t block each other.

Without surge protection, of course, this power strip has little in the way of safety functions. There’s little you can do about that in a cruise ship setting, but using it anywhere else, especially somewhere with a dubious power grid, can carry a greater risk than other options on this list.

If you’re cruising only with mobile devices that can be charged via USB, you’ll be better off with the Anker PowerPort 4 PD (above.) If you have appliances that need to run from a wall outlet as well, though, this Cruiseon power strip is a must-have accessory.

Pros
  • Cruise-ship approved (no surge protection or extension cord)
  • Compact and lightweight
Cons
  • Isn’t as safe as other options when used outside cruise ships
Buy on Amazon

Wrapping It Up

Overall, you can’t go wrong with the Anker 521. It provides a useful mix of outlets, USB C Power Delivery support, and an impressive warranty, all in a small and lightweight package.

If you only need USB charging, however, it’s worth picking up Anker's PowerPort 4 PD or PowerPort 5, while those considering international travel may be better off with the flexibility of the Foval Power Strip.

If you plan to hop on a cruise ship, though, grab the Cruise and Sea 3-Outlet Power Strip instead.


Main image via Bacho/Shutterstock.com, product images via Amazon

About the Author
Marvin Moreno

Marvin Moreno

Marvin is a tech writer and email copywriter based in Manila. A former web developer turned wordsmith, his travel dreams include a month-long cross-country Japan trip, a ride on the Trans-Siberian Railway, and exploring Patagonia. He's also a craft beer brewer and can talk about alcohol all day.

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