Multiple devices charging from power strip

The Best Travel Power Strips of 2021

By Marvin Moreno AccessoriesNo Comments

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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.

Best Travel Power Strip: Anker PowerExtend Cube
  • Size: 2.4 x 2.4 x 2.4 inches
  • Weight: 7 ounces
  • AC outlets: 3
  • USB outlets: 2 x USB-A, 1 x USB C PD
  • Surge protection: n/a

Best Power Strip for International Travel: BESTEK USB Travel Power Strip
  • Size: 5.3×3.9×1.5 inches
  • Weight: 0.9 pounds
  • AC outlets: 2
  • USB outlets: 2 x USB-A
  • Surge protection: 1700J

Best USB Travel Power Strip: Anker PowerPort 1 PD
  • Size: 4.1 x 3.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Weight: 8.5 ounces
  • AC outlets: 0
  • USB outlets: 4 x USB-A, 1 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

Sale
Best Travel Power Strip with Surge Protection: Tripp Lite Traveler3USB Surge Protector
  • Size: 4.8 x 3.5 x 1.5 inches
  • Weight: 0.7 pounds
  • AC outlets: 3
  • USB outlets: 2 x USB-A
  • Surge protection: 1050J

Best Travel Power Strip: Anker PowerExtend Cube

Anker Power Strip with USB C, PowerExtend USB-C 3 Cube with 3 Outlets and USB (30W USB C), 5 ft Extension Cord, Power Delivery High-Speed Charging for iPhone 12/12 Pro / 12 Pro Max, Travel Friendly

The Anker PowerExtend Cube takes our top spot mainly because it combines many of the critical features you need in a portable power strip, in a compact and lightweight package.

The circular layout lets you use all of the AC outlets without chargers bumping into each other, while the five-foot cable and low-profile, 45-degree plug makes it easier to use outlets hidden away behind the furniture. 

This power strip provides three AC outlets, two 12W USB-A ports, and a single 30W USB C PD port. That’s a good mix for the majority of travelers, providing plenty of flexibility without a lot of extra weight.

The USB C port is powerful enough to charge smaller laptops at full speed, or any tablet, smartphone, or other mobile device. The total output from all three USB ports is also 30W, however, so don’t expect to fast-charge three devices at once from them.

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.

The only real downside here is a lack of surge protection. If you’re heading somewhere prone to thunderstorms or that you know has an unreliable electrical grid, it’s worth considering one of the surge-protected models listed below. Otherwise, the PowerExtend Cube is our top power strip choice for most travelers.

Pros
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Sensible design
  • Generous number of AC outlets and USB ports
  • USB C Power Delivery support (30W)
Cons
  • No surge protection
Buy on Amazon

Best Power Strip for International Travel: BESTEK USB Travel Power Strip

BESTEK USB Travel Power Strip with 8 International Adapters,5-Port 40W USB Charging Station with 2-Outlet Surge Protector

The BESTEK USB Travel Power is a versatile and adaptable power strip that’s ideal for international travel.

The main selling point is the set of eight adapters that cover outlet standards of almost every major country in the world. 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 just two AC outlets but a generous 5 USB-A sockets. Given that the majority of travel devices are charged via USB these days, that’s a sensible mix for many travelers. These sockets have a combined output of 8A (40W), with each capable of reaching 2.4A (12W), so it’s easy to achieve maximum charging speeds even with multiple devices plugged in.

We also like the compact shape of the power strip, which makes it very portable. It feels durable overall, with a sturdy fire-resistant shell, although this makes it somewhat heavier than typical power strips.

This model also has strong safety features, including powerful surge protection of up to 1700J, almost twice as that of other power strips. It’s beneficial if you’re unsure of the power quality or stability in your destination, a frequent problem when traveling. 

One useful feature that this (and most other) power strips lack is a voltage converter, which can be a problem especially if you plan to use US appliances rated at 110V in a country that has 220-240V. If this is a deal-breaker for you, consider getting the BESTEK Universal Travel Adapter instead. It has fewer adapters and a slightly different mix of sockets, but is otherwise quite similar.

An important note: if your travels include time on a cruise ship, be aware that you can’t use this power strip onboard due to the surge protection feature. As an alternative, check our cruise-specific recommendation below.

For other types of international travel, however, the BESTEK USB Travel Power Strip’s flexibility has you covered.

Pros
  • Eight travel adapters make it suitable for most international destinations
  • Robust and durable
  • Five USB slots with up to 8A/40W combined output
  • Strong surge protection
Cons
  • Heavier than most travel power strips
  • No voltage conversion
Buy on Amazon

Best USB Travel Power Strip: Anker PowerPort 1 PD 

USB C Wall Charger, Anker Premium 60W 5-Port Desktop Charger with One 30W Power Delivery Port for MacBook Air 2018, Ipad Pro 2018, S10, and 4 Poweriq Ports for iPhone Xs/Max/XR/X/8, S9/S8 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 1 PD is a fantastic choice.

This USB-only power strip includes 4 USB-A slots and a faster USB C PD port. With a total power output of 60W – including 30W reserved exclusively for USB C – it delivers one of the fastest USB charging speeds you’ll find in a travel-sized power strip.

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, surge protection, 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 durability you get easily make this our top pick in this category.

You’re paying for quality here, and the Anker PowerPort 1 PD 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 1 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

Best Travel Power Strip with Surge Protection: Tripp Lite Traveler3USB Surge Protector

Tripp Lite 3 Outlet Portable Surge Protector Power Strip, 18in Cord, 2 USB, & $25,000 INSURANCE (TRAVELER3USB) Black

The Tripp Lite Traveler3USB Surge Protector is an excellent option if you want extra protection for your portable devices. Its surge protection is rated at 1050J, more powerful than the average power strip. 

A light indicator lets you know when surge protection is active. When it does go out (usually due to a particularly large power surge), it’s a sign that you need to get a new power strip. Fortunately, Tripp Lite’s lifetime warranty means the company will replace the unit for free if this happens, making it a reliable long-term purchase.

The power strip includes three standard AC outlets, including one on the back for bulkier plugs. There are also two USB-A ports, but unfortunately they only have a combined output of 2.1A. That’s fine for things like e-readers and headphones, but don’t expect to charge a pair of phones or tablets at anything like full speed.

The exterior is rugged and feels like it can take a beating, making it ideal for traveling. The 18″ cord wraps neatly around the body of the power strip and plugs into the rear socket for easy storage, although the extra durability means it’s still a relatively bulky device compared to some of the others on this list.

Overall, the Tripp Lite Traveler3USB Surge Protector offers some of the best electrical protection you’ll find in a portable power strip.

Pros
  • 1050J surge protection
  • Rugged and durable
  • Cord wraps around for easy storage
  • Free replacement if surge protection stops
Cons
  • Underpowered USB ports (2.1A combined output)
  • Somewhat bulky
Buy on Amazon

Wrapping It Up

Overall, you can’t go wrong with the Anker PowerExtend Cube. It provides a useful mix 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 1 PD or PowerPort 5, while those considering international travel may be better off with the flexibility of the BESTEK USB Travel 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 Shutterstock, 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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