Universal Travel Adapters. If you are travelling to a country with the same outlets you could get away with not using one. However in most cases when you travel you will almost always need a universal travel adapter of some kind. I’m going to take a closer look at 3 of the best universal travel adapters that I’ve used. Starting from the cheaper, more conventional end of the spectrum to the more expensive and interesting.
The first and most basic adapter we’re looking at is by Mudder. However the version I have in hand is a non-branded version I picked up off of ebay. The 2 USB ports on the side are very handy when you want to charge your phone or tablet whilst also being able to charge something plugged directly into the socket at the same time.
The adapter is pretty solid and has a nice soft touch feel. It doesnt offer voltage conversion but for the most people it’s not really going to be a problem. The main things that need voltage conversion are hair dryers, some shavers and kettles
The next adapter is by Skross. I have used this adapter for the longest time because at the time I purchased it years ago it was the only one available that offered 2 USB ports for charging at the same time. One of the main drawbacks with this particular adapter though is that it only accepts 2 prong sockets. This means that if you want to charge a laptop with a 3 prong socket for example you won’t be able to.
Overall this is a quite solid adapter though and it’s built with quality. Aside from the 2 prong only problem, it does emit a high pitch hissing sound while plugged in which can be a problem for those unable to tolerate it.
The final and currently one of my favourites is the ever popular Kikkerland “transformer” adapter. While I was travelling in Japan I picked up a version of this “transforming” adapter from a company called road warriors the only difference I can tell is that the ‘Road warrior’ offers more colours where as the kikkerland one only comes in black/yellow. Muji currently also offer a similar looking adapter based on this design and if you look around you can find many similar ones. I even saw a mickey mouse version in Japan.
This adapter is very lightweight and has a great slim profile however it’s not without its problems. The first is that it can only charge one device at a time. There are no USB ports anywhere. The second problem is that if you want to charge in a tight space the white plastic prongs on the side actually get in the way and cannot be folded to avoid the problem.
If you’re not planning to charge more than one device at a time however you could probably get away with this as your only adapter. I would recommend this adapter for those looking for something very slim and that doesn’t take up much room in your bag.
So thats a look at the top 3 best adapters that I’ve used so far. Ultimately it will depend on what, and how many things you want to charge on the go and whether or not you’ll need extra USB ports or not. There’s a few notable mentions I wanted to point out.
The first one is the most basic universal travel adapter that you can find in almost all shops and airports (and even convenience stores) across the world. This and a few others are so common in fact, that they’re often rebranded several times over but overall are the same product. The one I have in hand is one I bought from a supermarket in Korea. It’s identical to the one linked on amazon by eForCity.
The eForCity adapter is, in my experience, quite a solid adapter. It plugs solidly into most outlets and even offers a locking function to keep the plugs from withdrawing as you plug them into the socket. Unfortunately though this adapter does not convert voltage. This is not a huge problem though as really the only things that need voltage converted are high powered devices such as kettles and certain shavers and hair dryers. It does have surge protection built in though. I have found this to be a reliable and solid adapter and overall would strongly recommend it.
The final mention is this ‘plug set’ by Ceptics. In my opinion, if you’re looking for something lightweight and ‘one bag friendly’ a ‘plug set’ is really messy. It will take up far more space in your bag than any of the other mentioned adapters and in general I would suggest that you stay away from those kinds of adapters. Although everyone is different and has different needs for their adapters but if you’re looking for something travel friendly I would suggest looking for an adapter that is all in one.