We're heading into the Fourth of July holiday weekend in the US (congrats to those who already started), a time when a lot of people are traveling, whether it's camping or a summer vacation trip someplace. If you're going, then your iPhone is going, and probably your iPad, and maybe other family members have a device or three that's going to need charging. Here is a roundup of cables to help level up your charging experience this summer:
First up: Going Retractable
A spring-loaded reel with a flat cable inside is a great way to declutter, especially in the car or RV. Having a cable with no cable exposed also makes it virtually impossible to tangle up when you toss it in your bag/glove box/pocket. My favorite is Scosche; I have had a variety of cables from them for years and never had a problem. Aside from their Lightning cable (US $12.49), they have a 2-in-1 cable ($16.99) that is Lightning with an end that flips back to also work with Micro USB devices. As long as you don't need to charge your phone and your Kindle at the same time you can carry less cables, too.
My two-year-old Scosche Lighting cables, which live almost exclusively in my backpack and purse. Lookin good!
Next: Going Durable
Griffin has released the Premium Braided Lightning Cable which helps those situations when you need a bit more durability. With this new cable, you only have to make sure the right end of the cable is lined up because both the phone end and USB end can plug in either up or down thanks to a thinner plastic "tongue" in the USB connection. Aside from the reversible ends, shielding (in silver, gold, or grey) both covers the cable for protection and makes it harder to get tangled. Also it is available in five foot ($29.99) and ten foot ($39.99) lengths, which are great for reaching the nightstand from a badly placed outlet, or all the way into the backseat.
Griffin Premium Lightning cable in gold. Five glorious feet of reversible charging.
Last: Going Ultra-Portable
You always have your keys. Why not always have a cable? Nomad thought this and cooked up the NomadKey. It's only slightly longer than a typical key, and the reinforced rubber coated cable between both ends is durable yet flexible. If you need to sync your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch the NomadKey can handle that, too, because it's like any other Lightning to USB cable—only shorter and more durable. You can pick one up at Amazon for $24.95. Another nice option is the Amazon Basics 4-inch Lightning cable. If you've finally picked up a battery pack for those long hikes on Mount Hood or to Space Mountain, a nice short cable makes using it even easier.
Action shot of a NomadKey, courtesy of Jeff Gamet.
Regardless which direction you go, there's an excellent chance you can improve your current cable situation. Give it a shot! It sounds silly until you stop untangling cables or losing them or fiddling with getting them plugged in properly. Then you'll wonder how you went this long the old way.