Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > Travel Technology
Reload this Page >

Power Outlet Shape Adapter Advice

Old Feb 10, 2016, 12:36 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: chx1975
First decide whether you need two or three prongs. Even if your current adapter is three prongs take a long hard look at the laptop charger market for a replacement non-grounded adapter. You will save weight and a ton of hassle by not needing a three prong cable and/or adapter. We have a USB C charger wiki which includes the Innergie 60C, a 60W two prong tiny charger for USB C and with an optional cable legacy laptops as well.

Also consider whether your chargers have replaceable AC cords, the so called "figure eight" and "mickey mouse" cords are replaceable; they are readily available on eBay for any nation and it might be a better solution than the original cord + a shape adapter.

Now for plug shape adapters. The current best choices are: MOGICS Bagel/Donut because it's a powerstrip/USB charger/adapter combo and still small enough. Also ran: Gocon Alpha because it's flat. The Wonpro Nano would be good because it's two plugs and very small but it is becoming less and less usable in Europe.

In detail:
  1. MOGICS has a donut shaped travel power strip, it comes in two variants, one for US plugs only (Donut) one for universal plugs (Bagel). The Donut is pointless, the weight gain is minimal, and it's only marginally thinner, just get a Bagel. Both has two USB ports. Also, their travel adapter while much less universal (US to UK/EU/AU only) is really small, together with the Bagel universal enough and fits inside a grounded Schuko outlet. Bagel weight with case and MA-1 adapter: 6.15 oz. MA-1 alone: 0.92oz. If two USB sockets is enough this is your best choice. Bonus: they have the smallest MicroUSB cord you'll ever see. They licensed their unique shape to the Mara and Masa Kickstarter, once it arrives I will add it to this wiki, until then it's in the USB C wiki.
  2. The often mentioned Kikkerland is again a totally pointless product. It's a knockoff of an older version of this Japanese product. Either buy the real one or purchase a Chinese knockoff for even less money. There are many knockoffs on Amazon.com for even more money. Note: the original had some problems with the UK now this has been addressed with an added switch. The knockoffs don't have this switch. Knockoff weight: 1.82oz.
  3. The Wonpro Nano was very good but less so now, read on. Yes it's not flat but it's small enough to be pardoned for it especially because you can plug two devices in. It's quite probably a Nissyo NP-10 knockoff but since the Nissyo is unavailable outside of Japan I can't be bothered. I had more success with this in the UK than the one above but that was before they added the switch so they are now probably even. The way the plug unscrews for the EU plugs allows for a very small physical size. For a while this was a favorite but a fatal flaw has been disovered: some grounded Schuko sockets have child-proof socket shutters built in (and this is now widespread) and these screwed out legs can't unlock the shutters. Some countries, including Portugal, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, require these which causes almost all power strips now to include them further decreasing the utility of this converter.
  4. Another useful powerstrip is the Road Warrior 47. Weight: 4.14oz. Especially with this weight the only advantage is being flatter than the Bagel.
  5. If you need a three pole travel power strip try the Voltage Valet PS2 Travel Power Strip.
  6. Any unwieldy big brick style plug adapter with sliding out plugs is for the kettles. Exception is the Skross World Adapter PRO because it's an absolutely unique three poles adapter (not counting Chinese knockoffs). Yes, Tumi also sells an adapter like that but if you look closely you'll find the Skross logo on it Weight: 6.56oz but if you need to convert something with three prongs you have no choice.
  7. Finally, boycott Monster. They are a tax evading patent troll, don't fund them.
Print Wikipost

Power Outlet Shape Adapter Advice

Old Jul 9, 2017, 4:05 am
  #46  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Programs: UA 1K and PP, AA PPro (3MM, former CK), Marriott Ambassador and LTT, Uber One
Posts: 1,336
Originally Posted by chx1975
I edited my post, please check it again.

The MA-1 allows you to plug in to C and all its brethen.
I did; thanks. And thanks for clarifying about the MA-1. I do think I will go with either the Bagel or Donut instead of the RW101. Now I just need to decide whether I want to pay the weight and size penalty for flexibility I am unlikely to use.
ikwia is offline  
Old Jul 9, 2017, 4:12 am
  #47  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Programs: UA 1K and PP, AA PPro (3MM, former CK), Marriott Ambassador and LTT, Uber One
Posts: 1,336
Originally Posted by scottmlew
Edited to add: I found a picture of the packaging for the Donut, and the diameter is listed at 83 mm (3.27 in) and the weight at 109 g (3.84 oz); it is unclear if the weight includes the adapter or case. The worst case weight difference between the Bagel and Donut (i.e., assuming the weight on the box includes the adapter and case) is thus 2.33 oz.
I've now found a picture of the Bagel box, and the weight there is listed as 118 g (4.16 oz). Based on chx1975's measurements, the weights on the boxes must not include the adapter or case. But we now know for sure that the weight penalty for the Bagel is 9 g (.32 oz). And the size penalty is 3 mm of thickness.

Based on these small weight and size penalties, and given that the price is the same, I'm really not sure why someone would choose the Donut.
ikwia is offline  
Old Jul 9, 2017, 4:32 am
  #48  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: YVR
Programs: Aeroplan, AAdvantage
Posts: 2,100
I do not know either. If I need to ask a local to unplug for me a second I can do that and then they can re-plug into the Bagel which they couldn't do with the Donut.
chx1975 is offline  
Old Aug 6, 2017, 12:34 am
  #49  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Programs: UA 1K and PP, AA PPro (3MM, former CK), Marriott Ambassador and LTT, Uber One
Posts: 1,336
I completed my first trip with my Bagel and am very, very happy with it. I highly recommend this product, even for US-only use. It will likely replace my Belkin power strip as my standard-carry. chx1975, thanks for all of your help and recommendations.
ikwia is offline  
Old Aug 6, 2017, 7:50 pm
  #50  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: AUS
Programs: QANTAS, Oneworld
Posts: 84
Just a heads up for anyone travelling to Switzerland, the Swiss use a recessed power socket (Type J) which a Type E plug only sort-of works with (at best). While many major hotels in Switzerland have standard EU Type C/E sockets available, once you go beyond that you really need an adapter that handles Type J sockets.

In general, the small/flat multi-adapters don't do that as they are really Type E only as far as the plug goes, but the larger sliding pin types generally do as they provide Type C/E plugs.
RealityBites is offline  
Old Jul 7, 2019, 4:29 pm
  #51  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, MLife Gold, Marriott Gold, HHonors Gold, Caesars Diamond, Amex Plat
Posts: 5,813
We are leaving in 36 hours and I just realized that my universal adapter that works in Switzerland and Italy is missing. I've got another, though it does not include those 2 countries on its compatibility list (
Amazon Amazon
)

But here's my question: the double rod adapter on this one I have looks more like a Europlug and less like the French type C, which are fatter (naturally I've got plenty of those!). The Europlug style should work in Switzerland/Italy, right?
Stgermainparis is offline  
Old Jul 8, 2019, 3:41 am
  #52  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: DEL
Posts: 1,049
Originally Posted by Stgermainparis
We are leaving in 36 hours and I just realized that my universal adapter that works in Switzerland and Italy is missing. I've got another, though it does not include those 2 countries on its compatibility list (https://www.amazon.com/Adapter-World...ct_top?ie=UTF8)

But here's my question: the double rod adapter on this one I have looks more like a Europlug and less like the French type C, which are fatter (naturally I've got plenty of those!). The Europlug style should work in Switzerland/Italy, right?
Provided the pins are the correct 4mm (it looks like they are; half-insulated 'fat' pins are rare) it'll fit in Italian outlets. The one you linked looks like it protrudes far enough to plug into Swiss outlets as well.
Stgermainparis likes this.
der_saeufer is offline  
Old Jul 8, 2019, 8:58 am
  #53  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, MLife Gold, Marriott Gold, HHonors Gold, Caesars Diamond, Amex Plat
Posts: 5,813
Originally Posted by der_saeufer
Provided the pins are the correct 4mm (it looks like they are; half-insulated 'fat' pins are rare) it'll fit in Italian outlets. The one you linked looks like it protrudes far enough to plug into Swiss outlets as well.
Excellent. Thank you. I didnt want to deal with this today or on arrival.
Stgermainparis is offline  
Old Jul 8, 2019, 1:00 pm
  #54  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
IHG Contributor BadgeMarriott Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: RSW
Programs: Delta - Silver; UA - Silver; HHonors - Diamond; IHG - Spire Ambassador; Marriott Bonvoy - Titanium
Posts: 14,182
Originally Posted by der_saeufer
Provided the pins are the correct 4mm (it looks like they are; half-insulated 'fat' pins are rare) it'll fit in Italian outlets. The one you linked looks like it protrudes far enough to plug into Swiss outlets as well.
Agreed!
Stgermainparis likes this.
Points Scrounger is offline  
Old Jul 9, 2019, 2:34 am
  #55  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: DEL
Posts: 1,049
Here is my standard shameless plug for this type of adapter, which fits German, French, Italian, Swiss, Danish, etc. outlets. For most of us, the only grounded plug we have is on a laptop power brick, which are double-insulated and don't actually need to be grounded (see, e.g. the Japanese cords for laptop bricks or the Apple 'duckbill' for North America and Japan), so throw a couple of these in your bag and be done with it.



Picture stolen from somewhere on the 'net, but you get the idea. Avoid any adapters that don't have the correct shape or the half-insulated pins. Even really high-quality ones can be had for less than $2 apiece, and safe, usable ones can be had for 50c.

Unsafe life hack: in a bind these can also be made to fit UK outlets if you poke the earth/ground on the outlet with something pointy to open the shutters.

Last edited by der_saeufer; Jul 9, 2019 at 2:39 am
der_saeufer is offline  
Old Jul 11, 2019, 4:05 am
  #56  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, MLife Gold, Marriott Gold, HHonors Gold, Caesars Diamond, Amex Plat
Posts: 5,813
My universal plug works! And yes the key is the slimmer 4mm posts. Thanks all.
Stgermainparis is offline  
Old Oct 16, 2019, 10:47 pm
  #57  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: YVR
Programs: Aeroplan, AAdvantage
Posts: 2,100
I found an amazing looking plug shape adapter + USB charger but I have only found at two (? are they the same?) companies selling promotional gifts and so they are only available in bulk. https://www.promostadium.com/Ultra-S...er_p_2889.html two AC plugs, USB, slim and small.
chx1975 is offline  
Old Oct 18, 2019, 1:19 am
  #58  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Somewhere in Florida
Posts: 2,559
That's cute...but I wonder if the American-style prongs are isolated when they're not folded out. My parents used something similar on a trip to Germany and the hotel happened to have metal faceplates on the receptacles. Yep, dead short, blew the breaker and left a nice char mark on the faceplate and adapter.
KRSW is offline  
Old Oct 18, 2019, 6:38 am
  #59  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Earth. Residency:HKG formerly:YYZ
Programs: CX, DL, Nexus/GE, APEC
Posts: 10,651
Originally Posted by chx1975
I found an amazing looking plug shape adapter + USB charger but I have only found at two (? are they the same?) companies selling promotional gifts and so they are only available in bulk. https://www.promostadium.com/Ultra-S...er_p_2889.html two AC plugs, USB, slim and small.
The fact that they are only available from promotional gift outlets would be a red flag for me.
ajGoes and KRSW like this.
tentseller is offline  
Old Aug 6, 2023, 12:22 am
  #60  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,091
I finally bought a Mogics MA1 adapter, got a deal on it (~$15). Good Adapter, looks well designed and built.
(I do not need the Power Bagels multiple ports, so just the adapter is sufficient.)

I find it works better than the Kikkerland / Road Warrior design as it is shorter than that design (though has a wider cross-section), and at 25g is lighter too; also, the Kikkerland blocks adjacent ports with the US/JP or AU configs. The MA1 only takes US/JP plugs, can be managed by only buying straight-prong plugs.

It does hold my Innergie 60c much better too, as the 60c tends to lever itself out of the Kikkerland socket - the shorter & wider profile moves the centre of gravity closer to the wall while also giving the 60c a bigger area to push back on the downward torque.

Think the MA1 may have difficulty with recessed Europlugs & the like (e.g. Swiss) - the adapter does have telescoping prongs, but not too sure how strong they are to hold the weight of an adapter. I will probably just continue to carry Kikkerland, or maybe just the front bit; will see.

(On an aside, my father apparently got a Road Warrior 2 decades ago found it in his box of electronics, though he doesnt remember exactly when from. Same design, just made of this see-through plastic, which is kinda cool for the rounded plugs on springs.)

Last edited by crackjack; Aug 6, 2023 at 12:40 am
crackjack is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.