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Family of 4 travel: Best Travel charging system?

Family of 4 travel: Best Travel charging system?

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Old Aug 11, 18, 10:12 am
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Family of 4 travel: Best Travel charging system?

Hi, I'm looking for suggestions of a compact travel charging system. I use the word "system" because it may go beyond just a charger.

My family and I travel with the following:
- 2 Macbook Pros + 1 MB Air
- 3 iPhones
- 4 iPads
- 2 Apple Watches + 1 fitbit (with its own weird charger that has a box enclosure on the other end. smh.)

I am looking for an (as compact as possible) travel charging system that is able to juice all of the above. Lets assume we will necessarily have to carry a MBP charger and we "share" charging for all the laptops (so it takes those out of the equation). That leaves 3+4+2+1 devices.

I don't like wires sticking out from every corner and like things neat/symmetrical/organized. Any suggestions on both chargers and/or organizers and/or retractable systems that are organized, compact and can cater to our device requirements? I am therefore looking both at the ideal charging adapters + organization system + something that packs into a small form factor.

FWIW, I travel with an Anker 40W 4 port charger today and several cables. At home I use a satechi charging station which is neat. I have different cable sizes permanently attached to them to optimize the loop length from the base to the device so it looks organized too, but that station is too big (and fragile) to carry on travel.

When I travel alone, I have everything sorted out very well - everything fits into a compact charging pouch. I need charging nirvana when I travel with the family too - so before I piecemeal things together myself I'd like recommendations from folks who believe they have figured out the perfect zen system for such travel needs.

thanks

Last edited by arjunrc; Aug 11, 18 at 10:23 am
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Old Aug 11, 18, 11:22 am
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I would ditch everything besides the iphones and ipads. They share cables, so that limits cords being wrangled. Everyone carries one charger.

I do carry a Anker 4 port pack too, that will charge pretty much anything on the go.

This is of course because I am a carry on only kind of gal, and even though I own all the same technology I could not be bothered to lug all that stuff for a fun trip with the fam.
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Old Aug 12, 18, 9:52 pm
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For 10 devices, use a Mogics donut and either your anker four port charger and a couple of Aukey ultras, or four Aukey ultras. All using a single outlet (and plug adapter if needed overseas). I use this setup all the time but with fewer Aukey ultras. I like the donut because it has extra outlets eg for my camera battery charger.

For plug adapters i use I use very cheap but serviceable and seemingly durable USA- EU plug adapters. If you go the Aukey route you can pick up a bunch of plug adapters and they become mobile - Aukey + adapter for each family member for example.

https://www.amazon.com/MOGICS-Donut-Travel-Power-Strip-Black/dp/B01LM3HW8G/ref=pd_lpo_vtph_23_bs_tr_t_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=932BRA7AHV7VCMVMR39C https://www.amazon.com/MOGICS-Donut-Travel-Power-Strip-Black/dp/B01LM3HW8G/ref=pd_lpo_vtph_23_bs_tr_t_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=932BRA7AHV7VCMVMR39C

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Q873I3K/ref=twister_B075TBB1ZQ?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Q873I3K/ref=twister_B075TBB1ZQ?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/ANRANK-U-E1020905AK-Adapter-Adaptor-Converter/dp/B01MCQR5MT/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1534131983&sr=8-8&keywords=USA+to+eu+plug+adapter https://www.amazon.com/ANRANK-U-E1020905AK-Adapter-Adaptor-Converter/dp/B01MCQR5MT/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1534131983&sr=8-8&keywords=USA+to+eu+plug+adapter
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Old Aug 14, 18, 4:34 am
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Couple of questions…

What country are you travelling to?
Can the other members of the family be trusted to charge their own devices?

I’m a fan of Anker chargers - we have a couple of four port ones along with some Mu Duo’s (UK and travel versions)

I tend to use them with either 1ft lightning cables or Syncwire nylon ones (for longer lengths)


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Old Aug 14, 18, 11:52 am
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Originally Posted by Bogwoppit View Post
I would ditch everything besides the iphones and ipads. They share cables, so that limits cords being wrangled.
Thanks - yes, that would be an ideal situation. I'm a carry on person too - I carry all of this in my backpack.

Originally Posted by CarlTheWebmaster View Post
For 10 devices, use a Mogics donut and either your anker four port charger and a couple of Aukey ultras, or four Aukey ultras. All using a single outlet (and plug adapter if needed overseas). I use this setup all the time but with fewer Aukey ultras. I like the donut because it has extra outlets eg for my camera battery charger.
The Mogics donut seems fantastic and very pocketable. I did notice a review or two about it "shorting out" - how long have you had it and did you face any QC issues?

The Aukey is also an excellent recommendation. Based on the product size, it looks to be not much larger than a regular apple provided single usb plug. I might just put the apple plug away and just take one of this. That would be ideal - I can then charge both my watch and my phone by the bedside. However, the reviews seem concerning - both on overheating and sparking. Have you faced any issues so far?


Originally Posted by dajdavies View Post
What country are you travelling to?
Can the other members of the family be trusted to charge their own devices?


Mostly within continental US/islands and the occasional trip to EU.
Yes, they can be trusted to charge their own devices. Interesting question - curious what your followup would be if I said "no" as well.


Originally Posted by dajdavies View Post
I tend to use them with either 1ft lightning cables or Syncwire nylon ones (for longer lengths)
I've settled on Anker power line, due to their quality, but always open to alternate wires, especially if they come with some form of compact organization scheme.



Last edited by arjunrc; Aug 14, 18 at 1:59 pm
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Old Aug 15, 18, 10:29 am
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I've had no issues with either the Donut or the Aukey devices. I think I got the Donut post-fix once the initial problems were identified, but in any case I've used these devices for a couple of years (2-4 weeklong trips per year) with no issues whatsoever.
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Old Aug 15, 18, 5:47 pm
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Aukey? People still buy that? Listen, that's the company which faked an ETL certificate. Buy Xiaomi, Anker, Amazon Basics, Monoprice chargers instead.
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Old Aug 16, 18, 7:31 am
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Looks like Anker has a new extension cord of its own. 3 AC outlets and 3 6W USB ports.

https://www.anker.com/products/varia...ports/A2763121
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Old Aug 16, 18, 12:49 pm
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I recently got the Monoprice 60W 4-Port USB Smart Charger with USB-C and USB-A Ports and would definitely recommend it. It provides a full 60W over USB-C to charge the MacBook Pro, and while the 3 USB-A ports are limited to 2.4A total, that should be fine for overnight charging of the iPhones. Maybe two of these along with another "standard" Anker 4-port USB wall charger (or the Powercube linked above) should be sufficient for your watches and iPads as well?
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Old Aug 17, 18, 4:53 am
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Originally Posted by arjunrc View Post

Mostly within continental US/islands and the occasional trip to EU.
Yes, they can be trusted to charge their own devices. Interesting question - curious what your followup would be if I said "no" as well.

I've settled on Anker power line, due to their quality, but always open to alternate wires, especially if they come with some form of compact organization scheme.
No sure what my followup would have been if you'd have said no but as your didn't 😇… I'd make sure everyone has a two port USB charger plus cables and make them charge their own devices!

The Aukey looks nice. I’m UK based but do Europe/US regularly so use a Mu Traveller Duo https://www.themu.co.uk/products/wor...-traveller-duo (I like swappable heads rather than adapters)

The Apple travel kit makes life much easier for the Mac chargers too

These are the long USB cables I use as they don't kink like some of the other ones I've had
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01CCRDHF8/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s02?ie=UTF8&psc=1 https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01CCRDHF8/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s02?ie=UTF8&psc=1
and I've got a bunch of these short ones
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07566XPWK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07566XPWK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

A two port car charger and a 10,000 mah battery are always handy too

What I havent worked out yet is what USB charger I'm going to get to go with my Chromebook
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Old Aug 17, 18, 1:24 pm
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Originally Posted by dajdavies View Post
The Aukey looks nice.
Looks don't matter when they fake safety certificates. Repeatedly.

http://www.intertek.com/WorkArea/Dow...id=34359756154

http://www.intertek.com/WorkArea/Dow...id=34359762270
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Old Aug 22, 18, 11:03 pm
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The 4-port Anker charger has been my go-to for many years. All of mine still work despite being fully abused.

This year, I've switched to their 6-port charger for a few reasons:

1) The 6-port uses an external but standard power cord. I've come across too many hotel & airline outlets which were quite loose and the weight of the 4-port charger would cause it to fall out.
2) Cleaner setup. I used to use 6ft & 10ft USB cables with the 4-port charger. Now I normally use 1 ft cables since the 6-port charger's cable allows it to reach the table.
3) More ports! It seems everything takes USB charging now and it seems like I'm carrying more gear which wants to be charged.
4) Power LED -- the 5-port version doesn't have one.
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Old Aug 23, 18, 1:23 am
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Originally Posted by gfunkdave View Post
Looks like Anker has a new extension cord of its own. 3 AC outlets and 3 6W USB ports.

https://www.anker.com/products/varia...ports/A2763121
It would be nice if they made the AC slots those "universal" (I have no clue what they are called but you can jam any AC plug in there) types. Might make it a bit chunkier but a little more useful on the road especially with business colleagues from other countries as some of their adapters are the size of small African nations and take out 2 sockets at least!
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Old Aug 23, 18, 1:47 pm
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Originally Posted by chx1975 View Post
Looks don't matter when they fake safety certificates. Repeatedly.
Ouch. There goes that product as far as I am concerned.

Originally Posted by KRSW View Post
This year, I've switched to their 6-port charger for a few reasons:
.
I held back primarily due to its external wire. I suppose its packability vs. your valid point about falling off sockets at times.

Originally Posted by gfunkdave View Post
Looks like Anker has a new extension cord of its own. 3 AC outlets and 3 6W USB ports.
https://www.anker.com/products/varia...ports/A2763121
This is one product I've looked at buying multiple times. I think both this (3 USB + 3 AC) and the Anker 4 port will be an overkill for me. I need to decide between the two. Also based on Amazon review pictures by folks who bought it, it does look larger than I expected
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Old Aug 27, 18, 1:30 am
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Originally Posted by arjunrc View Post
I held back primarily due to its external wire. I suppose its packability vs. your valid point about falling off sockets at times.
I had the exact same thoughts, thinking that the 4-port is easier to pack, which is why I stuck to my 4-port for so long. I've been on the road for 18 of the past 20 days and am carrying both my older 4-port and 6-port chargers. 7 different hotels, 10 different planes, and every time I've reached for the 6-port whether I needed the extra 2 ports or not. Just yesterday it came in handy at an airport lounge where they had the fold-out outlets and the 4-port wouldn't fit...nor would any of the international travelers' adapter plugs, so I just let everyone around me plug into it.
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