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The best travel adapters for international jet setters

Whether you’re traveling outside the United States for business or pleasure, for most destinations, you’re going to need a travel adapter if you want to take your gadgets with you. Luckily, we’ve tried out an array of adapters, some of which were better than others. Below, we’ve rounded up the best travel adapters we’ve used, though the right adapter for you will depend on your budget, destination, and available space.

Before we start, we recommend you review this international adapter guide to make sure you know what kind of adapter you need. Bear in mind that we’re just looking at travel adapters here, not voltage converters. Most smartphones, tablets, and other modern devices can handle different voltages. For laptops, you’ll usually see a voltage range — like “100-240 V,” for instance — printed on the power block, which means you don’t need a converter. We’d advise against plugging in a hair dryer or similar product without a voltage converter, however.

We’ve also put together guides to the best travel gadgets and best travel apps, and our Now Boarding column offers even more advice for the connected jet setter.

Zendure Passport Global Travel Adapter ($40)

Zendure Passport Global Travel Adapter

Of all the travel adapters on our list, this is our current favorite, namely because it offers real versatility and some handy features in a compact package. If you’re traveling through a multitude of countries, this one adapter could meet all your needs. It covers 150 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, Canada, and Japan. To switch between plug types, you press and slide one of the four buttons, each of which locks firmly in place. Plug your gadget into the other side and you’re all set.

The Passport also includes four USB ports capable of outputting 5A/25W total, so you can charge multiple devices at once. The clever feature here, however, is the adapter’s self-resetting fuse. Usually, when the fuse in your travel adapter blows, you have to replace it. Zendure’s Passport will trip and block the overload, and then reset itself automatically, so you can use it again without any fiddling.

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Pors-ela International Travel Adapter ($18)

PORS-ELA International Travel Adapter

Pors-ela‘s travel adapter has a sliding mechanism for U.S. and Australian plugs at one end and U.K. plugs on the other. The other side sports two USB ports for charging phones or tablets. There’s also a fold-out plug on the bottom for European outlets. You plug your gadget into the top of it. The 6A fuse guards against overloads and there’s even a spare fuse, in case the main fuse should blow.

It’s available in either green or blue, and comes with a handy travel pouch. It’s also fairly compact and lightweight. However, depending on the outlet position and what you’re plugging in, it can be a little awkward and the weight — particularly if you plug in something like the latest MacBook Pro — can start to pull the plug out. This is a common problem for universal adapters and wall-based outlets, though, at least when you plug in heavier power blocks.

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Bestek Universal Worldwide Travel Adapter Set ($14)

Bestek Universal Worldwide Travel Adapter Set

If you only travel to one country at a time and you don’t mind sifting through your power adapter collection to find the right one before you go, then this set from Bestek might be your best bet. You get eight different power adapters, which cover a wide range of different countries, including the United Kingdom, Europe, India, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, and Israel.

There are no frills here — these are simple power adapters that take a single plug. They’re pretty solid, however, and should form a strong connection when plugged into most outlets. For the current sale price, this adapter set is a steal.

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Mu International Portable Charger ($40)

Mu International Portable Charger

Our final option is a charging solution for smartphones and tablets, one we rarely leave home without. The central section sports one or two USB ports, so you can charge your smartphones or tablets. The other end features a sliding connection, so you can fit plugs for U.K., European, and U.S. outlets. The European plug is especially handy because it has a folding section at the top, so you can always find the right angle for the outlet at hand.

Currently, you can get the Mu System in either black or white. The black version has two USB ports, so you can charge a couple of phones simultaneously, while the white version has just one. Both versions are slim, lightweight, and compact, so they barely take up luggage space, and if you’re only visiting a single country, you only need to take the relevant adapter to slot in.

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