Backpacker's Tool Pack: Universal Adapters & Extension Cords

They say the ancients live among rivers, source of life. Today, backpackers live(or lay down) among electrical sockets, our source of life.

Travel Essentials International Adapters 220V Extension cord reviews and suggestionsThis is Spa on Air's shared community room in South Korea's Incheon Airport, pretty viable option for resting at the airport.

At the age of mobile device, you may forget the keys and wallet, but never your phone and powerbanks. Otherwise, various nerve-racking symptoms await you, those seriously ill may even feel false vibrations and notification sound from their bag, it's bad.

What I want to share with travelers today is my traveling essential that's actual a duo whenever I'm abroad: International Adapters/Extension Cords.

(Essential 1: Customized Off-line Maps, for more info refer to Backpacker's Tool Pack: Customized Off-Line Map)

Part 1: Universal Adapters

Let's talk about those adapters, I believe many of us have scouted through internet about each country's socket style, but...where and which to buy after all the research?

I started with the cheapest singular adapter 10 years ago, from any hardware store and cost barely a dollar. It's portable and lite, but also...easy to be left behind since it's so small(i know), also if I'm on a multi-country trip, it's hard to keep up with the different standards of each country!

Anyway, different types of Universal Adapters each have their specialty and flaws, I'm going to share the four that's been well recognized and recommended by friends& families.

1. CARD(Compact And Revolutionary Design) CA2 Slim Universal Adapter Charger

Travel universal adapter
Pros

  • Looks nice, thin& easy to carry, has dust bag and cover
  • USB port for dual charging
  • Spare fuse in case of power overload
  • Has power indication light

Cons

  • Input isn't universal standard, pity
  • The flat design sometimes block the other sockets

2. Flight 001's 4-in-1 Universal Travel Adapter

Traveler's universal adapter
Pros

  • Minimalistic design for storage, has manual
  • Combo design, can be plugged in individually and has good spacing. No need to sweat even with the round socket 1
  • Both input and output are universal

Cons

  • No USB port, your mobile devices still need a block to charge
  • No power overload prevention
  • Doesn't have power indication light

3. Mobimann EEC-163U-21 Universal Travel Charger

travel universal adapter
Pros

  • Has USB port, can charge 3 devices simultaneously
  • Has power indication light(although reported as a disturbance from some users)
  • Different versions available, easy to find on in-flight purchases and duty-frees.(remember to check the prices)

Cons

  • Bulky design(women fist), possibly blocking other sockets
  • The weight of the adapter can cause balance issue when plugged in, it's easy to disconnect or fall out.
  • Output plug can be jammed when switching, gentle usage recommended.

4. Nicelink Adapters' Pack

旅行用萬國轉接插頭

Pros

  • Can be separated into reasonable size and used individually, never fret again with those rounded socket1

Cons

  • No USB port, your mobile devices still need a block to charge.
  • Doesn't have power indication light
  • Easy to lose track of

Conclusion

Summing it up, my personal expectations on a qualifying universal adapters:

  • Minimum: hosts the major input plug specification(US, UK, AU, and EU)
  • Have an up to date USB charging port
  • Easy to use structure
  • Some of the extra credit features:

  • light in weight and small in size
  • Power overload protection(fuse)
  • Be universal on both input and output
  • Power indication light
  • Multiple USB charging port
  • USB supported Amp
  • Powerbank feature
  • Extras: My Future Adapters with more Money:

    CARD(Compact And Revolutionary Design) CA4 Universal Adapter

    CARD ca4 universal adapters
    Pros

    • Replaceable lithium battery, can be used as a powerbank too!
    • Looks nice, thin& easy to carry, has dust bag and cover
    • USB port for dual charging
    • Spare fuse in case of power overload
    • Has power indication light

    Cons

    • The input isn't universal, pity
    • The flat design sometimes block the other sockets

    Pure USB Charging Port

    USB charger
    Pros

    • Can charge six different items at the same time

    Cons

    • No regular output socket

    Part 2: Traveling Extension Cord

    Even though most cities now have the support of increasing tourists, new hostels with quality and forward design have popped up through each city, some even come with 2+ sockets per bed(choosing the right hostel is another different lesson). But...expeditions don't always happen in the new and modern places, or sometimes the buildings simply can't be renovated due to the age, and even the extreme cases of false promises from hostel website's photos to what you see in the reality.

    I have personally encounter two tragic scenarios, first is when I was young(Uh-huh) and saw a fabulous hostel in Nürnberg, Germany with triple bunk beds 2. Without much thoughts, I booked it and only witnessed the experiences of lving in a 12 person dormitory with 4 sockets only. Second is when I had to sleep through the night in airport by accident, and ended up sleeping without a chair and socket to charge my devices. (For those who's been through it, having a strategic location is extremely important! And, finding the place that has good socket and comfortable chair is something that you can only hope for.)

    So, what to do when all the sockets are being used? Challenge other travelers to a duo to see who wins?
    Of course not, as long as you have a multiple socket extension cord, friends can be made anywhere on the planet!(or in the airport)

    Below is also personal reviews from myself and our friends:

    1. Wonpro 220V Universal Extension Cord

    wonpro 220V extension cord
    Pros

    • Safety switch
    • Three universal input is more than enough
    • Different versions available, can even customize your power cord length

    Cons

    • Power cord's plug is B-type(microwave type)
    • Bulky in size with the power cord, could be tricky to carry around

    2. 5IN1 4.8A FOUR USB Universal Socket(Instant charge)

    5IN1 4.8A USB Universal Socket
    Pros

    • Supports 110V~220V, 4.8A
    • Easy to carry around
    • 1.5 M cord
    • Power indication light can take up to 220V(The green light can be disturbing at night)
    • 1 Universal socket and 4 USB port, can charge up to five devices at the same time

    Cons

    • Satisfied so far, haven't found any flaws

    Universal Adapters + Extension Cords

    Recommend adapters extension cord combo

    Thoughts: A team is always stronger than a single hero.
    I personally recommend "CARD CA2 Slim Universal Adapter Charger" + "5IN1 4.8A FOUR USB Universal Socket" to be used in combination. Whether you're charging laptops, phones, tablets, cameras, powerbanks, or even USB reading lamp 3, the combination has you covered. Moreover, it's light and small to be carry around, so even Budget Airline's baggage allowance can handle it.

    If you're doing a long-stay vacation, I recommend adding "Flight 001's 4-in-1 Universal Travel Adapter" into the pack as well, that way you are able to carry one with you and leave one in the apartment.

    So which universal adapter or extension cord fits your need? It's up to where you're going and how you travel.
    This article is meant to simply share personal reviews on the brand and product, doesn't offer links for purchase.
    *Be cautious of voltage range, electric current, and power rate of work.

    If you've found something better, cheaper, or cuter, please don't hesitate to reply below and let us know!

    translated by Nasha

    HPJ (Half Planned Journey)

    HPJ (Half Planned Journey)

    Marketing Manager at Outland Inc
    "Not all wanders are lost."
    So I planned half and enjoyed the rest.
    From humanities and history, to culturally creative media, to international business management, to digital marketing. What hasn’t changed is the love for backpacking.
    Has accumulated 31 national flags and is ready and set to take the 32nd flag.
    人生的路,不只距離,而是經歷。
    所以我計畫一半,享受另一半隨遇而安。
    從人文歷史到文創傳播到國際企管到數位行銷。這之間唯一不變的,是對自助旅行的熱愛,至今累計了31面國旗,並摩拳擦掌著計畫奪下第32面。
    HPJ (Half Planned Journey)

    Latest posts by HPJ (Half Planned Journey) (see all)

      hellowings


      1. Type F socket is embedded, so double check your adapter's shape before using it.
        Type F 插孔 
      2. Triple bunk bed, even someone as tiny as me can't sit upright, be aware.
        三層行軍床示意圖 
      3. If you encounter the hostel that doesn't have reading lights, prepare a lite one on your own can solve a lot of troubles. Simply plug into your powerbank to use.USB立燈 

      Author: WingShark

      Hellowings' mascot, wander in the sea of air tickets days after days, in order to sniff out the best deals out there. His ultimate mission is to find wings that can accompany travelers throughout the world. At the same time loves to share everything about the Hellowings Journey, he takes traveling as life in a nutshell, every step can yield enriching experiences. Hellowings 吉祥物,每天徜徉在機票海裡,為了嗅出最超值的票價而努力,終極使命是替旅人找到足以漫遊世界的翅膀。在此同時也樂於分享有關於旅行的一切,認為旅行就是人生的縮影,每一步都是成長所需的養分。