For over a decade we’ve been blessed to travel the world over for work and pleasure. Being a self-confessed Photo Geek, this has meant figuring out how to travel light while keeping all our cameras, lights, phones and gadgets charged. With carry-on and checked luggage allowances dwindling, it’s never been more important to lighten your load while keeping your gear charged.
Taking up minimal weight and volume while being the most versatile in their class, this is the gear we consider part of our essential travel charging kit – real-world tested by yours truly.
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Video: the Best Travel Charging Gear
Below is a video which details our requirements for our travel charging gear, the goods that make the list and why.
The Best Travel Power Taps, Surge Protectors & Adapters
Conair Travel Smart All-In-One Adapter
One of the smaller international plug adapters, this Conair Travel Smart Adapter has proven to be reliable and accommodates grounded plugs.
Accell 110V Travel Surge Protector
OREI 220V Travel Surge Protection
For North-Americans who travel to higher-powered countries, make sure to pickup the right 220V Travel Surge Protector to protect your sensitive electronics.
Ziotek 360-Degree Rotating Power Strip Liberator
If you only check out one piece of gear here, let it be this Ziotek Rotating Power Plug. If you’ve ever run into a less-than-ideally located power outlet, this amazingly simple but perfectly executed tool will be able to get you plugged in and powered up. I travel with several in my carry-on bag and never regret it.
Heavy Duty Grounded 3-Outlet Triangle Tap
Strong, simple and fits even cumbersome brick chargers, we travel with several of these Grounded Triangle Taps. Mate it with the Ziotek rotating power liberator above and you’ve got the ultimate power splitter for home and travel.
The Best Camera Battery & USB Chargers
Watson Duo Camera Battery Charger
I was hesitant to trust third-party camera battery chargers after having several cheapies literally explode on me, but this Watson Duo Camera Battery Charger has been a trusty travel side-kick for the past year without issue. Its versatile plate-system means you can charge all your camera/videocam/LED-light batteries without having to cart dedicated chargers for each. Highly recommended.
Anker USB Charger with PowerIQ Technology
You can never have too many USB chargers around, and I haven’t found any as powerful and easy to use as the Anker PowerIQ USB Chargers.
Right-Angle 6 ft USB A to MicroUSB B Cable
Apple Certified Micro-USB to Lightning Adapter
Better than a dedicated Lightning cable, this micro-USB to Lightning adapter is pretty much indestructible and more versatile – letting you purchase ubiquitous micro-USB cables on the road in the event of a broken cable.
Monoprice 5000mAh External Battery Pack
Not the prettiest or most polished of the bunch, this Monoprice 5000mAh USB Battery Pack gets the nod for having the best power to weight ratio I can find. Bonus points for being able to charge 2 devices at once.
Bonus: More Essential Travel Gear
Mesh Bag Organizers
I like to group items using these mesh bags by location (example: airplane) or use (medicine). I love that they’re super-light, color coded and reveal their contents at a glance. Bonus points for having a sewn-own clip to secure to your bag or belt buckle (when seated on a plane).
Belkin Rockstar Multi Headphone Splitter
There’s no buts about it: it sucks to be on a flight with a broken in-flight entertainment system. Make friends and carry this Belkin Multi Headphone Splitter to join the action with your travel partner.
Twelve South PlugBug – All-in-one 2.1 amp iPhone/iPad charger
You can never have too many USB chargers. If you use Apple Computers, the Twelve South PlugBug is a great addition to your travel-charging arsenal. International power ready and capable of charging any i-Device, add another convenient USB power plug wherever you power your macbook. Super-bonus: it works as a stand-alone USB charger even without being plugged into a macbook power brick.
Eneloop Pro Battery Charger + AA Rechargeable Kit
For us flash-hungry photographers, Eneloop Pro Batteries are the best choice for fast recycle times and long-running power. This kit includes a travel charger but be warned: it’s not the fastest so that brings us to the next item ….
Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA Battery
When weight is a premium and/or we don’t have time to wait for our AA batteries to charge between shoots, these Energizer Lithium AA Batteries are our batteries of choice. These are also great in our favourite battery-powered electronic toothbrush as they don’t have the tendency to corrode like their Alkaline cousins.