With smoking on the slide (in 2017, 14 percent of American adults smoked cigarettes, compared to 42 percent in 1965) the “cigarette lighter” socket found in almost every modern car could seem a little obsolete, were it not for the fact that new technology has found a way to use it as a means of transforming the power of your engine’s vehicle into a form of electricity that your devices can use. In order to do that, you’ll need an adapter, so here’s what to look for when shopping…

Top Pick

This slim, lightweight device offers two slots to power your devices and comes with built-in protection against overheating AINOPE

Think about what you’re mostly going to be needing to use the power for. If you regularly want to charge a phone, a tablet or a laptop and these devices can all be connected to a USB socket, then an adapter that provides one or two of these is going to be the least expensive, and least bulky way of doing things. Look out for transformers that offer a Quick Charge option, if your device supports it.

Great Value

This compact adapter provides two slots for cables and a regular electrical socket, with a built-in fuse for protection and integrated cooling fan to prevent short circuiting. FOVAL

However, it’s not just USB sockets that adapters like this can offer. If you have devices that are either more power hungry or have a regular plug on the end rather than connecting via USB, look for a device that also has an AC outlet. That means that you will be able to (in theory) plug in pretty much any electrical device. Different adapters have different numbers of sockets and can deliver different amounts of power, but bear in mind you’re not going to get the same level of power supply as you would from a wall outlet.

Also Consider

Two USB sockets and two regular outlets make this a comprehensive and versatile charger, with a fuse to protect against damage to both your vehicle and your devices. BESTEK

Take note of the wattage limit of the adapter. If you’ve got an 1800w hairdryer and a 150w adapter, that’s not going to work. Most adapters come with a built-in fuse so if you make a mistake, you shouldn’t actually damage anything. If your device doesn’t give details of the wattage on it, but does give details of the voltage and amperage, you can work out the wattage by multiplying the other two figures together.