REVIEW – Traveling is one of the most rewarding things you can do. Experiencing different cultures and environments is an incredible thing. For those of us that travel with power-hungry tech, powering that, given the differing electrical standards throughout the world can be a challenge. BESTEK has a solution with their travel power adapter.
What is it?
The BESTEK Universal Travel Adapter is a multi-port power adapter. It converts input voltage up to 240VAC to the US standard 110VAC and standard 5V USB. It is designed to be portable and has plug converters that should cover most worldwide power plug standards.
What’s in the box?
- Travel power adapter
- Three US 110V sockets
- Four USB-A ports
- Power cord with European Union (EU) connection
- US adapter (also converts to Australian plug)
- United Kingdom (UK) adapter
- Travel pouch
- User manual
- Service card
- Dimensions: 7.40 x 6.80 x 1.80 inches
- Weight: 16.5 ounces including adapters, cord, and travel bag
- Input Voltage: 90-265V AC
- AC Output: 110V AC
- AC Output Power (accumulative): 200W rated, 250W Max
- Items with heating elements (curling irons, hair straightners, hair dryers, coffee pots) are not approved for use with this converter
- USB Output: DC5V/4.2A rated, 6.0A max (four USB ports accumulative)
- Input cable: 59 inches, three prongs AC input cable with a type C EU plug
- Additional replaceable plugs:
- Type G – UK and Hong Kong
Other Countries include: Bahrain / Belize / Botswana / Brunei / Cyprus / Dominica / England / Ghana / Gibraltar / Grenada / Hong Kong / Iraq / Ireland / Kenya / Macau / Malta / Malaysia / Nigeria / Nothern Ireland / Oman / Qatar / Saint Lucia / Saint Vincent / Saudi Arabia / Scotland / Singapore / Sri Lanka / Tanzania / Uganda / the United Arab Emirates / Wales / Yemen / Zimbabwe
- Convertable adapter
- Type A – US and Japan
Other Countries include: American Samoa / Antigua and Barbuda / Aruba / the Bahamas / Barbados / Belize / Bermuda / Brazil / Canada / the Cayman Islands / Colombia / Costa Rica / Cuba / Ecuador / El Salvador / Guam / Guatemala / Haiti / Honduras / Jamaica / Japan / Liberia / Mexico / Micronesia / Montserrat / Nicaragua / Okinawa / Panama / Peru / the Philippines / Puerto Rico / Saudi Arabia / Tahiti / Taiwan / Thailand / Trinidad and Tobago / Venezuela / the Virgin Islands
- Type I – Australia and China
Other Countries include: Argentina / Australia / China (mainland, excluding Taiwan) / Fiji / New Zealand / Papua New Guinea / Tokelau (the Union Islands) / American Samoa / Argentina / Cook Islands / Kiribati / Nauru / SaintVincent and the Grenadines / Samoa / Solomon Islands / Tajikistan / Timor-Leste / Tonga/ Tuvalu/ Uzbekistan/ Vanuatu / Uruguay
- Type A – US and Japan
- Type G – UK and Hong Kong
Design and features
The unit looks like a small power strip. As seen in the cover photo at the top of this review, there are three US 110V three-prong sockets on the face (top) of the device. An LED in the on the lower right corner of the top indicates normal operation (green) or fault (red – overheat, short circuit, overload, overcurrent).
The bottom features six rubber feet plus the product label with all the pertinent input and output information.
The front of the unit features four USB-A ports and a master power switch.
The right side has a three-prong socket for the power cord plus cooling vent slots. Cooling is managed by a smart fan that automatically adjusts speed as needed to provide adequate cooling.
The power cord is 59 inches long and is configured with a standard two-prong EU-style plug.
Two adapter plugs are included.
The left plug is the US and Australia type A and type I adapter. More on that in a moment. The plug on the right is the UK type G plug.
Both of these slip on to the EU plug, effectively changing the EU connector to the chosen connector.
Now, more on that convertible connector. The US connector doubles as the Australia connector. If you look closely at the photos, you can see that the prongs are mounted on circular mounting points. By grabbing one of the prongs and rotating, both prongs will rotate to a “V” shape (or as photographed, upside-down “V”), which is the format for the Australia socket.
The backside of the adapters has socket openings that will accommodate nearly any international plug.
The power cord’s EU plug fits into the top sockets of the chosen adapter.
The included travel bag is generously sized and easily holds the power convertor, power cord, and plug adapters.
Before we get into how it works, I want to reiterate the warning prominently displayed in the supplied documentation – this unit is designed to power small electronics, not appliances. Anything with a heating element will shut down the power strip as it simply isn’t designed to put out that kind of amperage. With that caveat in mind, let’s plug in some stuff!
Here is our desk area on the lovely Harmony of the Seas cruise ship.
Like all cruise ship staterooms, electric sockets are at a premium. Most staterooms we’ve stayed in have offered the large sum of one – count ’em – one, pair of 110V sockets. For this reason, many regular cruisers have a small powerstrip permanently in their cruise packing stash. There typically is another set of 220V sockets for international travelers. OK, ok, all you seasoned cruisers – yes, there is almost always one more 110V socket located in the bathroom, conveniently up near the ceiling, and specifically labeled “FOR RAZORS ONLY”. Oh yeah – it also only works when the bathroom lights are turned on. Nice. I don’t include that in the ‘usable” power outlet category.
This power strip offers the advantage of allowing me to plug it into the 220V socket, keeping the two 110V sockets open and available. That gives me five usable power outlets. That should be enough to let me power or charge whatever I need to. When you also factor in the four UBS ports on the BESTEK power adapter, the power will be flowing freely!
After plugging in the power strip and turning it on, the statue LED glowed green as expected.
I was able to plug-in battery packs, my action camera, two phones, and my laptop. Everything charged without issue. Well, almost without issue.
The first issue is the USB ports – they are not fast-charge enabled. So while having four of them is nice, they don’t replace a fast charger for quickly topping off your phone. Still, four ports are four ports and being able to plug in everything at once is nice.
The second and larger issue for me is noise. As soon as you turn on the power adapter, an internal cooling fan also turns on, even with nothing plugged in. This fan, while not terrifically loud, is noticeable. I put my phone’s decibel meter about a foot from the power strip. With the power strip off, it recorded a quiet 28-31 dB. Turning on the power strip and resetting the meter produced an average near 36 dB. While 36 dB isn’t overly loud, it is definitely something you can hear in a quiet room. Luckily, I have a solution in the LectroFan Micro2 sleep sound machine that is always in my travel bag.
What I like
- Relatively compact and lightweight for travel
- Three 110V and four USB ports available
What I’d change
- Do something about lowering the fan noise
- Upgrade the USB ports for fast charging
Overall, I like this travel charger. It offers lots of ports for 110V or USB. It would be nice if the USB ports were fast-charge capable, but still, four ports is four ports. The noise is a little much for me, but, from across the stateroom, it was barely audible, so how annoying it will be depends on how close you will be to the charger.
This has earned a spot in my international travel bag.