The Best Universal Power Plug Adapter for Travel with Fast-Charging USB-C


In our years of travel we’ve tried out loads of too-flimsy or too-bulky power adapters, and have always been hungry to find the one plug that could do it all without weighing us down. It’s the key travel gadget that makes all other travel gadgets possible.

Sure, you can stop at any electronics store or airport shop before an international flight, and grab a set of plug adapters that will be just fine. But they’ll also just cost you a lot more than you need to spend and they’ll take up unnecessary space in your bag. If you take a moment to order the right one online before you go, you’ll travel just a bit lighter and better.

The Best Power Plug Adapter for Travel

The Epicka Travel Adapter pictured at right is my current favorite because it is a small, universal solution that works in pretty much anywhere — basically it takes any plug you might have (including electronics you buy abroad with weird foreign prongs) and converts it to fit in any outlet you might find in your travels. Other features of note:

  • Four USB-A ports and one USB-C port with fast-charging (and the fast charging works great)
  • Overload protection from the 8A fuse (with a spare fuse included)
  • Takes 100-240V 50/60 Hz (the full range of what you might encounter)

The Epicka narrowly beats out other such adapters because of its safety fuse, snug fit for all kinds of wall outlets, and the four USB plus one USB-C ports (the most ports we’ve seen). If it’s not available, check out our previous recommendations (with one fewer USB port): the JMFONE Travel Adapter and the Ougrand Travel Adapter Plug.

All of these are compact, well-made, and basically accept any plug; they’re even useful for handling two- to three- prong conversions in the United States, or some of the funkier outlets and plugs I’ve come across in Brazil, Russia, and Italy.

Check Epicka prices on Amazon

Update history of this article

Originally published: Sept. 14, 2017. Completely re-written with our latest recommendation on June 17, 2018. Added the Truton on April 14, 2019. Once again completely re-written on April 16-17, 2019. We removed the dysfunctional Amazon bestseller list on Oct. 30, 2019. Updated on Dec. 22, 2019 with a non-USB option. Updated with our new recommendation on Dec. 11, 2020.

What We Love About This Universal Power Adapter

With the Epicka plug adapter we can go anywhere with a single adapter — and change our minds on the fly about which countries to visit without having to pick up new adapters for our electronics. Here’s why this is currently our top choice over the other plug adapters and adapter sets we’ve tried (there have been quite a few).

  • Small and compact: We travel very light (with only a wheeled carry-on backpack) so a whole set of adapters like you often see in airports would mean lots of unwanted bulk when compared to a simple universal solution. A lot of (otherwise good) tech recommendation sites fall down on this issue by recommending expensive and unnecessarily bulky adapter sets like this one. This is the smallest way to get six ports from one outlet, though we recommend an even smaller universal adapter without USB below.
  • Ready for anywhere: Plans change; the best trips send you on unexpected, corkscrew paths. With an all-in-one adapter you’re ready to meet any outlet in any country. And, if you should happen to purchase devices with strange plugs in these foreign lands, this power adapter allows you to still use them when you get back home, as it accepts all foreign plugs and can convert them to your home power outlets.
This can save you from packing chargers for many devices; the top of the Epicka plug adapter has four USB ports offering 2.4A charging each or 5.6A total; the USB-C port is not visible here as it’s located on the side.
  • Charge multiple devices at one outlet: As much as I endeavor for minimalism, there are still multiple USB devices in my long-term travel bag (headphones, a Kindle for language learning, a travel speaker, a travel hair trimmer, etc.). This charger outputs to six devices at once (four standard USB, one USB-C, and one wall plug). It’s a lifesaver to be able to plug in a single regular wall plug while simultaneously charging all your stuff, and perhaps a neighor’s stuff. I’ve had those nearby in trains or coffeeshops be quite grateful that this adapter allowed us to share an outlet and charge several phones.
  • Relatively inexpensive: Universal adapters are generally less expensive than the options at electronics stores like Best Buy. (If you’re sure you’ll only ever need a single type of adapter, however, you can find even cheaper simple adapters for specific countries.)
  • Has fast-charging USB-C: You can leave your USB-C power plug at home, since that’s included here. In my tests the USB-C port fast-charges phones as quickly as the phones’ original chargers, and it provides a good amount of power overall to the USB and wall plug too. The total output max is 880W at 110Vac or 1840W at 230Vac.
  • There is a safety fuse, and unlike similar competitors, there’s a spare., meaning that you don’t have to replace it if you should blow it out.
The release button on one side allows you to slide the prongs into the Epicka for packing
The USA and Australia prongs are the same but twist into place for the appropriate outlet
The UK/Ireland plug option
The side levers for choosing your plugs
The outlet holes will accept any weird plugs you might pick up on your journeys
The Epicka comes with a fuse and a spare fuse;
The European prongs of the Epicka universal travel adapter
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The Downsides to This (or Any Similar) Universal Travel Adapter

  • The Epicka travel adapter is fine for computers (laptops, tablets) and electronics (Android phones, Apple phones, etc.) and basically works with devices and countries that have 100-240V 50/60 Hz. But note that it does not convert voltage. In the (rare) case you are travelling with a device that requires conversion (e.g., a high-power motorized device or older device), see below for voltage conversion.
  • While the Epicka travel adapter can simultaneously power six devices, it only has one standard wall plug. If you’re travelling with more than one device that doesn’t use USB and need to charge or use them simultaneously, you’ll have to step up to something bulkier.
  • While the Epicka is the smallest full-featured universal plug adapter that we’ve found, you can go even smaller and more minimalist in travel adapters with the choice below (but there are no USB ports).

Countries Where You Can Use the Epicka Travel Adapter (or Any Similar All-In-One Converter)

Australia, China (mainland), etc.

The Epicka, like most such adapters, allows you to turn the prongs of the USA/Canada adapter slightly inwards to become this slanted adapter type popular in Australia.

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • China
  • Fiji
  • New Zealand
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Tokelau
  • Uruguay

US Type – USA, Japan

These are two flat vertical plugs found in much of the Americas.

  • American Samoa
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Aruba
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Cayman Islands
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Cuba
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Guam
  • Guatemala
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Laos
  • Liberia
  • Mexico
  • Micronesia
  • Montserrat
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Puerto Rico
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Venezuela

Here are a couple of outlets I ran across in a single AirBnB I stayed at in Brazil. As you can see it is nice to have a universal adapter to be prepared for everything there.

Three-prong outlet in Brazil
Brazilian power strip with highly raised edges around each outlet
Vertical two-prong outlet in Brazil
Brazilian three-prong wall outlet

Europe

These are two round plugs. There are slight variations of these in many countries but generally the two round plugs of the Epicka will fit regardless.

Italy is not on the official list but often the Epicka will work even without the third middle grounding plug that one often sees in Italy. I’ve found on occasion however that the other smaller, more-adjustable plug adapter (below) that I also carry can be useful in Europe as I can slide its two prongs closer and further apart.

  • Albania
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Cambodia
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Egypt
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Indonesia
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macedonia
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • Myanmar
  • Norway
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Spain
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Korea
  • Sweden
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • Vietnam

Here’s an example of an outlet I encountered on a train in France. It’s nice to be able to share with neighbors by having multiple outlets in your travel adapter.

An under-table outlet on a four-seat cluster on a fast train in France

UK, Ireland, Hong Kong

These annoying, large outlets and prongs MUST have the third grounding plug in order to work. I’ve frequently seen Europeans stick a pen cap in UK outlets’ grounding hole and then force their two round-pronged devices in. But with the Epicka (or any UK-compatible travel adapter) there’s of course no need for that. These are the countries concerned.

  • Bhutan
  • Botswana
  • Brunei
  • Cyprus
  • Dominica
  • England
  • Ghana
  • Grenada
  • Hong Kong
  • Iraq
  • Ireland
  • Kenya
  • Macau
  • Malta
  • Malaysia
  • Nigeria
  • Northern Ireland
  • Pakistan
  • Qatar
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Scotland
  • Singapore
  • Sri Lanka
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Wales
  • Yemen
  • Zimbabwe

It’s true that you could just buy a specific adapter for the country you’re going to, but in some places you really can’t know what to expect and it’s easier to just have a universal travel adapter.

You can check the full range of possible world outlets and plugs on Wikipedia, and there are some obscure configurations that you’ll still find in use in places that aren’t covered by any universal adapter or typical travel adapter set. But in those rare cases, your hotel or host is very likely to also have plug adapters or a power strip for your use, and so that they can plug in world electrical appliances themselves.

Do You Need to Convert Voltage? — For most travellers, probably not!

Note that plug adapters do not convert voltage; in the unlikely event that you need to step up or step down for a specific piece of electronics (for example, from a 110 volt device to a country that is on 220 volts), you instead need to look for a (heavier, bulkier) voltage converter.

But first take a good look at the fine print on your electronics’ plugs before buying a voltage converter to see what voltages it actually accepts (and you can compare that with the specific voltage and frequencies for the country you’re travelling to).

You’ll find that most smaller consumer electronics items like laptops, mobile phones, and even hair dryers sold today say something like “100-240V ~ 50-60Hz”; this means that they accept anything from 100 to 240 volts and from 50 to 60 Hz — to put it simply, they work in Europe, America, Asia, anywhere. If, as is most likely, your devices accept a range of voltages that include the voltage of the place you are travelling to, you don’t need a voltage converter, just a plug adapter like the ones we’re recommending in this article.

The Smallest Universal Plug Adapter that’s Worthwhile—But No USB Ports

The Kikkerland arranged for a UK socket
The Kikkerland adapter set for the USA, Canada, and Latin America (turn the prongs inward slightly for Australia and New Zealand)
The Kikkerland adjusted for mainland Europe
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If you just need a plug adapter without USB, or (like me) you’d like an extra plug adapter for your pack, the best option is the Kikkerland Universal Travel Adapter.

The Kikkerland is small and light and incredibly flexible. For example, the Euro prongs can be moved in and out a bit to fine-tune for the width of some truly weird sockets. I found this flexibility to be useful on occasion in parts of India and Brazil. This can also help to keep the plug from falling out of a socket.

The only downside is that it can be a bit complicated to configure. Don’t just throw the two pieces in your bag and then try to figure out how to put them together once you’ve reached your destination. Take the card as well with the illustrations showing the configurations. This will save you a lot of hassle.

I kept the instructions myself and took them with me, but was overconfident and wasted about five minutes trying to put the pieces together for a UK outlet. Once I actually looked at the instructions, however, I was able to set it up in a few seconds and get to charging.

Other Bestselling Travel Power Adapters

The now-discontinued SZROBOY Travel Adapter worked fine for me, though the function light was too bright for my tastes and sometimes disturbed my sleep in hotel rooms. I covered it with electric tape (as shown at right).

We also used the Nierbo Travel Adapter for a time, but it has been discontinued and we gave ours to a travel buddy.

The JMFONE Travel Adapteris quite similar but has fewer USB ports.

We have also tested the Truton Universal Travel Power Adapter that was sent to us by the manufacturer. It’s got a nice matte-white finish and the same features as our top pick, but it failed to trigger USB-C fast charging on most of the devices that we tested it with.

Wrap-Up: The Travel Power Adapters We Recommend

Here is the most convenient solution that we’ve found for converting pretty much any plug for any outlet, anywhere.

Epicka Travel Adapter
Charges four standard USB devices, one USB-C device, and accepts a standard wall plug; works anywhere in the world; has safety fuse and spare fuse

Should the Epicka be out of stock, the JMFONE Travel Adapter is similar, but has one less USB port.

Kikkerland Universal Adapter
I also always carry this, it’s a little bit more adjustable for the most fiddly screwball electrical sockets of the world; no USB or USB-C