Best Portable Power Strip Surge Protector With USB
The APC “SurgeArrest Essentials” P3U3 is our top pick for a portable, packable, travel-size surge protector with USB charging ports. When staying at hotels for work or vacation, or even just overnight at friends / relatives, it’s great to be able to plug-in and charge-up all your devices. It’s available from Amazon for $18.17, and you can order with this link: APC 3-Outlet Surge Protector 1080 Joule with 3 USB Charging Ports (P3U3) .
The APC P3U3 has 3 Standard 120V 3-prong US Outlets, each rated to 1080 Joule Surge Protection. The Underwriters Laboratories (UL) (an independent, not-for-profit testing laboratory) specifies the Clamping Voltage at 400V for the two types of protection modes: full normal mode (L-N) and common modes (N-G and L-G). There are 3 prongs in a US plug, connecting to three wires: hot line (L), neutral (N) and ground (G). It’s electronics provide line filters to reduce undesirable electric noise and EMI (electromagnetic interference) from making it’s way into your devices, which could be otherwise potentially damaging.
It also has 3 Surge Protected USB Charging Ports, sharing 2.1A of power at a maximum voltage of 5V.
The APC P3U3 conveniently has an integrated 6′ Power Cord, which seems to be the perfect length for hotel desks and nightstands. We also like the molded plastic (which comes in a choice of White or Black) has a built-in slot to hold your tablet or phone while charging. We’ve also used it to hold an iPad while watching movies.
To let you know it’s working, and to provide a safety check on any outlet you plug the P3U3 into, there are two LED indicators on the unit. When both the “Ground OK” and “Protection Working” LEDs are green, you are safe to plug in. When either of these are red, there might be wall wiring issues, or your P3U3 has suffered an event knocking out it’s protection features. Note that you can still use the P3U3 as an extender / charger, but you devices are no longer protected when the lights are RED.
Not too worry though, APC provides free replacement for damaged SurgeArrest units. And in the unlikely event that a surge overwhelms the P3U3, APC has a lifetime limited warranty to replace up to $50,000 worth of damaged equipment that was plugged in.
At just over a pound (1.08 lbs, to be precise) and a compact 5.2 x 5.2 x 1.42 inches, it’s easy to pack in your carry bag.
As an aside – If you are traveling out of the USA, consider getting an international unit which is typically rated to 240V and has interchangeable wall plug adapters for UK, EU and AU sockets. Here is our review for best international travel surge protector with USB.
And if you want a surge protection power strip (no USB) for your home or office, here is our review for Best Surge Protector .
From their “SurgeArrest Essentials” series of products, buy one of these portable, travel surge plus USB protectors for yourself (and some more for your friends, family) through Amazon at: APC 3-Outlet Surge Protector 1080 Joule with 3 USB Charging Ports (P3U3) ($18.17)