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.

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.

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 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 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.

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 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!

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!

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.

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.

Price: $37.99 (in white; or in black for $39.99)Where to buy: AmazonSource: The sample of this product was provided by BESTEK.

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