LAST UPDATED: December 6, 2020
The Best Cigarette Lighter Splitters (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
Make your travels easier and run all your tech with these cigarette lighter splitters
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PUBLISHED ON December 6, 2020
Americans are driving more every year, setting records for miles driven each of the last three years. As we traverse the nation’s surface streets and highways, often that means a slew of electronics are part of those trips. If you have a cell phone or GPS navigation system, you’ve already discovered that you may have more devices than you have 12-volt charging points to power them. If you have teenagers in the car, you’re going to need to find a way to charge up all of those smartphones. Fortunately, providing power for all of the electric stuff that allows us to talk to others or find that specialty shop or watch movies can be done from one cigarette lighter outlet by using a splitter. A splitter permits two people or more to charge or power their devices at one time. To help make your next car ride easier, we’ve listed the best cigarette lighter splitters on the market, along with some tips on finding the right fit.
Offering seven different powering ports, this device can optimize the function of your 12-volt outlet.
- Lets you charge via USB and 12/24-volt ports
- You can run multiple devices at the same time
- Includes safety features to prevent damage
- Small size and somewhat awkward structure
- Won’t fit well into a cupholder, meaning it requires the use of the full cord
Featuring a sleek design, this small lighter splitter lets you power three devices at any given time.
- Comes at an affordable price
- Compact and easy to use
- Powers via USB and 12-volt ports
- Includes overcharge safeguards
Only has three outlets after splitting
Two USB outlets are close together, which could result in overheating
With a modern design and compact structure, this lighter splitter gives you two 12-volt ports and two USB outlets.
- Includes LCD screen highlighting battery status
- Flexible design to optimize reach
- Protected against overheating and overcharging devices
- Can be difficult to repair
- If one part of the splitter fails, the rest will stop working
- Bending part subject to wear and tear.
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Cigarette Lighter Splitters
- More convenience. Especially for older vehicles that don’t have a USB outlet, splitters make driving a lot easier. It lets you run multiple pieces of tech simultaneously, usually including devices powered by both USB and 12-volt systems.
- Function as an emergency supply. A splitter can enable you to use heavy-duty devices while you are out on the road. You can use this to fill a tire if you break down unexpectedly. The ability to use your tech (particularly communication devices) is essential to safety.
- Keep devices charged. Not having to choose between a charged tablet, cell phone, and laptop means that all your devices will stay functional throughout the ride. It limits worries related to dead phones and missed directions since everything stays operational thanks to easy charging.
- Make travel more enjoyable. If you’re traveling with kids, a splitter can help you power entertainment for the back-seat passengers. Instead of having to remove another device from the charger, everyone can access the power they need.
- Improve vehicle function. Cigarette splitters are relatively simple pieces of tech though they can overhaul the function of your vehicle. It’s a small investment with a payoff in convenience and security.
Types of Cigarette Lighter Splitters
Representing the most traditional type of cigarette lighter splitters, these far predate USB technology. Essentially, it consists of the main plug that goes into the 12-volt port. From there, it will either feed to the main structure or break into wires. You can find 12-volt splitters with several attachment points or those with only two. Usually, while fairly basic, this tech is very durable and will last for a long time.
As technology adapts, lighter splitters have adapted with it. With the introduction of USB tech onto the market (and most of our devices requiring a port to charge), lighter splitters have begun to include USB outlets. This type works the same way as a 12-volt splitter, though instead of feeding to multiple 12-volt ports, it leads to a structure with multiple USB ports for charging.
Perhaps the most common type of cigarette lighter splitters, the hybrid refers to a splitter with both USB and 12-volt ports. With these, there will be a central plug that attaches to the 12-volt port that spreads the current over multiple devices. The main structure (where the USB and 12-volt ports are) will either be connected directly or fed by a wire.
Opening its doors in 2012, Otium continues to focus on creating cutting-edge electronics and accessories. Expanding into the international market, this business continues to supply everything from cell phone chargers to lighter splitters. One of its top offerings is the Otium USB C Car Charger Lighter Splitter.
With its beginnings dating back to 2011, Yantu keeps a focus on providing electronic supplies for vehicle operators. The business operates internationally with a focus on tire inflators and vacuums that are compatible with vehicle electronic systems. A leading selection is the Yantu Cigarette Lighter Adapter Splitter.
A manufacturing company based in Paris, France, Bes Tek engineers and supplies advanced circuitry for the tech industry. It offers everything from prototype support to automotive supplies to its global customers. Among its top products is the BesTek Cigarette Lighter Splitter.
Cigarette Lighter Splitter Pricing
- Under $10: In this range, you can find cigarette lighter splitters that are either 12-volt exclusively or have very few additional ports.
- Between $10 and $20: Most splitters fall into this price range, so you can find everything from a hybrid to a traditional 12-volt splitter.
- $20 and up: In this price range, you can find high-end splitters with multiple outlets (usually seven). These will support both USB and 12-volt systems.
Perhaps the most critical feature of any cigarette lighter splitter is the part that plugs into your vehicle’s built-in adapter. Most of these designs are fairly standardized across the industry (for both the outlets and the plugs). This part is sometimes able to move, letting you angle the cords in multiple directions. Proper care of this component is necessary for optimal performance.
Another feature essential to the functionality of the cigarette lighter splitter is the outlets. The plug relays the electrical current through to these outlets where you place your devices. In most cases, the splitter will have both 12-volt and USB options. There are options with multiple outlets (which are generally more convenient though less efficient) and those with few which offer charge quickly.
The final feature of this electrical accessory is the safeguards. This includes the hardware and insulation used to prevent overheating. It also includes fuses that will trip in the event of a surge and protect your devices. It’s important for there to be controls for excessive amperage and voltage. Often, these will pair with an indicator that keeps you apprised of your vehicle’s battery and what it’s supplying.
- Fit. When you go to purchase any vehicle accessory, an important step is to ensure compatibility. This applies to both your vehicle and the devices you plan to use with it. Consider if you will be able to plug in the desired amount of devices without encountering any issues with the electrical capacity.
- Design. This refers to the structure of the splitter itself. Are you looking for something compact that will stay out of your way? Or do you want something bigger that can handle a bit of wear and tear from multiple passengers using it? These will tell you whether you want something large or something basic.
- Type. Think about what you plan to run using the splitter. Is it a power tool? Are you going to use it for your GPS? It could be for phone chargers or heated seat covers or as an emergency supply to run your power inverter. Make sure that it will be able to handle the demand and is compatible with the plug-in on your other accessories. Hybrids are usually a safe bet since they have both 12-volt and USB ports.
- Maintenance. Everything needs some upkeep, and cigarette lighter splitters are no different. Usually, all the device needs are to be stored properly and dusted occasionally. Blasting the ports with compressed air helps in most cases, though each model will have slightly different needs.
- Durability. Finally, consider how long it is going to have to last. Simply because of the increased demand and added wear and tear, options with more outlets tend to break down sooner (though offer more performance value). Balance the need for outlets against the amount of time you’ll need it for.
Best Cigarette Lighter Splitters Reviews & Recommendations 2021
The BESTEK 3-Socket 200W 12V/24V DC Cigarette Lighter Power Adapter offers enough power and options to ensure everyone in a vehicle gets the power they need. The splitter comes with three lighter sockets and four USB charging ports. With up to 6 amps and 200 watts of power, the splitter can charge phones, tablets, GPS navigation devices, DVD players, and even appliances like car refrigerators, pumps, and portable car vacuum cleaners. The plug for the cigarette lighter features a power button as well as a LED display that monitors your vehicle battery voltage so you can see if the power drops below 12 volts. Smaller than a deck of cards, the splitter comes with a 2.6-foot long extension cable to allow rear-seat passengers to charge their devices, keeping them happy on trips short and long.
It’s worth mentioning that, though the splitter is powerful, its small size can leave it vulnerable to damage. Make sure you store it carefully (like in a glove compartment) to prevent circuitry issues.
The UGREEN Car Charger Adapter offers a big bang for the buck. It plugs directly into a vehicle’s 12-volt cigarette lighter, offering one 60-watt port for an insert and two USB charging plugs. The port allows the driver to plug in a GPS unit or other in-car appliances. Meanwhile one of the two USB charging ports is the Quick Charger QC3.0. This port charges four times faster than conventional chargers with Max 3A current output. The second port is the iSmart 2.4A USB port also offers a fast charging speed for your iPhone iPad Pro or other non-Quick Charge devices. It fully charges an iPhone 7 in 1.5 hours, compared with 2.4 hours needed under normal charging conditions. The device also is designed to protect against overcharging your devices and has a replaceable fuse to extend its overall life.
While the fuse is technically replaceable, it can be tricky to find a compatible part (and a bit challenging to install it). Use the splitter carefully to avoid issues with the tech.
For those who prefer to stick to the basics, the sleek design and straightforward function of the Otium Store USB Sockets Splitter set it apart. It comes as a single piece which connects to the lighter port in your vehicle. From there, it offers two USB ports for easy device charging. You can simultaneously use the duo of 12-volt ports. It is meant to be compact and can fit in with all of your other gear. Regardless of the placement of your cigarette lighter port, this socket splitter will fit well. The lack of wires helps to prevent damage while the small size prevents issues related to overheating. Meant to durably handle up to 4.8 amps of output, this splitter is a great way to go.
It’s worth mentioning that, though it is compact, the size also means that if one part breaks, the rest are likely to stop working too. Take proper care of the splitter to avoid these types of issues.
With cupholders standard on every new vehicle these days, the Skyocean 3 Socket Cigarette Lighter Splitter Power Adapter is an ideal choice to help charge your devices while on the road. The 120-watt splitter provides enough power for three devices, such as dash cameras, GPS navigation systems, phone chargers, and more simultaneously. The Skyocean’s plug has three USB ports to allow for phone charging while the three ports are in use. Each 12-volt port has a lighted on/off switch, cutting down on the need to constantly unplug devices. It also features a built-in PPTC auto-recovery 7-amp fuse to guard against overloading or short-circuiting. The charger comes with a special mat to guard against rough roads. It comes with a one-year warranty and a discount if you buy multiple units.
Keep in mind that, though this does fit into your cupholders, it won’t allow you to store other things like drinks. So long as you plan, however, the multiple outlets and easy storage make it well worth the investment.
Sometimes less is more, and that’s certainly the case with the Electop 1 to 2 Car Cigarette Lighter Splitter Adapter Power Charger Port. It’s a very straightforward device: Just plug it into a vehicle’s 12-volt cigarette lighter and get two power points. While it looks like two power points hanging from a plug, it’s more than that. With heavy-duty extension cables to provide steady power, the two power points are clad in insulated PVC coverings to help offset any heat emissions up to 105 degrees Celsius. Additionally, the plug has a replaceable, 15-amp fuse to prevent overcharging or overheating and short circuits. The plug-and-play setup comes with a power indicator light allowing the user to easily check to make sure their devices are getting power. It can be used with any 12-volt port whether in a car, boat, or recreational vehicle.
Though the compatibility of this splitter makes it desirable, the technology is not waterproof. For best results, stick to land vehicles when using the device.
What the Vogek 50W 10A 4-Port USB Car Charger lacks in variety, it makes up for in functionality. With its simple design — no chords — it gives the user four USB ports to power devices. With more and more in-car appliances converting to USB-based chargers, this set up is a viable option for early adopters. This device detects your device automatically and delivers the fastest possible charge speed up to 2.4 amps per port or 9.6 amps overall for it. Putting out 50 watts of power means this charger can handle powering four tablets, smartphones, or other devices at full speed. The device is specially designed to keep temperatures low, ensuring stable working conditions and a long lifespan. It also uses circuitry to prevent overcharging a device and eliminating any short circuits.
Keep in mind that, though this splitter functions well, the limit of 50 watts makes it susceptible to circuitry issues. Plugin the minimum amount of devices possible to avoid this potential issue.
If you’re looking for a way to use as many devices as possible, the Yantu Cigarette Lighter Adapter is a great way to go. Designed to be compatible with any 12 or 24-volt electrical system, it includes two USB ports for easy charging. The front can connect to three different devices so you can seamlessly use any devices you need. The system incorporates safeguards to avoid issues with surges and over-voltage/amperage. It includes an extension cord of over two feet, giving you the full reach of your vehicle. With a smart chip inside of it, the splitter can send the optimal amount of power to your devices at any given time. With LED lights that tell you how charged your devices are, this splitter is both user-friendly and effective.
Bear in mind that, while it does have two USB openings, this splitter is more geared towards 12-volt usage. Check that all your devices will be compatible beforehand.
The HiGoing Lighter Adapter is an excellent choice for those that want to find something that is going to last over the long term. It has a very angular structure that features four USB ports and a trip of 12-volt ports. The layout is designed to prevent issues relating to overheating or overcharging. It features a main switch that monitors the battery in your car. This way, if the power is at a level which the device can’t handle, you get notified before an issue occurs. Charging multiple devices with ease, this splitter is safe to use with any tech you might have in the car. With smart chip technology, it charges and operates all your devices at optimal efficiency.
While this adapter isn’t prone to circuitry issues, it’s not invulnerable to them. However, since the pack comes with an extra two fuses, it’s easy to fix the issue and restore function quickly.
When you’re hunting for something that can handle a large amount of power, the Superone 2-Socket Lighter Splitter is a worthy contender. It is capable of 200 watts, meaning you can use it to run anything from a power tool to a tablet. The heavy-duty components make it useful for emergency applications. With a replaceable fuse, it’s both easy to use and maintain this set. It includes an LED light indicator that informs you of the status of your car battery. With this feature, you don’t have to worry about issues related to under or overcharging. Since the USB outlet is often used for high-tech devices, this safety feature is useful.
Though the function of this splitter is really valuable, it does have relatively few ports. That said, if you only need to run one or two extra devices, it’s a worthy investment considering the powerful design.
Especially if you prefer to rely on tech that’s proven its value in the market, the Yonhan Cigarette Lighter Splitter is worth looking into. It is a relatively simple piece with a main plug that goes into your 12-volt port. From there, it has two nine-inch wires that feed to a 12-volt adapter. It’s ideal for those who still want the 12-volt capacity but have multiple devices to run. All of the parts are well-protected by polymer insulation. This helps avoid issues with overheating. Despite the thermal reduction measures, the copper wire runs a current powerfully and reliably. It’s easy to install and get started. This model is particularly useful to those who need just a bit of extra tech in their vehicle.
Keep in mind that this splitter doesn’t have any USB ports on it, so it is only useful for times when you need to plug in other 12-volt devices, like power tools.
Care and Maintenance of Cigarette Lighter Splitters
To get the most value out of your cigarette lighter splitter, be sure to keep it in good condition. With these accessories, it’s pretty simple to keep everything in working order. Simply store it properly, don’t get it wet, and prevent damage to the plug and the outlet. Be careful when plugging in devices (and when removing them) and it should keep working over the long term. There are some other steps you can take, too.
- Keep an extra fuse close by in case you need to swap one out (most splitters come with a spare).
- Dust the outlets occasionally using an aerosol container of compressed air.
- Store the splitter away from moisture to prevent rust and corrosion.
- Unplug your devices carefully after use to keep the port working well on your USB car charger.
- When in use, keep the splitter in the proper position to prevent overheating and damage.
- Keep a cigarette lighter splitter with your emergency supplies.
- When it isn’t in use, unplug your cigarette lighter splitter and put it away.
- Keep debris out of the outlets to prevent damage to the electricals.
- Avoid pulling on the wire to avoid issues with the wires.
- Ensure that the splitter is kept in a well-ventilated position.
- Use the minimum possible amount of devices at any given time.
- Give the splitter a break if you’re taking a long drive to let it cool down.
- Remember to unplug your splitter to prevent issues with your car battery.
Q: What is the best cigarette lighter splitter?
The best cigarette lighter splitter is one that fits easily into your vehicle and is compatible with all your devices. A popular option is the BESTEK 3-Socket 200W 12V/24V DC Cigarette Lighter Power Adapter since you can use it for all sorts of tech. It’s durable and functions intuitively.
Q: Are cigarette lighter splitters safe?
So long as the splitter has the necessary safeguards against overheating and surges, yes, they are safe to use. It’s important not to overload them and to ensure proper ventilation. As long as you keep it in good condition, it’s a safe thing to have in the vehicle.
Q: How much power can a cigarette lighter splitter handle?
The amount of power these devices can handle varies based on the model. Some can handle up to 200 watts while with others it is substantially less. Most are powerful enough to run a 12-volt cooler and charge your phone at the same time.
Now that you’re familiar with the nuances of cigarette lighter splitters, you can make your pick. It could be the BESTEK 3-Socket 200W 12V/24V DC Cigarette Lighter Power Adapter or the value of the UGREEN Car Charger Adapter. There’s a splitter for every situation.