USB-C cables are the new standard for charging laptops and mobile devices, not to mention their capabilities for data and video. But they’re not all created equal, and getting the right cable is crucial to the application. Here are the best options available.
The Best Overall Cable: Anker PowerLine II+
For general purposes, we recommend Anker’s excellent PowerLine II+ series. These cables are braided to prevent breaks and the connections use high-quality plastic. They can handle high-power connections for charging laptops or rapid chargers on phones with equal ease. Six feet should handle all of your charging needs at standard desktops. As a nice bonus, they come in red or black. These cables are available in both C-to-C and A-to-C (for connection with the older rectangular USB standard).
Anker PowerLine+ II USB-C to USB-A 2.0 Cable (6ft / 1.8m) , for Samsung Galaxy S9 / S9+ / S8/S8+/Note 8, LG V20/G5/G6, and More
An excellent all-around choice that balances price and utility.
The Best “Tough” Cable: Belkin MIXIT DuraTek
If you need a cable that can take a bit of a beating, Belkin is happy to oblige. This C-to-C cable has a double-braided length, so it won’t wear out when bent or coiled, and the connection heads are reinforced with metal. It should be enough to protect it from anything the interior of your laptop bag can dish out, if not dedicated chewing from a toddler or pet. The cables are pricier than alternatives at the same length, but worth it if you need something that can go the distance.
The Best Travel Cable: DockCase USB C-to-C
For those who value space above all else, this tiny, inexpensive cable is ideal. At under a foot long with a flat rubberized length, it’s perfect for throwing in a pocket or carry-on bag for emergency charges. Despite being so small, it’s rated for maximum USB 3.1 speeds, 4K video, and charging at up to a hundred watts. Just make sure not to leave it behind—it’s so small you might not notice it on a hotel nightstand.
DockCase USB C to USB C Cable (0.72ft), 3.1 Gen 2 10Gbps 100W 4K Video Data Transfer Charging Cable for Samsung Galaxy S8, S9, S10,T5 LaCie SSD, MacBook Pro, iPad Pro 2018, and More (1-Pack)
This short, compact cable is perfect if you don't have much space in your bag.
The Best Budget Cable: AmazonBasics
Thousands of vendors are willing to sell you a USB-C cable on the cheap, but going for the least expensive option may not be a good idea, especially if you’re charging a laptop or smartphone with it. Budget-conscious shoppers would do well to buy directly from Amazon. The “AmazonBasics” line offers standard cables for as little as $7, with extra-long options and discounts for buying in multi-packs. These cables aren’t fancy, but they’re USB-IF certified. Go for the 2.0 versions if you don’t need hyper-fast data; 3.1 options are also available on the site.