Apple’s MagSafe chargers were honestly wonderful. When tripped over, these old magnetic cables would break away from your MacBook, saving you from an expensive accident. Despite Apple’s move to USB-C, you can still add MagSafe-styled charging to your MacBook Pro.
And don’t worry, these products won’t take away your beloved 87-watt fast-charging. They’re built specifically for MacBooks, and they’re often just as cheap as regular USB-C cables. Some of them even facilitate data transfer, USB-C hubs, and USB-C accessories, so you don’t have to miss out on the benefits of USB-C.
Of course, these products work only with USB-C equipped MacBooks, MacBook Pros, and other laptops with USB-C charging ports.
What to Look for in MagSafe-Styled Chargers
MagSafe-styled chargers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some are just basic breakaway USB-C cables that have a magnetic tip, and others are adapters that fit on the end of a typical USB-C cable.
Both of these options require you to leave a magnetic USB-C “nub” inside your laptop’s USB-C port. For MacBook Pro users (with two USB-C ports), this isn’t a big issue. You can still use your other port for external drives, USB-C hubs, and USB-C display cables.
But if you’re trying to add MagSafe charging to a basic MacBook, a laptop with only one USB-C port, or an iPad, then we suggest buying a MagSafe adapter. Since these adapters fit at the end of USB-C cables, you can easily swap them out for a USB-C accessory on the fly.
A few small details to look out for: Some cables and adapters are limited at 60-watt charging, but the MacBook Pro is capable of charging at 87 watts (the basic MacBook maxes out at 60). Also, some cables and adapters don’t support data transfer, and others are non-reversible, which means they can only be connected from one direction.
Now that you know what you’re dealing with, let’s dive into the best MagSafe-styled USB-C cables and adapters.
Basic Breakaway USB-C Cables
Again, basic breakaway USB-C cables are great for adding MagSafe-style charging to all of your USB-C powered devices. They’re usually smaller and cheaper than breakaway USB-C adapters, but they aren’t great for laptops with a single USB-C port because they can be hard to swap out for USB-C hubs or accessories.
All of the basic breakaway USB-C cables listed here are USB-C to USB-C. We suggest you avoid USB-C to USB-A cables because they can rarely push out more than 18 watts of power. (18 watts is great for phones, but the MacBook Pro charges fastest at 87 watts.)
Here are the best basic breakaway USB-C cables for your MacBook (or other laptops):
- Lefon Basic Breakaway Cable: This braided USB-C to USB-C cable is great for use with laptops, phones, or tablets. It has a tiny nub, it’s reversible, it supports 87-watt charging, and it has a 480 MBps data transfer rate. If you’re trying to add MagSafe-style charging to all of your USB-C devices, this relatively cheap and versatile cable might be your best option.
- ELECJET Reversible L-Shaped Cable: This L-shaped magnetic cable is designed specifically for laptops. It is small, reversible (you can connect it from behind or in front of your MacBook), and even supports 87-watt charging.
- Basevs Reversible Braided L-Shaped Cable: Hey, why not use a braided breakaway cable? This L-shaped magnetic cable is reversible, supports 87-watt charging, and even works for data transfer (which makes this a decent option for phones and tablets).
- Griffin Chunky Cable: If you want a super-strong breakaway cable, look no further than the Griffin magnetic USB-C cable. This thing is thick, reversible, easy to remove, and rated for up to 60 watts of power delivery. (We wouldn’t suggest using this for phones; it’s pretty dang chunky.)
Again, these cables are great for laptops with multiple USB-C ports, and they can work well as phone or tablet chargers to boot. But if you own a MacBook or laptop with only one USB-C port, the flexibility of a breakaway USB-C adapter may be more useful to you.
Breakaway USB-C Adapters
Breakaway USB-C adapters attach to the end of typical USB-C cables. These adapters are easy to transfer from one USB-C cable to another, and they usually work with accessories and hubs, so they’re ideal for people who own a MacBook or laptop with only one USB-C port.
That said, they’re designed for laptops, and they aren’t convenient for use with phones and tablets (not that it’s impossible, they’re just too bulky for small devices). We suggest using these adapters with a USB-C to USB-C cable and a USB-C brick. Otherwise, they won’t be able to reach 87-watt or 60-watt “fast” charging speeds.
Here are some of the best MagSafe-style USB-C adapters:
- Upmely Reversible Adapter: This is an L-shaped reversible adapter, which means it can connect from behind or in front of your MacBook. It has a slightly large nub, which is ideal for 87-watt power delivery and 10 GBps data transfer rates.
- Knaive Reversible Adapter: The Knaive adapter is basically just a prettier, more expensive version of the Upmely adapter (although it regularly goes on sale). It’s an L-shaped reversible adapter with 87-watt power delivery and 10 GBps transfer rates.
- Dreamvasion Low-Profile Adapter: Compared to the Upmely and Knaive adapters, the Dreamvasion is extremely low-profile. It has a tiny nub, and its adapter is surprisingly short and thin. It isn’t reversible, but it supports 87-watt charging. Sadly, this adapter does not support data transmission, so we wouldn’t suggest using it on devices with only one USB-C port.
- ELECJET MagSafe to USB-C Converter: Still have your old MagSafe charger lying around? This ELECJECT dongle gives you the ability to plug old MagSafe gen 1 and 2 cables into your MacBook (or any device with a USB-C port). Just keep in mind that this adapter delivers only 60 watts of power.
And that’s all there is to it. These MagSafe-style chargers and adapters aren’t perfect yet (they take up USB-C real estate, they don’t always facilitate data transfer, etc), but things may get better over time (especially if manufacturers start making laptops with more than one or two USB-C ports).