4.6

Versatility
Build Quality
Cost-to-Value Ratio

The TYLT RIBBN Car Charger is a deceptively simple car charger for your iPhone. On the surface, the most notable difference from other car chargers with built-in Lightning cables is that it has a flat ribbon-like cable instead of the usual round type. No big deal, right?

That’s what I thought when I first opened up the package. After using it for a month, though, I’ve come to appreciate it. There is something about the size and shape that makes it easier to find the end, less likely to tangle with anything, and simply quicker to orient for charging.

None of this is truly important — it’s just nice; however, there are two other key features that elevate the TYLT RIBBN Car Charger above most others and justify the price:

  • 4.8 Amp Output for Charging Two Devices
  • Superior Build Quality

A Closer Look at the TYLT RIBBN Charger

dual usb car charger review

The TYLT RIBBN car charger is a solid, well-designed charger that can quickly charge two devices at the same time.

If you pay attention to car chargers, you’ll come to realize that not all all chargers are the same. Many of the cheaper chargers just don’t seem to charge my iPhone or iPad very quickly at all. Why? They just don’t produce enough amps to shove electricity into your battery quickly.

The TYLT RIBBN Car Charger, though, produces a whopping 4.8 amps that it splits between the built-in Apple Lightning cable and the additional USB charging port. (In case you’re wondering, TYLT also offers a RIBBN car charger that has a built-in Micro USB option, which is handy if you have all sorts of Lightning cables already and want to have the Micro USB charger for your Android-using friends. There’s another reason to go with the Micro USB option, though — battery cases. If you use an iPhone battery case, the charging port is almost always Micro USB.)

But let’s get back on track: That 4.8 amp circuit is split to 2.4 amps each, which means that you’re going to get a fast charge into your devices — even into your iPads and tablets.

Nice.

Build Quality

Many other USB chargers can be had for far less cost, but in my experience, they never last — and they’ve failed at times when I’ve needed a charge. And then I end up looking for a cruddy replacement USB charger at some gas station, which starts the cycle all over again. A better way is to invest in the TYLT RIBBN Car Charger because it’s built to last.

The thing I appreciate about TYLT is that it’s a real company with a real brand name that it cares about, so it only produces accessories that are thought out, work well, and are built well. It’s as if they take pride not only in their products but also in their name.

That’s something I look for before I buy.

The TYLT RIBBN Car Charger has a rubberized coating with a solid construction overall. It doesn’t creak and have slightly moving parts like many other chargers I’ve used. I suspect that I’ll be using it for years. Oh, and it doesn’t have some annoyingly bright light that shines in your eyes when you drive at night.

So how much does it cost?

This is the stickler — the Apple Lightning version costs $49.99. It’s a little spendy, no doubt, in part due to the licensing of the Lightning connection from Apple. The Micro USB version is $39.99. At first, the cost is a little hard to take — until I started thinking through how much my household has spent on USB car chargers that have failed — or worked poorly — in the last two years . . . including a couple extra Lightning cables. As near as I can remember, we’re starting to get near a hundred bucks . . . and that’s been for a generally irritating experience.

So is the TYLT RIBBN Car Charger worth it?

If you prefer buying quality and then not wasting any brain cycles dealing with stupid stuff, then yes. If you appreciate the build quality of your accessories, then yes. If you want to ensure fast charges you can trust, yes. If you’re looking for a gift for someone who recently stomped on their other lousy charger while muttering under their breath, then yes.

The TYLT RIBBN Car Charger comes in a bright green, red, black, and a purply sort of blue.

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About the author

Chris Maxcer

Twitter Website

I've been writing about the tech industry since the birth of the email newsletter, and I still remember the clacking Mac keyboards from high school -- Apple's seed-planting strategy at work. I'm a big fan of elegant gear and sublime tech, but there's something to be said for turning it all off -- or most of it -- to go outside. Online I like to call out cool stuff on Wicked Cool Bite, share Apple-focused opinions on TechNewsWorld, and blog with my buddies at Man Makes Fire. For something different, check out If They Mistake the Moon for the Sun. To catch me, take a "firstnamelastname" guess at the url of this site.