You’ll need a durable Lightning cable to charge your iPhone or transfer data between devices. While the standard cables that ship with your phone may seem like they’ll do the trick, these cords can easily break after repeated bending.
Rough handling of charging cords, such as yanking on them when unplugging, can also cause strain. Thankfully, preventive measures can greatly extend the lifespan of your Lightning cable.
Reinforced Connector Joints
The connectors on the ends of your Lightning cable are the weak points. They’re susceptible to stress from the bending and tension on the cord, and the internal wires can also get frayed or break down over time. That’s why durable iPhone charging cables have reinforced connector joints that hold up to bending and strain.
Rough handling of your charging cable is the main reason it won’t last. Trying to force it into tight corners or yanking on the cord when unplugging it can cause undue bending that wears down the junction between the cable and connector. The internal wires can also be harmed by liquid spills.
Even the most durable Lightning cables can break if you don’t take precautions to protect them. Avoid tightly coiling them and always grasp the plug housing when you’re disconnecting it from your phone or adapter.
Some of the most durable cables are braided and made from metal alloys. The Nomad Lightning cable, for example, is reinforced with Kevlar and has solid metal connectors. It also has springs at the ends of each plug to keep them from bending too far and creating strain on the internal wires. Another top choice is the Anker PowerLine II, which has an impressive 175 pounds of tensile strength. This cable isn’t as flexible as a braided cable, but it can still withstand tugs and bends better than most.
Nylon Braided Wires
A defining feature of durable Lightning cables is that their inner wires are protected by a thick outer layer. This helps them resist wear and tear better, particularly when they are coiled up. A thinner, less rubberized sheath, on the other hand, tends to fray and break over time. The best options are those with braided nylon or kevlar covers that can withstand lots of bending without breaking or becoming damaged. For instance, the Anker Powerline+ II is able to endure up to 30,000 bends without failing, and FuseChicken’s Titan cable uses two layers of steel and chain cable covering for protection that will last for years.
The Amazon Basics Advanced Double Braided Cable is another option with a thick outer layer that protects the inner wires. It’s also tangle-free and features a unique cutout near the end to give it more flexibility right where it meets the Lightning connector, which can help deal with strenuous bends.
Another way to ensure a Lightning cable will last longer is to buy one that has been MFi-certified by Apple. This guarantees compatibility with any devices that have a Lightning port, and it also includes chips to help with power supply and signaling. Buying an MFi-certified Lightning cable may cost more than some other options, but it can save you the trouble of replacing a cheap, low-quality cord that breaks before its time.
You probably don’t give much thought to the cable that came with your iPhone, but it’s worth upgrading to something a little more durable. The best Lightning cables charge faster and hold up well against fraying, while also coiling nicely in your bag for tangle-free storage.
The MOS spring cable, for example, has steel spring strain relief on both ends to safeguard them against the sort of bends and twists that can break many standard Lightning cables over time. Plus, it has an elegant design that grabs your attention.
One way you can easily put strain on your charging cable is by dragging it while unplugging your iPhone, which can lead to fractures at the junctions of the Lightning and USB heads. To reduce this risk, gently separate the connectors instead of yanking them apart. Also, consider storing your cable in a protective case when you’re not using it to keep it from getting bent or twisted. This will also prevent tangling with other accessories like your headphones or car mounts. MOS has a case designed specifically for this purpose, but the company also sells an affordable kit with a block to hold the cable and screws to attach it to your car mount.
When you’re constantly charging, connecting, and unplugging your phone and other electronics, it doesn’t take long for Lightning cables to start showing signs of wear. Over time, a frayed charger can turn into a fire hazard in your bag or worse. To avoid wasting money on replacements, upgrade to one of the durable Lightning cords we recommend below.
While you may think of the charger that came with your iPhone as an insignificant piece of equipment, a good quality cable will improve the speed and durability of your gadgets. The picks below are Apple MFi-certified, boast extra strain relief, and provide a durable alternative to the $5 drugstore chargers that can easily break.
The most common reason for a Lightning cable to fail is strain. This can be caused by little habits such as dragging the connector from the port or tugging hard when unplugging your phone. These actions can cause undue bending of the junctions between the internal wires, and over time, fractured internal wires condemn your charging cord.
The best durable Lightning cables have protective cases to prevent damage to the connectors and internal wires. Having a case also helps your cord stay organized and tangle-free, even when not in use. Some of these cases are designed to fit over your Lightning cable, which is an excellent choice for busy travelers who can’t always keep an eye on their accessories.