Kick Power 36 W Dual Port Car Charger
The 36W Dual-port USB-C/USB-A car adapter should meet the expectations of most users. The price was right, the fit was right, and the dual ports will adequately charge two phones, AirPods, or dashcams. I am not sure if there was an issue with the device as it would not charge an iPad Pro 12.9" (newest), or iPad Mini Gen 5. However, for the price, the ability to charge two iPhones and to have a PD 18W output was rather convenient. Overall the experience was good and I would still recommend the device.
- EASE OF USE
- POWER OUTPUT
Car charger keeps your dashcam and phone in the game.
I know I am not the only one who has forgotten to charge a phone, watch, or tablet overnight, only to scrounge out a few percentage points while on the way to work. As more and more of our electronics require portable power, I find myself needing to charge while on the go.
I love to utilize my AirPods Pro to enjoy Audible, music, and navigation Apps while on road trips, and I often employ a dashcam for emergency purposes. When my wife and I both require accessory power, a Highlander situation evolves: there can be only one!
Since many vehicles only have a single accessory outlet, I typically use a car charger with at least two USB ports. Traditionally, these were only USB-A ports. However, as USB-C has become more ubiquitous, I have started to rely upon devices that provide a combination of the two. The KICK POWER 36W Fast Charger Certified USB-C/USB-A Dual Car Charger arrived in a 5 15/16 inches tall by 2 3/4 inches wide by 1 3/16 inches thick hanging style package.
Like other KICK POWER gear, the main panel was divided into an upper white segment that radiated onto the top/right side panels and a lower black segment that extended to the left panel. The company name was listed at the top of the panel in a vibrant blue/black font. The same blue color was utilized for the accent colors between the white/black segments and along the lower left of the cover.
The main focal point of the cover was the large oblique image of the white car adapter and the 36W icon along the top left of the panel. You will find a few descriptors along the bottom right of the panel: 1. QC3.0 +PD36W Fast Charge Technology. 2. USB-C & USB Dual Charger. 3. USB-C and USB-A icons. The right side panel displayed the www.kickpower.com address along the bottom of the panel and the KICK POWER name at the top.
The left panel provided a 2 9/16 inches tall by 1 3/16 inches wide clear plastic window upon a black base. The blue border extended to the back panel and wrapped around the rear 2 1/4 inches wide by 2 9/16 inches tall clear window. The lower segment of the panel provided a grey box with product specifications (input 12-24V DC/36W, USB-C output 5V/3A 9V/2A 12V/1.5A, USB-A output 5V/3A 9V/12A 12V/1.5A). Lastly, you will find contact information, manufacturing labels, and an SKU barcode.
I lifted the top panel, slid the inner clear plastic tray out of the packaging, and then removed the 0.4-ounce car charger. The device measured 2 1/2 inches long from the USB port base to the metallic tip and measured 1 1/8 inches in diameter at the flat USB port base. The base tapered inward over 13/16 inches to a standard diameter of ~7/8 inches (21mm).
The distal 1/4 inches long spring-loaded metallic tip paired nicely with the dual 1/2 inches long by 3/16 inches wide side spring prongs to provide a secure fit within the accessory ports of my Nissan Leaf, Dodge Ram, and Nissan NV 3500. The KICK POWER name was penned along the side panel, while the opposite panel provided the product specifications and manufacturing labels. The front face of the device contained a USB-C PD 18W port and a QC 3.0 USB-A port. Once the device was plugged into the car adapter port, the surrounding LED ring illuminated an attractive blue color.
To test the power output, I plugged a Klein Tools Multimeter into the USB-C port and then a KICK POWER USB-C to lightning cable into the multimeter. When I plugged the lightning cable into my iPhone 13 Pro Max, the multimeter displayed 5.04V/1.39A. The phone started at 79% power at 5:45 PM and increased to 82% by 6:00 PM, while listening to Audible.
When I repeated the test with the phone in sleep mode, the phone increased from 82% at 6:05 to 86% by 6:17. When I plugged the multimeter into the USB-A port and a USB-A to lightning cable between the multimeter and iPhone, the multimeter displayed 5.06V/1.45A. My iPhone increased from 67% at 6:08 PM to 72% by 6:38 pm on my commute home. I attempted to use the KickPower car charger to charge my iPad Pro 12.9”, and the iPad dinged on-off but would not charge.
I then attempted to use a USB-C to USB-C cable to charge an iPad mini Get 5 and had the same issue. Charging an iPad mini Gen 4 via USB-A to Lightning or USB-C to lightning did not have that issue. The multimeter was used for the above tests and flashed on/off in error but did display 12.08V/0.94A when trying to charge the iPad mini Gen 5.
At first, I thought perhaps the battery in my Nissan Leaf 2015 was weak and that it was a result of the battery in my car. I went to a local Auto Zone to have the battery tested and found it was not a battery issue. I then thought it might be too small of a battery and plugged the Kick Power car adapter into my 2021 Dodge Ram 1500 and into my wife’s 2020 Nissan NV 3500.
The car charger was unable to charge my iPad Pro 12.9” or the iPad Mini Gen 5 via PD 18W port. Frustrated, I turned to an Aukey 18W PD USB-C car charger and attempted to charge my iPad Pro 12.9” in my Nissan Leaf. The device worked perfectly and charged my iPad from 51% at 19:28 to 63% at 19:47 during my commute home (12.08V/1.18A).
I was able to charge my iPhone 13 Pro Max and my wife’s iPhone 12 Pro at similar rates to those mentioned above. Additionally, I was able to charge my iPhone 13 Pro Max via USB-C to LIghtning while also charging my AirPods Pro case or my G300H Dashcam via USB-A.
Even though the car charger was not able to charge my iPad Pro 12.9″ or the iPad Mini Gen 5, it worked quite well for my iPhone 13 Pro Max, 12 Pro, iPad Mini 4, AirPods, and dashcam. With power needs increasing, the device should work for most users. The fit within the car adapter port was snug/secure but remained easy to remove with gentle traction. The LED ring was not overly bright at night and did not provide any road distraction. At a price of ~$17, the device should be easily affordable.
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