The way we pack has changed tremendously from decades ago. Travelers used to carry their personal accessories in large separate boxes and the well off would have servants lug them on and off ships and trains. There was a box for a hat, a box for jewelry, a box for makeup and more, but there was no box for cables and cords. The reason is because there were no electronic gadgets like the kind we have today. Our phones, tablets, laptops and cameras all need to be regularly recharged and each needs a compatible cable, power plug or adapter and even a power bank for all of them. That’s why all the above boxes take a back seat to a box or case that stores these new digital age accessories. We combed through several options to find you the best travel cord organizer that can keep your cables from tangling and hold lots of various batteries and chargers together without taking up too much space in your luggage.
Why a Travel Cord Organizer is Essential
Assuming that a single device that you travel with has a battery, that battery needs to be charged by a cable, either with its own power plug or with a power plug adapter, the latter of which is needed if you travel abroad. The adapter needs to be able to handle multiple charging devices at a time because no hotel room has that many power outlets and you won’t be in your room all day to allow your devices to charge one by one. That’s also not enough these days. If you are in the habit of keeping several apps open at all times or if you use GPS for your favorite map app when finding your way about, there’s no guarantee a gadget will last 24 hours without needing to be plugged in at some point, so now we have to travel with portable chargers and power banks.
If you don’t keep all these tech accessories organized at all times, you can easily lose any of them or wind up wasting time rummaging about in your luggage looking for them. Unless you’re traveling with a gadget backpack that has its own organizer compartment, you’ll need a separate gadget organizer than can be packed in any piece of your luggage. In fact, we think it should be one of your essential travel organizers to pack.
We base our cable organizer travel pouch picks on how well the space organizes the items and whether it’s versatile enough to hold more than just cables. A few of these can even hold an iPad along with plugs, loose batteries, USB sticks, memory cards and thick power cords. However, we don’t want it to be too bulky or heavy. After all, you have to leave room for other necessities, right? We also ensure that the holder is durable enough with the seams stitched well, the elastic bands not snapping, and the zippers moving smoothly if they exist. Last of all, we take its look into account.
According to the current rules on the TSA website, phone chargers and power banks can be packed in both carry on bags as well as checked bags, however, devices with lithium ion batteries must be packed only in your carry on.
Skooba Design Cable Stable DLX
For a case that’s durable and made of quality materials, the Skooba Design Cable Stable DLX is our top pick for best gadget organizer.
Style: This is a case that opens book-style via a zipper and the inside is divided into two halves. There’s a solid handle on the outer spine of the case to help grab the case out of your carry on or backpack. The exterior is made of nylon twill and the interior is lined with scratch-free nylon fabric in a lime green. The case measures 10.75″L x 8.25″W x 2.25″D, with a weight of 0.8 lbs.
Organizational layout: You get a bit of versatility depending on what kind of items you want to travel with. The inside space is divided into two halves with the left side having three fixed mesh pockets – 2 small open top and one large zipped. This is where you can store a smart phone, power bank and large cable. Small things like USB sticks and memory cards can go in the zipped pocket too. The right side of the case features an elastic band grid to hold down a variety of things in various shapes and sizes, be it a compact camera, iPod, earphones, phone charger cable, USB cable, mouse, power plug, etc. The bands criss-cross without being stitched down, so each loop is flexible in size to accommodate varying sized items.
The inner spine of the case is also utilized, since the case does have some depth to accommodate thick things. It holds three pairs of elastic loops for pens and styli.
If just the pockets on the left side are enough for your accessories, then you could instead use the right hand side for a tablet.
There’s a full length zippered pocket on the outside front of the case. This is good for travel tickets, passport, etc.
While this case is large enough for most people, if you’re expecting to carry a laptop charger or external hard drive in this, you have to expect that there won’t be room for much else. Also, you have to be strategic about which elastic loops hold which items. For example, it would work best if you use one row of loops to hold three items of a similar size, so that a small item doesn’t slip out because an adjacent loop is holding a large item. This Skooba Stable forces you to restrict how many things you take with you, which is a good thing if you have to travel light.
Durability and protection: This is one of the few cable and accessories organizers that can hold its shape fairly well even if you stuff it. The self-repairing coil zippers move smoothly around the corners too. The elastic bands are quite strong and have good hold as well. There is no real padding here so if you pack your phone, camera or a tablet it should be in its own case, however, it is a rigid enough case to offer some protection.
The mesh pockets are also strong and won’t tear easily and they won’t snag in the zipper.
ButterFox Universal Electronics Accessories Travel Organizer
If you’re looking for a slightly different organizational style to the Skooba Stable, you should consider the ButterFox Electronics Accessories Organizer. There are two sizes on offer and the large is about the same as the Skooba but is not as versatile in its organizational features, rather it allows for more bulky items to be stored.
Style: This case is also in black nylon on the outside with a see-through net wall on top to allow you to see what’s inside the bag. It is waterproof to boot. It also has a grab handle on the outer spine and opens like a book via a zipper with a high quality main zipper and outside zipper. The main compartment opens like a pencil pouch or toiletry bag and there’s a hand strap if you want to securely carry it in your hand. Its dimensions are 11 x 5 x 2 inches for the medium size, which weighs 1.6 ounces, and 11 x 5 x 3.5 inches for the large size, which weighs 2.4 ounces. It lies flat when empty.
Organizational layout: If you want a place for your passport and boarding pass, there’s an external zippered pocket on the outside. The inside features two net pockets for accessories like small cables, memory cards, USB drives and batteries. The rest of the storage space is large and empty – enough for a power supply adapter, power cord, mouse, various chargers and adapters.
Durability and protection: This is a semi-flexible case that can lie flat when empty so it offers no protection for fragile devices. The zippers and fabric are very strong, however, so you can squeeze quite a lot in here without the threat of it tearing.
BUBM Double Layer Electronics Organizer
For a lighter travel cable organizer that’s less expensive than the Skooba but offers similar organization, consider the BUBM Double Layer Electronics Organizer. There is one similarity with the ButterFox, though, and that’s the stitched down elastic loops.
Style: While this case does open like a book, there are two layers to it and each opens by its own zipper so there’s a back layer and a front layer. The shell is of a waterproof black nylon and the inner lining is a standard silver. It measures 11″ * 8″ * 2″ with a weight of 7.8 ounces.
Organizational layout: The back layer features a padded tablet sleeve with Velcro flap over fastener and a large elastic top mesh pocket that’s divided into two unequal spaces. The front layer is where the smaller elastic top mesh pockets are and several elastic loops. There’s also a single large zipped mesh pocket here.
There’s no exterior pocket here and there are no narrow pen loops. While there are lots of pockets and loops to hold lots of items, large and bulky items would be a tight squeeze in the front layer. However, a power brick would fit in the mesh pocket of the back layer.
Durability and protection: This case has some padding but it is less structured than two cases above. The elastic loops are a bit loose so there’s a chance that some items can slip out. It’s best that you open the case only when laying it down flat.
BAGSMART Travel Universal Cable Organizer Electronics Accessories Case
If you don’t need the wire organizer to hold your tablet and you usually travel with a just a reasonable amount of cords and other accessories, then the BAGSMART Travel Electronics Accessories Case should be big enough for you.
Style: This case is a lot like the Skooba but smaller, as it zips open book-style as well and has a decent amount of padding. The shell is a water repellent nylon in blue with the inner lining being in black. It measures 6.5 x 9 x 0.8 inches with a weight of 3.2 ounces.
Organizational layout: It is strictly only for digital accessories and a compact camera and smartphone as it is not big enough for a tablet. You would also struggle to fit a standard sized mouse, but a power bank will go in. The elastic loops are stitched down and are not very large but quite tight so some customers find them inconvenient to use.
The left hand side of the case features several small loops for cords, four small elastic top pockets for SD cards, USB sticks, batteries, etc., and a larger zippered mesh pocket that can hold a small camera or phone. On the right hand side are 4 larger elastic loops, two half size elastic top mesh pockets and a large zippered mesh pocket at the top that’s placed upside down and can fit a portable hard drive or large phone. Lying on top of this pocket are three semi-rigid slots for Sim and SD cards. They’re designed so that the cards won’t slip out.
Durability and protection: The case shell is thick enough to protect most things you’d want to store in it and the zippers and material are durable enough.
AmazonBasics Universal Travel Case
If you’re looking to spend the least amount possible on a wire and gadget organization system that focuses on keeping your devices safe, the AmazonBasics Universal Travel Case will do.
Style: This case opens book-style as well but via a double zipper. The soft cotton fabric lining inside is in orange while the exterior rigid plastic shell is black. It has a detachable wristlet strap to allow you to carry the case in your hand if you need to. It measures 9.5 x 5.4 x 2 inches and weighs 9.6 ounces.
Organizational layout: This case is large enough to hold a 7 inch tablet along with your cords, plugs and other accessories. If you don’t travel with a tablet, then there are various pockets to hold a phone, device cables, power adapters, chargers, etc.
There are no elastic holders here, so your cords won’t be held in place, but they can be tied and secured before placing them in any of the pockets. This includes one very large stretch mesh pocket placed vertically on the left hand side of the case and a second smaller horizontal one placed right on top of the right hand side. Below that are two zippered pockets placed on a door flap for storing any small accessories, like SD cards, USB sticks, etc. The other side of the door features another stretch mesh pocket that’s good for a compact camera or similar item.
Durability and protection: This is a highly durable product with a focus more on protection for your things. The outer shell is made of molded Eva plastic, so the rigidity is what protects your portable hard drive, phone and compact camera. The pockets are all stretchy but strong too. The soft lining inside protects from scratches.
Cocoon GRID-IT! Organizer Case
The simple yet uniquely designed Cocoon GRID-IT! Organizer Case is different from all the rest of the travel cord organizers because it is not a closed or protective case but just a holder to neatly organize devices and accessories.
Style: Think of the Cocoon Grid It as a placemat with several elastic bands criss-crossing each other to form a chaotic grid. There is no cover as you just slip it into your briefcase, tote bag or carry on, but the bands hold everything in place. You can choose from a few different colors and its measurements are 0.38 x 7.25 x 9.25 inches and weighs just 2 ounces.
Organizational layout: Everything is stored on just one plane and the way the bands are woven together, large and small objects can be secured in it. You determine the layout and figure out how to maximize space and get everything you need into a secure spot, but it’s possible to get all your cords, plugs, cards, adapters etc. packed in just this one organizer. You can even secure your phone and camera in it. If you have to carry many things, it’s best to think of this as a puzzle and lay out all the items in front of you first before inserting them. You may have to try different things before finding the ideal layout. Once done, it’s a good idea to memorize it or take a photo so that it’s easy and quick next time.
Durability and protection: The elastic bands are stretchy but very durable and are rubberized so that they grip your accessories nicely to prevent anything from slipping out. The mat is just slightly flexible and is best placed with its elastic band side facing away from anything that can snag an object when sliding it in and out of your bag.
ProCase Roll-up Electronics Organizer
If you like roll up organizers that can be slipped into a corner of a bag, then the ProCase Roll-up Electronics Organizer is the cable and digital accessories organizer for you. You can’t take many bulky items in this, but it’s just large enough for those who don’t need too many gadgets and accessories when traveling.
Style: You can get the ProCase in a few different sober or vibrant colors and it is made of a thick water-resistant nylon that can be rolled up. When open it measures 17″×9″, and when its rolled up it measures about 4.5”×9″. Depending on how stuffed the case is, it can be quite forgiving when rolled up. It has a cinching cord that you wrap around it to secure it and it can also be used to hang the case up from a hook if you want. This is perfect for slipping into a tote bag.
Organizational layout:When you unroll the case, you’ll find a full length zippered mesh pocket on one end and two half length ones on the other end. These are great for any small items that you don’t want slipping out and possibly falling out from the pouch.
Moving towards the middle of the large pocket are two elastic top slip pockets that can hold a charger, power bank or cell phone. The tops face inwards so when the case is rolled up nothing can slide out even if the facing pocket is left empty.
Moving towards the middle of the two smaller pockets are two rows of 3 elastic loops each and three small elastic top mesh pockets above those rows. The elastic loops can be paired up to hold long cords or used individually for small cords. The mesh pockets face inwards and have tight elastic tops so that anything you store them won’t fall out.
Durability and protection: There is no padding in this case, but if you secure the roll tight with the help of the cinching cord, the contents won’t move around inside. The material and construction are high quality although the elastic bands aren’t very stretchy.
Which Electronics Travel Organizer Should I Choose?
Deciding which of these to buy depends first and foremost on how many cords and accessories you wish to pack in the organizer. While it’s a good idea to try to travel as light as possible, you also don’t want to restrict yourself for future trips by buying a small organizer that would only be large enough for your most immediate trip.
If you’re looking for a decent sized and durable one with lots of different cord keeper loops and pockets that offer enough versatility for small and large items, then choose the Skooba Design Cable Stable DLX. If that’s too expensive then the BUBM Double Layer Electronics Organizer is a 2nd option.
The ButterFox is good if you have lots of small items to keep tidy but few large ones and the BAGSMART Travel Universal Cable Organizer is for those who want something smaller but similar to the Skooba.
The cheapest but most protective of all the options is the AmazonBasics organizer, but it doesn’t have the smartest organization features.