Does this charger/case combo exist?
May 25, 2020 8:33 AM   Subscribe

Wanted: a bag or pouch that plugs into the wall on the outside, has three or four USB ports on the inside, and has spaces for three or four USB devices to sit inside while charging. I want to be able to charge my devices in a tidy, contained way on my home bedside table — and then I want to be able to unplug a single plug from the wall, pick up the bag, travel to my destination, plug in a single plug, and have my devices charging in their guest bedroom.

The devices in question are the size of a phone or a wireless mouse.

It's okay if the bag has to travel inside a larger suitcase — it doesn't have to be super durable on its own.
posted by nebulawindphone to Shopping (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I didn't find anything from a cursory search, but this seems like it might not be too tough to DIY - if you got an accessory organizer bag of some sort, could you store a multi-port charger in one compartment, and thread it or cut a hole to the outside of the bag? You could do the same with the interior compartments to hold the cables in place.
posted by sagc at 8:58 AM on May 25 [2 favorites]

I spent a bit of time trying to DIY it, but I'm not much of a crafter and it ended up being a bigger and more skilled project than I was up for. I might go down that road again if this question doesn't turn anything up.

But it would be really nice if someone had invented and worked the kinks out of a design already, and I feel like with all the business travelers in the world there must be someone who's tried.
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:08 AM on May 25

Here's a multiport USB charger with a removable power cord--that plus something like a curtain grommet (you could probably use a smaller grommet, but I'm not sure of the dimensions of the plug at the end of the AC cable) plus a commercially-produced bag might be a workable DIY project.

Looking at some of the commercial products (site seems kinda shill-y), I think the sticking point might be the 3-4 USB ports. I've seen lots of bags that charge one thing (some of them with built-in batteries as well), but few that charge multiple ones. This setup (backpack, plus charger and multi-USB adapter) seems pricey to me for what it is, but it -might- do everything you need.
posted by box at 9:26 AM on May 25 [1 favorite]

Be careful with a roll your own solution. USB powered hubs and the devices themselves can give off a lot of heat when charging which could damage the devices or present a risk of fire in an enclosed bag.

If I was DIYing a solution I'd use a shower/toiletry bag (or, or, or). Lots of pockets and elastic loops, some mesh and an appropriate size for a handfull of devices and chargers. Would only be used while open so minimal heat risk.
posted by Mitheral at 10:13 AM on May 25 [4 favorites]

I would use a packing cube with a short extension cord that has lots of ports. Make sure to lift the extension cord octopus out onto a table when charging as they often generate lots of heat.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 10:25 AM on May 25

The first question is: what are the devices you want to charge, and how much power do each of them draw?

Regarding the heat generated: if you go for a multiport charger that has a wall-wart powering it, instead of one that has all the electronics in a single case you'll have the major source of heat outside your bag. IKEA has one like that, but they're not the only one to offer such a device. The images show only the multiport socket; its cable ends in a circular connector about 3/8" diameter (so you can find a matching grommet for the method box suggests) which you plug into the power supply. It would also be rather easy to undo a small part of the stitching of the bag's zipper or one of the seams and poke the connector end of the cable through. Stop the seam unraveling further with a few drops of superglue.
posted by Stoneshop at 11:41 AM on May 25

Smart bag or power purse seem to be the best keywords I could find. It looks like travel regulations may have changed making them harder to find: associated article smart bags with removable battery
posted by typecloud at 7:01 AM on May 26

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