Tangle-free charging on the open road

The front seats of an automobile make for a cramped mobile office. But for most drivers, that's what the space has become. The car's cigarette-lighter receptacle may have humble origins, yet these days it powers just about every gadget that gets taken on the open road—smartphones and tablets, radar detectors and GPS units alike.

So it should come as no surprise when those few inches of space between each bucket seat turn into a jumbled mess of wires. Every device requires its own power cable, which somehow has a way of tangling and knotting itself when you aren't looking.

For many juice-strapped motorists, the TYLT Band Car Charger is the answer to their prayers. Its flat, semirigid cord resists kinking (why aren't all cables made this way?) and terminates in one of three connectors to accommodate most devices: a 30-pin model for older iPhones and iPads; micro-USB for just about all smartphones and dumbphones; and, next month, a Lightning version, for Apple's latest generation of mobile gear.

The Band also has an open USB port for plugging in a second cord—even one that's proprietary—to charge an additional device. The durable silicone unibody construction comes in four Technicolor shades and houses a 2.1 amp circuit, which is powerful enough to charge two smartphones or a voracious tablet. And when not in use, the Band is easy to curl up into a tidy coil. $40, tylt.com

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