The inCharge X series of convertible cable has been billed by parent company “Rolling Square” as the Swiss army knife of charging cables to bring with you when you’re on the go. Effectively a cable with two fitted heads on either end to convert it from one cable head to another, they first made their bi splash on IndieGoGo and Kickstarter. But at nearly $70 (Canadian), they’re certainly more costly than your typical, Amazon Basics charging cable. Is it worth it?

Let’s start with the basics: picking up an inCharge X is going to net you a USB-C or Lighting to USB-C or USB-A charging and data cable, though, from my experience, the data-transfer portion is only one-way (i.e., only the USB-C/USB-A end can serve as the connecting end to a laptop or other device, whereas the USB-C/Lightning needs to connect to your phone — I’ve had wonkiness where connecting the USB-C on the data transfer end to the device made it not work as anticipated). The ability to connect any kind of phone – be that iPhone or Android – with the most popular forms of charging and data ports, is highly appealing for the traveler and digital nomad. Say what you will about silly Instagram ads that talk about becoming friends with strangers because you can either transfer a file to them instantly, or have them soup up their phone batteries as a favor — it does happen, and it will work.

That said, your mileage may vary when it comes to the actual quality of the cord that you get. The one that I purchased seemed well put together enough at the start, with its threaded and wrapped cord cable and serviceable Velcro cable tie, but the frays to the braids have started to show as I’ve used the cable in more rigorous applications. The part where it most commonly bends in order to fit into my electronic pouch (and where I imagine that most people will also make it bend the most as a result of needing to keep the cable balanced for the purpose of folding it in and on itself) means that the threaded wrapping will fray, and the more fragile wire component will show underneath.

My cable also had one of its casings break apart, to the point that the sheathing component was effectively detached from cable itself. This was thankfully fixed with some super glue, but for a $70 cable, this certainly did not inspire confidence in the quality of the device itself.

Where does that leave you?

I think, ultimately, this is still a worthwhile purchase, but do maintain some skepticism about the think of the wire. If you can find it on sale, it’s certainly worth the cost in terms of getting something that you ca use to connect a whole bunch of devices together without needing to bring a soldier’s assortment of male-to-female connectors – but some simple home DIY may be necessary to keep it working as long and as hard as you regularly do.

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