The portable electronic devices we carry have transformed the way we do things in the 21st century, allowing us to communicate and compute, bank and buy, date and diagnose and much more, all from wherever we happen to be. We rely so heavily on our phones and tablets that if yours runs out of power, you might as well be Ferdinand Magellan, stuck on a boat in the windless horse latitudes in the 16th century, waiting for a breeze to get powered up again.

So it’s very important to carefully choose the accessories that allow us to keep our devices going. That’s especially true if you rely on your vehicle to charge up a device in a short amount of time, to keep a device going as you’re driving, or if you’re driving through or to an area where there are no outlets connected to the power grid and rely on your device as a connection to the outside world.

Here are three things to keep in mind as you shop for a cigarette lighter power adapter.

Top Pick

This device is designed to recognize your phone to get it back to full power as fast as possible. Amazon

If you rely on your vehicle to charge up your phone during, say, a daily commute to work that takes less than half an hour, get an adapter that provides a quick charge. Some adapters will charge a device faster than a wall outlet.

Great Value

This device automatically shuts off if it overheats. Amazon

Life would be easier if everyone had the same type of phone, or if every phone had the same type of power plug. Of course, that’s not the case, and you and your family or friends may want to charge devices with both USB and cigarette-lighter style plugs. Some multiple-port power adapters include both kinds.

Easy to Use

This product is Apple certified to work with all iPhones. Amazon

Get a power adapter with an integral cord if you keep the factory cord plugged in at home. This eliminates the need to buy both an adapter and a cord. You simply leave the charger in your vehicle and plug in your device when needed.