Native Union’s Belt is a charging cable that’s designed to serve as a replacement or addition to familiar cables, including Apple’s Lightning cable, microUSB cables, and USB-A to USB-C connectors. It focuses on added durability, with a tough nylon-wrapped exterior to prevent fraying. The Belt also comes with a small leather loop that allows you to lock the looped cable together with a basic metal stud, securing it more easily for traveling or storage. For our review, we inspected both the standard 4-foot Belt cable, and the extra-long 10-foot Belt XL ($35).
Price: $24.99 – $34.99
Experience: A Durable Cable with a Situational Belt Loop
The nylon braiding on these loops is top-notch and creates a tough cable designed to last where in-the-box cables may fail. If you find that your cables tend to fray easily because of the rough paces you put them through in day-to-day life, then you may find that the Belt cable is a long-term answer.
From connector to connector, it’s designed to resist damage from sharp angles, sudden pulls, or quick yanks (we tried them all). That braiding does make the cables less flexible than the standard plastic coating, but that’s a small price to pay if you keep running through flimsier charging cables.
The belt loop itself is an interesting addition, but highly situational. If you are the type of person to hook up a charging cable by your desk or bed and leave it there in the long-term, the loop won’t mean anything to you. In fact, it may become an annoyance if it gets in the way of your charging habits.
However, if you find yourself frequently wrapping the cable up and carrying it with you from place to place, then the belt loop grows more useful as quick way to ensure the cable doesn’t come loose and sprawl all over your case or pack. This applies more to professionals on the go, students moving from classroom to classroom, and son.
Note that this dynamic changes considerably when examining the 10-foot Belt XL. In most respects, the XL is the same as the original but that extra length really does make a different when packing up your charger and storing it away for a fast trip, or just pushing the cable aside when it is not in use. In this case, the belt loop becomes far more practical as a way of subduing the long cable until you need it again. Sure, you still have to loop the cable up together, but taking a few seconds for extra organization isn’t a big demand.
It’s also worth mentioned that the XL cable is practical in situations that may have long annoyed you. If there’s always an outlet that’s a little too far away, or a work situation where you have to give up optimal seating because a short cable, the Belt XL will solve that issue for you.
Final Things to Consider
The Belt cable is a tough alternative to traditional charging cables that works well in more demanding conditions. However, the belt loop only really becomes useful with the XL version. Since you also get 6 more feet of cable on this model, it’s probably worth it to pay the extra $10 and get the longer cable that can solve multiple issues at once.
Oh, and if your devices favor the newer USB-C standard for charge and moving data around, Native Union does sell a USB-C to USB-C version of the Belt cable, which includes all the same features. Just make sure that you purchase the right one!
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