Upgrade to a Paracable and Never Buy Another Lightning Cable
by Brad Moon
There are three teenagers in my house, all with iOS devices. And I’m getting tired of replacing Lightning cables. Switch from the Apple OEM cable to a Paracable and you should never have to buy another lightning cable again.
Plus, the Paracable resists tangling and looks a lot cooler…
With the number of iPhones, iPad, and iPod Touches kicking around our house, we should have a surplus of Lightning cables. After all, once you have one — which comes as a freebie with every Apple device — you should be able to use the same cable for all your devices and stockpile the extras.
It doesn’t work that way in real life. At least real life with teens. Lightning cables got so scarce around here that last Christmas, I bought a 10-pack online. Everyone got Lightning cables in their stockings. What a fun tradition…
Despite the injection to the household cable supply, I’m down to the last spare. Apple’s cables break off right below the Lightning connector, they get into a tangled mess, and when they’re bent, they have a nasty habit of splitting. Yank one the wrong way and the connector can separate. Even the ones that survive tend to get lost because they travel to school or friends’ houses and, well, everyone has white Lightning cables. My daughter set some sort of record at the end of the summer when she managed to destroy three Apple Lighting cables in one week.
Considering that Apple charges between $19 and $29 for a new cable (depending on whether you want a three-foot or six-foot length), the replacement bill can add up.
That’s why I was more excited than I should be about cables when Paracable sent one of its rugged Lightning cables to try out.
These are Apple MFI certified, and better than the OEMs in virtually every way.
Instead of plastic connector housings, the Paracables are aluminum. The cables themselves are rated for 2.0 amp charging. They’re sheathed in aluminum then wrapped in layers: EMF shielding, copper mesh, a flexible polymer mesh, and, finally, in 32 strand paracord braiding (offered in multiple color options).
They come with a one year warranty and in a sign of how good they are, a 30-day money back guarantee.
In terms of length, they fall between Apple’s offerings at five feet. The only potential “gotcha” is that the Lighting connector housing is slightly wider than Apple’s. This wasn’t a problem with my iPhone cases, but Parable says it may be too wide to fit into some older, heavy-duty protective iPhone cases.
In use, the Paracables have lived up to durability expectations. They look tough and they stand up to abuse. They’re considerably thicker than Apple’s cables and, while still flexible, this helps to prevent the killer bending at the connector issue. They absolutely don’t tangle. In fact, after a month of use the cable still naturally returns to the nice loop it shipped in. And if you have multiple kids who tend to argue over whose Lighting cable is whose, Parable offers 4 bright color options so there’s no mixing them up.
The MSRP of $28 is more expensive than the shorter standard issue Apple Lightning cable, but a buck cheaper than Apple’s 6-foot version. If your household chews through Lightning cables the way mine does, a tougher alternative like the Paracable is money well spent. The company also offers microUSB cables if your device doesn’t use Lightning.
Disclosure: Paracable supplied a Lightning to USB cable for review purposes.
Brad has been a GeekDad core contributor since 2007 and writes about technology for a wide range of outlets. He’s also a WFH dad, resident Canuck, outdoor enthusiast, camper extraordinaire and frequent reviewer of gadgets, devices and gizmos.