Scosche’s boltBOX ($25) is a play on the traditional retraceable cables offered by a number of companies. Coming in black, blue, green, pink, red, and white versions, it’s box-shaped, rather than a cable wrapped around a circular core. At one end you’ll find USB, and at the other, a Lightning plug. It’s not a cheap Lightning cable, but the design is different than most, and eliminates tangling.
You’ll find two different finishes on boltBOX. The front is glossy, while the back is matte, and the two meet at the sides. Both the USB and Lightning plugs rest flat against the box when not in use, bringing the total size for travel to approximately 2” wide, 0.75” deep, and 1.5” tall. Yes, the overall footprint is larger than that of a standard cable, but again, there are no tangling issues. A sticker on the back of the box instructs that you pull the 36” long cable from both ends at the same time. Once it’s out, pulling and releasing allows it to retract. As for the size of the plastic around the Lightning plug, it’s less obtrusive than many plugs, and will fit all but the tightest cases.
Compared to similar early options including Lenmar’s Retractable Charge & Sync Cable with Lightning Connector, boltBox is a better deal. It’s doesn’t do anything different than a standard cable does, and therefore isn’t for everyone. But if you find yourself throwing your cable in a bag, and want a solution that won’t end up in a knotted mess, or wrapped around other accessories, it’s a handy solution, and deserving of our limited recommendation.
Company and Price
Compatible: All Lightning-Equipped iPads, iPhones, iPods