Good flash drives last for years and years and years; I still have working USB-A flash drives from high school kicking around in my drawers. That’s why if you’re going to buy a flash drive right now, I would highly, highly recommend opting for a USB-C thumb drive if you need some removable storage. USB-C also has the benefit of being compatible with your phone without needing to pull out any OTG adapters: just plug it in and move photos or files to the drive with a file explorer app!
Best in class
SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive
SanDisk is one of the leaders in removable storage, producing some of the best microSD cards, external drives, and flash drives on the market. Its USB-C dual drive is hands-down the most reliable you can buy and comes in capacities from 16-256GB.
From $10 at Amazon
PNY Elite USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C
Most USB-C flash drives are only offered at sizes up to 128GB, but the PNY Elite Type-C is available from 64GB up to 512GB, allowing you to store up to half a terabyte of movies, music, photos, or backup files compactly.
From $17 at Amazon
Compact and name brand
This simplified version of the SanDisk Ultra skips the USB-A port for a slightly more compact and translucent shell. Available from 16-128GB, this is an excellent option if you’ve already got a USB-C computer like a Chromebook!
From $8 at Amazon
Tiny yet mighty
UGREEN USB 3.0 2-in-1 OTG
Available from 16-64GB, this compact little thumb drive is so tiny, you’d lose it if it didn’t come with a handy keychain! The smaller capacities are more geared towards offloading photos from a phone than holding tons of movies.
From $17 at Amazon
Shiny, spinny storage
KEATHY USB C Flash Drive
This may not be a name brand, but it’s a nice look, has both a USB-C and USB-A port, and is available from 32-128GB. The cap/handle rests flush with the device when you have it plugged in to your phone’s USB-C port.
From $12 at Amazon
Short and slim
Kingston Data Traveler Micro Duo
Rather than including a keychain like most small dual-port thumb drives, the Micro Duo is modest and unassuming, making it easy to stow in your gear bag or on your desk. Available from 32-128GB, the cap only covers the USB-C port.
From $9 at Amazon
Plastic on plastic
Verbatim Store ‘n’ Go Dual
Verbatim’s little hybrid flash drive is all-plastic, but I like how the reversible cap is threaded through the keychain tether, helping keep the cap from getting lost in your bag or office. Available from 16-64GB.
From $10 at Amazon
Samsung Duo Plus
Available from 32-256GB, the Duo Plus itself only has a USB-C port, with the other end housing a USB-C to USB-A adapter, which you can use with other USB-C peripherals if you need to use them with an older computer.
From $16 at Amazon
Lightning port included
DezoByte 3-in-1 128GB
The USB-C port here is standard, but the USB-A port hides a secret, fold-out Lightning port within it, allowing it to be a 3-in-1 rather than a 2-in-1, which is great for cross-platform households. Available in three colors.
$40 at Amazon
Double the ports, double the fun
You may notice that most of the drives on this list are multi-port flash drives, having a USB-C port on one end and a USB-A port on the opposite end. This makes the flash drive an extra-easy way for users to offload photos and files from an Android phone to their computer, even an older computer that doesn’t have USB-C ports yet.
There’s also another reason to like a dual-port thumb drive like the SanDisk Ultra Dual are a great idea: even if one port breaks — life happens — you can still use the functional port to get data off the drive before it breaks completely. Think of it as insurance!
That said, an extra port is also an extra point of failure, so if you want a Type-C-only flash drive, you can get a smaller or higher capacity drives, such as up to 512GB model available for the PNY Elite, which is tempting me greatly because it can hold so many movies for offline viewing during those long cross-country flights.