scroll down

Best USB 3.0 Flash Drives for Durability, Capacity and Speed

We are living in a content-driven world. Whether it is songs or TV shows for the general public or some personal data that we wouldn’t separate ourselves from. So even if you have terabytes of space on your laptop and smartphone together, there is no reason why you shouldn’t keep track of the best USB 3.0 flash drives in the market.

Everyone needs a portable storage source so that they can either keep some data with them on the go or share it with someone physically. From work-related stuff to the very personal data transfers, every person breathing in the electronic era has at some point wanted to buy a USB flash drive.

Since we are well past the time when USB 2.0 was the go-to choice, the options we are sharing with you are the faster and more advanced USB 3.0 speed products.

Whether you are looking for a cheap and compact alternative like the SanDisk Ultra Fit CZ43 or the more expensive Sandisk flash drive choices; speed, security, and capacity are the first three areas to check.

Top Choices for USB 3.0 Flash Drive Buyers

It doesn’t look like it, but buying the best USB 3.0 flash drive is quite a task. Keep in mind that it is not just the speed of the USB that matters. Even within the speed related discussion, you have to check the read speed as well as the write speed separately. Moreover, design and aesthetics also play an important role. For instance, a flash drive with slippery surface could be more prone to loss than a thumb drive with textured grips.

Similarly, even the best USB 3.0 flash drive without a loop or a key ring is easily lost. This is the reason why most of the flash drives now come with some sort of rings to attach them with a keychain. Whether you bought a 128GB flash drive or a 32GB flash drive, its no use when lost, right?

Fastest Choice

Fastest Choice

Patriot Supersonic Rage 2

Super Speed and High Durability

Whether you want a 256GB flash drive or a 512GB flash drive. Patriot has got you covered with the Rage 2. We recommend the 128GB version though. Because it had the fastest speeds among all our tests. It is also one of the more durable choices thanks to the shock absorbing rubber coating.

In the simplest of words, this is the fastest we could take it. With reading speeds close to 400MB/s and reading speeds at least half of that, we were sold. Patriot also has a number of storage capacity options for the buyers.

Best Compact USB 3 Drive

Best Compact USB 3 Drive

SanDisk Ultra Fit CZ43

Great Things in Small Packages

While the reading speed of this USB 3.0 flash drive is slower than some, it is the most compact choice there is. So small that you can leave it with the laptop and not worry about anything. The best part is that it is very cheap as compared to other choices that you have.

We have tried dozens of options and this one manages to provide great performance and a solid build in the smallest outlay of money. The transfer speeds are a little slower than usual, but there is a lot in the SanDisk Ultra USB that makes up for it.

Patriot Supersonic Rage 2

best usb 3.0 flash drive

The first USB stick that we tested was a 128GB flash drive from Patriot, called the Supersonic Rage 2. This is a high-end USB 3 which is in no way one of the cheap flash drives. The jump drive has a rather casual design with funky color choices, but at 128GB, it is huge and equally fast. There is a 256GB flash drive version of the Rage 2 as well as a mammoth 512GB thumbdrive. But we are of the opinion that anything over 128GB isn’t suited for USB drives.

While the manufacturers boast of 400MB/s reading speed and 200MB/s writing speed, we have found slight differences in real performance. It is nothing to worry about though, the pen drive works at exceptional speeds both ways. Security wise, it has a rubber coating and a protective cover that keeps it safe from falls and water spills.

Technical Specifications:

  • Storage Capacity: 128 GB
  • Connectivity: USB 3.0
  • Dimensions: 0.63 x 3.92 x 5.14 in
  • Weight: 0.48 ounces

Pros

  • Good Capacity
  • Protective Cover
  • Very Fast

Cons

  • Expensive Product

Kingston DataTraveler Elite G2 64GB Flash Drive

best usb 3.0 flash drive kingston

If there was an area where the Patriot USB 3 failed, the DataTraveler Elite G2 doesn’t. If you look at the two products, you will see that the 64GB flash drive by Kingston is made of a more solid material which makes it look even more durable. As a result, upon testing it was proven that the Elite G2 really is sturdier and more reliable.

It was even one of the top choices for our USB 3.0 flash drives list, in part because it is also cheaper than the choice above. Yet, as everyone wants a larger capacity, we just settled at calling it one of the best if not the best itself. The transfer speeds of the USB memory stick aren’t bad but also not unbeatable. In fact, many others performed faster than its 180MB/s.

It is, however, the solid build and water resistance that makes it a worthy alternative. The only bad part? It has a cap that isn’t attached with the rest of the case which means the clumsy ones among us will lose it on the first day!

Technical Specifications:

  • Storage Capacity: 64GB
  • Connectivity: USB 3.1
  • Dimensions: 2.34 x 0.75 x 0.43 in
  • Weight: 0.48 ounces

Pros

  • Durable and Sturdy Build
  • Five Year Warranty
  • Fast Transfers

Cons

  • Cap Might Get Lost

SanDisk Ultra Fit CZ43

best usb 3.0 flash drive sandisk ultra

Not sure if it is just me or everyone has at least once feared that their flash drive will break into two. Primarily because it looks like a stick hanging from the side of the laptop that would break off from the port under pressure. Nonetheless, SanDisk appears to have a solution for this, in case if it was a problem in the first place.

The SanDisk Ultra Fit CZ43, is one of the smallest and unobtrusive micro USB flash drive. Its well-rounded corners make it look like it is not even protruding out of the PC and it’s easy to store too! We had on our hands a 32GB flash drive although there are 64GB and 128GB alternatives for the same.

On the downside, it is rather slower than the rest. USB 3 speed should be higher than this, but the SanDisk Ultra model only offers 150MB/s. But can a price tag of below $10 make up for it?

Technical Specifications:

  • Storage Capacity: 32GB
  • Connectivity: USB 3.0
  • Dimensions: 0.34 x 0.6 x 0.75 in
  • Weight: 0.18 ounces

Pros

  • Very Compact
  • Very Cheap
  • Solid Build

Cons

  • Slow Transfer Speeds

Farsler 32GB Flash Drive with Fingerprint

best usb 3.0 flash drive farsler

Apart from the capacity and transfer speed, the quality of a USB drive is decided by the security and protection measures that it takes. Protection could be against damage as well, but right now we are talking about protection against unauthorized access to your data.

This interesting new USB 3.0 flash drive by Farsler is only 32GB flash drive and costs more than the 128GB model of Patriot! The reason? Because it comes with a dedicated fingerprint scanner that will allow access to the data only when it is you trying to access it. This is more secure than the password based security systems in many USB 3 models these days.

It also has a retractable USB 3.0 port which adds to the compatibility levels and boasts of unbelievably high transfer rates.

Technical Specifications:

  • Storage Capacity: 32GB
  • Connectivity: USB 3.0
  • Dimensions: 2.36 x 0.79 x 0.36 in
  • Weight: 0.36 ounces

Pros

  • Fingerprint Access for Secured Data
  • High Transfer Speeds

Cons

  • Expensive than Alternatives
  • Prone to Damage

Corsair Flash Survivor Stealth 64-bit USB 3.0 Flash Drive

best usb 3.0 flash drive survior

Everyone of us wants their USB drives to be more durable than how they are, and sometimes that is even true for the metallic ones. This is because such products are rare that cover all bases. Except for this military grade Corsair USB 3.0 flash drive which (almost) does everything perfect.

For instance, it is the most durable flash drive that we found because of the aircraft grade hard-anodized aluminum body. As well as the molded shock resisting collar around it. This means that it won’t break even if it is with you on a Bear Grylls tour. However, in such situations, a USB drive should also be waterproof. While other products do have resistance against water, this one is waterproof for 200 feet under water!

You also don’t have to worry about the available capacities since there are 32GB flash drive variants and there also are 256GB flash drive variants (and everything in between). You won’t need to buy another USB 3 drive after this one if you can live with transfer speeds slower than 100MB/s.

Technical Specifications:

  • Storage Capacity: 128GB
  • Connectivity: USB 3.0
  • Dimensions: 3 x 1 x 1 in
  • Weight: 1.6 ounces

Pros

  • Aircraft Grade Aluminum Body
  • Shock and Water Proof
  • Great Value for Money

Cons

  • Slow Data Transfer Rates

Samsung Fit Plus 128GB Flash Drive

best usb 3.0 flash drive samsung

Another USB 3 model that takes on the miniature SanDisk Ultra flash drive is the Samsung Fit Plus. While we tested the 128GB flash drive, there are other variants available on Amazon. Essentially, this one is the same as the SanDisk Ultra, with good capacity, very compact size and quite slow transfer speeds.

Reading speeds were slow, but it is the writing speeds of the Fit Plus that you might want to consider before buying. Yet, the size is so small that it can be kept plugged in all the time which means you’ll get extra storage for the laptop at just a few bucks. We can ignore the slower speeds in exchange for that I guess.

It does have a five-year company warranty like all Samsung flash drives for Waterproofing, shock proofing, magnet proofing, temperature proofing, and x-ray proofing. But we are more worried about the 128GB flash drive getting lost than getting broken. Thumb drives of this size cannot survive without a ring or a loop.

Technical Specifications:

  • Storage Capacity: 128GB
  • Connectivity: USB 3.1
  • Dimensions: 0.9 x 0.7 x 0.3 in
  • Weight: 0.11 ounces

Pros

  • Solid Build
  • Shock and Water Proof
  • Very Compact

Cons

  • Expensive in Comparison
  • Slower than Competitors

SanDisk iXpand 128GB Thumb Drive

best usb 3.0 flash drive sandisk ultra 2

If you are looking for a USB flash drive that is best for Apple products, check out the iXpand. While the SanDisk Ultra was a generic jump drive, this one is made specifically for use with iPad and iPhone.

As you can see in the image, it has dedicated ports to connect the flash directly with the Apple devices and then transfer data on the go. Using their integrated app, you can set up automatic backup of your phone for every time the USB 3.0 flash drive is connected with the iPhone too.

Effectively, this makes the drive backward compatible between Apple and the rest of the platforms. The 128GB flash drive also allows you to take photos from the phone when it is connected with the USB drive and store the photos directly on the gig stick.

The only downside we found was that the read and write speeds weren’t as good as we expected. Other than that, this is the best USB 3.0 flash drive for all Apple users!

Technical Specifications:

  • Storage Capacity: 128GB
  • Connectivity: USB 3.0
  • Dimensions: 2.38 x 0.48 x 0.68 in
  • Weight: 0.19 ounces

Pros

  • Best for Apple Products
  • On the Go Phone Backup
  • Good Quality of Build

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Slow Reading and Writing Speed

Buyer’s Guide

    Same as a good hard drive, a flash drive also gets expensive as its storage capacity goes up. Most of the other features (except for speed) are considered tertiary by many buyers. Therefore, you will have to make a trade-off between bigger capacity and the amount you want to spend on it.

    To be honest, no size of storage space is sufficient these days. Yet, it is possible for you to figure out what you need. As far as the prices are concerned, a small 16GB jump drive would start from around $10 while a good 12GB USB drive will not cost less than $50. You could also get a 256GB flash drive but we are not recommending it.

    Transfer speeds of a thumb drive were one of the reasons why the move towards USB 3.0 speed was made. This is the reason why we have only chosen from among USB 3.0 flash drive options. Due to technological advancements, the old USB 2.0 technology is growing obsolete. In fact, the turn is justified because a USB 2.0 transfer speed is 10 times slower than a USB 3.0 speed.

    Apart from that, keep in mind that speeds are of two types: write speeds and read speeds. Both these speeds can be different for the same flash drive, but the rule of thumb is to aim for anything above

    While this might not be a requirement for everyone, those of you who will be transferring sensitive information using the USB thumb drive should be concerned. There are a number of ways through which USB manufacturers provide security measures against data theft.

    For instance, the 32GB flash drive by Farsler comes with a dedicated fingerprint scanner that will keep locked certain parts of the private data until your fingerprint is recognized. There are other methods too; pins, patterns and passwords have all been used in USB flash drives. But a fingerprint scanner is the best choice given that it is of good quality.

    What is the difference between a 2.0 and a 3.0 flash drive?
    There are a few aspects that differentiate between the two technologies of USB connectivity. In fact, we have three of them in use now that USB 3.1 is also in the market for a while. The physical difference between the two is that a USB 3 will have a black block inside the port while a USB 2 will have a black block. USB 3.1 has a red block by the way. All USB 3 and 3.1 ports and drives are backward compatible. A USB 3 drive will work on USB 3 as well as USB 2 ports, but on the latter, they will not have the speed of a USB 3.0. The most important aspect however, is the speed of transfers. A USB 3.0 flash drive is at least 10x faster than USB 2.0 flash drive.

    Can you use a 3.0 flash drive in a 2.0 port?
    Yes, all USB 3.0 flash drives are backward compatible which means that they can be used on USB 2.0 ports as well as USB 3.0 ports. But it should be kept in mind that when attached to a USB 2 port, the newer technology will not perform at its fast pace. In order to do that, the USB 3.0 drive should be connected with a USB 3.0 port too!

    Leave your Comment

    Your email address will not be published.