SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD Review: Best Portable Drive for Travel in 2024

Last Updated on January 31, 2024 by Christine Kaaloa

 SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD is IP55-rated in Dust Water Resistant.
SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD is IP55-rated in Dust/Water Resistant.


Disclosure: SanDisk sent me a Extreme Portable SSD 2TB to review and there are affiliate links in this post.  But as usual, all opinions are my own, I try my best to do a good research and testing with honesty.

This post contains affiliate links. I buy travel insurance on all my trips (get a quote). If you want to find an insurance plan based on your needs & budget, use this trip insurance finder tool . Read my guide on trip insurance options for U.S. Travelers.   


I juggle a fairly massive amount of filming, photography and social media on a regular basis when I travel. Most audiences see the final product of my work– a video,  photograph or Instagram Story. They don’t see the labor involved in getting the stories  I do, the care and importance of my gear, how I have to work fast and hard for good storytelling.

So when SanDisk approached me to share my creative process with you and do a SanDiskExtreme Portable SSD review, I gladly took up the challenge.

Working as a solo travel content creator & YouTuber, I need a portable drive with speed and rugged durability

I take my camera and electronic gear seriously. It’s a real bummer to have anything from a camera, lens, laptop or portable drive to go on the fritz when I’m traveling. If it stops working or worse, gets stolen, I’ve lost days to weeks of video footage. Then there’s the fear of when I’m working with a client or sponsor.

I prefer my electronics to be rugged, compact, reliable and to match the type of traveling I do as a solo female travel vlogger getting around via public transportation.  Every piece of equipment has a purpose and all that metal can add up on my body. I’m continually looking for smaller, lighter, quicker means to make my work easier.

Read how I work –> travel vlogging beginner tips tips as a FEMALE creator

Portable drives are probably the least sexy thing that folks notice of content creators. But they are crucial to my video work. I’m shooting an ungodly amount of video footage and this requires reliable storage solutions when traveling.To lose footage is to lose hundreds to thousands of dollars in expense, time, labor.

When I travel to create content, it is not a matter of taking a couple of memory cards, but packing several memory cards (FYI this is my card holder) and at least two portable SanDisk SSDs as a backup storage solution.

If that sounds excessive, then you’ve never lost footage for a client before!

The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD is a game changer– let me tell you why…

Check out what’s in my travel backpack as a content creator

SanDisk Portable Extreme SSD Review

With the SanDisk Portable Extreme SSD, SanDisk made an SSD to match the extremes of adventurous, traveling content creators like myself.  They know we need to produce regular and massive amounts of content to feed an audience. So they made a drive designed to sustain the rugged rigors of this type of adventure .

Things to love about the SanDisk Portable Extreme SSD

Why is this drive the best portable drive for travel videographers and solo adventurers like me? I took it into the field and allowed travel accidents to happen the way they normally do.

Portable SSD vs External Hard Drive Storage Solutions

The SanDisk Portable Extreme is a portable SSD vs external hard drive storage technology. I won’t try to pretend like I know everything about portable SSD storage.

I’ve been a long-time user of external hard drive storage solutions, when it comes to storing my video footage when I travel. Hard drive storage technology is the most commonly used by consumers, who need large amounts of memory storage but want it cheap. If you are a beginning travel vlogger or creator on a budget, this is the cheapest way to go.

I have several external hard drives that became my primary memory storage solution, and Seagate hard drive  is a long-time reputable brand . But with external hard drive technology, you certainly take a gamble. I’ve had two external hard drives go down on me (luckily I backed them up enough). One that I bought not long ago went corrupt in under a year.

External hard drive storage solutions have delicate internal moving parts. Their mechanical hand reads and writes and you can occasionally hear/feel it working when you’re transferring data over or working off of it. External hard drive storage solutions are more fragile and bulky due to the mechanical instruments it has to protect and they can fail due to wear and tear, weather, handling,.. a bunch of factors.

Extreme Reliability of SSD technology

A portable SSD (aka Solid State Drive).on the other hand, are microchips which work similar to flash drive storage. Internally, they are compact, fast, are less prone to wear and tear. They do not utilize delicate read/write instruments and are internally protected. (Read more here) When you are working for paying clients and sponsors, you need a reliable storage solution to hold your data when traveling.

I won’t say an SSD is 100% reliable though. I don’t think anything can guarantee that and I’ve heard of SanDisk SSD models that have manufacturer wonks.

But working freelance as an audio visual freelance technician, a few of the AV production companies and videographers I work with, use this exact model of SanDisk Portable Extreme 2TB. There has been issues with the 4TB drive in the past, but they’ve released a version 2.0

Extreme Speed

This wallet-sized baby is badass fast. With high‐speed transfers with up to 550MB/s read speeds, it moves heavy files likes hi-resolution photos and videos fast. This makes it perfect for saving and editing hi-res photos and videos.

I accidentally tested this when I first got it. Excited to set it up for my travels, I began transferring heaps of video folders over and discovered rather late that I forgot to connect my MacBook Pro to its power charger. My charging ports were all occupied and my MacBook Pro was in the red with 8% battery left and a 11 minutes left to transfer. The drives read/write were exceptional and I finished my transfer before my laptop discharged fully.

Extreme Adventure

The Extreme Portable SSD isIP55-rated in Dust and Water Resistance.This means it’s built to withstand water to the point can be submerged in water up to five minutes. I was too chicken to test it that long, but if you watched my GRRR tests on my IG Story Hightlights (here),  I dipped it in a stream. I don’t usually take my laptop near any body of water, so water resistance is nice to have, but it’s something I know I won’t use.

sandisk extreme portable ssd
SanDisk extreme portable ssd

Extreme Ruggedness

From accidental drops, to mishandled luggage at the airport to accidentally knocking my gear bag around during my travels… these fears ordinarily force me to encase my drives in a protective soft and hard case.  The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD has a shock‐resistant solid state core for greater durability and is certified to stand up to two-meter drops!

I’ve dropped it a couple of times already to accidentally test it, but from a 3-foot height. It’s body has a rubberized coating and rounded edges. I have never felt so safe about a portable SSD’s durability, as I do with this SSD.

You might like my review of the rugged MyCharge Adventure Ultra battery for Outdoors


Dust is something I’ve never thought of affecting a drive. I did a fun potato loading test during a trek in Kathmandu Valley. It was rather extreme to put it in a bag of potatoes and have farmers pile freshly picked potatoes over it, but Kathmandu itself has many dusty roads under construction. Dirt dust is common to Nepal.  The possibility of my electronics being hit with dust in countries like Nepal and India is very real.

sandisk extreme portable ssd dust
SanDisk extreme portable ssd dust

Extremely Compact & Lightweight Design

The size is 3.79 x 1.95 x 0.35 inches. Weight: .64 ounces.

The Extreme Portable SSD is pocket-sized, is nearly the size of a credit card and is light. My iPhone 7 and travel wallet are heavier than this drive!  I store it in my old memory card soft case. It’s so small, I’m worried about losing it in the dark regions of my backpack.

Another thing to love about its compact size compared to an HDD drive is that if it falls my lap as I do work in on airplane or moving car, it’s not heavy enough to disconnect from my computer. I’ve had drives disconnect during a fall and this causes wear and tear on a drive and can help you lose footage.

See Camera Backpacks for Solo Vloggers under $100
SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD vs Credit card
Pocket-sized SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD vs Credit card: size comparison! Pocket-sized SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD vs Credit card

Extreme Portability

I can take the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD anywhere. I love that I can stick it on a key ring like a would a USB thumb drive or clip it to my backpack. The portability of it means I can set up my makeshift video editing office anywhere, from my lap, when I’m riding in a car or even sitting on the toilet.  (I know TMI,… but as a content creator, I have a dogged schedule and I need to find time where I can- this SSD will guarantee I can edit video on the toilet!). With my other portable drives, I can’t do the toilet bit and even a makeshift work station on a train takes a little positioning.

Read 6 Easy Ways to Get Internet while Traveling

sandisk extreme portable ssdSanDisk extreme portable ssd keychain.jpg

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sandisk extreme portable ssd rugged speed

Works with Windows and Mac

Many storage drives are made for Windows firstly and Mac secondly. As a Mac user, I’ve occasionally had to install software to read/write to my drive (don’t ask!). With the Extreme Portable SSD, I didn’t need any software- I just plugged in and we were good to go!

USB Type C + A Compatible

Designed to work with both Windows and Mac, the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD has a USB 3.1 Type-C connection port. It also includes a USB Type-C to Type-C cable and a Type-C to Type-A adapter, meaning it will work with the PCs and Apple laptops of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

The connection is sturdy.

I’ve read a lot of past reviews wehre people complained about the connector breaking off and stuff. I’ve experienced loose connections in the past with older portable drives. A loose contact means you’ll be accidentally dis-mounting a drive with the slightest bump. The abrupt disconnection eventually causes wear to the drive and potential corruption over time.

The connection is so sturdy and the SSD is so light, that if the SSD drops or slips off my lap, it dangles from the cable unburdened. The tug on the cable is not enough to pull the cable out. Overall, my contents feel remarkably safe on this drive.

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Thenduk at Sky Cafe

Reasons Not to Love the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD

To be honest it was hard to find fault with this drive.

Slightly Higher Price

If you’re looking for a cheap all-purpose HDD, a Seagate 5GB external drive under $120 can look cheaper than this SanDisk Extreme 4TB SSD at $279!  It’s a $100 price difference.

My advice? The longevity, compact style and having a reliable storage solution is worth it. If you’re a travel videographer or photographer, looking for a rugged and speedy drive that can take hard knocks and keep your work safe, then the price is a good investment.

If you’re looking for a cheap and average portable drive that does a decent job and you’re willing to potentially lose footage due to corruption or a drop (which is why I always pack two HDDs to backup my footage), a Seagate external drive is your best bet.

The SanDisk Extreme SSD is for the creator that feels that certainty are crucial to their work.

Is USB Type C a global standard for traveling?

I love that the SanDisk Portable Extreme comes with a sleek USB- C cable to fit the newest Macbook Pro models that powers with USB-C. For those in the dark ages of Macbook USB, your drive also comes with a small USB adapter to plug into older models of laptops.  The true test came when I took my old Macbook Air -only USB ports- on a trip to Nepal and forgot my SanDisk USB A to C adapter at home!

A USB-C cable is not yet universal enough to be found in some international airports and definitely not Nepal. Luckily, my GoPro Hero’s USB A to C charging cable and it was exactly what I needed ! I was saved.

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Who is the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD ideal for?

  • A content creator, videographer, photographer or hobbyist, whose trip memories and its storage mean a lot to them.
  • If you take a portable hard drive to back up your photos on the road
  • If you want to reduce time offloading your footage at night when you could be sleeping
  • A rugged adventurers who travel in extreme weather and climates.
  • If you’re accident prone with your equipment
  • If you just plain want to travel light.

Where to Buy it

You can buy the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD on Amazon (1TB drive, 2TB drive, 4TB drive,gen 2 )


Watch my Journey with SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD


What did you think of this SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD review? Would you agree this drive is the best portable drive for travel videographers ?

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Sandisk Extreme Portable SSD Review
Sandisk Extreme Portable SSD Review

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