When you’re miles from anywhere, a portable power bank can quickly become your very best friend.
Giving an extra burst of battery life to your cell phone or iPad can keep you amused for longer, or more importantly, ensure that you’re always able to get in touch with the rest of the world.
Things to Look for in a Power Bank
Size and Weight
Your power bank is designed to be portable, otherwise, what’s the point?! With this in mind, the physical size and weight of it will be major factors in considering which one is right for you.
The charger should be able to fit neatly in the same space as your cell phone; otherwise, you’ll have one in your pocket while carrying the other in your hand — not cool!
Bottom Line: Look for one that will fit neatly in your pocket, purse, or backpack. While power banks should have a sturdy feel about them, they shouldn’t be uncomfortably heavy, so opt for one that’s light enough not to weigh you (or your pockets) down.
The power capacity that your power bank kicks out is measured in milliamp-hours or “mAh.” The amount of mAh available will define how much charge you can expect to get out of your power bank.
Common capacity ratings range from 2,000mAh to 20,000mAh and in some cases, even as high as 40,000mAh. To give you a rough idea of how the amount of mAh juice in the bank effects what you can charge and how often, consider the following:
- An iPhone 7 can be charged approximately 6 times with a 20,000mAh power bank.
- A Samsung Galaxy S8 can be charged approximately 4.5 times with a 20,000mAh power bank.
- An iPad mini can be charged approximately 4 times with a 20,000mAh power bank.
Think about what devices you need a power bank for and how long you’ll be away from a power outlet. If you just need something to keep your phone topped up a couple of times a day, a 5,000mAh or 10,000mAh will do the job just fine and it will be physically smaller too.
Hot Tip: Most airlines will cap power banks at 20,000mAh while some will allow larger. Always check with your airline what the maximum capacity requirements are.
Inputs (1A, 2A, or 2.4A)
At some point, your power bank will need charging up to ensure it can provide the backup charge power you need. What you want is a nice, quick recharge speed that means you can get back out there without having to be attached to a wall socket for hours on end.
The input charging speed is dependent on the type of wall charger used. A standard wall charger with a 2A output would recharge the power bank twice as fast as one with only a 1A output. For this to happen, your power bank would need to offer a 2A input.
While some do offer this, many still rely on a 1A input which will take longer to reach a full charge.
Hot Tip: Newer power banks can be charged even more quickly with the addition of a 2.4A input option. Look out for these if you want the fastest charge on the market.
The Best Portable Power Banks for Travel
Superstar Power Bank Offering Fast Speeds and Compact Dimensions
RAVPower External Battery Pack
Capacity: 16,750 mAh
This is a popular and very impressive power bank from the experts at RAVPower. With 2 incredibly fast USB ports, powerful and efficient lithium-ion batteries, and a highly portable design, this is a great option for anyone who needs to boost their power on the go.
Measuring just 5 x 3.2 x 0.8 inches and weighing 10.9 ounces, the slightly heavy feel in your pocket is more than made up for by the super fast charging capability it offers.
This power bank has 2 USB ports that give a maximum output of 4.5A, offering lightning fast charging on the move. The unit also offers awe-inspiring iSmart technology which very cleverly identifies your device for maximum charge efficiency.
Different devices will vary on how many times they can be charged, but to give you an idea your iPhone 7 could be charged a whopping 5.5 times when this power bank is fully charged.
Bottom Line: This is a fantastic bit of kit that you should consider taking everywhere with you. This particular model can handle 2A when charging up and takes up to ten hours to reach full charge.
A Great Little Charger That Packs a Punch
Jackery Bolt 6000 mAh Portable Charger
Capacity: 6,000 mAh
Compact and lightweight, this small power bank is incredibly portable. Weighing in at just 5.3 ounces and measuring only 4.3 x 0.9 x 1.9 inches, complete with cables, it’s one of the smallest 6,000 mAh charges available.
The Jackery bolt can easily fit in your pocket, purse, or day bag for easy charging on the go and its tiny size belies its powerful charging capabilities.
The 6,000 mAh capability is enough to charge most cell phones twice and should give you an increase in the battery power of larger devices like iPads and cameras. It offers a built-in lightning cable, Mirco USB cable, and third Micro USB input for adding extra devices.
You can even charge all of your devices at once with the impressive pass-through capability, that means you can keep your power bank plugged into the wall, while still charging up your portable devices for your next adventure.
It not only works well, but it also looks terrific too. With a nicely shined aluminum finish, this power bank looks much more expensive than it is.
On the flip side, even with numerous positive reviews, there have been some problems reported with the use of the built-in lightning cable and certain Apple devices.
Bottom Line: Rest assured, this is still a great power pack for the money, and should you run into problems, you can relax knowing that it comes with an 18-month manufacturers warranty.
Pint-Sized Perfection for Single Use Charging
Anker PowerCore+ Mini, 3350 mAh Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger
Capacity: 3,350 mAh
Lightweight and super useful, this teeny tiny, lipstick-sized charger is enough to provide a single full charge for your iPhone or a boost to your Android phone.
Measuring 3.5 x 0.9 x 0.9 inches and weighing 2.72 ounces, you’ll have no problem fitting this handy charger in your pocket, purse, or wallet on the go.
With a fairly impressive battery capacity of 3,350mAh, this product is well made and is an excellent example of an established brand squeezing good quality components into small packages.
Featuring their PowerIQ technology that identifies the type of device it’s charging to optimize efficiency, as well as a Panasonic-Sanyo NCR18650BF Lithium Ion cell battery, you can rely on this lipstick charger for many journeys to come.
With both a USB and micro-USB port and the ability to be fully recharged in as little as 3 to 4 hours, this small battery pack will be with you on every adventure.
As a one-off, emergency charger this is one of the best in the business. When you need that little bit extra, you can retrieve this from your handbag to allow you to stay charged on the go.
Bottom Line: There’s no real downside to this particular power bank, but if you want more power, you’ll need to invest in a model with more capacity. As with all Anker chargers, this model also comes with an 18-month warranty.
A Great All-Round Charger for Days Out and Long Journeys
Anker PowerCore II 6700, Compact Portable Charger
Capacity: 6,700 mAh
The Anker PowerCore II Slim offers a handy amount of extra capacity for keeping your iPhone, Android phone, iPad, or tablet topped up while you’re away from home.
Measuring just 3.7 x 0.9 x 0.9 inches and weighing only 2.8 ounces, you’ll easily be able to take this everywhere with you.
Using Anker’s PowerIQ device-detection technology, charging times will be adjusted to help reduce charging time and increase efficiency, depending on what device you have plugged in.
With a USB port and Micro-USB port, this compact portable charger has enough power to charge your iPhone 7 twice or your Galaxy 1.7 times. The 6 bright LED indicators show the power level at a glance.
As with all Anker chargers, this model comes with an 18-month warranty and a friendly customer service team.
Bottom Line: This is a great portable charger from one of the best brands on the market. Affordable and efficient, this won’t last you for weeks on end, but it will provide you with more than enough power for an extra charge or two when you need it the most.
A Firm Favorite for Those Who Need Power
Anker PowerCore II Slim 10000 Ultra Slim Power Bank, Upgraded PowerIQ 2.0
Capacity: 10,000 mAh
The upgraded PowerCore II is an impressive bit of kit that features Anker’s new charging chip.
Being able to squeeze the power into a single chip makes for a lighter and more powerful charger that’s more portable than ever before. Measuring 5.39 x 2.6 x 0.59 inches and weighing just 7.52 ounces, you can easily pop this in your handbag, backpack, or pocket.
Kicking out 10,000mAh of power, you’ll be able to charge your iPhone 8 / X / XS / XS Max / XR, Android smartphones, tablet, USB-C MacBook, or your iPad anywhere you go. When it comes to recharging the device itself, it can take between 4 and 10 hours, depending on the type of input you’re using.
The super high-speed capacity means you can quickly and efficiently charge an iPhone X over 2.4 times, a Galaxy S9 2.2 times, or an iPhone 8 over 3.6 times before the power banks battery is empty.
The PowerCore II looks as good as it functions too, with soft silicone surface that cushions your smartphone, and helps to prevent scuffs and scratches, its slim design can rest perfectly next to your cell phone.
Bottom Line: There are no real downsides to this model as the experts at Anker have pretty much-considered everything.
One of the Best-Loved Power Banks Ever Made
Anker PowerCore 13000
Capacity: 130,000 mAh
This ultra-portable, 2-point power bank is robust enough to go anywhere with you while offering the capacity to keep your cell phone or devices topped up on the go.
Measuring 3.8 x 3.1 x 0.9 inches and weighing just 8.47 ounces, this lightweight charger is small enough to fit in your pocket, purse, or wallet alongside your cell phone.
With enough oomph to charge an iPhone 8 almost 5 times, an iPhone X or Samsung Galaxy S8 3 times, or an iPad Air 2 one time, this is a useful bit of kit for anyone on the move.
The patented PowerIQ technology ensures intelligent high-speed charging for all your devices, while the VoltageBoost prevents cable resistance from slowing your charging speeds.
With simultaneous dual-port charging, you can be off on your adventures again in no time. As some of the most popular and best selling portable chargers in the world, the PowerCore range is fast to charge up. You can have a fully charged power bank in 4 to 10 hours, depending on the cable speed.
Bottom Line: 30% lighter than other comparable power banks and just the right size to take anywhere, this is a solid option for anyone looking for more power away from home.
A Great Choice for Charging Small Laptops on the Go
Capacity: 20,800 mAh
This is a veritable beast of a power bank that provides a whopping 20,800 mAh, an AC outlet, and 3 three additional USB outputs, all wrapped up in a thin, highly portable power bank.
Weighing in at 1.5 pounds and measuring 6.29 x 2.55 x 2.55 inches, it’s too big to fit in your pocket but should fit just fine in a large purse or laptop case. If you want to work on your laptop on the go and keep it powered up this is a reasonably compact choice, given the amount of power it can provide you with.
While the Jackery PowerBar is compatible with numerous devices, its primary function is to keep your laptop operational no matter where you are.
It works best in association with smaller laptops such as MacBooks, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pro, Dell XPS, HP TPN-C116, and THINKPAD E430, as well as some others.
It provides fast and effective charging capabilities, although one full charge of your laptop will drain the PowerBar entirely, meaning you’ll need to plug it into wall socket somewhere before you head out again.
It will also charge your phone, Go-Pro, iPad, and even gaming gadgets, so while it works well with laptops, it’s not limited to just their use.
Bottom Line: The only real downside for this model is that it’s a little pricey. $130 of your hard earned cash can like a lot of money to part with for a charger. That said, it’s awesomely efficient and packs plenty of power in its delicate dimensions.
Best Value Power Bank for Outdoor Adventures
Qi Solar Power Bank
Capacity: 10,000 mAh
Great for outdoor explorers, this 10,000 mAh portable power bank comes complete with a built-in torch and complimentary compass to help you stay connected and on track wherever you are.
Measuring in at just 3.9 x 3.9 x 0.7 inches and weighing only 4.6 ounces, this is a great choice for anyone needing extra power on the go.
This power bank also doubles as a Qi wireless charging device. It’s compatible with iPhone XR / XR MAX/ XS / X / 8 / 8 plus, Samsung Galaxy S9/S9plus and S8/S8plus, and all other Qi-enabled devices.
This power bank has a choice of micro USB and type C input ports. It can efficiently charge most cell phones between 2 and 2.5 times on one full charge and when it’s on empty it should only take around 6 hours to fully recharge again.
While it does offer solar power capabilities, it’s advised that this function is used as back up and that the power bank is fully charged before you set off on your next adventure.
Designed to last, this sturdy piece of kit is IPX4 splashproof, dustproof, and shockproof, making it a durable outdoor addition to your camping, hiking, or trekking equipment to ensure that you can reliably keep in touch with the rest of the world when you head off the grid.
Bottom Line: The only downside to this particular model is that the solar panel seems like a bit of a gimmick, but if that doesn’t worry you, it’s still a useful little charger for using away from home.
Cheap and Cheerful But Not Designed to Last Forever
Aibocn Power Bank 10,000mAh
Capacity: 10,000 mAh
A power bank that costs next to nothing must surely be absolute garbage right? While not in the same leagues as the more expensive, bigger brand power bars and banks on the market, this is still a nifty bit of kit that will see you right for an extra charge when you need it most.
A little bit bulky at 6.8 x 4.2 x 1.3 inches and on the heavier side at 10.4 ounces, it’s good that the charging capabilities outweigh the cumbersome dimensions of this particular model.
This power bank can charge cell phones and small devices quickly and offers 10,000mAh capability. There are 2 USB outputs on the device, one rated at 1.1A and the other at 2.4A.
This battery pack also offers a rather useful flashlight on one end and has a selection of LEDs that light up to indicate charging and fully charged status.
While this bit of kit will probably do the job on short journeys away from home or as a spare in the car or on vacation, you do get what you pay for. If your budget really is an issue and you want something cheap and cheerful, this is it.
Bottom Line: It’s a very affordable power bank that will charge your phone fairly quickly. If you aren’t happy with it, there’s a one-year limited warranty.
Great for Gamers on the Go
RAVPower Portable Charger
Capacity: 26,800 mAh
With enough power to charge up your Nintendo Switch even while you play it, this is a big charger that measures in at 6.8 x 3.1 x 0.8 inches and weighs 16.3 ounces, making it heavier than the Switch console itself.
A behemoth of a charger it offers multiple inputs and outputs and awesome charging capabilities.
With 1 USB-C port, 2 USB-A ports, and a micro-USB port, this power bank supports iPhone fast charging with Apple’s USB-C to Lightning cable. You can also recharge the power bank by using a standard Nintendo Switch AC Adapter.
It’s not just your game playing that will be bolstered by the RAVPower Portable charger, the massive 30W Type-C output reaches up to 30W, meaning you can charge all of your devices including a MacBook in no time.
The 26,800mAh battery capacity charges an iPhone 6S 10 times, a Samsung S6 6 times, or an iPad Air 2 times. It also contains two 2.4A iSmart ports.
While it may be a little too large to fit comfortably in your Switch case, it will give you half day of extra play time, no matter how far from a wall outlet you are.
Bottom Line: The only real downside to this particular charger is the same thing that makes it so great in the first place — it’s big, bulky, and unattractive, but it delivers, and then some!
Great for Vacations and Overnight Stays
RAVPower Portable Charger 22000mAh Battery Pack
Capacity: 22,000 mAh
Made from a high-density, Li-Polymer battery, this triple-device charging power bank is an effective and affordable way to keep your cell phone, iPhone, or iPad fully charged on the go.
Weighing just 1.1 pounds and measuring a compact-for-it’s-power 6.5 x 2.8 x 0.9 inches, this clever bit of kit will easily fit in your pocket, purse, or backpack.
With 3 iSmart USBs (5.8A total output), you’ll be able to charge up to 3 devices simultaneously. The highly efficient 22,000mAh capacity battery can charge your iPhone X 4.9 times, your Galaxy S8 4.4 times, or even your iPad Mini 4 2.6 times, meaning you can keep entertained and in touch wherever you go.
Use a 5v charger and the original USB cable to fully charge the pack for up to 12 hours before you take it out on your next adventure. The useful carry pouch keeps it safe from harm as you travel, and the charger is available in a choice of 4 colors.
Bottom Line: The only downside to this power bank is that it does require a full overnight charge before it is ready to go again. It may get more downtime hours than you do, so keep that in mind when you’re away from home for long periods. Should any other problems arise, it does come with a full lifetime warranty from the manufacturer.
There are plenty of reasons why you should invest in a portable power bank and there are just as many types and variations for you to choose from.
Before you commit, look for a model that can charge your devices quickly and efficiently and that doesn’t take days on end to charge itself.
An efficient power bank will completely transform the way you use our portable devices when you’re away from home. Choose wisely, and you will be able to extend the battery life of your cell phone, tablet, laptop, and even small gaming consoles, literally anywhere in the world.
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