Best High-Capacity Power Banks for Travel
Power banks or portable battery packs can be life savers when traveling. Whether you use them to charge your phone or laptop, a power bank is a must-have accessory if you’re going to be away from a wall outlet for a long time. And if that long time means a few hours in double digits, it’s even better if you have a high-capacity power bank.
A standard power bank may only be able to charge your smartphone or other low-powered devices a couple of times. However, a high-capacity power bank may even charge bigger devices like laptops multiple times. Along with a high capacity, it’s also important to have a high wattage for power output to charge large devices. We’ve made a list of some of the best power banks that fulfill both these needs to help you while traveling.
Before we get to the power banks, though, here are some other articles you may be interested in:
- Here are some of the best power banks for laptops to charge your computer on the go.
- If you’re out on the road often, check out the best multi-port USB chargers for travel.
With that out of the way, here are all the power banks you must check out.
Anker 337 Power Bank
Capacity: 26800mAh | Ports: 3 x USB-A and 2 x micro-USB | Output Power: 15W
Anker 337 Power Bank
Anker is one of the most popular brands in this industry so if you get this power bank for yourself, you can be assured that you’re getting a reliable product. The overall footprint of this power bank is handy for the capacity that you’re getting. However, the output power is average so you can’t charge devices like laptops.
The Anker 337 is a 26800mAh power bank which means it is safe to carry on airplanes. Considering the efficiency parameters, you can expect to charge a phone with a 5000mAh battery about 4 times. There are 3 USB-A ports onboard that you can use to simultaneously charge 3 different devices at once.
As for the input, you get 2 micro-USB ports onboard which is unique. You can use both ports simultaneously to charge the power bank at a combined charging speed of 20W. Anker claims that you can charge the power bank fully in about 6 hours using both ports together and a fast-charging adapter.
The biggest drawback of this power bank is the lack of fast charging for both the input and output. You can charge phones at a maximum of 15W which seems a bit archaic. It’s still decent for the price and the capacity you’re getting, though.
Baseus 100W Blade Portable Charger
Capacity: 20000mAh | Ports: 2 x USB-C and 2 x USB-A | Output Power: 100W
Baseus 100W Blade Portable Charger
While the Anker power bank is specifically meant for smartphones and accessories, the Baseus 100W power bank can be used for many more products. You can even charge your laptop using this power bank, thanks to the USB-PD output port. Furthermore, you can even charge the power bank via USB-PD at 65W which is excellent.
This high-capacity power bank from Baseus is useful if you want to charge laptops while you’re on the go. The 20000mAh capacity is slightly lower than the other power banks on this list but by no means is it small. Unlike most power banks of this capacity, this one is slim but slightly larger and almost resembles a passport.
There are 2 USB-C ports onboard with one of them used for both input and output. You also get 2 USB-A ports to charge phones or smaller accessories. Baseus has also provided a small display to check the remaining battery level. Apart from the 100W output, the power bank itself can charge at 65W which means you get a full charge in almost 1.5 hours.
FlashFish 120W Portable Power Station
Capacity: 26400mAh | Ports: 2 x USB-C, 2 x USB-A, DC 12V, AC Socket | Output Power: 100W
FlashFish 120W Portable Power Station
If 2-3 ports aren’t sufficient for your usage, here’s a much large power bank that will probably fulfill all your power needs while traveling, albeit in a large form factor. The FlashFish power station is huge so while it may not be wise to carry it on an airplane, it’s a great companion on road trips or if you plan on going camping.
The biggest advantage of the FlashFish portable power station is the sheer selection of output ports. Apart from the usual USB-C and USB-A ports, you also get DC in and out ports to charge the power bank itself or other devices at 12V. That’s not it! You can connect a full-fledged power plug to the AC socket and mimic a wall outlet.
This is one of the best features of this power bank. The rear of the power station also has an LED light that you can use during emergencies or for reading. The brand also sells solar panels that you can purchase to charge the power station outdoors. The 100W output is the icing on the cake to charge large devices.
SinKeu Portable Charger with AC Outlet
Capacity: 24000mAh | Ports: 2 x USB-A, DC 15V, AC Socket | Output Power: 65W
SinKeu Portable Charger with AC Outlet
Here’s yet another power bank that has an AC outlet to plug in your large appliances or devices. The SinKeu portable charger can charge your laptop or other high-power devices at 110V/65W while your smartphones or other accessories can charge via the USB-A port. There’s a small OLED panel to display the battery percentage.
If you want a power bank that has an AC socket without getting a bulky power station like the FlashFish one, this is your solution. However, the biggest drawback is that you’re missing out on USB-C ports with this power bank which is an absolute necessity for most high-power devices.
It also means that you cannot fast-charge your smartphones via USB-PD. You do get a DC-IN port, though, to quickly charge the power bank at 30W. Considering the high capacity, it’s still not going to be as fast as some other power banks that charge at 65W. If you want a compact power bank with an AC socket, this will serve you well.
Shargeek Storm 2 100W Transparent Power Bank
Capacity: 25600mAh | Ports: 2 x USB-C, 1 x USB-A, 1 x DC | Output Power: 100W
Shargeek Storm 2 100W Transparent Power Bank
The Shargeek Storm 2 is easily one of the most unique power banks out there. Not only is it awesome in terms of looks but it also has a cool screen that displays the input and output wattage along with other charging info. It has all the ports you need to charge everything from a laptop to a smartphone at high speeds.
This power bank is nothing like you’ve seen before. It has a completely transparent housing through which you can see all the internal components to geek out on. If you’re a tech aficionado, you’re surely going to appreciate the design. It’s almost got a Cyberpunk-like look with yellow accents running all over.
The maximum output via the USB-C port is 100W which is more than sufficient to charge most high-power devices. The IPS display is helpful for all the nerdy details you need to see while your devices or the power bank itself is charging. Another big advantage of this charger is that you can juice it up to 100% in just 90 minutes with a 100W charger.
It’s a power-packed accessory with all the tech coolness that you want, but it comes at a price. The Shargeek Storm 2 is quite expensive but for someone who appreciates the design and the functionality of this large-capacity power bank, it might be worth the asking price.
FAQs on High-Capacity Power Banks
The flight restriction for a power bank is 100Wh and all the power banks mentioned on this list are under that capacity so you can carry any of them with you.
That depends on the power bank that you get. Some power banks charge at 20W so those will take a long time to charge while some of them may charge at 100W which charges quickly.
Absolutely! If you carry a power bank within the allotted capacity, it will be safe.
Keep Your Battery Anxiety Away
A high-capacity power bank can help you keep your devices powered up even when you’re out or traveling. Not only can your phones stay charged but you can also keep your laptops or headphones powered up for a long, long time.
Last updated on 15 December, 2022
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Best portable power stations in 2023
As advanced as modern electronic gadgets and appliances are, they still depend on a reliable supply of power to work. So while one of our best power banks recommendations can help during a pinch for a phone or two, it won’t be very useful for extended power outages, off-the-grid vacations, or running AC-powered household appliances. This is where power stations come into play.
Power stations that use lithium-ion batteries not only reduce your reliance on gas- or diesel-guzzling generators, but they can also power your appliances, charge mobile devices, and do a lot more. So here are the best portable power stations on the market to get you started.
Jackery Explorer 1000
Goal Zero Yeti 1500X
Togo Power Advance 350
Anker 757 Powerhouse
Jackery Explorer 300
EcoFlow Delta 2
BioLite BaseCharge 600
Zendure SuperBase 600M
Top picks for portable power stations
Jackery Explorer 1000
The Jackery Explorer 1000 is a high-quality portable power station that packs a ton of features and power in an easy-to-handle package. It’s great for backup power, camping trips, and more.
Jackery is no stranger to portable power systems, and the company’s Explorer 1000 is widely loved for its ability to run most power-hungry appliances despite having a relatively portable design. It houses a 1002Wh lithium battery that you can use to charge your phones, laptops, and mobile devices using the onboard USB-C and USB-A ports. You also get three AC points that output pure sine-wave power for your appliances. With a power output of 1000W, it can run most small appliances, including a microwave and coffee maker.
You can juice it up using a wall outlet, solar panels, or the 12V output from a car. Additionally, the onboard LCD is easy to read and offers information about the remaining battery and input/output voltage. The Jackery offering has excellent build quality, and the included handle helps carry it around.
Goal Zero Yeti 1500X
The ultimate portable power for your adventures
The Yeti 1500X is Goal Zero’s best-selling large portable power station and for good reason. It packs a ton of power, multiple charging options, and a wide array of ports and outlets.
The Goal Zero Yeti 1500X is the most powerful power station among our recommendations. It houses a 1500Wh battery in an aluminum shell that can deliver up to 2000W power (3500W surge), enough to run pretty much anything you may need in an emergency or during an outdoor adventure. But this also means the Yeti 1500X is relatively heavy at 45 pounds.
In other features, the built-in LCD screen is informative and lets you know all the necessary details. The company has also packed multiple ports and outlets, including two USB-C ports and two 120V AC ports.
You can charge the Yeti 1500X using solar power, wall power, and a 12V car outlet. You’ll also be happy to know you can reduce the charge times by using the company’s optional 600W power supply that takes three hours to top up.
Togo Power Advance 350
Togo Power Advance 350 is an excellent, compact companion for power outages, camping, and more. It is lightweight and features DC ports, USB ports, and an AC outlet.
The Togo Power Advance 350 is perfect for anyone who wants a smaller power station capable of keeping the essentials powered up during an extended outage or outdoor activities. It packs a 346Wh battery that can charge your mobile devices, drone, and cameras or run a small refrigerator, 50-inch TV, or projector without trouble. There is only one AC outlet, but you get four USB ports, including a Type-C with 60W output.
The Togo Power offering also supports three common charging modes: wall power, solar power, and a car 12V port. There is also a built-in LED light that doubles as an SOS light, an LCD screen to display vital information about the power station, and a built-in Qi charger that you rarely see in budget power stations.
Anker 757 Powerhouse
Anker 757 Powerhouse is a versatile power station with super-fast charging, multiple ports and outlets, and newer LFP batteries. The 757 Powerhouse can also act as a UPS for your computer.
The Anker 757 Powerhouse shares some features with the EcoFlow Delta 2, such as super-fast AC charging and LFP batteries. And although it has a few tricks of its own, it also lacks a few things you would find in the Delta 2. For example, while the Anker power station can act as a UPS for your critical electronic devices, it doesn’t support expandable battery capacity.
In terms of specifications, the Anker offering has a battery capacity of 1229Wh, six USB ports, six AC outlets, and a car outlet. These features help the power station run everything from your phone and laptop to smaller fridges and microwaves. Design-wise, the Anker 757 Powerhouse looks both modern and premium. But unfortunately, it’s relatively heavy. You can still carry it around in a truck or RV, though.
Jackery Explorer 300
The Jackery Explorer 300 delivers great performance for the money, so this is a good option if you don’t need a lot of backup power.
The Jackery Explorer 300 is an excellent budget power station that’s lightweight but still packs a decent amount of power and a wide range of ports. It has a 293Wh battery, which, although not a lot, can charge your mobile devices and power smaller appliances, such as fans, smaller TVs, and mini coolers.
It has the same design as our best overall pick, including the easy-to-read LCD screen that shows all the vital information about the unit. In terms of output, you get two AC outlets, three USB ports, and a 12V car outlet. Of course, you can also juice it up using the typical array of modes, such as wall outlets, solar panels, and car power sockets.
On the downside, it’s not the fastest charging power station and will take around two hours to get from zero to 80% via a wall outlet or a USB PD adapter. Charging via solar panels can take up to 3.5 hours to achieve the same.
EcoFlow Delta 2
Built to last and perform
The Delta 2 is an impressive power station that can handle almost everything you throw at it. It also supports extra battery packs and uses LFP batteries.
A successor to EcoFlow’s popular Delta power station, the Delta 2 packs several improvements that make it a much better power station. It has a battery capacity of 1024Wh. But if that is not enough, you can add extra battery packs.
Speaking of batteries, one of the biggest highlights of the Delta 2 is the inclusion of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, which have several advantages over the ternary lithium or NMC batteries found in the original Delta model and several other power stations. For example, LFP batteries can survive over three times the number of charge cycles before depletion compared to other batteries, and they are more efficient and less prone to overheating.
The Delta 2 offers charging via solar panels, wall outlets, and a 12V car outlet. You’ll also be happy to know that the EcoFlow power station supports impressive fast charging speeds via AC power; it can go from zero to 100% in an hour and a half. You also get four USB-A ports, two USB-C ports, six AC ports (two are rated for 20amps), two DC ports, and a cigarette power adapter.
Small in size but big in capacity
The Bluetti EB3A is a great alternative to our value pick. It uses LFP batteries for a longer lifespan, has fast charging support, and has a decent selection of ports.
The Bluetti EB3A is another super-compact power station like the Jackery Explorer 300, but it uses LFP batteries, making it a better option for battery longevity. It also has a 600W power output, much higher than the Jackery unit. However, the Bluetti EB3A has a slightly lower battery capacity at 268Wh, so it’ll last a relatively shorter duration, particularly when you connect appliances that consume more power.
The Bluetti power station can charge quickly using a wall socket, solar, car outlet, or generator. You can also juice up the power station using AC and solar power simultaneously for even faster charging. Among other features, there are three USB ports, two AC outlets, and three DC outlets. over, like Togo Power Advance 350, you get a Qi charging slot.
BioLite BaseCharge 600
The BioLite BaseCharge 600 has all the elements of a good mid-range power station. It can deliver up to 600W of power and has a decent selection of ports and outlets.
The BioLite BaseCharge 600 is an excellent mid-range option if you want more power and capacity than our compact power station recommendations but aren’t ready to shell out for the likes of Jackery Explorer 1000 or EF EcoFlow Delta 2. It has a battery capacity of 622Wh, and it can deliver 600W of power. This is enough power to run things like microwaves, refrigerators, power washers, electric coolers, or coffee grinders.
The company hasn’t skimped on the ports and outlets; you get two AC outlets, four USB ports, and three DC ports. There is also a Qi charger on the top to juice up your phone or a mobile accessory.
The power station isn’t too heavy at 14 pounds, so you can easily carry it around. In addition, it supports charging via a wall charger, USB PD charger, and solar panels. Unfortunately, charging isn’t very fast, but you can use both the PD and wall chargers to reduce the time.
Zendure SuperBase 600M
Zendure SuperBase 600M will entice buyers who either want a mid-range power station in a compact form factor or need something quiet.
The Zendure SuperBase 600M is another great mid-range power station option. It has a compact design and a relatively lightweight body. And as the company has not included any fans and uses the power station body to dissipate heat, you get an almost completely silent operation.
Unfortunately, the fan-less design also means there is no super-fast charging support. Instead, the unit will take around six hours to go from zero to 100 using a 100W USB PD charger. In other charging options, you can use solar panels, a 12V car output, or a DC input from another source. The port and outlet options are comprehensive but not as expansive as high-end power stations.
In terms of the battery capacity, there are 607Wh cells inside that can deliver 600W power. But in the case of a surge, it can support up to 1000W without stalling.
The Riapow T11X is perfect for keeping your phone or mobile accessories juiced up while camping or during a power outage. It has a 30,000mAh capacity and can be topped using solar or AC power.
If you don’t need a big power station with AC outlets and want something that can keep your phone and mobile accessories topped up, the Riapow T11X is a good option. This bank has a massive battery capacity of 30,000mAh that can deliver multiple charges to most phones on the market. It also comes with built-in solar panels for charging when you don’t have access to a wall outlet.
Another highlight is the built-in USB-C, USB-A, and lightning cables that remove the need to carry cords. But if you need a longer cable, there are the usual USB-A and USB-C ports to plug them in. Regarding charging speed, the Riapow T11X can push up to 15W of power.
Having a backup power source can save you a lot of trouble
It’s no exaggeration that modern-day gadgets and appliances have become essential in our daily lives. Hence, it’s vital that they’re never without a power source, and a good power station can help with that.
We are particularly impressed by Jackery’s Explorer 1000. It has a lot going for it, from a reasonably big 1002Wh battery to a comprehensive selection of ports and outlets. The power station is also well-built, and Jackery is a reputed brand in this space. But if you need something even more powerful, Goal Zero’s Yeti 1500X is definitely worth considering. It has a massive 1000Wh battery and can deliver 2000W of power. You can also juice it up relatively fast with the company’s optional 600W charger.
Budget-conscious buyers will appreciate Togo Power’s Advance 300. It may not be as powerful as Jackery Explorer 1000 or Goal Zero Yeti 1500X, but it can run many small appliances and has plenty of ports to keep your mobile device topped up.
Anker 521 PowerHouse hands-on: Practical mega powerbank and power socket for traveling
Summer is just around the corner. Camping weekends, trips to the lake, or simply journeys into the countryside cause batteries of cell phones and laptops to run down far too early. For short trips, you have a power bank with you, but for a longer journey, you take a power station with a normal household socket.
Christian Hintze. ✓ Anton Avdyushkin (translated by DeepL / Ninh Duy), Published 07/11/2022
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If you’re on the road for more than a weekend, a normal power bank might not be enough for intensive smartphone use, and if you also want to charge your laptop on the road, it won’t be enough anyway. Do you want to operate a cool box on warm summer days or beam films onto the walls of a house using a projector, away from any power outlet? Writing Notebookcheck articles at the lake instead of in the dark home office (completely fictional situation)? Something bigger is needed. A portable power station.
Power Stations are the mega power banks for on the go, with the difference that they have much larger batteries. But more importantly, unlike conventional power banks, they also have an integrated inverter that can convert the battery’s 12 V direct current into 230 V alternating current.
In addition to the obligatory USB outputs for charging a smartphone, these power stations also offer a full-fledged socket that supplies power to normal devices with 230 V plugs. In this way, you can charge your laptop, connect a toaster or operate a projector or TV at the Power Station while you’re on the road.
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Power. At 200 W with limitations
However, there is already the first restriction to consider, because depending on the battery size, not every device can be operated. there is a power limit above which the battery of the respective Power Station is overtaxed.
In the case of the Anker 521, this limit is 200 W. Anker also offers larger (and more expensive) Power Stations, which allow devices with an even higher power. The 521 model is currently the smallest Power Station with a 230 V socket at Anker and in this case, only devices that consume a maximum of 200 W may be connected.
It should also be noted for power station beginner-users like me that devices sometimes require an even higher starting power. For example, a device can run with 150 W, but it needs a starting peak power of 500 W, which only needs to be applied in the millisecond range. However, since Power Stations do not allow more than the specified power, they then refuse to work because the Power Station automatically switches off with more power consumed.
Thus, you cannot use an electric heater with the Anker 521. But you can power your own laptop, as long as it is not a gaming monster with a power consumption of more than 200 W. For example, the Razer Blade 17 with RTX 3070 Ti could just exceed this limit (under maximum load only). You can still charge it since it does not consume anything when turned off. But you could also run an economical projector on the Anker for a movie night when no power outlet is available. There are countless other use cases such as operating a WLAN router, charging a phone, drone, electric tools, etc.
Charging. Solar panel, power supply or car plug
If you also have a solar panel, you can recharge the Anker 521 yourself, even at the same time as the current is drawn by a consumer. You should definitely pay attention to this when buying a model; until recently, charging with a simultaneous current draw was by no means a matter of course and some inexpensive alternatives may still lack this important feature.
Unfortunately, there are also performance limits when it comes to charging the power station. The Anker 521 can be charged with a maximum of 65 W, both via solar panel and via the included adapter. The additional power of a 120 W panel in optimal sunlight would then simply fizzle out.
In my case, I only had a 30 W panel at hand, which charged the PowerStation quite reliably with around 22 W. However, a folding panel with around 100 W would probably be optimal for mobility, so that you can still charge well in less optimal solar conditions. Anker has been offering such a folding panel since June 10, but these types are still much more expensive than standard panels. The Anker 625 folding solar panel costs around 330 Euros. Static, i.e. fixed 100 W panels without a folding mechanism are already available from around 120 to 130 euros.
Both panel and power supply use the same input in the form of a DC port. The corresponding DC connector (connector 7909) should be 7.9 mm thick according to the manual. However, an 8 mm plug is also sufficient in practice, which can at least be found on Amazon Co.
In addition to the power adapter, a matching DC plug with a car connector is included in the package, so that the Anker 521 can also be charged from the car’s cigarette lighter. If you don’t need it, you can use the matching plug for your solar panel.
The Anker has three USB ports, one of which is a USB Type-C port. This port works multi-directionally, so you can charge the Power Station via it as well as draw power for other devices via it. The USB-C port provides a maximum of 60 W.
In addition to the USB ports, the Anker also has a standard household 230 V outlet as well as a 12 V port in the form of a normal car cigarette lighter. The former has to be activated via a switch first, while the latter can be used to operate 12 V cooler bags at the lake, for example.
On the back, there is also a DC input (7909) for connecting the power supply or panel.
The LED light bar, which runs horizontally through the center of the box and emits a warm white and not too bright light, should not go unmentioned. The light can be turned on and off via a button on the left edge.
The display via mini-LCD is also a good solution. Here we find the information about the battery status, current and total power drawn from the station, and the expected remaining time for charging. The display can also show some additional information. For example, if you connect a laptop, the display shows its power consumption in watts.
Practical experience. Works great
In my practical tests, the Anker 521 proved to be extremely practical. In the garden, I could sit on the lawn without a 10 m extension cable at the camping table and work without worrying about a laptop shutdown. Especially because the battery of my work laptop now no longer holds out 10 minutes (Please dear manufacturers, give us removable laptop batteries again that do not have to be charged at 100 percent all the time!). In the process, the Anker 521 charged my laptop continuously and was simultaneously charged by the solar panel next to my desk. This worked wonderfully.
Of course, my (gaming) computer consumed more power than my 30 W panel could constantly supply again, but that hardly played a role over the day, and for those who have a stronger 100 W panel, it even will come to a positive charge/discharge balance. Without the panel, the small Power Station discharges quite quickly during work with my not very frugal laptop.
A word about the operating noise: At first, I thought that the Anker 521 would be completely silent. However, if you hold your ear to the device, you can hear quiet electronic noises. Outdoors, these are mostly imperceptible, only the chirping of birds is louder. However, the Power Station has an integrated fan, which only kicked in when it got warmer than 26 degrees Celsius in the shade on a day and the station was simultaneously charged via the panel, and power was drawn for the laptop. However, the fan then started periodically for a few seconds (about 5 s). The fan noise is not exactly quiet and can be quite annoying. You should therefore never place the Power Station itself in direct sunlight if possible, that should be clear. On very warm days, it would be good to somehow keep the Anker 521 extra cool in the shade as well. Charging and drawing power at the same time can stress the box on warmer days and activate the fan.
Verdict. Practical, makes you want to use larger systems
The system has made me want larger PowerStations with a significantly raised power limit that should provide even more self-sufficiency and make more use of the own solar panel. When the Anker 521 was fully charged again when the sun was good, the free solar energy from my panel at least could no longer be used for the PowerStation. A larger station should also make almost any electronic tool mobile even without its own battery. While the Anker 521 still blocks the operation of angle grinders, drills, etc. because of their power and especially starting power, one could operate such utensils mobile without any problems with a more powerful model.
However, the intended use should be considered well beforehand, because PowerStations are heavy! If you’re just sitting in the garden, you shouldn’t mind the high weight of the battery and solar panel, but if you’re taking the train to the lake instead of the car, you don’t want to lug around a 10 kg powerbank plus panel. For this, the Anker 521 is a very good compromise. The 4.34 kg is just about acceptable even for longer distances, and the cost-benefit is clearly positive. However, more powerful, larger, and heavier models quickly run out of mobility.
The Anker 521 Portable Power Station is a very practical and convenient super powerbank and power outlet for traveling. Its relatively lightweight and handy size makes it very mobile and makes off-grid work and recreation immensely easier. It can also be recharged for free with its own solar panel. It costs around 350 euros.
Disclaimer: The tested product was provided to us by Anker free of charge, but there were no conditions attached to it, and the results of the test were not influenced by it.
Price and availability
On the German website of Anker the 521 PowerHouse is currently sold out. On Amazon, you can currently get it for around 370 Euros. That is outrageously more expensive than the US version, which can be ordered directly from Anker for around 250 US dollars. over, the price was 350 Euros a few weeks ago. The next bigger Power Station Anker 535 with 512 Wh and 500 W output power costs around 700 Euros.
The best power banks 2022
Choosing a power bank can be a minefield. There are cheap ones, pricey ones, and sometimes you’re paying simply for a name – but there’s a lot more to finding the perfect portable charger than looking at price alone.
Some other things you might consider include speed, both in charging your connected device and recharging the bank when it empties. Capacity is important, too: it needs to be high enough to get your through the day with juice to spare – even share – without weighing down your or bag.
Ports and connections matter, too. What are you charging? A phone, a laptop, a watch? The number and range of ports is important, and if you want to avoid carrying multiple cables then you could look for a version with built-in cables or wireless charging.
While we care about design, it’s actually much lower on our priority list than the things we mention above – unless, of course, we have need for a particularly rugged model or something that supports solar charging because we’re going to be away from mains power for an extended period. That’s not to say we won’t appreciate added extras such as an LCD screen and waterproofing – don’t you want the coolest and most convenient power bank you can get for your money?
These days, it’s even possible to rent power banks as and when you need them (check out ChargedUp). Mind blown. To ensure you get the very best power bank for your needs, whatever that looks like, read on for more detailed buying advice below our chart.
Best power bank reviews
Zendure SuperMini X3 – Best 10000mAh Power Bank
The Zendure SuperMini X3 certainly isn’t the cheapest 10000mAh power bank around, but it makes up for that in specs.
The headline is the 45W USB-C PD charging – for both input and output. That means you can re-charge the power bank itself in just an hour or so, but also that this is fast enough to meet the max charging speeds on most Apple and Samsung phones, and can even keep many laptops running.
The same port also supports the PPS standard at up to 33W speeds.
There are also two USB-A ports, one at 18W and another at 15W, and you can use all three ports simultaneously with 15W speeds from each.
Throw in the small LCD display to report battery life and the light and compact design (in a range of four colours, no less) and it’s easy to see why you might want to spend a little extra for the SuperMini X3.
Charmast 10,400mAh Power Bank – Best Value Power Bank with LCD
There was a time when power banks with LCD displays were rather expensive, but have now come down as the screens filter through to even affordable models like this.
The power bank also has three outputs, which will come in handy if you have multiple devices to charge. There are two full-size USBs, plus a USB-C PD port that can act as both input and output, and all three support 18W Quick Charge – although only one at a time.
On the side is an additional Quick Charge 2.0-compatible Micro-USB, which can also be used for charging the bank. It will charge in about 3.5 hours with a Quick Charge/PD adapter, but about 5.5 hours with a standard 10W charger.
The downside of the design is that it’s a bit bigger than many of the super-slim, similar-capacity models on the market. This Charmast is roughly the same width as a phone, but a little shorter and a fair bit chunkier. It weighs in at 228g, which you may decide is better suited to a bag than your
Charmast supplies a soft mesh carry case and a short USB-A to USB-C cable in the box, a nice touch.
Zendure SuperMini Go
- Interesting camera-inspired design
- Supports 15W wireless charging
- Strong device support
- Available only via IndieGoGo (for now)
- LCD is a little dim and can be difficult to read
The Zendure SuperMini Go is something a little different: a power bank that tries very hard not to look like one.
Zendure’s design is inspired by classic cameras, which is if nothing else a fun way to incorporate the large ring required for wireless charging – which here sits right where a camera lens would be. Instead of a viewfinder, there’s a rear LCD display to show battery percentage – though be warned that this is quite dim and hard to read.
It’s available in silver and black finishes, along with our more out there ‘Sunset Cyan’ gradient.
The SuperMini Go isn’t all about looks though, and it has some solid specs to match. The total capacity is 10,000mAh, and in addition to 15W wireless charging (with a magnet to keep phones steady) there’s 20W USB-C charging and 22.5W USB-A charging.
Compatibility is impressive too – not only will this work with both iOS and Android devices, but the ‘X-Charge’ mode is capable of topping up lower power devices like wearables and headphones, which not all power banks support.
The SuperMini Go is available now for backers on IndieGoGo with discounted launch pricing from 44 (down from an official price of 69), but with Zendure’s track record it’s very likely this will be in stores including Amazon before long.
JIGA 30,000mAh Power Bank – Most Versatile Power Bank
JIGA is a new name to us in terms of power bank tech, but its 30,000mAh power bank is interesting for a number of reasons – and not least the huge capacity, which will be some comfort on trips away from mains power.
While it’s something of a throwback to power banks from a couple of years back, with its built-in LED flash (certainly useful for camping trips) and durable but plasticky design, it also takes us back to the days where you didn’t have to sacrifice ports for portability.
It’s surprisingly small for such a high-capacity bank, but it’s more bag- rather than.friendly.
The JIGA has USB-C, Micro-USB and Lightning inputs, allowing you to fill its battery using whatever cable you have to hand. It’s a shame that the USB-C port doesn’t also work as an output, but there are three full-size USB-A outputs, each rated at 10.5W.
This isn’t the Power Delivery speeds we’re becoming increasingly familiar with today, but it’s plenty fast for charging a phone (or multiple phones).
If all you need is a healthy stream of power to keep topped up a number of mobile devices, this JIGA power bank will be a very handy device to have around.
Anker PowerCore Essential 20,000 PD – Best 20,000mAh Power Bank
Hailing from Anker, a respected brand in the power bank market, this 20,000mAh portable charger represents very good value at this capacity.
The 345.5G Essential is a black plastic brick, though relatively compact for the amount of power it can hold. It has a textured top surface that improves grip in the hand, as well as the overall appearance.
We’re pleased to find support for Power Delivery, but do note that it’s only up to 18W, and therefore not likely to be sufficient to charge a USB-C laptop. Still, for quick-charging a phone or tablet, this is a useful device.
A full-size USB output that uses Anker’s PowerIQ smarter charging algorithm is joined by a USB-C port that is both input and output. On top is a power button with four integrated LEDs that reveal remaining capacity, and you can use this to enter a trickle-charging mode suitable for smartwatches and earbuds.
A USB-C to USB-C cable and soft mesh carry case are provided in the box, which is a nice touch.
Anker PowerCore III 10K Wireless – Best Wireless Power Bank
The Anker PowerCore III 10K Wireless is a Qi wireless charger with a special feature: you can use it as a portable power bank, too, which can be super handy.
You can use it at home or work plugged in, and carry it around with you for wired or wireless charging when you are away from a power socket. Because it’s wireless, there’s no need to carry a cable around with you.
As the name suggests, the PowerCore III 10K has a decent sized 10,000mAh battery, which should offer at least three charges from the power bank before it needs recharging itself.
The wireless charger is rated at 10W. Place your device on the centre of the circle. We didn’t find the placement too sensitive, as some wireless chargers can be. It’s not auto-start, though – as a power bank it requires you to push the button first.
You can also charge from the two USB-A ports at one end – at a total of 18W, so charging two or three (one wireless, two wired) devices will split that power output.
Anker PowerCore Magnetic 5K – Best MagSafe Power Bank
This portable wireless charger is one of the best accessories you can get for your iPhone.
In essence, it’s a 5,000mAh palm-sized power bank that will charge your compatible iPhone simply by snapping it onto the back with MagSafe.
It works through some cases, charges over USB-C, comes in a range of colours and, even if you don’t have MagSafe, can be used to charge almost anything via cable.
A handy set of LEDs indicates how much charge the PowerCore has remaining.
Moshi IonGo 5K Duo – Best Design
It’s expensive, but you’ll pay out for the IonGo 5K Duo from Moshi if style is as important to you as is functionality.
Almost identical in design to the IonGo 5K before it, but here with both USB-C and Lightning cables built-in (hence the name Duo), the Moshi is an undeniably cool-looking power bank that comes tucked away inside a vegan-friendly soft leather case with a magnetic clasp and an anodised aluminium faceplate.
The additional cable means it’s now suited to Android as well as iPhone users, although as before this is Made For iPhone-certified.
This is a truly premium device with a colossal 10-year warranty going a long way to account for its higher asking price. It’s also possibly the dinkiest 5,000mAh power bank we’ve seen, suggesting there are some serious high-tech components inside.
At this capacity, expect a full charge for any Android phone, and potentially two for iPhone. Moshi claims the bank will also retain that power for up to 27 months when left unused.
Charging is up to 15W over USB-C and 12W over Lightning. Use Lightning and USB-C together and you’ll see slightly slower charging speeds, with a max total output of 3.4A (17W).
You can also use the USB-C cable for recharging the bank, again up to 15W. Better still, the Moshi supports passthrough charging, allowing you to charge both it and a connected device at once, but given that there’s no separate input here that’s going to work only with iPhone.
The Duo is currently out of stock at Amazon, but you can still pick up the iPhone model.
Chargeasap Flash Pro / Flash Pro Plus – Fastest Charging Power Bank
- Unbeatable recharging speed
- High-capacity (25,000mAh)
- Range of outputs
- 5-year lifespan
- Bulky and heavy
- Attracts fingerprints
- No charger or cable supplied
These graphene-composite power banks are able to charge cooler than ordinary lithium-polymer batteries, and thus can do significantly faster: you’ll get to 80% of these 25,000mAh batteries in just 45 minutes.
In addition to this there is a healthy smattering of ports, with three USB-Cs running at 100W, 60W and 20W, a 50W USB-A that supports Quick Charge 3.0 and SVOOC, plus wireless charging. You get a 15W MagSafe pad and a 5W Apple Watch charger in the Flash Pro Plus, and a 15W Qi charger in the Flash Pro.
Down sides include an expensive price tag, and a bulky, heavy design, but for sheer performance and functionality the Chargeasap banks are among the most capable we’ve ever tested.
What capacity power bank do I need?
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking a 3,000mAh power bank will give your 3,000mAh battery smartphone a full charge, and that a 9,000mAh power bank will charge it three times. No portable charger runs at 100% efficiency. In truth, most average between 60- and 70%, with the best-performing models able to reach 80- or 90%. Wireless charging models may be less efficient still.
To work out what capacity bank you need, first check the spec of the device you want to charge to find out its battery capacity, then decide how many times you want to be able to charge it. For a rough estimate, calculate Connected device battery capacity x Number of recharges x 1.6 = Minimum power bank capacity you should look to buy.
As a rule of thumb, a 5,000mAh bank is a single-charge device, 10,000mAh hits the sweet spot between capacity and portability, and you want to look for closer to 20,000mAh for a laptop. We’ve got some of those high-capacity power banks here – just don’t try to stuff any of them in your !
How long does it take to recharge a power bank?
The time required to recharge a power bank will depend on its capacity, what you are using to recharge its battery and whether or not it’s empty.
For the fastest charging you should look to the new breed of power banks that support graphene technology and charge over a DC input (such as the Chargeasap Flash Pro – a 25,000mAh bank that can get to 80% in 45 mins and 100% in 70 mins), but these tend to be pricey.
For mainstream power banks, the fastest you’ll find is a USB-C inout/output that supports Power Delivery. This standard now goes up to a maximum of 240W, but in portable chargers you should expect to find an 18W port. Using such a port, the average 10,000mAh power bank might recharge in 2-3 hours from empty.
The cheapest models still tend to charge over Micro-USB, usually at around 10-12W. Avoid 5W power banks like the plague unless they are very low in capacity or you’re not in a rush.
What is passthrough charging?
Passthrough charging allows you to simultaneously charge devices connected to a power bank and the power bank itself. It’s a very handy solution if you are short on mains power outlets and need to get multiple devices charged up overnight, for example. However, not all power banks support it, so be sure to check the spec of your portable charger before you buy.
How do I know how much power is left in my power bank?
What are GaN power banks?
GaN is short for gallium nitride. It requires fewer components than traditional silicone chargers, which means power banks that use the technology can be less bulky and more efficient. If portability is your primary concern, then as well as considering the power bank’s capacity you should also look for one that uses GaN.
What charging speed should I look for in a power bank?
The first power banks on to the market ran at 5W, which is the same speed as the original iPhone chargers (aka slllllloooooowwwww). We wouldn’t recommend anything below 10W these days. This speed is known as ‘fast charging’, and it’s still rather common in cheaper models, but it’s not really the fast charging we’ve become accustomed to today. So many of the latest smartphones now support super-fast wired charging, and it seems crazy not to buy a portable charger that supports that top speed if possible.
The standard your phone uses to achieve its top charging speeds is important here. Some have proprietary technologies that work only with accessories manufactured and sold by that company. Some offer fast charging through Quick Charge or Power Delivery. Some support neither Quick Charge nor Power Delivery, but do support protocols such as PPS (Programmable Power Supply) or SCP (Super Charge Protocol). Make sure the portable charger you buy matches the fast charging standard supported by your phone.
The term Power Delivery does not in itself denote a performance rating. It could be capable of delivering anything between 18W and 240W. This is particularly important if you’re looking to charge a USB-C laptop – anything under 30W won’t cut it, many laptops will refuse to play ball below 45W or even 60W, and some larger laptops might require 90W. You will need to check the spec of your laptop to know what speed it requires.
At the other end of the scale, if you need to charge a low-power device such as a smartwatch or a pair of wireless earbuds, look out for a power bank that is certified for low-power devices. Many of those that are not will simply cut out when you try to charge these devices, because they aren’t able to detect a significant drain on the battery.
Power bank manufacturers rarely provide the speed of their outputs in watts. Instead you’ll see a rating in amps, which you multiply by the voltage rating (usually five) to get the rating in watts. So 2A x 5V = 10W.
What is Power Delivery?
USB-C and USB PD are often confused, but the important thing to remember is that USB-C is a reversible connection type, while USB PD is a power delivery specification, overseen by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) and often expressed simply as ‘PD’. With version 3.1 of the specification, Power Delivery is able to carry up to 240W of power plus data over USB-C (previously limited to 100W), but devices that support Power Delivery can range from 18W right up to 240W.
What is Quick Charge?
Quick Charge is a Qualcomm fast-charging protocol that runs on the Snapdragon processors we see inside many smartphones, hence it has become commonplace in the mobile market.
The latest version is Quick Charge 5, which operates at up to 100W and supports USB PD PPS. However, while they are often seen together, Quick Charge and Power Delivery are not the same thing.
Quick Charge 5 is a massive jump up from Quick Charge 4/4, more efficient and able to run cooler and safer, and Qualcomm says it can get a device to 50% in just 5 mins. It is backwards-compatible with earlier versions of the protocol, including 18W Quick Charge 2/3, which are still very common in power banks.
Which outputs should I look for in a power bank?
The type and number of outputs you will need on a power bank depends entirely on what device or devices you want to charge. Pretty much all power banks have a full-size USB output that you can use to plug in your own cable, but it’s not always going to be the fastest way to deliver a charge to your device. You’ll also find USB-C and Lightning outputs, magnetic wireless charging pads and AC outlets if you shop around. Some power banks even have built-in cables to stop you needing to carry around your own, though you will still need one handy to recharge the power bank itself.
Why is the maximum output of a power bank important?
Some power banks have multiple outputs for charging your connected devices, but few power banks are able to simultaneously support all of them at the top advertised speed. Watch out for those that have a lower maximum output than the sum of all ports together. Also be wary of those that have multiple outputs but a very low capacity – these aren’t really designed for plugging in multiple devices, only to be versatile.
What happens when my power bank is more powerful than my connected device?
There is no need to worry about plugging devices into ports that are capable of delivering more power than the device is able to accept, since USB devices will draw only the power they need. Many power banks include technology that is able to intelligently dole out this power among ports more appropriately, depending on what devices you are attempting to charge (often known as Power IQ or similar).
Can I take a power bank on a plane?
Yes, but it must be in your hand luggage, and if it is higher in capacity than 27,000mAh (100Wh) you will need to check with the airline before flying. Make sure you take it out your bag as you pass through security. If a power bank is damaged then it will not be allowed on the plane as it could become a safety hazard. You should also ensure the specifications are clearly printed on the side of its case, as is the norm.
We’ve put together a range of articles to help you choose the best charging tech for the mobile devices you carry everywhere. You’ll also like:
- For charging away from home:Power banks for laptops | Travel adaptors
- Best Wall Desktop Chargers:For phones tablets | For laptops
- For convenience:Best wireless chargers
- Best charging cables:Micro-USB | USB-C | Lightning