Best Lightweight Backpacking Power Banks. Most expensive power bank

The Best Power Bank for Backpacking: Travel Battery Chargers

These days, the success and enjoyment of our trips often depends on the battery life of our smartphone (and other devices).

Maybe you’re a traveler that always wants their devices fully charged. Maybe you’re wondering why you’re always looking for an outlet or waiting for your device to charge before you can continue with your life.

Even when backpacking and off-the-grid with no cellular or Wi-Fi connection, we still depend on our smartphones for offline maps and documenting our adventures through images and videos along the journey.

It makes sense to carry extra juice to give your devices a full charge as needed. But what is the best power bank that you should purchase? Are they all the same?

best, lightweight, backpacking, power, banks, most

We’ve done the travel power bank research and will tell you which power banks are best for backpacking or other types of travel — and which one we personally use for our adventures.

Quick Recommendations: Our Top Power Bank Choices for Travelers and Backpackers

For most travelers, our top picks tick the boxes you’ll need. These power banks are compact, have solid capacity, enough ports to cover a variety of devices, and are available at good prices.

The only cons? These are not the most tech-packed and should not be relied upon to recharge large capacity devices like laptops. (If you need to charge laptops, you should look into power stations and not portable power banks.)

Benefits of a Power Bank for Backpacking and Travel

For most trips — whether it’s a couple of days of backpacking, going on a day hike, or spending a couple of hours exploring a new destination — it’s nice to know that you can carry something that weighs about a pound to recharge your important devices.

With continued advancements in technology, power banks are getting smaller, charging faster, and holding more battery capacity.

The other thing to note is that power banks are relatively inexpensive, especially if you just need to recharge your phone a couple of times.

Typically you’ll find that expensive power banks have larger storage capacity but are so large that they aren’t really practical to travel with. They might be great for emergency situations like a hurricane or tornado in which you need days worth of power. Or maybe you’re a content creator and you need extra power for long shoots.

This is why it’s important to think about what your own personal needs are when choosing the best portable chargers.

Fortunately, there’s a good chance that there is a power bank that will match your type of travel, charging needs, and budget.

How To Choose A Backpacking Power Bank

Don’t get overwhelmed by all the options out there. As with most travel gear, there are a lot of great options. The most important thing is to think about your own travel preferences.

Power banks are tools and the best tools are the ones that meet your particular needs.

What are the best options? Below are some things to consider when choosing a power bank.

What is the main device you need to recharge?

This question will determine the capacity you need and the type of ports.

Currently I’m using an iPhone 13 and it’s the ONLY device (at the moment) I worry about possibly losing charge. I want to be sure that whatever power bank I use, it can charge my phone at least three times.

I also know that my phone charges quickly with a USB-c cable (to lightning) so I make sure that whatever power bank I purchase has a USB-c port.

What kind of travel will you be doing?

If you’re backpacking for several days and know you won’t be able to recharge your power bank via an outlet, look for a power bank with a solar recharging option. These are great for off-the-grid use.

The cons for solar charged powerbanks is that you don’t usually get the same kind of tech specs as power banks that recharge only by outlets. If you’re doing mostly day trips or short overnight trips, a non-solar option might be a better fit.

For most of our personal trips, our portable battery pack is recharged via an outlet and is more than enough for our needs. We can go 2-4 days without needing to recharge our power bank and can recharge our Smart phones a couple of times.

What power bank capacity do you need?

The truth is that anything electrical can get very technical and complex. As we are not experts in this area, we won’t try and explain the details we ourselves don’t understand. Instead we’ll share some real-use scenarios to help you determine what capacity you might need.

In general, most of the power banks you can find in stores will come with a milliampere (mah) rating. The larger the mah number means a larger capacity, which means the more times you can charge a device.

Since each device you charge has it’s own mah battery size/capacity, the amount of times you can charge a device will differ.

Our current Anker 535 power bank, when it’s charged to max capacity, can recharge my iPhone 13 about 4 times but can only recharge my iPad 2 times (or less). This is assuming both devices start at about 20% or less battery charge.

What’s the largest power bank I can bring on a plane?

This might be the most important question when considering the capacity vs. how many times it can recharge a device.

According to the FAA, power banks are only allowed in carry-on baggage up to 100 watt hours (Wh). This is the equivalent to less than 27,000 mah.

For most travel and backpacking scenarios, we recommend power bank battery capacities between 20,000 mah and less than 27,000 mah.

For a more technical guide regarding capacity, check out this really great and super detailed article about power bank capacity.

What output ports do I need?

First, it’s important to know what type of USB ports and cables are required for the device that you want to charge. Make sure you have the right cable to match both the power bank port and your device’s port.

As mentioned before, our iPhones currently use a lighting cable/port. To use a power bank to charge these phones, we either need a USB-a or USB-c to lightning to connect the two.

Not all cables are the same. Charging from USB-a vs. USB-c is different than a straight USB-c connection which is more powerful and faster.

What charging speed do I need?

It should also be noted that power banks differ from each other not only in the charge capacity they can hold, but also in the speed they can charge certain devices.

Nowadays, newer smartphones, tablets, and even some laptops have the capability for fast charging. This requires the right combination of a specific cable, the right charging device (like a power bank or power brick), and device.

Some people really care about speed, but I don’t think this is a make or break quality when deciding on a power bank.

What weight and size power bank do I want to travel with?

The answer to this question will again depend on your travel needs and preferences.

For backpackers, every ounce can be crucial for the overall experience. Whereas food and water are consumable weight, power bank weight stays the same regardless if it’s fully charged or not.

Thankfully most power banks weigh about a pound or less, which is why this shouldn’t be too big of a consideration when choosing your power bank.

The most important consideration when purchasing a power bank

It doesn’t matter what power bank you use if your device’s battery health is already poor.

True story, I got to a point that my Google Pixel phone could not hold a charge at all after 4 years of use. It would deplete so quickly.

For example, I could charge it fully and within 30 minutes, without even using it, I would lose 20-30% of the battery. That’s bad.

When I replaced my 4 year old Google Pixel with a brand new iPhone 13, I was amazed that even after 9 hours of heavy use, I would still have over half a battery left.

If your device cannot hold a charge to a point very well, you should really consider upgrading your device (or replacing your battery) before getting a power bank.

Further reading on device battery health management: from Apple and from Google.

Our Top Overall Choices for Power Banks

Anker 525 Power Bank (PowerCore 20K)

We like Anker a lot. It’s a brand that has been extremely reliable for us.

We love our Anker power bank and also use this brand for cables and power bricks.

Anker 525 has USB-a and USB-c ports and quick charge capability with compatible devices. It can also be recharged faster with a compatible power brick.

What we like is that its 20,000 mah battery has enough capacity to recharge our phones several times and enough power to recharge an iPad a couple of times.

Best for most travelers and most needs.

  • Good feature set and portability
  • Affordable
  • Fast device charging
  • Fast re-charging of the power bank
  • No LED/battery display to tell capacity
  • Cannot recharge larger devices such as laptops

BLAVOR Solar Power Bank

For backpackers and outdoor adventurers, you’ll want a solar recharging component as you never know how long you’ll be away from an outlet.

Solar recharging gives you a chance to replenish your power bank’s capacity off grid. This of course is no perfect solution.

Solar charging success is dependent on the weather and hours of the day where there is actual sunlight. For regular travelers, these options may not be ideal because of size and extra features like built-in flashlights that are unnecessary.

It should be noted, though, that the solar recharging capability will never be as efficient or as powerful as using a wall outlet. The solar recharging should be seen as emergency use only.

Best for backpackers and backcountry adventures.

  • Can be recharged by solar energy
  • rugged than typical power banks
  • This model offers wireless charging with compatible smartphones
  • Affordable

Best Portable Power Banks For Backpacking and Travel

Anker PowerCore Fusion 10000

We really like the clever design of this small power bank because of its built-in charger.

It’s a 2 in 1 device. You can use this as a regular wall outlet and then take it with you to charge your USB based devices. Yes, it has its own power source.

The only drawback to its smaller form factor is that it holds less capacity. But if you want the best, most lightweight power bank with great features, this is it.

Best for daily travelers and remote workers.

  • Two devices in one design (wall outlet and portable charger)
  • Small in size
  • Decent capacity for size
  • USB-c and USB-a ports
  • No LED/battery display to tell capacity
  • As expensive as larger capacity power banks
  • Not enough capacity to charge multiple devices

Best Budget Power Bank

This is kind of a tough category as you can find a lot of good options for 60 USD and under.

Charmast Portable Charger USB-C Battery Pack

For the price and feature set, it’s hard to beat the USB-c portable charger from Charmast. It has a 10,000 mah capacity and a helpful LED screen that actually tell’s you the battery’s capacity status.

It also has a pretty great feature set with plenty of ports and a couple of recharging options.

Best for solo travelers.

  • Price to feature set value is unmatched
  • USB-c and USB-a ports
  • Fast device charging capability
  • LED status screen
  • Not as well known as brands like Anker
  • Not enough capacity to charge multiple devices
  • Not as much capacity as others this size (but not at this price)

Best Power Banks for Charging Multiple Devices at the Same Time

There’s a good chance that you have multiple devices and that at some point you may need to charge them all at the same time, especially if you travel with a partner.

Some power bank devices struggle to charge multiple devices at a time. They just weren’t designed for that.

Charmast USB-C Power Bank, 26800mAh Portable Charger

This portable charger from Charmast succeeds in this area, offering up to 4 devices that can be charging at the same time. Probably a great option for families.

Don’t forget, though: more devices mean more cables are also needed at one time!

Best for couples and families with multiple devices.

  • Up to 4 devices can charge at the same time
  • Large capacity
  • Great price for this capacity and feature set
  • No LED status screen
  • Don’t expect quick charging capabilities, especially with multiple devices

Best Large Capacity Power Bank

For those who need the ability to recharge their laptops or larger devices like drones, this might be the best portable option for you. If you need more capacity from this point, you’ll sacrifice portability and the price will continue to increase significantly.

This category really fits a small niche of travelers and users. As digital nomads, we like the appeal of being able to recharge our laptops, though we’re rarely in a situation where it’s truly needed.

Anker 747 Power Bank (PowerCore 26K for Laptop)

Anker’s largest size battery capacity (that can be taken on a plane) is also its most expensive and most feature laden. It has quick charge capability with compatible devices. It can also be quickly recharged with its supplied power brick and cable.

Best for remote work content creators or those with large budgets.

  • Can charge a laptop via USB-c
  • Charges multiple devices at the same time
  • Recharges itself quickly with the supplied power brick and cable

Final Thoughts On the Best Power Bank For Backpacking

We can’t reiterate enough how important it is to check your device’s battery health before you even consider buying a new power bank. All rechargeable batteries lose their ability to hold a charge AND their full capacity diminishes over time.

It might be more important to upgrade your device OR find a way to replace your device’s battery.

Additionally, be realistic about your recharging needs. Every traveler is different and uses their devices differently.

Don’t forget that power banks and device recharging can also be affected by the kind of cable you are using.

Ultimately though, we are a living in the golden age of this specific tech tool in that there is a power bank option that fits everyone’s needs. Choose the one that best matches your needs.

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Best Lightweight Backpacking Power Banks

Whether it’s for your phone, GPS tracker, camera, or headlamps, you are probably going to need some power during your backpacking trip. A backpacking power bank is simplest way to make sure your devices don’t die on you.

Luckily, power banks have gotten a lot lighter over the years and can get more than 1,600mAh of power per ounce. Some backpacking power banks are even durable and waterproof too.

Here’s the best power banks for backpacking. If you don’t know how much power you will need or what to look for then scroll down to read the complete guide.

Quick Picks:

  • Best Overall:NiteCore NB10000 (10,000mAh, 5.3oz)
  • Runner Up:Goal Zero Flip 24 (6,700mAh, 4.6oz).also available at REI
  • Best for Ultra Light:NiteCore LC10 Charger (1oz 18650 battery)

Comparison Table

ProductmAhWeight (oz)mAh per OzOut PortsOutputInput

Best Power Banks for Backpacking

Anker Power Banks

Choose If: You want a reputable brand with fantastic capacity-to-weight ratio

Anker is one of the best known brands for backpacking power banks (as well as other gear like portable solar panels). They have power banks in different capacities. All of them have a good weight-to-capacity ratio (or milliamps per ounce).

Another reason to choose Anker power banks is that they actually deliver close to their advertised efficiency. Whereas other power banks might only give 2/3 of their listed power, Anker gets up to 90% efficiency.

You can also expect advanced features like 2.4amp fast charging, durable design, and a good 18 month warranty. They are actually affordable too, so definitely worth buying instead of a knockoff brand.

Recommended Anker Power Banks for Backpacking:

Anker has dozens of different power banks. It’s actually confusing as heck trying to figure out the difference between them. For backpacking, these are their best options.

  • PowerCore Compact 5000 (5,000mAh, 4.8oz): The mAh per ounce on this power bank is actually pretty low (just 1,040mAh per oz.). However, a lot of people like this one because of the 2A charging (in and out). Get it if you need to recharge fast.
  • PowerCore 10000 (10,000mAh, 6.35oz): This has a very high mAh per ounce of 1,575. That makes it one of the lightest backpacking power banks available. Note it is NOT compatible with devices with an input below 50mA, such as some GPS devices.
  • PowerCore 10000 PD (10,000mAh, 7.52oz): It is slightly heavier than the previous version, but has two outputs so you can charge two devices at once.
  • PowerCore 20100 (20,100mAh, 12.6oz): Choose this power bank if you need to charge multiple devices at once quickly. It’s got 2 outlet ports at 2.4A each. It’s also got a great mAh per ounce ratio.

NiteCore LC10

Choose If: You are an insane ultra-lightest and every ounce matters to you

This is very cool product. I love this as a solution for backpacking because it gives you so much flexibility at a very low weight. You really can’t get lighter than this for power.

It is basically an ultra-light charger for li-ion batteries. However, it works in both ways: Put a full battery cell in the charger and you can use it to charge micro-USB devices.

The charger itself only weighs 0.98oz. A single 3400mAh 18650 battery usually weighs around 1.8oz (using 18650 cells as a backpacking powerbank here.

Key features:

  • Both li-ion battery charger and power bank
  • Charger weighs just 0.98oz
  • Built-in emergency light: 6 lumens from 3400mAh battery with 3 brightness levels
  • Insanely small and compact

NiteCore NB10000 Ultra-Slim (10,000mAh, 5.3oz)

Choose If: You are willing to pay a bit more for very lightweight power bank

Here’s a more standard type power bank from NiteCore. It’s the one I take with me on most backpacking trips and I’m really happy with it. As you’d expect from this brand, the power bank is insanely lightweight. It is 10,000mAh capacity but weights just 5.3oz, which breaks down to 1,887 mAh per ounce.

That’s lighter than any other power bank that I’ve found. The only drawback? It is the priciest option of all the backpacking power banks reviewed here.

Goal Zero Flip Power Banks

Choose If: You need a faster charging time and like the Goal Zero brand

Goal Zero is better known for their solar panels but they also make these portable power banks too. Their flip series are lightweight and have a good mAh to weight ratio. The weight isn’t as good as Anker but the power banks do charge faster. Currently, they have 6,700mAh and a 10,000mAh power banks available.

Goal Zero Venture 35

Choose If: Waterproof ness and durability matter to you more than weight

The Goal Zero Venture 35 power bank is 9,600mAh at 10.1oz. That is actually really heavy per mAh. But the power bank has some features which might make this worth it: An IP67 rating (it’s actually waterproof), a much more durable construction, fast charging with USB-C and multiple out ports. The charger also doubles as an emergency flashlight.

BioLite PD Power Banks

Choose If: You want to charge multiple devices quickly

While not as light as Anker, BioLite PD power banks have more features. They are much faster, have 3 out ports (2 are USB-A and one is USB-C). The battery life indicator button is reliable. Some people said they had issues trying to charge headphones with it though.

Charmast Power Bank

Choose If: You want a display screen which shows remaining battery

I don’t know much about this brand and am hesitant to trust them (though they do have a lot of great reviews). The reason it is worth considering is because it’s one of the few power banks with a digital display. The display is very useful when you are carefully rationing your power supply. It’s also got lots of other nice features like quick charging. I wish it had a USB-A port though.

What About Power Banks with Built-in Solar Panels?

I used to think these were awesome and practical. Then I actually tried one. Guess what? Turns out it is NOT a good idea to leave a power bank out in the blazing hot sun! The model I had worked for a while and then quickly died. I’ve heard the same from other users.

On top of that, most have no power display so there’s no way of knowing the charge level. You can easily over-charge the power bank, meaning it gets fried. But leave it out too little and it won’t have enough power for your needs.

If a reputable brand (instead of cheap Chinese generic brands) started making one of these, I might give it a try. Until then, I’ll keep my power bank and solar panel separate.

Power Bank Capacity and Backpacking

Power bank batteries have capacity measured in Milliamp hours, or mAh. This stands for how much power the battery can provide per hour.

For example, if your device requires 1000 Milliamps per hour, then a 3,000mAh battery will (in theory) keep it going for 3 hours.

Important: No power bank delivers its full capacity!

Because of efficiency issues, most power banks will only deliver 66-74% of the listed capacity. So, a 10,000mAh power bank may only really give you 6,666mAh. (1, 2)

Some better power banks are more efficient, like the Anker power banks that deliver around 80%-90% of their listed capacity. Take this into consideration when calculating your power needs.

What Capacity Power Bank Do I Need?

The amount of capacity you need for a backpacking trip ultimately depends on which devices you’ll bring and how often you use them.

To figure out how much power you need:

  • Tally up the mAh/day amount for each gadget you are bringing.
  • Multiply this number by the how many days your backpacking trip will be (or how long until a refuel).
  • To play it safe, assume that the power bank will only deliver 66% of its advertised capacity.
  • Divide the total mAh you need by 0.66.

Example: You need 3,000mAh of power to keep your phone charged for a 3-day backpacking trip.

3,000/0.66 = 4,545mAh

Other Things to Look At When Choosing a Backpacking Power Bank

Aside from capacity, you’ll also want to look at the weight of the power bank, you’ll want to look at:

  • mAh per ounce
  • Charging speed
  • Number of outlet ports
  • Brand quality
  • Other features

mAh per Ounce

It’s pointless to get a lightweight power bank if it won’t meet your power requirements. So, when it comes to weight, you should really look at mAh per ounce. Aim for at least 1,400 mAh per ounce. If you need special features, then you might only get 1,000 mAh per ounce.

Charging Speed

Look at both the input and output speeds of the power bank. Most will be 1A to 3A. Note that, if there are multiple out ports, the speed is usually divided between the ports. So two devices plugged into a 3A power bank would only charge at 1.5A each.

Faster isn’t always better with power banks though. You’ll lose efficiency at higher speeds, meaning your power bank will drain much faster. You probably don’t need to charge anything quickly while backpacking, so a slow outlet speed is fine.

For long thru-hikes, recharge time matters!

If it takes forever to refill your power bank, you will go crazy waiting in town. One backpacker even noted how he had to stay at hotels in order to refill his power bank, so it ended up being expensive too.

Note: How fast a power bank can charge also has a lot to do with the cables. So make sure you invest in some good quality cables and not the cheap Chinese knockoff ones.

Number of Outlet Ports

If you need to charge multiple devices at once, you’ll need more than one outlet. Just note that charging speed typically reduces when you plug in multiple devices.

Brand Quality

I’ve learned my lesson about buying cheap knockoff brands of power banks. While some do work well (at first), they tend to lose their capacity quickly. I had one completely stop charging on me. Luckily it was on a camping trip and not a long backpacking trip.

Extra Features

Some other nice features which are worth paying extra for or even worth the extra weight are:

  • Digital displays or power level indicators (LOVE this feature)
  • Waterproof
  • Durable casing (will add extra weight though)
  • Wireless charging

What About Solar Panels?

If you have very high power needs (such as if you are doing a lot of photography), even a 25,000mAH power bank probably won’t cut it. You’ll want a portable solar panel to keep charged.

Bear in mind that solar panels are often hyped up. They are cool, but require very sunny conditions to work well. They can also be heavy, bulky, and annoying to worry about. But, there are plenty of reliable solar panels which range from ultralight 5 watt solutions to higher wattages. See these best ultralight solar panels for backpacking.

About the author /

Diane Vukovic grew up camping and backpacking in upstate New York. Now, she takes her own daughters on wilderness adventures so they can connect with nature and learn resiliency. With dozens of trips under her belt, Diane is an expert in minimalist camping, going lightweight, planning, and keeping her kids entertained without screens.

Best MagSafe portable battery packs and power banks for iPhone 12, 13 and 14

Portable power banks that charge your phone are popular, but wireless battery packs using Apple’s MagSafe technology offer a simpler and smarter cable-free solution for iPhone 12, 13 and 14 users.

Phone batteries are prone to run dry just when you’re heading away from a power source, so having a portable charging source is one of today’s necessities. Annoyingly, most power banks require you to carry around a cable, too.

Wireless power banks do away with cables but come with their own major limitation–the inefficiency of wireless charging means you need a high-capacity power bank to fully charge a drained iPhone.

I use one as a quick bedside iPhone charger so I can charge and use the phone at the same time without having to worry about cable length. And of course I carry one around with me in my bag for on-the-move recharging.

MagSafe is a technology that’s compatible with all iPhone 12, 13 and 14 models, from the mini to the Pro Max. It allows accessories to connect magnetically to the back of the iPhone.

The MagSafe connection is precise enough to make wireless charging more efficient as around 20% of Qi power loss is from poor placement of a phone and the wireless charging pad. WStandard Qi wireless charging can lose as much as 50% of the portable battery’s power, MagSafe wireless charging loses ‘just’ 30%.

While it’s not as efficient as using a cable to charge a phone, MagSafe is a tech that brings true wireless charging a step closer to doing away with cables altogether.

We have tested the best MagSafe chargers to find which is the right one for you and your iPhone. Here we have tested the best MagSafe battery packs.

Certified MagSafe or MagSafe compatible

Not all are officially certified MagSafe by Apple but we’ve included only those MagSafe-compatible battery packs that work as efficiently as the “Made for MagSafe” models. Official certification is more important for wired MagSafe chargers as the 15W charging power of MagSafe-certified chargers beats the 7.5W maximum for mere MagSafe-compatible accessories.

In comparison, the portable battery packs tested here can’t reach 15W, except those that can be charged simultaneously by wire and wireless, as the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack can.

We have listed the speeds at which each portable power bank can be charged itself (Input charger) and charge the iPhone (Output charger).

We’ve also included a few alternative non-magnetic options, including standard power banks and battery cases. MagSafe is cool but it isn’t always the best option.

After the list of our favorites, you’ll find more details on how MagSafe works and why you should be looking at a power bank’s capacity in Watt Hours rather than the mostly quoted Milliamp Hours.

Apple MagSafe Battery Pack – Smartest MagSafe battery

  • MagSafe
  • Compact
  • Smarter battery features than rivals
  • Cable plus wireless charging (15W)

Capacity: 11.13Wh (1460mAh/2920mAh)

Input charger: Lightning (27W)

Output charger: Wireless (5W) Lightning (15W combined)

MagSafe: Certified

Tested: Yes

Charged drained iPhone to: 60%

Weight: 114g

Dimensions: 9.6-x-6.4-1.1cm

Colors: White

Compatibility: iPhone 12/13 mini, iPhone 12/13/14, iPhone 12/13/14 Pro, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 12/13/14 Pro Max

Compatible with all models of iPhone 12, 13 and 14, the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack is an intelligent and convenient lightweight power pack that magnetically clamps to the iPhone.

While underpowered compared to the competition, it will charge a fading iPhone up to around 60%, which should be enough to get you through the day to when you have access to a power outlet.

Wireless charging isn’t the speediest at 5W, but unlike most other MagSafe chargers, the Apple Battery Pack can charge an iPhone at 15W using a wireless and a Lightning cable simultaneously.

Its Apple advantage is its Smart features that show onscreen battery power icons and safety features that stop charging when too hot or before the phone’s internal battery could be compromised – meaning it’s good practice to stop charging a phone battery at 90% for long-term battery health.

Available in white only, the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack is smarter but more expensive compared to third-party alternatives.

Belkin BoostCharge Power Bank 5K Stand – Best MagSafe battery pack with stand

Capacity: 18Wh (5000mAh)

Input charger: USB-C (18W)

Output charger: Wireless (7.5W) USB-C (10W)

MagSafe: Compatible

Tested: Yes

Charged drained iPhone to: 90%

Weight: 152g

Dimensions: 9.4-x-6.4-1.4cm

Colors: Black, White, Lavender Purple (US), Blush Pink (US)

Compatibility: iPhone 12/13 mini, iPhone 12/13/14, iPhone 12/13/14 Pro, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 12/13/14 Pro Max

The battle to be the best MagSafe-compatible power bank that also boasts a kickstand is a close run thing between the Belkin BoostCharge and the Anker MagGo 622. Both have 5000mAh batteries but the Belkin won in our head-to-head tests, recharging a faded iPhone 13 Pro by 90%, compared to Anker’s 80%.

The Belkin’s kickstand is easier to use and feels more robust, and the battery pack itself is marginally smaller. We still love the Anker 622 but the Belkin wins the battle of the MagSafe kickstand power banks.

It also beats Apple’s 5W wireless charging with 7.5W when clamped to the back of an iPhone, and while it doesn’t hit 15W on simultaneous wired and wireless charging like the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack, it can be charged with a cable at a chippy 10W.

The Pink and Purple colors are available in the U.S. only. Everyone else gets either Black or White models to choose from.

Anker MagGo 622 Magnetic Battery – MagSafe battery pack with stand

Capacity: 19.13Wh (5000mAh)

Input charger: USB-C (12W)

Output charger: Wireless (7.5W)

MagSafe: Compatible

Tested: Yes

Charged drained iPhone to: 80%

Weight: 146g

Dimensions: 10.5-x-6.6-x-1.3cm

Colors: White, Gray, Purple, Green, Blue

Compatibility: All iPhone 12, 13 and 14, except mini

The Anker MagGo 622 Magnetic Battery is cheaper than the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack, has a larger battery capacity and is available in multiple muted colours: white, purple, green, blue and gray.

It works with all MagSafe iPhone, but sits a little over the smaller iPhone mini when magnetically attached.

We love that the Anker 622 comes with its own built-in fold-out stand, which with MagSafe’s pulling power will hold your iPhone securely in either portrait/vertical or landscape/horizontal mode. The Belkin BoostCharge 5K, reviewed above, has a tougher metal pull-out stand, and also offer another 10% of charge on the better-looking Anker 622.

The stand folds away so that it can be popped in a to be magnetically clamped to the phone when you need it most – and operates just like the Apple battery pack.

In our battery tests, the 622 managed to charge a drained iPhone to 80% of full power, which is a significant jump on Apple’s MagSafe Battery Case and the UAG Lucent Charger (also with kickstand) that both powered the iPhone to just 60%.

The Anker battery is rated at 19.13Wh (5,000mAh) but, like all the other wireless chargers loses a decent chunk of that power to environmental factors. As its battery is larger than Apple’s, it actually loses a little more but has plenty in reserve to make up for this.

The Anker battery charges wirelessly at 7.5W–faster than Apple’s 5W charge, although the Apple battery can use the wireless Qi and cabled USB-C power simultaneously to speed charging at up to 15W.

It ships with a 60cm USB-C cable.

UAG Lucent Wireless Portable Charger with Kickstand – Best small magnetic power bank

Capacity: 15.4Wh (4000mAh)

Input charger: USB-C (18W)

Output charger: Wireless (7.5W)

MagSafe: Compatible

Tested: Yes

Charged drained iPhone to: 62%

Weight: 129g

Dimensions: 10.5-x-6.6-1.3cm

Colors: Black, Deep Ocean, Marshmallow, Orchid

Compatibility: iPhone 12/13 mini, iPhone 12/13/14, iPhone 12/13/14 Pro, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 12/13/14 Pro Max

A third-party alternative to Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack is Urban Armor Gear’s Lucent Wireless Portable Charger. Like the Apple Battery Pack, it’s not the highest capacity battery on test here, but it is dinky—just a little larger and heavier than Apple’s.

The battery capacity appears a lot larger in the specs, but Apple’s Smart magic means they both tested in real life around the same–raising a dead iPhone to just over 60% charge.

This UAG portable magnetic charger beats Apple on having a handy built-in kickstand and a choice of colors, as well as faster charging at 7.5W. And it’s also a decent amount cheaper.

It ships with a 1m USB-C cable, although it’s old-school USB-A on the wall-plug end.

Moft Snap Stand Power Set – Best wallet/stand magnetic battery pack

Capacity: 13.1Wh (3400mAh)

Input charger: USB-C (10W)

Output charger: Wireless (7.5W)

MagSafe: Compatible

Tested: Yes

Charged drained iPhone to: 50%

Weight: 120g

Dimensions: 9.9-x-6.6-x-1.2cm

Colors: Black, Blue, Brown, Purple

Compatibility: iPhone 12/13 mini, iPhone 12/13/14, iPhone 12/13/14 Pro, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 12/13/14 Pro Max

The Moft Snap Stand Power Set is a clever combination of magnetic battery pack with a detachable stand that also holds up to three travel or credit cards.

The faux leather stand took me a few goes to work out how it works, but once you’ve mastered it, it’s easy. Previously, I haven’t seen a stand that can hold cards at the same time, so this is smarter than most MagSafe stands.

The supplied USB-C cable also links magnetically to the battery pack, which will charge a connected iPhone first before the power bank itself. While the battery pack offers only a 50% charge, that will likely be enough for most trips away from a fixed power source. If you need more portable battery capacity, look at an alternative such as the Anker MagGo 622 (80% charge).

It is MagSafe-compatible but curiously boasts a usually only-MagSafe-certified feature, where there’s a visual representation of available charge on the iPhone itself.

Anker MagGo 633 Magnetic Wireless Charger – Best multi-function MagSafe charger

  • Battery capacity
  • Portable power bank and dual-device charging stand
  • 7.5W
  • Colors

Capacity: 19.13Wh (5000mAh)

Input charger: USB-C (25W)

Output charger: Wireless (7.5W)

MagSafe: Compatible

Tested: Yes

best, lightweight, backpacking, power, banks, most

Charged drained iPhone to: 84%

Weight: 132g

Dimensions: 10.6-x-6.6-x-1.2cm

Colors: White, Blue, Gray

Compatibility: All iPhone 12, 13 and 14, except mini

The Anker MacGo 633 Wireless Charger is more than just a MagSafe charger. It’s also an adjustable stand that charges the iPhone when in place, and also keeps the 633 battery charged for when you need to slip it out of its holster for portable use.

And the base of the stand is also Qi-enabled so can wirelessly charge an Airpods case or similarly sized Qi-ready device.

best, lightweight, backpacking, power, banks, most

As a portable battery charger that magnetically attaches to the iPhone it is similar to its non-charge-stand sibling, the Anker MagGo 622. And it has the same 19.13Wh (5000mAh) battery that offers a greater charge potential than Apple’s own MagSafe Battery Pack.

In our tests, it charged an empty iPhone 13 Pro up to 84%, beating the 622’s 80% and Apple’s 60%.

It charges the iPhone at a decent 7.5W–the same as the 622 and 1.5x better than the Apple – and comes with a 25W wall charger and 1.5m USB-C cable.

The Anker MagGo 633 is great value as it offers so many functions: desktop charger, portable power bank, Airpods charger, and adjustable viewing stand, and is doesn’t compromise on any of those roles.

ESR HaloLock Kickstand Wireless Power Bank

Capacity: 37Wh (10000mAh)

Input charger: USB-C (18W)

Output charger: Wireless (7.5W), Wired (20W)

MagSafe: Compatible

Tested: Yes

Charged drained iPhone to: 149%

Weight: 219g

Dimensions: 10.4-x-6.9-x-2cm

Colors: White, Black

Compatibility: All iPhone 12, 13 and 14

The ESR Halolock Kickstand Wireless Power Bank might not mention its magnetism in its name, but it is a worthy alternative to Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack.

It’s MagSafe compatible rather than certified, so charges at 7.5W instead of 15W, but its 10000mAh battery capacity is significantly greater.

It also boasts a robust metal kickstand that can be used in both portrait and landscape modes.

That and its giant capacity positions it as a competitor to the SWIO/CAVN Magnetic Wireless Portable Charger (reviewed above). While it’s more expensive, it did power our faded iPhone for longer and has a tougher kickstand. It’s also a little smaller, but a tiny bit heavier.

Passthrough charging lets you charge your phone and power bank at the same time.

SWIO Magnetic Wireless Portable Charger – Highest capacity attachable MagSafe battery pack

Capacity: 38.5Wh (10000mAh)

Input charger: USB-C (22W)

Output charger: Wireless (7.5W) USB-C (22W combined)

MagSafe: Compatible

Tested: Yes

Charged drained iPhone to: 136%

Weight: 210g

Dimensions: 10.4-x-6.6-x-2.1cm

Colors: Black, Blue

best, lightweight, backpacking, power, banks, most

Compatibility: All iPhone 12, 13 and 14 models

The SWIO/CAVN Magnetic Wireless Portable Charger boasts a giant battery, with 38.5Wh (10,000mAh) capacity. This colossal capacity means it is a bit of a colossus itself, significantly fatter than other portable chargers tested here.

It’s chunky thickness will fit in a while clamped to a phone but only just. It’s more a charger on the table type of power bank.

Indeed, with its handy built-in stand, you can settle down to watch a movie while your phone is re-energized.

It recharged our test iPhone 13 Pro to 100% and then another 36% above that, so it can charger a couple of flagging phones, or iPhone and Airpods (via cable), or just keep juice spare for a decent top up later. It will charge a non-Pro 12, 13 or 14 even further. It’s even capable of giving a respectable charge to an iPad Pro.

iWalk Magnetic Wireless Power Bank – Best MagSafe battery with LED display

Capacity: 22.2Wh (6000mAh)

Input charger: USB-C (18W)

Output charger: Wireless (7.5W), USB-C (18W)

MagSafe: Compatible

Tested: Yes

Charged drained iPhone to: 105%

Weight: 158g

Dimensions: 10.3-x-6.5-x-1.8cm

Colors: Black, White, Pink

Compatibility: All iPhone 12, 13 and 14 models

The iWalk Magnetic Wireless Power Bank has a couple of features not found on other magnetic battery packs.

The most obvious is the finger ring, which is meant to mean safer holding but we prefer to grip our phone using a whole hand. But it does double-up as a kickstand for the iPhone so you can place it in a horizontal/landscape viewing position–horizontal feels more stable.

Even more useful is the LED battery-charge indicator that shows you exactly how much charge is in the power bank. This is way more helpful than the usual array of four tiny LEDs that most battery packs come with and especially more informative than Apple’s single Orange (not full) or Green (full) LED that lights up only when cable- connected to a power source.

The iWalk power bank also boasts a sizeable battery, with 2.2Wh (6000mAh) capacity. It recharged our test iPhone 13 Pro to 100% and then another 5% above that, so, in reality, a full charge with a little over for expected battery drain if left sitting in your bag for a few days. And it will charge a non-Pro 12, 13 or 14 even further.

As such, it’s heavier and fatter (including the pull-out ring) than most other magnetic power banks tested here.

It can charge while magnetically clamped to the iPhone and also (but not simultaneously) by USB cable at an impressive 18W, although you’ll need a USB-C-to-Lightning cable for wired charging.

it comes with a USB-C-to-USB-C cable for charging the pack itself, and also a Magsticker to attach to non-MagSafe phones for the same battery-pack functionality.

How to charge anywhere.

Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets make life so much easier. That is, until they run out of battery power when there’s nowhere to plug in.

The answer is a portable charger.

A lightweight power bank or mobile battery pack that you can carry anywhere.

They go under different names: battery packs, power banks, portable chargers, fuel banks, power cells and back-up charging devices to name just a few.

But whatever you call them, they all do the same thing.

Charge your phone or tablet without needing a power outlet.

Simply charge it up at home, throw it in your bag or your. and connect it to your phone whenever it needs a quick battery boost.

You’ll never suffer from “low battery anxiety” again.

Charge anywhere.

Make sure you’re always connected with back up battery power that’s as mobile as you are.

Battery packs come in all shapes and sizes, smaller sizes for an essential smartphone boost in your. or bigger sizes for multiple charges or to charge a tablet.

Choose one with cables included, or one with multiple ports to charge more than one device at a time.

Pick out a power fortress or something small and sleek, and take the power to charge anywhere, with you everywhere.

Start by choosing the size of your battery (aka power bank).

This is not just about which one will fit in your or your purse. The size of the battery is about the power inside. Most batteries will feature a number on the front that tells you the number of mAh or “milliamp-hours.”

Common sizes range from 2000mAh up to 10,000 or even 12,000 mAh. Bigger numbers mean more power, which means more recharges for your smartphone, or charging for bigger devices that need more power, like a tablet.

Charges an iPhone 7 (running iOS 10) up to 1.5 times on a single charge in internal testing.

Charges an iPhone 7 (running iOS 10) up to 3 times on a single charge in internal testing.

Charges an iPhone 7 (running iOS 10) up to 5 times on a single charge in internal testing

We’ve used smartphones and tablets to compare battery sizes, but most battery packs will charge any device that charges via USB, such as a GoPro camera, Kindle reader or Bluetooth headset. Bigger devices that draw more power will need bigger batteries. more mAh. to charge them fully.

How to ensure fast charging for your phone/tablet.

Technically the standard USB port on your battery pack (aka power bank) will fit any standard USB cable. However, the amount of power it can provide may vary.

= Minimal Speed

= Better Speed

= Fastest Speed

1 AMP/ 5WATT A 1 amp USB port will charge your smartphone or tablet but may charge slowly, even if the battery is big enough to charge your smartphone more than once.
2.4 AMP / 12WATT This will charge most smartphones at the fastest possible speed for smartphones. This is also called “optimal charging.”

“Shared” is the combined power available on multi-port power banks, and is different from “total power”. Learn more

How many devices do you need to charge?

Bigger batteries (aka power banks) – with more mAh – sometimes have more than one USB port, because with all at that power inside, why not share it out?

This can be useful to charge two smartphones at the same time – maybe to give a battery boost to a friend.

Or you can charge your smartphone and your GoPro at the same time.

Or your smartphone and your Bluetooth headset.

Or even a smartphone and a tablet, if you choose a battery with enough mAh to provide all that power.

With multiple ports, simultaneous charging is super-easy.



The quality of your cable can help to determine how quickly your power bank (aka portable charger) and attached devices power up. Higher quality cables also protect your devices from overheating and harmful power surges.


Every power bank (aka portable charger) needs to be charged. This usually requires a standard USB to Micro-USB cable. Simply connect your power bank input port (usually Micro-USB) to a standard USB wall charger.


Most power banks (aka portable chargers) charge via a USB port, simply connect your device to the USB port and begin charging. Some power banks come with a cable, or a variety of cables, that are detachable. This makes it easy to switch between cables for your iPad, your Samsung phone, or other device. Other power banks have a cable hard-wired to the pack. This prevents losing the cable, but makes the power bank less versatile overall.

Explore Battery Packs

There is no such thing as a magic battery pack.

Unfortunately, no battery pack has been invented that magically recharges itself when it’s empty. But on the whole, they are pretty simple to charge.

If you need one immediately, check on the package if it’s ready to use when you buy it. Some will need to be charged at home before they can be used.

To charge, plug the supplied cable into the input port on the battery pack. Attach the other end, usually a standard USB, into a wall charger or other power source.

Battery pack input ranges from 1Amp up to 2.4Amps. Put simply, the bigger the input number, the faster it will recharge. Most wall chargers deliver up to 2.4Amps, but it’s worth checking the charger if you’re in a hurry, as a 1Amp charger might take twice as long.

Some battery packs have an LED indicator, which tells you how much power the battery pack has left. This will tell you when you need to recharge the battery.

A power bank (aka portable charger) seems like a good idea. But is it safe?

Some power banks are carefully designed and rigorously tested to offer complete peace of mind, that is backed up by robust warranties and guarantees. Some warranties protect the power bank itself, while others also safeguard the electronic devices you attach to it, like your phone, tablet or smartwatch.

Some batteries might not offer such peace of mind. Opting for low cost or counterfeit products can turn out to be expensive, even dangerous. It’s easy to avoid this by following these simple steps.


Some power banks (aka portable chargers) require you to register your purchase, by providing the serial number either online or via a helpline. This is a good way to activate your returns policy and ensure your product is not a counterfeit.


Manufacturer, country of origin and the type of power bank may mean differences in the types of warranties and what they will cover



Covers the power bank (aka portable charger) for a specific period from the date of purchase, and usually requires you to keep your receipt to prove purchase date.


Covers the power bank (aka portable charger) for the reasonable life expectancy of the product, which may vary according to manufacturer.


A more robust warranty which not only covers the power bank (aka portable charger) itself, but will also offer to repair or replace devices that are damaged while “properly connected” to the power bank, in line with manufacturer guidelines. Such warranties usually have a clause stating up, “up to 1,000” or similar. The amount should be enough to cover the types of device recommended for use with the power bank, such as a smartphone or tablet.

A robust quality assurance offers durability and peace of mind.

Rigorous testing and thorough investigation of product performance make your battery pack more likely to last longer, and less likely to harm you and your valuable electronics.

Safe battery packs should have undergone the following testing


efficient battery packs will have a lower operating temperature, which wastes less energy, giving it longer life expectancy.

Over Current Protection

OCP prevents too much power going into the battery pack and the power going out to the connected equipment, protecting the delicate circuitry of both devices.


Like OCP, OVP protects both the battery pack and the connected device by keeping the voltage within recommended safety parameters to avoid damage.

Over Discharge/Charge Protection

High-performing batteries should not be overcharged or fully discharged to prolong their life expectancy. Some battery packs consistently monitor charge states to prevent this from happening.

Heat Tests at Extreme Temperatures

While using batteries in extreme temperatures isn’t advised anywhere, it can be a good indicator of weaknesses in design and construction. Batteries which pass such stringent testing will be more durable and offer improved assurances of overall safety and performance.

Compliance with legal standards of safety.

These logos or marks, usually found on the packaging, will indicate that they have passed the necessary industry standard regulations, to comply with and achieve the following certifications.

To learn more, please see CHARGE ANYWHERE above, or The Cheat Sheet below.

While many battery packs may look identical, when it comes to safety, it’s what’s inside that counts.

mAh mAh stands for Milliamp Hours and quantifies the energy storage capacity. It is based on how long a battery will last when power is drawn constantly, e.g. a 2000 mAh battery will power a device drawing 100 mAh for 20 hours.

Amps Short for ampere, this is a unit of current, not a unit of charge. It describes the constant and average current that passes through the circuit.

Shared vs. Total Shared power banks will provide power where it’s needed, e.g. a 2 x 1.7A [3.4A shared] will charge two smartphones at 1.2A each, or one tablet at 2.4A. Some multi-port power banks (aka portable chargers) will have fixed outputs on each port, e.g. a 2 x 1.2A [2.4A total] and will charge two smartphones at 1.2A. This is what is referred to as, “total” power.

Smartphone A mobile phone with an advanced mobile operating system, usually with internet access, touchscreen interfaces, cameras, media players and the ability to run third-party apps.

Tablet A mobile computer with a touchscreen display, circuitry and battery in a single, portable device, usually featuring pop-up, virtual keyboards for typing.

USB port Short for Universal Serial Bus port, a USB port is designed for use with an industry standard connector to communicate data and supply electric power between devices.

Standard USB—Also known as USB-A The most common, universal connector on the “other end” of most current USB cables, is a USB-A. These are often suitable for use with computers, car chargers, wall chargers, and many other devices.

Micro-USB Micro USB is a USB connector that is smaller than USB-A, and is often found on smaller or thinner mobile devices, such as Android smartphones, digital cameras, battery pack input ports, Kindle readers and many others.

USB-C—Also known as Type-C USB-C is a new type of USB connector, hailed as the new standard. Smaller, faster and more user-friendly than previous USB types, USB-C has widespread support from industry leaders, meaning that USB-C will come to replace all other USB types.

Lightning A connector developed by Apple to replace the 30-pin connector. Used across all iPhone, iPod and iPad releases since iPhone 5, iPod Touch (5th generation) and iPad 4th generation.

Optimal Charging The fastest possible charging for the connected device is optimal charging. Larger devices require more power, so a charger with limited output may still power up, but will take longer to fully charge

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