What is a jumbo loan and when do you need one?
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A jumbo loan is a mortgage for an amount that exceeds the limits set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored agencies that buy most U.S. home loans and package them for investors. If you’re buying a mansion — or just a regular home in a high-priced area like Silicon Valley — you might need a jumbo loan.
- Jumbo loans cover bigger mortgage amounts, typically for more expensive properties. The amount that constitutes a jumbo, or “non-conforming,” loan, varies by geographic location and lender.
- The interest rates on jumbo loans are different from those on conforming loans.
- Jumbo loans have stricter underwriting guidelines, such as higher credit and down payment requirements.
What is a jumbo loan?
As the name implies, a jumbo loan covers a larger-than-normal loan amount. Jumbo loans can be used for primary homes, investment properties and vacation homes.
The maximum size of a jumbo loan varies by mortgage lender and location. Qualifying guidelines can vary, too. Because the market for jumbo loans is smaller than the market for conforming loans, you might need to shop around a bit more to find a mortgage. The rates on jumbo loans often differ from conforming loan rates, too.
Aside from those distinctions, jumbo loans aren’t much different from traditional mortgages. The payment schedules and other details are generally the same. Borrowers can get fixed- or adjustable-rate jumbo mortgages with various term options.
Jumbo loans vs. conforming loans
You’ll have more buying power with a jumbo loan compared to a conforming loan, but you’ll pay more in interest since your balance is higher.
Jumbo loan limits
If you want to borrow more than the loan limit for your area, you’ll need a jumbo loan. For 2023, the limit for conforming loans in much of the country is 726,200. However, the loan limits are higher, 1,089,300, in more expensive areas. The limits for jumbo loans vary by geographic region.
Jumbo loan rates
The rates on jumbo mortgages fluctuate and can be higher or lower than the conforming mortgage rate.
Pros and cons of a jumbo loan
The main benefit for borrowers is that a jumbo mortgage allows you to borrow more than the limits imposed by Fannie and Freddie. For instance, if you’d like to borrow 2 million against a 2.5 million home, a jumbo loan makes it possible.
Some borrowers prefer to finance more of the home’s cost rather than tying up cash, making the jumbo mortgage a helpful financial tool and part of an overall investment strategy. You can still get a competitive interest rate and finance the home of your choice without being restricted by the dollar limit on conforming mortgages.
- Allows you to borrow more than a traditional mortgage loan
- Competitive interest rates
- Opportunity to buy a larger home
- Higher credit score required to qualify
- Larger annual income needed
- Must have cash reserves to cover 6 to 12 months of payments
How to qualify for a jumbo loan
Jumbo lenders typically impose stricter underwriting guidelines than those extending conforming mortgages. Because the loans aren’t backed by Fannie or Freddie, jumbo mortgages pose more risk to the lender. On the flip side, lenders have more to gain — the dollar value of the loan is higher, so the lender has an opportunity to sell additional services to these more affluent borrowers.
Jumbo loan requirements
There are three common hurdles borrowers must clear to get approved for a jumbo loan:
- Larger income requirements – You’ll typically need a low-debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, which is the percentage of your monthly income that goes to debt payments. If your income is on the lower end and you have a hefty sum of outstanding debts, you might not qualify for a jumbo loan unless your credit score is excellent or you have a sizable amount of reserves.
- Higher credit score – The jumbo loan credit score requirement is usually higher than what you’ll find with a conforming loan. “The average is around 740, although I have seen some as low as 660,” says Robert Cohan, president of Carlyle Financial based in San Francisco. “[But] if you’re high-leveraged and you have a low credit score, it’s going to be hard to get a jumbo loan.”
- Heftier reserves – The down payment on a jumbo loan is typically 10 percent to 20 percent (and sometimes more). “Anything lower than a 10 percent down payment and you’re probably going to pay for it in higher rates,” says Cohan. Be prepared to also show enough reserves, or liquid assets, to cover between six and 12 months’ worth of mortgage payments.
Is a jumbo loan right for me?
Research the conforming loan limits in your region. If the homes you’re interested in buying do not fall within conforming loan guidelines, a jumbo loan might be an appropriate alternative. However, a jumbo loan is not for you to stretch your financial limits to the brink. It’s meant for buyers with a substantial stable income and ample resources.
Jumbo loan limits by state
The table below provides state-by-state jumbo loan limits for 2023. In many states, the limits vary by region within each state.
Best portable power bank
Part of prepping is being able to charge electronics while away from home or without the grid. So one of the most important items to have in your go-bags is a USB portable battery pack that’s already charged. After 90 hours of research — including buying 16 of the top models and scientific field testing — we think the NOVOO Explorer 10,000mAh is the best power bank for most people.
Since these power packs should always be charged while waiting for an emergency, you know you’ll be able to charge a phone, headlamp, or other gear no matter what’s happening. You then recharge the power bank via a wall plug whenever you can. Or, if the grid is unavailable, these “chargers” pair perfectly with another core piece of your kit — a portable solar charger — which feeds energy into the battery.
If you only get one:
This outdoors-friendly power bank stores plenty of charge and can handle submersion in water. It’s lightweight and packable, and the price really low so the value is off the charts.
If you only buy one thing, check out the NOVOO Explorer 10,000mAh, a top performer both on paper and in our own performance review. Although we generally think “survival” features in these kinds of products are a gimmick to avoid, such as built-in lights or compasses that are only designed to get you to click “Buy,” in this case the NOVOO won us over. It’s waterproof (which we validated in a dunk test), the LED light is legitimately useful, and the rugged design does add durability without costing much more money or weight.
The NOVOO is very reasonably priced, and it delivered plenty of charge in our electrical testing. The lone USB-A port is only 7.5W, but that low wattage is a good thing for prepping purposes, because you can drain the pack more slowly to squeeze more energy from it. But if you do need a fast charge, the USB-C port can do 18W charging via the power delivery (PD) protocol. One warning about NOVOO: this is an Amazon-only Chinese seller, so don’t have high expectations for support if something’s wrong with the unit (although Amazon will step up if you have a problem within the return window).
Anker PowerCore 10000
This is the lightest and most compact charger we tested, so it’s perfect for when weight and space are at a premium.
If you’re looking to keep your weight budget to the absolute minimum while still carrying enough charge to refill an iPhone three or four times, then the best ultra compact bank is the Anker PowerCore 1000. This 6.35-ounce power pack is the smallest and lightest 10,000mAh charger we tested. It’s also backed by Anker’s well-established reputation for quality and support. The unit’s single USB-A dedicated output port has PowerIQ circuitry that can charge at up to 12W if you need a quicker charge. You’ll pay a premium for the Anker name and higher capacity per ounce, though, and it’s not as outdoors-friendly as the NOVOO.
Bigger is always better with batteries, so we’d normally try to steer you toward a 20,000mAh pack if you’re someone who can afford to dedicate as much as 12oz of pack weight to a USB charger.
But in this case, unless you really need the big pack (see next pick), we’re taking the unusual step of suggesting you carry two 10,000mAh packs instead of one big pack. The way these packs are built means that two 10k packs are about the same capacity-to-weight ratio (ie. energy density), size, weight, and cost as a single 20k pack. The weight penalty is usually just 1-2 oz compared to a single pack, for example.
Combined with the benefits from having two of something instead of one, we now personally carry both the NOVOO and Anker 10,000 mAh. You also increase your safety and flexibility by carrying two different models/brands. For example, the NOVOO has a pair of slow-charging 7.5W USB-A and Micro USB ports, plus a fast-charging 18W USB-C port; while the Anker has a fast-charging 12W USB-A port. So with those two chargers and four port options, you can decide if you want to charge slowly over USB-A or Micro-USB (for more battery life), a little faster over 12W USB-A, or really fast over 18W USB-C (for less battery life). No one-pack solution in this review gives you this level of flexibility for optimizing charge speed and battery life.
For high-watt needs:
Anker PowerCore II 20000
This jumbo USB charger had the highest energy density in our entire review, so it’s ideal for when you need a big bank that can support high-wattage USB-A output.
If you’re definitely going to be doing a lot of fast charging (18W or higher), or you have a USB device with 20W or higher power needs (eg. a laptop that can charge via USB-C), then you’ll probably want to upgrade to a 20,000mAh charger to get more usable capacity than you’d get out of two rapidly drained smaller packs.
The best large-but-still-portable battery pack for most people is the Anker PowerCore II, a 20,000mAh pack that in our testing gave us over 5 watt-hours of charge per ounce of pack weight — the highest such number in this whole review. The PowerCore II’s all-metal build is sturdy, and it features two high-wattage USB-A ports: one goes up to 2.4A (12W) and the other up to 3.6A (18W). There’s a micro-USB charging port, and a button with a circular row of LEDs tells you how much charge the unit has left. It’s not waterproof, but a cheap waterproof bag or plastic container will fix that and add less than an ounce to the weight.
HX160Y6 20,000mAh Power Bank
Made by a Chinese OEM and offered under dozens of names online, this bank is the best way to stockpile portable energy storage on the cheap. The power output was clean and consistent in our testing, on par with name-brand banks.
HX160Y7 20,000mAh Power Bank
Identical to the HX160Y6 in all but cosmetics and user interface, this is another great way to score the most charge per dollar. We can’t vouch for the maker’s support or reputation, though, because we have no idea who’s behind it.
If you just want the best bang-for-your-buck and don’t worry too much about weight and brand reputation, there’s a pair of Chinese 20,000mAh models widely available on Amazon under different brand names and model names that are a screaming deal. The HX160Y7 and HX160Y6 chargers are both typically advertised as 25,800mAh packs, but they’re clearly 20,000mAh packs and are very close to the Anker PowerCore II in size, weight, and overall performance — just at a meaningfully-lower price. And unlike most cheap power banks, these models performed well in our testing, with clean and stable power output.
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Why you can trust this review
As always, nothing influences our recommendations except for the merits themselves. We spent 90 total hours on this project, including field testing and researching forums and other reviews. After compiling an initial list of 27 popular products, we bought the top 16 ourselves. The primary researcher has an electrical engineering degree and has reviewed these kinds of outdoor and emergency products for years.
How we picked
To pick which products to buy for this review, and which are the winners, we first think about what things will be like in an emergency and how you’ll actually use these power banks when you need them most. That context matters, because it leads to choices that are different than for typical business travel, camping, or everyday carry needs.
Lifespan and capacity are more important than convenience. In daily life, most people use these power banks for a quick single-device top-up when they can’t find a wall plug. But in an emergency, you don’t know when you’ll get grid access again, so you’ll want to use your power bank in ways that maximize its storage capacity and long-term health.
High energy density (storage capacity per ounce of weight) that’s portable enough for a go-bag. The main constraint here is weight and size, so the goal is to get as much energy as possible within a power pack that’s still reasonable for extended foot travel.
10,000mAh to 20,000mAh is the current sweet spot of energy density and portability. 7,000mAh options, for example, currently weigh about the same as 10,000mAh options; the lightest of each are around 6oz. On the heavy end, we tried to stay under 12 ounces and had a hard limit of 16 oz / 1 pound.
Avoid fast charging (usually USB-C ports) and use USB-A ports when possible. Due to chemistry quirks, the slower you discharge a power bank, the more of its rated capacity you’ll get out of it. So to stretch the life of your battery, use the plain old vanilla USB-A at 5V/2A (or even lower amperage) whenever you can. Unless you’re really pressed for time, skip any fast charge or high-wattage ports that will drain the bank faster.
Flexibility matters. Your daily-life phone might use the modern and fast charging USB-C. So it’s fine if a daily-life power bank only has a USB-C port and you only carry a USB-C cable. But in an emergency, you want the flexibility to power multiple types of devices with common cables (including gear/cables you may find later), such as rechargeable AA/AAA batteries, headlamps, phones, tablets, and radios. Generally speaking, you have more flexibility with a USB-A port on the battery than a.C, since there are many A-to-B and A-to-C cables but C-to-whatever cables are rare (for now).
Keep it cool and avoid built-in solar. Batteries hate heat. The cooler they are, the longer they last and the more charge you get out of them. That means, for example, you’ll want to put the power bank underneath the solar charger while in the sun. Some power banks come with a small solar panel built into one side — but we think that’s nuts. You don’t really gain much value by combining the products, yet you risk cooking your battery and run the risks from having two core needs in one breakable/losable product. If we ever find such a combo pack that performs well against the plain competitors, we’ll let you know, since then you can consider the built-in solar as a nice-to-have backup in addition to a standalone panel.
Avoid unnecessary extras and “survival” gimmicks. Keep things simple and focused on the core goal of storing energy. That means you have no need for many higher-end power bank features, like the ability to act as a USB hub. If you need a USB hub, buy a separate dedicated one. Similarly, although “survival” features did impress us on some of the winners, usually the addition of a compass, whistle, etc. is worthless (and a sign of an inferior product trying to bait amateur buyers). Waterproofing, dust proofing, and designs that can handle the outdoors are great, though.
Tip: You can always put a battery bank in a durable and/or waterproof case you buy separately. This usually is just as cost- and weight-effective as if you bought a bank with those features already built in.
How we tested
We tested each battery’s capacity by fully charging it very slowly via a 5V/1A USB-A charger. We followed this 5W charging protocol, instead of a much faster charge that most of the packs support, for two reasons:
- To simulate the kind of output you’d get from a portable solar panel
- The slower you charge a Li-Ion battery, the more it stores
When each battery was fully charged, we then fully drained it by plugging it into a USB load tester set to draw a constant 2 amps. In between the load tester and the charger we placed a data-logging USB multimeter that let us record power, voltage, and total energy draw numbers.
After the “lab” testing, we also paired the packs with a small Renogy 10W solar charger to measure how things worked in a real-world scenario. This happened on clear, sunny days (irradiance levels were between 575W/m2 and 750W/m2). A data logging USB multimeter captured a picture of each device’s charging session. That way, we could verify that each pack holds a stable power draw on the panel and will work in conjunction with the smallest panel we recommend.
We also plugged all of the winners into a partially charged iPhone XS Max and a Samsung Galaxy 8, with the multimeter in the loop to monitor charging activity, just to confirm that the packs work normally with modern phones.
For the three packs in this review that are marketed as waterproof and claim an IP67 rating, we charged them and then submerged them in a few inches of water for 2 minutes. Then we dried them off and let them sit for an hour before plugging them into our testing apparatus in order to confirm they could still handle a 5V/2A test load.
Note that we did not test USB-C PD ports, or any type of quick-charging protocol support, since, again, we’re not interested in fast charging. Slower is better, and while fast charging is nice to have, it’s not a priority for this application so we didn’t invest time in testing it.
Why you should consider carrying two battery packs
When selecting a Li-Ion power bank for emergencies, always carry the most battery capacity you can fit within your weight budget. energy storage capacity means:
- Longer lifespan, since you’re doing fewer charge/discharge cycles for the same amount of power drawn from the device.
- real-world capacity, because a larger bank will drain to zero more slowly (for a fixed current draw) than a smaller one, and the slower you drain your bank the more charge you get out of it.
- You can capture more charge when you get the chance, either from solar panels, a wall socket, or a larger battery.
- Better odds that you’ll have power when you need it.
Based on current 2019-2020 tech, the best approach for preppers is to carry two 10,000mAh packs, instead of giant 20,000mAh pack. The reasons are compelling:
- “Two is one, and one is none.” This core preparedness mantra speaks to the importance of having a backup of critical gear. Any kind of redundancy you can build into your preps (without sacrificing in other areas) gives you a powerful advantage in any emergency
- Nearly all the packs in this review are really repackaged collections of 18650 batteries, and since they all use basically the same battery tech and format under the hood, then carrying 20,000mAh means carrying six of these batteries. You can carry six of them in one pack, or you can carry six in two separate smaller packs, but you’re still carrying the same number 18650’s at about the same total weight and charge.
- The packs can have different port formats and features, giving you more options. You might picking pack that’s micro USB and USB-A, and another that’s USB-C and USB-A. Or, if you go with our two main picks, you’ll get one pack that’s waterproof and has a light, and another that can quick-charge some types of supported devices.
Deeper notes on testing and reading results
Skip this section if you don’t want nerd-level details.
Reading the voltage numbers
The 18650 lithium-ion batteries that make up the guts of almost all the chargers in this review operate at around 3.7V, depending on the amount of charge in them. But the USB spec is nominally 5V, though it can work with as little as 4V depending on the flavor and port type. So the Li-Ion-based chargers are running a step-up circuit in between the internal batteries and the USB port.
For a variety of reasons not worth going into here, if you’re trying to fully charge a Li-Ion battery of any type, you’ll want to be able to offer it at least 4.6V throughout the course of the charging cycle. This brings us to the fact that in many of the test runs, you can see from the graphs that the packs’ voltage output dropped to under 4.6V.
That’s ok, though, because if we dial back the 2A load to, say, 1A, the voltage on these under-volted packs rises back up to 4.6V or higher. And under normal usage conditions, any USB device you plug into the pack will figure out how much current it can draw and still get the voltage it needs to fully charge its internal battery. But load testers like the one we used aren’t that Smart — our tester just presents a static, two-amp load, and doesn’t vary it even if it’s not getting good voltage.
Voltage and current fluctuations
While we like to see some stability in the voltage and current output of the pack, we didn’t put a lot of emphasis on this because we mainly just care about the overall number of watt-hours we’re getting from the unit as we discharge it.
In one or two of the packs, there are some variations in voltage that look like the pack was trying to negotiate a charging rate with the load tester, and in others there’s what could be temperature variation (batteries heat up as they charge and discharge). But we ignore these and stay focused on the final watt-hours totals.
Rated vs. measured capacities
Because we used a static load tester, we couldn’t quite wring all the capacity out of the batteries that we could have. In fact, what we’re really measuring is the amount of time you can pull a static 2A out of these packs, and not really the whole capacity. But this is a close enough proxy, and it certainly gives us a baseline for a fair comparison of all the different banks’ relative performance.
The milliamp-hour numbers that we use in the bulk of this review are based on the internal battery’s 3.7V operation, and not the USB port’s 4.5V-5V operation. When we measured the discharge capacity of these banks, we used the final watt-hours numbers and a presumed 3.7V internal battery pack to back into a real-world milliamp-hours number to compare to the rated number. So in our big spreadsheet of batteries, the watt-hours number is measured, and the milliamp-hours number is derived by dividing the watt-hours number by 3.7V.
Discharge rate vs. real-world capacity
The rate at which you drain a battery to zero is called the “C-rate”, and it’s presented as a number like 1C, 3C, 0.5C, etc. This number is the fraction of the battery’s capacity (C) you drained from it in one hour.
Example: For a hypothetical 2 amp-hour battery, if you discharge it completely in one hour (via a current draw of 2A), you’re discharging it at 1C. If you discharge it in two hours via 1A current draw, you’re discharging it at 0.5C.
The discharge rate matters for testing and usage, because the more rapidly you discharge a battery, the less of its rated capacity you actually see. This means that discharging at 10Ah battery via a two-amp load is not quite the same as discharging a 20Ah battery via a two-amp load — the smaller battery will empty out faster, which means we should get a little bit less of the rated charge out of it than if you had discharged it at one amp.
The discharge rate for our tests was 0.2C for the 10Ah packs and 0.1C for the 20Ah packs. A look at Li-Ion voltage vs. discharge curves shows that the performance difference between 0.2C and 0.1C is negligible, and this fits with our observed results. (Once the voltage drops below 3V, you’ve ended the discharge cycle, so the different C-rates reach that point at different discharge percentages.)
At 0.3C and higher rates we were using, we couldn’t find much of a correlation between speed of complete discharge and the degree to which measured capacity matched (or didn’t) rated capacity.
ABFOCE 10000mAh Waterproof Power Bank
Output: USB-A 10W Input: Micro USB 10W
The ABFOCE 10000mAh Waterproof Power Bank is one of the inexpensive “survival” power banks from China that includes a compass and a light. We didn’t care much for either survival feature, and they seemed to add to the unit’s weight without adding a lot of value.
The performance of this charger was actually pretty good, as it stayed comfortably above 4.8V under a 2A load. It also ended up with a tiny bit more measured capacity than some of our top picks.
The size is also small, which we liked. But in general there’s definitely no reason to pick this over, say, the more feature-rich and lighter NOVOO at roughly the same price point.
Anker PowerCore 1000
Dedicated Output: USB-A, 2.4A max (12W) Input: Micro-USB
The Anker PowerCore 1000 was the most compact and lightweight battery bank we tested. We love the form factor — it’s so small it’s able — and the fact that the single USB-A gets up to 12W of output.
In our testing, we did see a sawtooth pattern in the voltage, an artifact that came up on more than one unit and is most likely the result of the bank trying to negotiate the optimal charging rate with our static load tester — all this means is that our load tester isn’t Smart enough to tell the charger what it needs, it just constantly pulls the two amps we dialed into it.
To confirm that we could charge this with a compact solar panel, charged it for an hour with a small Renogy panel and measured how much current it pulled. It had no problems charging when connected to the panel, and the charging rate fluctuated with Cloud cover and sunlight angle as expected.
Anker PowerCore II 20,000mAh
Outputs: USB-A 12W (2.4A) and 18W (3.6A) Input: Micro-USB
There was some noise in the output of the Anker PowerCore II 20k — both voltage and current. We’re not quite sure what to make of it, but given that the voltage stayed comfortably above 5V and the current right at 2A, we’re not too concerned.
The round button on the top with the LED status lights is nice, and overall the build quality feels pretty average.
The main advantage of this unit is the power density — it gave us the second highest amp-hours per ounce rating (0.993) of any of the products we tested. So you can carry a lot of power for little weight with this.
We tested this unity by hooking it to a Renogy panel for about 45 minutes on a sunny day with intermittent Cloud cover, and managed to put 633.6mAh into it, so we confirmed that it charges via solar just fine.
Anker PowerCore 26800
Outputs: Three USB-A at 5V/3A per port Input: USB-C
We threw one really big pack into the mix, just as a point of reference for how much power our testing apparatus could get out of something larger. The Anker PowerCore 26800 is a nice, well-built unit in a metal housing, so at 21oz it’s well over our recommended weight limit of 12-16oz. But if you really need 45W of aggregate power output from a pack, then you’ll have to upgrade to something larger like this.
In our testing, the output was very stable and clean. Whatever quirks of the PowerIQ protocol that may have been causing the sawtooth waveform in the output from the smaller Anker unit was not in evidence, here.
Belkin Power 15K
Outputs: Two USB-A 17W Input: Micro-USB 10W
The all-metal body of the Belkin Power 15K feels really premium, and we tend trust the Belkin name having used many of their products over the years. We couldn’t get a full 10W out of this pack in our testing, but it’s still possible that Belkin’s claim of a total 17W aggregate output between both ports is accurate.
The energy density of this unit is a bit low, and given that it weighs about the same as the higher-capacity Anker PowerCore II it’s hard to see why you’d pick it over the Anker.
FosPower PowerActive 10200 mAh Power Bank
Outputs: USB-A 10.5W Input: Micro-USB
The FosPower PowerActive is a ruggedized power bank that just weighs a bit too much for what you get, thanks to the rubber grips and added compass. It does advertise an IP67 rating, and it did pass our dunk test.
The output from this unit wasn’t great — it really trailed off at the 2.5-hour mark in a way that the other packs did not. And it never really delivered a full 4.7V at two amps, despite being advertised as supporting 2.1A output.
Goal Zero Sherpa 40 Power Bank – discontinued
Outputs: Two USB-A 12W Input: Micro-USB
As much as we love the GoalZero Sherpa 40’s ultra-slim form factor and tough metal body, this bank is just too heavy for the amount of charge it stores. The bank is rated at 12,000mAh, and we got 8,703mAh out of it, which is good. But it’s 13.4oz, which is heavier than even the 20,000mAh Anker PowerCore II.
We just can’t see paying 60 for a portable USB charger with a little over half the energy density of many far cheaper options. If the Sherpa were 30% or 40% lighter, we’d be all over it.
The Sherpa comes with two adapter cables that slot into the ends, and while they seem pretty firmly lodged in place we’d expect them to fall out when jostling around in a pack or bag.
Outputs: USB-A 10.5W and USB-A 5W Input/Output: Micro USB 10.5W
The HX160X6 and HX160X7 are two Chinese-made units are identical except for some cosmetic considerations, like the finish and LED status lights. They also performed very well in our testing, giving us extremely clean power and voltage lines and a ton of stored charge. These ranked the highest in terms of amp-hours per ounce, and they’re also the cheapest in amp-hours per dollar by a wide margin.
These units are typically advertised as 26,800mAh, but they’re clearly 20,000mAh packs in our testing (and also judging by size and weight).
So if you want to take a gamble on some random Chinese chargers that are sold under a ton of different labels on Amazon, and that you may not get any kind of support for if they stop working, then these are the best deal we’ve found right now.
Jackery Bolt 10050mAh Power Bank
Outputs: USB-A 12W Input: Micro-USB
The Jackery Bolt 10050 is a slightly more compact version of the Giant. It has one less port than its larger sibling, but the build quality is equally good. The Bolt did very well in our load testing, and we have no complaints about the output.
We love the two built-in adapters on the side — one lets you plug the Bolt directly into an iPhone, and the other into a Micro USB device. These thick, rubberized adapters feel like they could stand up to quite a bit of use and abuse, and overall this is a clever add-on feature that we like a lot. It’s very nice for EDC purposes, and even for survival purposes it reduces the number of adapters you have to wrangle.
Jackery Portable Charger Giant 12000mAh Power Bank
Outputs: Two USB-A 12W Input: Micro-USB
Both the Jackery banks we tested have solid metal housings that feel like they could take a beating, but this causes their storage to weight ratio to suffer. Still, we got a very respectable 7,156mAh out of the Jackery Giant, which is a little over 1,000mAh more than its lower-capacity peers.
There’s a small LED light on the unit, but it’s so tiny and dim it won’t do for much more than finding your keys in the dark.
Our impression of the Giant was positive — this is a good, compact charger that performed well, and it’s something we’d consider for EDC. But it didn’t stand out enough to be a final pick.
Luxtude 20000mAh Waterproof Portable Charger
Outputs: Two USB-A 12W Inputs: Micro-USB 18W, USB-C 18W
The Luxtude 20000mAh Waterproof Portable Charger has essentially the same tech specs and features as the Techsmarter, with the important difference that its Micro-USB and USB-C ports are input only (the Techsmarter’s go both ways).
In terms of form factor, the metal and rubber body feels sturdier while saving a little over half an ounce on weight vs. the Techsmarter. There’s a comparable light, and there’s also a fabric loop that can be used to hang the pack. The pack will also stand one end, which helps with its use as a light.
The main problem with the Luxtude is that the output voltage wasn’t high enough with a 2A load — it just didn’t make it over 4.6V, so we didn’t get quite the level of power output from it that we got out of the Techsmarter.
Overall, though, we liked this charger, and given that at 46 it’s 20 cheaper than the Techsmarter it would be a strong contender for a hypothetical “Best Ruggedized 20,000mAh” pick.
NOVOO Portable 10000mAh Battery Pack Quick Charge 18W Power Bank
Outputs: USB-A 5V/1.5A Input/Output: USB-C 5V/3.6
The 8oz NOVOO Explorer is shockingly light for how sturdy it is, and it passed our dunk test so the IP67 rating is legit. The small LED light that’s included works pretty well, and the rubber loop on one corner is a nice touch.
Even though the USB-A port is advertised as 1.5A, we did get 2A out of it in our load test. However, the voltage suffered because of the higher load, coming in just over 4.6. If we dial down the load, though, the voltage goes up closer to 5V.
Overall, the NOVOO’s combination of outdoors-friendly features, low weight, and capacity, earned it a spot in our picks (and in our packs).
OUTXE USB C Solar Powered Phone Charger 10000mAh
Outputs: USB-A 15W Inputs/Outputs: USB-C 15W, Micro-USB 10W
With one of the lowest energy density ratings in our review, the OUTXE USB C Solar Powered Phone Charger 10000mAh is a good example of the price of ruggedization and extra features. We do like the added solar panel as a last-ditch charging option, and the on-board light is bright enough to be usable. But the end result is power bank that’s as bulky some of the 20,000mAh units. In fact, it’s surprisingly close in volume to the Techsmarter.
The OUTXE did have some technical problems, as well. The USB-A output is supposed to support loads up to three amps, but there’s no way that’s possible — when pulling just 2A from it we could never get the voltage above 4.6V. So it doesn’t quite deliver on what’s advertised.
Techsmarter 20000mah Rugged Waterproof Power Bank IP66 18W
Outputs: USB-A 18W, USB-A 12W Input/Output: 18W USB-C, 15W Micro-USB
If we were going to recommend a “Best Ruggedized 20,000mAh”, the Techsmarter 20000mah 18W Power Delivery Power Bank would probably be it. The bank’s performance in our testing was excellent: the current was very stable at 2A, and despite this weird jump in the beginning from 4.7V to to 4.8, the voltage was stable, as well.
This unit has an excellent array of ports — you’d never need to worry about adapters, which is a real advantage given how fragile adapters are. The ports are covered by a rubber cover, hence the unit’s IP66 water resistance rating.
There’s a very bright LED light on one side of the charger, with two modes: always-on, and flashing SOS. When you pair that with the Techsmarter’s ability to stand on one end or be hung from a small metal loop in the bottom, there’s a lot of flexibility for using this as a lamp or work light.
When prepping for a possible on-foot bugout, we’d much rather save a few ounces and not have the extra “survival” stuff. But if you want something to carry on a car trip, or if you’ve got pack space to spare, then this is a very solid “survival” upgrade over our main 20,000mAh pick.
This unit has two downsides: low energy density, and high price. You pay in weight for the ruggedization and extra features, but for prepping purposes we’re just not convinced it’s worth it. And you pay in dollars for the unit as a whole — this is the most expensive charger of this size we tested.
Unifun 10400mAh Waterproof External Battery Power Bank
Outputs: USB-A 5V/1.0A and USB-A 5V/2.1A. Input: micro-USB 5V/2A
The Unifun 10k is a ruggedized pack that really didn’t do great in our testing, and when you combine it with the unit’s 11oz weight it’s hard to recommend. The build quality feels solid, and but the light’s a little anemic. The best thing we can say about it was that the voltage and current output were very steady.
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Make your dream luxury home a reality with a jumbo loan
You’ve got big home dreams, and we’ve got the financing to help you make it happen. Take the first step. Contact a jumbo mortgage advisor, and begin your journey to living the life you want in the home you want.
Take advantage of higher borrowing limits than conventional mortgages.
Increase loan-to-value ratio by up to 90% with a jumbo loan.
Compare jumbo mortage and conventional mortgage rates.
Qualify for a jumbo mortgage loan
Create an account in our online application platform. Here’s what you’ll need to apply for a jumbo loan.
- Social Security number
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Go beyond conforming limits
Exceed the Federal Housing Finance Agency limit for your market and qualify for a jumbo mortgage of up to 3 million.
Get a good rate
The right jumbo loan for your dream home could end up saving you money on interest.
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Choose from standard fixed-rate or adjustable-rate mortgage options based on your needs.
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Contact a jumbo loans mortgage advisor to assess your readiness. Discuss terms, pricing, options and payments. We can help you find a mortgage banker.
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Use our online platform to apply for mortgage and submit supporting documentation that will be used to process your jumbo loan application.
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Underwriting will process your jumbo loan application and review your documentation. Provide answers to questions and additional documentation as requested.
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You’ll receive your closing date and meet with your lender and closing attorney to close on your new mortgage.
People often ask us
A jumbo loan is a type of mortgage in which the loan amount exceeds the limit set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, or FHFA. It’s primarily designed for purchasing luxury homes or homes in highly competitive housing markets.
The major difference between jumbo loans and conventional home loans is their size. Due to their larger size, jumbo loans are ineligible for Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac to purchase or guarantee, making them slightly riskier than conventional mortgages. As a result, eligibility requirements are usually stricter for jumbo loans.
To qualify for a jumbo loan, it helps to have excellent credit with a score above 700, as well as a low debt-to-income ratio, or DTI. Some lenders may ask for documentation showing you have enough cash on hand to cover the first 6 months or 1 year of mortgage payments.
Each year, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, or FHFA. determines the maximum loan limit for conventional mortgages in the US. In certain places, including higher cost-of-living areas, the limit is higher. You can visit Fannie Mae to see this year’s loan limits. To purchase a single-family home above the limit in your area, you’ll need a jumbo loan.
Higher mortgage limits mean the risk is greater for these types of loans, so you’ll need to have a good credit score. The higher your credit score, the greater your chances of being approved for a jumbo mortgage. A better credit rating also means you have a better chance of being approved at a lower interest rate.
Jumbo loans work similar to conventional mortgage loans with a few differences. They can’t be guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac because they exceed conforming loan limits. Because jumbo loans allow you to borrow more money to purchase a more expensive home, the requirements and approval process are stricter than the traditional mortgage loan process.
Jumbo loans offer several benefits to homebuyers.
- Borrow more money: Higher loan limits mean you can borrow more money to purchase a more expensive home:
- Manage one loan: No more loan juggling. You can purchase your home with one loan instead of piecing together multiple loans from multiple vendors:
- Lower interest rates (possibly). Depending on factors such as creditworthiness, income, homebuyer program and lender, you may qualify for a lower interest rate.
Yes. You should get a home appraisal any time you’re purchasing a new home. This is especially important when applying for mortgage loans to purchase more expensive homes. An appraisal helps you negotiate better prices, ensures a fair and transparent homebuying process by providing a detailed view of the home and structure, and helps you close on your home faster and with fewer issues.
Loans with an origination balance above a specific amount, or conforming loan limit, are qualified as jumbo loans. What qualifies as a jumbo loan varies from state to state. Qualifications can change from year to year. Visit the Federal Housing Finance Agency to see conforming loan limits for your state.
Normal credit approval applies.
Not applicable in all states.
Bank deposit products are offered by First Citizens Bank. Member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender. icon: sys-ehl.
Scx Design 32498 10000 mAh Jumbo Wireless Power Bank Instruction Manual
Home » SCX Design » Scx Design 32498 10000 mAh Jumbo Wireless Power Bank Instruction Manual
Scx Design 32498 10000 mAh Jumbo Wireless Power Bank
Please read the instruction manual carefully before using the product.
- 146 x 72 x 14 mm
- 222 gr
- Type-C Input: DC 5V/2A
- USB-A Output 2: DC 5V/2A
- Battery/Cell capacity: 37Wh, 3.7V/10.000mAh
- Product capacity(USB): 27.4Wh, 5V/5480mAh
- Wireless output: 5V/1A
- Product capacity (Wireless):21Wh, 5V/4200mAh
- Material: ABS with soft-touch finish
The product includes a 3-in-1 cable (iPhone, micro, type C).
Led indicator to show remaining power. Dual USB output ports for different devices. Multiple safety protection systems to ensure the safety of the devices: protection in the event of overload, overvoltage, overcurrent, and short circuit.
The remaining charge power is displayed by shaking the product. It can fully charge an iPhone, an Android device, or any other regular mobile phone once per load cycle.
- To charge your charger, connect the supplied cable to your wall charger or to a USB port on your computer. The USB connector goes to your charger, and the USB Type C port goes on this battery charger.
- To charge your phone or other mobile device plug the cable into the USB port of the charger with the other connector going to your device.
- When the wireless power bank is fully charged, the light is always on.
- When the wireless power bank is charging or fully charged put your smartphone on the side with the wireless logo of the power bank to charge your smartphone wirelessly or charge your smartphone via the USB output with the provided 3-in-1 cable.
- When the wireless power bank is fully discharged, the blue LED light will be turned off.
Do not place or use this product near source of high heat or in a humid environment. Do not use it if the equipment is damaged. Only use the cables that are supplied with this equipment. Keep the product out of reach of children. If the charger hasn’t been used for a long time, please charge/unload it once every 3 months to preserve the functionality of the product. Using your phone while charging it can cause high temperatures.
This product complies with the EMC Directive 2014/30/EU, the Low voltage directive 2014/35/EU, the RoHS Directive 2011/65EU, and its amendment directives 2015/863/EU and SVHC as listed in REACH registration. It also complies with the European Directive 2002/96/EC on waste electronic equipment (WEEE).
In order to prevent conditions. that can lead to overheating, please make sure that the wireless charging pad surface is free of all metal objects at all times, such as coins or paper clips. In addition, before charging, please remove anything metallic attached to the back of the phone, such as battery cases, ring holders, or plates used for mounting to magnetic phone holders.
FCC compliance statement
This device complies with Part 15 of the FCC Rules. Operation is subject to the following two conditions: (1) this device may not cause harmful interference, and (2) this device must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation. changes or modifications not expressly approved by the party responsible for compliance could void the user’s authority to operate the equipment.
This equipment has been tested and found to comply with the limits for a Class B digital device, pursuant to Part 15 of the FCC Rules. These limits are designed to provide reasonable protection against harmful interference in a residential installation. This equipment generates, uses, and can radiate radio frequency energy and, if not installed and used in accordance with the instructions, may cause harmful interference to radio communications. However, there is no guarantee that interference will not occur in a particular installation. If this equipment does cause harmful interference to radio or television reception, which can be determined by turning the equipment off and on, the user is encouraged to try to correct the interference by one or more of the following measures:
- Reorient or relocate the receiving antenna.
- Increase the separation between the equipment and receiver.
- Connect the equipment into an outlet on a circuit different from that to which the receiver is connected.
- Consult the dealer or an experienced radio/TV technician for help.
This device complies with FCC’s RF radiation exposure limits set forth for an uncontrolled environment. A separation distance of 20 cm or more should be maintained between this device and persons during device operation. To ensure compliance, operation at closer to this distance is not recommended. The antenna used for this transmitter must not be co-located in conjunction with any other antenna or transmitter.
Documents / Resources
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Aerpro power bank Wireless Charger/Power Bank Thank you for purchasing the AP5000WC Wireless Charger/Power Bank. It is compatible…
INSTRUCTIONAL GUIDE QUATRO WIRELESS POWER BANK Before use, please fully charge the Quatro Power Bank via USB-C port…
BOOMPODS MAGCLIX 5000mAh Magnetic Wireless Power Bank In the Box lx 5CXX)mAh Magnetic Power bank l x USB-C…
The Best Power Banks of 2023
We tested power banks from Nitecore, Goal Zero, Anker, and more, to help you find the best model to keep your phone, tablet, laptop, or other gadgets charged.
The BioLite PD power bank in action on a camping trip in Tennessee; (photo/Honey McNaughton)
In 2023, nearly every gadget and gizmo that we use has a battery. Our phones are the primary example, but nearly everything — from headlamps to headphones — has built-in rechargeable batteries.
As a result of our rechargeable world, portable power banks have become a standard part of everyday life. When traveling, power banks offer convenient on-the-go charging that eliminates the need to hunt down an outlet. For outdoor enthusiasts, compact power banks go along on every camping trip, thru-hike, and bike-packing journey.
In recent years, power banks have improved exponentially. As we all grow increasingly reliant on our electronic devices, power banks have become smaller, lighter, and more capable than ever before.
To compile this list of the best power banks, we combed the market for the most popular, innovative, and well-regarded models — and then conducted extensive testing at home and in the field to determine the best model for every need and budget. We charged phones, cameras, laptops, and even other power banks. We dropped and lightly abused over a dozen models to determine durability and longevity. In the end, we were left with a clear understanding of which models are worth their weight and price tag. These are the best power banks on the market today.
To learn more about what to look for when purchasing a power bank and our rigorous testing process, check out our comprehensive Buyer’s Guide, Comparison Chart, and FAQ sections below.
Nitecore NB10000 Gen II
- Impact-resistant and generally durable
- Lightweight with a thin profile
- Charges quickly
- Low-power setting for sensitive devices
Now in its second generation, the Nitecore NB100000 (60) is a lightweight, no-frills power bank that seriously impressed during testing. This minuscule unit is one of the smallest 10,000 mAh banks on the market. It fits easily in any. and it weighs just over 5 ounces — excellent stats for a power bank that fully charged an iPhone 13 to 100% two and a half times — exactly as the brand claims.
The NB10000 isn’t the most heavy-duty or luxurious power bank on the market, but it simply performs well in every category without any major flaws or weaknesses. Sure, the battery power indicator light isn’t the most precise, but that’s a nit-picky criticism in a compact power bank. Ultimately, the NB10000 provides reliable portable power for charging small devices.
Our 2-foot drop test didn’t leave a scratch on the Nitecore’s carbon fiber exterior, so we especially recommend this power bank for outdoor use. It’s light and packable enough for ultralight thru-hiking, and it contains enough power to keep a phone charged for quite a long time — depending on phone use, of course.
Compared to the first generation of the NB10000, the second generation offers increased USB-C output for faster charging. It also has a “low current mode,” which is useful for sensitive devices with small batteries such as Smart watches and Bluetooth earbuds.
If you need to charge two devices at once — the NB10000 has you covered. Additionally, it has “pass-through charging,” which allows users to tap into the NB10000’s outputs while it is plugged into a wall outlet.
Charmast 10400 mAh Power Bank
- Capacity 10,000 mAh
- Weight 6.6 oz
- Size 3.56 x 2.44 x 0.87
- Outputs USB-A (2x), USB-C (1x)
- Inputs Micro USB, USB-C
- Included cables USB-A to USC-C, USB-A to micro USB
- Versatile charging configuration
- Good value
- The power bank itself recharges quickly
For 23, this.sized Charmast power bank is an excellent affordable option for recharging small devices around the house and during weekend getaways. Sure, there are less expensive power banks of this size on the internet, but this one actually works and has great quality for the price.
With two USB-A outputs plus an in/out USB-C and a micro USB output, this Charmast works with all sorts of cables. It can theoretically charge up to three devices at a time, though it will drain very quickly under that kind of strain. During our testing, it delivered power to headphones, smartphones, and smartwatches in a timely fashion. It pumped an iPhone 13 from 0 to 100% and again from 0 to 92% in a single full charge. Compared to similarly-sized power banks, the Charmast reloads quickly when plugged into a wall outlet with its included cable.
Though this unit is a bit bulkier and heavier than our top overall pick, it still fits easily into a without fuss. The plastic casing doesn’t boast any listed waterproofing stats, but it held up perfectly well to our drop test with only minor scuffing.
Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD
- Capacity 25,600 mAh
- Weight 1.5 lbs.
- Size 7.7 x 3.81 x 1
- Outputs Wireless, USB-C (1x)
- Inputs USB-A (2x), USB-C (1x)
- Included cables 39 USC-C to USB-C cable
- Powerful enough for charging laptops and tablets
- Durable casing
- Wireless charging
During our testing for this roundup, we focused primarily on compact.sized power banks in the 10-20k mAH range. Though these small devices are great for charging small devices on the go, they aren’t suitable for larger devices like laptops.
The Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD (199) is larger than most power banks on this list. It weighs 1.5 pounds, and it won’t fit in a That said, it’s still relatively compact, and it’s the perfect choice for airline travel or car camping, especially when a charged-up laptop is essential.
Compared to the smaller banks we tested, the Sherpa boasts several significant upgrades. First, it offers wireless charging. Just set a compatible smartphone or another device on the charging pad and it’ll power up sans cable.
A small display screen keeps the user informed on outgoing wattage, remaining battery life, and more. It’s far more informative than the standard series of indicator lights that most small power banks have.
The Sherpa charged an iPhone 13 from dead to 100% a whopping seven times using a USB-C to USB-C cord. The brand advertised eight full charges, but this figure depends on many variable factors. In any case, the Sherpa is about four times more powerful than most 10k mAh power banks in this regard. Using the wireless charging surface, the phone fully charged in about 100 minutes.
The Sherpa fully charged a MacBook Air over two times before it ran out of steam — more than enough for a weekend of off-grid computing.
Dark Energy Poseidon Pro 10200
- Capacity 10,000 mAh
- Weight 9.6 oz.
- Size 6 x 3.25 x 0.63
- Outputs USB-C (1x), USB-A (1x)
- Inputs USB-C (1x)
- Included cables 3′ USB-C to USB-C cable
- Extremely durable
- Built for extreme conditions
- Waterproof and fully submersible
In terms of durability, the Dark Energy Poseidon Pro (120) is miles ahead of nearly every other power bank. According to the brand, it can be fully submerged in water for up to 45 minutes, frozen for four weeks, and dropped from 75 feet in the air. Though we didn’t test these bold claims exactly, we used and abused the Poseidon Pro for several weeks, dropping it in the snow, tossing it loose into a backpack, and making no attempt to protect it from harm. It continues to look and perform like new.
This power bank’s bulletproof nature does come with a slight weight increase. It’s about 3 ounces heavier than other power banks with comparable capacity. Still, that’s a small price to pay for reliable power in extreme conditions. If you’re heading to the ends of the earth, this is the right power bank to pack.
We managed to squeeze two full charges out of the Pro with an iPhone 13 — competitive stats in the 10k mAh category.
Goal Zero Flip 24
This Goal Zero Flip 24 (30) is one degree smaller than the common 10k mAh power bank size class. It’s about the same size as a 15-pack of gum, and it charged an iPhone 13 twice (almost, 81% on the second charge). It’s great value for 30, and it adds valuable peace of mind on long hikes and bike rides.
Unlike most power banks on this list, the Flip 24 only has USB-A input and output. It’s not surprising for such a small bank, but it might be annoying for folks without a compatible cable. Plus, USB-C charging tends to be faster than USB-A. The Flip 24 will charge your phone slower than most other options on this list.
On the plus side, the Flip 24’s built-in USB-A stick is quite convenient. It plugs directly into compatible ports and charges right up without a cord. The battery indicator lights light up when the user pressed the USB stick, which doubles as a button — product design panache.
For phones, earbuds, and smartwatches, the Flip 24 is a nifty little backup battery. If you need to charge larger devices, go with a power bank with greater capacity.
Anker PowerCore III Elite
- Capacity 25,600 mAh
- Weight 1.3 lbs
- Size 7.22 x 3.24 x 0.94
- Outputs USB-A (2x), USB-C (1x)
- Inputs USB-A (1x), USB-C (1x)
- Included cables USB-C to USB-C
- Lots of power capacity in a small package
- Simple design
- Intuitive single-button interface
Anker has a solid reputation for simple, long-lasting, and fast-charging power banks. The PowerCore III Elite (160) boasts an impressive 25,600 mAh of capacity — an excellent figure for a power bank that’s only about seven inches long.
Most power bank users can get by with 10k mAH — a perfectly suitable capacity for a weekend’s worth of phone and earbud charging. The PowerCore III Elite is a major step up — it contains more than double the capacity of most of the power banks on this list. It’s potent enough to charge laptops and tablets, and it still manages to fit into most pants s.
Of course, the extra capacity has to come from somewhere. The PowerCore III weighs 1.3 pounds. That’s a bit heavy for backpacking. Still, compared to similar capacity power banks like the Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD, the PowerCore is relatively svelte.
The PowerCore III fully charged an iPhone 13 just over six times. Anker claims it can charge three devices simultaneously. During testing, it easily charged two smartphones at the same time.
The PowerCore dented easily during our 2-foot drop test, but it went on working without issue. It’s a great compact choice for photographers or remote workers on the go.
Hinovo Magnetic Charger
- Capacity 5,000 or 10000 mAh
- Weight 4.5 oz. (5,000 mAh version)
- Size 4.09 x 2.75 x 0.35
- Output Wireless charging via magnetic connection
- Input USB-C (1x)
- Water resistance Unknown
- Included cables USB-C to USB-C (1)
This compact power bank magnetically adheres to the back of compatible smartphones to deliver power on the go. Instead of waiting while your phone remains plugged into a cable, the Hinovo magnetic power bank (39) goes where you go. It’s fully mobile, and highly convenient.
Our Editor-in-Chief has been living with the Hinovo for months, and he appreciates its ease of use and straightforward design. The slim 5,000 mAh version immediately doubles a smartphone’s battery life without much-added bulk. The major downside of the Hinovo is that it’s only compatible with certain phones that are MagSafe compatible.
If you’re in for a long phone-intensive workday or cross-country Wi-Fi enabled flight, the Hinovo provides reliable assurance that your phone will survive the trip.
Otterbox Fast Charge
The Otterbox Fast Charge (35) is available in three sizes: 10k, 15k, and 20k mAh. We tested the 10k version, though all three models have the same design and two-port layout. With just one in/out USB-C and one USB-A put out, it’s a simple and effective power bank that works best with smartphones and small devices.
The “Fast Charge” Moniker sets up high expectations. This power bank fully charged an iPhone 13 from dead to 100% in just over 90 minutes. While this stat is competitive for a small power bank, it’s about the same as several other top performers on this list. This Otterbox is a reasonably fast-charging product, but it’s on par with its peers on this list, not necessarily superior.
Compared to the more durable options we tested, the Fast Charge has an all-plastic casing that feels a bit delicate and cheap to the touch. It survived our drop test and continued to function, but it just doesn’t have the feel of excellent build quality. Still, it’s a perfectly usable power bank.
The 15k version (45) is a nice middle ground between common power bank sizes. We expect it could charge a newer iPhone three or four times, a meaningful improvement over the 10k version.
BioLite Charge 80 PD Powerbank
- Battery indicator is not super precise
- Battery indicator doesn’t turn off while charging
This unassuming powerhouse came to be one of our tester’s favorite power banks by accident. After getting his sleek, lightweight Anker charger stolen on a recent climbing trip, the BioLite Charge 80 PD (80) — his backup bank — found its way into his backpack on several ultralight treks and long road trip adventures.
It takes a lot for a power bank weighing over a pound to end up in a backpacking kit, but for super remote excursions where energy efficiency was a must, this thing was a lifesaver for our tester. Despite its 16.4-ounce weight, it can charge a smartphone over 5 times (tested with an iPhone 11), a tablet twice (tested with an iPad Pro), and even a computer once (tested with a MacBook Pro).
While you don’t need all these devices on a backpacking trip, this is a welcome power source for road trips, wilderness photo/video shoots, or international travel. And, for those backpacking jaunts that have you off the grid for five days or more, it’s hard to beat the power-to-weight ratio that this delivers.
The two USB-A Quick Charge and single USB-C PD ports offer exceptionally fast charging. The bank also only takes 4.5-5 hours to soak up a full charge, which is better than some other models with similar capacity we’ve tried. Its durable plastic shell gives this an indestructible feel, and we haven’t noticed a scratch on it after many miles of rough use.
With a 20k mAh capacity, it has the inherent cons of being quite heavy and comparatively large, but is on par with other banks in its category. We do find the battery indicator to be somewhat lacking. It is a bit hard to gauge exactly how much power is left, and we don’t like that the light remains on while charging. Some energy could be saved by having it switch off after it’s been plugged in for a second, and it can get annoying at night if it’s not covered up.
These slight gripes aside, we think that the BioLite Charge 80 PD delivers reliable power in a packable, durable design. If pure ultralight minimalism is what you’re after, there are better options out there. But, for the adventurer in need of a bit more juice on their excursions for multiple devices, this would be a solid pick.
This ultra-slim 10k power bank (26) is marketed as a power source for electrically heated outerwear, but it also works perfectly well for all sorts of small electronics. It charged an iPhone 13 to the brims three times before needing a recharge itself — a great showing for a bank that weighs just 6.8 ounces.
We found that the C10002Y gets warm to the touch when plugged into the wall, but this is likely just a result of the thin plastic casing — not a major concern. Speaking of the casing, this definitely isn’t the most rugged power bank on our list. It feels like one significant chest-height drop onto a hard surface would be the end of it. We held our breath during the 2-foot drop test, and though it did survive, it sustained minor visible damage.
Four indicator lights convert battery levels — including one light that turns green when “fast mode” is engaged. Interestingly, this light turned green while charging an iPhone via the USB-C port, but not when charging earbuds via a USB-A port. It seems there is some kind of sensor in the OKZU that engaged fast charging mode when the receiving device has a compatible battery. Neat.
Generally, this is yet another sweet little power bank. It’s mega thin, and hardly detectable when sitting snugly in a Plus, it’s affordably priced at just 26.
Lion Trek Portable Solar Generator
- Capcity 27,000 mAh
- Weight 2.1 lbs
- Size 8.54 x 5.47 x 1.57
- Outputs USB-A (2x), USB-C (1x), 12V AC (1x)
- Inputs USB-C (1x)
- Included cables Wall outlet to USB-C
- Features an AC outlet for charging larger devices
- Durable casing
- Easy-to-read display
In both size and capacity, the Lion Trek Power Bank (229) is the largest power bank on this list. At 2.1 pounds and 8.5 inches long, it takes some liberties with its self-described “portable” nature. Still, this power bank justifies its size with a massive 27,000 mAh of capacity and a handy AC power outlet. Unlike most of the options on this list, the Lion Trek packs enough power for laptops, tablets, and small appliances like lamps, TVs, and coffee grinders. It’s the perfect size for a long-term solo road trip — especially when paired with a compatible solar panel.
We’ve been testing the Lion Trek for several months. Though it’s a bit too big and inconvenient for airline travel, it’s been our go-to power bank for car camping. On a single full charge, the Lion Trek recharged an iPhone 13 nine times. It kept a MacBook Air alive for three days of frequent use. According to its display, the Lion Trek only used 5% of its total battery life to fully charge a pair wireless earbuds.
For some folks on the go, an AC outlet is a must-have. The Lion Trek is one of the smallest banks to include one. Additionally, the unit houses two USB-A outputs and one in/out USB-C port. For mobile remote workers, the Lion Trek can function as an ultra-compact solution for the solar-powered off-grid lifestyle.
Power Bank Comparison Chart
|Nitecore NB10000 Gen II||60||10,000 mAh||5.3 oz.||4.8″ x 2.3″ x 0.4″||1x USB-A, 1x USB-C|
|Charmast 10400||23||10,000 mAh||6.6 oz.||3.6″ x 2.4″ x 0.9“||USB-A (2x), USB-C (1x)|
|Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD||68||25,600 mAh||24.0 oz.||7.7″ x 3.8″ x 1.0″||Wireless charging pad, USB-C (1x)|
|Dark Energy Poseidon Pro 10200||120||10,000 mAh||9.6 oz.||6.0″ x 3.3″ x 0.6″||USB-C (1x), USB-A (1x)|
|Goal Zero Flip 24||30||6,700 mAh||4.6 oz.||3.7″ x 1.6″ x 0.8″||USB-A|
|Anker PowerCore III Elite||160||25,600 mAh||20.8 oz.||7.2″ x 3.2″ x 0.9″||USB-A (2x), USB-C (1x)|
|Hinovo Magnetic Charger||40||5,000 mAh||4.5 oz.||4.1″ x 2.8“ x 0.4″||Wireless charging|
|Otterbox Fast Charge||35||10,000 mAh||8.1 oz.||5.6″ x 2.9″ x 0.6″||USB-C (1x), USB-A (1x)|
|BioLite Charge 80 PD||80||20,000 mAh||16.4 oz.||6.7″ x 3.2″ x 1.0″||USB-C (1x), USB-A (2x)|
|OKZU C10002Y||26||10,000 mAh||6.8 oz.||5.3″ x 2.7″ x 0.6“||USB-C (1x), USB-A (2x)|
|LionTrek Portable Power Unit||229||27,000 mAh||33.6 oz.||8.5″ x 5.5″ x 1.5“||USB-A (2x), USB-C (1x), 12V AC (1x)|
Why You Should Trust Us
Every power bank on this list has earned its place through rigorous hands-on testing in the same real-world scenarios you’re likely to face. In the winter of 2023, author Austin Beck-Doss didn’t plug his phone or laptop into a single wall outlet for several months. Instead, he charged his devices exclusively via power bank. Through daily use and a series of standardized tests at home and in the field, Austin assessed the durability, performance, and capacity of innumerable brands and models. The recommended products on this list are the very best money can buy.
Power bank brands make lots of lofty claims about capacity, durability, and performance. Instead of simply trusting the statistics written on the side of the packaging, Austin put manufacturer claims to the test. Every power bank was fully charged to determine exactly how many times it could fully charge an iPhone 13 before depleting. Austin also measured the total time that each depleted power bank took to fully recharge once plugged into a wall outlet.
Our durability test involved prolonged regular use indoors and out, and a standardized drop test. Every bank was dropped exactly 2 feet onto a hard concrete surface to simulate the classic electronics fumble that we all experience from time to time. Some power banks ceased to function after a single drop. Of course, none of those models made the list.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose a Power Bank
For better or worse, most folks today feel a wave of concern when their smartphone battery drops below 20%. Phones, tablets, laptops, and other portable electronics pack a lot of utility — and we’ve grown reliant on them to conduct our everyday affairs.
Power banks are physical stop gaps that prevent dreaded cases of DPS (dead phone syndrome). Whether you forgot to plug in overnight, or you’ve been traveling all day without access to an outlet, power banks are a lifeline for you and your portable electronics.
These days, power banks come in all shapes and sizes — from mini units that can dangle from a keychain to 25-pound behemoths. On this list, we focused on the most popular category: personal-use portable power banks. Portable is a subjective term. For this list, we only considered products that weigh about 2 pounds or less and fit easily into any backpack.
In this comprehensive buyer’s guide, we break down everything you need to know about power banks; capacity, charge times, inputs, outputs, solar capability, you name it. Our hope is that by using this guide, you’ll be able to hone in on the perfect portable power bank to suit your everyday needs.
What Is a Power Bank?
A power bank is a rechargeable battery that can transfer power to other electronic devices. Power banks are like wall outlets that you can take with you. Simply plug in your phone or laptop via a standard USB-A or USB-C cable, and boom, you have instant portable power. People carry power banks for the same reason remote freight drivers carry extra cans of gasoline: If the main supply runs out, there’s extra fuel on board.
Size and Capacity
Powerbanks are available in many sizes. The smallest power banks are small enough to fit on a key chain and typically will only deliver a quick hit of power per charge. The largest power banks in existence can charge EVs — but those aren’t exactly portable.
Generally, power bank capacity is measured in milliamps per hour — mAh. This unit indicates how many milliamps of electric current a given power bank can deliver per hour.
All smartphone manufacturers utilize different batteries and charging systems. The working capacity of any power bank entirely depends on the device it is charging. Most fully charged smartphones contain 3,000 to 4,000 mAh, That means, on paper, a 10,000 mAh power bank can recharge a smartphone about three times.
Most of the power banks on this list hold around 10,000 mAh — a standard size for recharging small devices like smartphones, Bluetooth headphones, and smartwatches. Though brands often claim their 10,000 mAh power banks can recharge smartphones five, six, or seven times — they rarely live up to those claims.
Smartphone batteries are becoming larger and more efficient. In our experience, 10,000 mAh power banks will charge a modern smartphone between two and three times. On this list, the Nitecore NB10000 is the most impressive 10k mAh power bank that we tested. It fully charged an iPhone 13 two and a half times.
If you are looking for a power bank for something like a long backpacking trip, it’s important to find an appropriate weight-to-capacity ratio for your adventure. You’ll also want one that fits comfortably in your backpacking backpack, and doesn’t add too much bulk to your kit.
Compact 10k power banks are rightfully popular. They fit easily into most s, and they have plenty of capacity to keep a small device or two alive for a few days.
The next standard portable power bank size is 20,000 mAh. Not all power banks in the 20k range will have a capacity of exactly 20,000 mAH — that’s just a handy benchmark figure. Naturally, 20k power banks are bigger and heavier than their 10k little siblings. Most 20k banks weigh at least one pound and are roughly the size of a small tablet or jumbo candy bar.
Though 20k power banks are a bit cumbersome for everyday carry, they offer much more utility. Most banks of this size can fully recharge a smartphone six or more times. Plus, many 20k power banks can charge multiple devices at the same time. If you’re looking for a power bank to charge multiple personal devices over the course of a multi-day backpacking trip, 20k is your best bet.
Power banks above 20k mAh start to get fairly heavy and less portable, but they’re great for folks looking to charge a larger device such as a laptop on the go. If you’re searching for a bank that can handle the demands of laptop charging, around 20k mAh is the bare minimum capacity you should consider. On this list, the Goal Zero Sherpa has an impressive capacity of 25,600 mAh. The Lion Trek is another excellent high-capacity power bank — and it even sports a standard three-prong AC outlet.
Charge Times and ‘Fast Charging’
The best power banks are quick to store power and equally quick to dispense it. Combined with the appropriate modern charging cable, all of the power banks on this list perform well in this aspect.
These days, many devices including phones, power banks, tablets, and cables claim to support “fast charging.” In reality, there is no universal standard for what “fast charging” really means. Each individual device has specifications that determine how much wattage delivery it can handle. Every element in the charging system — phone, power bank, and cable — plays a role in the rate of power delivery.
All batteries operate with a specific amount of voltage and can input and output a maximum amount of current. Fast-charging power banks have the ability to quickly pump more power into the receiving device.
For example, early iPhones came with a 5W power adaptor in the box. Those 5W adaptors took over two hours to charge standard smartphones. On this list, the speedy OtterBox Fast Charge delivers 18W power — it can fully charge an iPhone 13 in just over 90 minutes.
In general, any charging source that can deliver around 15w or more could be considered “fast charging.”
While fast charging is highly sought after, it can also be a detriment to your long-term battery health. Certain small devices such as headphones and fitness watches have relatively low maximum tolerable power delivery.
If you charge a pair of earbuds with a superpowered fast-charging wall port or power bank, it can cause irreversible damage to the battery life of those headphones. Many modern power banks — such as the OKZU C10002Y and the OtterBox Fast Charge — can decrease their output to meet the needs of a small device or fragile battery.
To choose the perfect power bank for your personal devices, check the device’s USB PD (power delivery) Power Range. For example, if a device’s USB PD Power range is 15-27W, pick a bank that delivers power within that range.
Types of In/Out Ports
Nearly all small electronic devices including smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, earbuds, headphones, and laptops charge via one of three standard input ports: Micro USB, USB-A, and USB-C.
Micro-USB ports are growing obsolete, but they’re still relatively common on power banks today. USB-A ports are typically used as outputs, though some small power banks such as the Goal Zero Flip 24 do have USB-A inputs, which eliminate the need for a charging cable.
The most common kind of input port is USB-C — the same port found on all modern iPhones. USB-C ports are easy-to-use, efficient, and durable.
Power banks only need a single input charging port, but it’s handy to have multiple types of output ports. On this list, the Lion Trek Power Bank has an impressive variety of outputs including USB-A, USB-C, and an AC outlet. Though it’s great to have plenty of output options, power bank users will mostly use USB-C ports.
Wireless Charging and Magnetic Power Banks
Some larger power banks are equipped with wireless charging capability. On this list, the Goal Zero Sherpa 100 PD comes with a wireless charging pad that can deliver up to 15w of power to compatible devices. In general, wireless charging from a power bank will be slower than using a cable, but it’s highly convenient in certain situations.
Some power banks attach directly to smartphones via magnetic connection. These power banks are compact units that typically pack just enough power to recharge a compatible smartphone a single time. On this list, the Hinovo Magnetic Charger is a highly functional and convenient option. It essentially doubles your phone’s battery — no cable required. Of course, only some smartphones are magnetic charging enabled.
If a power bank has “pass-through charging,” it is able to take in and distribute power at the same time. Pass-through equipped power banks can charge devices while plugged into a wall charger — a handy feature when you’re in a hurry. Many power banks on this list have pass-through charging, including our top pick the Nitecore NB10000.
Durability and Waterproofing
Depending on your needs, durability and waterproofing may be top priorities. If you plan to use your power bank for outdoor applications such as hunting, backpacking, and off-roading, we recommend that you pick one that’s built to withstand more rugged use. On this list, the Dark Energy Poseidon Pro 10200 is a rugged standout. It is waterproof, drop resistant, and immune to extreme temperatures.
Unlike the Poseidon Pro, most power banks aren’t built to withstand harsh treatment or exposure to the elements. For longevity’s sake, we recommend keeping your power bank relatively warm and fully dry. To preserve the integrity of the battery, power banks should be plugged in and charged once every few months.
If treated properly, the power banks on this list should perform reliably for several years. All batteries degrade with time and regular use. Most modern power banks can be fully charged and discharged about 1,000 times before they no longer function. For most users, this equates to 3-5 years’ worth of use.
All of the power banks on this list are relatively small and portable. The majority of power bank users pick 10,000 mAh power banks, a good choice for recharging a personal smartphone. Compact 10,000 mAh power banks like the Nitecore NB 10000 offer a nice balance between utility and portability. They fit in a pant. and they pack enough power to keep a smartphone alive for several days without a wall outlet.
If you plan to charge larger devices like a tablet or laptop, we recommend sizing up to the 20,000 mAh range. These power banks typically weigh 1-2 pounds, and they’re still compact enough for hiking, traveling, etc. On this list, the Anker PowerCore III Elite has a strong battery that easily recharges a laptop — or multiple small devices at once.
Most small portable power banks can be carried onto an airplane. According to TSA, power banks cannot be kept in checked luggage. Certain airports don’t allow passengers to travel with more than 27,000 mAh in total battery storage.