Best power banks 2023: Charge your devices on the go. Mega power bank

Best power banks 2023: Charge your devices on the go

The best power banks are an essential accessory for astronomers on the go and astrophotographers on multiple-day shoots.

The best power banks enable skywatchers and astrophotographers to have extra peace of mind when they’re on the go. (Image credit: Getty)

Nowadays, the best power banks are an essential skywatching accessory for anyone, especially astrophotographers.

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Out in the field, astrophotographers and skywatchers have an arsenal of kit, from headlamps, lens heaters, telescope Mounts and star trackers — not forgetting their smartphones, which are often used as star trackers or remote shutters. And as hikes and shoots can span several days, it’s quite common to run out of juice on at least one of these devices.

In order to avoid cutting your session short, a power bank is a great investment. Not all of them are created equal, so we’ve tested and reviewed a range of products with different features and price points to suit every budget.

If you’re new to the game and are wondering what to look for in the best power banks, we’ve summarized the most important things to consider at the end of this article. However, to get you started, you should look out for a device with a reliable power indicator, waterproof resistance, good portability, and an even better capacity. Some of the more premium models also function as a torch and handwarmer, which is a nice added bonus but by no means essential.

Without further ado, here is our round-up of the best power banks for skywatchers and astrophotographers. If you’re looking for more astronomy gear for your nighttime shoots, check out our guides to the best headlamps for astrophotography and the best star trackers for astrophotography.

Best power banks deal June 2023

Scosche MagicMount Power Bank: was 39.99. now 4.99 at BH Photo

Save 87%. While we haven’t tested this Power Bank ourselves, 4.99 for this 4000 mAh is too good not to share. It’s clearly designed for keeping your phone charged up, rather than any astronomy-specific gear, but as you’ll likely be using a stargazing app, this low-priced, low-profile power bank will give you a little extra peace of mind. Be quick — there’s limited availability at this price.

Best power banks 2023

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Zendure SuperTank Pro 100W

Best for capacity: Massive capacity power bank encased in an aluminum shell with an informative OLED screen to boot

Specifications

Output ports: USB-C1 / C2: 5V/3A, 9V/3A, 12V/3A, 15V/3A, 20V/3A, 20V/5A, 100W Max; USB-C3 / C4: 5V/3A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A, 20W Max

Reasons to avoid

Zendure is one of the fastest-growing EnergyTech start-ups with a mission to make energy available and accessible.

The vast capacity Zendure SuperTank Pro 100W power bank is about as big as you can legally carry in your hand luggage on a flight. It is encased in anodized aluminum with ABS plastic which gives it a rugged but premium feel, as we discussed in our hands-on Zendure SuperTank Pro 100W review.

The Zendure SuperTank Pro 100W can charge exceptionally fast, taking only 105 minutes in lab conditions. This makes it an ideal choice if you’re looking for a quick solution before embarking on a spontaneous night of stargazing. With a total output of 138W, you can power four devices simultaneously, including your smartphone, headtorch, star tracker, and lens warmer. Amazing.

The OLED screen gives you real-time information about your power usage and remaining charge, meaning you can plan and adapt your setup accordingly.

One downside of this power bank is the lack of a USB-A port. Even though USB-C is becoming more prevalent, many devices still require USB-A charging. Fortunately, Zendure includes a USB-A adapter that can be conveniently stored in the sleek storage case.

Although the initial cost may seem significant, the firmware updates that are promised should ensure that the power bank remains useful and up-to-date in the long run.

The SuperTank Pro 100W has a two-year limited warranty for added peace of mind.

Update March 2023 — unfortunately, the Zendure SuperTank Pro has recently been discontinued; so if you’re interested in getting one, grab one quick before they sell out.

Reasons to avoid

BioLite has three versions of the ‘Charge’ power bank. Here we’ll look at the Charge 80 as it is the most powerful with the largest charge capacity.

BioLite is best known for creating affordable and durable products for life outside and off-grid — so it’s no surprise the BioLite Charge 80 PD fits this bill. over, we’re fully on board with BioLite’s mission to provide 20 million people with clean energy and avoid 3 million tons of CO2 emissions by 2025. By purchasing a BioLite power bank, you are, in part, helping with this mission.

It is rugged and simple to use, and in our BioLite Charge PD review, we thought the capacity-to-size ratio was spot on. It has enough capacity to charge multiple devices, multiple times, over a couple of days. It can charge the BioLite HeadLamp 425 (which features on our best headlamps for astrophotography list) approximately 16 times. It is made with a rubberized finish, and the ports are housed in a durable orange plastic casing.

One of the standout features is the Quick Charge 3.0 Protocol which is needed to activate fast charging modes for compatible devices. It has an LED indicator with four bars that let you know how full the charge is (25%, 50%, 75% or 100%). We don’t think an LCD screen showing exact numbers is strictly necessary, so the LED indicator is more than enough.

The Charge PD ships with a USB-A to USB-C cable, but you’ll have to supply your own USB-C to USB-C cable or something with multiple ends to be more of a universal fit.

It can operate in temperatures between.20C to 40C, so unless you travel to the most hostile conditions, there shouldn’t be any issues, however, you’ll need to store it somewhere dry.

Reasons to avoid

Designed with the astronomer in mind, the Explore Scientific USB Power Bank with Red LED Flashlight will ensure you have enough power to see your electronic devices through the night. The integrated LED with red cover will ensure you can see through the night too. It won’t light up vast areas like some of the best headlamps for stargazing but it will allow you to read star charts or locate knobs and buttons to tweak your astro setup while keeping your valuable night vision intact.

This device is by no means as ‘sleek’ as some of our other picks. It’s covered in a thick layer of rubber armor that keeps out dirt and moisture while shielding the electronics from minor impacts. It can operate in temperatures from.4 to 140F (-20 to 60C), so there’s no need to worry about protecting it from extreme temperatures.

The flashlight has a tactile toggle switch that you can use to turn it on and off. It also has a two-point attachment point so you can hang it from a convenient place, like your tripod frame. The five LED indicators show the amount of power it has left so you don’t get caught out unexpectedly.

Reasons to avoid

The Anker PowerCore 26800 is one of the more cumbersome power banks in this guide at 7 inches long and 3 inches wide. That said, we are big fans of Anker, and they are one of America’s Leading USB Charging Brands. We can happily vouch for the reliability and performance of their products, so if you’re not too concerned about having the smallest or lightest power bank, don’t let the larger size stop you.

It doesn’t offer much in the way of features — there is no flashlight or handwarmer, but it’s an extremely high-capacity power bank that can charge three devices at once. It charges from empty to full in just over four hours with the included Qualcomm Quick Charge wall charger, and it has intelligent PowerIQ technology which identifies the connected devices and delivers the optimum high-speed charge to all devices. Impressive.

It has ten tiny LEDs that indicate its level of charge. Before March 2022, the device shipped without a wall charger or cables, so we are pleased to see that a USB-C to USB-C cable and a wall charger are now included as standard, as is a no-fuss 18-month warranty.

Reasons to avoid

The Otterbox 15,000mAh (also available as 10,000mAh) is a reliable outdoor companion. It weighs 450g, which is somewhat heavy for its able size, but that is mostly due to its dense, protective rubber shell. It’s waterproof and drop-proof, giving the clumsiest or most accident-prone skywatchers peace of mind. The IP54 rating means it is totally protected from dust ingress and allows for some water ingress. No need to worry about the elements.

A basic LED indicator shows when the power bank is charging and when it is fully charged. It ships with a 150mm long USB-A to USB-C cable and delivers up to 18W Fast Charge. There’s also an easy alignment QI wireless indicator pad for wireless charge-compatible devices.

It comes in three colors; Twilight Black, New Blossom Pink and White Sands. The latter two make them easier to see when amongst predominantly black photography gear, or if you’re out on an astrophotography shoot in the dark.

Reasons to avoid

This 47 lb power station is a serious piece of equipment with a luggage-inspired design and telescopic and fixed handle mounted on industrial-grade wheels. It has 2096Wh Capacity with 2,000W Output that can be boosted to power up devices that typically need 3000W using the AmpUp feature.

While it’s obvious that you can’t just throw it in your backpack and hike to a dark sky area, it makes the perfect travel companion for extended off-grid sky-watching and camping trips.

The body is reinforced with a shock-resistant outer shell and it has a reinforced interior. Its optimum operating temperature is between 59°F to 95 °F (15°C to 35°C) but it will still work — but drain quicker — from.4°F to 14°F (-20°C to 40°C). It won’t accept a charge below freezing and, unsurprisingly, you can’t get it wet.

When not used in astronomy and astrophotography, this can be an emergency backup power source in your home. Like the rucksack-friendly SuperTank Pro 100W, this product comes with a Zendure two-year limited warranty.

Reasons to avoid

Another model from Celestron — first and foremost, it’s a night vision-preserving red flashlight. However, as with the FireCel MEGA 6, it also operates as a hand warmer and low-capacity power bank.

Despite having a relatively small capacity compared to other models in this list, it has enough power to keep your phone and other small devices charged for a night of stargazing. The hand warmer function provides up to four hours of continuous heat and can be used with the torch simultaneously.

The internal battery charges within two hours, so it’s ideal for any of those last-minute adventures. There is also a white LED version of this model, so make sure you choose the Astro version for the red light capability.

Reasons to avoid

As we discussed in our best headlamps buying guide, using a red light as opposed to a white one is essential for maintaining your night vision. While we provide a number of hand-free lighting options in that guide, the fact that this small red LED torch also functions as a 5000mAh power bank makes it a fantastic gift for someone new to astronomy or astrophotography and a useful bit of kit to keep in your bag.

It ships with silicone mount straps to attach the device to somewhere useful, like your tripod leg, and it also comes with a wrist strap. It comes with a minimum of 500x charge cycles and has overcharge protection for maximum longevity.

This is a product for a beginner or someone who doesn’t need the best of the best kit. It does what it’s supposed to do but might have a limited lifespan the more you develop your skywatching prowess.

Best power banks in 2023: What to look for

With the sheer amount of power banks available out there, making a purchasing decision can be overwhelming. We’ve summarized our advice to help you find the best device for you here.

The first thing you’ll need to consider is your budget. The price of power banks can vary widely, with some budget models costing a few dollars and some more premium ones that will set you back over a hundred bucks. Luckily, though, you don’t need to spend loads of money to find a reliable piece of kit. We’ve included devices for every budget in our guide above.

Another important factor when choosing a power bank is its capacity. The capacity of batteries is indicated as XXXX mAh (milliampere/hour). The higher the number, the bigger the capacity — the more power you can draw from it. We’ve included the capacity of each power bank in this guide so you can easily refer to this measurement.

Usually, power banks with a higher mAh are bigger and bulkier devices. So if you’re often on the go and are looking to travel light, it’s important to find a good balance dependent on your needs. There are really compact models available to purchase, including some you can attach to your keyring, which we’ve included in the guide.

Some of the more premium power banks will come with extra features such as a torch or a hand warmer. While these aren’t essential to the smooth running of your night time escapades, they may come in handy and can be worth splashing out if you have the budget.

NB — If you’re going to be traveling on a plane with your power bank and plan to have it in your hand luggage, it must not exceed the 100Wh (27, 000mAh) limit set by the Federal Aviation Administration.

All of the power banks listed here have been selected as being good value-for-money with features that are especially helpful to astronomers and astrophotographers above anything else. We will review and update this guide often and keep an eye out for discounts and deals to help you save money.

How we test the best power banks for skywatchers and astrophotographers

To guarantee you’re getting honest, up-to-date recommendations on the best power banks to buy, here at Space.com, we make sure to put every power bank through a rigorous review to test each device thoroughly. Each power bank is reviewed based on many aspects, from its construction and design, to how well it functions as a power bank and its performance in the field.

Each power bank is carefully tested by either our expert staff or knowledgeable freelance contributors who know their subject areas in depth. This ensures fair reviewing is backed by personal, hands-on experience with each power bank and is judged based on its price point, class and destined use.

We look at how much capacity each power bank has, how quickly it charges, whether it includes a built-in flashlight, whether there’s a red light option for night vision protection, and whether they have in-built hand warming capabilities.

With complete editorial independence, Space.com are here to ensure you get the best buying advice on power banks, whether you should purchase a device or not, making our buying guides and reviews reliable and transparent.

Mega Vault 8,800 mAh Power Bank

Ever want to know exactly how much power is left in your power bank? The Mega Vault answers that question with a LED Digital power check display. The Mega Vault packs an 8,800 mAh Grade A Lithium Ion battery with a dual output. The first output is 5V/1A for charging smartphones and the second is 5V/2A for charging tablets. Also includes an LED light and Micro USB to USB connecting cable which can charge the battery backup or be used to charge up devices with a Micro USB input like Android smartphones from Samsung Motorola HTC Nokia and others. This product is also available with a custom wrap for the packaging. See 7121-89 Mega Vault Power bank with Full Color Wrap

Mega Vault 8,800 mAh Power Bank

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Location

USB Ports Top, On FrontCentered Below Digital Display 2.25 H X 1.87 W

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USB Ports Top, On FrontCentered Below Digital Display 2.25 H X 1.87 W

Packaging: 1-piece white gift box

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LUXA2’s P-MEGA is a triumph of design, power and uniqueness; 41,600mAh provides the company with the world’s largest power bank bragging rights!

Introduction Specifications

I remember a few months back that LUXA2 teased through its page the P-MEGA, its 41,600 Power Station. I imagined it being this massive, cumbersome portable battery, but the 41,600mAh of charge would be simply unbeatable.

An e-mail requesting one as soon as possible was instantly shot off, and that day came last week. It arrived in the mail in a much smaller Express Post bag than I thought it would. Once I ripped through that bag with excitement, the P-MEGA awaited me.

Starting off with an introduction and specifications on LUXA2’s P-MEGA, we have a massive 41,600mAh battery inside, six USB outputs for multiple devices, three are 2A and three are 1A. It features an LED ‘mood light’ that looks ultra-cool and a very plain power button.

In the box, you’ll receive the P-MEGA itself, a carry pouch, power adapter, and user manual. I didn’t expect less, but I wanted more; maybe some retractable microUSB cables? That would’ve been a nice touch, even just one that was built into the P-MEGA.

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The P-MEGA has power input rated at 12V/1.5A and takes around 10-11 hours for a full charge. For a battery with 41,600mAh inside, one would expect it to weigh a considerable amount, but the P-MEGA comes in at under 1kg.

LUXA2 has priced the P-MEGA incredibly well in my opinion, with the 41,600mAh mobile powerhouse selling for 199 on Amazon. 199 is a lot for a mobile battery, but for those who travel often, or charge lots of devices at once, this price is a steal.

Using the LUXA2 P-MEGA

I have a solar power system powering my house, so I charge up all of my devices during the day harnessing the power of our Sun. This means that I can charge up mobile batteries, such as the LUXA2 P-MEGA, during the day for free, and then when I’m discharging them, it’s virtually giving me free power.

I decided to take the LUXA2 P-MEGA to my brother’s house for a night of shenanigans where I could plug in a bunch of our devices and trykey word there being ‘try’to drain the P-MEGA as much as I could. Well, I could not. I failed. I barely took down one of its four LEDs, and that was from charging devices all day and night.

I charged up an iPhone 5S, Nexus 5, a portable speaker, another portable battery, and then an iPhone 5; all the devices were on varying levels of charge, but it barely took off one LED. With one LED representing around 10,000mAh of charge, this is an awesome achievement.

The USB ports themselves have a blue LED glowing from them when they’re active, but I did wish that I could have at least one retractable cord included and built into the P-MEGA. That would make life that much easier, as I wouldn’t need to tote around multiple microUSB to USB cables.

What’s Hot

41,600mAh of Portable Charging. This is the selling point of the P-MEGA; right there on the box it states that it’s the world’s largest power bank, and, with 41,600mAh of charge, it is. It provides 48 hours of non-stop charging to six devices, which is something other devices simply can’t get close to.

Six USB Ports. Being able to charge six devices simultaneously is great, as you can be charging up multiple devices at once, without draining the battery down too much. This comes in handy when you have kids, or lots of friends, who want their mobile devices charged up quickly from a single device.

LUXA2’s Design Work on the P-MEGA. LUXA2 has some truly beautiful products, with the P-MEGA now added to that growing list. The blue LEDs really tip it off, with the only downside being that Plain Jane power button.

What’s Not

No Retractable/Built-In Cables. This is the only thing wrong with the P-MEGA: no built-in or retractable cables. This is something I would’ve loved to see included, but it definitely doesn’t make me think it is a device less worthy of a near-perfect review.

Final Thoughts

If you travel a lot, have kids, or are really social, the LUXA2 P-MEGA is for you. With 41,600mAh of charge, you won’t run out of battery even if you’re charging multiple devices for the entire weekend. This is a massive bonus; you could take the P-MEGA away with you for the weekend, put it on the table, and plug things up to it as you need it.

Having six USB ports on the P-MEGA is another selling point, as you can plug up all of your deviceseven other portable batteriesand they’ll all be charged by the morning. On top of that, the P-MEGA itself will also be charged, ready to go.

We’ve just been hit by a massive heat wave here in Australia, where temperatures soared above 110F. In my state, and just a few suburbs over, power was cut to close to 100,000 homes. I noticed my feed was filled with people saying they were going over to friends’ or families’ houses to charge up their devices (phones, tablets, etc).

In this day and age, you really need your smartphone(s) charged up in case of an emergency. If the P-MEGA was in the house, you have a couple of weeks of charge, or even a week with multiple devices. It really has a million-and-one uses and a million-and-one reasons to buy it.

PRICING: You can find the LUXA2 P-MEGA for sale below. The listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

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Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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RCT MegaPower 54K: A robust power bank for load shedding [Review]

Whenever load shedding arrives, interest in alternative power solutions spikes. Generators, UPS devices, and batteries are among the top items that seem to attract attention, with power banks reserved for smaller devices such as smartphones.

But then in comes the RCT MegaPower 54K from Rectron — which combines the convenience of a power bank with the long-lasting power of more robust power solutions.

The 54K in the name stands for the 54 000mAh capacity, which far exceeds the typical power bank solution.

Here’s what to know about the gadget and how it performed during our review period…

How does the RCT MegaPower 54K work?

The MegaPower 54K works like a typical power bank — with a few exceptions.

Firstly, the device includes more ports than your average power bank. It has two universal adaptors that can fit both two-pin and three-pin plugs. This means you can connect multiple devices at once, up to 200W (combined on both sockets).

In addition to this, there are two USB 5V output ports to charge additional devices.

Altogether, this allows you to charge a mix of devices at once — or four smartphones at once.

A switch on the power bank lets you switch AC Output on and off. This means that you don’t have to worry about the device discharging power when you’re not using it.

A separate port is used for charging up the power bank, while a display on the front lets you check its capacity.

How does the large power bank perform?

While heftier than your average power bank, the MegaPower 54K is small enough to easily move around and discretely pack away when not in use.

It can keep your laptop charged for several hours, averaging around four hours when your laptop has an empty battery.

With mobile routers, smartphones, and tablets, you can expect to charge these devices fully several times over.

Rectron says that the power bank can also keep a 32-inch TV running for three hours. However, if you have a Smart TV that requires an internet connection, and therefore a powered modem, you won’t get as much time.

The power bank, with its fan cooling, also runs a bit loudly — similar to the noise of a loud computer fan or small desk fan.

However, this slight uptick in background noise is nowhere near the levels you would get from a generator.

Its strength lies in its versatility — you can power up a router setup to keep your home Wi-Fi going, keep your Smart devices going during load shedding, or keep your laptop charged for several hours.

Its capacity also means that you can use it for longer bouts of load shedding.

When the battery is completely drained, it takes about 3.5 hours to charge it fully again.

Conclusion: The RCT MegaPower 54K makes a compelling load shedding solution

If the idea of setting up a generator/inverter or UPS/battery power solution for load shedding seems a bit daunting to you, the RCT MegaPower 54K offers a simple, convenient, and user-friendly solution.

For people who want longer-lasting power, Rectron also offers an 80K MegaPower device.

While the device has a knack for attracting smudges and creates a bit of background noise, it is unquestionably useful and convenient.

And with a recommended retail price of R4 999, it is also relatively inexpensive compared to other power solutions and setups.

Feature image: Megan Ellis/Memeburn

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