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

High Capacity Power Banks: A Lie in the Tech Industry

We know that the more energy a power bank stores, the more times it can charge a device. How do you know the amount of energy a power bank contains? We measure a battery’s electrical capacity by its mAh (milliamp Hours).

As technology thrives and demand increases, we’re beginning to see power banks on the market with a battery capacity of up to 30000mAh. In contrast, the size of the average smartphone battery tends to be under 6000mAh.

Most of us assume that the higher the power bank’s capacity, the better it is, but is this true?

The advertised battery capacity is not the actual size.

The biggest myth about cell phone power banks is that its power is listed in the technical specifications. If you see 10000mAh on a power bank or its user manual, you may assume it can charge your iPhone 11 (3110mAh) at least three times. Unfortunately, it’s going to run out of juice before the third charge completes because the real capacity is only about two-thirds the size of the advertised volume. Realistically, a 10000mAh power bank only has around 6000~7000mAh of power to charge up your iPhone 11.

The advertised capacity is just the theoretical value based on the battery cells. Power bank manufacturers often list the theoretical size as an advertisement, making their not-so-high-capacity power banks look better than they are.

False theoretical capacity

Worse still, some manufacturers sell power banks with fake theoretical capacity.

The most powerful power bank you can find on Amazon is 72000mAh and that’s over 150. If you search 100000mAh power banks online, you will see that eBay and Aliexpress are selling them, but if you take a closer look, you’ll find a scam. No well-known brands are making 100000mAh power banks, and those sold on e-commerce sites are suspiciously cheap. A 10000mAh power bank costs around 15~30, making little sense if the price for a power bank with energy ten times higher is the same.

Not only are they not as powerful as advertised, but they pose a significant security risk. These power banks are highly likely cheap because manufacturers use cheap and inadequate electronics, increasing the risk of combustion.

Too bulky to be a portable power bank.

Given that the higher the capacity of a power bank, the bulkier it is, a real 100000mAh power bank is almost impossible to fit into a

Some devices can hold more than 100000mAh, but they are not really power banks. Take the Anker 120000mAh PowerHouse, for example, an electric power generator that can charge a laptop a few times, or power a mini-fridge for 7 hours. It’s much more powerful and more substantial than the traditional power bank.

Extra weight

A 10000mAh power bank weighs approximately 220-250g, while a 30000mAh can easily exceed 600g, about the same weight as two cans of cola. Although high capacity power banks are ideal power sources, especially when you are out for a long trip, you also have the additional weight.

Longer charging time

It takes longer to charge a cell phone if it has a bigger battery, similarly, to store more energy, a power bank requires longer to charge. If the input is 10W (5V/2A), which is the case for many power banks, it requires at least 5 hours for a 10000mAh power bank to charge fully. This is not very convenient, especially when you remember to charge it at the last minute.

Flight restrictions

You may already know that you will be asked about power banks when you check-in at an airport. Power banks are only allowed in carry-on baggage, and they should not exceed 100 watt-hours (Wh) per battery. You will need to seek approval from an airline if your power bank has between 100~160Wh, inevitably prolonging the check-in process.

Watt-hours is the number of watts the power bank can supply per hour. Watt-hours = (capacity)/1000 x (nominal voltage). The common nominal voltage for power banks is 3.8V; therefore, a 10000mAh power bank is 38Wh. 100Wh equals to 26315mAh (3.8V).

Are High Capacity Power Banks Even Necessary?

High capacity power banks are great, but there’s often a catch. They are not for everyone, and not suitable for every situation. For those who want to go camping with numerous electronic devices, large batteries are the first choice. On the other hand, if you commute to work every day, there’s no need to carry a bulky power bank. Charge your cell phone at home or the office, and if you start with a full battery, your mobile should survive the journey home.

Now comes the big question:

How do you make sure your phone battery is always full before you hit the road?

Most of us won’t pull out our charging cable right after sitting at the desk, while the phone is still showing 70% of battery. However, after taking calls, checking. and playing a game on your lunch break, the phone is down to 20% by the time we leave.

You may want to charge your phone whenever possible, but it’s hard to change your daily routine.

So, what’s the best solution?

The trick is to use a wireless charger that gradually encourages you to charge your phone, such as the MagEZ Slider 2. The MagEZ Slider 2 is detachable 3-in-1 wireless charger that can charge iPhone, Airpods, and Apple Watch simultaneously. The MagSafe power bank charges your iPhone 12, iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 at 5W/7.5W. When you don’t need to charge on the go, slide the power bank into the MagEZ Slider dock, so you won’t misplace or forget to charge it. When you need to charge on the go, simply slide it out, snap it to your phone, and rest assured that your phone will be active all day.

Have a long commute? Emergency?

If you happen to be a smartphone addict or have a long commute, your phone may shut down before you can access a power source. With the MagEZ Slider, this is no longer a problem as it doubles as a lightweight, magnetic power bank. When you need battery backup, pull your phone out with the power bank, and you are good to go.

In addition, the power bank will always be ready for your travel. With the dedicated dock, you won’t misplace it or forget to charge it anymore.

Conclusion

Think twice before purchasing a high capacity power bank because you may find that it doesn’t work as expected, or you don’t even need it. For many, high capacity power banks are not necessary. Charge your smartphone whenever you can by using the MagEZ Slider 2, and you’ll never be worried that your phone will die. Just turn it into a magnetic wireless power bank, and you can rest assured that your phone can last until you have access to power.

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.

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.

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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.

This monster can even provide an electric car with enough juice to travel five miles, so you won’t have any trouble charging your devices for several days, including laptops, video equipment, drones, mini-fridges, and heaters.

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.

The 6 Best Solar Power Banks for 2023

On the hunt for a reliable backup power solution in case of emergencies? Spend lots of time off-grid? Or perhaps you’re just looking for a way to keep your phone charged throughout the long workday.

Whatever your power needs, harness the energy of the sun in one small device with a solar power bank!

Solar power banks are an amazing, portable solution if you’re looking to access power from anywhere there is sunshine. Bring them camping, hiking, RVing, or charge them up for emergencies at home.

With a variety of different sizes, weights, and capacities, choosing the best solar power bank might be a little overwhelming. But don’t worry, because we’ve got all your needs covered with our list of the six best solar power banks for the year!

So read on, and find the best solar solution for your needs in our list below.

Our Top Picks

Jackery Solar Generator 1000

Powerful. Peaceful. Portable.

The Jackery Solar Generator 1000—which comes equipped with a power station and two solar panels—can silently reach a full charge in only six hours.

From the get-go, connecting the panels to the power station is super easy and you’ll be up and running your solar power bank within minutes. With an easy-to-read LCD screen, you’ll also be able to get real-time insights into power input and output numbers, as well as the power station’s minute-to-minute charge level. And when you’re done recharging, the solar panels fold up easily for portability and storage.

The Jackery is ideal for camping or emergency power storage with a massive battery capacity capable of charging everything from your phone to running appliances. Its huge power, portability, and peaceful silence are what earn the Jackery Solar Generator 1000 the best overall solar power bank slot.

If you need a solar power bank capable of running pretty much anything, this is your best option!

  • Large battery storage capacity with a fast solar recharge time
  • Easy-to-read, real-time display
  • Ability to run appliances
  • Heavy compared to handheld solutions
  • Solar panel legs are not well suited for rougher terrain

Solar Power Bank Stats

  • Battery capacity: 1002Wh
  • Outputs to devices: one USB port, one USB quick charge port, two USB-C ports, three AC outlets, and one car charging outlet
  • Weight: 34lbs
  • Battery type: Lithium-ion

BLAVOR Solar Power Bank

The BLAVOR Solar Power Bank is one of the market’s lightest and smallest solar power banks and is extremely well-suited for portability. With USB-C, USB, and wireless charging ports, this is an inexpensive option to keep your small devices running.

At full capacity, the BLAVOR Solar Power Bank can fully recharge your iPhone 14 Pro twice and your iPad Air once. Or, use the wireless charger on this solar power bank for smaller items like Airpods!

The BLAVOR is waterproof, dustproof, and made from flame-retardant materials. So no matter what activities you’re doing, this solar power bank will persevere. To top it all off, the BLAVOR has a built-in dual flashlight and comes with a compass carabiner for added safety and adventuring features.

Solar Power Bank Stats

  • Battery capacity: 10,000mAh
  • Outputs to devices: one USB port, one USB-C port, one wireless port
  • Weight: 10oz
  • Battery type: Lithium-cobalt

QiSa 38800mAh Solar Power Bank

The QiSa takes the BLAVOR and steps it up a notch. Loved by outdoorsmen and women for its large battery capacity—meaning you won’t have to worry about running out of charge—the QiSa 38800mAh Solar Power Bank is built for life on the move.

The QiSa boasts four collapsable solar panels that can be used to continuously charge the solar power bank. And, unlike small, single-paneled options, this solar power bank can fully recharge on just sunlight in mere hours.

With the QiSa in your backpack, you’ll carry around the ability to charge your iPhone up to twelve times. And, with two USB ports and one wireless charging port, you’ll also be able to power up three different devices at once.

And when you’re charging up, rest assured your devices are safe! The QiSa comes with a built-in Smart chip to stabilize voltage, so your devices will never be at risk of a surge or damage.

  • Large energy storage capacity and fast solar charging
  • Smart chip for voltage stabilization
  • Waterproof, drop-proof, and dustproof

Solar Power Bank Stats

  • Battery capacity: 38,800mAh
  • Outputs to devices: two USB fast ports, one wireless charging port
  • Weight: 22.88oz
  • Battery type: Lithium polymer

Hiluckey Outdoor USB-C Portable Power Bank 4 Solar Panels

The Hiluckey solar power bank is here to charge your devices in a jiffy!

With fast-charging capabilities, the Hiluckey can charge your iPhone from zero to one hundred in under an hour. Also equipped with the ability to fully charge tablets up to four times, and iPhones up to ten times, you won’t have to worry about recharging the Hiluckey very often!

Covered in a sleek leather case for a more subtle look, this solar power bank is compact and stylish. Open it up and fold-out solar panels can be laid out for quick power bank charging speeds.

best, power, banks, 2023, charge, your
  • Affordable compared to other similar models
  • Subtle and discrete look with a leather exterior
  • Fast device charging
  • Slow at reaching a full charge with the solar panels alone
  • Not well suited for harsh conditions

Solar Power Bank Stats

  • Battery capacity: 25,000mAh
  • Outputs to devices: two USB ports, one USB-C port
  • Weight: 21.44oz
  • Battery type: Lithium polymer
best, power, banks, 2023, charge, your

42800mAh Solar Power Bank

With a large battery capacity compared to other products of similar weight, this portable solar power bank will give you peace of mind that your devices will remain charged throughout the day.

The 42800mAh Solar Power Bank was built with durability and extreme environments in mind. It is waterproof, drop-proof, and dustproof, making it a great addition to any adventurer’s backpack. So whether you’re keeping your phone charged at work or going on the most treacherous of hikes, this solar power bank will survive any condition.

  • IP67-certified waterproof, drop-proof, and dustproof
  • Built-in LED flashlight
  • 1600 charging lifecycles

Solar Power Bank Stats

  • Battery capacity: 42,800mAh
  • Outputs to devices: two USB ports
  • Weight: 22.24 oz
  • Battery type: Lithium polymer

Goal Zero Yeti 200X Portable Power Station Nomad 20 Solar Panel Kit

With fast solar recharge speeds and quick electronic charging capabilities, there was no question that the Goal Zero Yeti 200X would earn itself a spot on this list of best solar power banks.

The Goal Zero Yeti 200X solar power kit comes complete with everything you need to charge anything from small electronics to larger items like laptops, lights, or even portable fridges. Then once you’re done charging your devices, pack up your solar power bank quickly with a collapsable panel and a lightweight power station.

  • Allows you to link additional solar panels to capture more sun
  • Recharges fully on sunlight alone within 12-24 hrs using one panel
  • Lightweight compared to other solar power stations of similar capacity
  • difficult to transport than a handheld solar power bank
  • Solar panels may lack some durability

Solar Power Bank Stats

  • Battery capacity: 187Wh
  • Outputs to devices: one USB port, one USB-C port, and one USB port directly from the solar panel
  • Weight: 7lbs 4.5oz
  • Battery type: Lithium-ion

Solar Power Bank Buyer’s Guide

Types of Solar Power Banks

Solar power banks come in all different shapes and sizes, but the most common you’ll find are single-panel solar power banks, solar power banks with multiple panels or fold-up panels, or solar power banks with larger, attachable panels.

In general, solar should be used as a backup power source for anything with a single, built-in panel. Charge these solar power banks at home before you’re without power and use the sun as a top-up when you’re out and about.

Multi, fold-up, or larger paneled solar power banks are able to capture more sun. This allows them to charge faster off of sunlight alone and makes them more reliable in a pinch. The trade-off? These solar power banks are generally a little bulkier or heavier.

What to Look For in a Solar Power Bank

There are plenty of things to look for when choosing your next solar power bank. Definitely keep an eye out for these key elements:

  • The first thing you’ll want to take a look at is the solar power bank’s battery capacity. This is the measure of how much power, or charge, the battery can hold. The more energy your solar power bank can store, the more you’ll be able to use it before having to recharge.
  • Battery recharge time indicates how long it’ll take for your solar power bank to recharge. If you’re plugging your solar power bank into an energy source (e.g. a wall outlet or car) you can expect a faster recharge time. If you’re relying on the sun alone to recharge your power bank, take into account that recharging may take a little longer depending on the solar panels being used.
  • Weight and size are crucial to know if you’re going to be adventuring with your solar power bank.
  • Remember to also consider which outputs to devices (e.g. USB, USB-C, etc.) you need from your solar power bank.
  • Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, investigate the solar power bank’s charging speeds. Will it take an hour to charge your phone or an entire day? Make sure you deep dive into this when choosing the best option for you!

Distinguishing Features to Help You Choose Your Solar Power Bank

Outside of the general items to weigh when choosing the best solar power bank for your needs, there are plenty of distinguishing features that may help one stick out over another.

Durability is especially important if you’re going to be using your solar power bank camping, hiking, or in the outdoors. Many options are certified waterproof, drop-proof, and dustproof, so keep an eye out for those features.

Plenty of the best solar power banks also come with interesting built-in features like flashlights or compasses. When deciding between two similar models, these special add-ons could definitely be something that may sway your decision.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Solar Power Bank

To make the best solar power bank even better, implement some of our super-simple tips to optimize your experience:

  • Charge your smaller, single-panel solar power banks at home with a plug-in power source, and use the sun as a top-up when you’re on the go.
  • Clean your solar panels regularly.
  • Check the area surrounding your solar power bank for any obstructions that could be blocking the sun and clear them away.
  • Move the solar panels with the sun throughout the day to capture the most power.

Time to Soak Up the Sun

Thank you for taking the time to peruse through this list of the best solar power banks for 2023! Whether you’re just looking for something to carry in your backpack to keep your phone charged all day, or you want to go with a larger machine that can power appliances, this list has hopefully given you options for just about anything.

Now get out there and soak up the sun… literally!

Looking for even more solar power? Read all about the best solar generators for off-grid living.

Posted on Last updated: March 31, 2023

The best portable chargers and power banks in 2021

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  • The best battery packs and power banks help us get through the busiest of days, providing portable power for our smartphones, tablets, and even laptops.
  • With a large capacity, fast charging capability, and a reasonable price, the Elecjet PowerPie is our pick for the best power bank you can buy in 2021.
  • But RAVPower’s 20,000 mAh battery pack is also a great value because it can charge your phone many times over for less than 30.
  • Looking for a way to charge your phone while propping it up on your desk? Check out our guide to the best iPhone docks.

Smartphones are amazing multi-purpose devices that play a big role in our lives. We’ve grown accustomed to taking calls, checking emails, using apps, and responding to texts at all hours, whether we’re working from home, the office, or even the backyard. Unfortunately, all that functionality means that our phones need to be recharged quite often.

Nothing beats battery anxiety like a portable power bank. They come in all shapes and sizes, with different features and capabilities, and many of them can charge tablets and even laptops as well as phones.

You can stick a battery pack in your bag or. or set it on your desk to juice your device without occupying another outlet. But since there’s a bewildering array of options available on the market, it can be tough to know where to start. We’ve researched and tested more than 100 of the best battery packs — and the worst — over the last few years, and researched many others to recommend the right pick for different scenarios.

Your best battery pack depends on the device you want to charge, how much you want to spend, and what kind of capacity you need. We’re about to outline the cream of the crop, but we’ve also listed what else we considered and would still recommend.

Here are the best portable chargers and power banks:

Updated on 1/26/21 by Sarah Lord. Updated language throughout. Updated best value battery pack as well as the other options we considered.

The best battery pack overall

The Elecjet PowerPie is packing enough juice to charge all your devices, it’s capable of fast charging, and it won’t break the bank.

Pros: Huge capacity, fast charging support, can charge anything, reasonably priced

Cons: Won’t fast charge Huawei or OnePlus phones

With a whopping 20,000mAh of capacity, the Elecjet PowerPie can charge up most smartphones several times over before it runs out. It can also charge up tablets, and even laptops in a pinch. It supports the Power Delivery 3.0 standard via the USB-C port and the Quick Charge 3.0 standard via the USB-A port. That allows it to charge at rates of up to 45W and 18W, respectively.

I’ve been using the Google Pixel 4 as my main phone for the last few months, and it has very poor battery life, so the PowerPie has been a constant companion. It charges Google’s Pixel phones and Apple’s iPhones at the fastest rate possible, which is 18W. The PowerPie is also uniquely attractive if you have a Samsung Note 10 Plus or S20 Ultra, which are capable of charging at 45W, because it has support for the required, but relatively rare, Programmable Power Supply (PPS) standard. It does not support Huawei or OnePlus fast charging standards, however. If you have a laptop with USB-C, like the newer MacBook Pro and Air, or the Dell XPS, then you can also use the PowerPie to top up its battery.

The USB-C port is also used to charge the PowerPie. Provided you use the right wall charger, it can charge up at 45W, which means you can fill that 20,000mAh battery in just two and a half hours. The Elecjet PowerPie comes with a USB-C to USB-C cable that’s one meter long.

Design-wise there’s nothing special going on here. The Elecjet PowerPie is a typically chunky battery pack, weighing about 13 ounces (390 grams). A power button on the side lights up a four LED array on the end that gives you a rough idea of how much power is left in the tank. The USB-C and USB-A ports are on the end, next to the LEDs, and the whole pack is finished in black, soft-touch plastic that’s comfortable to hold.

Having used the PowerPie extensively, at busy trade shows and events, and on days out, I can confidently say it’s the best battery pack I’ve ever used. It always seems to have a little more juice left than I expected, it doesn’t heat up, and it seems to hold a charge for a decent length of time. The crowning glory is that the Elecjet PowerPie costs just 50 right now on Amazon.

The best battery pack for iPhone

With a sleek, lightweight design, a Lightning port, and enough power to charge most iPhones up twice over, the Ubio Labs Shadow Series is ideal for iPhone owners.

Pros: Lightweight, Lightning port, Smart design

Cons: Limited capacity, no fast charging support

A stylish look, some nifty functionality, and a Lightning port make the Ubio Labs Shadow Series an interesting prospect for iPhone owners. This power bank has a 6,000mAh capacity, which is enough to charge most iPhone models twice with change. There’s a USB-A port that can put out up to 12W, but there’s also a Lightning port to charge this battery pack up.

When you only have so much space in your bag, it’s nice to be able to go with a single cable, and that’s precisely the point of the Lightning port here. Put this in your bag, along with the wall charger and cable you usually use to charge your iPhone, and you have everything you need.

This battery pack also has a stylish design, with a glossy, plastic frame. There’s soft touch, matte plastic, on the top and bottom, and it comes in black or rose gold. There’s also a four LED array on the top to show remaining power, and you’ll find both ports on the top edge. There’s no power button, because there’s an accelerometer inside, which means you simply shake the battery pack to turn it on or off, or to check remaining power.

With MFi certification from Apple, this battery pack is fully compatible with iPhones and iPads. I tested with an iPhone X. It was able to charge the iPhone up twice over, and it’s the perfect size to hold in your hand together with the iPhone. The Ubio Labs Shadow is also impressively lightweight, coming in at less than five ounces.

The maximum output is 12W, so it’s not able to fast charge your iPhone. It also has a maximum input of 9W, which means it takes around two hours to recharge. At 40, the Ubio Labs Shadow lags behind the competition for capacity and speed, but the Lightning port is unique, and there’s something cool about the fact you shake it to bring it to life.

The best slim battery pack

The Clutch Charger is small enough to slip into your wallet or purse, but it holds enough charge to give your phone a decent chunk of battery life.

Pros: Super slim design, built-in cable

Cons: Limited capacity, questionable durability

It’s amazing that something as small as the Clutch Charger can hold enough power to replenish a little more than 40% of the battery life of an iPhone X, but I tested it and it does. Not much bigger than a couple of credit cards, the Clutch Charger has a built-in Lightning cable that slides out from the top left corner. The capacity is an impressive 2,300mAh.

A metal sandwich design, with a plastic frame that houses a Micro USB port, the Clutch Charger is unobtrusive. It will fit easily in most purses and handbags, and can even slide neatly into larger wallets. It weighs around two ounces (60 grams), so you can forget that it’s there until you need it. This is the ideal charger to sling in your purse or bag and forget about, until that fateful night your phone goes dead and you triumphantly pull it out.

After a couple of months in my wife’s bag, the Clutch Charger is showing a few minor signs of wear and tear – the paint has chipped a little on the metal. It still seems to work as expected, but I do wonder about the long-term durability. The single red LED is also a weak point in the design; it flashes to show remaining power when you plug it in, so you must pay attention. There’s no power button because the Clutch Charger turns on automatically when you plug it into your iPhone. While the metal is cool most of the time, it can get a little warm when charging your iPhone.

If you want to buy one, it will cost you 40. That’s a high price for the capacity on offer here, but I haven’t seen such an incredibly slim design before, and that, coupled with the built-in cable, makes the Clutch Charger the perfect emergency battery pack.

The best battery pack for laptops

The OmniCharge Omni 20 is a one-stop charging shop that will keep everything in your life powered up, including laptops.

Pros: Large capacity, AC/DC outlet, fast charging

Cons: Expensive, big and bulky

When I tell you that the OmniCharge Omni 20 has a full AC outlet, you’ll instantly understand the appeal. It’s like having a portable wall outlet. You can plug just about any laptop into this battery pack, and it will also happily charge phones, tablets, cameras, and other gadgets. Alongside that AC outlet, there are two USB-A ports, a USB-C port, and a barrel port. As if all that wasn’t enough, the top also acts as a Qi wireless charger.

The least remarkable thing about this battery pack is the 20,000mAh capacity, though that’s enough juice up your phone several times, or to charge up a tablet or laptop. The fact you can use a standard plug with it makes it extremely versatile and that AC outlet can deliver up to 100W. The barrel port can take 45W, which is enough to fully charge the Omnicharge Omni 20 in less than three hours using your laptop adapter, but it can also put out 100W as a DC output. The USB-C port can put out up to 60W, or take in 45W for recharging. The two USB-A ports can put out 15W, and the Qi wireless charger on top goes up to 10W.

This is a big, chunky battery pack, with a square shape and sloping corners. It feels solid and well built, but it is pretty heavy at around 22 ounces (630 grams). It has a textured finish and the side panels host the ports and power controls. There’s also a full display that shows you precisely the remaining power, what’s flowing in and out in real-time, what the temperature is, and how long you have left before it runs out. This is fully configurable, so you can turn the display off if you prefer.

There’s a fan inside in the Omnicharge Omni 20 to help keep it cool, which is a necessity with something capable of putting out 100W. It also supports pass-through charging, so you can plug it in to charge and plug something into it to charge at the same time. There’s a bit of a learning curve, but I’ve used this on a few trips, and it has never let me down.

At nearly 200, it’s not for everyone, but the Omnicharge Omni 20 has an impressive set of features that you won’t find anywhere else. There have been a couple of different models of this battery pack, so check the feature list when you buy to make sure you’re getting the one you want.

The best value battery pack

With high capacity and a low price, the RAVPower 20,000 mAh power bank offers great bang for your buck.

Pros: High capacity, good price

Cons: A little heavy

The RAVPower 20,000 mAh power bank isn’t the lightest or the slimmest model on the market, but it offers a large amount of power for a decent price. It has two charging ports and provides enough juice to charge even the newest phones multiple times over. You can even take this with you on an airplane in your carry-on, which will be perfect for a time when we can travel regularly again.

This black, rectangular device has nice rounded corners that gives it a sleek look. It weighs slightly over 1 pound and features a place for two USB cables and one micro-USB. The top of the charger includes a string of blue LED lights to indicate the overall battery level of the device. This easy-to-read set-up works means that you will always know when it is time to recharge your power bank.

The USB ports offer a combined output of 5V/3.4A, while each individual port is optimized for 5V/2.4A output per port. This doesn’t support fast charging, but it should still give your phone enough power in a fairly short amount of time – depending on the capacity of the battery you are trying to charge, of course.

TechRadar also loved this power bank and it currently has amazing reviews on Amazon. The RAVPower 20,000 mAh power bank stands out in a crowded field for its high capacity, sleek design and low price.

The best wireless charging battery pack

Stylish and sticky, the unusual Bezalel Prelude will cling to your phone and charge it wirelessly, while you get on with your day.

Pros: Stylish design, nano-suction works well, fast wireless charging

Cons: Expensive, could lose sliding panel

Wireless charging is here to stay. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll never want to return to the world of tangled wires and plugging things in. With the Bezalel Prelude, you don’t have to worry about cables, because it supports Qi wireless charging. It can deliver up to 10W, which is enough to charge iPhones and most Android phones at the top speed they can be wirelessly charged at.

The capacity here is quite low, at just 5,000mAh, but that should be enough to charge most phone batteries up to 75%. There’s no power button, you shake the Bezalel Prelude to get started, but before you do, remove the magnetic panel on the back to reveal the nano-suction pad. This pad is what enables the Bezalel Prelude to stick to the back of your phone, and it works fine with most cases, provided they have a smooth finish.

Positioning is important, but once you have the Prelude in place, it will charge your phone until it’s empty. The suction is strong enough that you can hold the Prelude upside down and your phone will stay put – though I don’t recommend you do that. It’s small enough to be unobtrusive and it’s also very lightweight at just 5.5 ounces (158 grams). That means you can continue using your phone as usual and leave the battery pack stuck to the back until it runs out of power.

The Bezalel Prelude also has a USB-C port, so you can charge it up or charge a device via cable. It charges up at 18W, so should be full again in less than two hours, and it can also output 18W, which is enough to charge an iPhone 11 Pro or a Google Pixel 4 at top speed. There’s a typical row of four white LEDs to show remaining power and the logo lights up when you plug it in.

Compared to other wireless charging battery packs I’ve tried, the Bezalel Prelude is better, because of the nano-suction pad that keeps it in place. The alignment is important and it’s easy to bump things and stop the flow of power with wireless charging, so this design is Smart. Although, it does mean you need to keep the back panel with you and cover the pad when you’re not using it to stop it from getting dirty.

At 80, the Bezalel Prelude is expensive, and the capacity is relatively small, but it has an attractive design and works well.

What else we considered

There are a lot of truly decent options in the world of battery packs, and there simply isn’t space to cover them all. These are the battery packs that came closest to making the list, and they are all fine alternatives if you don’t like what you’ve seen so far.

  • Anker PowerCore Slim PD (30): With a lovely slim design that comes in a choice of colors, and a decent 10,000mAh capacity, this battery pack is well worth the price it commands. I like the textured surface, which adds grip, and it supports 18W charging through the USB-C port with the Power Delivery standard.
  • RAVPower PD Pioneer (45): This reasonably priced battery pack has 20,000mAh to share and can put out up to 60W with the Power Delivery standard, making it suitable for charging laptops, as well as phones and tablets. It can be fully recharged in just three hours. It is similar to the RAVPower bank we recommended, but this one is more expensive because it offers both a USB-A port and that faster USB-C PD charging for laptops and other devices.
  • Zendure Supermini (50): Supremely compact and durable, this battery pack has 10,000mAh to offer via a USB-C port that supports the Power Delivery standard and a USB-A port. The blue horizon version brings a much-needed splash of color to battery packs.

How to choose a battery pack

The last few years has seen some major advances in battery pack technology. Capacities have grown, charging speeds have increased, and battery packs are more portable than ever. But, there are still a few questions to ask before you shop for a new battery pack.

What device or devices do you want to charge?

You can get battery packs now that will happily charge a smartphone, tablet, or even a laptop, but you need to check compatibility before you buy.

What kind of charging cable do you need?

Some battery packs have USB-C ports, some have USB-A, and some have built-in cables. They don’t always come with cables in the box. If you want to charge an iPhone, you may need a USB-C to Lightning cable or a USB-A to Lightning cable. Most Android phones, and many tablets and laptops now, will require a USB-C cable. Think about what type of cable you need, and make sure any cable you buy is capable of the charging speed you’re looking for.

What is the top speed your device can charge at?

Manufacturers are constantly figuring out ways to increase the top charging speed for phones and other devices. At the time of writing, the top wired charging rate for iPhones, for example, is 18W. Some manufacturers, such as OnePlus or Huawei, offer much faster charging rates, but require the use of proprietary charging technology. Many battery packs are capable of fast charging now, but check to make sure they are capable of fast charging your particular device before you buy.

What capacity do you need?

Battery packs are more portable than ever, but they will generally be larger as the charging capacity inside increases. It’s also important to note that you will never get the full stated capacity when you use a battery pack. Most manufacturers offer an estimate on how many times a battery pack will charge up a specific device, like an iPhone.

How long does the battery pack take to charge up?

It’s not unusual for battery packs, even battery packs that are capable of fast charging other devices, to take a long time to charge up themselves. The best battery packs will recharge quickly, but you will likely need to use a fast charger and the right cable to get the top speeds.

Simon Hill is a freelance technology journalist with more than a decade of experience covering everything from smartphones and gaming to Smart home gadgets and emerging technologies. He mainly writes for Insider’s tech and electronics section. You can find his bylines at Wired, Reviewed, TechRadar, Android Authority, USA Today, VentureBeat, Deal News, and many other places. He served as Associate Editor at Digital Trends where he wrote features, reviews, comparisons, analysis, how-to guides, roundups, and more. He also trained and managed freelancers, and covered major trade shows like CES, MWC, and IFA. Before writing full time, he worked in the games industry as a tester, game designer, and finally as a producer. Simon lives in Scotland with his family and is currently locked in a long-running battle with Bodhi the cat for possession of his office chair. Learn more about how our team of experts tests and reviews products at Insider here.

Sarah covers tech and electronics as a fellow on the reviews team. She is a recent graduate of Wellesley College. Learn more about how our team of experts tests and reviews products at Insider here.

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