0mAh to 120000mAh: What’s the Best Capacity for A Power Bank?
Yes, there are fixes to stop your phone, tablet, or laptop battery from draining fast. But not everyone wants to compromise. That’s why portable power banks or battery packs exist.
For those who are new to power banks or have difficulty deciding which kind to get, capacity is the first and foremost thing to consider because it determines how often you can charge your device.
Ever wondered what the best capacity for a power bank is?
What Do You Need to Know About Power Bank Capacity?
I once explained about the numbers printed on power banks. Capacity is one of those complicated technical terms. But the rule is simple: the actual capacity of a power bank is about 2/3 of the rated capacity. Part of the energy will be lost in the conversion and during charging.
Capacity typically measures in mAh (Milliamp Hours), like our smartphone batteries. The bigger the number is, the larger the capacity. A power bank with a 10000 mAh battery has a capacity of about 6000-7000 mAh. The iPhone 12 mini has a 2227 mAh battery. So one full charge of a 10000 mAh power bank can charge the iPhone 12 mini from 0 to 100% two or three times (7000 divided by 2227).
If a 10000 mAh power bank can barely charge your iPhone 12 mini twice, then probably it’s so poorly made that too much energy loss happens during charging, it has a low conversion efficiency or simply contains far less capacity than claimed.
1000 mAh Power Bank
Power banks with a capacity less than that of the regular smartphone are rarely seen nowadays. To many, they seem pointless, but those who are not addicted to handheld entertainment may love the idea of a backup battery pack that they can attach to their key chains or keep in their wallet.
4000~5000 mAh Power Bank
A power bank of about 4000 mAh should suffice in ensuring your phone lasts well over a day even if you’re a heavy phone user, given that most people don’t leave the house with a dead phone. Phone users welcome these kinds of power banks with good reason: sufficient capacity with portability. If you are looking for a portable power bank for your phone, you may want to look at those 4000-5000 mAh power banks that can fully, or almost fully, charge your device. They’re also very portable and convenient to carry.
7000 mAh Power Bank
If you’re going to places where you regularly rely on your phone, and it may be a while before you come across a wall charger, then a medium-capacity power bank is the best option. A power bank with a capacity of around 7,000 mAh can not only charge your phone once, but you can share it with other people or charge other small devices like earbuds.
10000 mAh Power Bank
The average battery capacity of a standard smartphone falls below 4,000 mAh. So, a power bank with a 10,000 mAh capacity (actual capacity 6,000-7,000 mAh) is enough to fully charge most handsets at least once and charge small phones like the iPhone 12 mini three times. The downside is that power banks of this size tend to be larger and heavier than your cell phone.
20000 mAh Power Bank
A power bank with a capacity of 12000 mAh is more than enough for a smartphone. You can even charge a tablet like the iPad mini (5124 mAh) or Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 (8000 mAh).
If you have the iPad Pro 2020 with a battery of nearly 10000 mAh, or a standard laptop, then a 20000 mAh power bank seems to be the best option. After charging your iPad Pro once, the power bank still has energy left for a smartphone.
20000 mAh Power Banks
Power banks with a capacity of over 20000 mAh are comparably expensive and sizeable. So, be careful if you see some power banks with an extremely high capacity and an unreasonable price tag. They can support all your portable devices for a day and tend to be used for camping or traveling.
120000 mAh Power Banks
These kinds of power banks are more like portable generators, capable of lasting for days. They are usually found in a car’s trunk and can charge appliances, such as a mini-fridge. They typically feature multiple charging ports to charge several devices simultaneously.
What is the Best Capacity for a Power Bank?
As you already know, the more capacity a power bank holds, the more it can provide. On the flip side, the more powerful a power bank is, the bulkier it is. They also require a longer charging time and may not be allowed on flights.
You can’t have it both ways.
So, the best capacity for a power bank depends on your needs.
For regular phone use or a daily commute, take a look at power banks between 4000-5000 mAh, which are portable and have adequate juice.
For phone users with unique needs or for particular scenarios, 7000-10000 mAh are good options. If you want a power bank mainly for your tablet or laptop, they’d better be above 10000 mAh.
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Best Power Banks Portable Chargers for Travel
Whether we like it or not, we’ve all come to rely on our cell phones. Whether you use it for calling and texting, accessing your favorite social media apps, listening to music or podcasts, or for navigation, you undoubtedly feel the pain when you accidentally leave home without it. Or when it runs out of juice.
And if it’s even possible, you’ll find that you rely on your cell phone more than ever when traveling. Long bus rides, flights, and road trips can be pretty miserable without the entertainment stored on your phone. And you’ll have a rough time booking hotels and flights or picking the best restaurants without the travel apps on your phone. You’ll also likely rely on it for taking photos and videos of your favorite moments during your trip.
Instead of being the victim of a powerless cell phone, invest in a portable charger to ensure you’ll always have your trusty phone charged and ready when you need it. Here’s a list of our favorite power banks that will suit any type of traveler!
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase or booking through one of our links we may earn a small commission (don’t worry, it’s at no extra cost to you).
What to Consider When Purchasing a Power Bank
How Much Power Does it Hold?
A 10,000 mAh power bank can completely recharge an iPhone X two to three times or an iPhone 8 three to four times. The size of the power bank to purchase should depend on the type of phone that you have and how many gadgets you’ll need to charge.
Note: Some countries are now restricting the size of batteries that were allowed to be taken on airplanes. For example, in Thailand, external batteries must be kept in your carry-on luggage (not allowed in checked bags) and batteries over 32,000 mAh are not allowed on the plane at all.
For this reason, you probably shouldn’t purchase a portable charger over 32,000 and you should double-check to see if there are any restrictions before you head to the airport to make sure you don’t accidentally get your battery confiscated.
Power Bank Size and weight
Generally the more power a battery can hold, the larger and heavier you can expect it to be. Battery technology is constantly improving so you’ll find that newer models offer a better power-to-weight ratio.
And if you’re willing to spend a little more on your power bank you can shave off a few ounces. It may not sound like a lot, but it will make a big difference if you’re going to be hiking with it.
How Many Devices it can Charge Simultaneously
Most portable chargers offer 1-3 USB ports for charging your electronics. If you only plan to use your power bank to charge your phone, you won’t need more than 1 USB port. But if you have multiple devices (i.e. Kindle, iPad, camera battery) then you’ll probably want at least 2 charging ports.
Also, some portable chargers now have a USB-C port in addition to the standard USB port. USB-C ports can deliver more power and can even be used to charge newer (post-2016) MacBooks.
Power Bank Output
Most new cell phones offer some type of quick charge capability which allows them to be recharged in less than an hour. However, in order to take advantage of these faster charging times, you’ll need a portable charger that delivers a high amperage (abbreviated to either “amp” or simply the letter ‘A’).
Older portable chargers only delivered a measly 1A. But most new chargers offer 2-3A. We would recommend avoiding any portable chargers that don’t offer an output of at least 2.4A.
How Long Does the Power Bank Take to Recharge
The downside of a large power bank is that they typically take a long time to recharge. It will take about six hours to fully recharge a 10,000 mAh power bank and 9-12 hours to recharge a 26,800 mAh power bank.
Some brands, including Anker, have developed a technology that allows you to recharge your power banks much faster by using dual USB-Micro inputs or a USB-C input. Make sure you take note of the charging time before you make your final power bank purchasing decision.
Best power banks and portable chargers to keep you fully charged in 2023
There are now countless power banks and portable chargers to keep up with how much time we spend on our devices. It’s easy to start comparing them by price, but different power banks can do different things. and it’s important to get one most suited to you.
Whether you’re looking for high capacities for big charges, or solar-powered batteries for camping outdoors, there’s a range of features available from a variety of brands. Read on for our top picks.
Best power banks and portable chargers to buy in 2023
Anker PowerCore 13000 Power Bank
Anker are known for their reliable power banks, and this charger from their PowerCore range has some handy features. It has Anker’s PowerIQ technology that is able to identify the device it’s charging to optimise the charge that it delivers.
Packaged into a convenient.sized shape, the charger has enough capacity to charge an iPhone X or a Galaxy S9 three times. It also has surge protection and short circuit protection, for an added layer of safety.
For different capacities in Anker’s PowerCore range, try the Anker PowerCore 20100 for high capacity or the Anker PowerCore III for a cheaper, low capacity option.
Duracell 10,050mAh Fast Charge Portable Power Bank
Duracell’s range of power banks are all modelled in their distinct battery style and, like their battery counterparts, they offer impressive charging capabilities. From Duracell’s internal testing, they found that the Duracell 10,050mAh Power Bank charges 3 times faster than the wall socket, thanks to its USB-C port and 18W power delivery.
The power bank has two outputs allowing it to charge two devices at once. It also has priority charging, meaning if the bank is plugged into the wall while charging a device, it will prioritise the device before charging the power bank. Plus, it comes with a 3-year Duracell guarantee.
Energizer Ultimate 10,000mAh Portable Power Bank
The Energizer Ultimate power bank consistently receives strong reviews, thanks to its fast charging and compact design. The charger is said to be able to charge approximately 50 per cent of the device in 30 minutes, using quick charge technology to power the two output ports.
LED lights on the power bank indicate when the device is charging, when it’s fully charged and the remaining charge in the bank. It takes around 2.5 hours to charge the power bank.
For more chargers, tech and gadgets:
JIGA Solar Power Bank, 30,000mAh Portable Charger
For outdoors and camping enthusiasts, this high-capacity power bank from Jiga could be the ideal choice. It has solar powered charging, allowing it to charge throughout the day back up to its charge of 30,000mAh.
It has Smart technology and hardware protection, so it will optimise its charging for whatever device is plugged in. It also features an LED light and three outputs for multiple device charging.
JIGA Power Bank, 30,000mAh Portable Charger
If you’re not looking for solar charging, Jiga’s 30,000mAh power bank is an impressive alternative. The battery can provide charge all day and it’s a perfect choice for any devices that require a lot of power.
It has three inputs, three outputs, an LED flashlight and LED indicators. This power bank can be a reliable choice for a long-lasting charger.
Juice 5 Power Bank Black 15,000mAh
The Juice 5 Power Bank is designed to charge your mobile device up to five times. With its 15,000mAh capacity, it carries a healthy amount of charge. The LED display shows the exact percentage of the bank’s remaining power, with additional indicators to display when it’s charging and when it’s fully charged.
INIU Power Bank
The INIU portable charger is one of the most compact models out there, with a slim design for easy carrying. The lightweight design doesn’t sacrifice compatibility. it has optimised charging for various devices and can adjust to high-speed charging.
What to consider when buying a power bank?
The charge capacity of a power bank is the amount of power it can store. This is measured in milliampere-hours (mAh). The higher the mAh rating, the more charging capacity the power bank has. A smartphone typically has a battery capacity of around 3000-4000mAh, while a tablet may have a battery capacity of 6000mAh or more. If you plan to charge multiple devices, or larger devices like laptops, you’ll want a power bank with a higher charge capacity.
Size and Portability
Different power banks have different sizes and weights, so it’s important to consider how portable you need your power bank to be. If you’re planning to carry it in your. a smaller power bank may be more convenient. If you need a power bank with a high charge capacity, it may be bulkier and heavier. Look for a power bank that strikes a balance between portability and charging capacity.
The charge speed of a power bank is the rate at which it can deliver power to your devices, measured in amps (A). The higher the amp rating, the faster the power bank can charge your devices. However, faster charging can also mean that the power bank will discharge more quickly, so it’s important to find a balance between charge speed and battery life. Also, not all devices can handle fast charging, so be sure to check your device’s specifications to make sure you’re not damaging the battery.
Port Selection and Capacity
Finally, it’s important to consider the port selection and capacity of a power bank. Look for a power bank that has multiple ports so you can charge multiple devices at once. Also, make sure the power bank has the right ports for the devices you plan to charge.
By considering these factors, you can find the right portable charger for your needs. Whether you need a small power bank for your phone or a larger one for your laptop, there’s a power bank out there that’s right for you.
For more helpful gadgets, why not checkout our roundup of the best MacBook accessories?
The Best Power Banks of 2023
The dreaded low-battery notification never seems too far away these days. As our electronics get smaller and slimmer, manufacturers often sacrifice battery capacity, leaving us constantly needing to charge our devices.
Fortunately, keeping a power bank on hand is an easy way to top up on the move, without needing to carry a charger or search around the airport for an available outlet (good luck with that!)
There are power banks of all shapes and sizes, and each differs in its capacity, output, and features. The best power bank for laptops, for example, will look substantially different to the best options for phones and small electronics.
That’s why we’ve put together our recommendations for the best portable batteries on the market in 2023, no matter what your requirements are. Want something you can keep in your car for a quick emergency boost? Heading off the grid for a week but have to stay charged? Need to keep your laptop going all day? We’ve got you covered.
- Capacity: 10,000mAh
- Weight: 7.1 ounces (202g)
- Dimensions: 5.8 x 2.6 x 0.6 inches
- Maximum output: USB-A: 12W, USB C PD: 20W
- Ports: 1x USB-A (output), 1x USB C (input/output)
- Pass-through charging: No
- Capacity: 26,800mAh
- Weight: 12.3 ounces (350g)
- Dimensions: 7.1 x 3.1 x 0.9 inches
- Maximum output: USB C PD: 45W, USB-A: 12W individual, 15W total
- Ports: 2x USB-A (output), 1x USB C (input/output)
- Pass-through charging: No
- Capacity: 20,000mAh (74Wh)
- Weight: 1.46 pounds (662g)
- Dimensions: 5.8 x 2.7 x 2.7 inches
- Maximum output: AC: 80W (100W max), USB C PD: 30W, USB-A: 18W
- Ports: 1x AC (output), 1x USB C (input/output), 1x USB-A (output)
- Pass-through charging: No
- Capacity: 10,000mAh
- Weight: 8.5 ounces (241g)
- Dimensions: 5.9 x 2.7 x 0.8 inches
- Maximum output: Wireless: 10W, USB C: 18W, USB-A: unspecified
- Ports: 1x USB-A (output), 1x USB C (input/output)
- Pass-through charging: Yes
- Capacity: 10,000mAh
- Weight: 6.3 ounces (179g)
- Dimensions: 3.2 x 2.3 x 1.0 inches
- Maximum output: USB-A: 18W, USB C: 20W
- Ports: 1x USB-A (output), 1x USB C (input/output)
- Pass-through charging: No
- Capacity: 46,400mAh
- Weight: 3.8 pounds (1.7kg)
- Dimensions: 7.4 x 4.6 x 6.7 inches
- Maximum output: AC: 100W (150W max), USB C: 15W, USB-A: 12W each (max USB output 30W)
- Ports: 1x USB C (output), 2x USB-A (output), 12V DC (output), 1 x AC (output)
- Pass-through charging: Yes
Best Value Power Bank: Anker 523 PowerCore Slim 10K PD
Anker is a leader in the portable battery market and makes about a million different models, but the 523 PowerCore Slim 10K PD is our value pick for most people. The 10,000mAh capacity and 20W fast charging is a winning combination: it’ll fully charge a typical smartphone at least 1.5 times, and in most cases, do it at the maximum possible speed.
At just over half an inch thick and barely seven ounces, this power bank is small enough to fit in a jacket. and deserves its “slim” name. Like most portable batteries, it’ll stand up to general wear and tear, but isn’t water-resistant, so protect it like you would most other battery-powered devices. It comes with a soft case for that purpose.
The 10K PD can charge two devices at once, via either the USB C PD or USB-A port, and you get a cable for each in the box. Note that the other end is USB C in both cases: that’s ideal for most devices other than an iPhone. You’ll need to use your existing Lightning cable for that, or buy a spare.
If your phone supports Power Delivery (most do), you’ll get up to 20W out of the USB C port. That’s enough to charge most phones and tablets at full speed, and the rest at something close to it. You’ll only get 12W out of the USB-A port: that’s not terrible, but charging will take a bit longer.
The maximum shared output is 18W, though, so if you want your device to charge as fast as possible, don’t plug something else in at the same time. The charger also supports trickle-charging mode, for low-power devices like smartwatches.
Charging the power bank itself is handled from the USB C port, and with a 20W wall charger, you’ll go from empty to full in about five hours. That’s faster than much of the competition, and extremely useful when you’re short on time. Travelers, especially, will benefit greatly.
The PowerCore Slim 10K comes in any color as long as its black or white, and is covered by Anker’s standard 18-month limited warranty. For us, it’s simply a useful and flexible power bank from a leading manufacturer that’s well-priced for what it offers.
- 1.5-2 full charges of most phones
- Can fast charge almost all smartphones and tablets
- Fully charges from wall outlet in about five hours
- Simultaneous charging of two devices
- 18 month warranty
Best Laptop Power Bank: Anker PowerCore 26800
If you’re looking to charge laptops and other large electronic devices, standard power banks won’t cut it. You’ll need something more substantial, like the Anker PowerCore. This unit has a 26,800mAh capacity and up to 45W output, enough power to fully charge a 13” Dell XPS or a 13” MacBook Pro.
That capacity also happens to be just under the legal limit for airplane use, so this is among the best TSA-approved options, and one of the best power banks for travel.
This unique laptop power bank has dual output ports: a 45W USB C port for modern laptops, and 2x 15W USB-A ports for smaller electronic devices. The laptop output is substantial enough to charge most laptops while using them, which isn’t always the case with competing models.
Because the laptop port is USB C, this works best for newer laptops with USB C charging. It doesn’t have a standard AC outlet that will support older laptops that charge via a power brick: if that’s something you’re after, take a look at the RavPower PD Pioneer below.
This unit comes with a 60W wall charger, meaning that despite its huge capacity, it takes under 3.5 hours to fully charge itself from empty. Combine that with USB C Power Delivery (PD) support for speedy device charging, and you’ve got arguably the best fast charging power bank on the market.
Note that Anker has recently released an updated version, the 747 PowerCore 26K. It adds a second USB C port and ramps up the maximum output to 87W, meaning it can charge almost any laptop at full speed, but leaves everything else much the same. It’s also usually more expensive.
If you need that extra charging power or additional port, grab the newer version, otherwise save a bit of cash with the older model.
- Huge capacity
- Fully charge a 13-inch MacBook Pro or Dell XPS
- USB C PD (45W) and dual USB-A (15W) ports
- Comes with 60W wall charger
Best Power Bank with AC Outlet: RavPower PD Pioneer
If you have an older laptop that needs to charge via an AC outlet, or just want a versatile charger that can power almost anything, the RavPower PD Pioneer is a great option.
This compact power bank is one of few on the market that actually has a built-in AC outlet, which can put out a sustained 80W of power. It also has USB-A (18W) and USB C (30W) ports, making it a versatile option for charging most devices.
With a capacity of 20,000mAh, this power bank will give close to one full charge of most 13″ laptops. As the name suggests, it also has USB PD (Power Delivery) technology, a fast-charging feature that can deliver a surprising amount of power, surprisingly quickly. Depending on the device, PD can cut recharge time by up to 60%.
At less than 1.5 pounds, it’s relatively lightweight by the standards of this type of power bank, and can itself be fully charged from a high-speed wall charger in under three hours.
The main downside is the cooling fan. While it helps to keep the device at a reasonable temperature, it can be a bit noisy. For more information, check out our full review of this unit. We also covered several other portable laptop chargers for a range of different requirements.
- Relatively compact
- Includes AC outlet to charge almost anything, including older laptops
- Useful capacity
- Versatile charging via AC, USB C, and USB-A
Best Wireless Power Bank: Anker Wireless PowerCore III
Another day, another excellent Anker power bank, but this time it’s wireless.
The 10,000mAh Anker Wireless PowerCore III is our pick for the best wireless power bank. If your phone supports it, you can charge wirelessly via the charging pad at up 10W. Using the Qi standard, it’s widely compatible with recent iPhones, many Android smartphones, and other devices.
If your device doesn’t support wireless charging, never fear: both the USB C and USB-A ports provide a backup option. You’ll get up to 18W output from the USB C port, so it’s also a way of ensuring faster charging even if your device does have Qi support.
That USB C port is also how you charge the power bank itself, again at up to 18W if you’ve got an appropriate wall charger. Unfortunately Anker doesn’t provide one in the box, so you’ll need to use one you already own or buy an appropriate model. You can also charge from a laptop in a pinch.
A particularly useful feature is pass-through charging, where the power bank can charge devices while it itself is charging. This basically means that you can use the PowerCore in place of a standard Qi charging dock, and simply leave it plugged in all the time.
- Qi charging
- Pass-through charging: can charge device and power bank simultaneously
- 2 USB ports for charging other devices, at up to 18W
Best Small Power Bank: JSAUX Portable Phone Charger
The JSAUX mini portable charger is one of the best small power banks on the market. Weighing just 6.3 ounces, the 10,000mAh capacity is enough for around two full phone charges for most smartphones.
Unlike most other small power banks, it offers both USB C and USB A charging ports. Even more unusually, they’re both able to fast-charge your device: you’ll get up to 18W from the USB-A port, and up to 20W out of the USB C PD port.
Usefully, there’s also a trickle-charge mode, for low-power devices like wireless earbuds and smartwatches. Holding down the power button for three seconds enables that mode.
Charging the power bank itself is done via USB C, and if you use a 20W wall charger, it’ll happen in under three hours. Unusually, it has pass-through charging as well, letting you power up one of your devices from the USB-A port while charging the power bank itself from the USB C port.
As small and lightweight as it is, the power bank is an inch thick. That’s totally fine if it’s sitting in your purse or day bag, but feels a little large when it’s in your
If you’re looking to go even smaller, consider the lipstick-shaped Anker PowerCore 5000 instead. You’ll lose many of the features of the JBAUX, but it weighs a mere 4.8oz, yet still has enough juice for about one full phone charge.
- Compact, portable design
- USB C PD and USB-A ports
- 10000mAh capacity
- Trickle charging option
- Reasonably priced