The Best Power Banks of 2023, Tested and Reviewed
If I have the choice between a device that uses conventional batteries or one that uses rechargeable batteries, I’ll always go with rechargeable. But that means I need to maintain that device, which is why a portable power bank comes with me on nearly every trip. Over the past month, I’ve tested a dozen of the top rated power banks, and from that initial pool, I’ve narrowed it down to the six best power banks.
It doesn’t matter if I’m spending time outdoors or traveling, I’ll need to recharge something, and will inevitably use a power bank. My picks for the best power banks have been used while in the outdoors as well as for everyday use and holiday travel. They’ve juiced up headlamps, GoPros, my iPhone, and even other power banks. After all that field testing, here are my findings and recommendations for the best power banks.
- Best Overall:Anker PowerCore Slim 10,000 mAh
- Best Solar:BigBlue 28-Watt Solar Charger
- Best for Fishing:Anker Solar
- Best Small:Goal Zero Flip 12
- Best for Backpacking:Anker PowerCore Essential 20,000 mAh
- Best for iPhones:Anker Powercore Magnetic 5K
How I Tested the Power Banks
I tested the power banks in three ways: First, I timed how long it takes them to fully charge and how many times they fully charged my iPhone 11 Max. Then over a one-month period I carried these portable chargers during outdoor activities in several states, on long road trips, and a fishing trip in North Carolina. During that month I subjected them to heat, cold, and water to test their durability. Finally, I weighed and measured each power bank to provide you with accurate specs.
Here are the attributes I used to evaluate the power banks:
- As advertised (Do the chargers do what the manufacturer advertises?)
- Number of charges and charge time (How many times does it charge a phone? How long does it take to charge?)
- Use in the field (Is it practical to use while hunting, fishing, camping, hiking or backpacking?)
- Durability (Can it hold up to abuse?)
- Weight (Ounces are pounds, and pounds are pain.)
Best Overall: Anker PowerCore Slim 10,000 mAh
- 10,000 mAh
- 3-hour charge time
- Charges an iPhone twice
- One USB port
- Micro USB and USB-C input
- Weight: 8.4 ounces
- Length: 6 inches
- Width: 2.75 inches
- Depth:.5 inch
If you’re looking for an all-around solution, consider the PowerCore 10,000 mAh. It’s a happy medium between a small charger like the Goal Zero Flip 12 and the PowerCore 20,000 mAh. If you are going out for the day or an overnight trip, it provides plenty of juice with two phone charges. It’s also light and small enough to not take up space in a pack or
The Anker PowerCore went through three key tests: a timed charge, testing how many times it would charge my iPhone 11 Pro Max, and using the power bank in the field. One of my favorite features of this power bank is how fast it charges. In a few hours, you can bring it from dead to fully juiced and ready to hit the field. It’s fast charging ability also makes it an excellent candidate to pair with a solar panel like the BigBlue 24 watt.
In my testing, the Anker PowerCore charged my phone twice. That’s two times with the phone on and in use. So, if you keep your phone off while it’s charging, you can expect the power bank to last longer—Anker rates it at two-and-a-quarter iPhone 12 charges. I most often use this charger when I’m going to be out all day and will need to charge my phone once, along with another device like a GoPro. It would also be ideal for a two-to.three day camping trip where you need to charge your phone twice.
The Anker PowerCore is slim and light enough that you can carry it in a for everyday carry. It’s also perfect for carrying in a daypack or sling bag. Mine has been with me hunting, fishing, and traveling—it’s yet to let me down.
Best Solar: BigBlue 28-Watt Solar Charger
- 25 Watt
- 3 USB ports
- Charges a phone in about 3 hours of full sun
- Charges a 10,000 mAh power bank in 6 hours
- Weight: 1 pound 9 ounces
- Length: 11.125 inches
- Width: 6 inches
- Depth: 1.375 inches
There are a lot of portable solar chargers on the market, and they range in price as much as they do in effectiveness. The BigBlue is the best solar power charger that actually works and it’s affordable. You have to manage your expectations when it comes to these small solar panels and while three hours to bring a phone to full charge seems like a lot, I think it’s pretty impressive.
Here’s the context of my testing. I tested this solar panel in the fall when the sun sits low in the sky. The first hour of the charge the panel received partial sun. I managed the position of the panel throughout the day to keep it aligned with the sun.
The first test was to see how long it took to charge a Goal Zero Flip 12, which is good for one full phone charge. That test took three hours, which is how long it takes to charge the Flip 12 when plugged into the wall. The next test was to see how long it takes to charge my pick for the best power bank, the PowerCore 10,000 mAh. After six hours in the sun the power bank was at full power.
When you’re in the field, you probably don’t have time to sit around for six hours waiting for a power bank to charge. But, that’s not the best way to use this charger. In my opinion, using the solar panel to maintain battery life rather than fully charge a device is the best use. For example, if you are glassing in the morning, you can roll out your solar charger and plug in a device. Let’s say you stay put for just an hour, that’s enough time to charge a phone 30 percent. By charging your devices a little at a time throughout your time in the field you can make your powerbank or batteries last much longer.
Best for Fishing: Anker Solar
- Water resistant
- Solar charging
- 20,000 mAh
- Two USB ports
- One USB-C port
- Needs to be charged overnight
- Charges a phone four times
- Weight: 1 pound
- Length: 6.875 inches
- Width: 3.625 inches
- Depth: 1.125 inches
- Takes a long time to fully charge
I used the Anker Solar on a few upland bird hunting trips and a trip chasing false albacore in North Carolina making this the best power bank for fishing. While chasing albies, we had one bad weather day with a lot of chop. If I wasn’t wearing a rain suit, I would have been drenched. The Anker Solar was subjected to the same salt spray and it handled it just fine. It also had plenty of power to keep my phone, and GoPros fully charged during the ten hours of fishing. After I got off the boat, I grabbed a quick dinner before heading out on kayaks for fishing dock lights at night. That few hours wasn’t enough time to get the Anker Solar back to even half charge, which is the main downside.
If you plan to use this charger for backpacking or hunting, the weight and bulk are something to consider. The Anker PowerCore 20,000 mAh is considerably lighter and smaller, but it lacks the solar charging and weather protection the Anker Solar offers. Personally, I’d rather take the PowerCore for those applications, and think the Solar shines for fishing applications.
One of the questions you probably have is: does the solar panel on this powerbank work? If you plan to use the solar panel to fully charge your power bank, you’ll be waiting a while. I tested the solar charging capabilities by placing the power bank in full sun for six hours and did not see a measurable difference in charge. However, I think if you keep this charger in the sun all day, the battery will last longer than if you didn’t have the solar panel. So, consider it more of a battery extender, rather than a charger like the BigBlue.
Best Small: Goal Zero Flip 12
- 3,350 mAh
- One USB port
- One full phone charge
- Three-hour charge time
- Weight: 2.6 ounces
- Length: 3.75 inches
- Width:.625 inch
- Depth:.625 inch
Why it Made the Cut
This power bank weighs nothing, has a small footprint, and has enough juice to completely charge your phone.
This Goal Zero small power bank won’t take up space in your pack and has enough juice to bring your phone from dead to fully charged. For overnight or day trips, it’s my top choice. I also like keeping this best small charger in my carry-on to keep my phone charged while traveling.
The biggest con is that its square shape makes it uncomfortable to carry in a front But, it’s at home in a cargo. fanny pack, or day pack. My favorite features of the Flip 12 are it charges quickly and it doesn’t need a charging cable—the USB is built in. I also think it’s a great companion to a solar panel like the BigBlue.
Best for Backpacking: Anker PowerCore Essential 20,000 mAh
- 20,000 mAh
- Up to five phone charges
- USB-C and Micro USB input
- Two USB output ports
- 11 hours to fully charge the power bank
- Weight: 12 ounces
- Length: 6.25 inches
- Width: 2.875 inches
- Depth:.5 inch
This is a power house for charging devices. Whether you’re on a short trip where you need to charge a bunch of devices or a long trip where you need to just keep a phone juiced, this is the best power bank. It weighs less than a pound and it’s easy to carry thanks to its slim profile and beveled corners.
The biggest con of the 20,000 mAh PowerCore is it takes a long time to fully charge. But, the negatives end there. The two USB ports allow you to simultaneously charge two devices. I used it to charge my phone and headlamp each night during a weekend outing. During a November fishing trip, I left the 20,000 mAh PowerCore outside in freezing temperatures. The power bank didn’t lose a bit of charge, which has been my experience with all my Anker power banks in cold weather. Granted, my cold weather in Virginia is different from Fairbanks, Alaska’s cold weather.
Best for iPhones: Anker Powercore Magnetic 5K
- Wireless charging
- USC-C output and input
- 5,000 mAh
- Charges in three hours
- Charges a phone once
- Magnetic charging works with iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max
- Weight: 4.6 ounces
- Length: 3.625 inches
- Width: 2.437 inches
- Depth:.625 inch
The PowerCore Magnetic 5K is a great size for everyday carry. It’s super lightweight and charges a phone fast using a USB-C charger. But, don’t buy this charger unless you have an iPhone, preferably a 12 variant, and a compatible magnetic case. If you don’t have a compatible magnetic case, you’ll have to remove your case to use the magnetic feature and you’ll be disappointed in the strength of the magnet.
But, if you do invest in a magnetic case, it’s a great wireless charger for outdoors use. Other wireless chargers aren’t practical for outdoor use because they need to be laid flat to maintain contact with your phone. But, the magnetic power bank from Anker snaps to your phone and stays connected even in a cargo or your best backpack. You get the benefit of not needing to bring a charging cable and a continuous charge while you use your phone. I find this charger is ideal for all day sits, or days when I’m running OnX continuously.
How to Choose a Power Bank
Power banks are a lot like other outdoor gear, there’s a trade off between features and weight. You can get more capability, but you’ll pay for it in size and weight. You’ll have to decide how much capability you need and how much weight you’re willing to carry.
Here are more things you’ll need to consider when buying a power bank or solar charger.
What is a mAh and how much do I need?
A watt is a measurement of rate of energy transfer. So, when shopping for portable solar chargers keep in mind that the more wattage the more power the panel can provide. I’d recommend at least a 24-watt solar charger.
Are solar chargers practical?
If you’re in an area where you can provide a solar charger full sun, and leave it all day to charge a power bank or device, they are practical. But, you can’t expect a solar charger that fits in your to work well because you need surface area to effectively charge.
I found small solar panels to work best for maintaining battery life, rather than being used to fully charge a device. The main issue is that portable solar panels are small, and can only gather so much electricity. What they can do is lengthen your phone or power bank’s life. When you stop to glass or cook lunch, lay out your panel and let it charge the device for a few hours. Even if it’s a few percent increase in battery life, it’s free energy and a few percent here and there can add up over a week’s trip. If you get an extra 25 percent out of our powerbank I count that as a win.
Solar panels are also bulky and heavy. For example, the BigBlue weighs 1.5 pounds, and the 20,000 mAh PowerCore weighs less than a pound. You can pack two 20,000 mAh charges that would charge a phone ten times total and weigh the same as a BigBlue.
Waterproof power banks
Why didn’t I include any waterproof power banks? The rugged power banks that are fully waterproof and shock resistant come at the penalty of being heavy and bulky for the amount of power they provide. I’d much rather drop my power bank in a dry bag than carry the extra weight of a waterproof power bank. It’s also worth pointing out that while your waterproof power bank might survive a submersion, your phone won’t.
Q: Which capacity of power bank is best?
A 10,000 mAh power bank is a good balance between charging ability (two phone charges) and size.
Q: Which brand power bank is best?
Anker makes the best power banks for everyday use. Goal Zero makes great power banks specific for the outdoors.
Q: How do I choose a good power bank?
First decide how much capacity you need and the physical size of the charger you’re willing to carry. Then you can look at the available options with your required specifications.
Q: What is the difference between a power bank and a portable charger?
They are synonyms and serve the same functions.
Why Trust Outdoor Life?
Since 1898, OL has been a leading authority in testing and reviewing hunting gear, fishing tackle, guns and shooting equipment, and much more. We have more than a century-long history of evaluating products, and we’re now bringing that expertise to online reviews. Our editors are experienced outdoorsmen and women, and most importantly, we’re trained journalists. We prioritize field testing and objective data when reviewing products. We conduct interviews with gear manufacturers and engineers as well as outdoor experts so that our readers have an understanding of how and why a product works—or doesn’t.
Advertising does not influence our gear reviews and it never will. While we always FOCUS our coverage on standout products—because we want our readers to be aware of the latest and greatest gear—we also cover the flaws and quirks of any given product.
Final Thoughts on the Best Power Bank
The best power bank for you is going to be the one that best fits your specific needs. If you’re a whitetail hunter that just needs something for an all day sit, then the 10,000 mAh PowerCore is going to work well for you. If you spend all your time on a boat and need a power bank to keep your GoPros charged and not slow down if it gets wet, the Anker Solar is perfect. The key is deciding what features best fit how you’ll use your power bank and then choose the charger that best matches your requirements.
- Best Overall:Anker PowerCore Slim 10,000 mAh
- Best Solar:BigBlue 28-Watt Solar Charger
- Best for Fishing:Anker Solar
- Best Mini:Goal Zero Flip 12
- Best for Backpacking:Anker PowerCore Essential 20,000 mAh
- Best for iPhones:Anker Powercore Magnetic 5K
Scott Einsmann is Outdoor Life’s gear editor. He oversees the gear team’s editors and writers who are subject matter experts in bows, knives, hunting, fishing, backpacking, and more. He lives in Richmond, Virginia with his wife and two bird dogs.
Jackery Explorer 1000 Portable Power Station
- 1002Wh Capacity, 1000W (2000W Surge Power) Output
- Supports 8 Devices Simultaneously
- 3 Ways to Recharge
- Safe and Easy to Use
- Long Battery Standby
- Shock and Fire Resistance
- Compact and Portable
2 1 Years Warranty
30-Day Money back
Jackery Explorer 1000 Portable Power Station charges eight devices simultaneously. Featuring a battery capacity of 1002Wh, the portable power station is suitable for charging all devices during camping and power outages. Excellent features of the Explorer 1000 power station include three standard pure sine wave AC outlets, compact design, MPPT charge controller, and an industrial-grade quiet power station.
To power with Explorer 1000 (1002Wh Capacity) Please enter the wattage of the appliance (not exceeding 1002W)
How Many Solar Panels Do I Need
0 Hrs Recharging Time
0 Wh Sustainable Energy Saving
Choose One Type of Solar Panel
Sustainable Energy Saving
PREPARING YOUR SOLAR GENERATOR
The Explorer 1000 can be quickly fully recharged within 8 hours by connecting two SolarSaga 100W solar panels together with an adapter cable (package included).
Solar recharging steps:
Find the DC interface on the back of SolarSaga 100W;
Connect the DC interfaces of 2SolarSaga 100W with the Y Parallel Cable;
Connect the Y Parallel Cable with the Anderson input of Explorer 1000
Notes: 1. Solar panel types and quantity depends on your purchase. 2. Buy 2 SolarSoga, get 1Solar Panel Connectors. 3. Buy 4 or 6 SolarSoga, get 2Solar Panel Connectors.
This product (portable power supply) can supply power to your device in the temperature range of.10 to 40 degrees Celsius (-10 to 65 degrees Celsius for solar panels). If the operating temperature is outside the above range, this product may not work.
Q: What devices can Explorer 1000 power?
A: Please note that the AC output ports can only charge/power devices that operate at less than 1000-Watts, besides, the whole wattage should be under 1000 watts as well. Once exceeding, the Explorer 1000 will shut off automatically. Please refer to your device specification before purchase.
Q: How to know the working times for my device?
A: Working time = 1002Wh 0.85 / operating wattage of your deviceFor reference, assuming power consumption of your device is 60W (might be a box fan), working time will be 1002Wh0.85/60w=14.2hrs (rough calculated).Please note: actual power consumption varies from different usages, please consult Jackery for better purchase decision.
Q: What is the maximum watts of solar panels can be used to charge Explorer 1000? Also how long will it take to recharge from a fully discharge battery?
A: The maximum input wattage of Explorer 1000 is 126W(12~30V,7.5~8.33A ). As for recharging time, it depends on which panel you are using and weather conditions, for example, the Explorer 1000 can be quickly recharged within 8 hours by connecting two SolarSaga 100W solar panels together with an adapter cable. If connecting only one single panel, the approximate recharging time is 17 hours. Recharging time may varies from different location, temperature, weather etc, the actual time may be different.
Q: Can the Explorer 1000 be charged while using?
A: Yes, you can use the Explorer 1000 to charge devices, while it’s being re-charged at the same time.
Review: Anker PowerCore 10,000 Portable Charger
Most single-port portable chargers are going to have a power capacity to match with their 1 port.
That’s not always the case, though, some power banks have very limited usage, and yet they’re capable of delivering a superb charging experience. These kinds of power banks are meant to be used by a single person while still giving the amount of power that higher-end chargers would have.
This is the PowerCore 10,000 from Anker, and it shouldn’t be a mistake for their PowerCore 10050 because that one has Quick Charge. Let’s take a look at what makes this single ported charger so special in this Charger Harbor Review.
Similar Power Banks:
The first thing that you should know about every portable charger is power capacity. This one has it in the name with an initial power capacity being 10,000mAh, and although there’s going to be a decreased Output capacity, it’s not going to be by much.
This is because the Anker PowerCore uses Panasonic battery cells with great conversion rates and can last longer.
As a result, you can expect a very close Output capacity to the Initial one, with it being about 8,000mAh, but of course, it could be more, and it could be less depending on the Output charging speed for the device that you’re charging.
Output capacity of 8,000mAh is a very intermediate amount of capacity that is great for smartphones because it’ll charge most smartphones about 4 times or more. As for tablets, you can expect it to do about 1 full charge or possibly 1.5 charges.
This is quite a good power bank for a tablet because it has only 1 charging port, which means that the Amperage is focused and no power is being given to other devices; since a 2-port or 3-port power, the bank will be pulling power from other ports if other devices were connected to it.
DevicesAnker PowerCore 10,000 Portable Charger (Output Capacity = 8,000mAh )Phone CapacityAnker PowerCore 10,000 Left Over Capacity after One Charge
Output Charging: 5V/2.4A
One of the most bizarre aspects of the PowerCore 10,000 is that it only uses a single charging port, and for its capacity, you’d think it would have 2 charging ports. With that said, it makes sense, and it’s a great power factor when you put things into perspective.
The Output capacity is enough to make it a 1 port power bank because having 2 charging ports would put the Output capacity into dangerously lower levels.
Then there’s the charging speed; with 5V/2.4A, the PowerCore can deliver a Max Standard charging rate. At 2.4 Amps of Output power, nearly any device that you connect to this power bank will be able to charge at its maximum speed.
This goes for most smartphones, except for Quick Charge compatible smartphones, because this charger does not feature Quick Charge. The 2.4 Amp Output is most helpful if you’re charging tablets like iPads because the max charging rate for an iPad is 2.4 Amps, and the same goes for many other tablets on the market.
The main thing about the power aspect of this charger is that it’s focused on precision. It may have a few powering capabilities, but it does very well with the few ones it does have.
Input Charging: 5V/2.0A
The recharging speed is standard, with the power bank can recharge through a Micro-USB port at 2 Amps. If you’re using a 2 Amp wall charger or higher (Which we highly recommend you use for the fastest recharge speed), then you’re going to be able to recharge the PowerCore in about 5-6 hours.
If you’re using a 1 Amp wall charger (What we DON’T recommend), then you can expect a recharge time of about 10-11 hours.
Make use of fast wall chargers by taking a look at our Wall Charger Review section.
Anker PowerCore 10,000 has a VERY Small size for its Power Capacity.
The best thing about this power bank is the form factor. The PowerCore 10000 is 3.6 inches; it has a width of 2.4 inches and a thickness of 0.9 inches. The weight of the charger is 6.4 ounces.
Overall, the size is really small, and you won’t have any problems holding it in a single hand. What’s even better is that you can fit it into a big enough. but more precisely, you can fit it into a back This is because the small size and the thin thickness make it possible for the charger to be placed into very small places.
Attach the charging capabilities and the charger’s size, and you’ve got yourself a very powerful portable charger that can go with you anywhere.
All the functional parts of the charger can be found in the same general area. The Output and Input charging ports are on a short side panel of the charger. There’s a power button on the long side, and there are 4 LED Power capacity indicators on top of the charger.
Charging behaves the same way as most of the other Anker’s power banks like the PowerCore 5000 and PowerCore 20100. This power bank can begin charging automatically once a device is connected.
The charger turns off if there is no device connected to it. Altogether, the power button is mostly used to check the amount of power capacity left in the power bank.
A simple and very few user interactions need to be done.
Structure and Material
The PowerCore is made of plastic and is separated into 3 pieces with a large main centerpiece and two side panels. It’s a very well-made power bank, just as Anker is known for, and there’s no need to worry about the charger warping its shape since it’s NOT using Lithium Polymer batteries.
With that said, dropping the power bank isn’t that bad either. No, you shouldn’t take dropping this power bank lightly because it might get damaged, but it does well with its shape and lightweight.
It’s not a Rugged power bank, but it is built to a certain standard that has made it very tough.
The PowerCore users Anker’s Multi-Safe Protection system takes advantage of an array of Safety tech features from Short-Circuit and Over-Current Protection.
On the charging tech side of things, as we mentioned before, this charger uses Panasonic battery cells that can provide a superior conversion rate than normal Lithium-Ion batteries aren’t capable of. Panasonic batteries are also able to have a longer lifespan.
Along with the awesome batteries comes Anker’s PowerIQ, which can provide max charging to whichever device is connected to it, and Voltage Boost can keep Voltage stable during charging.
What we perceived to be a power bank that needed 2 charging ports to fulfill its true potential ended up being false.
The PowerCore 10000 can do just perfectly with its 1 port and power plenty of capacities.
It’s usually thought of that power banks with just a single port don’t have too much to offer because they usually have lower capacities, but in this case, this power bank is very reliable in the way it can serve just a single person and FOCUS on charging a single device.
Couple the powering with the form factor and weight, and you can very well take this powerful charger with you anywhere.
Waterproof 10,000mAh Power Bank: Dark Energy Poseidon Power Bank
Output Power capacity is quite good, with it losing about 2,000mAh on average, but you may be left with more or less depending on the charging speed that’s being delivered to your device.
Even so, there’s still enough capacity since there’s only 1 port with this power bank, so the power capacity is more focused. The charging speed is 2.4 Amp, which is the Max standard charging speed.
It’s a portable power bank with really small dimensions and lightweight that makes it possible to put this small charger into a Of course, you can hold it in your hand as well. It takes advantage of Auto-Start charging and automatically turns off if there’s nothing connected to the power bank.
The PowerCore 10000 has a surprisingly strong physical structure for being made out of plastic, and even though it wasn’t made for falls, it can take them quite well. Just don’t test it. The charging tech is top tier with Anker’s Multi Safe Protection system, Pansonic battery cells, PowerIQ, and Voltage Boost.
Besides being limited to a single charging port, this 1 port power bank does very well and is so reliable because of how objective it is.
Portable Chargers within the Same Power Capacity Range
Most power banks try to push more ports in because the logic is that the more ports you have, the better the power bank will be, but that’s simply not the case here.
In this case, the PowerCore 10000 strives to use a single port and take advantage of all the elements that make a power bank a great one.
- The Anker Advantage: Join the 50 million powered by our leading technology.
- Remarkably Compact: One of the smallest and lightest 10,000mAh portable chargers. Provides almost three-and-a-half iPhone 8 charges or two-and-a-half Galaxy S8 charges.
- High-Speed Charging: Anker’s exclusive PowerIQ and VoltageBoost combine to deliver the fastest possible charge for any device. Qualcomm Quick Charge not supported.
- Certified Safe: Anker’s MultiProtect safety system ensures complete protection for you and your devices.
- What You Get: Anker PowerCore 10000 portable charger, Micro USB cable, welcome guide, our worry-free 18-month warranty and friendly customer service. USB-C and Lightning cable for iPhone / iPad sold separately
The Best Portable Chargers To Keep You Going On Long And Busy Days
Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
It’s happened to all of us. You go out and realize you didn’t put the phone on the charger and your phone’s battery is low. Or you’re out all day, using power-hungry features like the camera, display or GPS, and now the battery is low and there’s no outlet in sight. Perhaps you’re simply working from a cafe that lacks outlets, and you want to power your laptop for the afternoon. The best portable chargers, like our pick for the best overall, the INIU B62 Power Bank, can keep you powered up and ready to go anytime, anywhere.
Carrying a portable charger is a great way to make sure you never miss a beat and always have available power for your most important devices, like your phone, tablet or laptop. For frequent travelers, a portable charger is a must have device. And since portable chargers come in a range of capacities and sizes, each with varying abilities, you may choose to keep multiple portable chargers on hand for different situations. Here are our top picks for the best portable chargers you can buy in 2023.
- Best Portable Charger Overall:INIU B62 Power Bank
- Best Portable Charger For iPhone: Apple MagSafe Battery Pack
- Best Portable Charger With AC Outlet: Mophie PowerStation Pro AC
- Best Portable Charger With Built-In Cables: Mophie PowerStation Plus
- Best Portable Charger For Laptops: Baseus Laptop Power Bank
- Best High-Power Portable Charger For Laptops: Anker 737 Power Bank
- Best Portable Charger For Adventures: Anker 548 Power Bank
- Best Qi Wireless Portable Charger: LionEnergy Eclipse
Best Portable Charger Overall
INIU B62 Power Bank
Battery capacity: 15,000mAh | Output ports: 2x USB-A, 1x USB-C | Size: 5.8 x 2.8 x 0.9 inches | Weight: 11.7 ounces | Display: Yes
Best for: Charging smartphones and tablets quickly.
INIU is a less recognizable name, but its lineup of power bank and charging accessories stands out from the crowd. The INIU B62 has a single USB-C port that supports up to 45-watt output with USB Power Delivery. That means you can use this versatile battery for charging a low-power laptop or a portable gaming system.
This model supports a range of fast-charging protocols, but it only handles up to Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0. If you want to charge a QC 4.0 device, look at the INIUs B5 Power Bank, which has a similar physical design, adds QC 4.0 and can charge three devices simultaneously (but it lacks enough power output to charge a laptop). The B62 has a large LCD that shows your remaining power, and it has a grippy texture that resists scuffs and grit. Bonus: It comes with a nifty pull-out stand that works well to prop up a phone while it’s charging.
What the editors say: Tech editor Melissa Perenson notes, “This battery is a workhorse, handily charging up devices with surprising speed. It recharges quickly, too. It’s a little thick, but its rectangular design pairs well with a smartphone.”
Anker PowerCore III 10K
Battery capacity: 10,000mAh | Output ports: 1x USB-A, 1x USB-C | Size: 5.9 x 2.7 x 0.8 inches | Weight: 8.6 ounces
Best for: Mix of wired and wireless charging, in a slim design and mid-range capacity.
The Anker PowerCore III 10K hits a good balance between features, performance and price. The svelte, candy bar design houses 10-watt Qi wireless charging, with one each of USB-A and USB-C ports on the top edge. This model is slim, but not as slim as one Anker model. Nor does it have the magnetic attachment of Anker’s newer MagGo series. Or the power to handle charging a laptop or gaming system.
Despite those caveats, the PowerCore III 10K stands out for its balance of charging features and its performance—which was faster for both wired and wireless charging than on some competing models. This battery pairs well with a standard rectangular phone design, and it’s lightweight, too. The unit itself has a textured plastic case that did a better job withstanding scuffs than some of Anker’s other models. The chassis also has a built-in stand—a simple pull-out bracket to prop up your phone. However, the recessed power button is a bit awkwardly placed.
What the editors say: “This model’s Qi wireless gives it an edge over the typical portable charger with the same capacity,” says tech editor Melissa Perenson. “I especially liked this battery’s light weight, and how easy it was to hold alongside an iPhone or Android phone.”
- Textured case keeps fingerprints and scuffs away
- Qi wireless charging at 10 watts
- Built-in stand
Best Portable Charger For iPhone
Apple MagSafe Battery Pack
Battery capacity: Unavailable | Ports: MagSafe (wireless) only | Size: 3.8 x 2.5 x 0.4 inches | Weight: 6.4 ounces
Best for: iPhone users who want a small MagSafe battery pack.
The Apple MagSafe Battery Pack is a bit pricey, but it is the Apple-branded battery—and it has a simplicity to it not found elsewhere. This compact battery pack attaches to the back of any iPhone 12 or later smartphone. It provides additional power when you need to extend the life of your smartphone. Thanks to its MagSafe compatibility. you can use the battery pack on its own or in conjunction with any Apple MagSafe phone case. It won’t, however, work with non-MagSafe cases.
This battery is a bit pricey considering it will only recharge your iPhone once—and only between 40 percent and 70 percent. However, that’s enough juice to keep your phone operational for a few hours more.
- Compact design for any iPhone (12 and later)
- Compatible with all MagSafe cases
- Genuine Apple product
Best Portable Charger With AC Outlet
Mophie PowerStation Pro AC
Battery capacity: 27,000mAh | Output ports: 2x USB-C, 1x USB-A, 1x AC | Size: 10.8 x 5.9 x 1.4 inches | Weight: 2.6 pounds
Best for: Capacious charging via USB and a 3-prong AC outlet.
The Mophie PowerStation Pro AC makes it easy to charge four devices simultaneously. At 27,000mAh, this model is at the maximum limit for transporting a single battery onto a plane. All that battery capacity matters, though, since it can recharge an iPhone five times. The 3-prong AC outlet is one reason this model stands out; with an outlet, you can then charge things like camera batteries, or run a laptop or other device that uses AC power.
The battery can handle 100 watts, while the USB ports handle 20 watts each and the USB Power Delivery port is at 60 watts. One drawback lies with its weight: The PowerStation Pro AC is a hefty 2.6 pounds. The battery has a loop that makes it easier to grab, which is good since its casing is smooth hard to hold.
Omnicharge Omni 20
Battery capacity: 20,000mAh | Output ports: Qi wireless, 1x USB-C, 2X USB-A, 1x AC/HVDC, 1x barrel | Size: 5.0 x 4.8 x 1.0 inches | Weight: 1.3 pounds
The Omnicharge Omni 20 is highly versatile, especially considering its relatively compact size. It includes a 20,000mAh capacity battery, fast 18-watt charging over USB-A, 60-watt charging over USB-C and 10-watt Qi wireless charging. The 100-watt AC/HCDC outlet provides power to laptops, drones and cameras that don’t support USB charging.
The Omni 20 has a built-in OLED display that shows the total power left in the charger, as well as the demands of each connected device. It even supports pass-through charging, so you can continue to charge your array of devices even when recharging the Omni itself.
- Offers pass-through charging
- 20,0000mAh capacity battery
- Portable and convenient
Best Portable Charger With Built-In Cables
Mophie PowerStation Plus
Battery capacity: 10,000mAh | Output Ports: 1x USB-C | Built-in cables: 1x USB-C, 1x Lightning | Size: 5.8 x 0.7 x 2.8 inches | Weight: 8 ounces
Best for: Charging a phone or tablet with a Lightning or USB-C port.
The Mophie PowerStation Plus conveniently integrates cables into the sides of the portable charger. This otherwise nondescript rectangle has smooth front and back surfaces, and it has a rubberized layer around the edges. The Lightning and USB-C cables tuck neatly into the top of the unit with a snug fit, and little tabs to help you free them when needed. The cables are long enough for you to plug them into a phone and stack the charger neatly beneath it.
This charger’s dedicated USB-C Power Delivery port delivers 20 watts of power, and a total of 25 watts shared. The USB-C port charges faster than the integrated cables.
Best Portable Charger For Laptops
Baseus Laptop Power Bank
Battery capacity: 20,000mAh | Ports: 2x USB-C, 2x USB-A | Size: 6.4 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches | Weight: 1.1 pounds | Display: Yes
Best for: Charging a laptop or mobile device.
The Baseus Laptop Power Bank stands out for delivering 100 watts of power in a thin and lightweight square design that’s highly portable. Most competitors’ portable chargers that output 100 watts are larger, thicker and heavier than this Baseus model. The low profile makes it easy to slide this charger alongside a laptop when traveling.
This fast, portable charger has a textured plastic front, with a large, monochromatic digital display that shows its remaining battery power and charging status. It can handle small current devices like earbuds and smartwatches as well as it can a phone or laptop. The ports are all along the top edge, with two USB-A and two USB-C ports, each labeled with their output levels. The unit comes with a carry case, and a 100-watt USB-C to USB-C cable, for use with a laptop.
What the editors say: “I like the stylish yet functional industrial design of this charger,” says tech editor Melissa Perenson. “It was easy to carry around while charging multiple devices quickly.”
- Slim, lightweight design
- Informative display
- Charges four devices simultaneously
Best High-Output Portable Charger For Laptops
Anker 737 Power Bank
Battery capacity: 24,000mAh | Output Ports: 2x USB-C, 1x USB-A | Size: 6.1 x 2.1 x 1.9 inches | Weight: 1.4 | Display: Yes
Best for: Charging a laptop and mobile devices.
The Anker 737 Power Bank PowerCore 24K packs 140 watts, one of the highest power outputs you can buy in a such a portable design. This model stands at about 2 inches square, and is 6 inches long, making it shaped like a square tower (if you stand it on its end) or a very thick battery that fits in your hand. Inside sits a high capacity 24,000mAh battery, which is just below the maximum 27,000mAh you can bring on a plane.
Along the length sits a useful, easy-to-read color digital display which shows the power use and remaining battery/recharge time. The charger has three inputs, all on one end, and includes USB Power Delivery 3.1 support. It includes a 140-watt USB-C to USB-C cable for use with a laptop.
Best Portable Charger For Adventures
Anker 548 Power Bank (PowerCore Reserve)
Battery capacity: 60,000mAh | Output ports: 2x USB-C, 2x USB-A, Solar input | Size: 4.5 × 4.5 × 7.7 inches | Weight: 5.1 pounds
The Anker 548 Power Bank (PowerCore Reserve) packs a 60,000mAh battery capacity, which makes this power bank best for use at home or on adventures that don’t require a flight. Its rugged design makes it the perfect complement to outdoor adventures, with a retractable LED lamp and SOS beacon for use in emergencies. It has two USB-C and two USB-A ports, and the USB-C ports can handle 60-watt and 27-watt output (only one of the two handles input and output both). The front panel has an additional, uncommon port—for jacking in a solar panel for recharging. The EV-grade batteries can handle up to 3,000 recharging cycles.
The unit has a useful color digital display above the array of ports that shows charging status and remaining power. In between sit the buttons for the light and the SOS beacon. At 5.1 pounds, it feels sturdy, and it comes with a pliable handle. You get a USB-C to USB-C cable for charging, but you need to buy a wall charger and solar charging cable yourself.
What the editors say: “I love the pop-up light, with its retractable silicone design,” notes tech editor Melissa Perenson. “It’s surprisingly bright (though dedicated lanterns may be better), and it automatically lights up in the dark. The light’s inclusion makes this so much more than just a power bank on steroids. I also liked how the woven handle makes it easy to carry.”
Best Qi Wireless Portable Charger
Battery capacity: 27,000mAh | Output ports: Qi wireless, 2x USB-A, 1x USB-C | Size: 8.5 x 3.5 x 1.3 inches | Weight: 1.6 pounds
Best for: Charging a phone, earbuds and watch wirelessly in a rugged device.
The Lion Eclipse stands out for its inclusion of three Qi wireless charging pads, at 10-watts, 5-watts and 2-watts. This means you can charge a phone, earbuds and a watch wirelessly, something most portable power banks with Qi can’t do. The power button and three ports—two USB-A and one USB-C with Power Delivery up to 85 watts—sit under a rubberized protective cover. These ports can handle a laptop or a portable gaming console, and they deliver simultaneous fast charging. This portable charger uses a 27,000mAh battery, the maximum size you can take on a plane.
While the Lion Eclipse Power Bank will fit easily within a backpack or briefcase, it’s too cumbersome to fit comfortably in a purse and too large for a It has a 5-year warranty and a lifecycle of over 1,000 charges.
- Simultaneously charges multiple devices
- High battery capacity
- Three Qi wireless charging pads