Juice 3 power bank. Juice 3 power bank

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

Key Features

  • 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

Product Overview

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

Key Features

  • 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
  • Size

Product Overview

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

Key Features

  • 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
  • Heavy

Product Description

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

Key Features

  • 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.

Product Description

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

Key Features

juice, power, bank
  • 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

Product Description

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

Key Features

  • 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

Product Description

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 spec you’ll often see is mAh, which stands for milliamps hour. The mAh spec is a measurement of power over time, the higher the mAh the more power the battery contains. To fully charge a phone you’ll need 3,000 to 5,000 mAh.

Watts

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.

FAQs

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.

Best power banks: The finest portable USB fast chargers for every budget

Our guide to the best portable chargers and power banks for fast-charging smartphones and USB-C laptops.

Readers like you help support.lint. When you make a purchase using links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read

In an ideal world, there would be no need for battery packs. Yet, the reality is that battery life is still a pain point for many users, even those with flagship devices.

Getting through the day with some power remaining requires some serious discipline, which is tough if you’re used to spending all your time in group chats, mindlessly scrolling through. playing games or on yet another video call.

That’s where our list of the best battery packs and portable chargers comes in. They’ve been around for years, which thankfully means there are thousands of great options to pick from, and some are now starting to include seriously high capacities along with support for high-wattage USB-C Power Delivery. These two things together, mean that you can even charge your laptop.

Let’s not forget other gadgets, too. Bluetooth headphones, action cameras and drones can all benefit from a top-up, especially when you’re travelling.

So, without further ado, here’s our selection of the best power bank options around to deliver juice back to your gadgets.

Anker 737

Shargeek Storm2 Slim

Excitrus 105W Power Bank Ultimate

Anker 325

Our Top Pick: Best Portable Charger

Anker 737

With a luxurious feel, insane charging speeds and a useful display, the Anker 737 is about as good as it gets.

If you’re looking for the best of the best, the Anker 737 might be exactly that. Not only can it deliver a staggering 140W fast charge over USB-C, but it can also be recharged at the same rate. This means that you can refill its ample 24,000 mAh capacity in less than an hour, with a compatible charger.

It’s also built exceptionally well and feels like a luxury item, with a lovely texture on the sides and a full-colour display.

Now, you might not think that you need a display on a power bank, but in practice, it comes in very handy. It’ll tell you the output on each port, the remaining charge, and how long it’ll last at the current charge rate.

Sure, it’s expensive, but considering the specifications, it’s a fairly reasonable asking price. If you’re looking to juice up one of the latest super-fast charging smartphones at full speed, this is the tool for the job.

Shargeek Storm2 Slim

If you want a power bank that makes a statement, this is the one for you.

  • The coolest-looking power bank ever
  • Incredibly detailed display and menus
  • 100W output and 20,000 mAh capacity

Quite simply, this is the most impressive-looking power bank we’ve ever come across. It has a semi-transparent chassis that allows you to look at the components inside, along with a colour display that’ll reveal all the technical details.

It’s a wonderfully geeky design, that lands somewhere between a cyberpunk aesthetic and early 2000’s nostalgia. We absolutely love it.

If you thought having a display on your power bank was overkill, strap in, because the Shargeek takes things to the next level. There’s a full menu system on this thing, allowing you to check out individual cell voltages, temperatures and more. You can even set timers to avoid wasting your charge.

Of course, none of this matters if it’s not a solid power bank, and thankfully it very much is. With a 20,000 mAh capacity and the ability to deliver 100W fast charging over USB-C, it’s ready for anything. You’ll have to be prepared to fork out some cash, though.

Excitrus 105W Power Bank Ultimate

Serious power and portability, combined with unassuming looks. This could be the sweet spot for a lot of people.

This option from Excitrus has a much more subtle design, and if you didn’t know better, you could easily mistake it for any other run-of-the-mill power bank.

On the inside, though, it’s extremely capable. It can deliver 87W from its USB-C port, while simultaneously outputting 18W over USB-A.

That’s enough power to charge a Surface Laptop 4 and a Google Pixel 6 at full speed simultaneously.

What’s more, it’s very compact and lightweight for its specification, along with being reasonably priced.

Anker 325

If you’re not overly concerned with fast charging, this option offers loads of capacity and excellent build quality at a bargain price.

If you’re not so bothered about fast charging and just want an affordable power bank that will keep you charged up for days on end, the Anker 325 is likely the one to pick.

It comes at a very affordable price but still benefits from Anker’s excellent build quality and renowned reliability.

The massive 20,000 mAh capacity is enough to charge an iPhone over four times, so it’ll keep you going for a really long time.

It’s also very slim and lightweight, for its capacity, so it won’t weigh you down too much when you’re out and about.

Tecknet 10k

Amazingly cheap and reasonably quick, this one gets things done without breaking the bank.

If you’re after something cheap and cheerful, we’ve had great results with this option from Tecknet.

It’s not the largest capacity, nor does it have the most impressive speeds, but it comes at a bargain price. and it’s still a touch speedier than the Anker 325.

The 20W output is fast enough to charge phones like the iPhone 12 and Google Pixel 6 at full speed. So if you’re using a basic power bank, you’ll see a definite jump in charging times with this product.

It’s super thin and lightweight and can be charged via USB-C or Micro USB, so it’s easy to top up when the time comes.

How to choose a portable charger

Choosing a portable charger can feel like a monumental task, there are just so many to choose from. With such a variety of sizes, capacities, styles and specifications on the market, it’s especially hard to find the right one for you.

To help narrow down your choices, here are a couple of things we recommend thinking about before you commit to a power bank.

How much capacity do you really need?

It can be tempting to go for the largest capacity available; the more juice the better, right? Well, these high-capacity chargers also tend to be heavy and bulky, so they can be a bit of a pain to carry around with you. We recommend taking a moment to think about the situations you face that normally call for a power bank. If you’re camping out in the wilderness for days on end, then a giant capacity charger may be just what you need. but if you’re just trying to get an extra bit of battery life to see you through your commute, you’d likely be happier with a slimmer and more lightweight solution.

What do you need to charge?

While pretty much any power bank will charge your phone, laptops, in particular, are where things get more complicated. Most USB-C-powered laptops will require a high-wattage USB-C Power Delivery (PD) specification. It all depends on the laptop model, but generally speaking, for laptops, you’re likely to want 60W PD spec or above, especially if you want to charge the laptop while it is in use. Check your model’s specifications to ensure you get a power bank that’s up to the task.

If you’ll only be charging phones or tablets, then any charger will work, but be aware that not all are created equal. If you want to take advantage of fast charging then it’s worth paying attention to the specs to ensure that your device will be compatible. Samsung phones seem to be especially picky when it comes to fast charging, but so long as you cross-reference your manufacturer’s charging specifications with the power bank’s specifications, it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out.

The Best Portable Chargers and Power Banks for 2023

Is your phone, tablet, or laptop typically in the battery red zone before the day’s end? These portable chargers and power banks give you the most boost when you’re out of juice.

I love portable technology—if you can put it in a or a bag, I’m probably into it. I’ve covered phones and tablets of all shapes and sizes, and reviewed everything from game consoles to laptops in my decade-plus career. Prior to joining PCMag, I wrote articles for Android Authority, How-To Geek, MUO, New Atlas, Tom’s Hardware, and plenty of other tech publications.

Apple MagSafe Battery Pack (Credit: Steven Winkelman)

Watching your phone or tablet steadily run out of power when you’re nowhere near an outlet is stressful. Fortunately, third-party portable batteries are available in many sizes and capacities. Some power banks offer fast charging, wireless charging, built-in cables, AC adapters, and LED flashlights—and even the ability to jump-start your car. Regardless of your budget, you can find a portable charger that keeps your device going when your battery icon starts to dip into the red.

But with so many options to choose from, how do you know which one is right for you? Read on for our tips, followed by the most important points to consider as you shop.

Recommended by Our Editors

Best Affordable PD Power Bank

Anker PowerCore Slim 10000 PD

Why We Picked It

Despite its reasonable price, the Anker PowerCore Slim PD 10000 offers high-end features like USB Power Delivery for fast charging, as well as both types of USB ports.

Who It’s For

This 10,000mAh charger doesn’t have the highest capacity, but it’s more than enough for people who need just a little extra power throughout the day and don’t have the patience for slow charging speeds.

Best Ultra-Portable Power Bank

juice, power, bank

Anker 321 Power Bank (PowerCore 5K)

Why We Picked It

A huge battery capacity is convenient, but sometimes you need a small device that you can carry around without a backpack. The 5,200mAh Anker 321 Power Bank fits that need perfectly, especially because it offers both a USB-A and USB-C port.

Who It’s For

This is ideal for people who care more about portability than capacity. It won’t charge your phone multiple times, but it can still get you through a long day.

Best for Charging Laptops

Anker 737 Power Bank

Why We Picked It

The Anker 737 features 140W output, which means it can charge bigger, more power-hungry devices like a laptop just as effortlessly as it can juice up a phone or tablet.

Who It’s For

If you often need to charge a laptop when you’re nowhere near an outlet, this 24,000mAh backup battery can lower your stress levels. It’s more expensive than other options on this list, so people who tend to charge smaller devices like phones or tablets are better off with the more affordable choices.

Apple MagSafe Battery Pack

Why We Picked It

True to its name, Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack is notable for its MagSafe support. You can simply stick it to the back of your phone to charge it wirelessly.

Who It’s For

If you need to keep your iPhone running while away from home, you won’t find a more convenient solution. People with older iPhones (before the iPhone 12) need to look at other options, though, as MagSafe isn’t supported.

Best High-Capacity Power Bank

Mophie Powerstation XXL

Why We Picked It

The Mophie Powerstation XXL does it all—it has a considerable 20,000mAh capacity, 18W PD charging, and both USB-A and USB-C ports.

Who It’s For

If you’re looking to recharge a phone or tablet several times on the go (and quickly), this is a top choice. The only drawback is that it doesn’t support larger devices like laptops.

Most Durable PD Power Bank

Otterbox Fast Charger Power Bank

Why We Picked It

Many people know Otterbox for its durable phone cases, but the company is now bringing that expertise to the world of power banks. In addition to its strong build quality, the Otterbox Fast Charger Power Bank has all the key features you need, such as fast charging with PD, both types of USB ports, and several options for battery capacity.

Who It’s For

If you are worried about damaging your backup battery when you travel or commute, this is one of the safest bets. It also comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

Best Solar-Powered Portable Charger

juice, power, bank

QiSa Solar Charger

Why We Picked It

The QiSa Solar Charger can use the sun to recharge itself, supports both wired and wireless charging, and even has a built-in flashlight. Best of all, it offers a massive 38,800mAh capacity.

Who It’s For

If you spend a lot of time outdoors, this is among your best choices for keeping your devices running while off of the grid. In other words, it’s camping approved.

What Size Battery Do You Need?

On the.friendly front, most smaller batteries have a capacity of around 5,000mAh, which is typically enough to top up most phones once.

Meanwhile, a 10,000mAh battery can give today’s flagships two full charges. A 20,000mAh battery can charge a flagship four times, or two phones two times. Some power banks have enough juice to power laptops. Of course, a higher capacity often translates to a heavier, larger, and more expensive battery.

Most companies advertise how many times their products can recharge popular phones, but if you want to calculate that number for yourself, RAVPower has a useful guide (Opens in a new window) that can give you an estimate.

In the end, it’s best to assess your typical needs before buying. If your phone hits the red zone by mid-afternoon and you only need enough juice to get you to the end of the workday, a 5,000mAh battery should be plenty.

What’s the Difference Between Power Input and Output?

You’ll find three types of ports on today’s portable batteries:

Generally speaking, you charge the battery itself via micro USB or USB-C (input). Some batteries charge faster than others and USB-C charges much faster than micro USB.

Nearly all batteries include a standard USB-A port (output). This is for plugging in USB-A-to-micro-USB, USB-A-to-Lightning, or USB-A-to-USB-C cables for charging your iPhone or Android device.

Some batteries include built-in output cables and these generally have micro USB, USB-C, or Lightning connectors.

The most important thing to do is to match the battery’s output to your phone’s input. For example, if you have an iPhone, be sure the battery has its own Lightning connector or supports USB-A-to-Lightning or USB-C-to-Lightning cables.

Larger batteries with higher capacities might include a multitude of ports to support input and multiple outputs at the same time. You may see two USB-A and two USB-C ports, for example, though micro USB ports are becoming less common.

If you picked up an iPhone 13 or iPhone 14 and were surprised by the lack of an included wall charger, see our article on charging your iPhone.

What Is Fast Charging?

Another factor to consider is how quickly a power bank can charge your device. Battery output is measured in voltage and amperage. Amperage (or current) is the amount of electricity that flows from the battery to the connected device, while voltage is the amount of potential energy. Multiplying volts by amps gives you wattage, the measure of total power. To make devices charge faster, most manufacturers either vary the voltage or boost the amperage.

Today’s devices support a wide range of Rapid-charging technology, such as Qualcomm QuickCharge, USB Power Delivery, or proprietary fast-charge systems.

Quick Charge works by increasing voltage rather than amperage. This standard typically allows you to charge supported phones to 50 percent capacity in 30 minutes, which is especially helpful when you need power in a pinch.

Power Delivery is a newer protocol in which two compatible devices negotiate on the fastest charging option available based on the charger, cable, and circuitry. It also allows for power to flow both ways.

The most common devices (Apple iPhones and Samsung Galaxies) support charging rates of 27W and 45W, respectively. It’s best to look for batteries that can support charging in that range.

Is Pass-Through Charging Safe and Useful?

Pass-through charging is another feature to consider; with it, you can charge devices and the portable power bank simultaneously. That’s convenient if both your phone and backup battery are running on empty. You shouldn’t encounter any safety issues if the manufacturer of the portable battery you buy advertises pass-through charging as a feature, but the power output might change in this mode.

How Does Wireless Charging Work?

Wireless charging has become popular because it allows you to power up compatible devices without a cable. Qi is the dominant standard for compatible Android phones (up to 18W) while Apple iPhones rely on MagSafe charging (up to 15W). iPhones will charge wirelessly on Qi chargers, but only at 7.5W.

Some battery makers have built Qi or MagSafe-compatible wireless charging into the surfaces of their portable batteries. Such batteries mean you can leave the cables at home.

Should You Buy a Battery Case Instead of a Power Bank?

If you find that you often forget to carry your backup battery when you need it most, you should consider a dedicated battery case instead. These combine the portability and protection of a case with additional battery capacity to keep your phone topped off at all times.

There are several drawbacks. First, they have limited additional capacity on board. Second, they are limited in terms of the number of phones they support (mostly just iPhones, Galaxies, and Pixels). Third, you can’t charge much else with them.

The Best Wireless Chargers

Why fumble around for a charging cable when you can rest your phone on a wireless charging pad? Whether you’re an Android user or an iPhone fan, check out our roundups of the best wireless chargers and the best MagSafe chargers to help you cut the cord.

Steven Winkelman contributed to this story.

Your Greatest Defense Against the Airport ‘Juice Jacking’ Scam Is This 20 Traveler-loved Tool

Kayla Becker is a Senior Commerce Editor for Travel Leisure, where she writes and edits stories about travel products. She holds a bachelor’s in English and Communications from Florida State University and has been a travel writer and editor for more than seven years.

If you’re a frequent traveler, there’s a big scam on the rise in airports that you need to know about. It’s called “juice jacking” — when thieves hack into your phone while it’s charging on a public USB port, introducing malware and stealing your personal information. They can lock your device, export passwords, and often sell your info to other criminals. Not a great start to vacation.

Luckily, there’s an easy solution: Always carry a portable charger like the Loveledi Portable Power Bank to charge your phone without relying on public USB ports. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) itself says this is the safest way to avoid falling prey to the scam. And now’s a great time to stock up: This best-selling two-pack is discounted to just 20.

To buy: amazon.com, 20 for 2-pack (originally 30)

And this Amazon No. 1 portable charger is up to the task. Giving your phone days of battery life in a single charge, it can go the distance so you never have to worry about running out of juice on the road. Simply charge the Loveledi Portable Power Bank up before heading out on your travels, and connect your iPhone, Android smartphone, tablet, or any device that can charge on a USB on the go.

At just 5.5 by 2.5 by 0.5 inches, this.size travel essential is about as compact as they come — practically the size of an iPhone and just as slim — and so easy to toss into your carry-on, purse, or en route to the airport. Or, take it anywhere public like a hotel or restaurant where you might need a phone charger, too.

than 6,500 Amazon reviewers have given these portable phone chargers a five-star rating, meaning it’s a product you can count on. One traveler said, “The two-pack gives my wife and I all we need for air travel,” and that they’re “no longer tethered to an outlet at the airport,” finding another surprising use for the chargers, too: “It also fills the gap when camping.”

Another traveler said they take these everywhere, praising the charger’s long-lasting battery and fast charge: “One hour of charging these can charge my phone two to three times. I would 100 percent recommend it to anyone like me who needs to have a phone/tablet with them.”

juice, power, bank

But there are so many other reasons travelers should have these on deck, too. One reviewer said after a big freeze in Texas, they relied on it to charge their phone while the power was down for three days. “What a game-changer. They’re slim and convenient,” they said, continuing that their “performance is superb…These definitely gave us peace of mind. Highly recommend.” Not to mention, it can come in handy on remote travels such as safari when you won’t always have access to a power outlet.

So what are you waiting for? Grab the Loveledi Portable Power Bank two-pack while it’s still on sale for just 20 so you can rest assured that you won’t fall prey to juice jackers at the airport with this.sized peace of mind.

And if you’re shopping around, read on for more highly rated portable phone chargers at Amazon that will free you from those public charging stations and protect you from “juice jacking” on your next trip. Bonus, they all have that trusted seal, “Amazon Choice,” and they’re all on sale, too.

Portable Power Banks on Sale at Amazon:

Anker Portable Charger

To buy: amazon.com, 37 (originally 43)

iWalk Small Portable Charger

To buy: amazon.com, 26 with on-site coupon (originally 35)

TG90 10000mah Power Bank

To buy: amazon.com, 32 (originally 50)

Iniu Portable Charger

To buy: amazon.com, 29 (originally 40)

At the time of publishing, the price started at 20.

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