The Best Portable Chargers and Power Banks for 2023. 20w power bank

Get extra battery life for your mobile and gaming devices.

If you’re on the go, the last thing you want to discover is that your phone doesn’t have as much juice to make it through the day as you do. Phones are like another limb to most people these days. You use it to stay connected, get directions, and take photos, but if it’s dead, you’re lost—sometimes literally. Though, just as you grab a cup of coffee to give yourself enough energy to make it through a grueling day, your phone can get the top off it needs from a portable charger.

Even the best smartphones and tablets benefit from having a portable power bank handy. Very few modern phones sacrifice their svelte design in favor of packing in a larger battery, and that makes it harder for them to offer battery life that can hold up over long hours of scrolling or playing mobile games. A great portable charger makes up for the lack of internal power, sometimes even giving you multiple, full charges of your phone’s battery. Even better, many power banks support fast charging or offer enough juice to keep up with more demanding devices, like tablets, the Nintendo Switch or the Steam Deck. There are even a few options that are beefy enough to juice up a gaming laptop.

With the insane amount of portable charger choices out there, we’ve made your search a bit easier by weeding through them to bring you the best. Our options cover every budget and need. So, if you’re ready to leave battery concerns behind, check out our top picks for power banks and find one that’ll give you the extra charge you need when you’ve got a long day ahead of you and no power outlets in sight – and click here to find them in the UK.

Anker PowerCore Essential 20000

Best Portable Charger

Capacity: 20,000mAh | Total Output: 38W | Ports: 1 x USB-A (18W), 1 x USB-C (20W) | Size: 6.22 x 2.91 0.76 | Weight: 345g

The Anker PowerCore Essential 20000 meets just about everyone’s needs from a portable charger and then some. This power source packs a beefy 20,000mAh battery inside that can easily recharge most phones a few times over, and it can even recharge many tablets. Plus, the relatively compact design makes it easy to toss in your bag to ensure you’re never without power again.

It’s not just about the number of times a device can be recharged, but also how fast it can recharge them. The Anker PowerCore Essential 20000 supports 20W PD fast charging out of its USB-C port, and it can hit 18W charging speeds out of its USB-A port with PowerIQ 2.0. This means that you can also charge two devices at one time. And, even your low-power electronics like wireless headphones and speakers are safe to plug in and charge up.

Anker 523 PowerCore Slim

Best Budget Portable Charger

Capacity: 10,000mAh | Total Output: 20W, 12W | Ports: 1 x USB-C, 1 x USB-A | Size: 5.87 x 2.68 x 0.55 | Weight: 208g

Anker has been known for making some of the best portable chargers on the market for years, and that includes their budget-friendly options too. Their 523 PowerCore Slim comes in just under 40, but it packs all the juice you need for your smartphone or tablet with a 10,000mAh battery. You should be able to get a full charge or two on your phone with it. And, if you’re worried about the portable charger running low on power, you can quickly check how much is left by pressing the LED button on the chassis.

With the Anker 523 PowerCore Slim, you get 20W charging speeds with a USB-C PD connection, so your devices can enjoy a speedy fillup. Using that same connection, you’re even able to charge the power bank to full in just four and half hours. There is also a 12W USB port to charge another device at the same time. And, thanks to its compact design, you should have an easy time finding room for it in your backpack or purse.

Xiaomi 10000mAh Redmi Power Bank

Best Ultra Cheap Portable Charger

Capacity: 10,000mAh | Total Output: 13W | Ports: 2 x USB-A (5.1V/2.6A total), 1 x USB-C (in), 1 x micro USB (in) | Size: 7 x 4 x 1 | Weight: 254g

Now, Xioami’s 10,000mAh Redmi Power Bank may not offer brand name recognition or be the highest-powered option, but if you just need a bit of extra battery life available on the go, it can supply it at a low price. For just 15, this option offers up 10,000mAh of juice and supports a total output of 2.6A at 5.1V for about 13W of power. That’s delivered by the power bank’s two USB-A ports, which means you can charge multiple devices at one time. Just be aware that this isn’t the fastest portable charger out there.

The Xiaomi 10000mAh Redmi Power Bank offers a couple of options for how to recharge its own battery. Both a USB-C port for power input as well as a micro USB port, in case you’ve got the legacy cable are on hand, are available for a simple juice up. And, all of this comes packed into a unit that weighs just 254 grams.

Mophie PowerStation

Best Portable Charger with Quickcharge

Capacity: 10,000mAh | Total Output: 20W | Ports: 1 x USB-C. 2 x USB-A | Size: 5.63 x 2.76 x 0.63 | Weight: 272.2g

When you’re short on time and are looking for the quickest possible charge out of a power bank, you can’t go wrong with the Mophie PowerStation. This battery ekes out 20W of fast-charging power through a USB-C PD output, delivering about a 50 percent charge to your phone in under 30 minutes. And if you choose to use the two USB-A ports to juice up headphones and other devices simultaneously with your phone, you’ll get a 15W combined output.

The Mophie Powerstation features a 10,000mAh battery, so there’s about two full phone charges worth of juice in it. And when the battery itself needs charging, you’ll know thanks to handy integrated LEDs. The power bank also remains relatively compact and lightweight, so you can just toss it in your bag, while the 50 price tag is easy to digest.

Anker 737 PowerCore 24K

Best Portable Laptop Charger

Capacity: 24,000mAh | Total Output: 140W | Ports: 2 x USB-C (140W, 122W), 1 x USB-A (18W) | Size: 6.13 x 2.15 x 1.95 | Weight: 630g

A laptop isn’t easy to keep topped up with any old battery bank, heck, most don’t even have enough juice or output power to handle it. However, the Anker 737 PowerCore 24K is up to the challenge. This battery bank not only has 24,000mAh of energy stored inside, but it can output at a max of 140W to keep many an Ultrabook or MacBook juiced up even while they’re running. On top of that, it has the extra capacity to feed power to two additional devices, one over its USB-A port at an 18W max, while the additional USB-C port shares 122W of powerful charging with the laptop plugged into the other USB-C.

You’d think the Anker 737 PowerCore 24K’s massive battery means it needs some serious time to recharge, but it manages to do it under an hour. And, if you’re worried about all this power causing the portable charger to overheat, there is included technology that monitors the temperature, ensuring things stay safe. To round out this highly-capable battery bank is a handy digital display showing valuable info, including the total input and output power, the estimated time to recharge, and the battery health.

Omni Ultimate 120v

Best Portable Charger With AC Power

Capacity: 38,400mAh | Total Output: 150W | Ports: 1 x 3-prong AC (120W), 1 x DC (100W out, 90W in), 2 x USB-C (100W out, 90W in), 2 x USB-A (22.5W) | Size: 6.5 x 5.7 x 2.1 | Weight: 1406.1g

If you need a serious portable charger to juice up your laptop or other power-hungry devices, you can’t go wrong with the Omni Ultimate 120v. Anything plugged into this portable battery’s AC port can feed on up to 120W of power, which is more than enough to recharge the MacBook Pro or even some gaming laptops. It far outpaces any of the other AC plug-equipped batteries we’ve seen that usually top out at an 80W max. Beyond the AC port, there’s also an adjustable DC port that outputs 100W for another laptop, a USB-C port for 60W power delivery, and even a few more charging options. Most of your devices, including cameras and drones, can be charged using this power bank.

The Omni Ultimate 120v comes with 38,400mAh on hand, so it will get you through a full day without ever having to touch a wall plug. It even has a removable battery, so when one is depleted, you can replace it. Plus, pass-through charging allows you to top up your devices and the power bank at the same time. And amazingly, Omni manages to keep all this power in a rugged, relatively compact design, so it’s a perfect travel companion whether you’re taking it on a plane or toting it along on a camping trip.

Anker PowerCore Fusion 5K

Best Compact Portable Charger

Capacity: 5,000mAh | Total Output: 20W | Ports: 1 x USB-C | Size: 4.45 x 1.18 x 1.18 | Weight: 199.6g

Power banks are relatively clunky, especially when you consider you’ll need to tote a block around with you if you want to recharge the battery itself. However, the Anker PowerCore Fusion 5K includes a foldable plug to juice up your device and battery anywhere you find a wall outlet. And it does that while maintaining a tiny, lightweight form factor, so you can easily slide the power bank into your bag or

Of course, you bought the Anker PowerCore Fusion 5K to charge up your devices on the go, and it offers a somewhat modest 5,000 mAh battery—enough to fill up your smartphone about one time. Charging is done via a USB-C port for ample compatibility, though you only get one port. It even utilizes Anker’s Power IQ 3.0 technology, delivering safe, high-speed charging to your devices.

Apple MagSafe Battery Pack

Best MagSafe Portable Charger

Max Charging Rate: 15W (wired), 5W (wireless) | Battery size: 1,460mAh | Connector Type: 1 x Lightning | Size: 4.46 x 3.24 x 0.93

Wireless charging is cool at home, but you know where it’s even cooler? On the go. Plugging in your phone with a cable isn’t the end of the world at home, but you don’t want to have your phone, a battery pack, and a tangle of cable jammed into your when you’re out and about. The Apple MagSafe Battery Pack is a solution for this on for the best iPhones.

Now this pack doesn’t have the biggest charge with only a 1,460mAh battery, but it’ll snap onto the back of your iPhone magnetically to help keep it topped up without needing any wires in the mix. And don’t worry, that magnet won’t interfere with your credit cards or key fobs. It really is a bit handy when you’re on the go, but it can continue to be useful when you get wherever you’re going. By plugging the MagSafe Battery Pack into a 20W charger over a Lightning cable, you can simultaneously recharge the pack and your iPhone at the same time, even giving the iPhone the full 15W charging speed that MagSafe enables.

Marval Power GuliKit Battery Master

Best Nintendo Switch Power Bank

Capacity: 10,000mAh | Total Output: 15W | Ports: 1 x USB-C, 1 x USB-A, 1 x USB-C (built in cable) | Size: 5.24 x 2.76 x 0.71 | Weight: 249.5G

A power bank is an essential Nintendo Switch accessory, as it’s a simple and effective way to extend your Switch’s less-than-stellar battery life. The Marval Power GuliKit Battery Master is our favorite because rather than a typical battery bank, this one actually straps to the rear of your Switch or OLED Switch. It adds some weight and bulk to your device, but you’ll still have an enjoyable playing experience while charging.

The 10,000mAh battery should extend your gaming time by about 10 hours, and the 15W power delivery means your Switch will be topped up in no time. There’s a built-in USB-C cable, while a USB-A and USB-C port makes it possible to juice up a phone or other device without unplugging your Switch. Short circuit and overvoltage protection on the Marval Power GuliKit Battery Mastern also ensure your devices charge safely.

What to Look for in a Portable Charger

When shopping for a power bank the most important spec you should look out for is capacity. This figure is always followed closely by a mAh unit, which stands for milliamp-hour. Given that most ultra-thin flagship phones have a 3,000mAh battery inside of them already, you’re going to want to find a portable charger with at least that much capacity, so you can double the battery life of your handset—unless of course, you’re looking for an extremely portable battery.

As you may have noticed most portable chargers these days come in a 10,000mAh capacity or higher, and this is pretty much the standard. Portable batteries of this size should give you three times or more charge while you’re on the go.

After considering the capacity of your charger, you’re going to want to think about charging speeds and the ports that deliver those speeds. Not all chargers are created equal, with some offering much higher charging capabilities with increased voltages and amperages. Some chargers may use standards like Power Delivery (PD) to connect with your device and send the maximum energy possible. So, you’ll want to compare what output capabilities the charger has with the charging speeds your phone or other electronics supports. Also, check which ports offer those speeds, as you may find some offer much higher charging than others.

Doing this, you can find chargers that support the quick charging of your phone or even find chargers that will be capable of delivering enough power to keep even your laptop running for some extra time. You’ll also want to consider this same aspect but for the charger itself. After all, it has a battery that needs recharging, too. If you have a 20,000mAh battery, but it only supports 5W input, it’s going to take a long time to fill it back up.

Kevin Lee is IGN’s Hardware and Roundups Editor. Follow him on @baggingspam.

Danielle Abraham is a freelance writer and unpaid music historian.

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

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

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.

The best power banks 2022

Choosing a power bank can be a minefield. There are cheap ones, pricey ones, and sometimes you’re paying simply for a name – but there’s a lot more to finding the perfect portable charger than looking at price alone.

Some other things you might consider include speed, both in charging your connected device and recharging the bank when it empties. Capacity is important, too: it needs to be high enough to get your through the day with juice to spare – even share – without weighing down your or bag.

Ports and connections matter, too. What are you charging? A phone, a laptop, a watch? The number and range of ports is important, and if you want to avoid carrying multiple cables then you could look for a version with built-in cables or wireless charging.

While we care about design, it’s actually much lower on our priority list than the things we mention above – unless, of course, we have need for a particularly rugged model or something that supports solar charging because we’re going to be away from mains power for an extended period. That’s not to say we won’t appreciate added extras such as an LCD screen and waterproofing – don’t you want the coolest and most convenient power bank you can get for your money?

These days, it’s even possible to rent power banks as and when you need them (check out ChargedUp). Mind blown. To ensure you get the very best power bank for your needs, whatever that looks like, read on for more detailed buying advice below our chart.

Best power bank reviews

Zendure SuperMini X3 – Best 10000mAh Power Bank

The Zendure SuperMini X3 certainly isn’t the cheapest 10000mAh power bank around, but it makes up for that in specs.

The headline is the 45W USB-C PD charging – for both input and output. That means you can re-charge the power bank itself in just an hour or so, but also that this is fast enough to meet the max charging speeds on most Apple and Samsung phones, and can even keep many laptops running.

The same port also supports the PPS standard at up to 33W speeds.

There are also two USB-A ports, one at 18W and another at 15W, and you can use all three ports simultaneously with 15W speeds from each.

Throw in the small LCD display to report battery life and the light and compact design (in a range of four colours, no less) and it’s easy to see why you might want to spend a little extra for the SuperMini X3.

Charmast 10,400mAh Power Bank – Best Value Power Bank with LCD

There was a time when power banks with LCD displays were rather expensive, but have now come down as the screens filter through to even affordable models like this.

The power bank also has three outputs, which will come in handy if you have multiple devices to charge. There are two full-size USBs, plus a USB-C PD port that can act as both input and output, and all three support 18W Quick Charge – although only one at a time.

On the side is an additional Quick Charge 2.0-compatible Micro-USB, which can also be used for charging the bank. It will charge in about 3.5 hours with a Quick Charge/PD adapter, but about 5.5 hours with a standard 10W charger.

The downside of the design is that it’s a bit bigger than many of the super-slim, similar-capacity models on the market. This Charmast is roughly the same width as a phone, but a little shorter and a fair bit chunkier. It weighs in at 228g, which you may decide is better suited to a bag than your

Charmast supplies a soft mesh carry case and a short USB-A to USB-C cable in the box, a nice touch.

Zendure SuperMini Go

  • Interesting camera-inspired design
  • Supports 15W wireless charging
  • Strong device support
  • Available only via IndieGoGo (for now)
  • LCD is a little dim and can be difficult to read

The Zendure SuperMini Go is something a little different: a power bank that tries very hard not to look like one.

Zendure’s design is inspired by classic cameras, which is if nothing else a fun way to incorporate the large ring required for wireless charging – which here sits right where a camera lens would be. Instead of a viewfinder, there’s a rear LCD display to show battery percentage – though be warned that this is quite dim and hard to read.

It’s available in silver and black finishes, along with our more out there ‘Sunset Cyan’ gradient.

The SuperMini Go isn’t all about looks though, and it has some solid specs to match. The total capacity is 10,000mAh, and in addition to 15W wireless charging (with a magnet to keep phones steady) there’s 20W USB-C charging and 22.5W USB-A charging.

Compatibility is impressive too – not only will this work with both iOS and Android devices, but the ‘X-Charge’ mode is capable of topping up lower power devices like wearables and headphones, which not all power banks support.

The SuperMini Go is available now for backers on IndieGoGo with discounted launch pricing from 44 (down from an official price of 69), but with Zendure’s track record it’s very likely this will be in stores including Amazon before long.

JIGA 30,000mAh Power Bank – Most Versatile Power Bank

JIGA is a new name to us in terms of power bank tech, but its 30,000mAh power bank is interesting for a number of reasons – and not least the huge capacity, which will be some comfort on trips away from mains power.

While it’s something of a throwback to power banks from a couple of years back, with its built-in LED flash (certainly useful for camping trips) and durable but plasticky design, it also takes us back to the days where you didn’t have to sacrifice ports for portability.

It’s surprisingly small for such a high-capacity bank, but it’s more bag- rather than.friendly.

The JIGA has USB-C, Micro-USB and Lightning inputs, allowing you to fill its battery using whatever cable you have to hand. It’s a shame that the USB-C port doesn’t also work as an output, but there are three full-size USB-A outputs, each rated at 10.5W.

This isn’t the Power Delivery speeds we’re becoming increasingly familiar with today, but it’s plenty fast for charging a phone (or multiple phones).

If all you need is a healthy stream of power to keep topped up a number of mobile devices, this JIGA power bank will be a very handy device to have around.

Anker PowerCore Essential 20,000 PD – Best 20,000mAh Power Bank

Hailing from Anker, a respected brand in the power bank market, this 20,000mAh portable charger represents very good value at this capacity.

The 345.5G Essential is a black plastic brick, though relatively compact for the amount of power it can hold. It has a textured top surface that improves grip in the hand, as well as the overall appearance.

We’re pleased to find support for Power Delivery, but do note that it’s only up to 18W, and therefore not likely to be sufficient to charge a USB-C laptop. Still, for quick-charging a phone or tablet, this is a useful device.

A full-size USB output that uses Anker’s PowerIQ smarter charging algorithm is joined by a USB-C port that is both input and output. On top is a power button with four integrated LEDs that reveal remaining capacity, and you can use this to enter a trickle-charging mode suitable for smartwatches and earbuds.

A USB-C to USB-C cable and soft mesh carry case are provided in the box, which is a nice touch.

Anker PowerCore III 10K Wireless – Best Wireless Power Bank

The Anker PowerCore III 10K Wireless is a Qi wireless charger with a special feature: you can use it as a portable power bank, too, which can be super handy.

You can use it at home or work plugged in, and carry it around with you for wired or wireless charging when you are away from a power socket. Because it’s wireless, there’s no need to carry a cable around with you.

As the name suggests, the PowerCore III 10K has a decent sized 10,000mAh battery, which should offer at least three charges from the power bank before it needs recharging itself.

The wireless charger is rated at 10W. Place your device on the centre of the circle. We didn’t find the placement too sensitive, as some wireless chargers can be. It’s not auto-start, though – as a power bank it requires you to push the button first.

You can also charge from the two USB-A ports at one end – at a total of 18W, so charging two or three (one wireless, two wired) devices will split that power output.

Anker PowerCore Magnetic 5K – Best MagSafe Power Bank

This portable wireless charger is one of the best accessories you can get for your iPhone.

In essence, it’s a 5,000mAh palm-sized power bank that will charge your compatible iPhone simply by snapping it onto the back with MagSafe.

It works through some cases, charges over USB-C, comes in a range of colours and, even if you don’t have MagSafe, can be used to charge almost anything via cable.

A handy set of LEDs indicates how much charge the PowerCore has remaining.

Moshi IonGo 5K Duo – Best Design

It’s expensive, but you’ll pay out for the IonGo 5K Duo from Moshi if style is as important to you as is functionality.

Almost identical in design to the IonGo 5K before it, but here with both USB-C and Lightning cables built-in (hence the name Duo), the Moshi is an undeniably cool-looking power bank that comes tucked away inside a vegan-friendly soft leather case with a magnetic clasp and an anodised aluminium faceplate.

The additional cable means it’s now suited to Android as well as iPhone users, although as before this is Made For iPhone-certified.

This is a truly premium device with a colossal 10-year warranty going a long way to account for its higher asking price. It’s also possibly the dinkiest 5,000mAh power bank we’ve seen, suggesting there are some serious high-tech components inside.

At this capacity, expect a full charge for any Android phone, and potentially two for iPhone. Moshi claims the bank will also retain that power for up to 27 months when left unused.

Charging is up to 15W over USB-C and 12W over Lightning. Use Lightning and USB-C together and you’ll see slightly slower charging speeds, with a max total output of 3.4A (17W).

You can also use the USB-C cable for recharging the bank, again up to 15W. Better still, the Moshi supports passthrough charging, allowing you to charge both it and a connected device at once, but given that there’s no separate input here that’s going to work only with iPhone.

The Duo is currently out of stock at Amazon, but you can still pick up the iPhone model.

Chargeasap Flash Pro / Flash Pro Plus – Fastest Charging Power Bank

  • Unbeatable recharging speed
  • High-capacity (25,000mAh)
  • Range of outputs
  • 5-year lifespan
  • Expensive
  • Bulky and heavy
  • Attracts fingerprints
  • No charger or cable supplied

These graphene-composite power banks are able to charge cooler than ordinary lithium-polymer batteries, and thus can do significantly faster: you’ll get to 80% of these 25,000mAh batteries in just 45 minutes.

In addition to this there is a healthy smattering of ports, with three USB-Cs running at 100W, 60W and 20W, a 50W USB-A that supports Quick Charge 3.0 and SVOOC, plus wireless charging. You get a 15W MagSafe pad and a 5W Apple Watch charger in the Flash Pro Plus, and a 15W Qi charger in the Flash Pro.

Down sides include an expensive price tag, and a bulky, heavy design, but for sheer performance and functionality the Chargeasap banks are among the most capable we’ve ever tested.

FAQ

What capacity power bank do I need?

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking a 3,000mAh power bank will give your 3,000mAh battery smartphone a full charge, and that a 9,000mAh power bank will charge it three times. No portable charger runs at 100% efficiency. In truth, most average between 60- and 70%, with the best-performing models able to reach 80- or 90%. Wireless charging models may be less efficient still.

best, portable, chargers, power, banks, 2023

To work out what capacity bank you need, first check the spec of the device you want to charge to find out its battery capacity, then decide how many times you want to be able to charge it. For a rough estimate, calculate Connected device battery capacity x Number of recharges x 1.6 = Minimum power bank capacity you should look to buy.

As a rule of thumb, a 5,000mAh bank is a single-charge device, 10,000mAh hits the sweet spot between capacity and portability, and you want to look for closer to 20,000mAh for a laptop. We’ve got some of those high-capacity power banks here – just don’t try to stuff any of them in your !

How long does it take to recharge a power bank?

The time required to recharge a power bank will depend on its capacity, what you are using to recharge its battery and whether or not it’s empty.

For the fastest charging you should look to the new breed of power banks that support graphene technology and charge over a DC input (such as the Chargeasap Flash Pro – a 25,000mAh bank that can get to 80% in 45 mins and 100% in 70 mins), but these tend to be pricey.

The cheapest models still tend to charge over Micro-USB, usually at around 10-12W. Avoid 5W power banks like the plague unless they are very low in capacity or you’re not in a rush.

What is passthrough charging?

Passthrough charging allows you to simultaneously charge devices connected to a power bank and the power bank itself. It’s a very handy solution if you are short on mains power outlets and need to get multiple devices charged up overnight, for example. However, not all power banks support it, so be sure to check the spec of your portable charger before you buy.

How do I know how much power is left in my power bank?

Assuming you know how much capacity it had when full, you can work out how much power remains either through a series of LEDs on the casing (usually activated by plugging in a device to charge or pressing a button on the side), or via the LCD if your power bank supports one. LCDs are preferrable, because they give a more accurate readout, particularly when it comes to higher-capacity power banks.

What are GaN power banks?

GaN is short for gallium nitride. It requires fewer components than traditional silicone chargers, which means power banks that use the technology can be less bulky and more efficient. If portability is your primary concern, then as well as considering the power bank’s capacity you should also look for one that uses GaN.

What charging speed should I look for in a power bank?

The first power banks on to the market ran at 5W, which is the same speed as the original iPhone chargers (aka slllllloooooowwwww). We wouldn’t recommend anything below 10W these days. This speed is known as ‘fast charging’, and it’s still rather common in cheaper models, but it’s not really the fast charging we’ve become accustomed to today. So many of the latest smartphones now support super-fast wired charging, and it seems crazy not to buy a portable charger that supports that top speed if possible.

The standard your phone uses to achieve its top charging speeds is important here. Some have proprietary technologies that work only with accessories manufactured and sold by that company. Some offer fast charging through Quick Charge or Power Delivery. Some support neither Quick Charge nor Power Delivery, but do support protocols such as PPS (Programmable Power Supply) or SCP (Super Charge Protocol). Make sure the portable charger you buy matches the fast charging standard supported by your phone.

The term Power Delivery does not in itself denote a performance rating. It could be capable of delivering anything between 18W and 240W. This is particularly important if you’re looking to charge a USB-C laptop – anything under 30W won’t cut it, many laptops will refuse to play ball below 45W or even 60W, and some larger laptops might require 90W. You will need to check the spec of your laptop to know what speed it requires.

At the other end of the scale, if you need to charge a low-power device such as a smartwatch or a pair of wireless earbuds, look out for a power bank that is certified for low-power devices. Many of those that are not will simply cut out when you try to charge these devices, because they aren’t able to detect a significant drain on the battery.

Power bank manufacturers rarely provide the speed of their outputs in watts. Instead you’ll see a rating in amps, which you multiply by the voltage rating (usually five) to get the rating in watts. So 2A x 5V = 10W.

What is Power Delivery?

USB-C and USB PD are often confused, but the important thing to remember is that USB-C is a reversible connection type, while USB PD is a power delivery specification, overseen by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) and often expressed simply as ‘PD’. With version 3.1 of the specification, Power Delivery is able to carry up to 240W of power plus data over USB-C (previously limited to 100W), but devices that support Power Delivery can range from 18W right up to 240W.

What is Quick Charge?

Quick Charge is a Qualcomm fast-charging protocol that runs on the Snapdragon processors we see inside many smartphones, hence it has become commonplace in the mobile market.

The latest version is Quick Charge 5, which operates at up to 100W and supports USB PD PPS. However, while they are often seen together, Quick Charge and Power Delivery are not the same thing.

Quick Charge 5 is a massive jump up from Quick Charge 4/4, more efficient and able to run cooler and safer, and Qualcomm says it can get a device to 50% in just 5 mins. It is backwards-compatible with earlier versions of the protocol, including 18W Quick Charge 2/3, which are still very common in power banks.

Which outputs should I look for in a power bank?

The type and number of outputs you will need on a power bank depends entirely on what device or devices you want to charge. Pretty much all power banks have a full-size USB output that you can use to plug in your own cable, but it’s not always going to be the fastest way to deliver a charge to your device. You’ll also find USB-C and Lightning outputs, magnetic wireless charging pads and AC outlets if you shop around. Some power banks even have built-in cables to stop you needing to carry around your own, though you will still need one handy to recharge the power bank itself.

Why is the maximum output of a power bank important?

Some power banks have multiple outputs for charging your connected devices, but few power banks are able to simultaneously support all of them at the top advertised speed. Watch out for those that have a lower maximum output than the sum of all ports together. Also be wary of those that have multiple outputs but a very low capacity – these aren’t really designed for plugging in multiple devices, only to be versatile.

What happens when my power bank is more powerful than my connected device?

There is no need to worry about plugging devices into ports that are capable of delivering more power than the device is able to accept, since USB devices will draw only the power they need. Many power banks include technology that is able to intelligently dole out this power among ports more appropriately, depending on what devices you are attempting to charge (often known as Power IQ or similar).

Can I take a power bank on a plane?

Yes, but it must be in your hand luggage, and if it is higher in capacity than 27,000mAh (100Wh) you will need to check with the airline before flying. Make sure you take it out your bag as you pass through security. If a power bank is damaged then it will not be allowed on the plane as it could become a safety hazard. You should also ensure the specifications are clearly printed on the side of its case, as is the norm.

We’ve put together a range of articles to help you choose the best charging tech for the mobile devices you carry everywhere. You’ll also like:

  • For charging away from home:Power banks for laptops | Travel adaptors
  • Best Wall Desktop Chargers:For phones tablets | For laptops
  • For convenience:Best wireless chargers
  • Best charging cables:Micro-USB | USB-C | Lightning

The best power banks and portable chargers

Your time — and money — is precious. Polygon’s What to Buy has rounded up the best in gaming hardware, entertainment, tabletop, merch, and toys, and how to get them for the best value, so you spend less time shopping and more time enjoying.

A power bank, also commonly referred to as a portable charger, is an essential purchase for anyone who’s on the go with a phone, tablet, or a gaming handheld like a Nintendo Switch or a Steam Deck. It lets you recharge your precious gadgets one or more times via a USB connection, so you can keep talking, texting, or gaming throughout the day.

Best portable charger for your phone and tablet

Today’s phones and tablets may differ in terms of their peak wired charging speeds, yet we’ve found some battery packs that should work well no matter what device you have. It’s true that some outliers, like Samsung’s Galaxy S23 phone, can recharge at 25 W or higher depending on the model, but many other Android phones and iPhones recharge via a wired connection at under 20 W — even less when you’re charging wirelessly.

How to pick the best power bank/portable charger for you

Get one that lists the Power Delivery capability (noted as “PD” in the specs), and it should ideally match, or come close to, the peak charging speeds (in watts) of the devices that you intend to charge with it.

best, portable, chargers, power, banks, 2023

The batteries we recommend for phones and tablets are also a good pick for the Nintendo Switch. However, the Steam Deck needs more juice, as do some mightier laptops that can receive power via USB-C.

best, portable, chargers, power, banks, 2023

In terms of tablets, picking either of the two power bank options we recommend below should be a good fit for what you may have. For reference, all iPads currently ship with 20 W power adapters, and so far, tablets from other manufacturers like Samsung and Amazon haven’t deviated far from that charging speed.

Whichever you choose, it never hurts to get some extra USB-C-to-USB-C cables. You can get this two-pack at Amazon for 15.99, so you can keep one at home and then put the other in a bag you bring around during everyday travels.

Anker 523 10,000 mAh 20 W power bank

Includes two cables: a USB-C-to-C cable and a USB-C-to-A cable.

Baseus 10,000 mAh 30 W power bank

Includes a USB-C-to-A cable. This battery is an additional 25% off if you tick the coupon on the Amazon landing page.

Best power bank for your Switch

The Nintendo Switch console with detachable Joy-Cons can receive a maximum of 18 W through its USB-C charging port (the Switch Lite is slightly less demanding). So, the very same compact power banks we recommend for phones and tablets can be used to charge your Switch.

Same note as before: We suggest buying more charging cables than you’ll immediately need (stow one permanently in the bag you frequently use). You can get this two-pack of 100 W-ready, six-foot-long, USB-C-to-C cables at Amazon for 15.99.

Anker 523 10,000 mAh 20 W power bank

Includes two cables: a USB-C-to-C cable and a USB-C-to-A cable.

Baseus 10,000 mAh 30 W power bank

Includes a USB-C-to-A cable. This battery is an additional 25% off if you tick the coupon on the Amazon landing page.

Best power bank for your Steam Deck

Each Steam Deck console includes a 45 W USB-C wall adapter, so it’s a good idea to find a power bank that can meet that power level when you’re on the go. Thankfully, some options exist that can do this. One thing to note during your search is that only batteries that support the PD 3.0 spec, including the two options below, can recharge the Steam Deck at its fastest speed.

Baseus 20,000 mAh 65 W battery

This model includes a USB-C-to-C cable.

Anker 537 24,000 mAh 45 W battery

This model includes a USB-C-to-C cable. You can clip a coupon on Amazon’s page that takes 20 off.

Best portable charger for your laptop

The number of laptops that can recharge via USB-C is growing, making it possible to use the same charger to refill your laptop as you do your phone or Nintendo Switch. For instance, Apple’s entire MacBook lineup allows it, as do several popular Windows laptops, like the Dell XPS 13, Razer’s Blade gaming laptop, and more. The thing is, different laptops have different power requirements, so one power bank may not work well across multiple laptops.

If you have a 13-inch MacBook Air or Pro, or a similarly sized Windows laptop, the chances are very good that a 65 W power bank should be fast enough to recharge your laptop as you use it (check your power supply’s wattage to be sure). Keep in mind that if you’re trying to play games, or do other resource-intensive tasks, your battery may recharge slowly, or it may continue to discharge if your power bank isn’t powerful enough.

Baseus 20,000 mAh 65 W battery

This model includes a USB-C-to-C cable.

For more powerful laptops, there are bigger, more powerful batteries to match that can supply up to 140 W of recharging power. That’s currently a top-of-the-line spec, costing significantly more than our other options, and you’ll even need a compatible USB-C-to-USB-C cable to reach the 140 W top speed, as well as a laptop that supports the PD 3.1 USB-C charging spec.

One of the chargers we recommend below can match the speed delivered by Apple’s 140 W wall charger that’s included with 16-inch MacBook Pro laptops. On the Windows side of things, most laptops don’t go above 90 or 100 W at peak USB-C recharging speed, so you should be set with our picks.

It might be tough to justify spending 100 to 150 on a power bank just to charge a laptop. I get it. However, it’s easier to justify getting one if you frequently travel with multiple power-guzzling devices that you’d like to recharge simultaneously, as these are but a few available that can manage multitasking.

Anker 737 24,000 mAh 140 W power bank

Includes a 140 W-ready USB-C-to-C cable. You can save 40 by clipping the on-page coupon.

Baseus Blade 20,000 mAh 100 W power bank

Includes a 100 W-ready USB-C-to-C cable.

Update (June 2): Checked and changed for accuracy.

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