The best power banks 2023: portable chargers for your devices

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(Image credit: Future)

Planning to be away from a socket for an extended period? Then you'll want one of the best power banks to keep your devices charged.

Outlets aren't always available and even cafes have cracked down on making them available to patrons, so portable chargers are more essential than ever, even if you own one of the best phones, best tablets, or best laptops with a reasonably big battery.

There's a lot to consider before buying one though, as there's a huge selection of portable power banks available, all suited to different users.

With that in mind we've created this guide, highlighting many of the most promising options, and sorting them into categories, including everyday power banks, lightweight ones, high capacity ones, slim ones, wireless ones, and even solar powered ones.

If you have several gadgets to power then you'll want a high capacity one, and ideally one with multiple ports. You should also choose a high capacity power bank if you want to charge your device multiple times over, or have a beefy gadget like a Steam Deck or Nintendo Switch

On the other hand, if you prefer to travel light, something slim and lightweight may be better. You might need to sacrifice capacity or spend more, but it could be worth it, depending on when you’re most likely going to need that extra power. You might also want a wireless one if you're hoping to cut down on cables.

If you expect to be off the grid for a while, then consider a solar powered one, and if your requirements are more mixed, then take a look at the selection of everyday power banks.

We've tested and used more than our share of portable chargers, so while some of the products on our list of the best power banks haven't spent time in our test labs, we know which ones to recommend. We used our experts experience and opinions, as well as taking into account online reviews, brand reputation, product capability, and unique features.

If you need a laptop charger, check out our best portable laptop charger guide instead. Otherwise, there should be something for you in our guide to the best power banks below.

The best power banks 2023

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Best everyday power banks

The best everyday power banks are fairly straightforward. These tend to be the ones you take for your usual day to work and back again. We're talking middling capacities while being easy enough to carry but not quite as lightweight or as slim as those categories. They're solid all-rounders even though they might not excel at any one thing. They do have the advantage of being typically well priced for what they offer, however.

Best lightweight power banks

The best lightweight power banks rarely offer the most capacity but they're easy to store. The kind of devices you hardly notice you're carrying, they're there to help you out of a jam. While you won't be using them to recharge your laptop or games console, they're good for a quick boost to your phone when you've realized you overestimated your battery's capabilities.

Best high capacity power banks

The best high capacity power banks are designed for power. That means they're typically fairly bulky and sometimes unwieldy things that you're definitely going to notice in your bag, but they're built to last which is a huge help. If you need to be able to recharge all your devices multiple times and over a number of days, these are the power banks you need. Look out for how many ports they offer for maximum effectiveness.

Best slim power banks

The best slim power banks are slim enough that you don't have to plan ahead when taking them anywhere. They'll fit into your lifestyle well even though they might not offer the best capacity or the most features. We're talking convenience over function, but that's great if you want to keep things light. Look out for enough power to keep your phone recharged a few times but don't count on recharging your laptop so easily with these, and there probably won't be too many port options either.

Best wireless power banks

The best wireless power banks mean you don't need to worry about carrying too many cables with you to recharge your devices. Utilizing many Apple and Android devices' abilities to charge wirelessly, you get all the convenience of a wire-free existence while on the move. Like with the everyday power banks, capacity can vary massively here depending on your budget, but don't count on it being too high given the technology used. Convenience is the priority here.

Best solar power banks

If you're looking for the best solar power banks, you're probably planning on being outdoors quite a lot. While you haven't gone off the grid entirely, it's useful to know you can recharge your phone or other devices without being near civilization. Solar power banks tend to have the same features as regular power banks, but it's important to check these match with your needs and budget.

Alex Walker-Todd
Senior Phones Editor

Alex joined as TechRadar's Senior Phones Editor in June 2022, but brings over a decade's worth of experience to the role, with an expertise in smartphones, tablets and wearables. He's covered keynotes hosted by the biggest brands and attended the launches for some of the most influential mobile products of the last few years. His experience was amassed at some of the most reputable consumer technology publications out there, including GSMArena, TechAdvisor and Trusted Reviews. Alex is currently holding out hope for the Pixel Watch's success and is excited for the advancements coming to the world of foldable phones in the near future.

With contributions from