Whether you're a big gadget fiend or a sporadic device user, a portable power bank is a really useful extra you can own, as it lets you keep all your personal tech powered up at all times.
A portable charger can be used for your phone, tablet, laptop, earbuds, Nintendo Switch or anything else that you have a USB cable for; they range from slender and portable, to big and powerful (literally).
There are a lot of considerations before buying one though, including how much capacity you need, how much you're prepared to spend, and how slim and portable you'd like it to be.
If you're just planning to use it to charge your phone then you might not need one with a super high capacity, but once laptops, tablets and the likes of a Nintendo Switch enter the equation, suddenly you might need a lot more juice. Equally if you're the type who goes camping for days on end, you might want a battery pack that will keep your phone powered for the whole trip.
But that typically ups the price and size too, so it's a balancing act, and you need to find the right balance for you. Other considerations are how fast each power bank can charge up your devices, and whether it can charge multiple devices at once.
Whatever your needs though there should be a suitable option below, and we've sorted our selections into three categories. First up there's everyday battery packs, which are those of a middling capacity and size and make for a solid all-rounder.
Then below that we've listed the best slim power banks, for ultimate portability, and finally the best large capacity power banks, for if you need to keep lots of devices juiced up or will be away from a socket for several days or more.
What you won't find are any power banks from RavPower, Aukey or Mpow. These have all been removed from Amazon, seemingly due to the companies incentivizing people to write reviews by offering gift cards and the like. While these reviews might still be honest, the promise of money could spur people into writing overly positive and unrepresentative ones.
So while you can still find power banks from these companies elsewhere, we can't recommend them on the basis of this business practice.
- Just want to charge your laptop? Check out the best portable laptop chargers
Best everyday power banks
If you're looking for a high capacity charger that's portable, the iMuto 20,000mAh portable charger may be for you. It offers a 20,000mAh capacity that will be able to charge your average smartphone over four times and still have some charge left.
What makes the iMuto a little more useful than some other charging banks on this list is the fact you can see its exact remaining charge, not a rough estimate like in some of the competitors, so you know how much more you can charge your devices for. Sure, the body of the power bank is a little large and ungainly, but the screen more than makes up for it.
You've likely heard of Anker, and this is one of the company's best portable chargers. It comes with a huge 20,100mAh battery inside, meaning this will be able to charge up your phone or tablet multiple times before it needs a recharge.
We found it pretty snappy to use, in that it charges up quickly, and can also power up your devices speedily. Sure, it did heat up a bit when we were charging it, more so than other devices, but not to worrying degrees. This high-speed charging isn't available for all devices, only for if they use PowerIQ or VoltageBoost. It won't be able to use Qualcomm's QuickCharge technology, but it'll still boost your device when you're on the go.
This power bank by trusted brand Mophie gives you both wired and wireless charging from its enormous 10,000mAh capacity. You can top up two devices at once using both methods, and it’ll even charge your AirPods wirelessly too if you have the right AirPods case.
You’ll also be able to charge iPads thanks to Lightning and USB-C ports. This is truly a one-stop-shop portable charger if you have all the Apple gear and are frequently away from a plug.
That said, it’ll also charge any USB-C or Qi wireless charging compatible Android phone or tablet, so it’s not exclusively for Apple products. It’s a bit chunky at 280g and it’s not the cheapest out there, but it’s an all round excellent power pick from one of the market’s most revered manufacturers.
The Mophie Powerstation Plus XL is one of the best power banks designed for the iPhone and iPad (aside from the iPad Pro 2018 range with its USB-C port), and we say that for several reasons.
It contains an embedded Lightning cable you can’t lose, it charges via a Lightning cable and you can charge it wirelessly with any Qi charger, so you may already have everything you need.
This 10,000mAh power bank has a soft fabric finish and can charge two devices at once, one via the 10W USB-A port and another with the integrated Lightning charger. You won't find as much use from this portable charger if you're on Android, though it's still possible to use that USB-A port so you can help a friend charge.
With 10,400mAh inside, two USB outputs and fast charging technology the Pebble P1 Pro may be one of the best all-round power banks you can buy right now. This doesn't have anything to do with the defunct watch brand, but instead it's called the Pebble for its curved edges design.
This should be able to recharge most phones at least two and a half times from a single charge, plus this power bank can be charged up by either microUSB or USB-C so you won't need to have a specific cable with you to pump it up again when it's out of juice.
One of the problems with most power banks is that they still use the outdated micro USB, both to charge up and to power other phones (this isn't a problem for iPhone users, who have had to use the slightly antiquated Lightning charging for years now).
This Omars power bank can be charged up by its USB-C port, letting you fill it up quickly, and also comes with a USB to USB-C cable, so you can power up your modern Android phone, tablet or iPad Pro without having to remember your own. The USB-C connector is actually snapped on to a micro USB cable, so you're not getting true USB-C fast charging, but it's a start.
If you're fully invested in Apple products, the Mophie Powerstation all-in-one is the power bank for you. It has a built-in magnetic watch charger for your Apple Watch, the ability to wireless charge your iPhone or AirPods, plus a USB-C port for charging your smartphone in the customary way.
You can charge up to four devices at once with 8,000mAh battery meaning you're good to go for a while. Charging is speedy too with the promise of your iPhone reaching 50% battery in just 30 minutes via the USB-C port. The only real issue here is that you're going to pay for the privilege with the Mophie Powerstation all-in-one being rather pricey compared to competitors.
Best slim power banks
At 5,000mAh, this Belkin power bank is one of the lowest capacity on this list - or that we'd recommend. But that amount of battery is still enough to fully charge most phones, and some phones could get close to two full charges from it.
Being so low capacity also means that it's far more compact than most power banks, so this is an ideal choice if you don't need masses of power.
It's MFI certified, which means you can be confident it will work well with Apple devices, but this power bank can also juice up other phones and tablets, and it comes from a big, reputable brand and at an affordable price.
Poweradd also offers a great slim portable charger, and it's one of the cheapest options on this list yet boasts a substantial 10,000mAh cell inside.
It may be quite heavy, but this is only 1.3cm thick, making it a great device to slip into your back pocket when you're out and about. You'll want to grab a cable to go with it though as unlike the Iceworks choice above it doesn't come with one built in.
We love this little guy. The Anker PowerCore II 10,000 power bank is perhaps the most portable option on this list and allows you to have at least two full charges for your phone in your back pocket ready to go.
At only 209g and 1.5cm thick, you'll be able to take this around with you and not feel weighed down while still having 10,000mAh of extra power for any of your devices. Plus it comes with Anker's own fast-charging tech that should mean you won't be plugged into it for too long.
Like a lot of the chargers on this list, it doesn't come with a cable attached so you'll need to take your own out and about with you.
If you simply want a small and lightweight device to get you out of a jam then the Anker Astro E1 Power Bank is the one for you. It doesn't have the capacity that others here provide, weighing in at only 5,200mAh, but it'll still charge your smartphone almost twice or a tablet to about 70% while you're on the move.
That's no use if you're traveling far but it's good for a busy day or two at work where you just need to keep things topped up. Easily able to fit into your pocket, you'll barely notice the Anker Astro E1 Power Bank until you need it which is sure to be convenient.
If you're keen to be liberated from cables, even while on the move, the Anker Magnetic Wireless Portable Charger is for you. Simply attach the charger to the back of your iPhone 12 and the charger transfers power without any bother. It works through compatible magnetic cases so you won't even have to worry about any interference.
The advantage here is that you can continue to use your iPhone while it charges, simply proving to be a bit heavier than before. The downside is that the magnetic function is only compatible with the iPhone 12 so if you need more flexibility for multiple devices, it's not for you. That said, it’ll still work as a wireless charger if you have a different phone.
If style and form is a little more important than capacity, the Mophie Powerstation Mini is a good option. It offers a respectable 5,000 mAh battery with the ability to charge multiple devices at once via the USB-C and USB-A ports. An integrated four-light LED power indicator shows you the charging status and current battery life at all times.
Alongside that, the Mophie Powerstation Mini simply looks rather nice with a premium fabric finish that reduces the risk of scuffs, and a textured perimeter that means it's easy for you to hold onto. The little things soon add up to make this rather appealing.
Best large capacity power banks
This may not be the most portable charger on our list, but it features a lot of ports, so you can charge multiple devices at the same time. It'll even charge laptops as well as your phone and tablet.
You can charge six devices at once, and with a 50,000mAh capacity it has the juice to do that, so if you're usually surrounded by a lot of tech this is possibly one of the best chargers to buy.
If you want an above-average power bank without having to break your back at carrying the thing around, this device might be for you. With a 30,000mAh capacity, two USB ports and several other connectors, it'll keep multiple devices going.
It also has a mini readout, telling you the remaining charge, which is a feature we like in power banks as it lets you know exactly how much juice you've got left.
Charmast may not be as well known as other power bank suppliers but it has a fast growing reputation and it's keenly priced. This 26,800mAh Power Bank has enough capacity to charge your iPhone over 8 times and even a MacBook twice before needing to find an energy source.
With the choice of USB-C or regular USB-A, you can easily charge up many different devices from smartphones to laptops or the Nintendo Switch. In terms of versatility, you can't go wrong here and the power bank includes room to charge up to four devices at once.
It's a little long but it manages to be slim and relatively lightweight so it should be good for most purposes.
Sometimes you don't want to charge a USB-C, microUSB or Lightning device up, and that's why you'll want something like this power bank. It has a socket like you'd find it a wall, letting you plug anything in there.
Sure, it's quite a big device, and most devices you'd plug into the wall might want a little more juice than 22,500mAh. But with a connection of plugs and ports, this is a very malleable piece of tech.