When you need your phone the most, the best portable chargers keep it alive. They also occasionally power our tablets, Nintendo Switches, and computers. You’ll need one eventually: for one reason or another, we all find ourselves out of the home with a low battery. And what are your plans for the future? Allowing your phone to die? Even if the low battery keeps it operating for a short time, you’re playing a risky game in which losing means you can’t call, text, or — gasp — listen to your music and podcasts instead of other people’s chats.
We recently finished a new round of testing on 10 of the finest portable chargers, which included both huge brands and well-known competitors. Each power bank was tested to see how quickly it charged and how many complete phone charges it could store. While all of these portable chargers are top sellers on Amazon, they differ in crucial ways. We’ve ranked them according to what we’d buy, with special mentions for the best portable charger, our favorite tiny charger, and the best portable charger for USB-C.
The Best Power Banks of 2021
1. Best Power Bank: Anker PowerCore Essential 20000
The PowerCore Essential is one of Anker’s most adaptable products in the portable battery industry. The Essential is one of the greatest high-capacity power banks on the market, with a 20,000mAh capacity that can fully charge a standard smartphone four to five times. Despite its large capacity, the PowerCore Essential is small and light, measuring 6.2 x 2.9 x 0.8 inches and weighing little over 12 ounces. It has a tough, long-lasting design that can withstand normal wear and tear.
The dual USB-A ports on the PowerCore Essential allow you to charge two devices at once. Each port provides 2.4A (12W), with a combined maximum of 3A (15W) when both are used. There are additional USB C and microUSB ports on the device, however these are exclusively for input. This implies that the battery can be charged through USB C or microUSB, but only USB-A ports can be used to charge devices.
This portable charger also offers some of the same sleek charging capabilities as the majority of Anker power banks. The PowerIQ and VoltageBoost technologies work together to provide an optimal charge to your devices, while the “trickle-charging” mode is designed to charge low-power items like Bluetooth headphones quickly.
Anker’s normal 18-month limited warranty is included with the PowerCore Essential, as well as a travel pouch to keep it safe while on the move. It does not, however, come with a wall charger or a USB C connector. The only significant drawback is the lack of USB C charging: the USB C connector is input-only, as previously stated. If you don’t mind giving up microUSB charging and one of the USB-A connections, Anker also provides a PowerCore Essential PD with USB C output.
- Most phones require 4-5 full charges
- MicroUSB or USB C can be used to charge the power bank
- Two devices can be charged at the same time
- Warranty period is 18 months
- The USB C port is only for input
2. Best Laptop Power Bank: Anker PowerCore+ 26800
Standard power banks won’t suffice when it comes to charging laptops and other large electrical gadgets.
Something more solid, such as the Anker PowerCore+, is required. This battery has a capacity of 26,800mAh and can generate up to 45W, which is enough to fully charge a 13-inch Dell XPS or a 13-inch MacBook Pro. This is one of the best TSA-approved solutions, as well as one of the best power banks for travel, because its capacity is just under the legal limit for aeroplane use.
This one-of-a-kind laptop charger features two output ports: a 45W USB C connection for modern laptops and two 15W USB-A ports for smaller electronic devices. The laptop output is sufficient to charge most laptops while they are being used, which is not usually the case with rival products.
This is best for modern laptops with USB C charging because the laptop port is USB C. It lacks a normal AC outlet for charging older laptops with a power brick; if that’s something you’re looking for, check out the RavPower PD Pioneer below.This unit comes with a 60W wall charger, which means that despite its large capacity, it can be fully charged in under 3.5 hours. When you combine that with USB C Power Delivery (PD) support for quick device charging, you get perhaps the greatest fast charging power bank available.
- Massive capacity
- Fully charge a 13-inch MacBook Pro or Dell XPS
- with dual USB-A (15W) connections and USB C PD (45W).
- It includes a 60W wall charger.
- USB C port is input only
3.Best Power Bank with AC Outlet: RavPower PD Pioneer
The RavPower PD Pioneer is an excellent alternative if you have an older laptop that needs to be charged via an AC outlet or simply want a versatile charger that can power nearly anything. This small power bank is one of the few on the market with a built-in AC socket that can deliver a steady 80W of power. It also includes USB-A (18W) and USB-C (30W) connectors, giving it a versatile charging solution for most devices.
With a capacity of 20,000mAh, this power bank can charge most 13-inch laptops for close to one full charge. It also incorporates USB PD (Power Delivery) technology, which is a fast-charging capability that can supply a surprising amount of power in a surprising amount of time. PD can reduce recharge time by up to 60% depending on the device.
It’s rather light for a power bank of its type, weighing less than 1.5 pounds, and can be fully charged in under three hours using a high-speed wall charger. The cooling fan is the biggest drawback. While it aids in maintaining a comfortable temperature for the device, it can be somewhat noisy. Check out our entire review of this device for additional information. We also looked at a variety of additional portable laptop chargers to meet a variety of needs.
- Relatively compact
- Includes AC outlet to charge almost anything, including older laptops
- Useful capacity
- Versatile charging via AC, USB C, and USB-A
- Cooling fan can be noisy
- No wall charger included
4.Best Wireless Power Bank: Anker Wireless PowerCore III
Another great Anker power bank today, except this time it’s wireless. The Anker Wireless PowerCore III, with a capacity of 10,000mAh, is our pick for the best wireless power bank. You can charge your phone wirelessly via the charging pad at up to 10W if your phone supports it. It’s largely compatible with newer iPhones, numerous Android smartphones, and other devices thanks to the Qi standard.
If your device doesn’t support wireless charging, don’t worry: both the USB C and USB-A connections can be used as a backup. The USB C port can deliver up to 18W of power, so it’s a good method to obtain faster charging even if your smartphone doesn’t support Qi. The USB C port is also used to charge the power bank, which may be done at up to 18W if you have the right wall charger.
Unfortunately, Anker does not include one in the packaging, so you’ll have to either use one you already have or purchase one. In a pinch, you can also charge from a laptop. Pass-through charging, which allows the power bank to charge devices while it is charging, is a very helpful function. This essentially implies you may use the PowerCore in place of a conventional Qi charging dock and leave it plugged in at all times.
- Qi charging
- Pass-through charging: can charge device and power bank simultaneously
- 2 USB ports for charging other devices, at up to 18W
- Doesn’t include a wall charger
5.Best Small Power Bank: JONKUU Portable Phone Charger
One of the greatest compact power banks on the market is the JONKUU portable phone charger. The device is only 6.4 ounces in weight but has a 10,000mAh capacity (enough for around two full phone charges for most smartphones).
It’s also cost-effective, making it a fantastic backup or everyday carry.
A pair of USB-A ports on the JONKUU charging devices. It lacks rapid charging and other sleek features, but it does cost the same as a few drinks at the bar. It also fits comfortably in your pocket, unlike those pints. The biggest disadvantage is that, despite its tiny capacity, the power bank takes a long time to charge.
To fully charge it, expect to leave it plugged in overnight. Are you looking for a way to get even smaller? Get the Anker PowerCore 5000, which is designed like a lipstick. It’s only 4.8 oz, yet it’s got enough juice to charge your phone for around one full charge.
- Compact, portable design
- Low weight
- 10000mAh capacity
- Takes a long time to charge
6.Best Power Bank for Camping: Jackery Explorer 160
Looking for something a little more off-the-grid?
The Jackery Explorer 160 is one of the best power banks for camping if you need a lot of juice. It features a wide range of output options, including AC, USB C, USB-A, and 12v DC, allowing it to power or charge up to five devices simultaneously. Glamping at its finest! It has a capacity of 46,400mAh, which is more than twice that of any of the other power banks on this list.
This means it will endure for multi-day camping expeditions, but you can use the SolarSaga solar panels (available separately) to recharge the Explorer power bank anywhere there is sunlight for nearly endless power. This is a wonderful pick for automobile camping because of the features, reliability, and solar charging capabilities, and it also makes a good emergency power supply to keep at home.
It’s a little hefty for camping at roughly 4 pounds, but that size grows even more when you add the solar panels. If you’re looking for portable batteries for camping but have a different set of requirements, we’ve reviewed a variety of options that can do everything from charge your phone to jumpstart your automobile.
- Versatile charging options: AC, USB-C, USB-A, and 12v DC
- Huge capacity
- Charge/power up to 5 devices at once
- Optional solar panels