The best power banks ensure your portable gadgets will last much longer, even if you’re out and about. While technology keeps getting better, device battery life is still fairly limited so these devices below will help soup up the battery life of your most loved devices.
Before you dive in, you need to consider how much capacity you need, as well as how much you’re willing (or able) to spend, and how slim or portable you need it to be. That’s the case whether you’re looking to charge your phone, tablet, smartwatch, or even your laptop.
We’ve done a battery (pun intended) of tests on some of the best and most highly rated portable chargers on the market, pulling from both big brands and popular competitors. Testing involves seeing how fast devices charge and how many full phone chargers each power bank stores. While these specific portable chargers regularly appear on bestseller lists, they’re all different in a number of important ways.
So, if you’re always trying to keep your phone at 100%, or worry about running empty in the wild, we’ve got the details you need. This includes what chargers offer which kinds of ports, and how many, so you can even charge multiple devices at once. Even if your phone is on our longest-lasting smartphones page, you could benefit from this portable insurance package on your next outing.
Best power bank reviews in 2022
Reaching a decision on our number one choice was easy. Having tried out the Anker PowerCore 20100 power bank extensively at Creative Bloq, we’re certain it’s the best power bank you can buy right now.
In terms of charge speed, connectivity and price, it’s absolutely top-notch. With a hefty battery capacity of 20,100mAh, you’ll get a good few charges out of it before needing to top it up.
Slimline and sleek, the Anker PowerCore 20100 power bank can charge two devices simultaneously via its pair of 2.4 Amp USB ports, and if those devices use PowerIQ or VoltageBoost, it’ll charge them all the faster. And here’s the best compliment we can pay this power bank: after trying it out for a little while, our writer went out and bought one of their own.
There was a time when power banks with LCD displays were rather expensive, but prices 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 pocket.
Charmast supplies a soft mesh carry case and a short USB-A to USB-C cable in the box, a nice touch.
Offering mostly everything you could need at this price, the iMuto 20,000mah power bank has a 20,000mAh capacity that means you can charge the average smartphone over four times without a problem. The price is that it’s a fairly bulky power bank and it’s certainly heavy but with two ports and a screen that shows you how much charge is remaining, it’s certainly practical if not particularly portable.
Our number 2 pick (still one of the best portable chargers) is the Anker PowerCore Slim 10000, which is a bit heavier than the INIU 10000 pack (7.3 ounces to 6.9 ounces). But it would have taken the top slot had it had that second USB-A output port.
That’s because its charging times were so close to the INIU brick (21% in 15 minutes, 76% in an hour) and its overall time to fill an iPhone 12 was 4 minutes shorter, at 1 hour and 56 minutes.
But it’s so close to the INIU that we have to keep it as the #2-ranked portable charger. These bricks are so close, practically within margins of error in testing. If you only need to charge one device at a time, and the sale pricing makes the Slim 10000 that much cheaper than the INIU, go for it.
This product has been reviewed by nearly 50,000 customers on Amazon and has been rated 4.6 out of 5 stars. A reviewer who rated it 5 stars said:
“I like the solid and sleek construction. Fits easily in my pocket. Most importantly it works! Fast charging, enough capacity to charge my phone multiple times over multiple days, and withstands plenty of me dropping it and yanking the cord out awkwardly and accidentally.”
USB-C is no longer the port of the future, it’s the port of the day. And while INIU’s 20-watt brick is a bit heavy (the second heaviest on this list), its dual-function USB-C port makes it a clear favorite for one of the best portable chargers for those charging with the reversible port. This way, you can both charge it and charge other devices with the same USB-C cables, and you’ve also got two other USB-A ports for recharging other devices.
On top of that, it turned in the best performance in the 1-hour charging window, bringing our dead iPhone 12 to 81% of its charge. And its 1-hour and 57-minute time to bring that iPhone to a full charge is the second-best of the pack, only off by a minute from the PowerCore Slim 10000. Its high capacity of 20000 mAh also meant it refueled an iPhone more than most of these chargers, with 4.78 iPhone 12 refills.
This product has been reviewed by nearly 4,500 customers on Amazon and received 4.6 out of 5 stars. A reviewer who rated it 5 stars said: “For 5 days on vacation I used this to charge my phone and GoPro, and the battery still had 44% of its life!”
We always look at no-name brands on Amazon with askew looks, and (unlike the INIU power banks) the Ekrist proves our suspicions right. Its main positive features are that its 25,800mAh power supply refueled our iPhone 12 four times, and at 11.2 ounces, it’s 1.4 ounces lighter than the 20,000 mAh INIU portable charger. That said, there are other bigger chargers that pack a ton of juice that you should opt for instead.
Its downsides are easy to see. For starters, there’s no USB-C input or output. And its charging proved slow in testing, with unimpressive scores on the 15-minute and 1-hour windows (17% and 72%), and one of the longest times for charging an iPhone 12 from dead to 100% (2 hours and 21 minutes). It would have been dead last if not for the Miady discount double.
This charger has been reviewed by over 29,000 customers on Amazon and received 4.5 out of 5 stars. “I can honestly say that it is charging my phone right now while writing this review. Great product,” said a reviewer who rated it 5 stars.
What is a power bank?
A power bank is a portable electronic device that can transfer power from its built-in battery to other devices. This is typically done through a USB-A or USB-C port, although wireless charging is also increasingly available. Power banks are mainly used for charging small devices with USB ports such as smartphones, tablets and Chromebooks. But they can also be used to top up a variety of USB-powered accessories, including headphones, Bluetooth speakers, lights, fans and camera batteries.
Power banks usually recharge with a USB power supply. Some offer passthrough charging, which means you can charge your devices while the power bank itself is recharging.
What should I look for when buying a power bank?
When choosing the best power bank for your needs, the first consideration should be battery capacity. Consider how long you’ll be on the move and how many devices you’ll be using. You’ll also need to bear in mind how much energy those devices consume as a laptop or camera will need more power to recharge than a phone or tablet.
Once you’ve decided what battery capacity you need, the next factor is weight. Usually weight increases in line with capacity, so you might want to strike a balance and sacrifice some battery capacity for the extra portability that comes with a lighter power bank.
Another important factor is compatibility. You need to make sure the power bank will actually work with the devices you want to charge. Also think about connectivity. If you’re likely to need to charge several devices at the same time, you’ll want to check how many charging points the power bank has.
Many power banks come with two or three ports, but some power banks offer up to six. And it’s worth checking what sort of ports are on offer; USB-A ports will do the job but not every quickly, while if you can find a power bank with a USB-C PD port then you’ll find your devices charge nice and quickly.
What speed do I need?
If I had it my way 5W power banks would be banned. They are painfully slow. Anything lower than 10W: nope.
These days even 10W, though marketed as ‘fast charging’, barely scratches the surface of what recent smartphones are capable of. With some able to go as high as 120W over a wired connection, a 10W power bank is not going to feel especially convenient.
That said, 10W is more common among the budget and mid-range, and many people will be using 10W chargers at home. But we’d still recommend looking for a faster power bank, especially those with Quick Charge or Power Delivery support (even if your current phone doesn’t support it, a later upgrade most likely will).
That seems pretty straightforward, although power manufacturers rarely provide the speed of their outputs measured in watts. Instead you’ll see a rating in amps, which you multiply by five (the voltage rating) to get the rating in watts. So 2A x 5V = 10W.
Which outputs do I need?
If you’re an iPhone user (and intend to stay an iPhone user), look for a power bank with a Lightning port that can serve as input and output to save you scratching around for cables you wouldn’t otherwise use.
Android phones are increasingly moving over from Micro-USB to USB-C, and in which case a USB-C port that acts as input and output is preferable. However, it’s still common for power banks to be recharged over Micro-USB, and sometimes you’ll find both Micro-USB and USB-C. Don’t try to use them simultaneously for recharging the bank. As a rule of thumb, USB-C is going to be the faster option.
How many ports you need depends on how many gadgets you want to charge at once. If more than one, watch out for power banks with a max output that is lower than the sum of all ports together – they won’t be able to deliver the maximum rated output of all at once. Also watch out for capacities that are too low to fully charge multiple devices.
There is no need to worry about plugging devices into ports that are capable of delivering more power than they are 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).
Wireless power banks are becoming more commonplace, and here you won’t need any outputs if you’re intending to use it only for wireless charging. An input will still be required to recharge the bank itself.
How to choose the best portable charger for you
Finding the right charger capacity: You’ll often see a four to five-digit number, with the letters mAh following it, and that’s your first big indicator of how much this charger is right for you. If you’re constantly refueling your phone and other gadgets, go for at least 10,000mAh. For each extra device you charge, add at least 5,000 to the mAh rating you’re looking for. Just need to prevent your device from hitting 0 on late nights out? You’ll be good with something in the under 5,000 mAh rating, provided you remember to charge it often.
Be a ports authority: If you hold onto your devices forever, and don’t already know what a USB-C port is, you can probably just get whatever fits your price. But if you’re the kind who wants faster charging, look for a brick that has PD in its name. The best portable chargers, at least for my money, charge devices the fastest and use the Power Delivery (PD) standard. Also, their USB-C ports mean you can refuel these power banks with the same cords used to charge modern laptops.
How we test portable chargers
You want a charger that was put through the rigors of refueling, so we did just that. With timers in hand, we kept draining an iPhone 12 and then timed how much time it took for each power bank to refuel those phones. Along the way, we checked out how much of said iPhone 12 (the same one) were refueled after 15 and 60 minutes. We kept that iPhone at 100% brightness the whole time.
Our ranking also factored in the portability and designs of each model, as especially small and pocket-friendly chargers can’t physically store as many mAh of battery power as their larger brethren. Similarly, the smaller a charger is, the less likely it has more than two ports (one for gaining a charge, the other for giving power).
How many mAh is a good power bank?
Anything from the 5000-2000 mAh in a power bank will work best for you, but you must remember you will more than likely not have multiple options for power included with a smaller device.
Which power bank is not allowed in flight?
Lithium batteries have a tendency to combust, and are therefore prohibited for cargo transport, as part of air-transport regulations.
How many watt hours is 20000mah?
20000 mAh at 3.6v is 72wh this is under the carryon limit.