HomeTechThe Best Portable Chargers and Power Banks for 2024

The Best Portable Chargers and Power Banks for 2024


Watching your phone or tablet steadily run out of power when you’re nowhere near an outlet is stressful. Fortunately, portable batteries are available in many sizes and capacities. Some power banks offer fast charging, wireless charging, built-in cables, AC adapters, and 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 percentage starts to dip.

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 for Power On the Go

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 USB-A and USB-C ports.

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 Laptops

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 while raising your battery’s charge. 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.

Best for Affordable Power Delivery

Why We Picked It

The Anker PowerCore Slim 10K PD offers high-end features like Power Delivery for fast charging, as well as both types of USB ports at a reasonable price.

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 MagSafe Battery Pack

Why We Picked It

Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack is no longer available, but Belkin’s 5,000mAh BoostCharge Magnetic Wireless Power Bank connects just as easily to your iPhone. This MagSafe-compatible battery offers wireless charging speeds of up to 7.5W, doesn’t add too much bulk, and even includes a handy built-in stand for propping up your phone.

Who It’s For

If you want to recharge your iPhone on the go without wires, the Belkin BoostCharge Magnetic Wireless Power Bank can get you through the day. Other portable batteries on this list can keep your phone going longer, but none are as convenient.

Most Stylish

Why We Picked It

With a 10,000mAh battery, dual 20W USB-C PD outputs for charging two devices at once, and five color options, the Nimble Champ offers convenience and portability in an attractive package. Nimble also says it’s made from 90% certified recycled plastic, a plus for the eco-conscious crowd.

Who It’s For

This charger might not have the highest capacity or the most rapid charging speed, but it should provide enough juice to get you through even the longest day. Its small size, bright strap, and fun colors make it quite fashionable, too.

Most Durable

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 (5,000mAh, 10,000mAh, 15,000mAh, and 20,000mAh).

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 for Wireless Charging

Why We Picked It

The foldable and portable Statechi Duo Wireless Charger Power Stand lets you replenish your phone and AirPods at the same time without wires via its 10,000mAh battery. There’s even an extra 18W USB-C port on the back for plugging in a third device simultaneously. Just keep in mind that the wireless charging rate tops out at 10W and that using the battery with multiple devices dilutes the charging speed across all the outputs.

Who It’s For

If you enjoy the convenience of wireless charging and need to keep multiple devices running on the go, this Statechi battery makes a lot of sense. A built-in stand allows you to continue using your phone while it charges too, which helps avoid downtime.

What Size Battery Do You Need?

These days, “small” portable batteries have a capacity of around 5,000mAh, which means they easily fit into your pockets and still have enough power to fully top up your phone once.

Meanwhile, a 10,000mAh battery can give today’s flagships two full charges. A 20,000mAh battery can charge two phones two times, or a phone twice and a tablet once. 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 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 USB-C (input). Speeds differ depending on the battery you choose.

Nearly all batteries also include a standard USB-A port (output). This is for plugging in USB-A-to-Lightning or USB-A-to-USB-C cables for charging your iPhone or Android device. In many cases, the USB-C port for charging the battery itself functions as an output as well. Some batteries even include built-in output cables that save you the trouble of worrying about another wire.

The most important thing to do is match the battery’s output to your phone’s input. For example, if you have an iPhone, be sure the battery has a USB-C or Lightning connector or at least supports the cable you need.

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 or two USB-C ports, for example.

If you’ve recently picked up an iPhone 14 or iPhone 15, 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, manufacturers either vary the voltage or boost the amperage.

Today’s devices support a wide range of rapid-charging technology, such as Qualcomm Quick Charge, USB Power Delivery, or proprietary fast-charge systems like OnePlus’ SuperVooc.

Quick Charge works by increasing voltage rather than amperage. This standard typically allows you to charge supported phones to 50% capacity in 5 minutes, which is especially helpful when you need power in a pinch.

Two compatible devices with Power Delivery can negotiate 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 up to 27W and 45W, respectively. It’s best to look for batteries that get as close to your phone’s maximum rate as possible.

Is Pass-Through Charging Safe and Useful?

Pass-through charging is another feature to consider; with it, you can charge your device and a 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 to your phone or tablet might be slower 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. Second, they are limited in terms of the number of phones they support (mostly iPhones, Galaxies, and Pixels). Third, you can’t charge much else with them. Stand-alone chargers might also allow you to charge a smartwatch or wireless headphones.

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.

Ben Moore and Steven Winkelman contributed to this story.




Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments