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Best Portable Battery: Backup Power in Tiny Packages

Phone charging
Daniel Carraway
Written by Daniel Carraway

No matter if you are a hiker, camper, climber, or just casual long-trips lover, you are probably pretty much dependent on modern devices to keep you not-lost. However, you probably have felt the pain of a low battery in emergency. To prevent it from happening again, you should purchase the best portable battery for your needs!

Think of a portable battery as an extra boost for your electronics you can take with you on long trips. Bring along a portable battery and you no longer need to worry about conserving your battery life. Now you can use any device you want because you know you have a backup source of power.

But shopping for a portable battery is easier said than done, especially considering the number of options out there. To help you out, we have determined the key features to consider when shopping for the best portable battery. And if you are open to recommendations, you should also check out a number of products that we have highlighted. Without further ado…

Our Top Picks

Product NameCapacityWeightBattery TypePrice
EC Technology 22400 mAh22,400 mAh15.36 oz.Lithium-ion with built-in microchipCheck price on Amazon
RAVPower 16750mAh16,750 mAh10.9 oz.A+ Lithium-ionCheck price on Amazon
Limefuel Lp200x15,000 mAh15.4 oz.Grade A Lithium-ionCheck price on Amazon
RAVPower 13000mAh13,000 mAh10.9 oz.A+ Lithium-ionCheck price on Amazon
Anker Astro E310,000 mAh8.2 oz.Lithium-polymerCheck price on Amazon
Poweradd Pilot 2GS10,000 mAh8.8 oz.Lithium-polymerCheck price on Amazon
EasyAcc Classic 10000 mAh10,000 mAh8 oz.Lithium-polymerCheck price on Amazon
Lumsing Ultrathin 8000 mAh8,000 mAh6.45 oz.Lithium-polymerCheck price on Amazon
Innogie Ioppm220 Elite3,200 mAh2.9 oz.Lithium-ionCheck price on Amazon

Features to Consider Before Buying

Finding the best portable battery has a lot to do with your own personal needs. Think about the number of devices you usually need to recharge. Are you concerned with the overall size of the portable battery? What about the weight? Or is it pure charging power you’re after? Not every portable battery is made equal. Here are a few things that you need to keep in mind when looking for one:

Capacity and Portability

The charging capacity is one of the most important parts of the portable charger. The more capacity it has, the more items you will be able to charge. Most normal mobile phones have a battery capacity of around 2000 mAh and you will need to determine how many charges you will need to decide on the capacity.

The larger the capacity, the more expensive and heavier the charger will also be and this is another consideration you need to keep in mind. If you are going on longer trips, the bigger portable charger will more often ensure that you do stay connected.

Best portable battery

Considering the weight and dimensions of the charger, if you are grazing the outdoors, you will have to go as small as possible. Campers might not need to take the minimalistic approach, but if you are a long distance backpacker, these features will certainly come into play when making your decision.

Amperage

Capacity is probably the first thing you look at when buying a portable charger. However, the amperage usually comes second in line, because it plays role in the charging speed.

Portable batteries may come with ports with that can provide electricity at 1 A and/or 2.1 A. USB cables work with both, but are limited by the amperage the port provides. So, if you plug your device to the 1 A port, it will be charging, but at slower rate. If you leave your gadgets to charge overnight, this isn’t a problem. However, if you want to use your power-hungry device while it’s charging, you need a 2.1 A port so it can “catch up”.

Type of Battery

Batteries are not designed to last forever and you will need to look at the battery that is built into the power bank. The better the battery, the more charges you will have at your disposal. We have also included the estimated charging capabilities of the batteries in our list and depending on how many times you will be using it, you will need to look at this as well.

Sony li ion battery

Image credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Lithium-ion is the most commonly chosen battery type and they might be a little cheaper, while lithium polymer is a little more expensive and will give you a few more charges before it finally gives in.

Safe Charge

Some portable batteries have a simple integrated circuit, or IC, integrated, so that they “smart”-charge your device. The IC’s function is to recognize the state of the device battery you want to charge and therefore optimize the charging behaviour of the portable charger. This “chip” takes care of your device battery and helps not to shorten its lifespan.

How does it work? You plug in your dead phone and the chip recognizes the battery is fully empty. Instead of hitting it with full electricity, first it “pre-charges” it to a safe level, after which it enters into a constant or a fast-charge, depending on the IC of your charger. When the battery is almost full, it lowers the voltage and safely and slowly charges it to 100%.

Additional Features

Many of these power banks come with additional features and having them can be a real bonus. A flashlight is something that you often times might forget or your AA batteries might run out. Some of these portable chargers have flashlights built into them and these can help you when you are caught up in the dark.

Portable charger with flaslight

Image credit: buystuffstore.ca

These additional features also include the number of USB ports that can allow you to simultaneously charge a few items and the method of indicating the power that is left on the portable charger. While these additional extras will all add to the overall price, they can sometimes become really handy when you do need them.

Best Products on Today’s Market

Now that you should have somewhat of a better understanding of how to go about choosing these portable battery chargers, we have simplified the process and we have chosen our top 9. These are rank from the highest to the lowest in terms of capacity and should allow you to get the best possible value for your money:

EC Technology 22400mAh Power BankEC Technology 22400mAh Power Bank

Price: Approx. $35

Capacity: 22,400 mAh

Weight: 15.36 oz.

Battery type: Lithium-ion with built-in microchips

Estimated charging cycles: More than 500

Number of USB ports: 3

Indicators: 4 LED lights

Best use: Outdoors, battery backup

Description: The EC Technology 22400mAh Power Bank is a second generation, new and improved version of the previous model, and you can see the improvement in the huge 22,400 mAh capacity it delivers! Now you never have to worry about being stranded without charge again because this little guy carries a lot of recharging power. It features a maximum 5.4-amp output, although it can’t deliver that much when multiple devices are plugged in.

The package only comes with one USB cord and one micro USB hookup so be sure to pack some of your own on your next long trip. With 500 charging cycles promised to maintain at least 80% recharge efficiency, that’s an amazingly reliable and long-lasting product. A nice added safety feature is the flashlight, which provides three light settings: SOS, bright, and normal.

Take your portable battery with you in a case of emergencies or to finish work around your camp after dark. Some customers have commented the plastic shell is quite slick, so if you’re after a gripped surface you will need to install rubber pads or lean the case on something with friction. Other than that, the EC Technology External Battery Power Bank is a great option to toss in your backpack or purse as you leave the house.

PROS:

  • Large charging capacity
  • Up to 500 charging cycles
  • Includes a functioning flashlight
  • Really affordable

CONS:

  • The outer shell is quite slick and adding rubber pads will give you more grip

Related: The EC Technology Power Bank EVA Bag Case Pouch is designed to keep this portable battery charger safe. It has enough space for the wires and the casing is shock resistant against possible falls and impacts.

Check the price on Amazon

RAVPower 16750mAh External Battery PackRAVPower Portable Chargers

Price: Approx. $32

Capacity: 16,750 mAh

Weight: 10.88 oz.

Battery type: A+ Lithium-ion

Estimated charging cycles: Up to 500

Number of USB ports: 2

Indicators: 4 LED lights

Best use: Outdoors, battery backup, travel

Description: The RAVPower 16750mAh External Battery Pack easily charges 2 tablets at the same time, making it faster than ever before for you to charge your important items on the go. The four LED lights will indicate when it is fully charged for use so there’s no guessing about how far this battery can go for you.

Use the full charge to power up a Galaxy S6 almost four times without plugging it in again! The majority of phone chargers have only a 1-amp output charger. This product recharges your electronics with a 2-amp or higher output, making it safe and reliable to power up again

While heavier than its competitors, this portable battery is fully capable of quickly recharging multiple devices at once. When not in use, it will automatically turn off so you don’t lose any of the juice you might need later.

Additionally, in the case of a short circuit overload, this product also has a safety feature of shutting down to prevent any harm to your electronics. It’s built with the safety of your recharging electronics in mind, and won’t let you down when you need it the most!

PROS:

  • Charges multiple devices simultaneously
  • Extremely fast recharging
  • Includes a flashlight
  • Includes a safety feature when short circuiting

CONS:

  • Quite heavy

Related: The RAVPower 24W Car Charger is great for charging while you’re on the road and when you need to give the portable charger a little break. The aluminum construction allows for some great durability.

Check the price on Amazon

Limefuel LP200X USB External Battery PackLimefuel LP200X

Price: $25-$30

Capacity: 15,000 mAh

Weight: 15.4 oz.

Battery type: Grade A Lithium-ion

Estimated charging cycles: A minimum of 500

Number of USB ports: 2

Indicators: Digital display

Best use: Outdoors, battery backup

Description: This portable battery is heavier than average at 12 ounces, but for good reason. It delivers a powerful, long-term charge to any of your devices. When you bring the Limefuel LP200X Battery Pack with you, there’s no need to try and conserve the batteries in your favorite electronics.

This portable battery is universally compatible with almost any device out there. The best feature is the clear, user-friendly digital display that tells users the exact charge available.

The recharge on this portable battery can take a while to reach full capacity, but, when it does, this fully charged device charges many devices several times over. The flashlight on the device is a wonderful tool in case of emergencies or a quick view in the dark.

The light isn’t very bright, so it’s best to be used in short-term, close-range jobs when necessary. The Limefuel LP200X USB External Battery is sure to help keep you connected while traveling away from an AC power source. So take out your phone and tablet, play away! Because when you bring this guy to the party, you never need to worry about running out of juice.

PROS:

  • 2 charging ports
  • Flashlight
  • Really affordable

CONS:

  • Heavier than the average charger
  • The flashlight is a little weak

Related: If you’re going camping, you might appreciate having a night light for your tent while you’re not sleeping. If you don’t want to carry a lot of additional weight in the form of a tent lamp, you will surely love the DROK Handy USB LED Night Light that you can use with your portable battery.

Check the price on Amazon

RAVPower 13000mAh Power BankRAVPower 13000mAh

Price: Approx. $30

Capacity: 13,000 mAh

Weight: 10.88 oz.

Battery type: A+ Lithium-ion

Estimated charging cycles: More than 500

Number of USB ports: 2 (with 1 micro USB port)

Indicators: 4 LED lights

Features: Charge up to two tablets simultaneously, 4.5 A total output, auto-shutdown during overload or short circuit

Best use: Outdoors, battery backup

Description: The standout feature on this portable battery is that it touts the highest output out there. The RAVPower 13000mAh Power Bank boasts a whopping 4.5-amp output, which can charge up to two tablets simultaneously.

Safety features include both an overcurrent and a short-circuit protection that causes the device to shut down if a problem with the electrical current occurs. Plus, an automatic device detection that correctly matches the charging rate of your devices to quickly deliver the safest charge needed.

It will automatically deliver the correct charge strength needed per device charging, and the A+ lithium-ion battery won’t fail you!

The built-in flashlight helps you see in dark environments and hard-to-see places, making this device convenient as well as helpful. Feel free to recharge as many devices you want while on the go because this portable battery delivers a powerful 2-amp or higher output and is able to charge an iPhone almost five times in one of its full charges.

This product delivers safe charging in a convenient, compact, and reliable shell. It’s power in a tiny, 10.88-ounce shell.

PROS:

  • 5-amp output
  • Charge two tablets simultaneously
  • Very lightweight and compact
  • Includes a flashlight

CONS:

  • Takes around 8 hours to fully charge

Related: To use the charger you will need USB cables and it’s best to use the RAVPower 5-Pack Android Cable Micro USB. The USB is stable and fast, with 480 Mbps data transmission speed and 2 A charging speed, making it 23% faster than the average They come in a 5-pack, so you don’t have to worry about losing one and not being able to use the charger until you buy another.

Check the price on Amazon

Anker Astro E3 10000mAh Portable ChargerAnker Astro E3

Price: Approx. $26

Capacity: 10,000 mAh

Weight: 8.16 oz.

Battery type: Lithium-polymer

Estimated charging cycles: More than 500

Number of USB ports: 2

Indicators: 4 LED lights

Features: PowerIQ amp-adjustment technology, carrying pouch, compact design

Best use: Outdoors, battery backup, travel

Description: If you’re looking for a powerful portable battery that delivers fast recharge times with a small but mighty design, the Anker Astro E3 Portable Charger is for you.

This product feels like you’re carrying around a heavy smart phone because it’s designed similarly. It packs a strong punch of power at 10,000 mAh, making you able to charge more than one device without plugging the Astro E3 in again. It’s compatible with both Apple and Android products, making it easy to charge any device you need on the go.

You know this product is fully charged to take with you because it features four LED lights that indicate the level of charge it’s holding. Plus, automatically powers off when not in use to save you the battery power you need in the future.

The bummer with this compact charger is that it only recharges itself with a USB. That means you can’t use an AC wall outlet for a faster recharge. Be wary of how you store this product because there have been some complaints about it expanding so much it breaks through the casing and is rendered unusable.

However, these complaints are very few compared to the overall ownership, so it’s highly unlikely to happen to a person who stores it properly.

PROS:

  • Powerful
  • Compact and small design
  • Extremely fast charging rate

CONS:

  • Only recharges using a USB

Related: In order to maximize the durability when traveling, the Hard EVA Travel Case for Anker is perfect for the aforementioned portable battery and it is much more durable than the original casing. We do recommend that you ensure that charger is carefully placed inside.

Check the price on Amazon

Poweradd 2nd Gen Pilot 2GS Power BankPoweradd 2nd Gen Pilot 2GS

Price: Approx. $16

Capacity: 10,000 mAh

Weight: 8.80 oz.

Battery type: Lithium-polymer

Estimated charging cycles: More than 500

Number of USB ports: 2 (with 1 micro USB port)

Indicators: 4 LED lights (Not equally showing 25% charge)

Features: Auto detects your device, aluminum body, safety, 24-month warranty

Best use: Outdoors, battery backup, travel

Description: The Poweradd 2nd Gen Pilot 2GS Power Bank is made of compact, lightweight aluminum body to protect it from dust and damage and it’s slick design makes it easy to fit into any pocket. Except that, it offers multi-protection for your devices, as: short circuit protection, temperature control, output current stabilizer, overload and battery cell protection, auto-shut off, low voltage protection and output current limiter.

However, users report that this device still carries a whopping 40% battery life with only two sensor lights showing. This compact portable charger lasts a long time, boasting its capability to provide full charges to an iPhone four times over before losing juice.

Although compact, this device hosts two USB ports plus a micro USB port for fast and efficient charging. The downside? Tests have indicated that the battery efficiency is only at 70%. That means that, of the 10,000 promised mAh, about 3,000 is wasted on heat, lighting, and other factors that don’t contribute to charging your electronics.

PROS:

  • Durable aluminum body
  • Auto detects device for fastest charge
  • Includes a generous warranty
  • Really affordable

CONS:

  • Loses around 70% of battery efficiency on light and heat

Related: If you have an iOS device and you will certainly find useful the AmazonBasics Apple Certified Lightning to USB Cable. You can use it to charge your device from a wall charger, computer, or a portable battery. They have one additional layer of protection added to increase durability and come with a 1-year limited warranty.

Check the price on Amazon

EasyAcc 10000mAh Power BankEasyAcc 10000mAh Power Bank

Price: Approx. $20

Capacity: 10,000 mAh

Weight: 8 oz.

Battery type: Lithium-polymer

Estimated charging cycles: More than 500

Number of USB ports: 2

Indicators: 4 LED lights (Not equally showing 25% charge)

Features: 3.1-amp smart output, short-circuit protection

Best use: Outdoors, battery backup, travel

Description: The EasyAcc 10000mAh Power Bank comes with average capacity, but it’s lightweight and portable, making it perfect for shorter trips. What is great is that it automatically identifies the device that’s plugged in and delivers the suitable electric current for your device like the original power adapter.

The power bank can charge 2 smartphones or 1 tablet at fastest speed. It is compact with Apple, Samsung, HTC Smartphones and tablets, and other devices with USB Charging port such as bluetooth speakers, headsets, go-pro and so on.

The safety features on this battery are amazing, preventing your devices from overcharge, overcurrent and short circuits as well as conform to CE, RoHS, and FCC specifications. It comes with Micro USB Charging Cable and 18 months warranty, and provides friendly, easy-to-reach support.

Bringing this along with you is a great way to ensure you won’t lose any power on your essential electronics. For all of the Apple users out there, be aware that an overwhelming number of customer reviews claim this device works better on non-Apple products.

PROS:

  • Stylish and unique look
  • High 3.1-amp smart output
  • Includes voltage protection
  • Really affordable

CONS:

  • Takes around 8 hours to fully charge

Related: Since this portable charger doesn’t come with an AC adapter, the EasyAcc Micro USB to USB Cable is perfect for ensuring that you can charge every electronic device that you have. This includes Samsung and HTC devices.

Check the price on Amazon

Lumsing Ultrathin 8000mAh Portable BatteryLumsing Ultrathin 8000mAh

Price: Approx. $15

Capacity: 8,000 mAh

Weight: 6.45 oz.

Battery type: Lithium-polymer

Estimated charging cycles: More than 500

Number of USB ports: 2

Indicators: 4 LED lights

Features: Smart Charging technology, industry grade-A li-polymer cells, compact design, 12-month warranty

Best use: outdoors, battery backup

Description: The Lumsing Ultrathin 8000mAh Portable Battery includes their very own Smart Charging Technology, which maintains communication between the battery and your device and ensures consistent safe and fast recharging. Provides up to a 2.4-amp output, with one of the sturdiest cases on the market today.

This battery is built for tough, rugged terrain from hardcore owners who will put their portable battery in situations where they might be dropped from a car window, smashed while running, or hit for being naughty.

The outer case is made of a very sturdy resin, which is resistant to the abuse of hitting, smashing, and dropping. Plus, it comes with a 12-month warranty for those who somehow manage to break it!

The 8,000 mAh capacity may be smaller than the rest of the batteries on this list, but it still packs enough charge to fully charge an iPhone 6 more than five times. The 4 LED indicator lights tell you exactly how much more you can stretch the charging of this product, so you can plan ahead for your next adventure.

If you’re looking for a lot of power in a resistant, easy to carry design, this is a great product for you. It’s a happy medium between the lipstick-size portable batteries and some of the other large and somewhat clunky portable batteries out there.

PROS:

  • Dual charging capabilities
  • Smart charging technology
  • Durable outer casing
  • 12-month warranty

CONS:

  • Heavy and bulky design

Related: Since this portable battery has relatively small capacity for longer trips, you can get the JDB 36W Dual Quick Car Charger to recharge your portable battery and devices while you’re heading towards your next destination with your car.

Check the price on Amazon

Innogie IOPPM220 eLite Portable ChargerInnogie IOPPM220 eLite

Price: Approx. $15

Capacity: 3,200 mAh

Weight: 2.9 oz.

Battery type: Lithium-ion

Estimated charging cycles: About 1,000

Number of USB ports: 1 USB & 1 micro USB

Indicators: 3 LED lights

Features: One of the smallest batteries available, 93% energy conversion rate, lightweight aluminum

Best use: Outdoors, battery backup, backpacking

Description: The Innogie IOPPM220 eLite Portable Charger is a teeny tiny portable battery, boasting less power but is a great option if you’re looking for a backup battery that won’t take much space or add too heavy of a load into your backpack. With its small capacity you will only get one full charge for your phone, if its battery capacity is less than 3000 mAh.

If you’re in a situation where you need to recharge your portable battery and charge a different device at the same time, rest assured that you can efficiently do so simultaneously with this little device. It might be small, but it is mighty. It is compatible with most commercial smart phones and 5V tablets, and it comes with one Micro USB cable and a 2-year warranty.

This amazing little battery promises 1,000 charge and discharge cycles before any signs of delay, heating up, or inefficiency. This is a great option for anyone who needs a small boost of power on the go since this portable battery lasts about 3-4 hours while powering up your electronics.

PROS:

  • Small and compact
  • Durable aluminum casing
  • 2-year warranty
  • 1000 charges

CONS:

  • Takes around 6-8 hours to fully charge

Related: Since this battery comes with small capacity, you will have to charge it more often. It’s good to have the HUHUTA USB Wall Charger to use at home with this device.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrap Up

Keeping a quality portable battery with you can mean the difference between finding safety, finishing your work, or taking photos of amazing memories. There is no longer any excuse to be stuck somewhere with a dead battery because these portable batteries offer amazing charging capabilities in tiny packages. Most weigh less than one pound and are roughly the size of a large smart phone. When buying one of these devices, consider how many electronic devices you usually need to be recharged.

If you use only one or two, consider looking for a product with a lot of power in a small package. If you know you usually pack several devices with short battery lives, look into buying a slightly heavier but much stronger portable battery that is built to charge more than one device at a time.

These products are the best way to stay connected and to prevent you from missing out on anything electronic! Are there any great portable batteries that we missed out on? Leave a comment down below!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Carraway

Daniel Carraway

Daniel Carraway joined our team last year. He is a gear freak when it comes to hiking, climbing and camping. He went to REI Outdoor School to meet new people and learn best practices. Don’t even try to argue with him about the latest backpack or ice axe, he tried most of them. Daniel’s dream is to climb Mount Everest.