TRAVELING

Best Power Bank Charger: Charging Anytime & Any Place

Power bank buying advice
Daniel Carraway
Written by Daniel Carraway

Power bank chargers are an outdoor must-have backup for times when you get stuck without power or just need more charge for your mobile devices. When you are off the grid, or in an emergency situation, you don’t want to be without your cell phone, GPS, radio, mobile camera and/or other mobile devices. Having the best power bank charger at your side can make all the difference in the world.

Before you decide on which power bank charger to purchase, here is a quick breakdown of what these external chargers really are, how they work and the best chargers on the market today.

What Is A Power Bank Charger?

Power bank chargers are mobile battery chargers that use a standard USB plug to charge a wide range of electronic devices. Take them anywhere you go! They are all portable, and you can simply re-charge them when you get back home. Most of them plug into a wall outlet or your car’s cigarette lighter, and some are even solar re-chargeable – making them a perfect outdoor companion.

Power bank charger

They are compatible with any device that uses a standard USB port and many of them also come equipped with a female port for a cell phone charger (compatible with most phones). All you have to do is keep them charged, toss them in your travel bag or backpack, and some of them even slip into your pocket. No fuss, no worries – off you go!

Don’t head out for an overnight trip in your tent or anywhere off the grid without one of these external battery packs. Always keep one inside your overnight pack, and of course in any emergency kit you have so you’ll never run out of juice when you need it most. At such a low price point, you can’t afford to be without one.

What Type of Power Bank Charger Do I Need?

There are power bank chargers available that include more than one USB port, and they are made with many different wattages and mAh capacity so that they can handle output for all of your devices including phones, music players, digital cameras, GPS devices, tablets and more.

For charging smaller devices like cell phones, only about 1 Amp is needed to keep them powered up. However, if you have tablets or GPS systems, you may need 2.1-2.4 Amp or higher output to charge them fully.

Power bank for charging

Consider that all of the best external battery pack capacity is rated in milliamps (mAh). Most electronic devices you’ll want to charge in the outdoors or traveling to and from wilderness destinations will be compatible as they use the same amplification rating system. For example, if you have a 2,000 mAh backupand you want to charge an iPhone, they have a battery capacity of 1420-1800 (this excludes the newest version).

Since your power bank charger has a 2,000 mAh, the most you would need is 1800 to charge the iPhone to capacity.

To ensure you have the best external battery pack that will fully charge your device, check to see how many mAh (milliamps) the device’s battery is. Then you will know if your backup charger is capable of meeting your specific needs.

**NOTE** If you decide to purchase a backup power bank charger with more than one USB port, be advised that each port will distribute mAh evenly to each device plugged into it. That means that you will need to verify the mAh output to ensure it is capable of charging all of the attached devices fully, if you are expecting a full re-charge (100%).

Allpowers output power bank charger

Here is an example of what some portable devices need:

  • iPhone 4: 1420 mAh
  • iPhone 5: 1560 mAh
  • iPhone 6: 1800 mAh
  • iPhone 6+: 3000 mAh
  • Galaxy S5: 2800 mAh
  • iPad Mini (3rd Gen): 12000 mAh
  • GoPro Hero4: 1160 mAh

If you are wondering what type of power bank charger works best for your needs, consider these three basic categories of mobile chargers:

  1. Low Capacity. Enough mAh to charge most cell phones fully.
  2. Mid-Range Capacity. Enough mAh to charge more than one phone fully, or your own cell phone 2-3 times.
  3. High Capacity. Enough mAh to fully (or almost fully) charge a tablet, small GPS system and some digital cameras.

And Now Without Further Adieu….

The Top 8 Best Power Bank Chargers

Anker PowerCore+ mini

Anker PowerCore+ mini

Characteristics:

  • Capacity: 3350 mAh
  • Output: 5V / 1A
  • Weight: 3oz
  • Size:7 x 0.9 x 0.9in / 95 x 23 x 23mm

Special Features:

  • Smart & Fast Charging: Designed with proprietary PowerIQ technology, this one of the best power bank charger because it is a smart charger. Able to detect your specific device and deliver the fastest charging speed available – up to 1 Amp!
  • Advanced Technology: The PowerCore+ mini is made with only the highest-grade Panasonic lithium-ion cells. This ensures that you get the optimum power, efficiency and performance from your mini external battery pack

Description: Anker PowerCore+ mini is made with premium aluminum. It is one of the most compact external battery packs on the market today, making it an ultra-convenient accessory for your electronic devices. The sleek, portable design makes it easy to fit the PowerCore+ mini into your pocket, purse or any other tight spot virtually undetected.

The capacity of the Anker PowerCore+ mini is enough to fully charge most smartphones including the iPhone 6. With the original lipstick tube design, this model is an upgrade from previous years as it is now equipped with higher-density cells; improving the charging efficiency – up to 10%. This gives YOU up to 6% more power to your devices.

Unlike any other charger on the market, the PowerCore+ mini features smart charging technology, so you never have to wait for power.

Intocircuit Dual USB Portable Charger

Intocircuit Dual USB Portable Charger

Characteristics:

  • Capacity: 11200mAh
  • Output: 5V / 2.1A
  • Weight: 10.88 oz
  • Size:33 x 0.87 x 2.8in

Special Features:

  • Intelligent Display: Indicates the percentage of charge with an intelligent battery display.
  • Powerful Charging: This 11200 mAh charger is able to fully charge most smart phones up to 5 times and includes two USB ports so that you can charge two devices simultaneously.

Description: This external battery power bank is ideal for outdoor uses like camping and traveling. Featuring a sleek aluminum exterior with a brushed texture, it is able to charge most smart phones and other USB charged devices quickly, as well as iPad’s, tablets, GPS devices and more.

The Intocircuit Dual USB Charger offers the MOST mAh per dollar without being oversized, and is compact enough to fit into small bags and pockets.

Considered one of the most powerful back up chargers available, the Intocircuit Dual USB Charger is able to charge most iPhones 2-3 times, iPads almost fully charged and other smartphones up to 2.5 times.

That means that you can charge your devices fully while also letting a friend or family member power up at the same time. This external battery pack also includes an LED flashlight – it is a great travel buddy to have!

Anker Astro Pro2 Universal Multi-Voltage Laptop External Battery

Anker Astro Pro2 Universal Multi-Voltage Laptop External Battery

Characteristics:

  • Capacity: 20000 mAha
  • Output: 19 V / 3 A
  • Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Size:9 x 7.3 x 0.6 inches

Special Features:

  • Highly Versatile: This external battery is more than just a back up power bank. The Astro Pro2 is capable of charging up your most important portable electronics – including your laptop!* Made to charge most phone up to 9 times each, the 20000 mAh capacity of this mobile charger is hard to beat. *For use with laptops, ensure that you have the correct power input port.
  • Voted BEST in its Class: The Astro Pro2 has been used by thousands of customers and it has quickly become a fan favorite. With thousands of online reviews, it has been considered #1 in the external battery category. An ideal charger for those who want to charge more than just a cell phone.

Description: The Anker Astro Pro2 Universal Multi-Voltage Laptop External Battery was designed to fully charge most compact laptops to capacity and is able to charge most smartphones through 9 cycles. Made with an ultra-durable lithium battery to ensure that you can use the power bank charger up to 500 times over its lifetime.

The Astro Pro2 is made for versatility. Features outputs for 1 DC 12V / 4A, 16V / 3.5A or 19V / 3A port and 1 USB 5V / 2.1A port  – all in one charger! With a slim design and stylish brushed silver body, the Anker Astro Pro2 also includes 4 smart LED lights so you will always know the remaining charging ability of the external battery pack.

Package includes 4 phone connectors, 10 laptop connectors, 1 USB cable, 1 DC cable, 1 AC (100-240V) power adapter, and a user manual. That’s a lot of bang for your buck!

Jackery Bar External Battery Charger

Jackery Bar External Battery Charger

Characteristics:

  • Capacity: 6000 mAh
  • Output: 5 V / 2.1 A
  • Weight: 5.44 oz
  • Size:8 x 1.8 x 0.9 inches

Special Features:

  • Small & Powerful: Jackery Bar portable power bank chargers are one of the most powerful smallest portable external batteries on the market today! This tiny external battery pack was designed with 2.1 A and a high-energy density with safety protected circuits. The premium Panasonic cells they contain are encased in an aluminum shell for additional durability.
  • Ideal for Smartphones, Tablets & Cameras: Made to be compact and ultra-durable, the Jackery Bar is perfect for re-charging smartphones and tablets. Adding 2-3 full chargers to iPhones, and 1-2 full charges to Samsung Galaxy, it additionally is able to slide into your pocket for instant power any time! Also works with Android tables, Google Glass, Sony Xperia and GoPros.

Description: Jackery Bar is a premium power bank charger made with 5V/2.1A of fast-charging output for your iPhone, tablet and other mobile devices. Made with premium Panasonic battery cells, a reinforcement layer, and high-efficiency circuit board, this portable power bank also includes an LED flashlight incase of emergency.

The makers of the Jackery Bar designed this charger with your safety and reliability in mind! Each external battery pack includes PTC protection for each battery cell, over-charger protection, temperature resistance, short circuit protection, input over-voltage protection and a reset mechanism.

This compact charger is easy to use and features a sleek design so that providing instant power to your devices is a breeze. Don’t leave home without slipping a Jackery Bar in your pocket.

EC Technology Portable Power Bank

EC Technology Portable Power Bank

Characteristics:

  • Capacity: 22400mAh
  • Output: 5 V / 1 A
  • Weight: 15.4 oz
  • Size:3 x 2.9 x 0.8 inches

Special Features:

  • Safe Smart Charging: The EC Technology Portable Power Bank was made with a smart chip that automatically charges your devices. Not only that, but this smart charger was also designed with a high-grade flame retardant plastic shell to protect the external battery pack from any damage. Other safety features include over-charge protection, voltage protection, short-circuit protection and over-current protection.
  • Rapid Re-Charging: This external battery was designed to deliver a re-charge with the highest efficiency possible. Engineered for rapid input charging with DC 5 V/2A input, the EC Technology Portable Battery is up to twice as fast as regular 5V/2A power bank chargers. This can save you 50% more time!

Description: EC Technology Portable External Battery includes 3 USB ports to deliver the fastest possible current to your smartphones, iPad and other devices simultaneously. With an output of DC 5V, it is able to provide rapid charging to any compatible small devices (input DC 5V).

Ultra-sleek, the design of the EC Technology Portable Charger makes it easy to pack away in overnight bags, purses and even your pocket and it also includes 4 LED indicators to show power status.

Constructed with separate lithium-ion battery cells, this power bank charger also includes built-in microchips for safety. You can expect to use the EC Technology Battery Pack for 500 recharge cycles or more over its lifespan. No other small power bank charger can claim this unrivaled performance.

Poweradd Pilot X1

Poweradd Pilot X1

Characteristics:

  • Capacity: 5200mAh
  • Output: 5 V / 1 A
  • Weight: 4.5 oz
  • Size:46 x 1.57 x 0.88 inches

Special Features:

  • Ultra-Compact: The small size of this power bank charger makes it ideal for convenience and emergency use. The built-in LED indicators will always clearly show the power level, so you won’t miss out on that important feature – even though it’s super small & sleek.
  • Industry Leading Warranty: Every Poweradd Pilot X1 external battery pack includes a 24-month limited product warranty and 24/7 customer service.

Description: The Poweradd Pilot X1 Power Bank was designed small but powerful, with a high conversion rate that delivers two charges for an iPhone 6, and about 1 ½ charges for a Galaxy S6. Designed with the highest-quality LG original lithium-ion battery cells, the Poweradd Pilot X1 is the solution to your everyday power needs. Lightweight, and easy to carry, it is the perfect on-the-go charger bank.

AmazonBasics Portable Power Bank

AmazonBasics Portable Power Bank

Characteristics:

  • Capacity: 10,000mAh
  • Output:4 amps (2.4 amps/1.0 amps)
  • Weight: 7.58 oz
  • Size: 6 x 2.8 x 0.6 inches

Special Features:

  • Safe Charging: This portable battery pack includes power overload protection, and lithium-ion polymer batteries for reduced weight and additional safety.
  • Compatibility: Each AmazonBasics Portable Power Bank includes dual USB ports for multiple smartphones, tablets, and other portable devices at the same time. Able to fully charge an Apple iPhone 6s 5.8 times before re-charging.

Description: AmazonBasics Best External Battery Pack is capable of charging your must-have devices including iPhones, other smartphones and iPads with 10,000 mAh of muscle. Stay connected and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with having an AmazonBasics Portable Charger on hand.

With four LED lights, you’ll be able to see which charging mode YOUR charger is in at a glance, as well as the percentage of remaining battery power any time of day or night.

Aibocn Power Bank

Aibocn Power Bank

Characteristics:

  • Capacity: 10,000mAh
  • Output: (2.1Amp + 1Amp Output)
  • Weight: 9.6 oz
  • Size: 8 x 4 x 1.4 inches

Special Features:

  • Intelligent Safety Protection: Made to protect against over-charging, over-discharging, over-voltage, and short circuit, the Aibocn Power bank charger is safe to use.
  • Backup Flashlight: When you are out in the wilderness you simply have to have a flashlight. But with the Aibocn backup charger you won’t need to look for one – it’s right there in the palm of your hand. Ideal for camping, hiking and any emergency occasions.

Description: The Aibocn external battery pack is your go-to 2-in-1 charger! Made to combine with outdoor lifestyles, this charger includes high-capacity charging with 10,000 mAh of juice. This mini charger also includes dual USB ports that work to deliver a split charge (2Amp + 1Amp output). All of this AND a backup flashlight that fits in the palm of your hand.

Final Words

When it comes to electronic mobile devices you don’t want to see ZERO bars. So don’t mess around, especially when you are outdoors or in a wilderness environment.

Charge your phone with power bank

It’s no laughing matter to be without your smartphone, GPS, flashlight or camera when you are out there. Don’t get stuck with no power – pick up one of these top 8 best power bank chargers, today!

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.

  • Sabrina Bell

    I have EC Technology power bank, and love the fact it’s 22400mAh, but keep in mind it’s heavy and bulky.
    It’s good at charging phones and tables, and it can hold a charge for quite some time. The flashlight function is okay, and I am sure in an emergency would be great, but it’s not that bright, and it doesn’t cast well.

  • Daniel Carraway

    The higher the charging capacity of power banks, the heavier they get. Although I think in time, they’ll figure out how to make these sleeker and lighter. Even if they can be a bit chunky, they do a marvelous job of charging all our gadgets, right? Very useful especially when you’re camping or traveling. They are also affordable, too.

  • Joe McGowan

    Having bought a number of Anker products in the past, I was initially drawn to this charger simply because of the name. The small size was also a big plus for me as I didn’t want to have to carry a big, bulky charger around with me. Conveniently, it fits in my pocket along with my phone. I’ve only used the charger to charge my iPhone 6 so I can’t comment on how well it detects other devices but for the iPhone 6, at least, the charging capabilities are top notch, especially when considering the size of the charger.

  • Mark Foster

    I say, it works on all gadgets and it’s quite handy and compact. Remember, though that the higher the mAh of the power bank, the bulkier it will be. Although I believe that in the coming years and with the new technology coming, these plump babies will shrink – and I’ll be the first to be celebrate!

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