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Anyone who uses a smartphone knows the importance of carrying a backup battery pack. But try searching for one on Amazon, say, and youre likely to feel overwhelmed by the vast number of options. Besides the various charging specs, ports, and even cables you have to consider, there are a ton of competing brands. How are you supposed to know which ones actually live up to their promise?
Weve done the legwork for you, evaluating a wide range of power banks from different manufacturers, costing different prices, and some offering unique features. Our testing is extensive, too, subjecting the packs to real-world usage (read about our testing process in detail below). Our picks below reflect a range of needs. (You might also be interested in ourour roundup of USB car chargers if you spend a lot of time in transit.)
Updated 4/19/2021 to include our review of the Lander Cascade Wireless Charging Power Bank, a 10,000mAh power bank that has IP65 water-and-dust resistance and the addition of a Qi wireless charging pad on its top surface to augment the USB-C and USB-A ports that are available for charging devices.Scroll to the bottom of this article for links to all of our power bank reviews.
Building on the success of the Powerstation Plus XL (our previous pick for best overall power bank), Mophies Powerstation XXL matches its predecessor in efficiency, achieving 92.51 percent of its stated maximum current, plus its stylish, portable, and affordable at $69.95. Its a no-brainer recommendation if youre in the market for a dependable power source on-the-go. (Read our full review of theMophie Powerstation XXL.)
Take your standard wall adapter, with a single USB port for charging your smartphone, add two additional ports, a power button, indicator lights, and an internal battery, and youll wind up with Ankers PowerCore Fusion 5000.
The combination wall charger and portable power bank format makes the Powercore Fusion 5000 exceedingly convenient. The bank itself can be recharged via either methodpower outlet or MicroUSB port. Its limited to two USB-A ports for device charging, but that doesnt dimish its great handiness-to-cost ratio. (Read our full review of the Anker Powercore Fusion 5000.)
Small enough to fit into a coat pocket or the side pocket on a backpack, the Tronsmart Presto is an obvious companion when youre on-the-go. Its a 10,000mAh (37Wh) pack, with two USB-A ports, one with QC3.0 for fast charging. (Read our full review of the Tronsmart Presto PVT10.)
If you spend a lot of time on the road and value device preparedness, the Sherpa 100AC makes a trusty, if pricey, companion. Yes, at $299.95, youre looking at a big investment. But that buys you two USB-C ports capable of fast-charging speeds, two standard USB ports, a Qi wireless charging pad, a standard U.S. 110V outlet, a full complement of cables, and a nifty status display and buttons for controlling various functions of the pack. The pack itself can be charged in just a couple hours. (Read our full review of the Sherpa 100AC Portable Power Bank.)
Sporting the sort of sleek yet rugged exterior youd expect from Otterbox, the Fast Charge 20,000mAh is both handsome and utilitarian. Its USB-C port with Power Delivery can be used to charge other devices or the pack itself. Both it and the USB-A port are capable of 18W output. The packs 92.55 percent efficiency is among the best of the USB-C battery packs weve tested. (Read our full review of the Otterbox Fast Charge 20,000mAh.)
There are time when a mere power bank isnt enoughthe circumstances call for a power station.Say youre spending the weekend off the grid. Or you want to be prepared for a future emergency. TheGoal Zero Yeti 200X strikes a good balance of capability and portability. With a capacity near 200Wh and an array of portsa 12V car charger port and a 6mm barrel plug; a USB-A port, two USB-C ports, and another USB-A port; and a standard wall outletthe Yeti 200X has most power needs covered. At five pounds and 7.9 x 5.1 x 5.1 inches, its easy to transport and store. (Read our full review of the Goal Zero Yeti 200X.)
Power source and cablesAll of our tests were conducted using the same wall adapter and, when possible, USB-C or Micro-USB cable. This was done to eliminate any discrepancies with wall adapters and cable throughput.
Without fancy testing equipment, you never truly know if youre getting what you paid for with a battery pack. Vendors, especially in Amazon listings, like to throw around a lot of terms and certifications.
You may also be considering simply buying Amazons AmazonBasic charger, as a way of saving money. In this case, be advised: Amazon has voluntarily recalled several models because of potential overheating. Amazon has received 53 reports of the affected modelsB00LRK8EVO, B00LRK8HJ8, B00LRK8I7O, B00LRK8IV0, B00LRK8JDC or B00ZQ4JQAAoverheating, and in one case causing chemical burns. You can find more information at the Consumer Products Safety Commission, as well as Amazons own recall site.
Take your standard wall adapter, with a single USB port for charging your smartphone, add two additional ports, a power button, indicator lights, and an internal battery, and youll wind up with Ankers PowerCore Fusion 5000.Get in Touch with Mechanic