Running Out of Juice? The Best Power Banks to Supercharge Your Travels

Grab the right portable battery pack for your charging needs

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Featured Product: Anker PowerCore Slim 10,000 | $22 | Amazon

As smartphones get more powerful, they also tend to chew through their battery life a bit faster too. It can be a real pain to have to find a power outlet as you’re journeying through your day, and it’s not always realistic. That’s why it’s a good idea to look into getting one of the best portable power banks, because it’s essential to have a little extra juice on hand sometimes.

While it’s certainly nice to have one on hand if you’re travelling about a bit, just having one on you, in general, is a great shout in case something unexpected happens. Having a way to charge up your phone is great if you’ve ended up stuck on the subway, getting lost in a new city, or just if you’re exploring around your home and hunting Pokemon. No matter what you’re looking for, here are our picks for the best portable power banks around.

Best Portable Power Bank Overall: Anker PowerCore Slim 10,000 Power Bank

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Image: Andrew Hayward
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If you’re looking for one of the best portable power banks then you’d struggle to find one more well-rounded than Anker’s PowerCore Slim 10,000. First of all, it’s a small device, so you can easily put it in your pocket or purse with no issues. Then you’ve got the fact that the 10,000mAh capacity is more than enough to keep your phone charged with no issues, maybe up to three times, in fact.

Plus, the price of it makes it an easy choice. It’s always on the more affordable end of the best portable power banks, and as it’s also incredibly reliable, it’s hard to beat. Given that it’s compact, powerful, and fairly cheap, it’s basically everything you could possibly need. So, if you know you need one you can rely on that’ll get the job done, then this is the portable power bank for you.

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Best Power Bank for Switch: MAXOAK Laptop Power Bank

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Image: Jason Coles

Sometimes you’re going to need a bit more oomph to get the job done, because you’re not just going to be charging your mobile phone. Often you’ll want to charge other devices too, like your Nintendo Switch or a tablet. While you’re not going to get the capacity you need in a budget option, this MAXOAK Laptop Power Bank has a 50,000mAh battery that’ll supercharge whatever you need.

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It’s actually designed for laptops, as you can tell by the name, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’ll be more than enough to keep your Switch going even if you can’t get to a power outlet. It’s not as small as some of the others on this list, but that shouldn’t be an issue if you’re already carting around a handheld console. 

Best for Laptops: MAXOAK 100W Travel Laptop Power Bank

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Need something even MORE powerful? Well, if you’re trying to charge a more powerful laptop on the go, such as MacBook Pro or Dell XPS 13, then you’ll need something like MAXOAK’s 100W Travel Laptop Power Bank.

At 99Wh/26,756mAh, it thankfully meets TSA criteria, which means you can bring it on a plane in your carry-on bag—higher-capacity options aren’t as lucky. This beefy bank can give you a couple of laptop charges when you’re working on the go, or you can plug in multiple devices at once to charge all of your portable electronics.

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Best Solar Power Bank: Blavor 10,000mAh Solar Power Bank

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If you’re looking for a power bank that’s built for a long hike, camping, or any other extensive outdoor activities, then this is the one. Blavor’s 10,000mAh power bank holds a solid amount of juice, but even better than that is the ability to charge it via solar power. It even has wireless charging, too.

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The solar panels can power up the bank while strapped to a backpack or when hanging at the campsite, plus it has dual flashlights in case you need a bit of brightness. You can charge it through a wall outlet too, but the solar edge, water resistance, and lights make this incredibly handy for outdoor adventuring.

Best for Apple Users: Satechi Quatro Wireless Power Bank

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Photo: Andrew Liszewski/Gizmodo
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If you’re someone who wields an iPhone, Apple Watch, and wirelessly-chargeable AirPods and want a power bank that can handle all three of them without pesky cords, the Satechi Quatro Wireless Power Bank is your best bet.

It’s a modestly-powered 10,000mAh battery brick, but the Apple Watch-compatible inset on the surface lets you charge the smartwatch alongside another wirelessly-chargeable device, whether it’s an iPhone, AirPods, or another phone or compatible device. It has USB-C and USB-A ports for wired devices, too.

All that said, it’s very expensive at $100, but could be worth the investment for Apple users who are out and about often and demand a lot from their devices. Gizmodo’s Andrew Liszewski summed up the experience in his review:

“Whereas Anker’s $20 solution features just a single USB-C and USB-A port, Satechi’s Quatro includes both of those plus a wireless charging pad that works with any Qi-compatible device, and a magnetic Apple Watch charger because, for whatever reason, the Apple Watch doesn’t play by all the Qi standard’s rules. From my testing the Quatro can charge up to four devices at one time, including a laptop—very, very slowly—so you’ll need to be strategic about which approach you’ll use to charge your various devices: wired vs. wireless.”

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Best iPhone 12 Power Bank: Anker PowerCore Magnetic 5K

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Image: Andrew Liszewski/Gizmodo
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The unseen MagSafe anchor in the new iPhone 12 line unearths some neat tricks, including faster wireless charging via Apple’s official MagSafe Charger and also snap-on accessories. Anker’s PowerCore Magnetic 5K finds the middle ground between those two things: a snap-on power bank that wirelessly charges your iPhone.

Unfortunately, since it’s not an official Apple product, the charging speed is limited to just 5W (instead of 15W). Also, it’s a fairly bulky pack compared to the iPhone itself, so it’s not ideal for pocket charging. It’s also pretty limited in capacity at just 5,000mAh. Still, there’s no easier way to juice up an iPhone 12 when on the go.

“If you are using one of Apple’s latest and greatest iPhones, for $40 the PowerCore Magnetic 5K is a no-brainer accessory,” writes Gizmodo’s Andrew Liszewski.

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This story was originally published by Andrew Hayward in November 2020 and updated with new information by Jason Coleson 01/25/2022.