I Have a Battery Pack Hoarding Problem, But These Are the Two I Reach for the Most

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Zendure SuperMini and AUKEY Slimline 18W PD USB-C 10,000 mAh Power Banks
Zendure SuperMini and AUKEY Slimline 18W PD USB-C 10,000 mAh Power Banks
Photo: Corey Foster

I regularly use more USB power banks than any one person should, and these compact USB-C PD 18W offerings from Zendure and AUKEY are my favorites for fast-charging daily without a ton of bulk.

The competition to be your daily-carry USB power bank has a deep field of combatants. Each entry touts fresh features like compact size, new ports, compatibility, speed, safety, and capacity. Through my years at Kinja Deals, I’ve amassed a collection of USB battery packs that breached “problem” status ages ago. But while I may own many, I’m selective about the one that gets tossed into my bag on any given morning. If I know I’ll need my PD-powered laptop, LifeProof’s absolute unit of a battery pack accompanies me, even though it’s a huge brick. Most other days when I simply want spare power available for my phone, Switch, or tablet, I’ve found myself grabbing either AUKEY’s Slimline, or Zendure’s SuperMini compact, portable 10,000mAh 18W charger.

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Both use class-leading components, offer simultaneous 18W USB-C Power Delivery (fast enough for phones, tablets, and even small laptops) and QC3 USB output, and both are small. Their difference lies mostly in form factor and weight. The $25 AUKEY is 8.6 ounces with a slim profile that comfortably rides in my front pants pocket or my jacket. It also has an extra (non-QuickCharge) USB-A port, not that I’ll ever use it. The $33 “credit card” sized Zendure is thicker, but both lighter (6.2oz.) and smaller in mass than the AUKEY. The major upside with the Zendure is that it offers passthrough charging: the ability to charge your device while the battery itself is charging. Size-wise, the Zendure is best suited for a daily carry briefcase, backpack, or my wife’s purse. Together they give me all the compact fast-charging options that I could hope to need on any given day.

My biggest gripe with the slim AUKEY is that it lacks the Zendure’s passthrough charging. To get that in a slim battery, you’ll have to consider Ravpower’s slim 10,000mAh PD offering. It’s another model I wasn’t able to test, but it has comparable specs to this grouping, and adds passthrough charging. The Ravpower is only a bit thicker than the the AUKEY and priced similarly at just $27. My only caveat (and the primary reason I did not test this model) is that the USB-A port is listed simply as a “QC” port, and never claims to be a true Quick Charge 3.0 port like the others.

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So with a multitude of options at my hand, I simply prefer both the Zendure SuperMini and the AUKEY Slimline compact PD power banks. I know it won’t always be this way, but for now it’s nice to have my daily carry battery charger options narrowed down to just two.