Most smartphones are built to give you a solid day of usage, but as anyone who has gone sightseeing, navigated a new city, or tried to survive a full day at a concert festival can tell you, there are times in which that “all-day” battery will fall short.
That’s where portable power banks come in handy. Available in a wide array of capacities, physical sizes, and price points, these incredibly helpful devices can plug into your phone, tablet, or other portable device to give it a top-up when you’re not home or near an outlet.
However, there are a TON of different options—so here’s a look at some of the best power banks for a variety of usage scenarios.
Anker’s PowerCore 10,000 is one of the best all-around options you can find. It’s compact in size, whether you want to tuck it into your pants pocket or a purse, while the 10,000mAh capacity is enough to charge most phones two to three times over.
It’s also consistently available at an affordable price for what you get, so while you might find better deals here and there on rival models, this Anker power bank is a safe bet if you’re just looking for an all-around battery backup to buy in a hurry.
If you’re trying to power a tablet or a Nintendo Switch while on the go, then a small power bank with modest capacity probably won’t do the trick. Instead, something like the RAVPower 26,800mAh portable charger is what you’ll need.
Not only does it provide significant capacity—which you can still apply toward a phone, by the way—but it also charges at a higher wattage (30W) and can power a Nintendo Switch while it’s being played. You can even use it for a MacBook Air. It’s heftier but can handle a lot.
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.
Size matters when it comes to power bank capacity, but also with its physical dimensions: If you don’t want to haul around a hefty pack, then you’ll need to consider other options.
Here’s one: Attom Tech’s 2,500mAh power bank is barely larger than a credit card and could potentially tuck into a wallet. It even has a built-in microUSB cable, as well as a pop-out adapter for Lightning cables for iPhones. The capacity is minuscule, probably only giving you about half a charge on a top-end smartphone, but the size makes it the perfect option to stick into a bag and forget about until you need a little top-up.
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. GoerTek’s 25,000mAh power bank holds a lot of juice, but even better than that is the ability to charge it via solar power.
The solar panels can power up the bank while strapped to a backpack or when hanging at the campsite, plus it has a super-bright light panel thanks to 36 LEDs. You can charge it through a wall outlet too, but the solar edge, water resistance, and lights make this incredibly handy for outdoor adventuring.