Smartphones these days are designed to give you a solid day of uptime, but if you’ve been traveling in recent years, needed to kill extensive time, or tried to survive a full day at a concert festival, then you know that an “all-day” battery will sometimes fall short of that aim.
That’s where a portable power bank can fill the void. These power-packed bricks are available in various capacities, physical sizes, and price levels, and they plug into your phone, tablet, or other portable device when you need some extra juice while away from a wall outlet.
Some even recharge via solar energy or offer wireless charging capabilities, while others are powerful enough to juice up a laptop or an in-use Nintendo Switch. There are a lot of options to choose from, so here are our picks for a variety of potential use cases.
Best Overall: Aukey 10,000mAh USB-C Power Bank
Aukey’s 10,000mAh USB-C Power Bank 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 there’s no shortage of power banks out there, this one’s always well-priced and has excellent customer reviews. It is a safe bet if you’re just looking for an all-around battery backup to buy in a hurry.
Best for Switch: RAVPower 26,800mAh Portable Charger
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.
Best for Outdoors: GoerTek 25,000mAh Solar Power Bank
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.
Best Wireless: Aukey 10,000mAh Basix Pro
You don’t even need to carry a charging cable for this unique power brick. Aukey’s 10,000 Basix Pro wireless portable charger is built for high-end phones that have wireless charging capabilities, letting you simply lay your phone on top of the power bank to start charging.
Sure, you can plug in a cable like normal, but wireless charging is an added convenience for those of you with compatible phones. On top of that, the charger has its own kickstand, so if you’re going to watch videos on your phone, simply prop up the charger, stick your phone on the pop-out shelf, and enjoy the show as your phone charges all the while.
Our Quentyn Kennemer reviewed the Aukey Basix Pro and was impressed by its versatility, even if it’s not the longest-lasting brick around:
“I think Aukey has something sweet on its hands here. This is a well-balanced power bank with the ultimate versatility thanks to the Qi wireless charging contacts and kickstand, and even with three devices attached, it barely produces heat. You’ll wish for something bigger than its 10,000mAh capacity if you’re looking to cover more than a couple of devices at a time, but it’s worth grabbing one if you just need a convenient everyday carry.”