Featured Product: Aukey 10,000mAh USB-C Power Bank | $14 | Amazon
Even if your smartphone is rated to provide a full day of uptime under typical conditions, there are times where you might need some extra juice. If you’re traveling, spending a day at an event or festival, or just need to kill a big block of time, then your phone’s battery might not last ‘til bedtime.
Luckily, portable power banks are affordable and compact, giving you easy access to power without being tethered to a wall outlet. Some even have wireless charging capabilities or recharge via solar energy, while others are specifically primed to charge powerful laptops or a Nintendo Switch. There are loads of options out there, but here are our picks for various needs.
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.
Best for Laptops: MAXOAK 100W Travel Laptop Power Bank
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.”
Best for Apple Users: Satechi Quatro Wireless Power Bank
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.”