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7 Best Portable Chargers
August 20, 2021
Reading time: 9 minutes
When you need to power up on the go, the best portable charger is one that fits your devices as well as your lifestyle. Portable chargers range in size, shape, and capacity, and some are built to last for more uses than others.
How can you tell which charger is worth the money? And what should you look for when buying one? We’ve narrowed down the field to 10 highly ranked options for the active tech user that fit a variety of budgets. Check out our list before you head out the door with a drained smartphone, laptop, or tablet battery.
What is a portable charger?
A portable charger, or power bank, is a small battery that you can charge and take with you to power your devices, such as phones, tablets, and laptops. When the charger is depleted of energy, simply plug it into an outlet and charge it back up again.
We’ve even given you a run down of what to look for when shopping for a portable charger below our list of the best portable charger options on the market to help you make the best buying decision.
Best portable charger reviews
Here is our list of the top 7 portable chargers on the market today.
One of the most highly-rated chargers, the Anker PowerCore 20100 Portable Charger is light at 12.56 oz while offering 7 days of phone charging with its 20100mAh capacity. Choose from red, blue, grey, or white, and enjoy the matte finish that keeps it looking clean over time.
The Anker PowerCore 20100 Portable Charger offers an 18-month warranty and 4.8A output through 2 USB-A ports, allowing you to charge your iPad Mini 4 times with a single charge or your iPhone 8 up to 7 times. It supports PowerIQ and VoltageBoost quick charging and both surge and short-circuit protection, too.
You’ll also need to purchase your own AC adapter since it only comes with a USB cord for charging. With a handy light indicator that goes from 1 to 4 lights and lets you know how much power is left, this is a hefty product that’s backed by the responsive team at Anker customer service.
With the same 20,000mAh as other chargers, the 12.8 oz INIU Fast Charging 20000mAh Portable Charger is priced at about half the cost. It offers a sleek black design with an LED display that shows the percentage of power left in the charger at all times. It even has a flashlight.
This airline-approved charger has one of the longest warranties, too, at 3 years of basic coverage. Plus, it can charge your low-current products like small smartwatches and earbuds. The compatibility list is long, and the charger includes a 3.0 USB-C port and dual 4.0+ USB outputs. It promises to charge an iPhone to 65% power in 30 minutes.
You’ll need to provide your own AC adapter, and the included charging cable is very short and won’t reach many wall outlets. The INIU Fast Charging 20000mAh Portable Charger is not as shock-proof as other devices, either, and the included case is fragile. However, this is a great value from a company that stands by its products. With the ability to charge devices while charging itself, you’ll get great use from this right-priced gadget.
Another Anker favorite, the Anker PowerCore 26800mAh Portable Charger offers 26,800mAh of power and 3 USB-A outputs for charging multiple devices at once. The dual 20W USB inputs help it recharge quickly – just 6 hours. It weighs 17.28 oz and comes in a black or white matte finish for a smudge-free appearance.
The 3 ports mean that it’s a bit heavier than the 2-port models, and it’s too powerful to charge some GPS or smartwatch products that use less than 50mA. You’ll also need to provide your own AC adapter and cords. Additionally, the light indicators aren’t as precise as other power banks.
Still, with a full week’s power available for your phone with just a single recharge, this is a solid option for getting the power you need for off-the-grid use. The dual power inputs save you time on a full recharge, too, making the Anker PowerCore 26800mAh Portable Charger an attractive alternative to single-input chargers.
When you want to charge more than your phone or tablet, the HALO Bolt 58830mWh Portable Charger is worth considering. This powerful, slightly bulky charger is a standard 58,830 mWh power bank with 2 USB 2.4V outputs, and it’ll power your phone for up to 62 hours. It also has a 120V AC option to power a MacBook Pro for almost 8 hours.
Where it really stands out from other power banks is in its automobile features. It comes with a car charger adapter so you can recharge it on the go, but it also holds enough power to jumpstart a car, motorcycle, or lawnmower. The included jumper cables are designed to prevent misuse or shocks, and it comes with a handy LED floodlight. Choose from a variety of styles, including camo and floral, to match your personal preference.
While the HALO Bolt 58830mWh Portable Charger comes loaded with extras, the odds you’ll need to jump a car within the very short 90-day warranty is unlikely. Consider it for the phone power bank features alone.
While the downside is that it only charges USB-C laptops, the number of gadgets this includes is significant; e.g., HP ENVY, Microsoft Surface Pro, iPad Pro, MacBook Air, and Lenovo ThinkPad, to name a few. It’s also a favorite for Nintendo Switch owners, who get 10 hours of playtime (including TV mode) wherever you go.
The included cord may be too short, so you may need to swap out the cord that came with your device for a longer one. Considering how much a replacement battery is for USB-C laptops, the ELECJET PowerPie 20000mAh 45W Laptop Power Bank Portable Charger is a great deal for anyone who needs to get more life out of their laptop, notebook, or tablet. At just .86 lbs, it’s also light enough to easily stash in the pocket of your laptop case.
With a smaller battery capacity comes a smaller size, and the Anker PowerCore 13000mAh 2-Port Ultra-Portable Phone Charger Power Bank is a two-port solution for when you need to charge two phones at once with a pocket-sized solution. It’s no bigger than a typical wallet, and it can charge your smartphone 4 times. The PowerIQ technology can identify the charging cord type of your device and deliver the right power to charge efficiently and quickly.
Those small quibbles aside, it does offer impressive surge protection, which is a must when powering up your most precious devices or anywhere with potentially shoddy wiring. If you need small-scale power in a simplified format, this charger is a keeper.
This Mophie Powerstation 10,000mAh Portable Charger works specifically with Apple products, and it uses the same certified Apple charging cord that came with your device. It can charge 2 items at once, with 1 on a 10W USB-A outlet, and the other using the integrated Lightning cable.
You can charge the device itself using a compatible charger or by setting it on a Mophie wireless charging pad, giving you an easy way to power up if you prefer a wireless setup. The cloth-like cover avoids scratches and scuffs, but may appear dirty after some time.
Most chargers share many of the same functions, but there are differences. Consider these must-have features in your next purchase.
Portable but powerful
It takes a lot more juice to power a laptop for a day than a smartphone. So if you need a more versatile charger, keep in mind that some smaller batteries will lack charging capacity. You may need to buy one for phone use that fits into your pocket, and another for larger devices.
Anything under 5,000amHh will offer a small size and smaller charging capacity. Bigger batteries do better in a laptop bag due to their size, and they can charge a phone many times over.
Does your device use a USB-C port or something else entirely? Most portable chargers are compatible with all major devices, but the charging time may not comply with the optimal charging speed. Be sure that you’re using a charger with high-quality cords and adapters for quick and safe charging.
While you’re at it, look to see that your charger has enough ports. For instance, you may want to charge your phone and wireless earbuds at the same time.
What do you do when both your portable charger and your device are dead? With pass-through charging, you can plug in your charger, then plug in your device to the charger. Charging both at once is ideal, but not all products support this technology.
What is the best portable charger for you?
With 7 portable charging products to choose from, it may not seem that there is a clear winner. However, the feature-packed INIU Fast Charging 20000mAh Portable Charger stands out as the best portable charger for anyone looking to balance weight and battery life.
This charger is highly rated by consumers and it has one of the longest warranties available. You get access to 3 years of customer service to walk you through any related issues, so you can feel confident about buying this budget charger with high-end appeal. The company is reportedly very responsive to inquiries as well.
Plus, with its pass-through charging capability, you can use it while you charge it, making it invaluable for those moments when everything seems to be drained of power. You also get nice bonus features like the handy flashlight and the ability to charge smaller earbuds and GPS products.
About the Author
Linsey Knerl is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Linsey is a Midwest-based author, public speaker, and member of the ASJA. She has a passion for helping consumers and small business owners do more with their resources via the latest tech solutions.
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