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Best Overall: Jackery Bolt 6000 at Amazon
"Can juice your iPhone two times within 1.5 hours."
Best Value: Goal Zero Flip 12 at Amazon
"Ideally suited to recharge your phone and smaller devices."
Best Design: BioLite Charge 20 at L.L. Bean
"Has an ultra-thin stainless steel design that’s durable (and stylish)."
Best for Durability: Outdoor Tech Kodiak 2.0 at Backcountry
"The hard-rubber outer housing is water-, dust-, and shock-proof."
Best for Laptops: RAVPower PB059 at B&H Photo Video
"Comes with a Type-C port that’ll let you replenish laptops like MacBooks."
Best for Multiple Devices: myCharge HubMax Universal at Best Buy
"Rejects the need for hauling additional wires."
Most Powerful: Goal Zero Yeti 150 Portable Power Station at Home Depot
"One of the few power banks with a conventional 12-volt two-prong input."
Best Lightweight: Skullcandy Stash Portable Battery Pack at Home Depot
"Delivers a lot of juice in a small package."
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Jackery Bolt 6000
For most travelers, all you need in a portable charger or power bank is a few quick refills on your smartphone, tablet, or digital camera — preferably without a nest of auxiliary cables. And the Bolt from Jackery delivers precisely that at a price that won’t break the bank. The slender device has two integrated cables that fold out from the device, one Apple MFi-certified Lightning connection, and another for micro USBs, and can juice your iPhone two times within 1.5 hours. You also get one USB out port that sits at the bottom of the device. It includes a “pass-through” charging function, meaning you can have two devices plugged in and charging at the same time while the battery pack itself is plugged in and refueling via the included micro USB charging cable. But note that the wall plug is sold separately, which is the only knock against the Bolt. The lithium-ion battery boasts a max capacity of 6,000mAhs, fully charges in four hours, and measures in at a pocket-friendly 3.7 x 3.1-inch rectangle. Bonus: it also includes an LED flashlight, a feature that seems superfluous but quickly becomes essential. It comes in orange or black versions.
Best Value: Goal Zero Flip 12
Make no mistake, you can find portable chargers that are cheaper than the Flip 12, but none of them will best this one from Goal Zero. Ideally suited to recharge your phone and smaller devices, it runs off a 3,350mAh battery that delivers one full charge for most smartphones — and can be used to quickly add a bit of juice to larger devices, like a tablet. Design-wise, it’s refreshingly simple: a USB outlet flips out so you can plug into any USB outlet (or wall mount, not included) and get the device up to full in three hours. Then simply plug in your device’s cable to the USB-in port and you’re set. And, if you plan on charging it in your pocket, you may want to upgrade to a shorter charging cable to make the package a bit easier to store when in use. A row of four blue lights line the upper part of the Flip 12 — press the USB out and they’ll light up to indicate how much charge remains. It comes in traditional black, as well as a deep cobalt blue and yellow/green.
Best Design: BioLite Charge 20
Biolite got its start making camp stoves that burn wood and convert that energy into electricity, allowing people who live off the grid (or are merely camping) a reliable way to refuel their essential electronic devices while doubling as a solid cook stove. So naturally, when they made their first run of portable power banks, they got everything right. The Charge 20 has an ultra-thin stainless steel design that’s durable (and stylish), paired with a silicone gasket that flips open to reveal the charging ports, which also makes the device “dunk-proof,” or it's able to shrug off rain or spills. The 3.6-volt battery boasts 5,200mAh, and can fully recharge two phones — or power up flashlights, headlamps, action cams, Fitbits, tablets, or anything else powered by a standard USB. It includes a micro USB charging cable, measures in at only 1.5 x 0.82 x 3.98 inches, and tips the scales (slightly) at 5.8 ounces.
Best for Durability: Outdoor Tech Kodiak 2.0
If you plan on harsher road and weather conditions, go big with the Kodiak 2.0. The hard-rubber outer housing is water-, dust-, and shock-proof, so it thrives in unpredictable conditions and includes an integrated six-LED flashlight with high, low, and emergency strobe settings. The lithium-polymer battery runs at 6,000mAhs, and includes dual USB ports — one 5-Volt 1 amp and one 5-Volt 2.4 amp, and is recharged off an included micro USB cable. This lets you charge two devices — your phone, tablet, GoPro, headlamp, or anything with a USB cable — at the same time. A red power indicator displays the charge level. It also comes in a variety of colors, including black, blue, gray, red, and “mossy oak” camo. Given its recharge capacity, it’s one of the larger power banks in the market, with a total weight of 6.6 ounces and overall measurements of 3.59 x 2.8 x 0.9 inches — easily packable in a bag, but probably too big for most apparel pockets.
Best for Laptops: RAVPower PB059
Serious digital nomads need a portable power pack that can charge more than merely their smartphone or tablet — and the RAVPower PB059 has got you and all your electronics covered. It comes with a 20,100mAh, 30-watt rechargeable battery with a Type-C port that’ll let you replenish laptops like MacBooks (three times faster than the Apple’s 30-watt charging cable). You can also charge your smartphone at the same time, and execute data transfer via the 2.0 port while charging, making it easy to move photos from your phone to your computer. After charging the device on the included Type-C cable, the power bank delivers enough juice to charge an iPhone seven times and an iPad twice, with a total of three USB charging ports (including a 2.4A port) as well as a 2A micro-USB input, with easy-to-understand blue LED light battery status indicator. Despite all this power, the device is relatively small at only 6.7 x 0.8 inches, though it’s one of the heavier chargers at 1.08 pounds.
Best for Multiple Devices: myCharge HubMax Universal
If you're a multi-tasker, the HubMax Universal from myCharge could be your ideal portable power bank. This sleek device rejects the need for hauling additional wires — including superfluous cables to charge the actual device. Instead, just flip out the two-prong plug and attach it to a wall outlet, then attach one device to the fold-out Lightning cable, a second device into the fold-out USB C cable, and then use the built-in USB port for additional charging needs. The 10,050mAh battery provides up to six recharges on most smartphones, with lesser — but still admirable — charging power for tablets and other small electronics. It reaches full capacity in 4.6 hours, and with pass-through functionality, you can charge the device and up to three additional electronics at the same time. All that said, the architecture of the flip-out twin prongs may prove awkward when traveling internationally, depending on how well your travel adapter marries to the device.
Most Powerful: Goal Zero Yeti 150 Portable Power Station
Most portable power packs pride themselves on their pocket-friendly design. The 150 Portable Power Station, a partnership between Goal Zero and Yeti, is decidedly not that kind of power bank. But if your travels include lots of road tripping into off-the-grid locales, it’s arguably the best way to keep you and your companions’ devices fully charged. It’s one of the few power banks with a conventional 12-volt two-prong input, which sits alongside two USBs and AC ports. It runs off a burly, silent, and fume-free 150-watt battery with a 12-volt capacity, and can run everything from laptops and phones to lights and cameras. At 12 pounds it’s relatively trail-friendly (say, up to a mile), and easy to lug from your trunk to the base camp. Plug it in for six hours to a wall outlet (or for eight hours in a car charger) and you’re set — it’s also compatible with Goal Zero’s fleet of solar panels. And if that isn’t enough, know that the 150 is the smallest in Goal Zero’s Yeti line, which reaches all the way up to a max of 3,000 watts.
Best Lightweight: Skullcandy Stash Portable Battery Pack
With its smooth edges, svelte design, and diminutive size (5 x 2.7 x 0.47 inches), the Skullcandy Stash delivers a lot of juice in a small package, including enough power to re-charge a phone 24 times, a mini-tablet 10 times, and larger tablets up to six times. All this, and it weighs a whisper less than five ounces. The device runs off a 6,000mAh battery, with a digital numeric read-out LED screen, and connections for USB, USB-C, and micro USB cables, and includes a USB-to-USB-C charging cable and a limited one year warranty. The packable, pocket-friendly device also looks sleek and comes in colors that range from black and gray to “psycho tropical,” a mix of matte blue and bold island-inspired graphics. Perhaps best of all, 10 percent of all proceeds from this product go to Protect Our Winters, a non-profit focused on fighting climate change.
Before making their final recommendations, our writers considered 12 different portable chargers overall, screened options from 10 different brands and manufacturers, read over 28 user reviews (both positive and negative), and tested 4 of the chargers themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.