I use external power banks a lot, especially when I’m traveling. Whether it’s my camera batteries, GoPros, my phone or tablet, or whatever other devices I have with me, there always seems to be something that needs charging.
But we’re also gradually moving away from that meaning constant access to an AC wall outlet. As more and more devices and their batteries can be charged via the USB standard, it means traveling with fewer bulky AC adapters and not being stuck in hotel rooms for the AC power.
I’m lucky enough to get to try a lot of different ones out, and I’m constantly rotating my favorites in my camera bag. Manufacturers are also constantly bringing out new models, sometimes with more efficient batteries and something with new features.
Since it’s such a moving target, rather than try to put together specific reviews or a definitive list of the best power banks based on benchmarks that might be outdated before long, I’ll instead lay out some of my current favorites and why in the hope that it’s useful to someone. These are the ones that have passed the test that’s more important to me than technical benchmarks—they’ve earned a regular place in my kit.
As I rotate new ones into the mix, I’ll try to keep this up to date as best I can.
But first, I should explain why there’s more than one external power bank on this page. Shouldn’t one be enough?
Sure, it can be, certainly. You certainly don’t need multiple power banks. But there are enough variations in models that some are better suited for some things than others. For instance, I’d rather not be walking around all day with the biggest beast of a power bank in my camera bag even if it does charge my phone 20 times over. At other times, though, a tiny, portable one simply isn’t going to have enough capacity to cut it. Others are water resistant. Still others double as portable lighting.
So here are some of my favorites that I’ve been using. I don’t travel with all of these at once, but some are useful for particular occasions. Each has distinctive strengths that help it earn its place.
Anker PowerCore 26K
Anker has been making some of the best affordable batteries around. And they have an interesting story behind them. They saw the opportunity with people using more and more mobile devices and aim to provide high-quality batteries that are much more affordable than the ones made by the original manufacturers. It seems to have worked rather well for them.
- Colossal Cell Capacity: 26,800mAh of power charges most phones over 6 times, tablets at least 2 times,…
- Charge 3 Devices at Once: 3 USB output ports together with Anker’s PowerIQ and Voltage Boost technology…
The PowerCore 26K is one of their newer high-capacity ones. It has more efficient cells than previous models, meaning it’s considerably smaller and lighter compared to predecessors and most competitors with ratings around 26,800 mAh. That’s a plus for portability.
And while there are batteries with even higher capacity, 26,800 mAh is enough to charge an iPhone multiple times or a GoPro’s battery at least 20 times.
This isn’t the battery I carry around with me all day–although it’s surprisingly compact and light for its capacity–but it’s my all-purpose go-to, even when I do have easy access to AC outlets.
Anker PowerCore 10000
The Anker PowerCore 10000 is much smaller, which also means it’s much more portable. This is small and light and easy to keep in my camera bag or writing satchel.
It has less than half the capacity of the PowerCore 26K above, but it’s also far more portable and still has two fast-charging outputs, one USB-A and one USB-C.
- Small Size, Big Power: PowerCore 10000 PD Redux provides more than two charges for iPhone XS or Galaxy…
- Triple Charging Modes: 25W Power-Delivery USB-C port, PowerIQ-enabled USB-A port, and trickle-charging…
Another alternative with the same capacity but in a slimmer profile is this one.
Zendure Supertank Pro
In terms of portable power banks, this thing is a beast. It has the same storage capacity as the Anker PowerCore 26K above (26,800 mAh), but it’s killer feature is 100W PD charging. Which is great for charging more power-intensive devices like laptops and tablets. It also has a very useful status screen. There are no USB-A outlets on this–only four USB-C outlets.
And it comes with a case. So while it’s still quite heavy and relatively large to carry around all day, I’ve found it incredibly useful when traveling. I put a selection of short 6-inch USB-C cables of various types in the case, which means I’ve ready to charge whatever devices from wherever I am. On the downside, it has premium pricing, making it significantly more expensive than the others on this page.
- ⭐【100W PD & 26800mAh】SuperTank Pro 26800mAh large capacity power bank is equipped with 100W super…
- ⭐【4 USB-C & 1 USB-A Adapter】4 USB-C ports and 1 USB-A adapter have a maximum combined power of…
I’m always on the lookout for better power banks, so let me know in the comments if you’ve got other recommendations.
Images and product information from Amazon PA-API were last updated on 2023-12-01 at 13:33. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon Site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.