Best Power Banks Reviewed & Compared
Power. We all need it, some more than others. Many of us are lost when our access to it is restricted somehow. So what about when you’re out for an extended period, say a road trip, and your phone or tablet dies? You could use a car charger, but that’s not always a viable solution. What then? Luckily, we were gifted with a solution to that: the power bank. A compact powerhouse often with enough juice to last for at least a day, if not more. What an age we live in. The only real disadvantage I can see with them is there are so many to choose from, how can you possibly know which one will best suit your needs? If only there were somebody who could take the guess work out of choosing the ideal product. Where could that person be? Hi. If you’ll have me, I’d like to be your guide today. Together we’ll venture into the incredibly crowded world of power bank chargers, in order to build a list of the best possible item for a variety of situations and circumstances.
- Anker PowerCore 10000
- Small In Size
- PowerCore 20100
- Dual Charging
- Aibocn 10,000mAh
- Auto Shutdown
That is just a taste of the immense power available at your fingertips. One the above may very well be the perfect match for you and your electronic devices. Or maybe not. No worries, just stay with me until the very end, and I’m almost certain you’ll find at least one that you’ll want to rush out and buy. Or, stay in the comfort of your home and order online. So, once again, here we go in the land of the…
10 Best Power Banks
1. Anker PowerCore 10000
For a smaller and more compact charger than most of the competition, even for a portable power bank, this baby packs a good punch. It will give you multiple charges for a wide variety of electronic devices, ensuring that you'll never be left powerless.
Again with the size reference. There's no denying it, size does matter. When that means you can carry extra power anywhere you go with it being bulky or too noticeable, how could you go wrong?
Cost and Value
Aside from the miniscule lipstick-sized models, this is likely to be the best price you'll find for a high quality power bank. Given it's very good size to capacity ratio, as this isn't an overly large product either, what you're getting is great value for your money.
- Very compact
- Incredibly fast charging
- Your devices are safe from surges
- High quality build
- Compatible with a wide array of devices
- Questionable durability
- Sometimes doesn’t hold a full charge
2. Anker PowerCore 20100
Since this packs so much juice, you're able to spread that charge over a couple devices, making your life that much easier, and making your outings that much more entertaining. Also, just because it's giving double the charge, it's not going to slow down.
(Ultra) High Capacity
Let's look at that for a second. A seven day charge capacity ready to go to power up whatever you throw at it, and several times at that. It's like having a warehouse size pack of batteries, except more reliable, cheaper, and can fit in your pocket.
Cost and Value
Bigger does mean more expensive, there's no getting around that. In this case it's worth it though, since you're not actually paying all that much more, but what you're getting is an enormous return in terms of capacity and function. I'd say that's pretty fair.
- Insane capacity
- Dual device output
- Voltage boost ensure consistent speed
- Charges tailored to specific devices
- Sketchy indicator light
- Takes awhile to fully charge
3. RAVPower 26800
That's an odd descriptor, isn't it? Well no, not in this case, because it's absolutely fitting. Compact is one thing, which this charger definitely is, but it's something else entirely when you have something that you'll generally carry around a lot, that isn't obtrusive in any way. That's just good design.
Choose your Hue
It's not something you'd think of when choosing a portable power bank, but RavPower has provided the option to customize your product a little bit, so why wouldn't you? You could build your outfit around it.
Cost and Value
It holds its own with all the other big boys out there, offering comparable capacity and durability, with the added perk of picking from several color options, which is always a nice little bonus.
- Variety of colors to choose from
- Triple charging ability
- Lightweight and portable
- Lifetime warranty
- Gets hot to touch
- Doesn’t hold full charge
4. Anker PowerCore+ Mini
Try not to, mind you. Otherwise what's the point if having it with you? That is just a testament to how convenient and portable the Anker PowerCore+ mini is. Convenient power that doesn't get in your way.
Anybody Can Use It
You wouldn't think think being user friendly is an important feature for a power bank, but there's a lot going on in life, and you just don't have the time or patience to mess around with something so trivial. Good thing Anker thought of that and made an easy to use product for you.
Cost and Value
One of the best features of a lip stick sized power bank is the cost. It will never break the bank, but usually doesn't offer much more than low price. Except that this mini has all the power you'll ever need for shorter excursions.
- Incredibly portable
- High capacity for size
- Very user-friendly
- Holds a charge well
- No instructions included
- Takes a long time to obtain a full charge
5. iMuto 30000mAh
In this case, I don't mean the charger itself, though this one is very sturdy and durable. I'm talking about your devices. There are built-in safeguards that prevent over charging and power surges.
Always Know Where You Stand
That's always a good thing, and the iMuto 30000mAh Portable Charger makes it possible with a built in digital screen, so you'll never be kept guessing as to how much charge is left, or when it's time to plug it in.
Cost and Value
The cost falls right in line with the majority of power banks in its class. So it's a reasonably priced item for the quality, especially considering all the bells and whistles thrown in for the sake of functionality.
- Convenient digital screen
- Smart protection system
- Huge 14 day capacity
- Highly compatible
- Wonky charging ports
- Takes a long time to charge
6. Apple Lightning Portable
This portable power bank will detect your device, and know exactly how much power it needs at just the right speed, ensuring it gets the perfect charge, safely, every time.
Apple products hold a charge very well. It's part of what they are known for. So imagine what happens if you pair this charger with your phone. The charger will fill up your phone four times. You'll be covered virtually forever.
Cost and Value
Top notch quality does come at a top notch price. This power bank will definitely cost you a few dollars, but in return, you get a product that you can count on and trust.
- Excellent capacity
- High end output
- Super fast charging
- Heavy duty build
- Very heavy
- Obtrusive size
7. PRAVPower 22000
With a high capacity, what do you do with all that power? Charge three devices at one time, of course. If you actually need to have all that technology with you, bring it with confidence.
Speaking of Power
That high capacity I mentioned? It's right here. Charge your phone up to nine times, or your tablet three times. Or both at once a bunch of times. This thing is a beast.
Cost and Value
You'll find this charger on the more affordable side of the market, which is always welcome. What's more is everything packed into its compact form puts it in a higher class quality wise.
- Triple device charging
- Incredibly portable
- Smart protection keeps your device safe
- Fire resistant alloy construction
- Doesn’t hold a charge well
- Gets hot
8. Aibocn 0,000mAh
There are a few chargers on this list that prevent power surges and the like, but this is the only one I know of that actually shuts off automatically, just to be safe. I like that extra bit of precaution.
Seriously. The Aibocn power bank supports the included cable, and third party cables, to charge all the most used smartphones, and a big chunk of tablets and laptops to. That versatility is what puts this charger up there with the best.
Cost and Value
You may not have heard of Aibocn before. I know I haven't. That works in our favor actually. Little brand recognition means you're getting this beauty for a fraction of the cost of other similar chargers. What you're getting, is a steal.
- Elegant design
- Back up flashlight
- Dual USB
- Works with a huge array of devices
- Cord sits loose
- Not very durable
9. IXCC Mini 3400mAh
Not so much feature as a testimonial, when five million people use your product, it must be pretty special. Or really cheap. This one cover both bases perfectly well. No wonder it's so popular.
You just got called out of town for a meeting, and you know the trip is going ti be "sooo boring". Great, your power bank is dead and you leave in a few hours. Good thing IXCC made a mini portable power bank that goes from zero percent to fully charged in just four hours. Now I bet you can't wait to get on the road.
Cost and Value
Just enough power, and just enough money. This won't set you back at all, and is totally justifiable for a take anywhere device that you can forget about until you need it.
- Super compact
- Generous two year warranty
- Delivers efficient charge
- Simple connection
- Stops holding a full charge
- Takes too long to charge
10. Puridea 10000mah
Pretty lame feature right? I know, but when you spend hours looking at a bunch of power banks that, while great products, tend to be a bit on the boring side with the same matte black appearance. So then this one just jumped right out at me with it's neat color scheme. It screams confidence.
High Capacity, Again
Another charger that states high capacity. Don't get me wrong, this is one of the better ones to make that claim, letting you charge a bunch of stuff a bunch of times. Since that is essentially its purpose, good work.
Cost and Value
High capacity, a choice of colors, sleek design. What if I were to say that it's built for looks and therefore expensive. I'd be wrong, That's what. It's built for performance and very not expensive, so it's a great value.
- Good looking
- Quick charging
- Dual charge capability
- Very reliable
- LED’s tend to stop working
- Doesn’t charge evenly
Was I right? Did you find that perfect device, the ideal complement to your phone, tablet, or laptop? I know you can’t really answer me in any way that I’ll be able to hear you, but that’s okay. I put in a lot of effort to compile a list that had a bit of everything for everybody, as best I could. Believe me, it was a big job because as I stated up at the beginning, there is an endless array of power banks to choose from. Some good, way too many not so good, and a select few great, ten of which had the distinction of gracing these pages. At the very least, I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed researching and writing this article because I had a blast. Really, I swear. Who needs friends when I can write articles to help people I’ll likely never meet find products that are just what they were looking for? Actually, it is pretty great.
Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Power Banks
Ability to charge larger devices
This is not a critical feature because most power banks are practical as a small, lower capacity unit for devices like cellular phones and smaller cameras. However, it’s an aspect of one that you may not want to overlook. So what happens when you decide to use an adapter and connect your laptop to any low output power bank? You can damage the power bank but most of the time it will just do nothing.
The typical power bank will only have a 5-volt output. A device like a laptop might need anywhere from 15 to 25 volts. You can see the voltage specifications for your device on its power adapter if it has one, usually on laptops. If not, do a quick search on google for your specific device and find out the volt output you will nee. Then get yourself a power bank with a voltage output a little bit over what’s required. If you don’t plan on using the power bank to charge a large device like a laptop, you may not need the upgraded power source. Consider what you will use it for most.
The charging capacity, or technically known as mAh is more or less the amount of power that the device can push out and/or store. Batteries will have an mAh, even external batteries like power banks. What does this mean? Well, if your phone battery comes in at 3000mAh, you will want a power bank that is at least 3000mAh if you want to be able to fully charge it, but ideally more for charging efficiency.
Made to last
Such batteries are composed of lithium ion which inevitably loses its ability to hold any charge whatsoever. This process takes time, but the longer a battery like so can hold its charge, the more practical it is, thus becoming more valuable to the user. Can we tell which will last longer? Its all comes down to how many times the battery dies. For example, a large power bank that stores a large amount of charge dies much less than a smaller power bank. This means it will outlast a smaller capacity bank, given they are not damaged by other sources. For this, we have included a variety of power banks, including batteries that hold the charge much longer. Depending on how much you use the battery and the overall quality, you will get from 500 to 1500 recharges before burning out.
Less time to charge
We’re all in a hurry and the less time we have to wait for the power bank to charge up itself or charge a device, the better. Because most power banks only offer the ability to charge via usb port, the process is typically longe as usb is limited in regards to its output. If your external battery offers an alternative method of charging, you may be able to cut the common 40 hour charge time in half. Don’t panic. If you choose a quality power bank waiting too long won’t be an issue. If you have a large battery nearing the 15 to 20 thousand mAh range, you may be stuck with that long wait time. As always, consider what you will use it for and don’t go to the extreme and get a 10 thousand mAh battery if you only need to charge your phone. That’s throwing practicality out the window. Grab yourself a smaller, portable power bank and you will have no problem with drawbacks from charging time.
For the sake of simplifying the details, we’ll split power banks into three categories. These being solar, universal, and the case design.
Solar Power Banks
Although it’s a slow process, the solar panels incorporated into these batteries will gather energy when sitting in the sunlight. It may not be practical is fast moving situations, but if you’re on your own time, these may do well for you. You can even incorporate external solar panels as a chaging process for the external battery. Some larger batteries offer this as a standard option with the unit.
Universal Power Banks
These power banks typically come with a bunch of adapters and different types of outlets built in. Some boast the ability to jump-start cars and come with adapters for car batteries. There are many options in this realm. You can find a wide assortment in our current list. This category can range from 20USD to 500 depending on specific features and functions.
Phone Case Battery
These were once wildly popular and although not the most practical, they still cling to life and are used today. The type of battery is the only fault but you can find modern batteries in this style but not for all phones or mobile devices. They just aren’t that popular, but the ones that are available with adequate lithium ion batteries tend to do well. Although, they don’t make the most durable cases, so you may want to consider that trade-off when making your decision.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Will power banks destroy cellphone phone batteries?
A: Depending upon the power bank that you choose, that will depend on it destroying a phone battery. Each power bank you look at has a different voltage output. It is said that an output with 5V or more can damage your cellphone batteries. The reason for this is because most wall chargers and USB chargers are designed to put out around 5V, so anything over that poses a risk to damaging cell phone batteries.
Q: Can power banks explode?
A: It is said that if it has a lithium battery, it can explode. Just because a power bank has a lithium batter doesn’t mean that it will automatically explode. There has to be a reason to prompt the explosion. High temperatures and wrong circuits can cause the explosions that many people fear with power banks. You can avoid this by monitoring the power bank while it charges to ensure that it doesn’t overheat. Although it is rare, it can happen.
Q: How long does a power bank hold its charge?
A: Depending upon how often it is used, the average power bank can charge a cellphone from 0% up to 100%, at least four times. The reason you get four charges out of a power bank is due to the fact that it uses a high quality lithium battery and also because the battery is not in use while it just sits.
Q: Are power banks allowed in luggage?
A: Surprisingly, power banks are not allowed in checked luggage, but are okay for carry on, with prior approval from the air carrier. If the power bank is over a certain voltage or size, it will not be allowed on the plane at all. The reason for this is because there can be a chemical imbalance that could cause the charger to explode. The thought is that if there is a fire in the storage area, it is more likely to cause damage than one in the cabin. One in the cabin can be seen and put out a lot more quickly than one in the storage.
Q: What is the full life of a power bank?
A: Depending upon which power bank you choose, what the voltage is, and how you care for the power bank will determine its life length. Power banks should be stored at 80% charge. If they are not stored at an 80% charge for long periods of time and stored dead, these power banks could dry up a lot faster than one that is stored at 80%. It is hard to determine the life but you should get anywhere from 250-1000 charges out of your power bank before it dies completely!