Portable power banks are a lifesaver & are one of the best phone accessories in which you can invest. If you’re a traveler and have had your phone battery die amidst a great adventure, you know the struggle. After a few hours of emailing, picture taking, and navigating, your phone’s battery plummets into single digit territory with no outlet in sight. Luckily, you can now power your phone from your pocket. In this guide, we’ll help you pick the perfect portable charger that’s right for you.
Here are some key features to consider:
- Physical Size: Portable chargers come in all shapes, dimensions, and weight. Physical size and battery capacity go hand in hand. If you are looking for an ultra portable charger, you will have to sacrifice battery size.
- Battery Capacity: You’ll want to determine how much power you need and how often you’ll want to charge your power bank. If you’re just looking for a power bank to keep your bag in case of emergencies, a power bank under 5,000 mAh will suffice. If you want to be able to use your power bank multiple times before having to recharge it, aim for one with more than 10,00 mAh.
- USB Ports: The more ports the power bank has, the more devices you can charge. Many chargers come with 2 ports: one 1A port and one 2.1A port.
- Charging Output: Most portable chargers will come with either a 1A or 2.1A output port or both. These numbers denote the maximum rate of charging in amps. So the higher the amperage, the faster the device will charge assuming it’s compatible. A 1A output port is suitable for most smartphones whereas older phones (such as feature phones and flip phones) require a 0.5A port. Tablets, iPads require a 2.1A outport for optimal charging. Power banks capable of charging laptops will likely come with a 3A port.
- Casing and Material: If you plan on using your external battery pack outdoors, you’ll want to choose one made of durable materials like aluminum or silicone.
Below are some recommendations based on different needs and lifestyles.
If you’re used to carrying around your keys, wallet, and phone in your pockets, you probably don’t want to add a bulky power bank to the mix. However, if you could literally fit it in your wallet, you just might be onboard. At 0.17 inches thin and weighing in at only 2 ounces, the Slimger ultra portable charger for mobile devices is perfect for those concerned about bulk. It features a built-in cable and a 1,400 mAh battery. Keep it tucked away in your purse or wallet until a phone emergency arises.
Lots of Power for Multiple Devices
If you’re headed into the wilderness with all your electronic devices in tow, you’re going to need a beast of a power bank. You’re also going to want the external battery to support charging multiple devices at once and be compatible with most laptops (a feature not standard for most portable power banks). The Maxoak Ultra High Capacity external battery packs 50,000 milliamp hours of power. But with great power comes great size (still smaller than most laptops). This would make a great option for those traveling internationally who don’t want to deal with power converters.
Rugged & Durable
If you’re looking for an outdoor companion to tote along at the beach or when you’re hitting the trails, you’re going to want something rugged that can withstand shock, dust, and water. This Kodiac 6000 by Outdoor Tech features a silicone exterior to protect against unexpected drops and water. For something a little more portable, consider the EasyAcc® Power Bank PB9000TP which is equipped with a carabiner–just clip to your backpack and go.
Depending on your travel habits, these portable chargers with multiple features or functions may be just for you:
- Bluetooth enabled power bank: Braven BRV-Bank
- Portable charger with built-in cable: Tylt Energi
- Portable charger with flashlight: Winbest BK11904
- Portable power bank with car jumper: Junopower Junojumper
- Portable charger and compact mirror: Pearl 3000 mAh Compact Mirror
You’ll never worry about leaving your portable charger at home if it is directly built into your phone case. These cases are ideal for power users who can drain a phone battery before it’s even lunchtime. Mophie’s Juice Packs can double your phone’s battery life depending on which model you choose.
Want to completely ditch the outlet altogether? Now you can, with solar-powered power banks (try saying that five times fast). These would make a great addition for travelers who spend a lot of time outdoors–just clip it to your day pack and start converting sunlight into valuable battery time. Those interested in solar battery chargers can find them on Poweradd and several other online retailers.
Just Plain Fun
Are you one of those people who uses their desk to showcase their awesome collection of figurines or desk toys? Or, maybe you appreciate gadgetry that doesn’t sacrifice quirkiness. There are plenty of portable battery chargers that offer both power and novelty. Are you a Star Wars fan? May the force be with you and your phone with this Darth Vader Lightsaber charger. Show your love for all things Marvel with these Avengers power banks. Charge your phone in true neo-Victorian fashion with this Steampunk portable charger.