A power bank isn't just a useful gadget – when most smartphones only last a day of use, a portable charger can be vital if you can't charge regularly. They're the ultimate accessory for gadget lovers, and a useful tool in 2019.
You can use your power bank to recharge your phone, laptop, tablet, Nintendo Switch, or any other portable gadget that powers up by USB, and it'll ensure you never run out of charge when you're on the move.
Because the tech is so important, though, it's become a popular piece of kit for manufacturers to make, so there are a huge amount to choose between. To help you decide which is the best for you, we've put together this handy guide.
Our recommendations are based on battery capacity, safety, and the design of the power bank itself – we've categorized the list into different sections to reflect this, and to help you sort between them.
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Best power banks for capacity
If you're looking for a high capacity charger that's portable, the iMuto 20,000mAh portable charger may be for you. It offers a 20,000mAh capacity that will be able to charge your average smartphone over four times and still have some charge left.
It can also charge some MacBooks and laptops too, but you may want to make sure it will be compatible with your computing option before you buy it. Considering the price though, we really like the iMuto… plus you've got the color choice of white or black.
The RAVPower 20,000mAh doesn't look much different to a lot of the options above and below, but it offers a lot of capacity and can be cheaper than the other devices surrounding it.
You have two ports here so you can charge two gadgets at the same time and it'll have enough capacity to be able to charge both a mobile and an iPad or tablet from 0% too.
This power bank features two ports so you can charge both your phone and your tablet at the same time and also has a light to show you how much battery charge is leftover.
The blocky design may not be for everyone, but this portable charger should be able to charge your phone and other gadgets a few times over with such a high capacity cell inside.
You've likely heard of Anker, and this is one of the company's best portable chargers. It comes with a huge 20,100mAh battery inside, meaning this will be able to charge up your phone or tablet multiple times before it needs a recharge.
It also comes with high-speed charging for your devices if they use PowerIQ or VoltageBoost. It won't be able to use Qualcomm's QuickCharge technology, but it'll still boost your device when you're on the go.
The Mophie Powerstation Plus XL is one of the best power banks designed for the iPhone and iPad (aside from the new iPad Pro 2018 range with its USB-C port), and we say that for several reasons.
It contains an embedded Lightning cable you can’t lose, it charges via a Lightning cable and you can charge it wirelessly with any Qi charger, so you may already have everything you need.
This 10,000mAh power bank has a soft fabric finish and can charge two devices at once, one via the 10W USB-A port and another with the integrated Lightning charger. You won't find as much use from this portable charger if you're on Android, though it's still possible to use that USB-A port so you can help a friend charge.
Best slim power banks
Xiaomi has a hand in some unexpected sectors of technology, including audio and portable chargers. But don't sleep on either, as it's onto something worth checking out.
During our testing, its 10,000mAh Power Bank provided good results, both in terms of its portability and charging potential. While not the fastest charger out there, it was able to charge our Google Pixel 2 in a little over two hours. Thankfully, it's discreet enough that you can bring it with you just about everywhere to plug in when necessary.
It's not rare for a power bank to come with a charging cable, but we appreciate that this one has been built with care to suit both micro USB and USB-C users with the same cable, as seen in the above gallery.
With 10,400mAh inside, two USB outputs and fast charging technology the Pebble P1 Pro may be one of the best all-round power banks you can buy right now. This doesn't have anything to do with the defunct watch brand, but instead it's called the Pebble for its curved edges design.
This should be able to recharge most phones at least two and a half times from a single charge, plus this power bank can be charged up by either microUSB or USB-C so you won't need to have a specific cable with you to pump it up again when it's out of juice.
Poweradd also offers a great slim portable charger, and it's one of the cheapest options on this list yet boasts a substantial 10,000mAh cell inside.
It may be quite heavy, but this is only 1.3cm thick, making it a great device to slip into your back pocket when you're out and about. You'll want to grab a cable to go with it though as unlike the Iceworks choice above it doesn't come with one built in.
We love this little guy. The Anker PowerCore II 10,000 power bank is perhaps the most portable option on this list and allows you to have at least two full charges for your phone in your back pocket ready to go.
At only 209g and 1.5cm thick, you'll be able to take this around with you and not feel weighed down while still having 10,000mAh of extra power for any of your devices. Plus it comes with Anker's own fast-charging tech that should mean you won't be plugged into it for too long.
Like a lot of the chargers on this list, it doesn't come with a cable attached so you'll need to take your own out and about with you.
This is the cheapest option for a portable charger we have on the list, but this option from RAVPower should suit you for recharging your mobile phone while on the go.
It has a capacity of 6,700mAh, which should recharge your average smartphone at least once and maybe even twice. There are three color options here with the choices of either pink, bright blue or silver.
The LEDs on the side of the device also show you how much charge is left and there's fast-charging tech built-in too.
Don't you hate it when you have to pull a charging cord out alongside your pocket battery? The Jackery Bolt has both Lightning and MicroUSB cables built-in, so you won't have to juggle cords.
Unfortunately, that means the latest Android phones that recharge via USB-C won't get any use out of the Bolt. But it has a decent 6,000mAh of battery, which is good for between one and two full smartphone recharges depending on your device.
Best power banks with lots of ports
This may not be the most portable charger on our list, but it features a lot of ports, so you can charge multiple devices at the same time. It'll even charge laptops as well as your phone and tablet.
You can charge six devices at once, and with a 50,000mAh capacity it has the juice to do that, so if you're usually surrounded by a lot of tech this is possibly one of the best chargers to buy.
Looking for a another option with lots of ports on it? This may be a good choice for you, as there are four ports and you can charge up your MacBook as well as USB devices such as your phone.
There's a quick charge port too, which will fast charge compatible devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S7.
Best power banks for both laptops and phones
RAVPower's portable charger is a great choice if you need a device that can charge both your laptop and your phone. It features USB-C and normal USB outputs as well as an AC output, so you can plug your laptop charger directly in.
There's also a 20,100mAh capacity battery inside, so this will be able to juice up your phone or tablet multiple times before you need to put it back on charge.
The picture above may be deceptive, as this isn't a small charger and is capable of charging up your laptop or tablet as well as your phone simultaneously.
You can charge up to three devices at the same time and it comes with a 23,000mAh capacity, so it should last long enough between recharges.
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