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The 5 Best Portable Chargers and Power Banks, According to Our Tech Expert

Our tech editor has personally tested each of these portable chargers and power banks to determine the best of the best.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

5 Best Portable Chargers And Powerbanks Of 2022 Ft Via Merchantsrd.com, via merchant (3)

Smartphones keep getting bigger, but smartphone battery life isn’t improving at the same rate. Many people charge their phones in their car, but what about public transit commuters or those on the go? A portable charger can make the difference between staying in touch or being caught in an uncomfortable situation—and the best portable chargers aren’t just useful, but reliable, too.

We’ve rounded up the best power banks and portable chargers to help you charge your phone as quickly and conveniently as possible. Whether you’re on a walk and need some juice or are stuck in a power outage, you can trust these products to see you through safely.

What to look for in a portable charger

Size and weight are going to be a primary concern when buying a power bank. As a rule, the more capacity a portable charger has, the bulkier it’ll be. The key is to find the product that fits your needs without having excess capacity. For example, if you just need to charge your phone once in a pinch, a small one will do. On the other hand, if you want to charge your entire family’s phones, or the same phone over multiple charges, you’ll need something bigger.

Battery capacity ties into the size and weight of a power bank. Find out what size the battery in your phone is and use it to estimate how many charges you’ll get out of a power bank. Many chargers state on the packaging how many hours of power they provide for various activities. You’ll also want to check how much wattage it outputs if you’re looking to charge multiple devices.

Finally, check the connectivity of the portage charger. It won’t be anything more than a paperweight if you can’t connect the device you want to charge to it, and different devices use different charging ports. Some power banks offer multiple methods to both charge them and power other devices. The most versatile portable chargers include an AC outlet, which will let you use a device’s normal AC adapter to charge it, but these tend to be bulkier.

How we chose the best portable chargers

As a tech editor, I’ve used each of these devices in my own life and examined their strengths and weaknesses. I charged and discharged each multiple times to check for reliability, and used them on various devices to ensure they functioned reliably under different conditions.

Mophie Powerstation Xxl Portable Charger Ecomm Via Amazonvia merchant

Best overall portable charger

Mophie Powerstation XXL

The Mophie Powerstation XXL is on the larger side, but its 20,000 mAh battery will charge most phones at least four times over while being only a little larger than a smartphone itself. After all, your phone battery life doesn’t last forever, and you may need a quick charge here and there. In addition, the premium fabric finish is soft to the touch, preventing the charger from scratching your phone. You can even charge multiple devices simultaneously with two USB-A ports and one USB-C port. For a reliable everyday power bank, you can’t ask for much more.

Pros

What we like about the Mophie Powerstation XXL:

  • Fabric finish protects other devices
  • Great capacity for its size
  • Multi-device charging

Cons

What to consider about the Mophie Powerstation XXL:

  • Might be too bulky for some users

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Anker Portable Charger Powerhouse Eocmm Via Amazonvia merchant

Best splurge portable charger

Anker PowerHouse 100

If you want a power bank that can handle anything while still taking up a relatively low profile, check out the Anker PowerHouse 100. It has two USB-A ports and one USB-C port, as well as a single AC outlet. That’s right—you can charge anything that plugs into a wall through this power bank. That fact alone makes it much more useful than most portable charges. Additionally, it has a built-in flashlight, making it an excellent companion for power outages. For $200, it’s an excellent do-it-all device. Need at-home charging solutions, too? Check out these multi-device charging stations.

Pros

What we like about the Anker PowerHouse 100:

  • Serious capacity
  • AC outlet drastically increases its utility
  • Multi-device charging
  • Built-in flashlight

Cons

What to consider about the Anker PowerHouse 100:

  • Some might find it too bulky for everyday use
  • Pricey

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Iniu Portable Charger Ecomm Via Amazonvia merchant

Best affordable portable charger

INIU Portable Charger

The INIU Portable Charger is far from fancy, but it’s inexpensive and gets the job done. It has a respectable capacity of 10,000 mAh and a small footprint, which makes it convenient to carry. Connectivity is excellent, with two USB-A and a USB-C port available, and it even has a flashlight.

The great thing about this charger is that it’s affordable enough to buy 10 of them for the price of some of the other products on this list. You could charge them and throw them anywhere you think you might need some extra juice. By the way, here’s how to clean your iPhone’s charging port.

Pros

What we like about the INIU Portable Charger:

  • Affordable price
  • Built-in flashlight
  • Multi-device charging

Cons

What to consider about the INIU Portable Charger:

  • Some quality control issues reported
  • Questionable durability

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Anker Astro E1 Ultra Compact Portable Charger Ecomm Via Walmartvia merchant

Best small portable charger

Anker Astro E1

There are smaller power banks than the Anker Astro E1, but most of them don’t hold enough of a charge to be worth carrying. At roughly the size of a small candy bar and 4.4 ounces, it’s easy to carry in a pocket or a purse without weighing you down. Its 6,700 mAh battery is enough to charge a phone a few times, but powering larger devices like tablets and laptops is out of reach for it. Its biggest drawback is that you have to charge it with a Micro USB port instead of the newer USB-C. Ever wondered what your iPhone’s lower power mode actually does?

Pros

What we like about the Anker Astro E1:

  • Small and lightweight
  • Rounded edges make it comfortable to carry in a pocket
  • Affordable price
  • Impressive charging capabilities for its size

Cons

What to consider about the Anker Astro E1:

  • Charges via Micro USB, which means you have to keep track of another cord
  • Won’t fully recharge a larger device

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Anker Portable Power Station Ecomm Via Amazonvia merchant

Best high-capacity portable charger

Anker 521 Portable Power Station

At eight pounds, the Anker 521 Portable Power Station isn’t going to be your everyday power bank. However, it’s one of the best portable chargers to have for camping or emergencies. It has a capacity of 256,000 mAh and can output up to 200 watts at a time through two AC outlets, a car outlet, two USB-A ports, and a single USB-C port. It can also be charged up using several methods, including USB-C, DC, through a car, or AC.

It’s impressive that this much power can fit in a package that’s around the size of a lunchbox. And if you find yourself needing to charge your laptop to make its battery last longer, you can use this power station for that, too.

Pros

What we like about the Anker 521 Portable Power Station:

  • Massive charging capacity
  • Six charging outlets
  • Multiple ways to charge the internal battery
  • Excellent to have on-hand for emergencies

Cons

What to consider about the Anker 521 Portable Power Station:

  • Too bulky to use as an everyday charger. If you’re looking for a smaller charging option, Anker’s magnetic iPhone charger simply snaps on to the back of any iPhone for an extra power boost.

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Brittany Vincent
As Tech Editor at Large at Reader’s Digest, Brittany is an expert in smart devices, gaming consoles, and home tech with 14 years of experience in the industry. She’s been tinkering with tech since she was a young girl building PCs with her father.