If you're constantly using your laptop, phone or other devices, you may find that their normal battery power just won't cut it. You're just skirting along at 5% or even 3% by the time you get home from work, and then you're rushing to connect before you lose power.
If that sounds like you, it may be time to invest in a battery pack. Not sure what battery pack is right for you, what to look for in a battery pack or even what a battery pack is? We've put together everything you need to know so that you can stay charged longer, with no untimely interruptions. Plus, we've compiled a list of the 17 best batter packs on the market right now to help you stay charged and plugged in no matter where you go.
What is a Battery Pack?
A battery pack can be known by many other names. You might hear it called an "external battery" or a "power bank." Whatever it's called, though, the main function is the same. Your battery pack should be an external source of power for your most-used devices, something that can be used anytime you need it, no outlet required.
What Do I Need From a Battery Pack?
Before you go shopping for a battery pack, it's important to understand all of the different features they offer. They're quite tech-savvy and come with an array of perks that go beyond mere charging capabilities. Some come with built-in charging cables, so that's one less thing for you to lug around. Some offer "fast-charging" capabilities or wireless charging.
Here are a few basic things to consider first.
The whole idea of a battery pack is convenience, so you don't want to be lugging around a battery pack that will be more hassle than it's worth. You can find battery packs that come in a range of sizes, some that are small enough to slide in a pocket. However, the rule of thumb is, if the battery pack is larger, it offers more power. Expect to need a backpack or purse to carry your average battery pack.
How much will you need to use your battery pack, and what are you powering? Some battery packs are powerful enough to jumpstart your car, but that's a function many users probably won't need.
Most starter battery packs offer a 5,000mAh capacity, meaning that they offer enough juice to power up your phone from completely dead about one or two times. The larger you get in size, the greater the battery pack's capacity. If you want something that will raise your iPad or laptop from the dead, though, you'll want to go with one of the larger options listed below.
Depending on the type of battery pack you buy, it will offer various ports. Most have a general USB-A or USB-C port for input and output. Some are wireless, though, with no ports.
Wireless charging is one of those "special" features that you may want to consider. After all, if you're looking for convenience and don't want to worry about digging your charging cable out of your carry-on bag in a crowded airport, wireless charging can come in handy.
Other special features you can find in external battery packs include fast charging capabilities to charge your phone or other devices quicker than normal. What's considered "fast" charging speeds? Think somewhere around a 50% charge in under half an hour.
Another cool, special feature, especially if you're considering buying a battery pack for travel purposes? Battery packs that are built into your luggage. Smart luggage can offer built-in battery packs that allow you to charge your phone or other devices anywhere in the airport; no plug needed. Plus, you won't even need to buy or lug around an extra item. All you'll need is your carry-on suitcase.
Best Battery Packs
Do you have a good idea of what kind of battery pack you'd like or what features you might want to look for in order to best match your charging needs? Have a look at our best battery pack, and best portable charger picks for both Android and Apple smartphones, available from Amazon, Best Buy and other tech retailers.
This battery pack is sleek, slender and, best of all, comes with a built-in lightning cable. The 6,040mAh battery comes in two variants, one that's Apple-exclusive. It also comes in an even larger option, with a 10,000mAh battery, and that larger option also offers wireless charging capabilities.
Traveling with the family? This portable battery can charge two gadgets at once, so there's no squabbling over who gets to charge first.
This external portable charger is a whopper. With a 20,100mmAh battery, you'll be charged up for days, with the ability to charge your smartphone nearly seven times over from 0%. There are three ports (two USB-A ports and one micro USB port). Plus, the price tag isn't bad (under $100) for the power delivery and capacity.
With 3 USB outputs and 26,800mAh battery capacity, this option is a little more budget-friendly than the Anker PowerCore II 20000, at around $50. The battery pack itself stays charged for more than a week and can fast-charge multiple phones at once.
The best part, though, is the weight. At only a little over a pound, the portable power bank won't feel like it weighs you down as you lug it around during all of your travels.
Anker is a big name in the external battery pack game, and for good reason. The brand consistently produces great products — like this extra-slim battery pack.
The small size makes it about the same size as your iPhone, so small enough to fit in your jacket pocket with no worries. The 10,000mAh battery is standard and enough to give your phone a full charge twice.
Another option from Anker, this sleek variant is a little on the bulkier side, but that's for a good reason. The power bank doubles as a wall charger, so that's one less thing to pack for your travels.
The 5,000mAh capacity isn't much — it's just enough to charge your phone once — but the power bank is lightweight at 6 ounces and charges quickly.
The iMuto 20,000mAh Power Bank is unique because it has a screen, something you won't often find with other options.
The high capacity gives you enough power to juice up your phone several times over, and the screen shows you the pack's remaining charging capabilities, so you're never caught with both a dead device and a dead battery pack.
But what if you need power on the go and you don't want to be tied down to a USB cord or lightning cable? If you want to charge or power it all, no matter what that might be, try the NOVOO Power Bank.
It features a socket like what you'd find on a wall — enabling you to power up really anything. The only downside is that the canister-like design is a little chunky and unwieldy, so it receives low marks for portability.
With six ports, this large battery charges a lot at once. The capacity is huge, too, so even if you are recharging six phones at once for every member of your family, you won't have to worry about running out of juice.
If it's a good budget buy you're after, you really can't do any better than this option from RAVPower. At under $20, the price is hard to beat.
With 6,700mAh capacity, the battery will easily charge your smartphone once, with a little juice leftover for later. Plus, unlike the other battery packs on this list, this option comes in a handful of colors, so you can pick the hue that matches your style best.
Just place the dock portion on your desk and plug it into the wall for charging both your phone and the pack itself during an average day. Then, when you're ready to head out of the office, just unplug and go. Be assured of both a charged battery pack and a charged phone.
This sleek and stylish Flux charger is pretty lightweight and small, but packs a lot of power for its size. You get just enough to charge the average smartphone, and it's small enough that you won't notice it taking up really any space in your purse or backpack.
It also charges pretty quickly, completely charging an iPhone from 0% to 100% in one hour.
Another budget-friendly pick at under $15, this lipstick-sized charger from Anker will charge your phone, if not all the way, then very nearly there, and it weighs next to nothing.
Toss it into your bag and forget about it — but always have a little bit of extra battery power when you need it most.
If you have a bad habit of dropping your tech, you may want to go with the Nomad PowerPack, built to withstand a whole host of bad conditions. The military-grade drop protection keeps it safe no matter if you send it flying across the airport terminal or your toddler hurls it across the house.
Another cool feature? It integrates well with Tile, so if you're worried about losing your battery pack, you can easily find it again via the Tile app.
At just 12,800mAh, this external battery pack offers a huge amount of charge and also comes with some great features for the rugged outdoors-person. Waterproof and durable, it comes in a sleek black design and features external lights for added safety. It makes the perfect addition to your hiking or backcountry kit.
Another battery pack built with emergency situations in mind, this Powerall option really does power it all. While the 16000mAh capacity can charge your phone a few times, it can also boot up your car, thanks to the included jump cables. It will literally jump your car 20 times over.
Other safety features include a flashlight, strobe light and SOS light.
At more than $100, this option is a little pricier than others on this list, but you get a lot for the price. This battery pack will charge up to four devices at once, has a built-in Apple Watch charger and can wirelessly charge your AirPods. It's pretty much made with the Apple user in mind, so if that sounds like you, you'll be in good hands.
The 8,000mAh battery capacity gives you enough juice to charge your phone once and then some, and the fast-charging capabilities promise to get your iPhone up to 50% in 30 minutes.
The TravelCard Charger is smaller and built to look like a credit card. It's so small that you can slide it into your wallet, even. Of course, with the small size comes a small battery capacity. This charger will only juice up your phone about 30%. Still, if you only need a bit of battery to get you to the nearest outlet, this one will do the job.
Keep Your Charge, Wherever You Go
No matter where or how you travel, make sure you stay charged up and ready for anything. Having a battery pack on hand can ensure you're always ready to answer that important work email, load up Google Maps to find your way home or call or text your loved ones to let them know where you are.
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The 16 Best Battery Packs:
- Mophie PowerStation Plus
- Anker PowerCore II 20000
- RAVPower 26800 mAh
- Anker PowerCore Slim 10000 PD
- Anker PowerCore III Fusion 5K
- iMuto 20,000mAh Power Bank
- NOVOO Power Bank 22,500mAh
- MAXOAK 50,000mAh
- RAVPower 6,700mAh Portable Charger
- Scosche QiDock
- Flux Charger 4000 mAh
- Anker PowerCore+ Lipstick Mini
- Nomad PowerPack
- Kodiak Plus Ultra 12,800mAh Power Bank
- Powerall Supreme 16000mAh
- Morphie Powerstation All-in-One
- TravelCard Charger