Update, 1/7/2022: We’ve reviewed our recommendations and are confident these are still the best portable chargers you can buy.
The best portable chargers charge all of your essential devices. They come in all shapes and sizes, from small, 2,000 mAh (milliamp hours) charging sticks to high-capacity power banks packing more than 30,000 mAh of pure electricity.
Choosing the correct portable charger comes down to three key criteria: capacity, size, and charging time.
Portable chargers run capacity anywhere from 2,000 mAh to 30,000 mAh. Small 5,000 mAh chargers are typically suitable for two full smartphone charges, whereas a 20,000 mAh portable charger can charge devices with larger batteries, like laptops, several times over.
In addition, portable chargers come in different sizes and weights. Pocket-sized portable chargers are easy to carry but generally have a single USB port. Larger capacity portable batteries weigh more but charge faster and hold additional USB ports to charge two or more devices simultaneously.
Lastly, charging time is important. Fast chargers can charge a smartphone from zero to full within 40 minutes, whereas pocket-sized and solar power chargers may take more time. You need to weigh charging time against the charger size in order to find the right product for you.
Consider the devices you plan on charging, your device’s capacity, the number of devices to charge, and how frequently you have to access a wall charger. A portable charger that doesn’t fit your needs will likely just sit at home unused, so definitely think about what you need.
Now, keep reading to learn more about our picks for the best portable chargers in 2021.
Best Portable Charger Overall: Anker PowerCore Slim 10000
- ✓ Sleek, minimalist design
- ✓ PowerIQ and VoltageBoost optimizes charging speeds
- ✓ Fireproof casing, overcharge, and short circuit protection
- ✗ Limited capacity (18w output)
The Anker PowerCore Slim 10000 Portable Charger takes our top award for the best overall portable charger. Its efficiency is on point, with 10,000 mAh good to charge an iPhone 12 two times.
Recharging time from zero to full is modest, taking roughly 6 hours. It also rocks with an ultra-slim profile and fits comfortably in a front or back pocket. With a light, textured surface that mimics plaid, this portable charger also just plain looks good.
The PowerCore Slim also boasts a proprietary technology called PowerIQ, which identifies all connected devices and automatically adjusts voltage output to maximize charging speed.
A separate proprietary feature, VoltageBoost, also helps smoothen erratic voltage output due to cable resistance. Expect it to recognize your device and offer uninterrupted charging speeds this way.
Although not the most rugged option out there, the Anker PowerCore Slim 10000 carries all essential safety systems (e.,g. overcharge and short circuit protection), in addition to fireproof casing and temperature controls.
Our only downside with the Anker PowerCore Slim 10000 is that it can only charge a single device at a time. However, its exceptional build quality, fast/consistent charging, and valuer price point are well worth it.
Anker PowerCore Slim 10000 Portable Charger
This is a well-rounded portable charger with a 10,000 mAh capacity, PowerIQ/VoltageBoost for optimized charging, and an ultra-slim profile with a light, textured surface for grip and style.
Best Budget Portable Charger: Iniu Portable Charger
- ✓ Only 0.5 inches thick
- ✓ Can power an iPhone 13 up to 3 times
- ✓ Displays
- ✗ Does not include plug for recharging
- ✗ No integrated cables
The Iniu Portable Charger is an excellent, cheap option for users with only one device to charge regularly. Using triple 3A outputs, it can charge up to three devices at the same time. From zero to full charge, its 10,000 mAh capacity is enough to power an iPad Air once and an iPhone 13 up to 3 times.
Plus, unlike the Anker PowerCore Slim 10000, the Iniu Portable Charger comes with a power indicator. Curiously shaped like a pawprint, it lets you know how much remaining juice there is.
We also love the fact the Iniu Portable Charger is super slim. At only 0.5 inches thick, it is pocket and purse-friendly. For the price point, this portable charger offers a nice combination of capacity, size, and triple 3A outputs for multi-device charging.
Iniu Portable Charger
This portable charger offers 10,000 mAh and triple 3A outputs to charge three devices at the same time.
Best Portable Charger for Laptops: Omni 20 Portable Charger
- ✓ Includes wireless Qi charger
- ✓ Enables pass-through charging
- ✓ Comfortable, soft-touch rubber construction
- ✗ Unintuitive menu system
The Omni 20 Portable Charger is our preferred choice for laptops. It is an absolute monster of a portable charger, with a 20,000 mAh battery capacity, a USB-C port, a wireless Qi charger, and two USB-A ports.
It also comes with pass-through charging, converting it into a universal power adapter that charges itself while charging other devices.
One of our favorite features of the Omni 20 Portable Charger is its design and construction. A sharp LCD shows remaining power, and a soft touch rubber construction helps absorb shock and provides grip in tight quarters.
The Omni 20 isn’t the cheapest portable charger around, but it’s worth the price of admission.
Omni 20 Portable Charger
The Omni 20 is an easy-to-use portable charger with easy-to-read LED display, Qi wireless charging, and Qualcomm 3.0-compatible quick charge port.
Best Portable Solar Charger: Goal Zero Nomad 7
- ✓ Rugged construction
- ✓ Depicts solar power strength using LED indicators
- ✓ Includes holes for hanging
- ✗ Cannot fold entirely flat
- ✗ Slower charging time than traditional portable chargers
The Goal Zero Nomad 7 Portable Charger is a smart option for the outdoors, where you are often without access to power outlets.
Unlike traditional brick-style portable chargers, this portable solar charger offers a folding 7-watt solar panel with a detachable kickstand for positioning to make sure you catch the sun’s rays. It also comes with a vented pocket to prevent overheating. There’s also a LED indicator, which uses a series of 4 LED lights to indicate how strong solar power is at the moment.
Note, however, this unit only provides power when exposed to sunlight and does not hold an actual charge. That’s an unfortunate downside, but you can pick up a different portable charger to make sure you have a battery pack when needed.
Goal Zero Nomad 7 Portable Charger
This solar-powered portable charger uses a folding 7-watt solar panel and kickstand to charge your phone.
Best Rugged Portable Charger: Novoo Waterproof Portable Charger
- ✓ Shockproof, dustproof, and water-resistant
- ✓ Includes built-in LED flashlight
- ✓ Comes with QuickCharge 3.0-compatible port
- ✗ Longer than average recharge time
The Novoo Waterproof Portable Charger is a rock-solid piece of tech that can withstand a lot of punishment. Take this one through the wringer, and it’ll come out unscathed.
Offered as a 10,000 mAh pack, this rugged portable charger can charge two devices simultaneously using a USB-C port and QuickCharge 3.0-compatible port, which works great with any smartphone.
Plus, it is shockproof, dustproof, and water-resistant, and includes a flame-retardant plastic shell that does not flinch at all when dropped. A built-in LED flashlight can also run continuously for up to 45 hours straight—a potential lifesaver in dark, hazardous work sites or the middle of nowhere.
One knock on the Novoo Waterproof Portable Charger is that it does not offer pass-through charging. Pass-through charging lets the portable charger charge itself while charging other devices, saving lots of time. But, where you’d be taking this charger, pass-through charging will probably not be a concern anyway.
Novoo Waterproof Portable Charger
Novoo offers a portable charger that is shockproof, dustproof, and waterproof, and built rugged for the outdoors.
Best Small Portable Charger: Slim 2 Portable Charger
- ✓ Four LED power indicators
- ✓ Slim and compact profile
- ✓ Includes charging adapter
- ✗ Only one 2.1A fast output port
The Slim 2 Portable Charger is a nifty, no-frills, lipstick-sized charger. Despite a low 5,000 mAh capacity, it is suitable for almost two full iPhone 13 recharges, more than enough for lighter-duty users.
A single 2.1A fast output port optimizes charging speeds based on your smartphone. The portable power bank itself can also be fully charged in 3 hours using the provided adapter.
Four LED power indicators on the Slim 2 Portable Charger’s base also let you know the amount of power left. The Slim 2 is simple, but still an incredibly useful charger.
Slim 2 Portable Charger
This lipstick-shaped portable charger offers 5,000mAh and four help LED power indicators to let you know how much power is left.
Best Portable Charger for iPhone: Mophie Snap+ Portable iPhone Charger
- ✓ Super slim and compact
- ✓ Nice button placement
- ✓ Wireless charging limited to 7.5W output
- ✗ Only one color option
- ✗ Not effective with fabric cases
The Mophie Snap+ Portable Charger is our favorite iPhone charger. It contains a 5,000mAh battery, which is good enough to charge an iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro from 0 to 100 almost two times.
Where the Mophie Snap+ shines with its compactness and design. It measures only 2.64 by 4.41 by 0.49 inches with a gunmetal aluminum texture, with all buttons and ports strategically placed on the bottom. A MagSafe attachment allows it to attach to the back of your iPhone as well, letting it charge wirelessly without a charging cable.
Mophie Snap+ Portable Charger
This sleek portable charger offers a 5,000mAh battery and magnetically mounts on the back of your phone for fast, wireless charging.
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