Best External Battery Chargers

How many times in your life have you been in a situation when you are using your smartphone, tablet, or any other technology devices and you get the dreaded low battery message. With a world that is so dependent on technology, it is always smart to have some device on you, not only for safety but also to keep you connected with the world when out on your next adventure. Now, how can you avoid getting the low battery message and keep your devices charged? The answer is an external battery charger. Explore our 10-product guide to help you find the perfect companion for you and your devices.

Standout Picks

Anker Powercore 2000
Anker has released some of the more impressive battery chargers to the world over the years and their PowerCore Speed 20000 sits on top. Most chargers with this type of power capacity are incredibly bulky and heavy but Anker manages to combine both perfectly.
Amazon Link
$59.99
Zerolemon Portable
This battery charger completely amplifies the amount of the previous version, with the unfortunate trade-off of portability. But, besides its massive power, it features five separate USB ports making it suitable for charging multiple devices simultaneously.
Amazon Link
Aukey 3000
Despite a battery level indicator design that will leave many scratching their heads, this charger is an absolute stud capable of delivering 30000 mAh of power. In addition, integrated Quick Charge 3.0 technology ensures ultra-fast charging.
Amazon Link
Jackery Bolt
While the Jackery Bolt Portable Charger is not going to overwhelm or overly-impress you with its capacity, it focuses more on the combination of sufficient power and portability.
Amazon Link
Zendure A2
This Zendure battery gained its popularity through a Kickstarter project and was actually the #1 rated power bank for three years in a row. This battery can handle a lot of abuse and has built-in shock protection, as well as a durable paint job. Additionally, the Zendure A2 is very portable and lightweight!
Amazon Link
Mophie Powerstation
One of the bigger advantages of the Mophie Powerstation is that it supports Qi devices. As such, if you possess devices with Qi technology you can wirelessly charge them in conjunction with this charger.
Amazon Link
$23.59
Lifeproof Lifeactiv
With an efficient combination of capacity and portability, the LIFEACTIV Power Bank is an ideal choice for everyone. Unfortunately, it is limited in one respect and that is it only sports one USB port.
Amazon Link
$29.96
Goal Zero Venture 30
As opposed to the other battery chargers on this list, the Venture 30 is actually capable of charging itself via solar panels. While not mandatory by any stretch, this allows for a convenient way to charge the device back up when it loses power.
Ravpower Portable
There is no doubt about it, the RAVPower Portable Charger is a beast. Possessing the capability of holding 26800 mAh and charging three devices simultaneously, this is an ideal choice for those seeking power for long trips.
Amazon Link
Anker Lipstick
For those looking for the most portable battery charger out there, look no further than this model with its literal lipstick design. However, for such a small device, it packs an impressive power capacity of 3350 mAh. If not for various reports of overheating issues, this could have easily climbed higher.
Amazon Link
$24.99

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Effectiveness

The Raw Power and Maximum Capacity
From one battery charger to the next, the maximum capacity it can hold is going to vary; there is no doubt about that. But, what exactly signifies the total power that it holds? Most commonly, you will either see the power be represented by ampere-hours (Ah) or milliampere-hours (mAh). For the most part, you will see the latter more than the former. In case you see it labeled in Ah, know that for each 1 Ah of power, it is 1000 mAh (hence the “Milli”). However, what does this mean to the average person?

This number describes the energy charge that a battery can hold and in other instances, how long a battery will last before it needs to be recharged. For external battery chargers, it is more about how much power this will hold. Of course, still, this number may be foreign to you and it still may not easily represent how much energy the charger has. As such, manufacturers typically give an example of how much power their charger has. For example, 20000 mAh could charge an iPhone 7’s battery seven full times. Just know, the larger the number the better.

Its Charging Capabilities and Integrated Technology
Raw power is one design feature altogether, but the technology and its capabilities are two entirely different aspects. For starters, an extremely important detail for some is how many devices the charger can provide voltage to simultaneously. This is either done with a USB, micro-USB or wireless technology (such as Qi). But, it all depends on how many options are present for you; some will have multiple USB ports and the Qi compatibility. However, some will only have one USB port. Question is, how many devices are you looking to charge at the same time? In addition, the max output also plays a role as charging multiple devices at once could slow it down quite a bit.

Also, two huge technologies to look out for are pass-through charging and Qualcomm Quick Charge. The former allows the device to charge itself in conjunction with charging the devices you connect to it. However, note that if you do this all the time it will reduce the battery lifespan over time. Meanwhile, the latter, as the name suggests, speeds up the charging time for your convenience. After all, when you need your device, you do not really want to wait an infinite amount of time for it to reach full capacity.

Portability

The entire purpose of external battery chargers is to provide you with a feasible means of charging your devices when you do not have access to another method. So, nine times out of ten, you will use this device on the go or on a trip/vacation. Thus, portability is also going to play a vital role and this is where it can get a tad complicated. Most of the time, capacity and power will play a role in the size. There are exceptions (such as the number one charger on this list) but typically, those capable of 30000 mAh of power or above are going to be quite heavy and bulky. Still, they could be stuffed inside of your backpack or travel bag. But, they may not be feasible for short trips where you are looking to travel as light as possible.

Hence why the smaller capacity battery chargers can be better for some as they will probably be more portable (such as the last charger on this list). What is more important, capacity or portability? If you want something that is super portable (maybe even small enough to stick in your pocket), you may have to sacrifice some power.

Versatility

While not the most important factor to consider, it is still worth bringing up the different seller options that are provided to you. For example, manufacturers may offer their battery chargers in different capacities or colors. If you really fall in love with a specific charger but it does not have your initial desired capacity, having further options could prove to be beneficial. The same concept applies to colors, even though that is solely for aesthetics and preference. Also, it could be as simple as spending a few extra dollars for a specific type of port (for example a 3.0 instead of a 2.0).

Durability

So far, it has all been about the charger’s ability to charge your devices. Granted that is their design purpose, there is more that goes into it. Take, for example, how well the exterior is designed and constructed. In terms of external workmanship, it really is not about how pretty or stylish it is, but more so its ruggedness and ability to withstand abuse and harsh conditions. Now, ruggedness does not have to equate to bulkiness. Instead, what type of materials are used to construct the charger? Some examples could be a premium aluminum shell or a rubberized finish that will withstand drops. Also, how about the finish? Is it scratch-resistant? These small details do play a role.

Many of these chargers could be described as "bricks" and feel quite sturdy. But would these bricks survive an accidental drop? Whether you are just plain clumsy or forget the charger is in your backpack when you toss it on the ground, the charger is bound to experience some abuse. To determine the durability of each charger, we took a look at the materials of the charger itself and also at the customer reviews. Some durability issues are born on the inside of these machines and can't be seen. For this reason, we investigated durability to help you make a good investment.

Top 10 Picks

1. Anker Powercore 2000

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$59.99
Anker Powercore 2000
Amazon Link

Anker has released some of the more impressive battery chargers to the world over the years and their PowerCore Speed 20000 sits on top. Most chargers with this type of power capacity are incredibly bulky and heavy but Anker manages to combine both perfectly.

Read more

Effectiveness
To put in perspective how much the 20000 milliampere hours (mAh) of capacity that this device is capable of actually is, this could feasibly charge the iPhone 7’s battery seven times before needing to be charged again. With dual-USB ports, this is capable of charging more than one device at the same time. In addition, Anker implemented both PowerIQ and VoltageBoost technology to deliver the fastest charge possible. Finally, this does feature Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0.

Portability
No need to worry about the integrity of this charger as it features rounded corners and a tough plastic shell that will protect it from accidental falls and dinks. Also, it features a black casing for aesthetics. For a battery charger of its capacity, it is quite amazing how small and portable this is. In fact, for a power bank with its power, it could be the smallest ever.

Versatility
What you see is what you get here and there are not options of color, size, or wattage. However, when the quality is as high as it is here, that is certainly not a bad thing.

Durability
Reviewers say that this battery has a durable feel and can typically survive a few drops with only suffering a few bumps and scratches. Additionally, there is a built-in temperature control that keeps the battery from overheating. Best of all, there is also an 18-month warranty included with purchase.

Amazon Link
$59.99

2. Zerolemon Portable

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Zerolemon Portable
Amazon Link

This battery charger completely amplifies the amount of the previous version, with the unfortunate trade-off of portability. But, besides its massive power, it features five separate USB ports making it suitable for charging multiple devices simultaneously.

Read more

Effectiveness
With 30000 mAh of capacity, even the toughest of critics must agree that this packs a powerful punch. You could feasibly charge an iPhone 7 up to 11 times and a Galaxy S8 Plus seven times. When it comes to charging, this power bank has no equal or competition. With five USB-ports, one utilizing Quick Charge 3.0 technology, there is seemingly no limit to the number of devices you can charge. Plus, it is even compatible with the Nintendo Switch.

Portability
The external construction certainly matches the power and capabilities of this battery charger. It features anti-shock technology and has a rugged exterior that makes it suitable for outdoor use.
Unfortunately, this is the trade-off of such a powerful device. Do not expect this to be light or extremely portable as even though you can carry it in a pack, this is not ideal for light uses.

Versatility
The choice is yours from either a USB port with Quick Charge 2.0 or 3.0 technology. Clearly, the 3.0 version is a little more money.

Durability
This proves to be a strong product with great customer feedback about its durability. The battery itself can handle a bit of abuse and the charging ports continue to function properly. Additionally, there is a one year warranty included from the manufacturer.

Amazon Link

3. Aukey 3000

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Aukey 3000
Amazon Link

Despite a battery level indicator design that will leave many scratching their heads, this charger is an absolute stud capable of delivering 30000 mAh of power. In addition, integrated Quick Charge 3.0 technology ensures ultra-fast charging.

Read more

Effectiveness
This is yet another portable charger capable of holding 30000 mAh. As an example, you could charge the iPad Mini three full times and the iPhone 6s around 11.5 times. When charging your device with this charger, you have plenty of options. Either use a USB-C cable or a micro USB cable. All in all, this does feature Quick Charge 3.0 technology for the fastest charge possible.

Portability
Overall, the construction is very solid and it should hold up to tame abuse or accidental occurrences. However, as opposed to high-end manufacturers, it may not be as impressive. Just like the previous power bank, this is not the lightest charger on the block. But, it is portable enough for you to fit it inside of your backpack or bag on your next adventure.

Versatility
There are no further seller options available for this particle external battery charger but the lone option will suffice for almost everyone.

Durability
This battery has built-in protection against overheating, overcharging, and excessive current. The battery seems to be quite durable overall. For weighing only 1.3-pounds, it is quite a sturdy rectangle.

Amazon Link

4. Jackery Bolt

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Jackery Bolt
Amazon Link

While the Jackery Bolt Portable Charger is not going to overwhelm or overly-impress you with its capacity, it focuses more on the combination of sufficient power and portability.

Read more

Effectiveness
This is only capable of holding 6000 mAh of power. Granted this does not come close to the previous three, it is still enough power to charge an iPhone 6, 7, or 8 twice and the Plus versions 1.5 times. Due to the lightning cable that comes attached to this charger, it enables super-fast charging. Also, it sports pass-through charging which allows it to charge itself and your devices. Finally, you can charge up to three devices at once; but, doing so will result in slower speeds because its max output is 2.4 amps.

Portability
A sleek and stylish design is in order here, but it is also very practical. Jackery built this with a premium aluminum shell that not only looks fantastic but also enables fast and more reliable radiating. For portability, this is one of the best choices out there. Weighing in at just 5.3 ounces, it is lightweight and small enough to easily fit inside of your pants pocket.

Versatility
There are two versions available; both a black and orange model. However, for whatever reason, the orange version is more expensive.

Durability
The durability of this charger has been questioned by reviewers multiple times. For some, they love the battery and swear by it. For others, it stopped charging after about 5-months. Luckily, the battery comes with a 12-month warranty.

Amazon Link

5. Zendure A2

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Zendure A2
Amazon Link

This Zendure battery gained its popularity through a Kickstarter project and was actually the #1 rated power bank for three years in a row. This battery can handle a lot of abuse and has built-in shock protection, as well as a durable paint job. Additionally, the Zendure A2 is very portable and lightweight!

Read more

Effectiveness
This little powerhouse has a capacity of 6700 mAh with a maximum output of 2.1A. This is a decent capacity to charge phone and tablets between one and four times on long travel days. When the time comes to charge the battery, it has a pass-through charging feature that allows you to charge the battery and a device at the same time. The battery is safety protected against power surges and overheating.

The Zendure also has a great stand by life. With six months of not using it, the battery will still have 95% of its charge.

Portability
This charger is only slightly bigger than a credit card! Its dimensions are 3.7” x 2” and it weighs five ounces. It has a nice hand feel and has support ridges on the outside to provide a better grip. Additionally, it is safe to bring on a plane.

Versatility
This device is available in two colors, black or silver. It can charge a variety of different electronics with integrated Zen+ compatibility. The USB port detects the attached device and changes its output accordingly.

Durability
The Zendure can endure almost anything. It is made from ABS PC Composite Plastic. It has a shock absorbing belt inside to keep it from being damaged when dropped. Zendure has described the battery as “crushproof” and even the paint job is ultra-resilient.

As far as the durability of its charging capabilities, some people have had issues with the charger suddenly dying. However, it seems as though Zendure’s customer service is great and will replace a non-functioning battery.

Amazon Link

6. Mophie Powerstation

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$23.59
Mophie Powerstation
Amazon Link

One of the bigger advantages of the Mophie Powerstation is that it supports Qi devices. As such, if you possess devices with Qi technology you can wirelessly charge them in conjunction with this charger.

Read more

Effectiveness
10000 mAh of capacity means that you can charge, feasibly, any device that you have. In addition, as a bonus, the battery delivers an additional 48 hours of power. This is another model that is missing Qualcomm Quick Charge but the technology that is present makes up for it. Clearly, the biggest is the ability to charge Qi devices wirelessly. While doing so, you can then charge another device with the USB port.

Portability
If you are familiar with Mophie, the physical design of this device may surprise you. Instead of being sleek and aluminized, it is rather bulky with a rubberized finish. It is not as if the Powerstation is that heavy, at only 8.52 ounces, it is just the makeup is bulky; making it difficult to easily transport at times.

Versatility
All across Amazon, there are different variations of the Powerstation; both of different capacities and colors.

Durability
The Mophie Powerstation has proven to be able to survive a few spills rather unscathed. The aluminum finish doesn't quite give it a grippy hand feel and will easily show scratches. Luckily, there is a lifetime warranty offered by Mophie. To activate the warranty, you must keep your receipt and register the device online.

Amazon Link
$23.59

7. Lifeproof Lifeactiv

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$29.96
Lifeproof Lifeactiv
Amazon Link

With an efficient combination of capacity and portability, the LIFEACTIV Power Bank is an ideal choice for everyone. Unfortunately, it is limited in one respect and that is it only sports one USB port.

Read more

Effectiveness
When this charger is at maximum capacity, it holds around 10000 mAh of power. This is enough to keep your smartphones, tablets and any other devices running strong for your next trip. The integrated technology here is stellar and it includes auto-stop charge technology that will save battery life for later, quick charge capability and rapid recharge times to speed up the charging process. However, many will be disappointed with only the lone USB port.

Portability
This is truly suitable for any type of weather conditions that you can fathom as it is waterproof, dirtproof and even snowproof. To top it off, if you accidentally drop it then it is built to withstand that, as well. In terms of weight and physical size, this is a fairly average battery charger. There are versions much bulkier, while others are smaller; making it adequate in this category.

Versatility
The black version available on Amazon is really the only variation that you need, as it is highly-capable as it is.

Durability
LifeProof claims that this charger can be dropped from four feet without sustaining damage. Additionally, it is weather and dirt proof. Judging by customer reviews and LifeProof's great reputation for keeping our cell phones safe, we believe it!

Amazon Link
$29.96

8. Goal Zero Venture 30

Where to buy
Goal Zero Venture 30
Amazon Link

As opposed to the other battery chargers on this list, the Venture 30 is actually capable of charging itself via solar panels. While not mandatory by any stretch, this allows for a convenient way to charge the device back up when it loses power.

Read more

Effectiveness
The raw power of the Venture 30 is not going to overly-impress you. At just 7,800 mAh, it may not be quite the capacity that high-end users are seeking and desiring. Most notable here is the ability to charge this device via the use of solar panels. With the optional Nomad 7 solar panels, you can use the sunlight to build up the voltage. Plus, there are dual-USB ports for simultaneous charging.

Portability
For just the charger, not including the solar panels, it is easily packable and not too bulky. Clearly, this will alter if you invest in the Nomad 7, as you will have to carry the solar panels along as well.

Versatility
It is not mandatory, but you can bundle the Nomad 7 solar panels with your purchase.

Durability
For those who are not careful with their technology devices, this is for you as it is built to withstand a decent amount of abuse. With a rugged exterior that features an outer trim and waterproofness, it can take it.

9. Ravpower Portable

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Ravpower Portable
Amazon Link

There is no doubt about it, the RAVPower Portable Charger is a beast. Possessing the capability of holding 26800 mAh and charging three devices simultaneously, this is an ideal choice for those seeking power for long trips.

Read more

Effectiveness
Due to the immense amount of power this charger can hold, 26800 mAh, it is highly-capable of charging any device you can imagine. For most smartphones, you could feasibly charge them six times over. On all three 2.0 USB ports, meaning it can charge up to three devices at once, there is pass-through technology which allows the device to charge itself while doing so for your devices. However, it does not support Qualcomm Quick Charge technology.

Portability
To keep the exterior looking stylish and classy, for those who care about this sort of thing, a matte black finish has been applied. In addition, it is also an anti-scratch coating. It is convenient that a carry pouch comes included with your purchase as this charger is simply too massive to fit inside of your pocket. At just over one pound, it is better reserved in your carry-bag.

Versatility
If black does not appeal to you, or you are an Apple enthusiast, there is also an option for a white-colored version of the exact same external charger.

Durability
This battery is made from a durable plastic that can take an unintentional beating. Many customers boast that years down the line, this charger still works as well as it did on day one. In the event of a lemon, this product comes with an 18-month warranty.

Amazon Link

10. Anker Lipstick

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$24.99
Anker Lipstick
Amazon Link

For those looking for the most portable battery charger out there, look no further than this model with its literal lipstick design. However, for such a small device, it packs an impressive power capacity of 3350 mAh. If not for various reports of overheating issues, this could have easily climbed higher.

Read more

Effectiveness
Now, 3350 mAh of power may not sound like that much and granted, it really is not. However, for its size, it is a fairly impressive amount. While not as capable as others, this lipstick charger does feature high-speed charging and will detect your device to deliver the best charge possible.

Portability
Being only crafted from premium materials, you are guaranteed a long-lasting charger. Its aluminum-alloy chassis and scratchproof coating will hold up to moderate abuse. No doubt, this is where this charger shines the brightest. It can easily be tucked away in your pocket, purse or any place you can imagine. It really is that small (it is practically the size of a lipstick).

Versatility
A few color options are at your disposal including blue, pink, golden, silver and black.

Durability
For the most part, reviewers agree this tiny battery charger is durable. There have a few claims of it either not charging properly or at all after a drop, and others that have put it through the wringer and still function fine. Luckily, this is another charger that comes with an 18-month warranty.

Amazon Link
$24.99

Sources

  1. Jason Hidalgo, How to Choose a Portable USB Charger and Battery Pack, Buying Guide
  2. Simon Hill, The best portable chargers of 2018, Digital Trend Website
  3. Steven Winkelman, The Best Portable Chargers and Power Banks for 2019, Online Electronics Magazine