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30 of the juiciest portable battery chargers money can buy

We’ve all suffered the ignominy of a dead phone. The accusing looks and hushed criticism of shunned family and friends. That blank screen on the commute home that leaves you at the mercy of your chatty fellow traveler. The sudden loss of Google Maps as you turn into an unfamiliar neighborhood. The sinking feeling as you realize your phone alarm didn’t go off because you forgot to plug it in last night. Why oh why, must our smartphones die?

Related: 15 great wireless chargers to free yourself from cables

We feel your pain and that’s why we’ve been checking out some of the best external chargers on the market. Until there’s a real breakthrough in battery technology a portable charger might be the best solution. We’ve got something here for you whatever your needs may be, from a bucket load of power for a camping trip, to a pocket-friendly top-up for the daily commute. These are 30 of the best portable chargers that money can buy.

Best battery packs

Carved Wood Power Bank

Carved Wood Power Bank
  • Capacity – 12,000mAh
  • Outputs – 2 ports (1A and 2A)
  • Weight – 175g (6.17oz)
  • Price – $55
  • Time to fully charge 7 to 8 hours

The vast majority of portable battery chargers on the market are either made of metal or plastic, but Carved has created a wooden one. It looks like a simple wooden box, but at one end, you’ll find two USB ports for charging your devices, along with a Micro USB input for charging and a recessed wooden button for turning the battery on and off.

On the top of the power bank, there’s a small display with four LEDs that light up to reveal the battery’s remaining power. One of the USB ports delivers 1A and the other delivers 2A. You’ll have to look for the tiny lightning bolt on the underside to determine which is which (the lightning bolt denotes the 2A port). It takes a while to charge up, but it’s capable of charging your iPhone 6S twice over once charged. You also get a small, white Micro USB to USB charging cable in the box, as well as a handy burlap sack for carrying it. An additional $50 even nets you the 8,000mAh version with rounded edges.

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Omaker Intelligent Charger

Omaker Intelligent Charger
  • Capacity – 5,200mAh
  • Outputs – 1 port (2.1A)
  • Weight – 195g (6.88oz)
  • Price – $11
  • Time to fully charge 3 to 4 hours

This chubby, curved battery charger is very pocket-friendly and finished in a comfortable, soft-touch matte black. It will deliver at least one full charge for any smartphone, and charges quite quickly using a built-in 2.1A port. There’s also a little power button on the side that lights up the four blue LEDs, which, in turn, give you an idea of how much juice remains. Hold it down, and the white LED light on the front comes to life and serves as tiny torch. You get a small USB to Micro USB cable with it, too, and a soft cloth bag with drawstrings for carrying it around. The features and bundled accessories more than justify the low price tag.

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EasyAcc Solar Flashlight Outdoor Portable Charger

EasyAcc Solar Flashlight Outdoor Portable Charger
  • Capacity – 8,000mAh
  • Output – 2 ports (2.1A each)
  • Weight – 242g (8.5oz)
  • Price – $36
  • Time to fully charge 5 to 6 hours

If you’re an outdoors-type and you camp a lot, then this unique charger from EasyAcc should catch your eye. It’s quite big and offers two 2.1A ports for charging. You’re looking at two full charges for your average smartphone. So far, so standard. What makes this one stand out is the solar panel on the back and the ultra-bright flashlight function. The solar panel helps with charging, but it’s not particularly quick at doing so. Still, campers will appreciate the 32-bulb flashlight and three lighting modes, the latter of which enables you to use the battery pack as a main light inside a cabin or tent. There’s even a special connector to help you hang it up.

The protective, silicone case is a bit of a lint magnet, but you can put it on either way depending on whether you want to use the solar panel or the light. You also get a Micro USB to USB charging cable with your purchase

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RAVPower Portable External Battery Charger

RAVPower Portable Battery Charger
  • Capacity – 20,100mAh
  • Outputs – 3 ports (Type-C 3A, QC 3.0 2.4A, and 2.4A)
  • Weight – 377g (13.3oz)
  • Price – $60
  • Time to fully charge 4 to 5 hours

When you absolutely, positively gotta charge every device in the room, accept no substitutes. This versatile charger has three output ports. There are two USB ports, both rated at 2.4A, but one of them supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 technology. There’s also a USB Type-C port that can deliver up to 3A for your laptop, tablet, or phone. There’s a big power button up top with four blue LEDs to show remaining power.

Not only can it charge devices with QC 3.0 or USB Type-C, it can also be charged by either, which means it’s very fast to juice up. You get two tangle-free USB to Micro USB cables in the box, but, unfortunately, there’s no USB Type-C cable in there. It also comes with a soft, mesh bag sporting a drawstring closure.

It’s not the most portable device in the world, but it’s impressively compact and light for the capacity. This is a good solution for travelers with multiple gadgets. You can expect at least five full charges for an average smartphone, and it can even charge an iPad Air with change. If speed is important to you and you have devices that support Type-C or QC 3.0, then this is a must-have.

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BlitzWolf Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 Power Bank

BlitzWolf Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 Power Bank
  • Capacity – 10,400mAh
  • Outputs – 1 port (up to 2.4A)
  • Weight – 270g (9.52oz)
  • Price – $27
  • Time to fully charge 2 to 3 hours

This power bank offers great quality and a good range of features at an attractive price. It’s a chunky, heavy, wee device that’s just under an inch thick, four inches long, and three inches across, so it will fit neatly in your pocket or bag. To make up the 10,400mAh rating it actually has four, 2,600mAh LG batteries inside.

It’s extremely simple to use. There’s a power button which brings the four blue LEDs to life, to give a rough indication of remaining power. You have a single USB output and a Micro USB input for charging it up. Both support Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 technology, which is fast. If you have a charger that supports it, then you can actually charge this power bank up to 60 percent in just 30 minutes.

The output is smart enough to determine what you’ve plugged in, so it can cover 5V/2A for universal devices, 5V/2.1A, 9V/1.8A, and 12V/1.35A (QC 2.0) for Android devices, and 5V/2.4A for Apple devices. You also get a Micro USB charging cable in the box. You can expect around three speedy, full charges for something like the Samsung Galaxy S6 from this power bank.

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Nomad Road Trip Car Charger and Battery

Nomad Road Trip Car Charger and Battery
  • Capacity – 3,000mAh
  • Outputs – 2 ports (up to 2.4A)
  • Weight – 120g (4oz)
  • Price – $39
  • Time to fully charge 2 hours

Here’s an interesting portable battery solution that will suit frequent drivers. The Road Trip charger from Nomad is an aluminum cylinder, covered in black polycarbonate. There’s a 12V car socket plug at one end and a USB Type C output at the other. You’ll also find a USB-A output on the underside.

The idea is that you plug it into your car socket and plug your phone in the other end. It will charge your phone first and then fill up the 3,000mAh battery. When you reach your destination, unplug it from the car and take it with you. There’s a power button to turn it on and four LEDs give you an idea of remaining power.

You can expect to get a full charge for the iPhone 6 or 6S, and you can actually use both ports at once if you want to. It can split 3A between them, or deliver up to 2.4A to one. Unfortunately, there’s no cable provided in the box, which is a shame at this price, and you can only charge it up through the car socket. It also has a pretty low capacity for the money, but it’s a smart idea that will definitely appeal to some.

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ZeroLemon ToughJuice Rugged Portable Charger

ZeroLemon ToughJuice Rugged Portable Charger
  • Capacity – 30,000mAh
  • Outputs – 4 ports (2 x 2A and 2 x 1A)
  • Weight – 400g (14.1oz)
  • Price – $100
  • Time to fully charge 8 to 24 hours

If you want enough power to keep your gadgets going for a week in the wilderness, then this rugged power bank from ZeroLemon could be right up your street. It’s very big and heavy, but that’s the price you pay for a 30,000mAh capacity. It’s also designed to cope with the outdoors, so there’s a dual-layer plastic covering to absorb shock and port covers to keep dirt out, but it won’t cope with the wet.

It’s capable of charging up four devices simultaneously with a combined output of 6A divided into 2A/2A/1A/1A. You’ll be able to charge up an iPhone 6 or 6S around ten times, a Galaxy S6 about seven times, or an iPad Air a couple of times. There’s a round power button on the top with four LEDs built in to give you an idea about the remaining power.

You only get one Micro USB cable in the box, but there are actually two Micro USB ports to enable you to charge this up faster, which is a good thing, because it can take 24 hours to charge with a single charger. It’s not going to suit everyone, but for a family or a group of friends on a camping trip, this could be ideal.

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Aukey Quick Charge 2.0 Portable External Battery Fast Charger

Aukley Thumb
  • Capacity – 10,000mAh
  • Output – 2 ports (2.4A / 1.0A)
  • Weight – 247.3g (8.7oz)
  • Price – $22
  • Time to fully charge – 5 hours

This new portable battery from Aukey is one of a select few that support the newer Quick Charge 2.0 standard. So if your phone has the quick charging capability, you can enjoy the same benefits with this portable battery pack as if it were plugged into a wall outlet. This Aukey portable battery can charge your device 75 percent faster than traditional portable battery chargers. Even if you don’t have a device with quick charging capabilities, like the iPhone, this Aukey battery is still a great buy. It can output 2.0A to Apple devices using the same quick charge port. The AlPower technology also automatically adjusts the output depending on your device.

The other plus is that the quick charging capability extends to the portable battery itself, which means that you can charge this bad boy from 0 to 100 percent in a mere 5 hours if you have a Quick Charge 2.0 wall charger. That’s pretty impressive for a 10,000mAh battery. In our tests with the Samsung Galaxy S6, the Aukey was able to charge the device from 0 to 100 percent in only 90 minutes, which is the same amount of time it takes with a wall outlet. Assuming this Aukey battery is at 100 percent, you will be able to charge the Galaxy S6’s 2,550mAh battery two and half times, so it’s perfect for short weekend trips.

Moreover, the design is simple and lightweight. It even has a built-in flashlight. If there is a downside, it’s the indicator light for determining how much battery life is left. The older model had four LED lights, each representing 25 percent. With this model, the Aukey logo will light up in differing colors, each representing the amount of battery that’s left. A white glow lets you know the battery is 20 to 60 percent full, green represents somewhere between 20 and 60 percent battery, and red means you have less than 20 percent left. Aukey also includes one Micro USB cable in the box, along with an 18-month warranty.

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Braven BRV-BANK Rugged Portable Battery

Braven Bank 2
  • Capacity – 6,000mAh
  • Outputs – 2 ports (2.4A and 1A)
  • Weight – 277g (9.8oz)
  • Price – $100
  • Time to fully charge – 4 to 5 hours

If you’re looking for a rugged solution you can take camping and to the beach without fear, then this is it. The BRV-BANK from Braven scores an IPX5 rating, which means it is water resistant, and it meets military drop test standard 810G, which means it can survive a fall unscathed. It also has a high-quality, 6,000mAh battery which comes close to delivering the stated power. You can expect at least two full charges for the majority of smartphones on the market.

It’s not just tough, though, it’s also smart. You can install the free BRV-BANK Remote Battery Monitor App and use it to connect via Bluetooth. It will give you an accurate readout of remaining power, allow you to remotely turn ports on and off, and activate “Bear Mode” which triggers an alarm and makes the flashlight strobe when you move your phone. You can also use the alarm to find the battery, or activate the convenient S.O.S. mode when in a pinch.

It also comes bundled with a rugged USB to microUSB cable, a lanyard strap, and a nifty USB flashlight attachment that emits 100 lumens. There’s a power button and a Bluetooth pairing button on the BRV-BANK, and a five LED display to indicate remaining power at-a-glance, without resorting to the app. It’s tough, reliable, and feels well-made. You can pick it up in black and blue, or grey and red.

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Best Buy

Ventev Powercell 6000+ Charger

Ventev Powercell 6000 1
  • Capacity – 6,000mAh
  • Outputs – 2 ports (2.1A and 1A)
  • Weight – 221g (7.8oz)
  • Price – $62
  • Time to fully charge – 4 to 5 hours

This portable battery charger takes portability seriously by adding an AC adapter into the design. You can fold out the prongs and plug it directly into a wall socket to charge it up, or to charge your devices through it. There are two ports, standard 1A and a rapid charge 2.1A, and you can charge two devices simultaneously. All you’ll need to take along with it is your device and a USB to microUSB cable (there isn’t one in the box).

You’re looking at around two full charges for an average smartphone from the equipped, 6,000mAh-capacity battery. It’s a well-built charger, finished in matte grey with Ventev’s signature orange highlights. The power button on the front has an LED strip that gives you an idea of how much juice is left.

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