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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?

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.

Updated on 1-12-2016 by Simon Hill: Removed discontinued products and added battery chargers by BlitzWolf, Nomad, and ZeroLemon.

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 – $25
  • 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.

Buy it now from:

Amazon

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 – $60
  • 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.

Buy it now from:

Amazon

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.

Buy it now from:

Amazon

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 – $30
  • 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.

Buy it now from:

Amazon

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.

Buy it now from:

Braven Amazon

Ventev Powercell 6000+ Charger

Ventev Powercell 6000 1
  • Capacity – 6,000mAh
  • Outputs – 2 ports (2.1A and 1A)
  • Weight – 221g (7.8oz)
  • Price – $70
  • 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.

Buy it now from:

Amazon

Cheero Ingress Power Cube

Cheero Ingress Power Cube 2
  • Capacity – 12,000mAh
  • Outputs – 2 ports (2.1A and 1A)
  • Weight – 275g (9.7oz)
  • Price – $44
  • Time to fully charge – 10 hours

If you’re a fan of Niantic Labs’ Ingress this is going to prove irresistible, but even if you’re not, it’s a great-looking piece of kit. It’s an officially licensed product and it lights up with various color LED patterns when you use it (there are six in total). Fans will recognize the visual style from the game. It’s a really nice effect that makes this stand out of a pretty conventional-looking battery crowd.

This portable charger doesn’t skimp in the performance department, either. It offers a whopping 12,000mAh of power and allows you to plug two devices in at once, though you might find it gets quite hot. There’s no need to worry, though, as Cheero has built in various safety features and it will automatically shut down if it gets too hot or any other problem occurs.

It’s quite big and heavy, but the capacity is good, and the build quality is excellent. You get a microUSB to USB cable in the box and a wee carry sack. This one is obviously primarily all about the aesthetic, but Cheero is a solid Japanese manufacturer, so performance won’t disappoint. If you want something more portable with a higher capacity and a lower price tag, check out the Cheero Power Plus 3.

Buy it now from:

Amazon

Cyntur JumperPack Mini

Cyntur JumperPack Mini 3
  • Capacity – 12,000mAh
  • Outputs – 2 ports (250A car starter, 2.1A)
  • Weight – 408g (14.4oz)
  • Price – $100
  • Time to fully charge – 4 to 5 hours

This is a handy device to sling in the glove box or the trunk of your car and forget about until you need it. The main function is its ability to jump start your car, and it’s capable of jump starting four, six, and eight-cylinder engines. Cyntur says it can hold a charge for up to a year and the capacity is 12,000mAh. It also comes with a small carrying case that includes an AC wall charger and your jump start clips.

You will also find a 2.1A USB port that’s perfect for charging up your smartphone or tablet, and you can expect several charges at this capacity. Since it’s primarily an auto accessory, there’s also a decent flashlight. Today, flashlights are often after thoughts on portable battery packs, but this one is the real deal given its 200-lumen output. It also has an emergency strobe function for breakdown scenarios.

It’s not the most stylish thing in the world considering its chunky build, but it remains a great backup solution for your car. It has a standard power button and four LEDs to show remaining juice, too, and charges relatively quick for its size. You can find out more in our Cyntur JumperPack Mini review.

Buy it now from:

Amazon

LinearFlux Lithium Card Pro

Line 1
  • Capacity – 3,000mAh
  • Outputs – 2 ports (3A)
  • Weight – 107.5g (3.08oz)
  • Price – $50-$80
  • Time to fully charge 1.5 to 3 hours

This incredibly small, stylish portable charger is the second release from LinearFlux. It looks gorgeous, with angular black plastic, framing a metal panel in gold, silver, or titanium. It’s only 89 x 58 x 14 mm in size, which makes it seriously portable. It’s also very fast-charging, if your device supports it, offering up to 3A output. You can charge two devices at once and HyperFET circuitry inside automatically decides which device needs more current, with an overall limit of 3A. It comes with built-in cables, a full-sized USB can be pulled out one side to charge up the Lithium Card Pro, and on the other side you’ll find a pull-out microUSB or Lightning cable, depending on what you chose. There’s an extra USB output on the bottom, and a microUSB input with a small power button up top.

A thin strip beneath the central logo comes to life as a white light when the power is turned on. It flashes when charging is in progress, turns blue when it drops below 90 percent, and then red below 10 percent. The Lithium Card Pro can also serve as a syncing cable to backup data when plugged into a computer or laptop, and it will charge itself and your phone simultaneously. You can expect at least one full charge for your phone, and this will happily charge other devices, including the Apple Watch. You can also find the original, more basic Lithium Card for $40 on Amazon.

Buy it now from:

Amazon

Emtec Power Pouch

Emtec Power Pouch 2
  • Capacity – 6,000mAh
  • Outputs – 2 ports (2.1A and 1A)
  • Weight – 240g (8.46oz)
  • Price – $53
  • Time to fully charge 4 to 5 hours

This pouch is a smart idea. It comes in Android or iOS flavors, with a built-in Lightning cable or a microUSB cable. The battery is sealed within a zipped pouch, and there’s a pocket in the front into which you can slide your phone alongside the main 2.1A charging cable. There’s also an elastic closure to keep it safe and secure. If you open the zip there’s a built-in USB cable for charging it up, rated at 2A. You’ll also find a backup USB port for charging another device at 1A. On the top corner of the device inside the pouch, there’s a standard four LED display and power button, so you can see the remaining juice. You should get close to two full charges for your phone from the Power Pouch.

Buy it now from:

Amazon

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