The best portable chargers of 2018

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

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Aukey Power Bank

  • Capacity: 20,000mAh
  • Outputs: 2 ports (3.4A total)
  • Weight: 387g (13.6oz)
  • Price: $20
  • Time to fully charge: Around 8 to 10 hours

This chunky portable charger is quite heavy but packs a big capacity of 20,000mAh. It has two USB ports for charging up your devices. Both are capable of putting out 2.4A, but if you charge two devices simultaneously your total maximum output is 3.4A. You can expect four charges from this battery for most smartphones.

The design is an unobtrusive black in subtly textured plastic and it feels chunky in hand. There’s a button on the top to turn it on and you will find a typical four LED battery level indicator between the ports. It can be charged up via the Micro USB port or the Lightning port, which is unusual. The idea is that iPhone owners need only take one cable to charge up both the power bank and their iPhones.

It comes with a short USB-A-to-Micro USB cable in the box and a travel pouch. Aukey also offers a 24-month warranty. It’s not the best-looking portable charger around, but there are two reasons to consider it: The low price and the option to charge it up via Lightning cable.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Belkin Pocket Power Charger

Belkin Pocket Power
  • Capacity: 5,000mAh
  • Outputs: 1 port (2.4A)
  • Weight: 131g (4.6oz)
  • Price: $25-plus
  • Time to fully charge: Around 5 hours

Here’s a fairly small, lightweight option from Belkin that will charge up an iPhone around one-and-a-half times, and should provide at least one full charge for most other smartphones. There’s a single USB port that puts out up to 2.4A, and a MicroUSB port for charging it up that’s rated at 2A.

It’s durable, with a plastic casing that comes in your choice of pink, black, or silver. It’s small enough to slip into a pocket or handbag. There’s a power button on the side with four LEDs that light up green to show remaining power in 25 percent chunks. You get a 6-inch Micro USB-to-USB cable in the box with it.

If you need more capacity, then Belkin does offer 10,000mAh ($40) and 15,000mAh ($50) models that sport two USB ports for charging. Belkin offers a special $2,500 Connected Equipment Warranty that guarantees a repair or replacement if your device is damaged by an electrical charge while properly connected to the charger.

Buy one now from:

Amazon Belkin

iQunix MiniPower Portable Charger

iQunix MiniPower Portable Charger
Simon Hill / Digital Trends
Simon Hill/Digital Trends
  • Capacity: 3,350mAh
  • Outputs: 1 port (1.5A)
  • Weight: 79g (2.8oz)
  • Price: $9-plus
  • Time to fully charge: 3 to 4 hours

Possibly the most portable pick of the bunch, the MiniPower from iQuinix is ideal for slipping into your handbag and forgetting about until you need it. Finished in brushed aluminum that comes in your choice of black, gray, red, pink, or white, this diminutive charger packs a decent 3,350mAh capacity. There’s only one port, which can put out up to 1.5A, so there’s no fast charging here.

It comes with a felt pouch and a short, nylon-braided, USB-to-Micro USB cable. It is quite slow to charge phones and to charge up itself with that 1.5A limit, but it is also reasonably priced, durable, and very small. When you plug it in to charge a single LED will show red if it needs to be charged further or go green when fully charged, but that’s your only indication of remaining power. It will fully charge an iPhone, but for a lot of phones with bigger batteries, you’re just looking at a top-off.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

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: $54
  • Time to fully charge: 4 to 5 hours

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.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Carved Wood Power Bank

Carved Wood Power Bank
  • Capacity: 6,000mAh
  • Outputs: 1 port (2.1A)
  • Weight: 140g (5oz)
  • Price: $49-plus
  • Time to fully charge; 4 to 5 hours

This is easily one of the most attractive power banks we’ve ever seen. The frame is a soft, black plastic with an ebony layer on the bottom and an eye-catching top panel. Carved offers a wide range of different finishes, some of which consist of plain wood grain, some with fantastic designs by talented artists, and some that mix natural wood grain with splashes of colored resin.

In terms of functionality, the Carved power bank is really straightforward — you get enough power to fully charge a smartphone at least once, delivered via a single USB port that’s rated at 2.1A. All the connections and components rest at one end, including the USB port used to charge your phone, the Micro USB used to charge the power bank, the recessed power button, and a standard LED array that indicates how much juice is left. The charger also comes with a handy burlap sack and a short Micro USB-to-USB cable.

Buy one now from:

Carved

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: $50
  • 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 8 around ten times, a Galaxy S9 about seven times, or an iPad 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 one now from:

Amazon

Mophie Powerstation Plus XL

  • Capacity: 10,000mAh
  • Output: 1 built-in lightning cable and 1 USB-A port (2.1A)
  • Weight: 160g (5.65oz)
  • Price: $100
  • Time to fully charge: 5.5 to 6.5 hours

The Mophie PowerStation Plus XL is a stylish battery that’s easy to pack in your bag. The 10,000mAh capacity has enough juice to charge even the biggest smartphone a few times. You will also find a built-in Lightning cable making it incredibly simple to charge any iOS device. If iOS isn’t your speed, there is a USB-A port allowing you to charge Android cell phones and wearables.

Since charging speeds go up to 2.1A, you won’t find QC support, but it will charge most devices pretty quickly. And since the Mophie PowerStation Plus XL charges via lightning connector, it’s easy just to plug your iPhone charger into the battery pack and take advantage of the built-in pass-through charging.  There is also an option to charge the battery pack via wireless charging but the input rate maxes out at 5W, meaning it will take about seven hours to get a full charge.

It’s quite a slim device, about the same profile as a smartphone, but a little thicker. The fabric finish comes in black, deep blue, heather gray, and slate. It is one of the more expensive battery packs, however, it packs a number of features that make it an excellent value.

Buy one now from:

Mophie

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