The Best Small Power Banks

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If you still leave home without a small power bank or portable charger — you’re packing your everyday carry wrong.

There is no move more cringe-inducing than stretching your whole body across the bar, phone on three-percent battery in hand, and saying to the bartender, “Excuse me, can you plug this in behind you?” In the very best case scenario, the bartender does have a charger and keeps your phone in phone-purgatory behind the bar and you have to get their attention every time you want to check your emails. Worst case, they direct you to the cash-operated phone charging station in the corner.

You need a small power bank. And not just for dead phones.

The best portable chargers and power banks can boost a wide range of electronics including your laptop or tablet. They come in handy you’re out of range of a wall outlet, if you’re camping in the great outdoors maybe, or if you’re working remotely from a library or cafe. They’re also great for road trips or plane rides, where you may not be able to plug in to charge your devices.

What Are The Best Small Power Banks?

Capacity: First and foremost, make sure the portable charger you use has the capacity to fully charge your device in one go. So take into consideration what devices you’re going to need the charger for, and for how long you’re going to be away from an outlet and will need it. Check the power bank for mAh (milliamp hours), and compare it to what you really need, whether that’s a small 3,000 mAh battery (great for phones), or a robust 20,000 mAh model (powerful enough for laptops).

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Size: The idea behind the portable charger is that it should be, you know, portable. So don’t forget to think about the size and weight of the power bank when shopping around. Are you carrying a bag or do you want something to slip in your back pocket?

Compatibility: Keeping in mind what kind of device you need to charge, and how many devices you’ll want to charge at once, which will make a difference when shopping. All of our chargers work with both iPhones and Androids, though be sure to note the type of cable you’ll need to connect to your device.

Keep in mind the power bank itself will need to be charged up after it juices your devices. The best power banks can dispense enough charge to power up a phone 2-3 times, or fully charge a laptop once. After that, they will need to be plugged in to re-charge, a cycle that could take a few hours.

1. BEST OVERALL: Anker PowerCore 5000

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If you only need something to quickly power up your phone while you’re out and about or in an emergency, we like this considerably smaller 5,000 mAh charger, also from Anker. The 5,000 mAh isn’t going to fully juice up an iPad for days on end, but it is more than enough to fully charge your phone once.

This lipstick-sized charger is super slim and lightweight, so it fits easily into your pocket without any awkwardness. The other big selling point for this product is that it provides a super-fast charge (the brand says the fastest possible). In any case, it’s convenient, it’s durable (in case you are prone to dropping things), and reliable.

We also really like the lipstick design — sleek and unassuming, yet somehow still cool.

Buy:Anker PowerCore 5000$19.99Buy it

2. ULTRA PORTABLE: Mophie Power Boost Mini

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At four inches long Mophie’s Power Boost Mini is the smallest battery pack we’re recommending, and a great pick if size is your main concern.

The Power Boost Mini has a capacity of 2,600mAh, so you should expect it to extend the life of a typical smartphone by three or four hours. This is a battery pack to keep in your pocket during a night out, not an international flight.

The Power Boost Mini has a single USB-A port, so you can plug in a phone or tablet, and a MicroUSB port for charging. Four LEDs on the side of the battery pack indicate how much juice it has left, so you can know when to charge it.

It may not have as much power as the other battery packs we’re recommending, but its small size makes it the best choice if you don’t want to feel weighed down by your tech.

Buy:Mophie Power Boost Mini$12.95Buy it

3. HIGHEST CAPACITY:AUKEY 20000mAh USB-C Power Bank

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AUEKY’s USB-C Power Bank is the most fully-featured small battery pack we recommend, and is basically the Swiss Army Knife of on-the-go charging.

At 6.26-inches long it’s the largest battery pack we’re recommending, but it’s still small enough to fit comfortably in the front pocket of a backpack, or inside a purse. It has a 20,000mAh capacity, which AUKEY says can fully recharge an iPhone XS over five times. It has a USB-A port and a USB-C PD (power delivery) port, which can output up to 18W (Watts) of power.

The USB-C PD port allows you to fast charge an iPhone or Android Phone, or extend the battery life of a larger gadget like the Nintendo Switch. You can use both ports to charge two devices simultaneously.

Besides being a traditional battery pack AUKEY’s USB-C Power Bank is also a portable wireless charger. You can set your device on top of the battery to use it as a charging pad, or prop the battery up using its built-in kickstand to use it as a wireless charging stand. It can output up to 10W of power as a wireless charging pad, which means it can charge an iPhone or Android phone at full speed. You can use this battery pack’s wireless charging feature while your phone is in a case, but it will slow the charging speed down.

I’ve tested this power bank for myself, and all of these features work very well. It’s rare to find a single charging gadget that supports wireless charging, fast charging, and multi-device charging, but AUKEY’s USB-C Power Bank manages to nail all three with no obvious downsides. It may be a little bigger than the other battery packs on this list, but its features more than make up for it.

Buy:AUKEY USB-C Power Bank$45.99Buy it

1. Anker PowerCore Ultra High Capacity

Our number one pick is undoubtedly this beast of a high-powered portable battery. It packs 20,000 mAh and, according to the brand, weighs less than a can of soup. Granted, that’s more than a few of our other suggestions, but we think the trade off is worth it for the capacity.

It’s powerful enough to get several charges in one go for bigger devices like an iPad, even more for smaller smart-phones. It’s a great option for all-day charging, or whenever you know you’re going to be away from a power source for a long time, and it also has universal capacity so it will work on all devices.

Pros: Powerful and long-lasting.

Cons: On the heavy side.

Courtesy Amazon

Amazon

Buy:Anker PowerCore Ultra High Capacity$49.99Buy it

2. Anker PowerCore 5000 Portable Charger

If you only need something to quickly power up your phone while you’re out and about or in an emergency, we like this considerably smaller 5,000 mAh charger, also from Anker. The 5,000 mAh isn’t going to fully juice up an iPad for days on end, but it is more than enough to fully charge your phone once.

This lipstick-sized charger is super slim and lightweight, so it fits easily into your pocket without any awkwardness. The other big selling point for this product is that it provides a super-fast charge (the brand says the fastest possible). In any case, it’s convenient, it’s durable (in case you are prone to dropping things), and reliable.

We also really like the lipstick design — sleek and unassuming, yet somehow still cool.

Pros: Smallest, most portable option on our list.

Cons: Capacity is only enough for one full charge at a time.

Courtesy Amazon

Amazon

Buy:Anker PowerCore 5000 Portable Charger$19.99Buy it

3. LANLUK Portable Charger Power Bank

Another monster of a power bank, this is the external battery you might take with you on a camping trip for a few days if you want to flout the “no devices” rule someone in your group has inevitably declared. With 25800mAh, this battery has enough charging capacity to power your phone for several days, or a day or two’s worth of charge for a larger tablet.

Other features we like: it has two ports, so you can charge two devices at once, it has a fast charge, and it’s durable enough not to burn out in a couple of months. Because it’s so high-capacity, it is on the heavy side, so we wouldn’t necessarily recommend this as a tuck-in-the-back-pocket option. That said, you won’t feel like you’re lugging around a brick, either.

Pros: Long-lasting, charges multiple devices at once.

Cons: Heavier option and larger size.

Courtesy Amazon

Amazon

Buy:LANLUK Portable Charger Power Bank$25.95Buy it

4. Omars Battery Pack Power Bank

Not too big and not too small, one of our favorite things about this power bank is how very slim it is. Slip it in your pocket, or hold it comfortably in your hand — it goes wherever you go. Its capacity at 10,000 mAh, is not as powerful as some of the other models, but it’s big enough to get a little over two phone charges. Plus, it only takes a little over five hours to fully recharge itself, a lot faster than the 15 or 20 hours it takes for the bigger batteries.

Also convenient, it has a variety of USB ports for a variety of USB-connected devices. It’s another great traveling option, for instance, when you find yourself on a long flight with no adapter. Perhaps not as luxe as our other choices, we still think this battery wins in terms of simple functionality and convenience.

Pros: Easy to travel with and holds a charge well.

Cons: Not enough power for all large devices.

Courtesy Amazon

Amazon

Buy:Omars Battery Pack Power Bank$16.99Buy it

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