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Smartphones and tablets help you stay in touch with the people you love and can provide you hours of entertainment. But all of that can quickly go away if your smartphone’s battery is at five percent and you’re nowhere near a wall outlet.
With a portable battery pack stored in your backpack or purse, you’ll always have enough power to stay connected to your friends and family and have vital information at your fingertips.
We rounded up the best battery packs for travelers, students, and everyone in between, for every budget.
The Anker PowerCore 10000 is one of the most affordable battery packs that doesn’t compromise on power or speed. It’s also compact and easy to carry in a backpack or handbag. It’s perfect for any iOS or Android device, and features a single USB port for output power. It even comes with a handy travel pouch.
“Very very small. Easy to use. I can charge my iPhone two to three times easily off this battery or my iPad once which makes it great for long trips or a long day at school,” wrote a satisfied Amazon reviewer. “I even used my iPad with this battery plugged in and noticed the charge level on the iPad going up while I was surfing the web and watching movies. The unit is about the size of a deck of playing cards. It comes with a nice little carry bag. I love it. Bought a bunch of them as gifts for friends and family.”
Shop it: Anker PowerCore 10000, $24 (was $26), amazon.com
The Anker PowerCore II 20000 is a little bit more expensive, but delivers more power at a higher speed, and has two USB ports. Designed with power users in mind, this model charges up fast.
“This thing is a portable powerhouse. I use it to charge my cell phone (a OnePlus 3) and my tablet (an Amazon Fire HD 10), and it works wonderfully,” a happy Amazon reviewer wrote. “You get a lot of both portability and charge time out of this device, and it will easily fit in a pocket or take up little-to-no room in a backpack. I've never had to recharge the device during regular use on weekend trips, so it's perfect for shorter travels, camping, or the like.”
Shop it: Anker PowerCore II 20000, $60, amazon.com
If you have a newer smartphone, such as an Apple iPhone XS or Google Pixel 3, then this battery pack from Aukey is a great pick. Sleek and stylish, it has the latest USB-C ports and has enough power to charge a Nintendo Switch gaming console.
“This has a lot of good things going for it,” wrote an Amazon reviewer. “It's portable, good looking, and solid. What I really like about it, though, is that it will quickly charge my Nintendo Switch with the Power Delivery port and it quickly charges my Galaxy S8 with the Quick Charge 3.0 port. It's hard to find one that does both with the correct specs.”
Shop it: Aukey Power Delivery Power Bank, $30 (was $43), amazon.com
The Belkin Pocket Power is the gold standard of battery packs. It features up to 11 hours of extra battery life for your smartphone on a single charge, while its traditional USB port makes it compatible with older and newer devices, alike. The battery pack comes in three colors: black, silver, and pink. Belkin also includes a spare USB charging cable.
“This is by far one of the best chargers I've used,” a reviewer wrote on Amazon. “It is very slim and can easily fit into your pocket. Takes very little time to fully recharge and once it's charged, it can charge your portable electronics easily.”
Shop it: Belkin Pocket Power, $15 (was $30), amazon.com
If you own an Apple Watch, then this battery pack is for you. It’s one of the few battery packs out there that’s compatible with the Apple Watch, as well as the Apple iPhone. So if you have both devices, this battery pack can quick charge them at the same time.
The Belkin Valet Charge can take the Apple Watch from 10 percent to 100 percent eight times before dying, while it can do the same for the Apple iPhone about three times.
“This is a very handy little accessory for Apple products,” a delighted reviewer wrote. “It's nice to have a spare charger for my phone and Apple Watch while traveling or in another room. It charges quickly and takes up little space. It's easy to unplug and take with you while away from home. It has a nice weight to it, and as always Belkin provides reliable charges. Highly recommended!”
Shop it: Belkin Valet Charger, $60, amazon.com
The iMuto Portable Charger is just a good multipurpose battery pack. It’s small and compact enough to fit in your pocket, while it gives much needed juice to your dying smartphone or tablet when you’re out and about. It can even give a quick re-charge to the Nintendo Switch.
This battery pack features two USB-A ports and one USB-C port for a wide variety of devices, while it also has a handy digital display, so you’ll always know how much juice is left.
“The charger definitely served its purpose,” wrote a happy reviewer on Amazon. “Me and my husband were at a convention and with both of our phones (Galaxy S7 edge, Samsung Note8) charging on the portable charger; it was charging fast and kept our batteries alive once they started to get low.”
Shop it: iMuto Portable Charger, $60, amazon.com
If you’re looking for a battery pack that’s ultra-portable, look no further than the Anker PowerCore 5000. It’s only 4.2 inches tall and 1.3 inches wide with a cylindrical design that makes it more pocketable than traditional battery packs. It’s like having a tube of lip balm in your pocket.
This battery pack is perfect for the Apple iPhone, Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy devices, and just about any other Android smartphone or tablet. It features a single USB port that can give your device additional battery life when it’s about to die.
“I love the PowerCore 5000 as it can fit in my pocket next to my phone, but still provides plenty of power. This has been especially helpful during my recent travels,” wrote a happy Amazon reviewer. “I can easily make it through the day while watching hours of video while traveling. I have drained and charged this pack over 25 times and it has been flawless every time I need it.”
The reviewer later added, “For the cost, this pack is a no brainer.”
Shop it: Anker PowerCore 5000, $18, amazon.com
The Mophie Powerstation is a handy battery pack that really packs a punch. It can give your device an extra 48 hours of juice with a single USB port. While most battery packs have this ability, the Mophie Powerstation’s standout feature is it also doubles as a wireless charging pad. So if your smartphone features wireless charging, you can ditch charging cables with this battery pack.
One of the pack’s best features is you can turn it off and on with just a push of a button, so you’re not draining its battery life while it’s stored in your backpack or purse or while traveling. Just turn on wireless charging when you need it and turn it off when you don’t.
“In my life, traveling and working from ballrooms, I have owned a plethora of phone battery packs. This one takes the cake,” wrote a satisfied Amazon reviewer. “I would have thought that there would have been efficiency lost in the wireless charging but this pack has been able to reliably wirelessly charge my iPhone X 1.5-2 times without having to be recharged. It's also that it doubles as a plug-in wireless charger, one less thing to carry. It's about the same size as my phone.”
Shop it: Mophie Powerstation, $60 (was $100), amazon.com
The Xiaomi Mi Slim Power Bank Pro is a really good compact power bank that can give your device a quick charge with up to 18 watts of electrical power (if your device supports it). It features one USB-A port for traditional Android devices and Apple iPhones and one USB-C port for modern smartphones. It even charges both ways, if the battery pack is getting low and your mobile device has some juice to spare.
“Very portable, small enough to fit in a jacket pocket. I used this at the airport in Chicago,” an Amazon reviewer wrote. “I could put the battery pack in my jacket pocket with my phone and charge it while there during a 12 hour layover. Many of the electric charge ports were broken at the airport and being tired, it was helpful to put the charger in my pocket in case I dozed off or forgot I had it and needed to move to check flight gate changes. It charged my phone quickly, was convenient to use, unobtrusive, not heavy. Very glad I had it.”
Shop it: Xiaomi Mi Slim Power Bank Pro, $30, amazon.com
The Moshi Porto Q 5K is a stylish portable battery pack that offers wireless charging with textured and sleek design. Not only does it look fashionable, but its textured material also makes sure your smartphone doesn’t slip off the battery pack while in use. It also works as a wireless charging pad when plugged into a wall outlet. This is a really good option, if you want to travel with fewer cables and wires.
Shop it: Moshi Porto Q, $85, amazon.com
The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.
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