Best Portable Charger of 2020
Best Overall Portable Charger
Jackery Bolt 6000
This charger has decent battery capacity, great recharge time, and features that make it exceptionally convenient to use. This battery pack is highly portable, comfortably fitting in a purse or backpack, and has enough juice for 1-2 full charges on most smartphones. It also retails at a great price. We found this power pack to be practically perfect, with only one minor exception.
The only issue we had with this pack is that it is a little on the thicker side. This product still fits in most pockets without a problem, but you will definitely notice its presence, and some may even find it uncomfortable, depending on the snugness of your pants. However, this is a relatively trivial issue, and we are thoroughly nitpicky on this point. If you want the best of the best in the world of portable chargers, the Jackery Bolt 6000 should be the first option that you consider. We highly recommend it.
Read review: Jackery Bolt 6000
Best Bang for The Buck
Anker PowerCore 5000
This top-notch portable charger is supremely comfortable to carry in a pocket, has a reliable capacity, and recharges exceptionally quickly. It packs a ton of power into its lightweight and compact package and is our top recommendation if you need a new battery pack and are shopping on a budget.
This battery pack, however, is on the sparse side when it comes to features. It only has a single USB output that doesn't have the highest discharge rate, and there aren't any built-in convenience features. Despite these deficiencies, the Anker PowerCore 5000 should be your first choice if you want a simple portable power pack without spending a ton of cash.
Read review: Anker PowerCore 5000
Best on a Tight Budget
Aibocn Power Bank 10000
If you are shopping on the tightest of tight budgets and want to spend the absolute bare minimum on a portable power pack, then the Aibocn Power Bank 10000 is for you. This battery has enough juice for about 1-2 charges with most smartphones and is a good option if you want to have a couple of batteries so you can leave one at home, one at work, and another stashed in your purse or backpack. It even has a built-in flashlight. Just don't expect too much from this product in terms of performance.
This battery pack listed specs suggest that it should have gotten well over two charges on most smartphones. We didn't experience that. It also took substantially longer to charge than comparable battery packs. However, if you want a cheap charging solution, the Aibocn Power Bank 10000 is a solid choice.
Read review: Aibocn Power Bank 10000
Most Portable Charger for iPhones
If you use an iPhone and want the smallest, most compact charger you can get, then the Clutch Charger is a perfect choice. This petite portable is roughly the size of a few credit cards stacked together, and you can easily carry it in a wallet or pocket without it being cumbersome. Even better, it has a built-in Lightning cable, so you don't need to worry about forgetting to bring one.
Unfortunately, this charger isn't as versatile as other products we have seen. It can't recharge multiple devices at once and is only compatible with iPhones. The Clutch Charger also doesn't have all that much capacity — generally limited to a single charge or less. It's a great product if you want to make sure you always have enough juice in your iPhone to make a call or summon a Uber, but you'll probably be disappointed if you expect more than that.
Read review: Clutch Charger
All-Around Most Portable
Anker PowerCore+ mini 3350
If you want the lightest and most portable power pack around, then look no further than the Anker PowerCore+ mini 3350. This pint-sized power pack is the perfect option for anyone that wants an ultralight charging solution. This little battery can fill up most modern smartphones to about 75% from entirely dead, ensuring that you won't get caught with a dead phone. This battery is the perfect option for hiking or biking, giving you a backup power source for your phone in case you need to make a call or for going out on the town. It is compact and discrete enough to carry with you and make sure that you always have enough juice to call a Lyft to get home.
This battery, however, doesn't charge your phone particularly quickly, being limited to a meager 1 amp discharge rate. It doesn't include any integrated cables, so you will have to remember to carry a charging cable with you, which will add both bulk and weight. We are also surprised by how long it takes to recharge for being such a small capacity battery. Despite those flaws, it is still the best by far for anyone who can't take advantage of the built-in Lightning connector of the Clutch Charger and values portability above everything else.
Read review: Anker PowerCore+ mini 3350
Best for Convenience
Q Slim Power Bank Pro 10000 mAh
If you've ever experienced the frustration of having a portable charger but not having the right cable for a device, then you should consider the Q Slim Power Bank Pro 10000 mAh. This portable charger has three different integrated charging cables that give you the flexibility to charge all the most common consumer electronics devices. This power bank also features a foldable wall plug, negating the need for a separate USB wall adapter for recharging the Power Bank Pro 10000 mAh when it's dead. On top of all that, it did reasonably well in our capacity tests, and we found it to be easily portable, taking up roughly the same amount of space as a typical smartphone.
We were a little disappointed, however, in the Q Slim Power Bank Pro 10000 mAh when it came to recharging its own battery pack. Although it is very convenient to recharge with the built-in plug, it takes significantly longer than many other batteries — approaching almost 10 full hours in our test! Additionally, while this power pack does have three integrated cables, it only has a maximum shared power output of 2.1 amps between them, so you can't fast charge multiple devices at the same time. We think the convenience factor of the Power Bank Pro 10000 mAh far outweighs these flaws, and highly recommend this battery to anyone who hates getting caught without the right cord or wants to cut down on their clutter of chargers and cables.
Read review: Q Slim Power Bank Pro 10000 mAh
Best for Multiple Charges and Large Devices
Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD
If none of the previous portable batteries can fulfill your devices' power needs, then you should check out the Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD. This beast of a battery can supply enough current to capably charge some of the most power-hungry devices, such as newer MacBooks, laptops, or gaming systems — like a Nintendo Switch. It uses the more modern Power Delivery standard with USB-C connectors, letting you charge compatible devices at their absolute fastest rate. It has plenty of juice to fully charge most newer smartphones five times or more, and it recharges itself quite fast with the included fast charging wall adapter — a rarity for larger battery packs.
The Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD, however, is also one of the largest and heaviest portable batteries we have tested and is quite cumbersome to carry around in a pocket which cuts down on its convenience quite a bit. It still isn't that bad to transport, we just vastly preferred to carry it around in a bag, backpack, or purse. As you might guess, his battery is also a bit more expensive than some of the smaller models. Regardless, we readily recommend this battery module to anyone that needs to charge their phone a handful of times or needs a battery that can handle the higher power draws of larger devices.
Read review: Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD
Why You Should Trust Us?
Both Austin Palmer and David Wise have extensively tested and compared hundreds and hundreds of different consumer tech products over the past few years and are more than familiar with all of the different ways to charge devices over USB. In addition to their experience testing and reviewing over 300 different home and tech products for TechGearLab, David also has formal training as a mechanical engineer. He specialized in designing and building electric vehicles and the electronics systems for underwater robots, which came into play when determining our portable charger testing procedure. We also consulted with a handful of other mechanical and electrical engineers while designing our testing plan.
We charged everything from a Nintendo Switch to cell phones to drone batteries with these products, comparing their performance side-by-side in several real-world scenarios. We also used a dummy resistive load and a digital USB multimeter that we could set for different discharge rates to objectively compare the capacity of each battery under controlled conditions, and timed how long it took for each one to recharge. Along with this set of electrical tests, we measured the weight of each battery and compared how easy they are to carry in a pocket, as well as awarded extra points for any additional special features and functions.
Related: How We Tested Portable Chargers
Analysis and Test Results
In our quest to find the best portable charger, we conducted extensive research and picked out the most promising portable power packs on the market. We then purchased them to undergo head-to-head tests here in our lab. We divided our testing procedure into four weighted performance metrics: Portability, Added Convenience, Capacity, and Recharge Time.
Related: Buying Advice for Portable Chargers
Right off the bat, three products stand out if you are shopping on a budget. The Aibocn Power Bank 10000 is one of the least expensive options out there, but we weren't especially enamored with its performance. The Anker PowerCore 5000 costs a bit more, but is a much more portable pack, with better capacity and recharge time. However, it lacks the built-in flashlight and additional USB output port of the Power Bank 10000. The PowerCore+ mini 3350 costs about the same as the PowerCore 5000, but you sacrifice some capacity for its extreme portability. It comes with another jump in price, but the Jackery Bolt 6000 is our top recommendation for most people, and we vastly preferred it to some of the less expensive options. You may also want to consider the Q Slim Power Bank Pro 10000 mAh if you are shopping on a budget. This battery pack isn't too expensive, but it has all three major types of charging cables built-in and an integrated wall plug, so it can save you quite a bit since you don't need to buy multiple additional cables and a USB wall adapter. Finally, the Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD is your best bet if you need maximum capacity and the ability to charge larger devices. However, it comes with a proportional increase in price.
Although none of these batteries are too large to be carried around, we did notice a difference between several of them. Some can easily fit in a pocket while others are more suitable to carry around in a purse, backpack, or laptop case. To determine the score, we looked at each charger's dimensions, weight, and how easily it could fit in a pocket.
It's easy to see why the Anker PowerCore+ mini 3350 and the Clutch Charger are our top recommendations when it comes to portability. The PowerCore+ mini 3350 is a pint-sized portable power pack that is only a bit larger than a lipstick case and is exceptionally easy to carry. It weighs in at a measly 2.88 ounces and measures 3.75 inches in length and less than an inch in diameter, making it easy to slip into almost any pocket if you need power on the go.
The Clutch Charger is even lighter, weighing only 2 ounces, and its credit card-like shape allows you to carry it in a wallet — a unique trait for these products. It is also virtually unnoticeable in a pocket, so easily forgotten that we worry some people might put it through the washing machine by mistake.
Following the Anker PowerCore+ Mini 3350mAh and the Clutch Charger, the Anker PowerCore 5000 is the next most portable battery in our lineup. It is both one of the most compact and lightweight that we tested but is a bit larger than the PowerCore+ Mini 3350. It weighs in at 4.71 ounces with a cylindrical shape that is roughly 1.3 inches in diameter and 4.3 inches long. However, it is the incredible ease of carrying this in a pocket that boosted this to the top spot. We particularly like that it is easy to access the output port and plug a cable in while it is in your pocket, allowing you to carry the battery in one pocket and charge your phone in the other, running the cord around your waist.
Following the Anker PowerCore 5000 are the Anker PowerCore 10000, the Anker PowerCore II Slim 10000, and the Jackery Bolt 6000. The Bolt 6000 and the PowerCore 10000 both are very similar in size and shape, having a slightly more compact, yet thicker form than the PowerCore II Slim 10000. None of these three chargers are too heavy, all weighing in between 5.5 and 7.5 ounces. They are all easy enough to carry around in your pocket, with the PowerCore II Slim 10000 having a slight edge over the other two by being just a bit slimmer.
The RAVPower Ace 6700 and the Q Slim Power Bank Pro 10000 mAh follow next in terms of portability. The Ace 6700 isn't the heaviest or largest portable power pack that we have seen so far, but its square shape gives it a bulkier feel while holding it and makes it less comfortable to carry in a front or back pocket. It will still fit but can just feel a bit more cumbersome than the longer or slimmer alternatives.
The Q Slim Power Bank Pro 10000 mAh is heavier than the RAVPower Ace 6700 and occupies a larger volume, but it feels more compact due to its slimmer and more smartphone-like aspect ratio. It weighs about two ounces more than the Ace 6700 yet fits in a pocket so much better. It feels just like a phone when sitting, and it is easy to forget that you are even carrying it while walking around.
Next, there was a substantial drop in portability performance with the Aibocn Power Bank 10000 and the OtterBox Power Pack 10000. These both are quite a bit larger in terms of volume, and both weigh about 8.5 ounces. The Power Pack 10000 fits in the front pocket of a pair of regular cut men's jeans without too much issue, but it's quite cumbersome and noticeable. We wouldn't count on it fitting in a pair of slim-cut jeans.
The Aibocn Power Bank 10000 is a little smaller, but a fraction of an inch thicker, giving it a similar fit to the OtterBox Power Pack 10000. Its output ports are on the side, however, making it virtually impossible to plug a cable into it while it is in your pocket.
The Anker PowerCore Speed 20000 is next with its overall lackluster portability. It isn't particularly comfortable to carry around in your pocket while sitting down, but it isn't too bad to walk around with, though it is far from our favorite. It is also on the heavier side, weighing in at 12.72 ounces.
Next is the RAVPower Ace 22000. It weighs just an ounce shy of a pound, but its narrower shape makes it not too bad to carry in a back pocket. The weight, however, is noticeable, and we usually found it preferable to carry it in a bag rather than a pocket.
Rounding out the back of the group, both the Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD and the RAVPower Super-C 26800 both tied for being the least portable of the group. These both weigh over a pound — with the PowerCore+ 26800 PD weighing about 4 ounces more than the Super-C 26800.
These both are a little over 3 inches wide and about 7 inches long, so they are too big to carry around in a pocket easily but aren't so cumbersome when carried around in a purse or laptop bag.
We evaluated each model based on its power output at its maximum discharge rate, relative to its rated capacity. We also verified how well various manufacturers' claims stood up to actual testing, such as being able to charge a specific phone a certain number of times. We used a dummy resistive load set to draw power at the maximum rate from each battery pack and a digital multimeter to measure precisely how much electricity was put out by each pack. No battery pack even came close to its listed capacity.
Tying for the top spot are the Jackery Bolt 6000 and the RAVPower Ace 22000. he Bolt 6000 got off to a great start, exceeding the manufacturer's claim of being able to charge an iPhone 6/7/8 twice. In our tests, it charged the phone twice and got it up to 40% on a third time before the pack died. The Ace 22000 is claimed to be able to charge a Galaxy S8 4.4 times, which it also exceeded in our tests, charging it 5.3 times.
The Jackery Bolt 6000 also did quite well in our discharge test using the load resistor. We set it for a 2.4A discharge rate. Unfortunately, it could only sustain this rate for about an hour and a half before the voltage began dropping to the point where it turned off. We dialed the load back to 1A, and it lasted for another 20 minutes or so. In total, we pulled 3897 mAh out of it before it quit, or roughly 65% of its claimed capacity.
The RAVPower Ace 22000 performed similarly, as we were able to pull about 66% of its rated capacity out at a 2.4 A rate before it died.
The Anker PowerCore 5000, the Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD, the Q Slim Power Bank Pro 10000 mAh, the OtterBox Power Pack 10000, and the Anker PowerCore Speed 20000 all followed the pair of top performers in this metric, with respectable results in our capacity tests.
The Anker PowerCore 5000, the Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD, and the Anker PowerCore Speed 20000 slightly exceeded their marketing claims, charging a Samsung S8 1.12, 4.48, and 6.11 times, respectively. These figures equate to about 10% more charges than their claimed max. The OtterBox Power Pack 10000 didn't have a similar claim to the Anker portable chargers, so we tested it against the Anker PowerCore II Slim 10000's claims, as they are comparable power packs. The Power Pack 10000 exceeded this standard, charging the phone 2.49 times, compared to the 2.2 times claimed by the PowerCore II Slim 10000.
The Q Slim Power Bank Pro 10000 mAh fell just a tiny bit short of its advertised claims in our tests. Its manufacturer says that you should get between 2.4 and 4 complete charges, depending on the phone, but we didn't find that to be the case in our assessment. Using the same Samsung Galaxy S8, we were able to fully charge it 2.27 times. You may be able to get more with a smartphone with a smaller battery, but we wouldn't expect much more than two full charges from this battery with most newer phones.
For our discharge test, the OtterBox Power Pack 10000 came out on top, discharging 67% of its listed capacity. We used a 2.4A discharge rate for as long as we could but later had to drop it down a bit to keep it from resetting. This was followed by the Anker PowerCore 5000 at 65%, the Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD at 62%, and the Anker PowerCore Speed 20000 at 61%. We ran all of these at 2.4A until they died, though the PowerCore 5000 did need to have its discharge rate dropped a bit right at the end to keep from resetting.
Following this group are the Anker PowerCore II Slim 10000, the Anker PowerCore+ Mini 3350mAh, the Anker PowerCore 10000, the Clutch Charger, and the RAVPower Super-C 26800 PD with decent performance in our capacity tests. We managed to get just under 60% of their claimed output at a 2.4 amp discharge rate, except for the PowerCore+ Mini 3350mAh and the Clutch Charger, which can only have a maximum output of 1 amp. We did manage to pull 58% of the PowerCore+ Mini 3350mAh and 48% of the Clutch Charger's stated capacity out, but only at a 1 amp rate.
The Anker PowerCore II Slim 10000 output 5892 mAh, or 59% of its stated amount, before dying, though we did appreciate that it maintained a steady 2.4A discharge rate the entire time. The RAVPower Super-C 26800 PD did just a tiny bit worse, as we were only able to pull 57% of its stated capacity out at this high discharge rate.
The Anker PowerCore 10000 lagged a bit behind the Anker PowerCore II Slim 10000 and the RAVPower Super-C 26800 PD in the maximum discharge capacity test, as we were only able to get 53% of its claimed capacity out but this did increase to 64% when we dropped to a 1 amp rate.
The RAVPower Ace 6700 and the Aibocn Power Bank 10000 both finished out the back of this group. The Ace 6700 only managed to output 51% of its stated capacity at its maximum discharge rate, but this did increase to 59% at a lower 1 amp rate. However, it did meet its manufacturer claim regarding the number of phone charges.
The Aibocn Power Bank 10000 didn't have any specific claims regarding phone charges. Still, it fell short of comparably sized packs' figures, only charging a Samsung S8 1.7 times, rather than the 2.2 times that other 10,000 milliamp-hour models achieved. We were also only pulled 39% of its stated capacity out of the battery using our dummy load set for its maximum discharge rate before the battery died.
Next, we moved on to evaluating and judging how convenient each portable power pack is to use, identifying if there are any special functions or extra features. We considered if you could charge multiple devices at the same time, if there is a built-in flashlight or built-in cables, and if there is an integrated method to recharge the battery, as well as the included warranty.
The Q Slim Power Bank Pro 10000 mAh delivered an unparalleled performance in this group of evaluations with its remarkable convenience. This portable battery can charge multiple devices simultaneously but is restricted by a maximum 2.1 amp shared output, so your phone and tablet both might not charge quickly if you plug them both in at the same time. This battery has the typical 4-LED battery indicator but lacks an integrated light source and appears to be lacking a manufacturer warranty. However, the supreme convenience of all the built-in cables and plug sets the Power Bank Pro 10000 mAh well above the rest of the group in terms of convenience. You can charge a myriad of devices with the built-in USB-C, micro-USB, and Apple Lightning connector. After your charging is complete, you simply fold out the 120-volt plug and plug it directly into the wall to recharge.
The Jackery Bolt 6000 and the RAVPower Ace 6700 tied for the runner-up position in our convenience metric. The Bolt 6000 can charge multiple devices at once, using the built-in lightning and micro USB cables, combined with a standard USB output port. We found these built-in cables to be super convenient to use, making for an extremely compact package that even includes a built-in flashlight.
The Jackery Bolt 6000 also has a 24-month limited warranty, but you need to use the included micro USB cable to recharge the battery pack.
The RAVPower Ace 6700 doesn't have a built-in flashlight or cables for charging devices, but it does have an integrated wall plug for recharging. The battery can also function as a pass-through when plugged into the wall, doubling as a USB wall adapter and solidly boosting its overall convenience. It can charge multiple devices at a time and has the standard four-LED battery indicator. It also includes an 18-month warranty that can be extended for an additional 12 months if you register the charger.
Following this top pair are the Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD and the RAVPower Super-C 26800 PD. Neither of these models has any integrated features, but they both can charge multiple devices at the same time and have the standard battery level indicators. Their warranties are both comparable, and they each earn some extra points for having USB Power Delivery capabilities, which means that both can function as an all-in-one charging solution for devices as more new products adopt this standard. They can charge large devices that other batteries can't, like a Nintendo Switch or a new MacBook computer.
A group of portable batteries came next. None of the RAVPower Ace 22000, the Anker PowerCore Speed 20000, and the Aibocn Power Bank 10000 have an integrated recharging solution or any built-in cables. However, the Ace 22000 includes two micro USB cables, compared to the single cable included with the PowerCore Speed 20000 or the Power Bank 10000.
Next are the OtterBox Power Pack 10000 and the Clutch Charger with their less than average convenience. The Power Pack 10000 lacks any integrated functions — no built-in flashlight, recharge, or charging methods — and can only charge a single device at a time. However, it did redeem itself a tiny bit by including a single micro USB cable and a lifetime limited warranty.
The Clutch Charger is similarly bare-bones, but it does have a built-in charging cable for an iPhone. You can't charge multiple devices or other non-Apple devices, though.
Rounding out the back of the group for this set of tests are the Anker PowerCore 5000, the Anker PowerCore+ Mini 3350, the Anker PowerCore 10000 and the Anker PowerCore II Slim 10000 with their limited versatility. These portable chargers lack any integrated convenience features and can only charge a single device at a time. They come with an 18-month limited warranty, and each includes a micro USB cable.
For the final 10% of the score for each portable charger, we looked at how long it took to recharge each of these batteries. This testing process was quite simple — we timed how long it took for a completely dead portable charger to fully recharge, using their LED indicator lights as a gauge. To power each power pack, we used either the included micro USB cable with a Samsung Quick Charge wall adapter or the integrated charging plug if the charger had one.
The Anker PowerCore 5000 earned top marks for this metric for the 150 minutes it took to completely recharge. It was followed by the Jackery Bolt 6000 with its 195 minute recharge time and the Clutch Charger with the 208 minutes it took to recharge. The Anker PowerCore 10000, the Aibocn Power Bank 10000, the RAVPower Ace 6700, the Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD, and the Anker PowerCore II Slim 10000 all followed. These all took 240-280 minutes to recharge, but we did use the included fast charger with the PowerCore+ 26800, rather than the standard charger used with the other products. It would take significantly longer with a typical charger.
The OtterBox Power Pack 10000 and the Anker PowerCore+ Mini 3350 come next, followed by the Anker PowerCore Speed 20000 and the RAVPower Ace 22000, the later pair each taking about 485 minutes to charge.
The Q Slim Power Bank Pro 10000 mAh follows next with its disproportionately long recharge time, considering its 10,000 milliamp-hour listed capacity. We used the integrated wall plug on this power pack for this evaluation, and it took just under 10 hours — 588 minutes — to completely refill this battery.
Finishing in the last place position, the RAVPower Super-C 26800 PD took a whopping 700 minutes to charge.
Hopefully, this review has given you a better understanding of what to look for in a portable charger, and has helped you narrow down your options to pick the perfect model for your needs and budget. Whether you are looking for the lightest possible portable battery, the one with the most capacity of them all, or something in between, our lineup has the ideal option for you.
— Austin Palmer and David Wise