Need an extra boost of energy when you're out and about? Over the past 6 years, we've tested more than 35 of the best portable chargers to bring you this selection of the 13 most promising options available today. We put these chargers through rigorous head-to-head tests, using a digital multimeter and a simulated resistive load to ascertain their capacity. We assessed and scored each product based on portability, overall convenience, and user-friendliness. We considered additional features, size, and overall usability. No matter if you're looking to power your laptop while you travel or just keep your phone from dying before you get home, we've found the best options for your electronics and your wallet.
Editor's Note: This review was revised on July 31, 2023, to include several new models from Apple, Clutch, Mophie, and more, as well as an updated test plan to better compare all products in our lineup.
Capacity: 10,000 mAh | Maximum Discharge Rate: 3 A
REASONS TO BUY
Can charge three devices at once
REASONS TO AVOID
No built-in cables or plugs
Seeking a portable charger capable of delivering multiple full charges for your smartphone? Take a look at the INIU Portable Charger 10000. This robust battery comes equipped with three output ports, allowing simultaneous recharging of various devices. It has a commendable capacity for its size. Staying fairly small and lightweight, this model offers high portability — we were able to fit it in both front and back pockets comfortably — and helps it to stand out. Just in case, this handy charger even incorporates a built-in flashlight.
However, the INIU 10000 doesn't come with incorporated cables or a plug for recharging; these you'll need to provide yourself. But if a dependable power bank with a good-sized capacity is what you're after, the INIU 10000 is a great, well-rounded choice.
Capacity: 10,000 mAh | Maximum Discharge Rate: 2.4 A
REASONS TO BUY
Can charge two devices at once
REASONS TO AVOID
Slow to recharge
No built-in cables or plugs
If you're seeking maximum battery power while on a constrained budget, consider the 2-Pack Miady 10000. This economical dual pack of 10,000 mAh batteries matches the price of most single batteries from other brands yet includes two chargers, each delivering reliable performance. Each battery can simultaneously charge up to two devices, and recharging the depleted Miady offers flexibility, allowing you to choose between a micro USB or a USB-C cable. Its output rate is sufficiently high for rapid charging of most devices, and its slim compact design enhances its portability.
These batteries embody simplicity. They lack built-in cables for charging diverse devices, and a USB power adapter is required — supplied by you — for their recharging as they don't possess an integrated wall plug or an included cable. When recharging, be prepared for a considerable wait of five to seven hours. Notwithstanding that, the value offered by the Miady 2-Pack is undeniable, making it a strong recommendation for those keen on maximizing their budget.
Capacity: 20,000 mAh | Maximum Discharge Rate: 3.4 A
REASONS TO BUY
Great for high-power devices
Recharges exceptionally fast
REASONS TO AVOID
If the preceding portable batteries fall short of your device's power demands, then consider the Mophie Powerstation XXL 20000. This powerhouse of a battery is capable of delivering sufficient current to effectively charge some of the most power-demanding devices, including newer MacBooks, laptops, or gaming systems like a Nintendo Switch. It embraces the latest Power Delivery (PD) standard with USB-C connectors, enabling you to charge compatible devices at their maximum speed. It has ample energy to completely recharge most recent smartphones five times or more, and it replenishes itself quickly using the bundled fast-charging wall adapter — a scarce feature for larger battery packs.
The Mophie Powerstation XXL ranks among the largest and heaviest portable batteries we've examined. Its bulkiness can make it inconvenient to carry in a pocket, thereby reducing its portability. However, simply place it in your backpack alongside your laptop, and you're good to go. As expected, this product carries a slightly higher price tag than some of its smaller counterparts. Despite this, we confidently recommend this battery unit to anyone needing to power up their phone multiple times or requiring a battery that can sustain the high power demands of larger devices.
Capacity: 3,000 mAh | Maximum Discharge Rate: 2.1 A
REASONS TO BUY
Lightweight and small
Integrated cable (you choose; lighting or USB-C)
REASONS TO AVOID
Inconsistent efficiency performance
No way to plug in your own cord
If your phone just requires a small power boost to last through an extended day, the Clutch V3 is at your service. Its size is remarkably small, thin, and lightweight. Its measurements are less than half an inch longer and wider than a credit card. And with a thickness equivalent to five or six credit cards, it conveniently fits in your wallet alongside your daily necessities. You get to choose the cable that suits your needs — either a lightning cord or a USB-C cable — ensuring it's always ready for those times when your phone battery depletes before you make it home.
Given these specific features, the Clutch is less adaptable compared to most other portable chargers. It doesn't accommodate any additional cables beyond the one it comes with. It also lacks the capacity to fully rejuvenate a completely dead modern smartphone. However, if your requirement is just a bit of power to make a phone call or hail an rideshare to take you home to your regular charger, this compact and handy unit is ideal for such emergencies.
We've tested more than 35 portable chargers over the past six years, subjecting each to a battery of rigorous, intensive, and repeated testing. We weigh and measure every model, testing their comfort in our pockets and convenience in backpacks, clutches, and carry-on luggage. We measured their capacity and battery efficiency using various smartphones and dummy resister loads. We scrutinized their extra features, usability, and versatility. And we recharged and drained them over and over again, measuring how long it takes to do so.
Our portable charger testing is divided across four different metrics:
Charging Efficiency (30% of overall score weighting)
Added Convenience (30% weighting)
Portability (25% weighting)
Recharge Time (15% weighting)
This review involves testing, expertise, and input from several of GearLab's top Review Editors. Maggie Nichols, Austin Palmer, Jacob Clark, and David Wise have all lent significant brainpower to test and examine this slew of portable chargers. Maggie's scientific background helps her design and carry out rigorous product testing of a plethora of home goods, electronics, and outdoor equipment for GearLab. Jacob's training and experience as a physical chemist working in lab settings give him unique insight into minute interactions and small details. Austin and David have extensively tested and compared hundreds of consumer products for several years. David's formal training as a mechanical engineer, with a particular focus on electronics and electromechanical systems, sets him up perfectly to design the tests used to compare these portable chargers. We consulted with additional mechanical and electrical engineers as well as avid travelers and friends and family to design this battery of rigorous testing to encompass all the aspects of what makes a portable charger worth owning.
We've spent years testing the best and newest portable chargers to bring you the top contenders.
Analysis and Test Results
In our pursuit of the finest portable charger, we conducted a comprehensive analysis and singled out the most impressive portable power packs obtainable in the market. We obtained these for a side-by-side evaluation in our laboratory. Our assessment approach was divided into several mutually exclusive performance metrics. In what follows, we break down each metric and discuss which models perform best.
When considering the price-performance ratio, we are confident that the Miady 2-Pack delivers unmatched value, particularly for those operating on a strict budget. This pack, costing noticeably less than many of the individual batteries, offers the additional economic advantage of including multiple batteries. Similarly, the LoveLedi 15000 Dual 2-Pack provides excellent value in a two-pack, albeit with slightly lower performance and marginally higher battery capacity. The TG90° 10000mAh with AC Wall Plug also serves as a high-value option. It comes with integrated cables for both USB-C and lightning along with a built-in AC wall plug, enabling the simultaneous charging of multiple devices and itself, thereby eliminating the need and cost of additional cords.
We assessed each model based on its energy output at its peak discharge rate relative to its advertised capacity. We also verified the veracity of various manufacturers' assertions, such as the ability to charge a specific phone a certain number of times. We utilized a dummy resistive load set to draw power at the highest rate from each battery pack and a digital multimeter to measure the electricity each pack delivered. We found that no battery pack actually achieved its stated capacity. We also used each unit to fully charge a phone as many times as it could to understand how the efficiency of each battery and its capacity combine to define your charging experience. After all, the efficiency of a charger only tells part of the picture of how it will perform keeping your devices powered up.
The most efficient model in our lineup was the Clutch V3, although its performance varied between our dummy load tests and phone charging trials. The dummy load test yielded just an 82% efficiency, while phone charging tests delivered a remarkable 86% efficiency. However, with such a modest capacity (just 3300 mAh), such a wide discrepancy in results is a bit concerning to us. And while its efficiency is impressive, its real-world charging prowess is less so. This very small-capacity battery only charged our phone up to 75% from dead, resulting in a lower overall score, despite its impressive usable capacity percentage.
The Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD and Mophie PowerStation XXL 20000 both achieved commendable 83% charging efficiencies during our testing, slightly surpassing their marketing claims. Each of these models also has plenty of juice to keep your phone, tablet, laptop, and handheld gaming system running for longer than the rest. The INIU 22.5W 20000 is nearly as good, with a large capacity and charging efficiency of just under 83%. It's another solid option for longer intervals spent away from electricity.
The INIU 10000 and Zendure Power Bank 10000mAh were hot on their heels, both attaining 82% efficiency, which aligned with their manufacturers' claims. However, the Zendure only charged our phones from 0% barely twice — a less impressive showing. The LoveLedi 15000 Dual, Miady 2-Pack, and Anker PowerCore Slim 10000 were just a few notches behind, achieving 80%, 79%, and 79% efficiency, respectively. However, both the LoveLedi and the Miady juiced up our phones a little over three times, while the Anker PowerCore Slim barely managed more than twice.
Because of its wireless-only, it wasn't possible to directly test the charging efficiency of the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack on our multimeter. We roughly gauged its efficiency through our iPhone charging tests. Apple claims that this battery can charge an iPhone to 60%, and in our testing, it reached 58% charged — pretty close to the claimed value. However, because we could not directly measure the energy flowing out of this wireless charger, we were unable to calculate a measured usable capacity for this model, which is why there is no value in our table for this model.
To gauge convenience, we considered supplementary features, functions, and extras that either enhanced the ease of use or distinguished these devices in any way. We accounted for practical features such as integrated cables and wall chargers, the capability to charge multiple devices concurrently, and the ability to fast charge devices. We also checked which models could handle tablet charging, whether they came with battery indicators, and even exceptional extras like in-built flashlights.
The Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD and Mophie Powerstation XXL 20000 don't come with any integrated features but are capable of charging several devices simultaneously, and both feature standard battery level indicators. They earn bonus points for having USB Power Delivery capabilities, signifying that they can serve as comprehensive charging solutions for more products. They can charge larger devices that other batteries can't, such as a Nintendo Switch or a MacBook.
When considering integrated cables, there's a range of alternatives available. If you require charging solutions for devices that utilize virtually every type of plug, the TG90 10000 is your prime choice. It comes with two embedded cables — a lightning cable and a dual-headed cable with USB-C and micro USB connectors. Furthermore, it possesses a USB-A output on top to which an additional cable can be connected, enabling the simultaneous charging of three devices. And if that's not enough, it also includes a wall plug to recharge the battery itself. The Miisso 6000mAh Ultra Slim has a similar cord configuration. It has two in-built cables — one lightning and one USB-C — plus a USB-A port that similarly permits the charging of up to three gadgets concurrently. The Clutch V3 is equipped with a single integrated cable: either a lightning cable or a USB-C cable (based on the model you prefer). However, it lacks any additional ports for custom cables or for charging more than a single device at a time.
The INIU 10000 comes with an embedded flashlight and can charge several devices simultaneously. However, it lacks integrated charging cables or wall plugs. The Zendure lacks conspicuous additional features, but its input port (USB-C) can also function as an output port, a handy feature. All the models we evaluated have battery indicators, allowing for an easy visual check on their remaining power.
Although none of these batteries are overly cumbersome to carry, some are more travel-friendly than others. Several can comfortably fit into a pocket, while others are more suitable for transport in a tote, backpack, or laptop case. We examined each charger's dimensions, weight, and compatibility with a pants pocket, handbag, backpack, and other bags to determine their scores. We also took into account other portability factors — such as the necessity to carry a cord along with the charger.
The reasons behind the Clutch V3 standing out as the ideal pick for portability are clear. It tips the scale at only 2.6 ounces, and its credit card-style design allows for storage in a wallet — a distinctive and relatively rare feature for these products. It is so light and unobtrusive in a pocket that we fear some folks might inadvertently launder it. It includes a single integrated cable, alleviating the concern of packing that separately.
The Apple MagSafe is also quite portable. It's not much larger than the Clutch and magnetically attaches to the back of new iPhones, wirelessly charging them without any cords. Weighing 4.0 ounces, it's easy to toss in a purse, pocket, or backpack to keep Apple users and their products running all day long.
The Miisso Ultra Slim is yet another compact and lightweight model. Despite appearing considerably larger than the Clutch V3, we actually deem the Miisso to be more flexible overall, making it more beneficial to carry for a broader array of purposes. Instead of making you choose between a lightning or USB-C charging cable (like the Clutch), the Miisso incorporates both.
The Miisso Ultra Slim also possesses a USB-A port on top for additional possibilities, albeit the requirement of an extra cable doesn't bode as well for portability. However, given this significantly increased versatility, the Miisso earns our endorsement as one of the most portable chargers available. The Zendure is small and uniquely shaped among this lineup. Its length and width are smaller than most others, but it's thicker. This size makes it easier to toss in a backpack but harder to slip into a pocket. It also comes in several bright colors like red, blue, and silver, making it easier to spot in your bag, and adding to its overall portability.
The INIU 10000 is also quite portable. This charger is lightweight and features a slim design, making it convenient to carry in a pocket without causing discomfort. The Anker PowerCore Slim and the 2-Pack Miady also represent highly portable alternatives. None of these three chargers are excessively heavy, with weights ranging from 6.9 to 7.7 ounces. All are manageable enough to transport in your pocket, with the Miady 10000 having a slight advantage because of its marginally slimmer form.
We're also fans of the convenient size and portability of the iWalk 4500 Ultra-Compact. This compact model is shaped like a small wedge, plugging directly into the charging port on the bottom of your phone. When in use, there are no cables hanging anywhere, and the entire device hugs the bottom of your smartphone, allowing you to easily keep using it as it charges.
The TG90° also stands as a rather portable model. It shares roughly the same dimensions and weight as the Anker PowerCore Slim 10000, but also incorporates 2 integrated cables with 3 potential charging options (lightning, USB-C, and micro USB) as well as a wall plug to recharge the battery itself. By minimizing additional items to carry, the TG90 amplifies its portability.
We clocked the duration needed for each totally drained unit to fully recharge, using their LED indicator lights as a reference. We used either the provided charging cable with a standard 2.1 A USB wall adapter or the integrated charging plug (if one was incorporated) to charge each power pack. Since we tested batteries with different capacities, we also compared this recharge time to their capacity to see which has the speediest relative time.
Two products came with or necessitated a fast charging option: the Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD and the Zendure Power Bank. The PowerCore+ took just 250 minutes to recharge — a seriously impressive feat for also being one of the largest-capacity models we tested. This is due in large part to the boost it gets from its included fast charger block. While you can charge every one of these batteries faster with a faster charging block (obviously), this is one of the only ones that doesn't make you provide that block yourself and it makes a big difference.
The Zendure, while not including a power block, comes with a USB-C to USB-C charging cable. We plugged this into our available USB-C wall charging block, which outputs 3 A (compared to the standard block output of 2.1 A). Even faster USB-C blocks are available, allowing you to potentially charge this battery very fast with its included cord.
The Miisso Ultra Slim took a mere 165 minutes to recharge, clocking in around an hour and a half less than the group average. Its shorter recharge time can partially be attributed to its smaller capacity of just 6000 mAh. However, it's equipped with both a micro USB input (the cord it comes with) as well as a USB-C input. This setup allows you to link it to a quick charging block and accelerate its power-up. The INIU 20000 and LoveLedi both proved to be quicker to charge than average for their respective capacities.
Surprisingly, the Clutch V3, despite its petite capacity of just 3000 mAh, required 293 minutes for a full charge, substantially exceeding the average time, while providing less than a third of the power. The 2-Pack Miady also needed a lengthy period to recharge — a total of 405 minutes, or close to 7 hours. However, if you're consistent with your charging routine, none of the units we evaluated would take longer than this, rendering them all suitable for an overnight recharge.
We hope this review has enriched your understanding of what to consider in a portable charger, and assisted you in refining your choices to select the optimal model that meets your needs and budget. Whether you're seeking the most lightweight portable battery, the one boasting the highest capacity, or something in between, our lineup holds the perfect option for you.
Jacob Clark, Maggie Nichols, Austin Palmer, & David Wise