Best Portable Chargers
Diy13/istockphoto
Best Portable Chargers
Diy13/istockphoto

CHARGING ON THE GO

The latest smartphones can take dazzling photos, respond to voice commands, and even recognize your face. What they still can't seem to do is last an entire day without running low on battery. An external power bank can provide a charge when there's no outlet in sight. Cheapism.com has rounded up portable battery chargers that cost less than $35 and enjoy high ratings from consumers and electronics experts. While they vary in size and capacity, most can supply at least one full charge for an iPhone or Android phone before they need recharging themselves. There's also a credit-card-size option for emergencies and a more expensive wireless charger.

Prices and availability subject to change.

Jackery Bolt 6000
Courtesy of amazon.com

JACKERY BOLT 6000


Good Portable Charger Under $35 With Built-In Cables
Est. Price: $30 | Buy it on Amazon

Pros:
- Designed for both Apple and Android devices, with convenient built-in Lightning and micro-USB cables.
- Nice amount of power (6,000 mAh) considering its small size (4.3 x 1.9 x 0.9 inches).
- Charges devices and recharges itself quickly.
- Sturdy aluminum casing available in black, red, orange, or silver.
- Wirecutter's pick for everyday carry.

Cons:
- Built-in cables don't fit well with some phone cases.
- Some iPhone users say this device doesn't consistently charge their phones.

Takeaway: With the Jackery Bolt 6000, users can charge both Android devices by micro USB and Apple products with Lightning connectors. The cables are integrated into the charger so you don't have to worry about losing them or carrying along your own.

TravelCard Charger
Courtesy of travelcardcharger.com

TRAVELCARD CHARGER


Good Slim Portable Charger for Emergencies
Est. Price: $29 | Buy it on TravelCardCharger.com

Pros:
- Incredibly slim and portable -- designed to fit in a wallet.
- Good backup power source in case of emergency.
- Built-in charging cables.
- Android/micro-USB and iPhone/Lightning versions available.
- Comes in seven colors.
- Wirecutter's pick for a truly pocket-sized battery.

Cons:
- Small capacity of 1,500 mAh charges most smartphones only about halfway.
- Charging time is slow compared with our other picks.
- Not sufficient for charging a tablet.
- A little on the thick side for sliding into most wallets (0.2 inch).
- Charges only one device at a time.

Takeaway: The TravelCard Charger is perhaps the slimmest, smallest portable charger available. Although the capacity is limited, it's ideal for situations when your phone battery just needs a little boost. Don't expect it to fully charge a smartphone, but it can save you in a pinch.

Aukey PB-N15 Power Bank
Courtesy of amazon.com

AUKEY PB-N15 POWER BANK


Good High-Capacity Portable Charger Under $35
Est. Price: $31 | Buy it on Amazon

Pros:
- Very large battery capacity of 20,000 mAh (good to take on long trips away from outlet power).
- Can power up a phone several times on a single charge.
- Capable of charging a phone and a tablet at the same time.

Cons:
- Blocky design, available in black or white, does not appeal to some.
- A few users say it stopped working after a few months, although others report that it still works after more than a year of use.
- Weighs almost a pound, due to the large battery.

Takeaway: The Aukey PB-N15 has the capacity to charge a small arsenal of devices before it needs recharging. It stores enough juice to charge a leading smartphone at least three times and even fully charge a 9.7-inch iPad Pro on the go. The trade-off is that it's somewhat hefty to carry around.

RavPower RP-PB17R
Courtesy of amazon.com

RAVPOWER RP-PB17R


Best Small Portable Charger Under $35
Est. Price: $19 | Buy it on Amazon

Pros:
- Attractive design made with scratch-resistant pink or silver anodized aluminum.
- Charges devices rapidly (2.4A output).
- Lightweight, at 4.8 ounces.
- 4.6 out of 5 stars from more than 1,700 reviewers on Amazon.

Cons:
- Can't charge more than one device at a time.
- Shape is compact but not very slim.
- A small number of buyers say it wouldn't recharge after a few months.

Takeaway: This nifty little portable battery charger from RavPower stores enough power (6,700 mAh) to charge a top smartphone a couple of times over, yet it fits comfortably in a pocket or purse and costs less than $20.

Poweradd Pilot 2GS
Courtesy of amazon.com

POWERADD PILOT 2GS


Best Slim Portable Charger Under $35
Est. Price: $16 | Buy it on Amazon

Pros:
- Slim shape houses a large capacity of 10,000 mAh.
- Charges devices quickly, with 2 ports and sufficient output (3.4A in total) to charge a phone and tablet at the same time.
- Can charge a phone several times before it needs recharging.
- Many buyers admire the sleek design that slips easily into a pocket.
- 4.3 out of 5 stars from more than 4,000 reviewers on Amazon.

Cons:
- Heavy for such a compact device (8.8 ounces).
- Some shoppers complain that it stopped holding a charge after several months.

Takeaway: The Poweradd Pilot 2GS is surprisingly cheap given its slick design and 10,000 mAh capacity. The dual USB ports provide enough output to swiftly charge two devices at once -- always a welcome feature.

RavPower RP-PB010
Courtesy of amazon.com

RAVPOWER RP-PB010


Best Portable Charger Under $35
Est. Price: $27 | Buy it on Amazon

Pros:
- Large battery capacity of 16,750 mAh can charge a top smartphone multiple times.
- 2 ports with enough power output (4.5A total) to charge 2 tablets simultaneously.
- Comes with a travel pouch, 2 USB to micro-USB cables, and choice of black or white.
- 4.5 out of 5 stars from more than 13,500 reviewers on Amazon.

Cons:
- High capacity makes for a heavier power bank (10.7 ounces).
- Large battery takes a while to recharge.

Takeaway: With a 16,750 mAh battery and total power output of 4.5 amps, the RavPower RP-PB010 is capable of rapidly charging two devices at once. This large-capacity charger is also relatively slim, at just 0.9 inch thick, and reviewers like its curved shape.

Tronsmart Presto PBT10
Courtesy of amazon.com

TRONSMART PRESTO PBT10


Bonus: Cheap Portable Charger With Quick Charge 3.0
Est. Price: $23 | Buy it on Amazon

Pros:
- Quick Charge 3.0 for faster charging of compatible devices.
- Relatively cheap, small, and light for a QC 3.0 charger (they tend to be heavy).
- Buyers like the compact design, which includes 2 ports, fits easily into a pocket, and comes in black or white with a travel pouch.
- Wirecutter's pick for Quick Charge-compatible devices.

Cons:
- QC 3.0 is irrelevant for iPhones and for Android phones that don't support it.

Takeaway: The 10,000 mAh Tronsmart Presto PBT10 is surprisingly affordable for a charger that supports Qualcomm's Quick Charge 3.0 technology, which allows it to charge compatible Android devices in a flash. IPhone users can't take advantage, however, and the charger is light on extra features.

Anker PowerCore 20100
Courtesy of amazon.com

ANKER POWERCORE 20100


Bonus: Cheap Portable Charger With Super-High Capacity
Est. Price: $32 | Buy it on Amazon

Pros:
- Enough output (4.8A total) to charge 2 devices -- even 2 tablets -- simultaneously at top speed.
- 20,100 mAh battery can charge a phone several times before running out of power (good for long trips).
- Solid build quality, according to reviews, and available in black or white.
- Wirecutter's pick for more power.
- 4.6 out of 5 stars from nearly 12,000 reviewers on Amazon.

Cons:
- Takes a while to fully recharge, users report.
- Too big and bulky to fit comfortably in a pocket.

Takeaway: The Anker PowerCore 20100 features a massive battery that can repeatedly charge more than one device -- and fast -- before running out of juice, although with such a high capacity, it's pretty slow to recharge itself.

OutXE Savage Solar Charger
Courtesy of amazon.com

OUTXE SAVAGE SOLAR CHARGER


Bonus: Cheap Solar Charger
Est. Price: $30 | Buy it on Amazon

Pros:
- Solar charging.
- Dust-proof, waterproof, and shock-resistant.
- Comes with a carabiner and built-in three-mode flashlight.

Cons:
- Takes about 35 hours to fully recharge itself using the solar panel.
- Adds 11.6 ounces to a backpack.

Takeaway: Those who love the great outdoors often need a portable source of power but don't want to take any old charger into the wild. Buyers appreciate the built-in solar panel and rugged build of the 10,000 mAh OutXE Savage Solar Charger, although solar recharging can be painfully slow.

Mophie Charge Force Powerstation
Courtesy of amazon.com

MOPHIE CHARGE FORCE POWERSTATION


Bonus: Portable Wireless Charger
Est. Price: $100 | Buy it from Verizon

Pros:
- Supports Qi wireless charging of compatible phones.
- Wireless charging is convenient and works well, users say.
- Can charge a second device at the same time via USB.
- Enough capacity (10,000 mAh) to fully charge a phone more than once.
- Capable of pass-through charging (i.e., it can charge a device while recharging itself).
- Rated "Excellent" by PCMag.

Cons:
- Pricey for a portable charger.
- Wireless charging is slower than charging by cable.

Takeaway: Wireless charging is a futuristic and convenient feature that few portable chargers support. The Mophie Charge Force Powerstation can charge any Qi-enabled smartphone on contact, but you'll pay top dollar for it.