Best power banks 2021: portable chargers to keep your gadgets going

If you keep finding your devices run out of charge at the worst possible moment then you need one of the best power banks or portable charg...

If you keep finding your devices run out of charge at the worst possible moment then you need one of the best power banks or portable chargers to keep you topped up during those crucial times.

Knowing what the best power bank for you is depends on what you need to charge and how much juice you need. Phones are the most obvious device to recharge during a long day out, but you may also need a power bank that can charge up a Nintendo Switch or even a laptop while on the move.

It's important to consider the price, power, and portability before you make a purchase. Plan for these three things and you can't go wrong with finding the right portable charger for your needs. Do you need it to top up your phone when you’re at a sporting event or on a night out? Or are you going camping for three days and need to charge several devices more than once without access to any wall chargers? These are all important things to consider beforehand so you don't buy the wrong power bank for your needs. 

While you're thinking about your purchase, pay attention to the mAh rating. The higher the number, the more charge the portable power bank will hold. You should also check how fast it can output charge as you might be waiting around a while if the output is slow and you're trying to charge a large device like an iPad or laptop.

Got this far? Good. Below, we've listed the best portable chargers according to capacity, slimness, and port selection, as there's no one size-fits-all solution to this purchase. Make sure to read the full descriptions of each power bank to see which best suits your needs and budget.

Best power banks for capacity

iMuto 20,000mAh power bank

Image Credit: iMuto

iMuto 20,000mAh power bank

Two ports, 20,000mAh and affordable

Large capacity
Has a screen
Chunky design
Very heavy

If you're looking for a high capacity charger that's portable, the iMuto 20,000mAh portable charger may be for you. It offers a 20,000mAh capacity that will be able to charge your average smartphone over four times and still have some charge left.

What makes the iMuto a little more useful than the other charging banks on this list is the fact you can see its exact remaining charge, not a rough estimate like in some of the competitors, so you know how much more you can charge your devices for. Sure, the body of the power bank is a little large and ungainly, but the screen more than makes up for it

Anker PowerCore 20,100 power bank

Image Credit: Anker

Anker PowerCore 20,100 power bank

A whole 20,100mAh to play with

Big battery size
High speed charging
Doesn't support Qualcomm Quick Charge

You've likely heard of Anker, and this is one of the company's best portable chargers. It comes with a huge 20,100mAh battery inside, meaning this will be able to charge up your phone or tablet multiple times before it needs a recharge.

We found it pretty snappy to use, in that it charges up quickly, and can also power up your devices speedily. Sure, it did heat up a bit when we were charging it, more so than other devices, but not to worrying degrees. This high-speed charging isn't available for all devices, only for if they use PowerIQ or VoltageBoost. It won't be able to use Qualcomm's QuickCharge technology, but it'll still boost your device when you're on the go.

RAVPower 20,000mAh power bank

Image Credit: RAVPower

RAVPower 20,000mAh power bank

Two ports, and slimmer than the iMuto

Surprisingly portable

The RAVPower 20,000mAh doesn't look much different to a lot of the options above and below, but it offers a lot of capacity and can be cheaper than the other devices surrounding it.

You have two ports here so you can charge two gadgets at the same time and it'll have enough capacity to be able to charge both a mobile and an iPad or tablet from 0% too. It's lighter and more streamlined than other banks on this list, so unlike the competition it can actually fit in pockets (well, unless you've got a small pocket).

Morphie Powerstation all-in-one

(Image credit: Morphie)

Morphie Powerstation all-in-one

Flexible options for Apple users

Charges up to four devices
Built-in magnetic Apple Watch charger
Best for Apple devices only

If you're fully invested in Apple products, the Morphie Powerstation all-in-one is the power bank for you. It has a built-in magnetic watch charger for your Apple Watch, the ability to wireless charge your iPhone or AirPods, plus a USB-C port for charging your smartphone in the customary way. 

You can charge up to four devices at once with 8,000mAh battery meaning you're good to go for a while. Charging is speedy too with the promise of your iPhone reaching 50% battery in just 30 minutes via the USB-C port. The only real issue here is that you're going to pay for the privilege with the Morphie Powerstation all-in-one being rather pricey compared to competitors. 

Aukey power bank 20,000mAh

Image Credit: Aukey

Aukey power bank 20,000mAh

Charge two at a time

Large battery capacity
Two USB ports
Blocky design
No quick charging

This power bank features two ports so you can charge both your phone and your tablet at the same time and also has a light to show you how much battery charge is leftover. That's quite a standard feature on a larger power bank, but still useful for many people.

The blocky design may not be for everyone, and it's the prime reason this piece of tech isn't higher in this list, but this portable charger should be able to charge your phone and other gadgets a few times over with such a high capacity cell inside.

RAVPower Universal Power Bank Travel Charger

Image Credit: RAVPower

RAVPower Universal Power Bank Travel Charger

One for your laptop

AC output
20,100mAh capacity
Big design

RAVPower's portable charger is a great choice if you need a device that can charge both your laptop and your phone. It features USB-C and normal USB outputs as well as an AC output, so you can plug your laptop charger directly in.

There's also a 20,100mAh capacity battery inside, so this will be able to juice up your phone or tablet multiple times before you need to put it back on charge.

mophie powerstation wireless XL Portable Battery

(Image credit: Mophie)

Mophie Powerstation Wireless XL Portable Battery

A wireless charging behemoth

Huge capacity
Wireless charging option

This power bank by trusted brand Mophie gives you both wired and wireless charging from its enormous 10,000mAh capacity. You can top up two devices at once using both methods, and it’ll even charge your AirPods wirelessly too if you have the right AirPods case.

You’ll also be able to charge iPads thanks to Lightning and USB-C ports. This is truly a one-stop-shop portable charger if you have all the Apple gear and are frequently away from a plug.

That said, it’ll also charge any USB-C or Qi wireless charging compatible Android phone or tablet, so it’s not exclusively for Apple products. It’s a bit chunky at 280g and it’s not the cheapest out there, but it’s an all round excellent power pick from one of the market’s most revered manufacturers. 

NOVOO Power Bank 22500mAh

Image Credit: Poweradd (Image credit: NOVOO)

NOVOO Power Bank 22,500mAh

For when USB-C or Lightning isn't enough

Has a mains port
Variety of connections
Odd design

Sometimes you don't want to charge a USB-C, microUSB or Lightning device up, and that's why you'll want something like this power bank. It has a socket like you'd find it a wall, letting you plug anything in there. 

Sure, it's quite a big device, and most devices you'd plug into the wall might want a little more juice than 22,500mAh. But with a connection of plugs and ports, this is a very malleable piece of tech.

Mophie Powerstation Plus XL

Image Credit: Mophie

Mophie Powerstation Plus XL

The best portable charger designed for iPhones

Integrated Lightning cable
Great fabric design
Not the cheapest

The Mophie Powerstation Plus XL is one of the best power banks designed for the iPhone and iPad (aside from the iPad Pro 2018 range with its USB-C port), and we say that for several reasons. 

It contains an embedded Lightning cable you can’t lose, it charges via a Lightning cable and you can charge it wirelessly with any Qi charger, so you may already have everything you need.

This 10,000mAh power bank has a soft fabric finish and can charge two devices at once, one via the 10W USB-A port and another with the integrated Lightning charger. You won't find as much use from this portable charger if you're on Android, though it's still possible to use that USB-A port so you can help a friend charge.

MAXOAK 50,000mAh

Image Credit: MAXOAK

MAXOAK 50,000mAh

A whole six ports

Six ports
Huge battery
Large design

This may not be the most portable charger on our list, but it features a lot of ports, so you can charge multiple devices at the same time. It'll even charge laptops as well as your phone and tablet.

You can charge six devices at once, and with a 50,000mAh capacity it has the juice to do that, so if you're usually surrounded by a lot of tech this is possibly one of the best chargers to buy.

A-Elefull-E 30,000mAh power bank

(Image credit: A-Elefull-E)

A-Elefull-E 30,000mAh power bank

Big capacity without being too large

Says remaining power
Powers up with microUSB

If you want an above-average power bank without having to break your back at carrying the thing around, this device might be for you. With a 30,000mAh capacity, two USB ports and several other connectors, it'll keep multiple devices going.

It also has a mini readout, telling you the remaining charge, which is a feature we like in power banks as it lets you know exactly how much juice you've got left. 

Best slim power banks

Xiaomi 10,000mAh Power Bank Pro

Image Credit: Xiaomi

Xiaomi 10,000mAh Power Bank Pro

A slim, well-crafted portable charger

Portable, metal-clad design
Works for micro USB and USB-C devices
A bit thick

Xiaomi has a hand in some unexpected and disparate sectors of technology, including phones, scooters, kettles, audio and portable chargers. But don't sleep on either, as it's onto something worth checking out. 

During our testing, its 10,000mAh Power Bank provided good results, both in terms of its portability and charging potential. While not the fastest charger out there, it was able to charge our Google Pixel 2 in a little over two hours. Thankfully, it's discreet enough that you can bring it with you just about everywhere to plug in when necessary.

It's not rare for a power bank to come with a charging cable, but we appreciate that this one has been built with care to suit both micro USB and USB-C users with the same cable, as seen in the above gallery.

Veho Pebble P1 Pro

Image Credit: Veho

Veho Pebble P1 Pro

Fast charging with a great design

Two USB ports
Charge via microUSB and USB-C
Not a design for everyone

With 10,400mAh inside, two USB outputs and fast charging technology the Pebble P1 Pro may be one of the best all-round power banks you can buy right now. This doesn't have anything to do with the defunct watch brand, but instead it's called the Pebble for its curved edges design.

This should be able to recharge most phones at least two and a half times from a single charge, plus this power bank can be charged up by either microUSB or USB-C so you won't need to have a specific cable with you to pump it up again when it's out of juice.

Poweradd Pilot 2GS 10,000mAh

 Image Credit: Poweradd

Poweradd Pilot 2GS 10,000mAh

Metal and sleek

High capacity
Quick recharge
Still quite heavy

Poweradd also offers a great slim portable charger, and it's one of the cheapest options on this list yet boasts a substantial 10,000mAh cell inside.

It may be quite heavy, but this is only 1.3cm thick, making it a great device to slip into your back pocket when you're out and about. You'll want to grab a cable to go with it though as unlike the Iceworks choice above it doesn't come with one built in.

Anker PowerCore II 10,000mAh power bank

 Image Credit: Anker

Anker PowerCore II 10,000mAh power bank

The one to slip into your pocket

Super slim design
Very portable
No cables in the box

We love this little guy. The Anker PowerCore II 10,000 power bank is perhaps the most portable option on this list and allows you to have at least two full charges for your phone in your back pocket ready to go.

At only 209g and 1.5cm thick, you'll be able to take this around with you and not feel weighed down while still having 10,000mAh of extra power for any of your devices. Plus it comes with Anker's own fast-charging tech that should mean you won't be plugged into it for too long.

Like a lot of the chargers on this list, it doesn't come with a cable attached so you'll need to take your own out and about with you.

Charmast 26800mAh Power Bank

Image credit: Charmast (Image credit: Charmast)

Charmast 26,800mAh Power Bank

Hefty capacity at a great price

Massive capacity
Slim design
Less well known brand
Overkill for some users

Charmast may not be as well known as other power bank suppliers but it has a fast growing reputation and it's keenly priced. This 26,800mAh Power Bank has enough capacity to charge your iPhone over 8 times and even a MacBook twice before needing to find an energy source. 

With the choice of USB-C or regular USB-A, you can easily charge up many different devices from smartphones to laptops or the Nintendo Switch. In terms of versatility, you can't go wrong here and the power bank includes room to charge up to four devices at once. 

It's a little long but it manages to be slim and relatively lightweight so it should be good for most purposes.

Anker Astro E1 Power Bank

(Image credit: Anker)

Anker Astro E1 Power Bank

Incredibly small yet quite potent

Very small design
No Qualcomm Quick Charge support
Limited capacity

If you simply want a small and lightweight device to get you out of a jam then the Anker Astro E1 Power Bank is the one for you. It doesn't have the capacity that others here provide weighing in at only 5,200mAh but it'll still charge your smartphone almost twice or a tablet to about 70% while you're on the move.

That's no use if you're traveling far but it's good for a busy day or two at work where you just need to keep things topped up. Easily able to fit into your pocket, you'll barely notice the Anker Astro E1 Power Bank until you need it which is sure to be convenient.

Omars Power Bank 10,000mAh

(Image credit: Omars)

Omars Power Bank 10,000mAh

Charge your USB-C device

Rare device that comes with USB-C
Can be charged up with USB-C
Not USB-C speeds

One of the problems with most power banks is that they still use the outdated microUSB, both to charge up and to power other phones (this isn't a problem for iPhone users, who have had to use the slightly antiquated Lightning charging for years now).

This Omars power bank can be charged up by its USB-C port, letting you fill it up quickly, and also comes with a USB to USB-C cable, so you can power up your modern Android phone, tablet or iPad Pro without having to remember your own. The USB-C connector is actually snapped on to a microUSB cable, so you're not getting true USB-C fast charging, but it's a start.

Anker Magnetic Wireless Portable Charger

(Image credit: Anker)

Anker Magnetic Wireless Portable Charger

Convenient wireless charging on the move

Wireless charging
Charges through magnetic cases
Some features iPhone 12 exclusive

If you're keen to be liberated from cables, even while on the move, the Anker Magnetic Wireless Portable Charger is for you. Simply attach the charger to the back of your iPhone 12 and the charger transfers power without any bother. It works through compatible magnetic cases so you won't even have to worry about any interference.

The advantage here is that you can continue to use your iPhone while it charges, simply proving to be a bit heavier than before. The downside is that the magnetic function  is only compatible with the iPhone 12 so if you need more flexibility for multiple devices, it's not for you. That said, it’ll still work as a wireless charger if you have a different phone.

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