Bring Your Own Battery

Best Battery Packs Android Central 2019

Nothing can turn your technology from state-of-the-art to overpriced paperweight faster than a dead battery, but battery packs can help recharge your tech when life plays keep away with your power outlets. Power banks used to be big, bulky, and slow, but Power Delivery charging has made things much faster — fast enough to charge laptops, even — and has allowed power banks to get slimmer and better than ever. There are plenty of options in every shape or size, but our favorite is the Anker PowerCore 10000 PD, which is small but mighty.

Best Overall: Anker PowerCore 10000 PD

Anker's power banks have been some of the most popular in recent years, and its 10,000mAh PowerCore PD is just about the perfect battery pack for recharging a single phone during a long day at a theme park or as a backup battery you can stow away in a small bag.

The USB-C port on this compact power bank, about the size of a granola bar, supports 18W PD charging, which should recharge most modern Android phones and iPhones at a good, swift speed. With a PD wall charger, you can recharge the PowerCore in about three hours, which isn't too shabby for a 10,000mAh bank.

The USB-A port here only charges at 10W, but it's supposed to support trickle charging for smaller items like headphones or smartwatches. The trickle charging is more consistent on the PowerCore Redux that Anker launched recently. However, on that model, the 18W output is shared between the two ports while on this model, you can charge at 28W output with both ports at their respective top speeds. This is good for recharging two phones at the same time during a dinner date or a college lecture.

Pros:

  • Tiny but powerful
  • Can charge both ports at top speed simultaneously
  • Comes with C-to-C cable

Cons:

  • USB-A port is only 10W
  • No travel pouch

Best Overall

Anker PowerCore 10000 PD

Pocket PD for on-the-go recharges.

This USB-C bank is easily pocketable, allowing you to quickly top off your dying phone with 18W Power Delivery charging.

Best Phone-sized: Aukey 10,000mAh Battery Pack

Aukey's pack is bigger than Anker's on paper, but I've greatly preferred phone-shaped power banks because with these types of banks you can easily tell where it will and won't fit: if your phone will fit there, this battery pack will fit there. This philosophy is especially helpful when you're charging with the bank and your phone in a single pocket together, as two flat narrow slabs fit better in a pocket together than one flat slab and one stout pillar.

This banks sports two USB-A ports to the Anker's one, and one of those two ports is a QC 3.0 port, which is great news for Samsung owners and those with older phones that may need a power bank to get through the day. The second USB-A port is a more standard 5V 2.4A, while the USB-C port is 18W Power Delivery.

Pros:

  • Great flat size with three ports
  • More affordable than Anker
  • 18W PD & QC 3.0 charging

Cons:

  • Doesn't come with a travel pouch
  • Only comes with C-to-A cable

Best Phone-sized

Aukey 10,000mAh Battery Pack

Great size and greater utility at the right price.

Anywhere your phone can fit, this power bank can fit, so you have no excuse not to carry it with you on longer days.

Value Pick: Xcentz USB-C Power Bank 5000mAh PD

While massive battery packs that can recharge anything and everything have their place — and we'll get to them shortly — the best power bank is the one you have on you. That's why I'm always going to be a fan of these pocket-sized pucks of power that are light enough to throw in your purse on date night or just shove in a side pocket on your way out the door.

Xcentz only has one port on its miniature body — about the size of two lipstick tubes — but that USB-C port offers 18W Power Delivery output for charging your phone at likely top speed. The USB-C input is only 12W, but it still won't take too long to recharge because it's only 5,000mAh. That smaller capacity helps keep the size and weight down, and for most folks 5,000mAh is really all you need to keep your phone alive a few hours longer on the road.

Pros:

  • Positively pocket-sized
  • Bright color options
  • 18W output

Cons:

  • Only one port
  • Smaller capacity
  • Only 12W input

Value Pick

Xcentz USB-C Power Bank 5000 PD

Never be caught without power!

You never know when you'll need a top-off, but this candy-bar-sized bank is light enough to carry every day.

Best All-in-one: Ventev PowerCell 6010+

Battery packs are great, except that you need to remember to charge them, and to bring along cables and sometimes wall chargers, and, honestly, who wants to deal with all that extra nonsense? Ventev lets you leave the cables and the wall chargers at home and place all your hopes and power prayers on one compact companion: the PowerCell 6010+.

The 6,000mAh capacity is enough to charge most regular-sized phones twice — or powerhouses like a Note one and a half times — but that capacity is only half the story. If the power bank starts to run down during an excruciatingly long day, then you can plug the Ventev directly into the wall with the fold-out AC prongs. While plugged in, both the battery pack and phone can charge at the same time thanks to passthrough charging. Unfortunately, it's not a PD charger, so it's not as fast as most chargers on this list.

Pros:

  • Built-in USB-C cable and prongs
  • Flat and portable
  • Doubles as a wall charger

Cons:

  • Smaller capacity
  • Slower charging

Best All-in-one

Ventev PowerCell 6010+

Everything you need in one pocketable package.

Need a wall charger to replenish an empty pack? It's built in! Always forgetting your cable at home? That's built in, too.

Best High-Capacity: Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD

If you need to recharge a whole family's worth of phones, or maybe you just need to keep your phone alive for a week in the wilderness, then you need yourself a high-capacity battery pack. The PowerCore+ is a perfect bundle for those who need to build up their Power Delivery collection at home and on the go.

This power bank can charge — and recharge — at 30W, which is enough to charge most phones 6-8 times before the pack runs dead. It's also powerful enough to charge some Chromebooks. This bundle also comes with a robust C-to-C cable and a 30W wall charger, so that you can be sure you'll recharge the bank at full speed.

Pros:

  • Comes with a cable and wall charger
  • Can recharge your phone a half dozen times
  • High build quality

Cons:

  • Very expensive
  • 30W is too slow for most laptops

Best High-Capacity

Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD Charger Bundle

Build your charging kit with this big bundle.

This bank can last for days of recharging phones before needing a recharge, and when it does, it comes with a wall charger and cable for the task.

Most Versatile: Omni Mobile 12,800 mAh

I don't know about you, but I prefer having a power bank I can use with all of my gear, and it doesn't get more adaptable than a power bank that supports QuickCharge 3.0, 10W Qi wireless, and 45W Power Delivery charging. The Omni Mobile series has a few fun sizes, but the 12,800mAh model is the perfect blend of portability and compatibility.

The 12,800mAh capacity could recharge your phone three to four times, but once you hook it up to your Chromebook or laptop, it'll go pretty quickly, so I like to think of it as a power bank for phones that can pull double duty for your laptop in a pinch. The Qi pad on top tends to be a bit fickle at times when it comes to placement, so line it up on a stable surface and leave it be.

Pros:

  • 45W PD output, 10W Qi output
  • Compact size
  • QC 3.0 port for older devices

Cons:

  • Expensive for its size
  • Qi pad can be a bit finicky

Most Versatile

Omni Mobile 12,800mAh Omnicharge Power Bank

Three charging modes, one adaptable battery pack.

This compact battery bank can take just about every device you could throw at it and charge it via Power Delivery, QuickCharge 3.0 or Qi.

Best Rugged: Zendure 45W A6PD 20100mAh

Need a battery pack that will charge your laptop as a good speed, won't die halfway through a long day of video editing, and is sturdy enough to withstand the chaotic black hole commonly known as your gear bag? Zendure is here for you with the A6PD.

This model is on the slimmer side for a 20,000mAh battery pack, sports a rugged aluminum housing, and there are three ports on the side: one USB-C port for 45W Power Delivery input/output, one USB-A QuickCharge 3.0 port, and one microUSB port for input charging only. This will charge most Chromebooks at top speed, some MacBooks at a decent rate, and of course, it will charge your phone several times over.

Pros:

  • 45W charging
  • Durable aluminum housing
  • Good balance of capacity and size

Cons:

  • Heavier
  • Only one USB-A port

Best Rugged

Zendure A6PD 20100mAh PD Power Bank

A rugged, reliable, and powerful battery pack.

Are you hard on your gear? This rugged bank is big enough to charge all your daily devices and 45W PD charging will even charge Chromebooks.

Modular Marvel: OtterBox OtterSpot

OtterBox may be better known for its heavy duty cases, but it also makes some capable chargers, including the brand-new OtterSpot modular charging system. The base OtterSpot Wireless Charging System consists of a 36W wall charger, a Wireless Charging Base, and one OtterSpot Wireless Charging Battery.

You can stack up to three 5,000mAh OtterSpots on the Wireless Charging Base at a time, allowing all of them to charge via pogo pins while your phone charges via 10W Qi pad on top of the stack. Then, when you need them, you can grab and go with the OtterSpot battery packs and use them to charge your phone via Qi or USB-C.

The round shape stands out among a sea of rectangular battery packs, but because it bears the OtterBox name, it's got a pretty hefty price tag attached to it. It works well enough to justify that price — especially if you live in a household that swaps battery packs often between busy parents and phone-addicted kids — but it's definitely an investment.

Pros:

  • Modular stacking system
  • Wide, anti-slip Qi pad is easy to use
  • Also sports USB-C charging

Cons:

  • Small individual capacity
  • Only comes with one OtterSpot
  • Expensive, new system

Modular Marvel

OtterBox OtterSpot

Grab-and-go wireless charging solution.

This system works astonishingly well for a modular Qi charging system, with pocket-friendly 5,000mAh packs and a pogo-pin base.

Upgrade Pick: Goal Zero Sherpa 100 PD Qi

If you need as big a battery as you can get to keep your phones, headphones, and laptop alive across international flights and 20-hour days, Goal Zero is the one to beat. The Sherpa 100 Qi is just under the FAA limit to bring on a plane, the PD input/output is 60W, meaning it'll actually charge a MacBook at a decent speed, and it's even got a Qi pad on top for your phone.

Goal Zero is a brand you might not have heard of before — it tends to deal in solar and portable power solutions — but because it's geared towards outdoor tech, you can rest assured this is a battery pack that will not leave you hanging. The Sherpa 100 PD is about half the size (and half the price) of the Sherpa 100 AC, so make sure you grab the new PD model!

Pros:

  • 60W charging for laptops
  • 2 USB-A ports & Qi pad on top
  • 0-100 indicator readout

Cons:

  • Extra expensive
  • USB-A ports are only 3.4A

Upgrade Pick

Goal Zero Sherpa 100 PD Qi

Great for power users and professionals.

This is a bit much for casual users just needing to charge a phone, but for editors constantly burning through their MacBook battery, it's perfect.

Bottom line

There are great banks to be had in every capacity level, but I find 10,000mAh to be the sweet spot where it can charge phones from empty to full 2-4 times but it's still light enough to easily carry in your jeans pocket or a light purse. The Anker PowerCore 10000 PD will fit in smaller pockets while still charging at a good speed and a good capacity, which provides the best of all worlds.

The Anker wins out over the Aukey 10,000mAh bank for a few reasons despite the Aukey having more ports: Anker's banks perform more consistently over time, and it's smaller, lighter weight design makes it easier to carry around in a jeans pocket, even in women's jeans that are too shallow for phablet-sized battery packs. It still has a USB-A port for devices that aren't USB-C, but it isn't bogged down with old micro-USB inputs like so many power banks on the market still are.

If you need a larger battery pack that is capable of charging multiple phones — or a laptop, thanks to Power Delivery charging — but you're not willing to spend the big bucks that Goal Zero and Anker demand, the Zendure A6PD still charges at a respectable 45W, comes in a nice size, and still has a spare USB-A port for charging two phones at once.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Ara Wagoner themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing help and how-to's, she's running around Walt Disney World with a Chromebook. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco. If you see her without headphones, RUN.

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