The 8 best battery packs and portable chargers for traveling

Whether you’re traveling across the country or just across town, you’re bound to find yourself in a situation where wall outlets aren’t available when you desperately need to juice up your laptop or smartphone. To help ensure that all your devices have enough power until you get to your destination, we’ve put together this list of the best portable battery packs to toss into your bag. You’ll find a range of options, including all-in-one powerhouses like the Omnicharge, MagSafe battery packs that pop right onto the back of your iPhone, and even a budget pick or two so you can save your pennies for that holiday shopping. Read on for the best portable chargers for your holiday travel.

Anker 622 Magnetic Battery (MagGo)

Anker

Anker is a marquis brand for chargers and accessories, and the 622 MagGo battery pack here is a culmination of sorts. Compatible with Apple’s new MagSafe functionality introduced on the iPhone 12 and 13 generations, this Qi-style wireless battery pack will find its way instantly to your iPhone’s sweet spot. There’s also a foldable, origami-style stand on that back that doubles as a grippy surface when it’s stuck to the back of your phone and a stand when you’re propping it up on a table — a handy extra feature when you’re spending hours on a train or a plane and are looking to catch up on your Netflix.

But you don’t need an iPhone to find value here. At 12.8 millimeters, this is simply a high-quality, ultra-thin battery bank with 5,000 mAh of capacity, meaning you can plug in a tablet or phone via the USB-C port to charge the old fashioned way. Thanks to Anker’s mini-cell technology, this thing is totally pocketable. The 622 battery pack is available in a ton of fresh colors including Interstellar Gray, Misty Blue, and Lilac Purple.

Best Budget: Aukey PB-Wl02 Basix

Aukey

Aukey, another ubiquitous budget brand that delivers high-quality battery pack charging for a lower price point, comes in with the Basix as our favorite affordable charger for a few reasons. First of all, the sleek, slim design puts this charger at basically the exact thickness footprint of a smartphone inside a slime case. This makes it great for holiday travel, because you can easily slip it in your backpack or your back pocket.

The PM-WL02 has an admirable capacity of 10,000 mAh, offering plenty of juice to charge up a phone more than a few times, and because there’s Qi wireless charging functionality, you won’t even need a cable. There’s even a rigid little kickstand that pops out of the back, allowing you to prop a phone up in landscape orientation to watch videos on your journey. While there’s compatibility with up to 10W of charging, it isn’t the fastest charger out there, and the ultra-basic LED indicator lights don’t provide as much detail as a higher-dollar option. But for the price, the PB-WL02 is really easy to recommend.

Nimble Champ

Measuring just three by two inches, at a thickness of less than an inch, the Nimble Champ is quite simply one of the most compact chargers on the market. That size makes it an excellent choice when you’re on the go because it’s easy to slip into side pockets of backpacks or hold behind your phone while you charge it. There’s no wireless charging functionality here, but thanks to 18W power-delivery charging, you’ll want to use it wired anyway. This thing delivers a lot more power than the size would imply — allowing you to charge two devices simultaneously and load up to 10,000 mAh of charge. And because this is a Nimble battery pack, there’s a focus on using recycled materials to manufacture, ship, and package the battery. It’s good, clean power that you can also feel good about.

Apple MagSafe Battery Pack

Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

On build quality alone, the official Apple MagSafe battery pack is one of the best options on this list, but it does carry with it the need to have a generation 12 or 13 iPhone. While you can technically finagle it to charge anything that has the wireless charging coils on the back, this slim little pack is designed best for use with the latest iPhones. The capacity isn’t huge, but it provides up to 70% of additional charge on your iPhone, depending on which model you have and what battery-intensive tasks you regularly do. Once the pack is magnetically snapped to the back of the iPhone, there are even some nifty little software indicators to track performance, baked right into iOS. You’ll pay the Apple Premium for the fit and finish and extra software bells and whistles, but for Apple fans on the go, this is a really safe bet.

Omnicharge Omni 20+

Omnicharge

One thing about portable battery packs is that not all of them pack the punch you need to charge your more power-intensive devices, like a laptop, tablet, or Nintendo Switch. The Omni 20+ is a device that delivers on its name. With enough output power capabilities to charge even a high-consumption laptop, this little square is sort of the Swiss Army knife of battery banks on our list. There’s up to 100 watts of power via the AC outlet on the side, meaning you can even power something that requires a standard three-prong outlet. There’s a 60-watt USB-C port for the power guzzlers in your carry-on bag, plus dual 18-watt USB-A ports for charging up a couple of phones, as well. What we really like about the Omni 20+ is the form factor: With a clear, detailed indicator screen to monitor temperatures, output, and battery health, plus plenty of big buttons to adequately control your juice, there’s no guesswork needed here. This is just a sleek, high-quality battery bank that’ll charge or power virtually any device you throw at it.

Zero Travel Cube

Zero

Zero is a bit of a newcomer in the phone power peripheral space, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a few tricks up their sleeves. Zero’s Qi-certified battery pack ecosystem contains an option called the Travel Cube. This product essentially takes two of their ultraportable slim portable battery chargers and affixes them to a third central power bank in one small, travel-friendly block. This middle device also works as its own portable charger, allowing you to charge a phone with the USB-C port while you’re charging two of the slim battery banks. This is an obvious advantage for travelers who want a lot of extra power, a ton of options, and a slim package to toss into their bag.

The 10,000 mAh capacity is a solid amount of headroom for smartphone charging, but when you factor in two additional Zero battery packs (which you have to buy separately from the travel cube), it nearly doubles the total charge capacity. The Travel Cube comes in a sleek white footprint, making it look really nice — even with two pads charging on it — and it features nice, bright LED indicators for monitoring the remaining battery capacity. We would have liked to see Qi wireless charging available on the cube point itself, but this is a small gripe for the functionality afforded with the larger Zero ecosystem.

Techsmarter 30000mAh Waterproof Charger

Techsmarter

Most of the portable chargers on our list — as indicated by the word “portable” — are travel-friendly products that will survive a trip pretty easily. This Techsmarter 30,000 mAh battery pack goes a little further by putting the battery pack you need to keep your devices charged into a thick, rugged, durable case. This charger comes with an IP66 certification that means your charger will be protected by both heavy precipitation and a fair amount of dirt and dust. This makes it ideal for those who spend the holidays camping or hiking, or for those who are just a little clumsier than most. The Techsmarter charger also features a built-in flashlight for added functionality, plus an SOS mode if you’re stranded on the side of the road. Of course, this battery pack is no slouch for charging functionality, either — featuring 45W Power Delivery capability for charging larger devices and an 18W standard charging output for a fast charge on smartphones, and enough juice to run a tablet. The design is a little bulky, and it isn’t the slimmest device to put into your bag, but much of the durability makes up for that.

Anker PowerCore Fusion III

Anker

Many of the portable chargers on this list sport multiple ports to charge up phones and tablets simultaneously, but in many cases, you can’t also charge the portable charger’s internal bank while you do this. The Anker PowerCore Fusion III is a fascinating hybrid because, on the surface, it looks like one of Anker’s super-capable wall-charging bricks. Instead, the Fusion also bakes in a battery bank, so while you’re plugged into a wall and charging your devices, the internal battery is also getting topped off.

This is ideal for those long airport waits where wall chargers are usually readily available. You can plug into the walk to keep your phone and tablet charged up in anticipation of your flight, but you will also simultaneously be charging your backup battery bank. Because this charger is made by Anker, you can expect clean output and quality, with 18W high-speed USB-C ports for your more demanding devices. With only 5,000 mAh of capacity, this isn’t the largest charger you’ll find, but thanks to the foldable wall-wart prongs and the added 2-in-1 functionality, this is a great backup battery to have at your disposal as you hit the holiday season.

Ed
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