Sometimes there isn't a power outlet conveniently at hand to give our devices a top-up, and that's when a power bank comes in handy.
Whether you're trekking in the wilds, or strolling between coffee shops, a power bank can make the differences between staying connected or going silent.
Here is a selection of great power banks to keep your devices charged up when you're away from a power outlet.
Everything about the Omni Ultimate is designed around power and ruggedness. The exterior ABS/rubberized shell is capable of taking a pounding, the ports are well-designed, and the screen offers everything from at-a-glance information, to a deep dive into what's going on.
- Output: 120W (120V/60Hz US model, 230V/50Hz EU model)
- Input: USB-PD, 5V~20V, up to 3A, 60W max
- Output: USB-PD,5V/3A,9V/3A,12V/3A,15V/3A,20V/3A, up to 3A, 60W max
- Port 1 and Port 2: QC 3.0,5V/3A,9V/2A,12V/1.5A
5.5 x 2.5mm Barrel Port
- Input: 5~25V, up to 4.5A, 90W max
- Output: Adjustable 5V – 60V with 0.1 Accuracy, up to 8A (150W max)
- Cell Type: 18650 Li-ion battery
- Capacity: 38,400mAh, 142Wh ± 5%
- Weight: 3.08 lbs (1.4 kg)
- Dimension: 6.6″x 5.7″x 2.1″(167.5 x 145 x 54 mm)
- Warranty: Limited One Year
- Operating temp: Temperature 0°C-40°C，Humidity 30-70%，Altitude ≤2000m
Flight safe: Required airline permission
- Lots of power
- Plenty of outputs
- OLED display packed with information
- Big and heavy
If you want a big power bank with plenty of power and the ability to charge four devices simultaneously, the Zendure SuperTank Pro is the power bank for you.
Dimensions: 4.9 x 2.9 x 1.8 inches (124mm x 74.5mm x 45.5mm) | Weight: 20.5oz / 580g | Capacity: 26,800mAh | Cells: 8 Samsung high-density electric-vehicle battery cells | Flight safe: Yes (rated at 96.48 watt-hours) | Total DC Output: 138W | Firmware upgrade: Yes, requires PC | Display: OLED Screen | Material: Aluminum shell with ABS & polycarbonate midframe
- USB-C1/C2: 5V/3A, 9V/3A, 12V/3A, 15V/3A, 20V/3A, 20V/5A, 100W Max
- USB-C1: 5V/3A, 9V/3A, 12V/3A, 15V/3A, 20V/3A, 20V/5A, 100W Max
- USB-C2: 5V/3A, 9V/3A, 12V/3A, 15V/3A, 20V/3A, 20V/5A, 100W Max
- PPS: 5-11V, 5A
- USB-C3/C4: 5V/3A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A, 18W Max
- Lots of power
- Flight safe
- Four USB-C ports
- Enough power to recharge a MacBook Pro
- OLED display
- No USB-A
A portable, everyday power bank, more than enough to keep your smartphone and tablet going for an extra day or so.
Dimensions: 4.5 x 2.8 x 1 inches (114mm x 71.1mm x 25.4mm) | Weight: 10.8oz / 306g | Capacity: 15,000mAh | Flight safe: Yes (rated at 54 watt-hours) | Total DC Output: 48W | Material: ABS & polycarbonate
- USB-C (PD): 5V/3A, 9V/3A, 12V/3A, 15V/3A, 20V/2.25A, 45W Max
- USB-C: 5V/3A, 9V/3A, 12V/3A, 15V/3A, 20V/2.25A, 45W Max
- USB-A: 5V/3A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A 18W Max
- Reasonably priced
- Not enough power to recharge a laptop
Is it a power bank or a wall charger? It's both!
Dimensions: 3.2 x 2.8 x 1.2 inches (80mm x 71mm x 30mm) | Weight: 8.6oz / 243g | Capacity: 4,850mAh | Flight safe: Yes | Total DC Output: 5V/3A | Material: Polycarbonate
- Mains charging (100-240V, 50-60Hz, 0.6A)
- USB-C: 5V/3A, 9V/2A, 18W Max
- USB-A: 5V/2.4A, 12W Max
- Always charged up if you keep it plugged in
- Recharges quickly
- USB-A and USB-C outputs
- Space saver when traveling (takes over from a separate charger and power bank)
- Bit bulky
I have a lot of power banks, but it's rare to come across a power bank that claims to be water-resistant. It's even rarer to come across a power bank that is actually water-resistant.
Dimensions: 4.1 x 2.0 x 1.2 inches (104mm x 50mm x 30mm) | Weight: 6.6oz / 187g | Capacity: 6,700mAh | Flight safe: Yes (rated at 24.8Wh) | Total DC Output: 5V/3A | Material: Rubberized coating
- USB-C: 5V/3A
- USB-C: 5V/3A
- USB-A: 5V/2.4A
- IP67 rated
- 150 lumen flashlight with SOS
- Small capacity
How have these products have been chosen?
These are all products that I've tested and being using for several months. I always have a power bank or two with me when I'm traveling, and this means that they get a prolonged testing.
Here are some of the criteria that I look for:
- That the capacity is as stated
- That the power bank outputs the power that is stated in the specification sheet
- That the product is durable and withstands prolonged use
What size power bank do I need?
Tough question. If you want an emergency power bank to act as a backup, then a small 5000mAh power bank will do the job. If you want a lot of power, and perhaps the ability to charge up a laptop, then the bigger the better (well, going as big as you want to carry!).
What's the largest power bank I can take on an aircraft?
Power banks up to 100Wh (100,000mAh) can be carried without approval, and for power banks that fall between 100Wh and 160Wh you will need permission from the airline.
Why might you need a waterproof power bank?
Not everyone uses their power bank at home or in a coffee shop. Power banks ban be great for keeping camera equipment and other gear such as smartphones and GPS receiver topped up when off grid.
What do you think of power banks that have a built-in solar panel?
I have yet to come across a good one. I'm also not comfortable baking rechargeable batteries in the sun for extended periods.