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The best power banks you can buy: Expert tested

ZDNET tested the top power banks from Anker, Ugreen, Baseus, and more to help you find the right one.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
Reviewed by Nina Raemont
Anker PowerCore 10,000 mAh Redux | Best power bank overall
Anker PowerCore 10,000 mAh Redux
Best power bank overall
View now View at Amazon
Anker PowerCore 24K | Best power bank for power capacity
Anker PowerCore 24K
Anker PowerCore 24K
Best power bank for power capacity
View now View at Dell
Ugreen 5000mAh Magnetic Power Bank | Best small power bank
Ugreen 5000mAh Magnetic Power Bank
Ugreen 5000mAh Magnetic Power Bank
Best small power bank
View now View at Amazon
Baseus Blade HD | Best power bank for looks
Baseus Blade HD
Baseus Blade HD
Best power bank for looks
View now View at Amazon
Shargeek Storm 2 | Best power bank for old laptops and DC port devices
Shargeek Storm 2 Battery Pack
Shargeek Storm 2
Best power bank for old laptops and DC port devices
View now View at Amazon

It's 3 p.m. and you still have a few hours of office work to go. You look down at your smartphone and see, to your horror and dismay, that your battery is down to 15%.

But all is not lost! You remember that you picked up your power bank that morning. You pull it out of your pocket, plug it into your ailing smartphone and get on with your day. Having a power bank with you can make all the difference, but finding a decent quality, safe, reliable power bank in the sea of cheap rubbish out there can be tricky. Luckily, we've got you covered. 

More: Best MagSafe battery packs

What is the best power bank right now? 

I've tested literally hundreds -- yes, hundreds -- of power banks over the past few years, so I'm in a good position to know what's worth your money. My pick for the best power bank overall goes to the Anker PowerCore 10,000 mAh Redux for its portability, quality construction, and the fact that it has USB-C and USB-A ports, which means it caters to both old and new devices. While it's my favorite, there are plenty of other options with different price points, features, and brands in mind. Read on for all of my picks for the best power banks you can buy right now.

The best power banks of 2024

Pros & Cons
  • Small, lighweight, and portable
  • Robust
  • USB-C and USB-A ports
  • Recharging a bit slow
More Details

Anker PowerCore 10,000 mAh Redux tech specs: Capacity: 10,000mAh | Ports: 1 x USB-C, 1 x USB-A | Max output: 25W  

While I love my giant power banks, I also know -- from experience -- that the best power bank is the power bank that you have with you, and big huge power banks don't lend themselves to being carried about the place. This power bank is small enough to be popped into a pocket or bag, and big enough to give your devices a decent boost.  

Using the USB-C port, charging takes 2.5 hours, increasing to almost 5 hours if you use USB-A. It's also a sturdy and reliable unit. I have several of these in constant use for a couple of years now, in jacket pockets, backpacks, and even the back of my truck, and they've been used, abused, and bounced around from pillar to post and they are still going strong. 

While I wouldn't say that they are disposable, they are priced such that I also use them to power GoPros and other action cameras when doing time lapses (the camera's own battery doesn't last long enough). It they get damaged or lost (or, as one did, fall off a cliff), I'm not out that much money. 

Pros & Cons
  • High power capacity
  • Enough output power to run a laptop
  • Easy to read OLED display
  • Chunky
  • Heavy
  • Pricey
More Details

Anker PowerCore 24K tech specs: Capacity: 24,000mAh | Ports: 2 x USB-C, 1 x USB-A | Max output: 140W 

Big, chunky, and weighing in at almost a pound and a half --  this is not a power bank that you're going to be slipping into a pocket. But this is no ordinary power bank: This beast can not only top off your smartphone, tablet, and earbuds, but it can also power a USB-C laptop thanks to its 140W output.

Another feature of this power bank that I like is the pass-through charging, which charges the power bank using one of the USB ports, while using the other ports to top up devices. This handy "splitter" feature is great when you're short on power outlets. Connect the power bank to a charger plugged into the outlet, then connect your devices to the power bank -- simple!

But the feature that sets this power bank above the rest is the OLED display that gives at-a-glance info on capacity and power inputs and outputs. This is a really nice feature that makes little blinking LEDs look very old school. I even like how the screen changes orientation as I rotate the power bank. 

Pros & Cons
  • Small
  • Magnetic wireless pad for iPhones
  • Trickle charge mode for low-power devices
  • Not enough power to fully recharge a big smartphone
More Details

Tech specs: Capacity: 5,000mAh | Ports: 1 x USB-C, 1 x wireless charging pad | Max output: 15W 

This is one of the smallest power banks that you can buy, but don't let that fool you into thinking that it's basic. Here, not only do you get 5,000mAh of battery capacity, but you also get a wireless charging pad and a USB-C port that can be used both for charging the power bank and charging other devices.

This bank also supports MagSafe wireless charging for an additional layer of convenience, since iPhone owners don't need to carry a cable around with them. Finally, there's a trickle charge mode that allows the bank to charge low-power devices such as headphones or smartwatches without the power bank automatically switching off, so you can keep listening to tunes and audiobooks for longer.

This power ban makes a great, stylish, and practical gift -- I've sent them out to folks for the holidays, and I also keep a few handy to hand out to people who don't have a power bank of their own. 

Baseus Blade HD
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET
Pros & Cons
  • High capacity
  • Easy to read display
  • Silicon carbon battery
  • Not pocket size
  • At over a pound, it's not lightweight
More Details

Baseus Blade HD tech specs: Capacity: 20,000mAh | Ports: 2 x USB-C, 2 x USB-A | Max output: 100W  

Do power banks need to be big and bulky? No, they don't, and the Baseus Blade HD proves that with its thin, flat design. And this isn't just some design fluff -- this flat design makes carrying the power bank in a laptop bag much easier and far less likely to damage the laptop.

The Baseus Blade HD makes use of silicon carbon battery technology, which means that it is 18 percent lighter and 20 percent smaller than the previous version. This is a 20,000mAh lithium battery pack that's kitted out with twin USB-C and USB-A ports. The USB-C ports are capable of a maximum of 100W output and 65W input, and the USB-A ports capable of 30W output. I like this mix of modern USB-C and legacy USB-A ports because even though USB-A is on its way out, plenty of devices come with charging that still use it.

The large, easy-to-read display is a nice touch and gives you at-a-glance info on the capacity, charge/recharge time, and the Volts and Amps being output by the power bank. Not only does this keep me in the loop as to what the power bank is doing, it also brings out the nerd in me.

Read the review: Baseus Blade HD

Pros & Cons
  • Cool, transparent design
  • Maximum allowed battery capacity by FAA for airline use
  • Fully-featured display
  • Bulky
  • Display text is on the smaller side
  • Over $200
More Details

Shargeek Storm 2 tech specs: Capacity: 25,600mAh | Ports: 2 x USB-C, 1 x USB-A, 1 x DC input/output | Max output: 100W 

I have to confess that I'm a sucker for transparent stuff – maybe it removes that temptation I have to take things apart – and I spent quite a bit of time gazing at the components inside this power bank. This is a power bank that turns heads whenever I pull it out in a coffee shop, because the first thing that strikes you is the transparent case. If you like tech, and you like seeing your tech, you'll love being able to peek at what makes this power bank tick. 

Then there's that IPS display that's brimming with information. This is like having a USB power meter built into a power bank, and shows battery life, output distribution, battery temperature, and input and output voltages and much more. 

This is also the only power bank feature that has a DC output, configurable for between 3 and 24V, making it great for older laptops and devices that need a DC port. And for travelers wanting to take the biggest power bank with them, this is one of the biggest that is allowed on an airline by the FAA without declaring it.

What is the best power bank?

Which is the best power bank really depends on what you want from a power bank -- for some, portability is the main feature, for others it might be having the maximum possible output power. For others, it might be how many ports it has. 

This chart will help you pick the right power bank for you.

Power Bank



Max output

Anker PowerCore 10,000mAh Redux


1 x USB-C, 1 x USB-A


Anker PowerCore 24K


2 x USB-C, 1 x USB-A


Ugreen 5000mAh Magnetic Power Bank


1 x USB-C, 1 x wireless


Baseus Blade HD


2 x USB-C, 2 x USB-A


Shargeek Storm 2


2 x USB-C, 1 x USB-A, 1 x DC


Which is the right power bank for you?

As always, it depends on your needs and what you're looking for. Some people want giant power banks for multi-day adventures, others want something small to get them out of an emergency. Some want something stylish and sleek, while others want total geekery and get something that's more like a charging computer than a simple power bank.

Choose this power bank

If you want…

Anker PowerCore 10,000mAh Redux

The best power bank overall. It's portable, well built, and offers both USB-C and USB-A ports. 

Anker PowerCore 24K

The best power bank for its large battery capacity and power.

Ugreen 5000mAh Magnetic Power Bank

A tiny power bank that packs a big punch. 

Baseus Blade HD

A big power bank perfect for desktop use.

Shargeek Storm 2

You want a cool transparent power bank with a built-in USB power meter and DC output for older computers and devices.

Factors to consider when choosing a power bank

A variety of factors impact the quality and usability of power banks. Here are some things to take into consideration before buying one:

  • Battery size: Power banks range from giving you a single charge to several charges, and may increase in size and price accordingly. 
  • Portability: Some people want giant power banks for multi-day adventures, while others want something small they can hold in their pocket for daily charging or emergencies. 
  • Design: Some want something stylish and sleek, while others want total geekery and get something that's more like a charging computer than a simple power bank.

How we test power banks

I test and review a lot of power banks, and this allows me to filter through hundreds of units to find the best of the best. On top of that, I use power banks a lot, when traveling or going off-grid for hiking and camping. This allows me to get real-world, hands-on experience of the product for extended periods of time. Finally, every product that I use, test, or review is thoroughly safety tested to make sure that you'll be buying a reliable, safe product. 

Here are the key factors I consider when testing power banks: 

  • Capacity: I've seen plenty of companies make exaggerated claims about their power bank's capacity. I charge and discharge each power bank several times to test the rated capacity to make sure that this corresponds with the capacity stated on the box.
  • Power output: A lot of cheaper power banks might be able to hit the rated power output for short periods, but this can take a dive under heavy load or when the power bank gets warm. I test every power bank under heavy load to make sure that it can output the maximum stated output power for extended periods.
  • Safety: If the power bank overheats in use or when charging, it doesn't make this list. Plain and simple. 
  • Robustness: How does the power bank stand up to regular use? Does the shell resist scratches and knocks? Are the ports high quality and durable? If it's going to make this list, it must be tough enough to put up with heavy use.

Is there a limit of the size of power bank I can take on an airline?

There is, but fear not, because it's actually quite a generous limit. 

FAA rules (and this rule is mirrored by most aviation authorities) allow you to take a power bank with a capacity up to 100Wh or 27,000mAh without declaring it. Beyond this, you must check with the airline and declare the power bank.

Can you simultaneously use and charge a power bank?

Most modern power banks have a feature called pass-through charging that allows you to charge it and use it to charge other devices simultaneously. This is a handy feature if you have limited number of power outlets and what to charge multiple devices -- for example, when traveling. 

How long do power banks last?

Lithium-ion batteries -- the batteries found in most power banks -- are good for about 800 recharge cycles.  This means if you used a power bank daily, and each day you ran it empty before recharging it for the next day, you'd get more than two years of life.

In reality, people easily get 5 years from a power bank, and normally, it's technology moving forward and making the power bank obsolete that kills it, not usage.

Are there alternative power banks worth considering?

Here are a couple of alternative power banks to consider -- all from reputable manufacturers and all offering safe, reliable charging.

This power bank might be expensive but not only has it got a big battery, two USB-C ports, a single USB-A ports, but it also comes with an app where you can access real-time stats, optimize device battery life with smart charging, and trigger sound alerts to find your misplaced power bank.

OK, the super cool thing about this power bank is that it comes complete with two attached cables -- Lightning for older iPhones, and USB-C for, well, pretty much everything else, which means you don't have to carry separate cables.

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