10 Best External Battery Packs | April 2017

We spent 34 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Chances are, you spend most of your time on a phone, tablet or handheld gaming console. When you're on the go, an external battery pack is your digital lifeline. These portable power banks can quickly juice up all sorts of devices and keep you connected anywhere, even when there are no outlets for your wall charger in sight. Skip to the best external battery pack on Amazon.
10 Best External Battery Packs | April 2017
Overall Rank: 5
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 10
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 7
Best Inexpensive
For those in need of serious power on the go, the 50,000 mAh, six-port Maxoak K2 is a force to be reckoned with. It includes 11 connectors to ensure maximum compatibility with a wide-range of laptops, and can juice up an iPhone over 17 times on a single charge.
  • supports pass-through charging
  • extremely large and heavy
  • can't be taken on airplanes
Model K2-50000mAh
Weight 4.1 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
A good model to keep in the trunk, the Suaoki G7 ships with jumper cables for your car battery in addition to two powerful USB ports and a built-in flashlight. It can even charge most laptops with its included adapter and eight interchangeable tips.
  • comes in a convenient zippered case
  • fast-charging smart usb ports
  • self-protect mode triggers easily
Model G7
Weight 3.1 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
The water and shock-resistant Outdoor Tech Kodiak Mini 2.0 is great for conquering the wilderness without losing contact with the civilized world. About the size of a pack of playing cards, it's easily pocketable, and will fully charge your smartphone at least once.
  • led fuel gauge doubles as flashlight
  • large for its capacity
  • not waterproof when in use
Brand Outdoor Tech
Model OT2700-GR
Weight 5.6 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
For those seeking a charger to keep with them all the time in case of an unexpectedly drained phone, the Kolumb Ultra Portable is just that. At a slim 6 mm thick, it fits in your wallet, so you never have to remember to take it with you when you leave the house.
  • built-in micro usb cable
  • includes apple lightning adapter
  • can't fully recharge your phone
Brand kolumb
Model EL-18457
Weight 2.4 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0
The RAVPower Savior offers 100% compatibility with Apple devices, and includes a universal USB port for use with almost any product. It can be fully charged and drained up to 500 times without losing efficacy, and is self-sufficient thanks to its built-in wall plug.
  • pull-out lightning connector
  • scratch resistant finish
  • wall plug is somewhat flimsy
Brand RAVPower
Model RP-PB18
Weight 12.8 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
The Anker PowerCore 20000 features Quick Charge 3.0, capable of charging compatible devices up to 80% in just 35 minutes. Its ultra-high capacity 20,000 mAh battery can charge an iPhone 6s up to seven times, and most tablets at least twice.
  • sleek and minimalist design
  • extremely compact for its capacity
  • weighs as much as a can of soda
Brand Anker
Model A1272011
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 4.3 / 5.0
The Poweradd Pilot 2GS features two USB ports, so you can charge multiple devices at the same time. Great for tablets and larger phones, the port indicated with two lightning bolts charges more than twice as fast, at 2.4 amps, compared to the 1.0 capacity of its neighbor.
  • includes usb cable and manual
  • safeguards against overcharging
  • 24-month product guarantee
Brand Poweradd
Model Pilot 2GS
Weight 11.4 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
With dual outputs, a built-in LED flashlight, and smart technology that detects what device you're using to optimize charging speed, the EasyAcc 6000mAh is a great pocketable choice. It also features indicator lights that let you know how much power remains.
  • about the size of a smartphone
  • charges an iphone 6 more than twice
  • also available with lightning cable
Brand EasyAcc
Model CB6000-B
Weight 3.5 ounces
Rating 5.0 / 5.0
For everyday use, the 6,000 mAh Jackery Bolt is a good option that won't take up too much room in your pocket, but can still fully charge most phones at least twice. It has handy built-in cables for Apple products and any micro-USB compatible device.
  • standard usb port charges anything
  • one amp discharge rate
  • sturdy construction
Brand Jackery
Model K060BBKH
Weight 10.4 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0
With its exclusive PowerIQ technology, the Anker Astro E1 is capable of charging your devices up to four times faster than a standard computer USB port and, at the size of a small candy bar, it fits easily in your pocket. Just do your best to refrain from taking a bite.
  • fully charges most phones twice
  • includes travel pouch
  • 18-month warranty
Brand Anker
Model A1211
Weight 5.6 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

The Tech Savvy Mobile User

It might be painful to admit it, but most of us are all but lost without our smartphone, and various smart devices. With everything from airline ticketing to driving directions, to weather forecast updates to up-to-the-minute stock market information just a click away with our phones, the modern person is firmly tethered to his or her devices.

And while reliance on an iPhone or Galaxy might involve the sacrifice of a bit of independence -- there's no reason to explore a city when you can be directed right to a destination, for example -- the convenience afforded by these multitasking devices is truly remarkable, undreamed of just a decade or so past.

It's little surprise that already so many members of the younger generations have chosen to give up on traditional "land line" phones and use their cellular phone as their only means of oral communication. As the capabilities of and applications for smart devices continues to grow each and every day, it's hard to say how much further they will infiltrate into our lives in another decade hence.

What can be said with certainty now is that as convenient as a smart device has become, the other side of that equation is the extreme inconvenience we experience when our smartphone or tablet is not working properly. Woe to the traveler who neglected to print his or her ticket, much less even their itinerary or confirmation information, who has a dead smartphone and a flight to catch. And anyone who has ever been caught far afield in unfamiliar territory only to have their phone shut off, leaving them without maps or GPS capabilities, will tell you of the feeling of abandonment experienced.

Whether you find yourself traveling for work or pleasure, or simply navigating your way through your own city to a new destination, chances are good that you'll be using your phone as an aid in the process. And whether you're placing calls to help you close a deal or just to catch up with friends or family, it's a safe bet you're doing so via cell phone. This is likewise true for checking news updates, sports stats, and email while you're away from home. In short, unless you're sitting at a computer, you're probably going to be counting on your mobile device for multiple tasks. Don't let your access to all the info and communication to which you're accustomed be compromised by a dead battery.

An External Battery Pack For Mobile Convenience

When considering the purchase of an external battery pack, instead of first looking at the various units available on the market, first take a look at the smartphone, tablet, and/or laptop computer that you actually use on a regular basis. While the circuitry inside a good external battery pack is complex and impressive, the choice of which unit is right for you need not be rocket science, but rather basic math.

Ask yourself how many devices at most you would need to charge in a given day, and consider their voltage requirements for proper charging. You can then conduct a "process of elimination" exercise, ruling out external battery packs that offer a surplus of power beyond your needs, thereby passing on units that cost more than you need to spend.

There are perfectly adequate external battery packs that cost less than $25 that are capable of quickly providing a full charge to any smartphone, and if your issue is a battery often drained by the mid afternoon, then one of these units should be more than suitable for your needs.

If, on the other hand, you frequently use your devices during travel and are often not in the proximity of convenient outlets, a pricier unit with the ability to recharge your device multiple times may be warranted. Just keep in mind that with this added power, so to speak, often comes more size and weight, which can be an issue during travel.

Using An External Battery Back For Emergency Preparedness

If power lines are down and you don't have access to a landline phone, your cell phone might be your only means of communication after a severe storm, a natural disaster, or even during periods of civil unrest or terror activity. And that can mean you are just one drained battery away from being totally cut off from communications with emergency responders, friends and relatives, and from getting any news from the outside world.

In these situations, an external battery pack extends your lifeline of communications to those who might be able to help you, or to someone you might be able to help. It's a wise idea to make a modest investment in a decent external battery pack that you might hardly ever use; you'll be glad you kept it on hand and charged that one time you need to breathe life back into your phone and make a call for help, or to follow the news and see what's going on and when things are again safe.

First responders too are well advised to keep an external battery pack on hand in their vehicles if not on their person. The communication afforded by a phone or a radio are critical in emergency situations, and many smartphone apps offer diagnostic and informational attributes that can be helpful in the field. The more reliable access an emergency responder has to information, the more effective he or she can be in helping to mitigate whatever situation has arisen.

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Last updated on April 24 2017 by Ezra Glenn

Ezra is a writer, photographer, creative producer, designer, and record label-operator from New York City. He's traveled around the world and ended up back where he started, though he's constantly threatening to leave again.