The best USB battery packs can save you when you lose cell phone power on the go. In fact, they can charge any device that uses a USB port for power so you don't have to worry about your favorite electronics dying on you when you're out.
Have you ever pulled out your phone to take a picture of something awesome when it suddenly died? I know I have. The best USB battery packs will charge your phone in this instance, allowing you to take the photo while you recharge.
If you're interested in buying a USB battery pack and would like to know which are worth your money, you're in luck. In this article, I will review the top five best USB battery packs and discuss what to consider before you buy one.
In This Guide
The Best USB Battery Packs: Our Top Picks
RAVPower USB Battery Pack Review
- 16,750mAh Lithium-ion battery capacity
- Charge phone and tablet simultaneously with Dual USB
- Charge Nintendo Switch
- Built-in LED flashlight
- Somewhat big for portability with no wall adapter
- Full recharge takes 10 hours with DC 5V/2A charger
The RAVPower 16,750mAh Rechargeable Battery Pack has less mAh than the newest battery power packs on the market. Luckily, you will still be able to charge your tablet and phone quickly and simultaneously with two USB charging ports for two USB cables. Tablets should be plugged into the 2.4A Micro USB cable and port while phones should be plugged into the 2.1A Micro USB port via a Micro USB cable. You will also be able to charge your Nintendo switch using this portable charger if you have one.
With over 500 charge cycles, you won't have to worry about buying another charger for a while once you buy the RAVPower charger. The RAVPower also has some special features with its built-in LED flashlight. You can even check how much battery you have by tapping the power button once while you're charging.
This charger does take about 10 hours to recharge without a 5v/1.5A wall adapter (not included) once you've used it to its capacity. The RAVPower 16,750mAh is a bit big and heavy for portability as well, so keep that in mind before you buy. It is, however, known to be one of the most reliable external chargers on the market.
Anker PowerCore Review
- Charges up to 80 percent battery life in 35 mins with Quick Charge
- 20,000mAh battery capacity
- Super compact for portability
- Reasonable price
- Dual USB ports
- Recharging takes 11-12 hours
- Cannot recharge while charging devices
The Anker PowerCore 20,000mAh Battery Pack charges your devices up to 80 percent in just 35 minutes with its Quick Charge 3.0 capabilities. It is extremely compact so you can bring it easily on the road and it comes at a reasonable price compared to certain other external chargers. This battery power pack will charge your iPhone 6s seven times, your Samsung Galaxy s6 five times, and most tablets at least twice before running out of battery.
This battery power pack will charge your iPhone 6s seven times, your Samsung Galaxy s6 five times, and most tablets at least twice before running out of battery. Similar to the RAVPower battery pack, the Anker PowerCore will take about 11-12 hours to recharge once you've used it all up, so you may want to plug it in overnight.
Unfortunately, you will not be able to charge your device while you're recharging your battery pack. Additionally, it may take about 2 hours to charge your devices depending on how many you're charging at once and which devices you're charging.
EasyAcc Battery Pack Review
- 20,000mAh battery capacity
- Fully recharges devices in six hours
- Four USB ports
- Consistently positive reviews
- Customer service not great
- Takes 8 or more hours to recharge pack's battery life with no wall adapter
The EasyACC 20,000mAh Battery Pack will also charge your device about 80 percent in 35 minutes. It has four USB ports so you can charge up to four devices simultaneously. Additionally, it will recharge in just six hours if you buy the charger adapter (not included in your purchase).
The best part about this awesome battery pack is that it's super inexpensive and reliable with consistently positive reviews. The EasyACC will charge an iPhone 7 six times, a Samsung S7 five times or an iPad Mini 3 two times. It'll also stop your devices from overcharging once they are fully charged.
Unfortunately, the customer service is not great with the Easy ACC, so you may not be able to get much help if your battery pack malfunctions. It will also take up to 8 hours or more to recharge your battery pack if you don't buy a separate wall adapter.
Nomad Advanced Battery Pack Review
- USB-C Technology
- Bluetooth tracking
- Full recharge takes just 2-3-hours
- Most advanced powerpack
- Somewhat bulky
- Low battery capacity
The Nomad 9,000mAh External Battery Charger has less battery capacity than most recently released lithium-ion battery chargers. As a result, it will only charge your iPhone 7 three times before it needs recharging. Luckily, it will only take you 2-3 hours to recharge your battery pack once you've used up all its juice. That's way faster than any other external battery pack charges.
The Nomad is known for reliability and its advanced Bluetooth tracking features. The tracking features work through its Tile app in which you can find your device if ever you can't figure out where you put it. Because of its advanced tracking features, however, the Nomad External Battery Charger is way more expensive than any other portable charger I've seen. It is also the most durable with 1.2M drop-resistant rubber coating to protect it.
Although this battery charger is somewhat bulky and expensive for its low battery capacity, its advanced features and design make it extremely unique and reliable. If you're looking for a reliable external battery with a quick recharge that you can't misplace or break, this may be your best bet.
Nifty Mobile Charger Review
- Sleek design with no buttons
- Four fast-charging technologies
- Super lightweight for great portability
- Charges certain devices in less than an hour
- Charge two devices simultaneously
- Somewhat expensive
- Only 6,800mAh battery capacity
The Nifty Mobile Smartphone Battery Pack has much less battery capacity than most recently released external battery packs, but it still manages fast reliability. The Nifty has four individual fast-charging technologies including Apple Fast-Charging, Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0, and Type-C in/out with 4.8A total power output up to 3A on each channel. This means you can connect your MacBook, or for a charge via the Type-C USB port. It also has dual USB ports, so you can charge two devices at once including an iPad Air (or another tablet) and your smartphone.
The Nifty design is unique compared to others with no buttons and a lightweight build for ultimate portability. This is the perfect external battery pack for charging your smartphones or laptop on the go without a hassle. For example, the Nifty can charge certain devices in less than an hour.
The Nifty is more expensive than other battery packs with much less battery capacity, so you should keep this in mind before you buy. You may need to purchase an additional wall adapter to ensure your pack recharges as quickly as possible. For example, it is available with Boost Recharge to recharge your pack within 2 hours.
Usually, you'll want to make sure your external charger has at least double the amount of battery capacity as the devices you want to charge with it. Otherwise, it could die before your device is fully charged.
Key Considerations Before Deciding on a USB Battery Pack
A rechargeable battery with a USB port can save your life when your phone, tablet or laptop dies on the road. Here's what to consider before you commit to a purchase.
1. How does battery capacity work?
It took me a while to understand battery capacity, but here's what I've learned. Battery capacity is a representation of the maximum amount of energy that can be used from the battery under certain circumstances, according to PVCDRom.org. This means that a battery back with lower battery capacity will die quicker than a battery pack with higher battery capacity.
A low battery capacity does not, however, mean that the battery pack won't be able to give your phone a fast charge. If you divide the maximum capacity of your battery by your phone's battery capacity, you'll get the number of charges it provides before losing power, according to External-Battery-Charger.com. You may just end up having to charge your battery pack more frequently than other battery packs if it has a lower capacity.
2. How long does it hold a charge?
How long does your USB battery pack of choice hold a charge on the go without recharging? This will determine how many times you can charge your devices without losing external battery power. The length of your charge depends on your battery capacity and is one of the main factors to consider before buying a USB battery pack. Some battery packs can stomach just two-three recharges of certain devices without losing power while others can provide five-seven recharges without plugging it in.
Of course, the power will drain more quickly if you want to charge a laptop than if you want to charge a mobile phone, or if you want to charge multiple devices. Keep in mind that many external batteries take up to 10 hours to recharge, so you'll have to plan ahead if you have a low battery capacity.
3. How long does it take to charge your devices?
Another big factor to consider when buying a portable charger is how long it takes to fully charge your devices. Some battery packs will fast charge your mobile phone, tablet or laptop in an hour while others will take multiple. If you're paying a high price for a quality device, you should make sure it charges your devices relatively quickly.
The speed of charging will depend on how many devices you have connected and whether or not your device offers a Quick Charge option. If so, you may be able to charge your device much faster than you thought.
4. Which devices do you need to be charged on the go?
It's important to think about which devices you plan to charge with your portable charger before you buy. The type of devices (including the brand) you plan to charge will determine how much capacity you need in an external battery and which USB port technologies you need. Usually, you'll want to make sure your external charger has at least double the amount of battery capacity as the devices you want to charge with it. Otherwise, it could die before your device is fully charged.
Additionally, the USB port your device comes with will determine which devices you can charge. Battery pack USB ports can power your devices at two amp. rates: 1A and 2.1A, according to How-To Geek. All of your USB devices can be charged using both ports, but some can only handle 1A of power. This means those devices will be automatically limited to 1A on a 2.1A port.
In relation, if a 2.1A device is on a 1A port it will still charge, just more slowly. If you are looking to charge a device with a high battery capacity like the iPad Air or a laptop, for example, you'll need a battery pack with a 2.1A USB port.
5. How many USB ports does it have?
Battery packs these days have two-four USB ports for you to charge different devices simultaneously. Some battery packs have ports with different USB technologies for charging different devices, so you'll want to make sure you get what you need.
For example, USB-C technology is becoming the standard alternative to the Apple Lightning cable and the Magsafe cable to charge laptops and various brands of mobile products from the Samsung Galaxy to the Apple iPad. The USB-C technology transmits both data and power and connects to pretty much any device, assuming you have a cable to charge it.
6. How Much Does it cost?
The price of your USB battery charger will depend on USB input/output technology, design, advanced features, and battery capacity. If you're looking for a smaller battery charger for charging mobile phones, the price will likely be less expensive. If you need a battery pack to recharge your laptop on the go, however, you may end up having to pay more for additional USB technology and battery capacity.
I searched far and wide through seemingly countless USB Battery Packs to determine the top five best power packs on the market. Overall, I took price, advanced features, USB technology, ports, and design into consideration to make my decisions. I researched USB battery packs from all over including the TravelCard Charger, the Jackery Bolt, the Asus ZenPower, and the AmazonBasics Portable Charger.
Top Picks for the Best USB Battery Packs
Overall, I believe the best battery pack for you truly depends on how you plan on using it. For example, if you want to charge multiple high-capacity devices multiple times without having to recharge your battery, I would go with the Anker PowerCore 20,000mAh. This battery pack is packed with capacity and even comes in 20,100mAh. Anker also sells a solar charger.
While the Anker 20,000 takes 11-12 hours to recharge once you've used up its juice, it will charge your devices quickly and simultaneously with no problem. It is also super compact with dual USB ports at a reasonable price. The RAVPower is also a great high-capacity battery pack.
If you don't need much capacity and only plan to charge one mobile phone on the go, however, you probably don't need an external battery with a huge battery capacity. Just pay attention to the charging speed, advanced USB technologies, and pricing in this situation. The Nifty Mobile Smartphone pack may be your best bet.
Pro Tip: You may want to look into a solar charger for emergency charges in rural areas with no electricity. Solar chargers use the sun to power your devices when they die on the go.
Now that you're well-versed on the best USB battery packs to power your devices on the go, go out and buy one! USB battery packs will save you if you need to work while traveling or repower your phone for a picture or text on the go. The best USB battery packs offer portability, multiple USB ports and USB technologies, large battery capacity and decent prices.