While smartphones get faster, thinner and more powerful with every new update, the one thing that doesn’t seem to improve is battery life. Whether you’re a traveller, digital nomad, or simply want to keep your devices going throughout the day (perhaps even several days!), the best way to do deal with running out of battery is to get a power bank.

I’ve been using and testing third-party batteries and power banks for almost a decade, and carry a power bank on a daily basis. For the purposes of this guide, I’ve also spent several months reading, reviewing and researching to show you the best power banks available today, from brands to specific power bank models.

Still, if you want to do your own research, the Best Sellers list on Amazon gives you a good idea of the most popular power banks right now.

Best Power Banks of 2018

Everybody has personal preferences when it comes to budgets, design, or even reasons for buying a power bank in the first place, so it’s hard to say which is “best”. For this reason, here are six recommendations by purpose and function.

For most people, the Anker PowerCore Speed 10000 QC is the “Goldilocks” option, offering a balance between battery capacity, weight and Quick Charge 3.0 technology. The Jackery Bolt (6000mAh) offers built-in Lightning and Micro USB cables for maximum convenience, though it might be an issue if you’ve moved to USB Type-C. If you want to go even smaller (I have), check out the lipstick-sized Anker PowerCore+ Mini (3350mAh) for daily top-ups.

On the larger end, the RAVPower Xtreme 26800mAh is the high capacity pick, while the future-proofed Jackery Titan S (20100mAh) is slightly smaller with USB Type-C and Quick Charge 3.0. For standard USB-A devices, the Anker PowerCore Speed 20000 QC is the bigger brother of the “Goldilocks” pick.

Now, let’s get into the details.

Winner: Anker PowerCore Speed 10000 QC

The criteria for the best all-rounder power bank was something that wasn’t too big or small, does everything well, and has some forward-thinking technology that differentiates itself from the competition.

The Anker PowerCore Speed 10000 QC has it all. Its quality Panasonic battery is hooked up to Quick Charge 3.0 technology, which allows you to quick-charge your devices 3-5 times. Even its looks are great, based on the best-selling PowerCore 10000 – only smaller, lighter and sleeker. It’s a real winner.

Features

  • 10000mAh battery capacity for 3-5 full charges from zero
  • Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 for super fast charging (up to 4x faster)
  • Anker’s proprietary PowerIQ, VoltageBoost and MultiProtect technology
  • Lightweight and durable double-layer design with a premium finish
  • Compact enough to put into your jacket or back jeans pocket
  • Anker’s 18-month warranty
  • Lifetime technical support

Realistically, the Anker PowerCore Speed 10000 QC should suit almost everyone. If you need more power, I’d suggest considering buying two instead of committing to a larger, heavier power bank. But if you’re sure, consider the Anker PowerCore Speed 20000 QC, which also has Quick Charge 3.0 and doubles the available battery capacity. If you just want a slight bump in capacity, have a look at the new Anker PowerCore 13400. Personally, I’m not a fan of the design but it does have the added bonus of Nintendo Switch and Macbook compatibility.

Buy on Amazon >

Not sure yet? Read some more reviews first.

Winner: Jackery Bolt

The word “compact” means a power bank that can be carried around in the front pocket of your jeans and weighs little enough for it not to be weighing you down. Jackery’s second smallest offering fits the bill perfectly – and some more.

The Jackery Bolt is a pocketable power bank with a battery capacity of 6000mAh, and lets you leave your messy knot of charging cables behind. The top of the power bank features built-in Lightning and Micro USB cables that can be tucked away when not in use. Depending on which device you have, you’ll get 2-3 full charges – and as an added bonus, you can leave your backpack at home.

Features

  • 6000mAh battery capacity for 2-3 full charges from zero
  • Built-in Lightning and Micro USB cables that fold away
  • Small enough to fit in your jeans pocket
  • Pass-through charging functionality
  • Charge up to three devices at once
  • Built-in flashlight
  • Jackery’s 24-month warranty
  • 24/7 technical support

The Jackery Bolt is one of the few power banks that support pass-through charging. As the name suggests, pass-through charging allows you to charge multiple devices – three, in this case – while charging the power bank itself, which is extremely handy when you’re travelling and only have one power plug (or adapter) available. The Bolt also has a built-in flashlight, a handy feature for digging through your backpack in the dark.

Buy on Amazon >

Not quite sure yet? Read some more reviews first.

Winner: Anker PowerCore+ Mini

Most of the recommended power banks are towards the mid to higher end of battery capacity, but for some people, all they need is a quick top-up towards the end of the day.

The Anker PowerCore+ Mini is a small, compact power bank about the size of a tube of lipstick. It’s small enough to fit into the same pocket as your phone, yet packs enough punch (3350mAh, to be precise) to give you that little boost when you need it. The Mini is the baby of the premium PowerCore+ range from Anker, but the performance is anything but small.

Features

  • 3350mAh battery capacity for 1-2 full charges from zero
  • Anker’s proprietary PowerIQ and MultiProtect technology
  • Ultra-compact, about the size of a tube of lipstick
  • Class-leading battery capacity for its size
  • Class-leading sleek design
  • Multiple colour options (separate Amazon listing)
  • Anker’s 18-month warranty

This version of the PowerCore+ Mini is the 3rd generation of its kind, which has been perfected over the years. Anker has a reputation for listening to its users, from both general customer feedback and its unique “Power User” program. A testament to its quality is the fact that it’s currently the top-selling power bank on Amazon, with over 25,000 reviews and an average rating of 4.4/5 stars.

Note: for some reason, the non-black colour options were recently moved to a separate listing.

If you want a little more juice, the slightly bigger capacity Anker PowerCore 5000 isn’t a bad pick either – especially if you have a device that has a battery capacity larger than 3350mAh.

Buy on Amazon >

Not sure yet? Read some more reviews first.

Winner: RAVPower Xtreme 26800mAh

Power! If this all you care about, then all three leading manufacturers have something for you – but there’s one that slightly beats out the rest on features and price.

The RAVPower Xtreme 26800mAh is the best power bank in this category if you want as much power as possible from a quality brand for the lowest possible price. Anker has a similar power bank on sale, but it’s $10 more for what is effectively the same thing.

The Xtreme features a whopping 26800mAh battery that can charge three devices at once with a combined output of 5.5A. That’s faster than most non-QC power banks available now.

Features

  • 26800mAh battery capacity for 7-9 full charges from zero
  • Charge three devices at the same time
  • RAVPower’s iSmart charging technology
  • Intelligent temperature, power and voltage control
  • Short-circuit, over-charging and current-surge protection
  • Scratch-resistant design with matte black finish
  • Useful LED battery indicators
  • RAVPower’s 18-month warranty

There’s no doubt that the RAVPower Xtreme is a heavy power bank, but it’s the power user’s choice if you need to charge multiple devices, several times a day. While there are other brands that offer similar battery capacity, this is a power bank that’s backed by years of experience and an 18-month warranty.

As a power user, the only reason you might want to consider something else is if you have devices that uses USB Type-C. If that’s the case, read on to the next pick.

Buy on Amazon >

Not quite sure yet? Read some more reviews first.

Winner: Jackery Titan S

As we approach the end of 2018, USB Type-C devices are increasingly becoming the norm. The also means that USB-C power banks are available from all three of my recommended brands (Anker, RAVPower and Jackery), but if I had to choose…

The Jackery Titan S takes the crown. It’s the cheapest, has (almost) the fastest “real world” power output and is capable of charging any device with USB Type-C, including the Google Pixel 2 or Apple Macbook. The Anker has a slight edge in terms of power output, but is about $20 more expensive – not worth it, in my opinion. The RAVPower is more comparable in price, but falls behind (quite a lot) on power output with the standard USB-A ports.

Features

  • 20100mAh battery capacity for 5-7 full charges from zero
  • Fastest charging output compared to the competition
  • USB Type-A and Type-C ports with intelligent charging
  • Compatible with large-capacity devices such as the Macbook
  • Sleek aluminium shell with 9 layers of drop protection
  • Charge 3 devices at the same time
  • Handy LED battery indicators
  • Jackery’s 24-month warranty

At the time of writing, I actually own the alternative offered by Anker, but if the Jackery Titan S had been available when I made my purchase, it would have been a no-brainer. If these options are too big for you, the newly introduced Anker PowerCore Lite offers half the capacity (10000mAh) in a lighter, sleek body.

Buy on Amazon >

Not sure yet? Read some more reviews first.

Winner: Anker PowerCore Speed 20000 QC

Quick Charge-enabled power banks are becoming increasingly more popular, which means that buyers have far more options than ever. However, when it comes to the best balance of quality, price and technology, one power bank stands out among the rest.

The Anker PowerCore Speed 20000 QC is the big brother of the all-rounder pick, featuring the same class-leading features but with double the battery capacity. While many devices with Quick Charge are still on 2.0, the Speed 20000 QC features QC 3.0 – putting you in a good position for future device purchases.

Features

  • 20000mAh battery capacity for 5-7 full charges from zero
  • Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 for super fast charging (up to 4x faster)
  • Anker’s proprietary PowerIQ, VoltageBoost and MultiProtect technology
  • Lightweight and durable double-layer design with a premium finish
  • Compact enough to put into your jacket or back jeans pocket
  • Anker’s 18-month warranty
  • Lifetime technical support

If you’re not yet committed to USB Type-C but have devices that use Qualcomm’s Quick Charge technology, the PowerCore Speed 20000 QC is the high capacity power bank to beat. Of course, if you want to go smaller, the PowerCore Speed 10000 QC is the obvious choice – or, you might even want to consider getting two 10000’s instead, and leave one at home when the high capacity becomes unnecessary.

Buy on Amazon >

Not sure yet? Read some more reviews first.

How to Choose a Power Bank

When choosing a power bank, it’s important to consider how it would fit into your life.

Do you:

  • Simply need to keep your phone topped up at the end of the day? Have a look at the Anker PowerCore+ Mini.
  • Need to keep your devices going through a day of cafe-hopping? Have a look at the Anker PowerCore Speed 10000 QC.
  • Want to leave the city and go camping somewhere in the wilderness? Have a look at the RAVPower Xtreme 26800mAh.

It can be tempting to take the “go big or go home” approach and go for the most powerful power bank available, but this also means you have to lug a heavy battery pack around all day. To keep your daily carry as light as possible, it can be a good idea to get more than one power bank for different purposes.

If you had to choose one power bank, I’d recommend the Anker PowerCore Speed to most people as a great mid-sized, future-proofed power bank. It’s unlikely that you’re going to need to charge your devices more than 3-5 times in one day, but if you do, it’s not a bad idea to double up and get two – or upsize to the RAVPower Xtreme (or the Anker PowerCore+ 20100 for those with USB Type-C devices).

Some good combinations include:

Whatever you want to use your power bank for, there’s a combination that will suit you. I personally have the “big and small” combination for daily top-ups and travel.

What Are The Best Power Bank Brands?

Although many of the power banks on sale today seem to be essentially the same at face value, the reality is that not all power banks are created equal.

For example, Anker was formed by ex-Google employees who have spent years perfecting their craft (and have since moved to China to keep costs down), while other power banks are cheap knock-offs that have been marked up by faceless dropshippers who wanted to make a quick dollar or two. This brand is my personal favourite – I feel they offer the best balance of quality and price, alongside my personal design preferences.

As the recommended power banks above might suggest, there are only three main brands worth mentioning in 2018. The strong pedigree of Anker as a battery manufacturer was proven as they started producing third-party smartphone batteries that were even better than the manufacturers themselves. After entering the power bank market, they were quickly joined by rivals RAVPower and Jackery, who are now jockeying for the top spot.

While other brands might have produced one-hit wonders, buying an Anker, RAVPower or Jackery power bank comes with a guarantee of quality. They’re not the cheapest options, but they’re the perfect compromise of quality, price and support – without paying for any unnecessary premiums.

Even better, all three companies have a replacement guarantee if you have any issues. To learn more about what they have to offer, click on the following links to find a more comprehensive list of Anker, RAVPower and Jackery power banks.

Conclusion

Rather than putting together a generic “top 10” list with every power bank under the sun, this should give you a good idea of which power bank is most suited to your own needs. It might be a good idea to get a combination of two or more instead of compromising with just one – in fact, I do exactly that with my ultra-portable Anker PowerCore+ Mini (3350mAh), which complements the larger power bank that I use for travel.

When it comes to brands, I highly recommend you choose from Anker, RAVPower or Jackery for their quality, reliability and design. Like most technology, power banks get better with experience, and these three have been around for the longest and are market leaders.

To recap, the top picks are:

If you liked this guide, please be sure to share with your friends, family, or anyone that you think might find this useful.

Thanks for reading!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here