- The Best Overall Portable Charger: Intocircuit External Battery
- The Best High Capacity Charger: MMSA Power Bank
- The Best Hyperspeed Charger: Patriot Fuel
- The Best Waterproof Charger: Unifun Waterproof External Battery
Portable electronics are only as useful as their battery life. If you get caught away from a power outlet with a low charge and no external power source then it doesn’t much matter what other specs your device has. But an answer is out there. Portable chargers are an inexpensive and convenient answer to one of the modern world’s little frustrations. They are ideal for vacationers, business travelers, and just about anyone who is worried that their cell phone or tablet might not make it through a full day of extensive use.
But what should you look for in a portable charger? It depends on what you need. If that need is to simultaneously charge multiple devices, veer toward high capacity chargers.
The capacity of a battery is expressed in milliampere-hour (mAh), a unit of electric charge that measures power delivered over discharge interval. The higher the mAh, the larger the charging capacity. A 3000 mAh portable charger will charge an iPhone 6 once. A 20000 mAh charger will fill the phone 7 times.
Lower mAh batteries will recharge a device quicker than their high capacity competitors, so go with them if you prize speed over quantity. They also are smaller and lighter because they have less cells.
Ruggedized and waterproof options are also available for those who need to recharge their phone or tablets on the beach.
Ultimately, try and strike a balance between value, portability, durability, capacity and speed.
Best Overall Portable Charger: Intocircuit External Battery
Durable, compact, easy-to-use and lighting fast, Intocircuit’s portable charger is the best all around external power source on the market. It has Samsung Grade A Lithium-ion cells that supply over 1000 lifetime charges.
This is the best balance between charge capacity and speed. It is rated at 15000mAh, which is enough to charge an iPhone 5S 7 times. The 4.8 dual USB output is 2.4A per port, as well as a respectably fast input of 5V/2A.
We also appreciate the brushed metal exterior, which provides the lithium ion battery cells with better protection. Since it uses a material that is more durable than the standard thick plastic, it has increased portability.
The Intocircuit also has smart technology that automatically detects what device charges at and adapts to maximum speed, so you don’t need to worry about cross-referencing your device with the correct USB charger. LED lights also indicate how much charge is left in the battery, eliminating some of the annoying guess work.
The Intocircuit External Battery is available on Amazon for around $37.
Best High Capacity Charger: MMSA Power Bank
MMSA Power Bank has 20,000mAh of charge, which is enough to refill an iPhone 6 7 times and a Samsung Galaxy S5 5 times. It has a 5V/1A input and an impressive four USB outputs, enough to charge the whole family’s portable electronics at once.
This is also quite a bit lighter than other 20k batteries on the market. High capacity chargers tend to run on the heavy side, because they house larger batteries than their smaller counterparts. High capacity chargers also are slower, but this is one of the faster ones on the market. Still expect it to take a 5-10 hours before you get a full charge on most phones and tablets.
The MMSA Power Bank is available on Amazon for around $35.
Best Hyperspeed Charger: Patriot Fuel
If want one device charged fast, use a hyperspeed charger. Look at a charger’s output to determine how fast it can charge your portable device. A 1A (5W) charger is the slowest, 2A (10W) cuts the charge rate in half and a 2.5A (12.5W) charge is one of the fasted currently available. Recharge speeds also depend on the cord. Newer Apple devices are outfitted with lightning charging cords and some Android devices work with Turbo chargers.
The Patriot Fuel is outfitted with a 2.5A USB output for hyperspeed charging. It has a 9000mAh capacity and two USB ports (1A and a 2.5A). It has a built in self-monitoring system to prevent under or over charging and to optimize charging efficiency. It can get smartphones back to full charge in around 1 hour. It also comes with a 2 year warranty.
The Patriot Fuel charger is available on Amazon for around $25.
Best Waterproof Charger: Unifun Waterproof External Battery
This dustproof, waterproof and rugged charger is perfect for use in the great outdoors. It is IP66 waterproof rated, which means it is totally dust-proof and protected against string water jets and waves. The 10,400mAh lithium polymer core provides up to 1,000 lifetime charges, and each charge will refill an iPhone 4 times. It has 2 USB outputs.
Rechare your iPhone 6 Plus 5S, 5C 4 4S, iPad Air/iPad Mini, Samsung Galaxy S5 S4 S3, Google Nexus 7, cameras, and tablets at the ski lodge, on the beach, poolside, camping, at a construction site, or in the desert with this durable and waterproof portable charger.
The Unifun Waterproof External Battery is available on Amazon for around $17.