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The best power bank: recharge your phone, camera or laptop on the move

best power bank
(Image credit: Anker)

This guide will walk you through our picks for the best power banks available right now. These portable batteries will make sure you never run out of power on a photography trip. 

It's an interesting time for power banks. Portable batteries for recharging smartphones and action cameras have been around for years, and they’re always getting smaller and higher capacity, but something is changing. More and more bits of kit can be powered via USB – which means now you can now use these power banks to charge your laptop and interchangeable-lens camera too.

The tech you need to know about is the mAh – milliamp hours. This figure tells you how much charge a battery can hold. A 10,000 mAh battery equals two full charges of an iPhone XS or Google Pixel, one full charge for an 11-inch iPad Pro, or about eight charges for a GoPro HERO7 or compact camera.

It’s always tempting to buy the biggest mAh battery you can afford, but beware. More power equals less portability, so there is a trade-off to be made, especially if you want to be able to fit it easily into your camera bag. Just as important is how many USB ports the power bank has, and how fast they recharge your devices.

Also, bear in mind that the bigger capacity battery you go for, the longer it will take to recharge itself. For example, the fast-becoming-common 10,000 mAh size takes approximately nine hours to refuel via micro USB, though if it has a USB-C PD port, that reduces to 3.5 hours if you buy a USB-C PD wall charger. Talking of USB-C PD (power delivery), know that it’s a relatively new feature, but useful for recharging a laptop. Some portable batteries have wireless charging, too.

With so many features to choose from, we’ve gathered together some of the best portable batteries and best power banks available to help you find what you need to keep your photography equipment going for longer. 

best power bank: Belkin Pocket Power 10K portable battery

(Image credit: Belkin)

1. Belkin Pocket Power 10K portable battery

The best all-rounder for smartphones and action cameras

Capacity: 10,000 mAh | Dimensions: 46 x 74 x 16mm | Weight: 241g

Good value
2.4-amp fast charging
Few special features

Belkin keeps it simple with this portable Pocket Power 10K battery for any small device. Wrapped in a sleek-ish and relatively slim chassis, this portable battery packs in 10,000 mAh, so it’s good for a day or two on the road. There’s nothing clever here, just two USB-A slots for attaching cables to charge whatever device you have, though they are both 2.4-amp rated for fast-charging. It’s also got a 2 amp-rated micro USB slot for a quick recharge between uses. This power bank is available in black, rose gold and silver, so it’s obviously got smartphone users in its sights.

best power bank: Anker PowerCore+ 26800 portable battery

(Image credit: Anker)

2. Anker PowerCore+ 26800 portable battery

The best portable battery for off-grid photography trips

Capacity: 26,800 mAh | Dimensions: 180 x 80 x 24mm | Weight: 440g

Massive capacity
Quick charge output
Heavy

Sometimes you just want to cover all of your bases and take no chances – for example, if you’re heading off-grid for a few days. That's where Anker’s PowerCore+ 26800 will come in handy. As well as storing a mighty 26,800 mAh of power (enough for at least six recharges of the average smartphone), its proprietary PowerIQ system delivers 5V/3.0A power via USB-C (x1) or USB-A (x2) to drastically reduce charging time for your devices. The box also includes recharging cables and a travel pouch.

best power bank: Ugreen 10,000 portable battery

(Image credit: Ugreen)

3. Ugreen 10,000 portable battery

The best value power bank for smartphones and laptops

Capacity: 10,000 mAh | Dimensions: 95 x 67 x 26mm | Weight: 194g

Great value
USB-C PD for laptops
Digital display

Here’s a great example of a new brand on the block that’s selling great value, big batteries that will suit photographers after some serious power. There are no wireless capabilities here, but this Ugreen 10,000 mAh portable battery boasts USB-C PD for recharging laptops, as well as USB-A. The highlight, however, is an LCD display that shows the charge remaining as a percentage. In practice that’s an incredibly useful thing to know. The Ugreen is small and chunky and feels reasonably bulky in the pocket, and is best considered as something for a camera bag.

best power bank: Xtorm waterproof portable battery

(Image credit: Anker)

4. Anker PowerCore Slim 10000 PD

The best value portable battery for recharging a laptop

Capacity: 10,000 mAh | Dimensions: 149 x 68 x 14mm | Weight: 213g

Excellent value
USB-C PD for laptops
Too long for most pockets

Anker makes some of the best value portable batteries around, and it has hit the jackpot again with this versatile and reasonably advanced model. The PowerCore Slim has a useful 10,000 mAh of charge inside, plus a USB-C PD port for recharging laptops, and dual USB ports (one a 2.1-amp fast-charger) to charge two devices simultaneously. A slimline and phone-sized chassis that fits nicely into a backpack, and just about squeezes into a pocket, the PowerCore Slim also has a useful LED light-wheel that displays battery level.

best power bank: Xtorm waterproof portable battery

(Image credit: Xtorm)

5. Xtorm waterproof portable battery

The best power bank for landscape photography trips

Capacity: 10,000 mAh | Dimensions: 152 x 85 x 2mm | Weight: 261g

Waterproof, dustproof, shockproof
Includes an emergency flashlight
Fiddly carabiner

If you’re off on a shoot and you’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors or anywhere near water, consider this unusual waterproof, dust-proof and shock-proof power bank. The Xtorm portable battery has 10,000 mAh of charge inside, can recharge two devices at once via USB-A, and even sports an emergency LED flashlight. That latter feature may seem mostly a novelty (as is the fiddly carabiner), but it does sport a flashing SOS feature. Covering the LED is a flap that folds out to double as a prop stand so you can aim the light at something. Our only concern is that the buttons to activate the battery and the LED light are indistinguishable from one another, so it’s easy to get the wrong one.

best power bank: Moshi IonSlim 10K portable battery

(Image credit: Moshi)

6. Moshi IonSlim 10K portable battery

The best portable battery for charging a MacBook Pro

Capacity: 10,000 mAh | Dimensions: 179 x 112 x 27mm | Weight: 313g

Ultra-slim ‘Apple’ look
USB-C PD for laptops
Expensive

Like things to match? If you travel on photography trips with a recent MacBook Pro, you’ll undoubtedly know that you can recharge it from a portable battery via USB-C PD. The on-trend and ultra-slim anodized aluminium Moshi IonSlim 10K boasts a plentiful 10,000 mAh and a USB-C PD port that can send 30W into a MacBook Pro. It’s also got a fast-charging USB-A port and can recharge two smaller devices simultaneously.

best power bank: Adonit PhotoGrip Qi grip & wireless charger

(Image credit: Adonit)

7. Adonit PhotoGrip Qi grip & wireless charger

A talented smartphone-grip/wireless charger for phones

Capacity: 3,000 mAh | Dimensions: 121 x 82 x 44mm | Weight: 130g

Qi wireless charging
1/4-inch tripod thread
Small capacity battery

An intriguing idea, though completely non-essential, the PhotoGrip Qi is essentially a snap-on grip for a smartphone, which adds four features that smartphone photographers will find useful. The first is an ergonomic grip, the second a tripod thread, the third a removable Bluetooth shutter button for hands-free group shots, and the fourth a built-in 3,000 mAh battery boasting Qi wireless charging. It’s that last feature that makes the PhotoGrip Qi worth considering if your medium is a smartphone. It fits all phones above 4.5-inches in size. 

For more info, read our Adonit PhotoGrip Qi review

best power bank: JBL Charge 4 Bluetooth speaker/portable battery

(Image credit: JBL)

8. JBL Charge 4 Bluetooth speaker/portable battery

The best power bank for music fans on long trips

Capacity: 7,500 mAh | Dimensions: 22 x 95 x 93mm | Weight: 966g

High capacity battery
Waterproof speaker
Expensive

A lot of portable gadgets that run on batteries like to offer up their services as an emergency recharger for a phone, but most are less than generous. With a 7,500 mAh capacity battery side, this portable (and completely waterproof) JBL Charge 4 Bluetooth speaker actually makes it worthwhile, with two USB-A slots to simultaneously recharge two devices. The speaker itself is too big to be considered a permanent fixture in your camera bag, but if you’re the kind of photographer than goes on long and lonely trips and will already be taking a Bluetooth speaker, the JBL Charge 4’s generosity with its battery makes for a novel two-in-one gadget for travel. 

best power bank: Moshi ionbank 5K portable battery

(Image credit: Moshi)

9. Moshi IonBank 5K portable battery

The best power bank for travelling cable-free with a phone

Capacity: 5,150 mAh | Dimensions: 109 x 109 x 51mm | Weight: 162g

Built-in Apple Lightning or USB-C
2.4-amp fast-charging
Convenient and good-looking
Middling capacity

In the near future, all smartphones will be charged wirelessly all the time. Until then we’ll be forced to travel with pockets stuffed with cables. Cue Moshi’s IonBank 5K, a mid-sized, but extremely practical portable battery that’s ideal for recharging a phone quickly on the go. This 5,150 mAh portable battery has a brushed aluminum casing with a faux leather hood that hides fold-out an Apple Lightning/USB-C and a USB-A cable – the former for fast-charging a phone and the latter for recharging the battery itself. It’s also got pass-through, so you can use the entire device as a glorified USB-USB-C/Lightning cable to charge and sync from a wall charger or a laptop. A standard USB-A slot is also present, to which you can attach a cable and simultaneously charge something else. 

best power bank: Fuse Chicken universal wireless travel charger

(Image credit: Fuse Chicken)

10. Fuse Chicken universal wireless travel charger

The best option for cable-free international travel

Capacity: 6,700 mAh | Dimensions: 80 x 80 x 28mm | Weight: 241g

Wireless charging for phones
USB-A & USB-C
Battery is small

The Fuse Chicken Universal Wireless Charger is a unique charger for phones and laptops, which is perfect for travel photographers looking for a space-saving battery. A 6,700 mAh portable battery at its core – which is a little on the small side – is souped-up with the addition of an 18W wall charger. In the box are four attachable plugs for the US, EU, UK, and Australia, which can be used to refuel that battery or charge-up a USB-C laptop. Along with regular USB-A, that makes it near-universal. Add wireless charging for phones that support it, as well as a helpful LCD screen that shows you how much power is left as a percentage, and this might well be the best portable battery for travel photographers looking for an all-in-one.

best power bank: Nomad RoadTrip portable battery

(Image credit: Nomad)

11. Nomad RoadTrip portable battery

The best option for photography road trips

Capacity: 3,000 mAh | Dimensions: 46 x 46 x 12mm | Weight: 46g

Acts as a car charger
Pocket-sized
USB-A and USB-C
Small capacity battery

Many photographers do a lot of driving and, let’s face it, everyone needs to recharge their phone while they drive. But what if you could always be sure you had a topped-up smartphone battery in your pocket? The Nomad RoadTrip portable battery can power a phone from your car’s 12V cigarette lighter input while you drive, and when your phone is full it drip-feeds power to its built-in 3,000 mAh battery. So when you get out the car and start shooting, you can easily pocket the Nomad RoadTrip and always have a full charge for your phone in reserve.

best power bank: Mophie PowerStation USB-C XXL

(Image credit: Mophie)

12. Mophie PowerStation USB-C XXL

The best battery for wilderness shoots with lots of kit

Capacity: 19,500 mAh | Dimensions: 150 x 84 x 23mm | Weight: 428g

Huge capacity
Great-looking
Very heavy

A massive 19,500mAh portable battery with three USB-A ports, the Mophie PowerStation is the battery to take with you if you’re going off into the wilderness for a few days. With enough charge to replenish phones and action cameras for a couple of busy days, the PowerStation XXL also has a USB-C PD output for lending another 14 hours of battery life to a MacBook laptop. An LED shows how much power is left, but it's the PowerStation XXL’s neat fabric wrap that really catches the eye. However, it is a bit of a heavyweight, and not cheap. 

Read more:
Best camera battery: the best deals on replacement camera batteries

50 best camera accessories for photographers