Portable devices have a Murphy’s law-like ability to run out of power at the least convenient moment: as you step on the bus, right in the middle of an important meeting, or just as you get comfortable on the couch and press Play. If you keep a battery-powered portable charger handy, all those situations are a thing of the past.
There are hundreds of portable battery packs out there, and picking one can be confusing. To help, we’ve spent years working our way through all of them. This obsession started when I (Scott) lived off-grid in a vintage RV, powered primarily by solar panels. That experience taught me that the key to solar power is good batteries. I had a proper 12-volt battery bank in the bus, but since I was out and about much of the time, portable power was more flexible and let me take energy where I needed it rather than having to be beside a plug. Even if you’re not living in an off-grid solar setup, good power banks will come in handy. These are our favorites.
Updated September 2022: We added new power banks from Zendure, Juice, and Baseus, and we tested Panasonic’s updated Eneloop range.
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