The best power bank brands offer life-saving power when you're out and about and away from mains electricity. The best power banks are a vital bit of kit for anyone with a smartphone, tablet, laptop or camera who often finds themselves away from their work space or a plug socket. If you're a working creative, the best power bank can mean the difference between fulfilling a project on time and the dreaded deadline extension. For the lovers of the great outdoors among us, it means being stranded in the deepest darkest countryside, and being able to organise a lift home.
Keeping our phones charged has become second nature for most of us. But it's easy to forget and find yourself running low the next day. Or you inadvertently leave the Facebook app running and tracking your location the whole time and suddenly the power bar's in the red. Having a fully-charged power bank in your pocket and ready to go doesn't seem so weird now!
But what's the best power bank brand for you? Skip down to the how to choose the best power bank section for more on that. Meanwhile, if you're looking for storage, see our guide to the best external hard drives and SSDs.
The best power banks available in 2022
Looking for the best power bank all round? Save yourself some searching and opt for the Anker PowerCore 20100, which should satisfy all but the most power-hungry. It's a slimline power bank containing a serious 20,100mAh of battery capacity, which means it's capable of charging your phone multiple times on a single charge.
It'll charge two devices simultaneously via a pair of 2.4 Amp USB ports, and if your devices use PowerIQ or VoltageBoost it'll do the job quicker. In all it's just the right mix of power, convenience and price.
If you want to know more about the Anker brand in general, check out our article on should I buy an Anker Powercore power bank?
If your power demands are just a bit more than the Anker PowerCore 20100 can provide and you don't mind paying for that extra capacity, the Anker PowerCore III Elite 25600 should satisfy your needs. With an impressive 25,600mAh of battery capacity packed into it, it'll give even the latest, fattest phone a good few charges without complaint, and it's even capable of filling up an entire MacBook, making it the ideal companion if you enjoy working on the move.
It can charge three devices at once, with a 60W USB-C port and a pair of 18W USB-A ports (bear in mind that they'll deliver a total output of 18W between them), and it also features a trickle-charging mode for low-power devices.
It's even heavier than its sibling, at over half a kilo, and like we said, it's a fair bit more expensive. But otherwise this represents excellent value overall.
Not everyone needs a super-heavyweight charger that'll fill up all the devices with plenty of room to spare. If all you want is a handy standby charger to top up your phone if it's getting a bit low towards the end of the day, the INUI 10000mAh Portable Charger will do the trick without costing you a packet.
It's light and slim with both USB-A and USB-C outputs and it'll charge up to three devices at once. The only downside is its comparative lack of power, which is unsurprising given the price. It only has a 10,000mAH battery, so even if you have an older phone you're not going to get many full charges out of it.
On the plus side, though, it's ideal for charging low-power gear such as AirPods, Bluetooth headphones, fitness trackers and smartwatches, which some high powered power banks struggle with.
Feeling the need for maximum power? The appropriately-named MAXOAK 50,000mAh Power Bank should be just what you need if you're lugging a stack of devices around with you and can't afford to let them run low. With 50,000mAh on tap it's the most powerful option listed here, and seriously versatile with six ports that should enable you to charge almost everything at once.
Sadly the big exception to the charging party is a MacBook, which could rule out this power bank for many creatives. However if you have a laptop from Fujitsu, Sony, Acer, Asus, IBM, Dell, HP, NEC, Samsung or Lenovo then you're good to go.
The enormous battery capacity and multiple ports make this an ideal power bank for a trip with colleagues who'll need to charge their devices at the same time, or if you simply have a lot of devices yourself. Be aware, though, that this is the heaviest model on our list, and one of the most expensive.
Here's a contender for the best power bank if you're mainly about the Apple devices. The Mophie Powerstation Plus is the perfect choice for anyone with an iPhone or older iPad that needs the occasional boost, as it has a built-in Lightning cable so you don't need to remember to bring one with you (we've all done it, right?).
Models range from a 6,000mAh capacity at the most economic end up to a more generous 12,000mAh, which is enough for more than four additional charges on your iPhone or one extra charge for a tablet. A second USB port means you can charge two devices at the same time.
Choosing the best power bank often means having to decide between battery capacity and portability. For our money the best compromise between the two is the Anker PowerCore II. It's ever so slightly smaller than a pack of cards, which means it should fit into any pocket (including women's criminally undersized pockets), but with 10,000mAh on offer it should charge most phones two or three times.
You wouldn't want to depend on it over a few days, but if you need something to quickly charge your smartphone a couple of times while you're out on the move, this offers a great balance between size and capacity.
Let's be clear, the Omni 20 is going to overkill for most people looking for the best power bank. It's heavy and gives you a lot less power than you'd expect for its considerable price. That said, if you feel the need for a good-looking premium power bank that can charge loads of things at the same time, this could well be the option for you. It has a two each of USB-C and USB-A ports as well as offering wireless charging, and it also features an OLED display to let you know how much power's available and how fully charged your devices are.
It charges fast – in under three hours when plugged in by itself. You can also charge the power bank itself while your devices are charging. And while it's a lot more expensive than most of the other power banks on our list, if you need to use your devices a lot the investment could pay off, by allowing you to keep going for longer.
For a basic budget alternative to the Omni 20 above, try the iMuto Ultra High Capacity portable charger. It weighs about the same and has just as much power on offer, but comes in at a fraction of the price.
Obviously it's not as slick as the Omni 20 and doesn't offer as many charging options, but it'll charge most phones about four times, so it's just the thing if you need to stay connected over a long weekend.
A solar power bank can be a good idea if you're going to be outdoors a lot, and, if you're not going completely off grid, it's great to be able to rely on being able to recharge your phone when you're away from civilisation. The kilponen Solar Power Bank 26800mAh offers an impressive capacity and will fit in a pocket easily. There's only two ports – both USB-A – but as long as that's not a problem, it's a competent device. The LED indicator system shows how much power you have left.
The best power banks: FAQ
How to choose the best power bank
When choosing the best power bank for your needs, the first consideration should be battery capacity. Consider how long you’ll be on the move and how many devices you'll be using.
You'll also need to bear in mind how much energy those devices consume as a laptop or camera will need more power to recharge than a phone or tablet.
Once you've decided what battery capacity you need, the next factor is weight. Usually weight increases in line with capacity, so you might want to strike a balance and sacrifice some battery capacity for the extra portability that comes with a lighter power bank.
Of course, you need to make sure that the power bank you choose is compatible with the devices that you want to charge. If you're likely to need to charge several devices at the same time, you'll want to check how many charging points the power bank has. Many power banks come with two or three, but some power banks offer up to six. And it's worth checking what sort of ports are on offer; USB-A ports will do the job but not every quickly, while if you can find a power bank with a USB-C PD port then you'll find your devices charge nice and quickly.
What's the best power bank brand?
We feel that Anker is often the best power bank brand, which is why the Anker PowerCore 20100 power bank tops our list above. With its big capacity, fast charging and excellent value, it's a no-brainer, unless you're looking for really high capacity or specific compatibility. There are a few devices the PowerCore 20100 won’t work with.
Mophie and Belkin are also great power bank brands, but you should be wary of brands that you've never heard of, particularly if the brand name reads like someone grabbed a handful of tiles out of a Scrabble bag and chucked them on a table. You'll find thousands of them on Amazon offering loads of power at a knockdown price, but while some of them might be genuine bargains, you're running a real risk of buying something that'll seriously under-deliver then fail on you in short order.