Source: Chris Wedel/Android Central
High-capacity Power Banks
Today’s phones and tablets are more powerful than ever, and despite more power-efficient processors, it’s not uncommon to find yourself needing to charge up at times when you aren’t near a wall outlet. Battery packs that are 20,000 mAh and higher are ideal for people that need a lot of juice while on-the-go, and while they may not fit into your pocket, they’re necessary for keeping your devices topped up. Our top pick is the Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD 45W. Here’s why it’s the best high capacity power bank, along with other great alternatives if you need something even bigger.
Best Overall: Anker PowerCore+ 26800mAh PD 45W with 60W PD Charger
Anker is one of the biggest names in the power banks and chargers today, and it’s built that name of exemplary build quality and long-term durability, and the PowerCore+ 26800mAh PD is a major upgrade from previous generations. It bumps up from basic 15W USB-C charging to 45W Power Delivery, meaning that this power bank can be used to charge phones, tablets, and laptops. I wish there was a second USB-C port so that you could fast-charge a phone and laptop at the same time, but the USB-A ports are fast enough for charging a phone so long as you remember some USB-C to USB-A cables.
26,800mAh is on the lower end of the “high capacity” spectrum, but it can still recharge a smartphone 4-6 times on a single charge, or recharge most USB-C laptops from empty to full at least once. When you’re using the USB-C port to charge a laptop at 45W, the max you’ll get from the USB-A ports combined is 15W, as the bank has a combined total output of 60W.
This beefy bundle isn’t lightweight, but nothing over 20,000mAh is. The PowerCore+ is at least svelte enough to slip in and out of a backpack easily while rushing around an airport or convention. I’m happy to see it comes with a 60W Power Delivery wall charger and a high-quality USB-C to USB-C cable, but for those of us who already have cables and wall chargers, it would be nice to see the PowerCore+ 26800mAh PD sold by itself for a lower price.
- USB-C and USB-A charging
- Comes with wall charger
- 18-month warranty
- Excellent build quality
- Trickle charging for smaller devices
- Only 45W Power Delivery
- Only one USB-C port
- Expensive bundle
Get a big battery and an even faster wall charger.
Whether you need to charge a laptop and one phone or a whole family of phones, this bank has you covered!
AC Adaptability: RAVPower 30000mAh 60W PD AC Portable Charger
RAVPower’s super-sized power bank branches out from just offering USB-A and USB-C to an AC outlet that you can plug an extra charger or small appliance into. AC plugs on a power bank get more common the higher the capacity gets — much smaller than 30,000mAh and AC will just eat the battery too fast — but it’s nice to get it without having to go full tank the way power station-type portable chargers do.
However, 30,000mAh can only be condensed so far using today’s technology. RAVPower still did a good job getting this beast down to a size that’ll fit in a backpack or camping duffel pretty easily. This amount of power also tends to generate a fair bit of heat, so there’s a fan in this bank to help with dispersing that heat. This means that while it’s less prone to overheating, the fan may be too loud if you’re using it in, say, a tent on your camping trip.
I’m happy to see 60W Power Delivery output on this power bank — the faster speed means you’ll spend less time tethered to the power bank — but the input is bumped down to 45W. It’s still much faster than many high-capacity power banks, but when you’re recharging a 30,000mAh power bank, every bit of speed helps.
- 60W Power Delivery output
- Three ports plus AC outlet
- High capacity
- As light as it can be considering the capacity
- Built-in fan can get loud
Great for short trips and conferences
This slightly bulkier bank not only packs a higher capacity but also an AC plug for running small appliances.
High Speed and Capacity: Goal Zero Sherpa 100 PD Qi
Source: Michael Fisher / MrMobile
When it comes to charging multiple devices quickly with a power bank, you don’t need tons of ports, just a few ports that all charge at decent speeds. If you need a big, beefy battery that you can still fly with, the Sherpa 100PD is just under the FAA’s 100Whr limit, and it’s just what you need to keep a laptop or camera topped off while working on the road.
The main port here is a 60W USB-C Power Delivery Port, which will give your laptop a quick recharge and also recharge faster once you reach your destination and plug it back in. You also get two USB-A ports for smaller peripherals and a Qi wireless charging pad on the top of the bank.
Goal Zero is a brand you might not have heard of before since it tends to deal with solar and portable power solutions. However, because it’s geared towards outdoor tech, you can rest assured this is a battery pack that will not leave you hanging. The Sherpa 100 PD is about half the size (and half the price) of the Sherpa 100 AC, so make sure you grab the newer PD model!
- 60W charging for laptops
- Two USB-A ports
- Qi pad on top
- 0-100 indicator readout
- Extra expensive
- USB-A ports are only 2.4A each
High Speed and Capacity
Great for power users and professionals.
This is a bit much for casual users, but for editors and gamers constantly burning through their laptop battery, it’s perfect.
Best 50,000 mAh Pack: MAXOAK Power Bank 50000
Let’s say that you want an overwhelmingly huge battery pack with no concern about its price or size. If that’s the situation you’re in, the MAXOAK Power Bank 50000 hits all the right notes.
The 50,000 mAh capacity here is enormous, and while you may not think you need that much battery, it comes in handy for long road trips, hurricane season, and other situations in which you’re without access to power for a prolonged period of time. With such a big battery, you could charge an iPhone X up to 16 times.
For phones, tablets, and other mobile gadgets, you have two USB-A ports at 2.1A and two USB-A ports at 1A. MAXOAK’s battery pack is also a great choice for laptops, as there are 20V and 12V DC outputs.
MAXOAK’s pack won’t be going in your pocket anytime soon, but you can easily toss it in a backpack and have hours upon hours of charge time to take with you anywhere.
- Gigantic 50,000 mAh capacity
- Two dedicated laptop ports
- Four USB-A ports for smartphones
- Relatively portable considering the battery you’re getting
- No USB-C
- Not the most portable option
Best 50,000 mAh Pack
So much battery
Need a lot of battery? This power bank from MAXOAK has a massive 50,000 mAh capacity, giving you an insane amount of juice.
Best For Camping: BLAVOR Solar Charger Power Bank
One of the best use cases for a power bank is using it as a source of power while camping, hiking, or on other outdoor adventures. If this is the primary scenario in which you’ll be using your new power bank, we recommend checking out the BLAVOR Solar Charger Power Bank.
For people that spend a lot of time outdoors, one of the best features of this battery pack is that it has solar panels on the top that allow it to recharge using the sun. The solar recharging isn’t the fastest, but it is nice to have. If you need to recharge the BLAVOR more quickly, you do so via USB-C or Micro-USB. This bank has a single USB-C 18W Power Delivery port, two USB-A ports (one 9V/2A, one Qualcomm QuickCharge 18W), and there’s even a 10W Qi wireless charging pad, so you can charge four devices at once.
An IPX5 rating offers ample protection against splashing water, there’s a built-in LED flashlight to help you see at night, and the 20,000 mAh capacity should be plenty of battery for most weekend adventures.
- Solar recharging
- Has a Qi wireless charger
- Power Delivery input/output
- Built-in LED flashlight
- IPX5 water resistance
- No dustproof rating
- Only 18W charging
Best For Camping
The sun’s all you need
Plan on using your power bank outdoors a lot? This battery pack can be recharged using solar when outlets are miles away.
Best Port Selection: Anker Powerhouse II 400
Source: Android Central
There are battery packs that are in a league of its own, there’s the Anker Powerhouse II 400. Not everyone needs to spend this much money on a battery pack, but if you want one of the most powerful options out there and have the money to afford it, this is it, chief.
The Powerhouse II 400 — which recently replaced the Powerhouse 200 — is less of a battery pack and more of a lunch box-sized emergency power station. You get plenty of ports and absolutely gangbusters 388Wh (or approximately 108,000mAh) battery capacity, which should be enough to recharge all the phones in the house for a week, or power more substantial things through the AC outlet and car socket for a day or two.
Going back to the port selection, you have a lot to choose from, including:
- 12V DC car socket
- 110V AC output
- Three USB-A 3A ports
- 60W USB-C Power Delivery output
- DC input for faster recharging
While it is expensive and cumbersome, the Powerhouse II 400 is one of the best options out there for having a reliable power source during power outages, emergencies, and long camping treks.
- Outrageous battery capacity
- Tons of output ports
- USB-C Power Delivery
- Carrying handle
- Great for emergencies
- This is a thicc boi
- Only one USB-C port
- Quite pricey
Best Port Selection
Ports and power for days
With output ports of varying speed and function, the Anker Powerhouse II 400 has you covered no matter your needs.
Balancing size and sensibility: What makes the best high capacity power banks
You’ll be happy no matter which of the battery packs on this list that you choose, but at the end of the day, we think the best pick is they Anker PowerCore+ 26800.
Anker’s battery pack is a little pricey, but when you consider everything it brings to the table, you’re getting quite a lot for your money. The 26,800 mAh capacity is quite lovely, as are the three USB ports for charging multiple devices at once. You finally get Power Delivery for charging something like a MacBook, and the two USB-A ports are great for quickly filling up a phone or tablet.
We also really like the goodies Anker includes with your purchase. With a USB-C cable and 60W wall charger, you have everything you need to charge the PowerCore+ when it starts to get low on battery. Throw in the travel pouch and 18-month warranty, and it ends up being a very complete package.
How to choose the best high-capacity battery pack
While battery packs are seemingly simple gadgets, there are quite a few different things you should take into consideration before buying one.
Sure, you could go out and buy the cheapest one you see, but if you take the time to understand the little differences between everything, you’ll end up with a battery pack that truly fits your needs and works the best for your specific workflow/lifestyle.
How much battery capacity do you really need?
Perhaps the most important thing to consider before buying a battery pack is its capacity — in other words, how big of a battery it’s packing.
Since we’re dealing with high-capacity packs, we’re only looking at options that are 20,000 mAh or higher. As such, any of the picks on this list will be able to charge your smartphone multiple times and still have some leftover fuel in the tank.
For comparison’s sake, most smartphones in 2020 have batteries that vary in capacity from around 3,500 and 4,500 mAh. If you’re planning on using your battery pack to charge your phone, tablet, or headphones, something with a capacity of around 10,000-15,000 mAh should be enough so long as you’re getting home to an outlet by the end of the day. If this sounds like a better fit for you, you might want to consider a more compact power bank.
So, why do power banks with capacities of 30,000 mAh and more exist? There are a couple of good reasons:
- For people that want to charge a larger device, such as a laptop, having a big capacity will ensure you have access to enough power.
- For backpacking or other outdoor adventures where outlets are few and far between, a high-capacity bank ensures you can keep your phone charged and your lifeline alive.
- If you live somewhere prone to severe weather like hurricanes or tornadoes, a power station-style high capacity portable charger like the Anker Powerhouse II 400 will ensure you can stay connected while waiting for the electrical grid to be repaired.
Why USB-C is so important
We’ve talked a lot about USB-C Power Delivery throughout this article, but let’s take a step back for a second and explain why it’s so important and why you should get a USB-C battery pack.
USB-C is essentially the evolution of Micro-USB ports that used to be prevalent on just about every Android phone for charging. Not only does USB-C benefit from the fact that it’s reversible (meaning there’s no “wrong” way to insert it), it’s also considerably more powerful.
Here’s the thing though — not all USB-C ports are created equally. Some USB-C ports come with a Power Delivery standard (often referred to as PD), and this signifies that a USB-C port offers considerably faster charging and data speeds.
As such, when you’re looking to charge a device that has an extraordinarily big battery, USB-C and Power Delivery are a must. Not only are a lot of newer devices moving to USB-C ports, but it’ll also cut down quite a bit on recharge times.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Ara Wagoner themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she’s not writing help and how-to’s, she’s running around Walt Disney World with a Chromebook. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco. If you see her without headphones, RUN.
Joe Maring is Android Central’s Senior Editor and has had a love for anything with a screen and CPU since he can remember. He’s been talking/writing about Android in one form or another since 2012 and often does so while camping out at the nearest coffee shop. Have a tip? Send an email to [email protected]!
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