Sat. May 18th, 2024

Key Takeaways

  • Multiple power banks provide power when you need it most, whether in emergencies or daily life.
  • Power banks have countless uses beyond charging phones, such as laptops, lights, and gaming devices.
  • Affordable portable chargers come in various sizes, ensuring gadgets stay charged, making them a versatile and cost-effective accessory.

Power banks are a nifty accessory for your phone, but these little portable chargers have more to offer than extending your social media sessions. Everything runs on batteries these days, which is why I have more than one power bank. Here’s why you should, too.

There are endless tech accessories, many of which you’ll likely regret buying. But when it comes to portable power banks, the more the merrier. They’re cheap, come in various sizes, and can easily recharge AirPods, keep a laptop running, and everything in between.

Power When You Need It

Power level indicator on the Mophie Powerstation
Hannah Stryker / How-To Geek

My phone can run through its entire battery in under a day, and the same goes for my smartwatch. Then, if I forgot to charge my earbud case before leaving the house, it could end up depleted too. Those are just a few of the many daily essentials, and that’s before considering any of the other reasons people buy something like a 20,000 mAh portable power bank.

We’ve all experienced that anxious feeling after noticing a battery is about to die. Being able to recharge all my gear at a moment’s notice and have power when I need it is crucial. In fact, a power bank could be a lifesaver in an emergency or power outage.

You’re all set if you have a power bank and a compatible charging cable. As a bonus, they’re also great for helping friends and family. My wife’s iPhone is always running low, and she often asks me for a power bank before heading off to work. Thankfully, I have a rotating collection in different capacities and will lend her whatever is available and fully charged. Furthermore, she’s notorious for losing her charging cables, so my new go-to is the Anker Nano (5,000 mAh) with a built-in Lightning connector. It’ll fully recharge her iPhone, and she can’t misplace the cable. It’s a win-win.

Whether you forgot to charge something overnight, are busy traveling, or are experiencing a power outage, you’ll want to be like me and have a collection of power banks.

They Have a Wide Variety of Uses

Charging a Samsung phone and an iPad with the Ugreen 20,000mAh Two-Way Fast Charging Power Bank
Hannah Stryker / How-To Geek

Nowadays, our phones have bigger batteries and faster charging, and you can quickly charge them almost anywhere. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a power bank or two. I own upwards of ten, even if one or two are slightly older models reserved as a backup.

Portable chargers (aka power banks) have a wide variety of uses. The internal lithium-ion battery can power or charge all sorts of things, especially considering that most power banks have many USB output ports. Those include USB-A or USB-C with power delivery and some of the bigger models even have a 120V AC outlet on the side. It’s not just about mobile devices, though.

I use power banks as emergency power for my work laptop while traveling, to power string lights while camping, to run my portable projector for backyard movie nights, or to keep the Nintendo Switch running. My wife has a battery-powered heated jacket that runs on a 10,000 mAh power bank. I even have a rugged, water-resistant portable charger I leave on the patio to top off my trusty old rechargeable flashlight that doesn’t hold a charge very well anymore.

You can use these little bricks of on-demand power to run a VR headset and Xbox controller during all-night gaming sessions, and my Hulkman 20,000 mAh portable power bank can even jump-start a dead car battery. Now that’s useful!

Power in All Shapes and Sizes

Anker Nano charger with lightning connector.

As we mentioned above, the best portable chargers come in various shapes, sizes, and port options.

You can get a tiny 5,000 mAh that can fully charge your phone once, and it’ll easily fit in a pocket or purse. Get a slightly bigger 10K option and have it at the ready, or toss a hefty 26,800 mAh portable battery in your backpack and be prepared for any situation. If you need endless power, get something big, but know it’ll be large, heavy, and take up a lot of space in your bag or suitcase.

I find that 10,000 mAh power banks are the ideal size. Most high-end smartphones have a 5,000 mAh or smaller internal battery, meaning a 10K bank will give you nearly two full charges. More importantly, they’re lightweight, thin, about the size of a smartphone, and affordable. I have two of the latest Anker Powercore 10K, featuring a USB-C in/output and a regular USB-A port for other cables.

anker powercore slim

Anker PowerCore Slim 10,000 PD

With enough power to charge multiple gadgets with USB-C PD fast charging, Anker’s PowerCore Slim 10,000 will keep your iPhone or Android topped off while on the go. 

Another solid option is one of the many 20,000 mAh power banks from Anker, Mophie, or UGREEN. They’re not too big or too small and deliver enough power to keep all your gear charged for the week or give you juice to spare when you lend it to a family member.

We recently reviewed the UGREEN 20K power bank, which delivers 100W of output power. It’s strong enough to run a MacBook and Nintendo Switch or charge multiple mobile devices.

They’re Cheap and Effective

We’re all feeling the pinch on our wallets these days. Everything is expensive. If you don’t want to drop $1,200 on a new smartphone because your old one doesn’t stay charged throughout your work day, grabbing a $20 portable power bank with a 10,000 mAh battery is a great idea.

Power banks are affordable, easy to use, and highly effective at ensuring we have enough juice for our battery-powered phones, tablets, watches, earbuds, and more. They’re handy for day-to-day activities and perfect for emergencies. I always have one charged up in every vehicle, just in case. You never know when you’ll need it.

Once you buy a portable power bank or two, you’ll wonder why you didn’t get it sooner.

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By John P.

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