The Best Portable Chargers for Travel

We don’t leave home without Nimble Champ’s compact and powerful portable charger.

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PlugBug Duo Adaptor and Charger
Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

With integrated outlets in airport terminals, in-flight WiFi, and USB ports built into hotel nightstands, the modern world is becoming more accommodating to tech users. But no matter where you're headed or how you're getting there, you can't always count on access to power. You could face a flight delay, be on a plane without USB ports, overestimate the available outlets on a glamping trip, or simply run out of battery while using your smartphone's map and camera during a long day of sightseeing.

Luckily, there are many on-the-go solutions for travelers. Our favorite is the Nimble Champ, a compact, portable power pack that quickly charges virtually any device. But to help you find the right option for your next excursion, we rounded up the best portable chargers for travel below.

These are the best portable chargers to shop.

T+L's Top Picks

Best Overall: Nimble Champ Portable Charger

Nimble Champ Portable Charger
Courtesy of Tumi

Also available at Office Depot and Best Buy

Why We Love It: The lightweight, compact Champ features universal compatibility, super-fast charging, and an eco-friendly design.

What to Consider: You'll have to buy a USB wall adapter separately and may need a dongle to connect it to your device.

Our number one portable charger pick is the Nimble Champ. Weighing less than half a pound, this portable charger is conveniently compact and lightweight. It calls on QC (Quick Charge) 4 technology and a USB Type-C connector to deliver super-fast charging, promising to take your device from zero to 80 percent battery life in 30 minutes. Thanks to an energy capacity of 10,000 mAh (milliampere hour), it can charge two devices at once and won't run out of power for up to three days.

This pint-sized power bank boasts universal compatibility, so it'll work with Apple, Android, and Samsung smartphones, plus tablets, laptops — you name it. You might need to get a dongle to connect the USB-C cable, but the USB-A input on the other end works with most power cords. And while you can recharge the Champ with a standard USB cable, it doesn't come with a wall plug adapter.

The on-the-go charger is eco-friendly too. Available in charcoal, deep turquoise, or surplus green, it's made of over 70% recycled plastic and comes in biodegradable packaging.

Dimensions: 3 x 2 x 1 inches | Weight: 0.4 pounds | Capacity: 10,000 milliampere hour

Best Budget: Anker PowerCore Slim 10000 Portable Charger

Anker PowerCore Slim 10000 Portable Charger
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Walmart

Why We Love It: Backed by a lifetime connected equipment warranty, the PowerCore Slim offers safe and efficient on-the-go charging.

What to Consider: It's on the larger side and takes up about as much space as a smartphone.

If you're looking for something more wallet-friendly, you can't go wrong with Anker. The PowerCore Slim comes with a micro USB cable that connects to various devices either directly or with a dongle. More than likely, you can just plug in your phone or tablet with the cord you normally use. Not only that, but it combines the brand's PowerIQ and VoltageBoost technologies to offer the most efficient charge to low batteries.

This portable charger is about the size of a smartphone and is fairly lightweight. The safe, durable design resists scratching, overheating, and short-circuiting and even comes with its own travel pouch. Anker also backs it with a lifetime connected equipment warranty, so you won't have to worry about it damaging your device.

Dimensions: 6 x 2.5 x 0.5 inches | Weight: 0.5 pounds | Capacity: 10,000 milliampere hour

Most Versatile: Romoss Sense 8+ 30000mAh Power Bank

Romoss Sense 8+ 30000mAh Power Bank
Courtesy of Amazon

Why We Love It: It has various USB inputs and even a lightning port, so you can power up nearly any device without an additional connector.

What to Consider: It's a bit heavy and doesn't come with its own charging cable.

The Romoss Sense 8+ is among the most versatile options we found. This portable power bank has various inputs, including two standard USB ports, a micro USB input, a lightning port, and a two-way USB-C input. Needless to say, most smartphones and tablets can be connected directly without the need for a dongle.

With QC technology and a high energy capacity, it delivers incredibly fast power to multiple devices at once and won't die on you for about four days, so it's perfect for going off the grid. Just a heads up — the Sense 8+ weighs about a pound and a half and doesn't come with its own charging cable. However, you can charge it with any USB cord compatible with the inputs.

Dimensions: 6.5 x 3 x 1 inches | Weight: 1.5 pounds | Capacity: 30,000 milliampere hour

Related: The Best Travel Tech Organizers for Keeping Everything in Its Place

Best for Smartphones: RapidX Boosta Magnetic Power Bank

RapidX Boosta Magnetic Power Bank red
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Best Buy

Why We Love It: The Booster attaches to your phone with a magnet and is light and slim enough to fit in your pocket or purse.

What to Consider: It doesn't last as long as others on this list, and the magnet only works with Qi-enabled devices.

From checking in for flights and emailing on business trips to translating foreign languages and mapping your walk to dinner, smartphones are integral to modern traveling. If you're like most tourists, you can expect your battery to drain frequently, but the RapidX Boosta will help ensure you're never at zero.

This portable charger uses a magnet to connect wirelessly to Qi-enabled devices, including iPhones (series 8 or later) and Galaxys (series S6 or later). Smartphones that don't support magnetic charging can connect through a USB-C cable. Weighing less than half a pound, the Booster is relatively light. But since the battery capacity is only 5,000 milliampere hour, you'll want to make sure you recharge it when you get a chance.

Dimensions: 6 x 4 x 1 inches | Weight: 0.3 pounds | Capacity: 5,000 milliampere hour

Best for Apple Devices: Twelve South PlugBug Duo

Twelve South PlugBug Duo Adaptor and Charger red
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Office Depot

Why We Love It: It has two USB ports and connects to your MacBook power adapter like a Tetris piece.

What to Consider: It doesn't come with any charging cables.

If you're an Apple devotee, this one's for you. The PlugBug Duo is an all-in-one solution for powering up your iPhone, iPad, and MacBook on the go. It's essentially a 2.1-amp USB charger with five different snap-on AC plugs. While it doesn't come with any cables, this power bank can be recharged on almost any wall outlet around the world.

The PlugBug promises fast, efficient charging and takes up hardly any space in your suitcase. Your MacBook power adapter can plug directly onto the hub, and there are two standard USB ports for connecting other devices — including those outside the Apple family.

Dimensions: 3 x 2.5 x 1.5 inches | Weight: 0.4 pounds | Capacity: Not specified

Best with Wall Plug: Nimble Wally Pro Portable Wall Charger

Nimble Wally Pro Portable Wall Charger
Courtesy of Tumi

Also available at Best Buy

Why We Love It: It's compatible with outlets in most countries and promises exceptionally fast, efficient charging for multiple devices at once.

What to Consider: It's pricey and you'll have to buy charging cables separately.

The Wally Pro has a handy fold-out wall plug. In addition to quickly recharging and allowing you to power up multiple devices at once, you can expect super-fast and efficient charging. So if you only have a few minutes to spare at the airport or in your hotel room, you'll still recoup a decent amount of battery life on your phone or laptop.

What's more, this power bank comes with four additional adapters, ensuring compatibility with wall sockets in most countries. Though the Wally Pro doesn't come with any cables, it has USB-A and USB-C ports to connect to various devices. And while the price is steep, Nimble backs it with a two-year warranty.

Dimensions: 5 x 2 x 1 inches | Weight: 0.6 pounds | Capacity: 10,000 milliampere hour

Related: The Best Luggage Tags

Best with AC Outlet: SinKeu Portable Laptop Charger with AC Outlet

SinKeu Portable Laptop Charger with AC Outlet
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Walmart

Why We Love It: You can plug in your laptop and recharge your smartphone up to eight times before the battery dies.

What to Consider: It's not as lightweight or compact as most other portable chargers.

If you need something with a standard AC outlet, we recommend this portable power bank from SinKeu. It's perfect for business travelers, but you can use it for so much more than charging a laptop. From electric air pumps to ring lights to hair straighteners, you can plug in just about anything with a power cord.

The hub itself recharges in just four hours and can power up a dead smartphone eight times, thanks to the 24,000-milliampere hour battery. Weighing in at a little over a pound, it's not as compact or lightweight as most portable chargers. However, this is pretty standard with an integrated AC power supply and such a large battery capacity.

Dimensions: 7 x 4 x 2 inches | Weight: 1.1 pounds | Capacity: 24,000 milliampere hour

Fastest Charge: Pxwaxpy Portable Charger Power Bank

Pxwaxpy Portable Charger Power Bank
Courtesy of Amazon

Why We Love It: This charger can bring your mobile device from zero to 50 percent battery charge in just 15 minutes.

What to Consider: It doesn't work as quickly with multiple devices plugged in.

This power bank doesn't waste any time charging your mobile devices. It leans on Quick Charge 4 technology to charge your smartphone halfway in just a few minutes. The ultra-powerful battery recharges in just a few hours. Not only that, but it can power your phone several times on a single charge and shows you how much battery is left on the LED display.

We like that this travel charger has two QC4.0 outputs, plus micro and USB-C inputs. While you can charge up to three things at once, bear in mind it won't go as quickly with multiple devices plugged in.

Dimensions: 6 x 3 x 0.5 inches | Weight: 0.8 pounds | Capacity: 30,800 milliampere hour

Most Compact: Clutch V2 Lightning Charger

Clutch V2 Lightning Charger
Courtesy of Clutch Charger

Why We Love It: The Clutch V2 takes up no more space in your purse or wallet than three credit cards and doesn't require any cords.

What to Consider: It's only compatible with Apple devices and has a smaller battery capacity than other options on our list.

Looking to save space? Check out the Clutch V2. This ultra-compact lightning charger is super slim and weighs less than two ounces. It's no bigger than three credit cards stacked together, fitting effortlessly in your purse, pocket, or wallet. Beyond the sleek design, we appreciate that you don't need to bring any cords along.

As a lightning charger, it's really only compatible with iPhones, iPads, AirPods, and other Apple devices. The other thing to note is that it has a somewhat small battery capacity, but an LED indicator tells you how much is remaining, and it comes with its own charging cable.

Dimensions: 3.5 x 2.5 x 0.2 inches | Weight: 0.1 pounds | Capacity: 3,000 milliampere hour

Related: The Best Portable Fans to Take on Every Trip

Best for Outdoor Excursions: Goal Zero Flip 24 Power Bank

Goal Zero Flip 24 Power Bank blue
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at REI

Why We Love It: The compact, lightweight Flip 24 can be charged with a USB port or a Nomad solar panel.

What to Consider: You'll have to buy the solar panel charger separately.

If you're planning an outdoor excursion, the Flip 24 has your name on it. This compact power bank weighs just a few ounces and takes up minimal space in a backpack. It powers everything from GPS receivers and fitness trackers to headlamps and lithium-powered flashlights.

With a 6,700-milliampere hour battery capacity, it can recharge your smartphone twice before needing to be recharged itself. The Flip 24's built-in lithium battery recharges with a USB port, and the flip-out tip makes it easy to plug into a laptop, car charger, or wall adapter. It can also be charged with a Nomad solar panel, but you'll have to buy that separately.

Dimensions: 4 x 1.5 x 1 inches | Weight: 0.3 pounds | Capacity: 6,700 milliampere hour

Tips for Buying a Portable Charger for Travel

Look at the inputs and outputs

Without the proper port and connector cable, a travel charger is all but useless. Many portable power banks have standard USB ports that connect to most devices. Others feature multiple inputs and outputs to support various cords and plugs. If a charger doesn't have the right port for your device, you may need to get an adapter (a.k.a. dongle) to connect it.

Think about charge time

When it comes to charging speed, not all power banks are created equal. If you need something that works faster, look for a model with a QC4.0 (Quick Charge) USB port. The technology can quickly restore a device's battery through a USB connector without overheating it or causing it to short-circuit.

Choose the right capacity

You'll also want to pay attention to the battery size, which is measured in milliampere hours (mAh). Most portable chargers have a capacity of about 10,000 mAh, though some are substantially higher or lower. A 10,000-mAh battery can typically charge your phone a couple of times and last for about three days before needing to be recharged itself. Generally speaking, a higher mAh rating can power up your device more times, but the charger will likely be slightly bulkier and heavier.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you bring a portable charger on a plane?

You can bring a portable charger on an airplane. However, TSA guidelines say power banks and chargers with lithium-ion batteries have to be packed in carry-on bags. This shouldn't create too much of an issue, as most people like to have their chargers accessible while traveling.

How do portable chargers work?

Portable chargers run on rechargeable lithium batteries and are charged via a USB cable or by plugging into a wall socket. The charger connects to your mobile device and replenishes its battery with the energy from its own full battery.

How do I know if a portable charger is compatible with my device?

A portable charger you buy for travel should connect to the power cord you normally use to charge it. Most have standard USB ports, so as long as you have a USB cable with the proper input on the other end, it should work. Otherwise, you'll need a dongle to connect your device's power cord to the charger.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

For this roundup, Theresa Holland researched the best portable chargers and power banks on the market, then considered dozens of models with various features and battery capacities before narrowing it down to the final picks.

Up Next: The Best Waterproof Phone Cases

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