How to Choose the Best Power Bank

Has your camera ever died right before sunset? Have you struggled to find the Airbnb because your phone died? Have you had to leave the coffee shop or park because your laptop was at critical battery life?

Running out of battery power is always a pain, but when you’re traveling the stakes can be much higher. That’s why we’ve got you covered with a host of the best power bank options ranging from cell phone and tablet chargers up to full laptop chargers; all available in our shop. Find the right option for you today.

Why You Should Travel With a Power Bank

Power banks are fantastic additions to any traveler's packing list. Long travel days are prime culprits of draining your electronic devices. Arriving in a new city with a dead battery and trying to find transportation or your accommodations can be difficult and stressful when your battery bar is blinking red.

Even in airports where outlets are plentiful, plugging in your phone means you’re basically stuck in that location until it has enough charge to move around. A power bank can slip in your bag or pocket and charge your phone while you're moving between gates, terminals, and Starbucks. You have the same functioning smartphone while you’re moving around; perfect for sorting out last minute flights changes or complications.

Digital nomads who like to set up in coffee shops or coworking spaces might be limited to only sitting near an outlet. A power bank can keep you going when your laptop gets low without having to relocate.

There are countless traveler situations where a power bank can be a convenience or a lifesaver, and it's more common to see seasoned travelers in airports, trains, and coffee shops with a power bank close by. Use this guide to weigh the factors so you can choose the best power bank for your travels.

How to Choose the Best Power Bank | Flashpacker Co

Factors to Consider


Your first consideration is how much power capacity you want in your power bank. This will determine how many charges you can get out of the power bank without needing to recharge the device itself.

The capacity is measured in mAh: (Milliampere hours); the higher the mAh, the higher the capacity of the power bank and therefore the more charges you can get out of it.

Capacity range:

Under 10,000 mAh = low capacity or 1-2 charges of a smartphone
10,000 mAh = Medium capacity or an average of 3 charges of a smartphone
20,000 mAh = High capacity or an average of 6 charges of a smartphone
Over 20,000 mAh = Ultra high capacity or multiple charges of a laptop

Device Compatibility

Laptop Power Bank | How to Choose the Best Power Bank

The right output port is one factor in whether a power bank will work with your device, the other is the voltage output. A smaller device like a smartphone will have a lower voltage range than a larger device like a laptop. If you plan on using your power bank with a laptop sized device, verify that it's rated to handle the required output. If a power bank doesn't say it supports laptops don’t expect anything to happen when you plug one in.

Intended Use

To select the best power bank consider what you actually intend to use it for. This factor alone will weigh significantly on the device that best suits your travels.

If you just need a single backup charge for your cellphone on long travel days then a low weight, lower capacity power bank will be a suitable option. You can simply plug it in and continue using your phone while it slowly charges. 

Conversely, if you’re an avid photographer who needs to ensure the camera is always charged you’ll want a device with fast charging technology built in. That way you can plug it in for a short period over lunch, get a full charge, and get back to taking epic pictures.

If you regularly spend long day’s at the beach streaming music to a bluetooth speaker you’ll want a high capacity power bank to keep the tunes going all day but fast charge technology might not be as important.

Digital nomads who like to spend long days working from coffee shops need a power bank that can provide all day backup power, likely to multiple devices including a laptop. This requires both high capacity and higher voltage to make it compatible with large devices like laptops.

Think about your travel style, where you tend to end up when you’re away from outlets, and what electronic devices you consistently travel with as you read through the additional factors to consider.

Weight/ Size

How to Choose the Best Power Bank | Flashpacker CoPower banks and portable chargers have come a long way in recent years. A big part of that advancement has been in fitting the same charging speed and capacity into a much smaller profile. To choose the best portable power bank, look at how heavy it is and how much room it will take up.

In general, high capacity chargers tend to be a bit heavier and slightly larger. So remember that choosing a higher capacity power bank will generally add additional weight and space to your pack. Keep in mind how much room you have in your daypack and how much extra weight you’re comfortable adding and weigh that against the capacity that you’d like to have.

Weight range:

200g = Low end weight for a smaller capacity
250-400g = Average weight for a medium to high capacity
500-600g = Higher end weight for a high to ultra high capacity

For reference, a deck of cards weighs about 100g.

Number & Type of Ports

How to Choose the Best Power Bank | Flashpacker CoThere are 2 primary types of ports that are on power banks: USB and USB-C. USB is the most common port needed for smartphones and other handheld electronic devices. Keep in mind this is referring to the output port on the power bank, so your device might use an input port as micro-USB or lightning-USB; the end that actually plugs into your device. USB-C is the standard port for modern PC laptops.

If you’re looking for a laptop power bank verify that both the bank and your laptop are USB-C compatible. Power banks range from 1-3 ports total. When they offer multiple ports they can generally charge multiple devices at once so consider how often you have more than one device that needs a charge and requires multiple ports.


Durability will be a factor depending on where you are traveling and using the power bank. Working as a digital nomad in coffee shops in France, you’ll probably be just fine with a lightweight and stylish power bank. However, if you plan on trekking through the Andes in Peru, opt for one that is solidly built and handles getting bumped around.


Now that you know the factors influencing which power bank is right for you, check out our curated collection of the best power banks available. Below we've highlighted the top option in 5 categories.

Product Comparison



Capacity (mAh)

Weight (grams)

Number of Ports


Best Solar Power Bank

HyperGear Solar Powered Power Bank





Best Cell Phone Power Bank

Codi Portable Power Bank






Best iPhone Power Bank

Naztech  Lightning + USB-C All-In-One Power Bank



1 built in lightning

1 built in USB-C 


Best Laptop  Power Bank

Naztech  Laptop Power Bank






Best Power Bank With AC Outlet

HyperGear PowerBrick  Laptop Power Bank




1 AC


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