The 9 Best Portable Chargers for Travelers

Ensure your devices are always powered up.
9 Best Portable Chargers for Travelers

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There’s nothing worse than getting through the hustle and bustle of airport security only to finally make it to your gate and realize that your phone is out of battery. Searching for an outlet can be a pain and more often than not leaves you stuck hovering over one awaiting your turn. A portable charger offers peace of mind and freedom that airport outlets, hotel lobbies, and coffee shops just can’t supply. Even when you're not traveling, they're useful to have on hand for days when you forget to charge your phone at night or notice it’s running low midday after too much time on Google Maps (or TikTok).

The best portable chargers are compact, portable, and have a battery life that can last you more than one charge (an especially helpful feature for group travel). Read on for full reviews of our editors’ longtime favorites, as well as more recently tested chargers we recommend.

How we tested:

Each new charger was tested for at least three weeks. While testing, we kept these key questions in mind: how long it took to charge devices, how many devices it could charge at one time (and which devices it’s compatible with), and how long it took to charge the charger itself. We also brought them on the road to see how they fared while traveling, and included reviews for chargers we've used long-term.


Can you travel with them?

Yes, portable chargers are safe to travel with, as long as you pack them in your carry-on. They range in size, but even the largest power banks will fit into a carry-on bag or tote.

What are the qualities to look for in a portable charger?

When looking for a portable charger, it’s important to keep in mind the mAh, size, and the devices you plan to charge with it. Some portable chargers have multiple cables that can be plugged directly into your device while others come with built-in ports for USB or USB-C cords. Consider whether you want something specifically for your phone, or a multipurpose power bank that can charge your computer, smartwatch, or earphones, too.

What does mAh stand for?

It stands for milliampere hours which is a unit of measurement that’s used to describe the capacity of a battery. The higher the number, the more battery power you have. Chargers can range from as low as 1,000 mAh to as high as 50,000. For everyday use, it’s fine to get something in the 3,000 to 4,000 range, but we recommend upping the capacity when you’d like to charge more than one device at a time or if you’re looking to use it on a device of five volts or higher.

Editor favorites

Miady 20,000 mAh portable charger

Battery capacity: 20,000 mAh
Dimensions: 11" x 5" x 2"

I never leave the house without my portable charger. I’m very meticulous about my phone battery and my portable charger is super easy to carry around all day. I’ve had it for five years and have had no use for anything else. It has two ports so I can charge multiple devices at once and it’s small enough to fit in my purse or my fanny pack while traveling. It’s quite thick so you don’t feel like it will break on you. Charging it is easy. There is a small cord that you plug into its side and then plug the charger into the wall, but any type of similar cord will work. It does take a while to charge, about a day if you want it to be full. However, the battery will last you at least three or four charges to your phone. —Kayla Brock, associate social media manager

BioLite Charge 40 PD power bank

Battery capacity: 10,000 mAh
Dimensions: 6" x 3" x 0.7"

I’ve had this BioLite charger for a year, and while there are smaller versions I prefer for day-to-day use (this one’s less than a pound, but about the same dimensions as my iPhone 13 Pro Max, which is to say a bit bigger than I’d like when carrying it in a purse), it’s a reliable option for trips when you know access to outlets may be infrequent, and can toss it in a backpack or tote. It has two USB slots and one USB-C slot, so I’ve used it to power up other devices like my Kindle, FitBit, and AirPods. You can get two to three full phone charges before needing to plug in the battery park; for more charge time—up to five hours—upgrade to the Charge 80. —Madison Flager, senior commerce editor

Vrurc 10,000 mAh power bank

Battery capacity: 10,000 mAh
Dimensions: 5" x 2" x 1"

I’ve had this portable charger for about nine months now. I was intrigued to find one that didn’t need a separate charger—it has a fold-down plug that you can stick directly into the wall when it’s running low. I’ve charged my laptop, phone, and even camera with it. It has three built-in fast-charging cables that are compatible with Android and Apple devices, and three different cable ports along the bottom. It usually takes about two to three hours to fully charge and when I’m using it passively that can get me through two charges. It’s on the larger side, about the size of a long bifold wallet. I’ve been able to charge my Apple watch, phone, and camera with it. This is always tucked away in my backpack or tote, especially on longer flights. —Paris Wilson, commerce producer

Heyday 5,000 mAh power bank

Battery capacity: 5,000 mAh
Dimensions: 5" x 2" x 3"

This charger is one of the first things I put in my bag when I’m on my way out the door, especially if I’m traveling. I’ve used it for about a year now and love it. It's slim which means it fits in all of my purses, even the smallest one, and is very lightweight and easy to carry around. It holds a pretty good charge so you can use it a few times before you need to recharge it. I like that the side shows four little lights which show how much battery life the power bank has left. I also appreciate the design which is pretty cute and much more stylish than any of the other phone banks I’ve used before. —Jamie Spain, travel bookings editor

iWalk small portable charger

Battery capacity: 4,500 mAh
Dimensions: 3" x 2" x 1"

I never go anywhere—to work, to dinner, to travel—without this tiny portable charger. It’s about the size of my AirPods case or my favorite lipstick, meaning I can pack it in nearly any fanny pack, sling bag, or tote I’m carrying. And while I love it most for its compact size, it also really works—giving my phone a full charge on the go. I’ve been using mine to charge my iPhone for years and have even gifted it to several family members and friends. —Meaghan Kenny, associate commerce editor

Newly tested chargers

Iniu portable charger

Battery capacity: 10,000 mAh
Dimensions: ‎5" x 3" x 0.5"
Charging power: Two full phone charges

Until being asked to test one for this story, I never really used a portable charger. This was not for lack of need—my phone’s battery is perennially in the orange, and no lifestyle changes or memory tricks have availed in fixing who I am as a forgetful person. Keeping this INIU power bank in my messenger bag has, quite simply, made my life a whole lot easier. The charge comes lightning-fast, and its charging port is the same as required for my Macbook, plus there are two USB out ports so you can charge two devices (even three, if you want to use the charging port as well!) at once. The little paw tracks how charged up it is at any given time, with little toes blinking blue from left to right, which is just icing on the cake. —Charlie Hobbs, editorial assistant, destinations

Pros: Can charge up to three devices at once, slim, charges devices quickly
Cons: A bit heavy

Miisso 4,500 mAh built-in cable external battery pack

Battery capacity: 6,000 mAh
Dimensions: 4" x 3" x 0.5"
Charging power: One full phone charge

I was very impressed with this ultra-slim power bank. It’s about the size of a credit card and lightweight, easily fitting in my jacket pocket or purse. Conveniently, it features two built-in cables and a USB to charge an iPhone or other devices directly. These small built-in cables can be neatly tucked into the device when you’re not using them, so there’s no need to worry about tangled cords in your tech case. It gives my iPhone a full charge quickly, and can even charge multiple devices at one time. Another feature I love: There’s a small LED light on the device that lets you see how much charge the power bank has left. —M.K.

Pros: Small, built-in fast-charging cables 
Cons: Power bank drains quickly

Anker 5,000 mAh Foldable magnetic wireless portable charger

Battery capacity: 5,000 mAh
Dimensions: 4" x 3" x 0.5"
Charging power: One full phone charge

For weeks, this foldable charger kept popping up on TikTok and Instagram—when I finally got my hands on one, it didn’t disappoint. The credit card-sized portable charger is probably the most compact one I own, and is magnetic, which means you don’t have to pull out a cord or deal with a tangle of wires in your bag or lap when using it. At first, I was doubtful of how strong the magnet would be, and found myself being delicate with my phone when moving through an airport while charging, but over time I’ve gotten used to the durability. I’ve taken it with me on a few recent flights, and have been using the kickstand when watching videos or shows on my phone—though of note, the kickstand angle is better for viewing your phone vertically rather than horizontally. —M.F.

Pros: Compact, good for in-flight or daily use, charges via a USB-C cable
Cons: Can only charge a single device at once; requires MagSafe case; gets warm with extended use

Calpak portable charger luggage tag

Battery capacity: 2,500 mAh power
Dimensions: 5" x 3" x 0.5"
Charging power: One full phone charge

Calpak is a Traveler team favorite, but I hadn’t had a chance to branch out to more of their travel accessories. Voila, the portable charger that not only charges your devices but is in a beautiful leather luggage tag that you can personalize. I’ve taken it on flights to Barcelona and Cleveland where I was met with different scenarios for each trip. Traveling to a different country, I was concerned that I would run into issues with trying to use an adapter, but that was not the case. It was my saving grace while in the airport, and was an everyday necessity when I was on walking tours. It’s smaller than an iPhone but just as thin, so it can fit into a jacket pocket or crossbody bag. You can only charge one device at a time and while it is helpful, it is not a charger you should rely on for more than a few hours or so. Also if you do decide to use it more as a luggage tag, you'll need to take the charger off before checking in your luggage at the airport. —P.W.

Pros: Small, thin, lightweight
Cons: Only charges one device at a time