[Review] Top 5 Portable Battery Chargers for Recharging Your Gear on the Go

If there’s one thing my time on the road has shown me I can’t live without, it’s electricity. I work remotely, everywhere I go, and having the ability to charge device batteries, especially when I’m out and about, has proven invaluable more times than I can count.

I have many different portable battery packs that I’ve acquired over the years — I think I have 10 or 11 of them at the moment — and these are the best five you can get right now. I’ll list of the price of each as of this posting, but include a link that has the most current price so when they drop, you’ll still get the best deal.

All five I’ve included here are available on this Amazon list for easy browsing: The Top 5 Portable Battery Chargers You Can Buy.

First Choice: Anker Astro E4

This is my go-to charger, and the first one I pack every time I hit the road. It’s the latest model from Anker, and packs 13,000 mah of juice. For some perspective on that number, here’s how many charges you’ll get for a few of today’s most popular devices, on one full charge of the Anker Astro E4.

  • iPhone 5 / 5S: 9 full charges
  • iPhone 6: 7 full charges
  • Galaxy S5: 4 full charges
  • Point and Shoot Cameras: 7-9 full charges
  • iPad Air: 1 full charge

It has two USB ports and a single LED flashlight, which comes in handy when you’re rummaging around in the dark. What I like most about the Anker Astro E4, something the other two portable battery chargers on this list can’t claim, is that both USB ports are “intelligent,” meaning they can determine the type of device you’ve connected and optimally charge them at the fastest speed possible. I also like that it doesn’t add much extra weight to my pack — the Astro E4 is just 10.4 ounces, which is less than what an iPad mini weighs. It recharges with a standard microUSB cord, which is included.

Anker Astro E4 on Amazon (Price when listed: $89.99; Price as of today: $29.99)

Second Choice: LimeFuel LP200X

LimeFuel LP200X with iPad Air 2 and iPhone 6 Plus

This is the largest capacity portable battery charger I currently own, offering a whopping 20,000 mah of power. It also has two USB ports; one that charges at 2.1 amps and one that charges at 1 amp. Like the Anker, the LimeFuel LP200X also has an LED flashlight and charges via microUSB. With 20,000 mah of power, there isn’t much you can’t recharge with this thing. It takes 5-10 hours to fully recharge this massive battery, depending on the output rating of the wall charger you connect it to.

The LimeFuel LP200X weighs considerably more than the Anker, measuring in at 15 ounces; almost a full pound. For a size comparison, it’s almost identical in height and width to an iPhone 6 Plus (pictured above).

LimeFuel LP200X on StackSocial (Price when listed: $85; Price as of today: $34.99)

Third Choice: IntoCircuit Power Castle

Listing the IntoCircuit Power Castle as my third choice shouldn’t indicate that it’s not a great portable battery charger. It is. Just this morning, in fact, my roommate headed off to Chicago for a few days and I realized he snuck it in his bag to take with him. It packs 11,200 mah of power; just a little shy of the Anker Astro E4, but it’s no slouch.

There are two USB ports on the IntoCircuit and just like the LimeFuel, one charges at 2.1 amps and one charges at 1 amp. Between the two USB ports is a single LED flashlight.

The IntoCircuit Power Castle, unlike the other two on this list, is made of stylish aluminum (available in two colors). Since it’s not made from plastic, it weighs a bit more for its small size, clocking in at 6 ounces. Until I recently picked up the Anker Astro E4, this was my go-to portable charger for all my devices.

IntoCircuit Power Castle on Amazon (Price when listed: $89.99; Price as of today: $26.99)

Fourth Choice: Anker Astro Mini

While the first three portable battery packs on this list are designed for multiple charges and multiple devices, sometimes it’s nice to save the added weight and have something small and compact. Something that charges one device, one time. The Anker Astro Mini fits the bill here. It packs a 3,200 mah battery, which is enough to charge an iPhone 5/5s from 0 – 100% two times, or put a full 0 – 100% charge on a Galaxy S5 once with a little left over. It has one USB port, with Power IQ technology, rated at 1 amp.

If your goal is something small and compact, the Anker Astro Mini is the way to go. It weighs just 2.7 ounces (about as much as an egg), and resembles a tube of lady’s lipstick. It recharges via the included microUSB cable in as little as 2 hours.

Anker Astro Mini (2nd Gen) on Amazon (Price when listed: $39.99; Price as of today: $16.99)

Fifth Choice: Jackery Giant+

This is the one portable charger on this list I haven’t personally owned, but is next on my wish list. It packs 12,000 mah of power into an 8 ounce package. There are four colors to choose from: black, gold, silver, and orange. Like the LimeFuel and the IntoCircuit, the Jackery Giant+ includes an LED flashlight. Unlike the LimeFuel and the IntoCircuit, the Jackery Giant+ forgoes the LCD status display in favor of LED indicators to show the charge and discharge status.

With 12,000 mah of power, you’ll be looking at similar recharge numbers to the Anker Astro E4 at the top of this list.

The Jackery Giant+ has two USB ports for charging; one that does 2.1 amps and one that does 1 amp. Like all the other options on this list, it recharges by way of microUSB, and a cable is included. The only reason I haven’t purchased one already (and the same reason it isn’t higher on this list) is that it doesn’t provide quite the same value for money as the Anker Astro E4. It’s $10 more than the Anker, as of this writing, and offers 1,000 mah less power. If you catch this on sale, though, that perspective changes. That’ll also be when I pick one up.

Jackery Giant+ on Amazon (Price when listed: $129.95; Price as of today: $39.99)

BONUS: Lightning Cables and microUSB Cables

Having a portable battery charger (or two) is nice, but if you’re anything like me, you need more than just one or two charging cables. Those damned things always seem to get lost or left behind. There are a bunch of them out there, and several of them aren’t safe to use with your devices. I’ve owned and tested many, and outside of the factory-made cables that originally came with your devices from Apple, Samsung, Sony, HTC, Motorola, or other manufacturer, these are the best ones you can buy that are safe to use.

Lightning Cables with MFi Certification

Micro USB Cables


Full disclosure: While I’ve tested, used, currently, or previously owned every product listed here, with the exception of the Jackery Giant+, the links I’m including to purchase them include my affiliate code(s), which provides Backpacking Earth a kickback on all sales made through these links. Using my affiliate links costs you nothing extra (and if it weren’t for this disclosure, you’d likely have no idea about it anyway), but helps support the site and bring you more helpful reviews like this, as well as stories and photos from my adventures. Thanks for your support! 

About Mike Beauchamp

After a divorce, losing his job, selling his house, a tumultuous relationship and subsequent breakup, Mike sold 80% of his belongings, put another 18% in storage, and packed the remaining 2% into a backpack and hit the road. Mike is currently a vagabond of sorts, traveling the world with only what he can carry on his back. He has two objectives in all of this: to photograph the most beautiful places on Earth and to finally take the time to get to know himself. You can follow Mike on Twitter (@mbchp) for more frequent updates.

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