Best Power Bank for Backpacking
Best Power Bank for Backpacking
Jackery Bolt 6000 mAh
By far the best quality of the Jackery Bolt is its incredible packability demonstrated by a svelte profile that measures 4.3” x 0.9” x 1.9”. But, this compact profile is combined with a lightweight design that tips the scales at a meager 5.3 oz.
Even better, this is the only power bank on our list that not only comes with both of the most common charging jacks but builds them directly into the power bank. This means you do not have to waste additional space or ounces carrying one or more different charging cables.
While the Jackery Bolt may not boast the largest power reserve or charging speeds on our list, these tend not to be the most essential qualities for a backpacking power bank in the first place. This power bank also still provides enough juice to charge the newest smartphone models to full charge.
Even better, the Jackery Bolt continues to favor efficiency by being one of the few power banks we encountered with pass-through technology so you can charge your devices while recharging the power bank.
Bottom Line: The Jackery Bolt is a one-man-band of a power bank requiring little more than your devices and taking up less space and weight than most of its competitors.
When going on a hike, people tend to pack the things that they expect to use to most and avoid carrying anything that adds unnecessary weight. While this is a good general rule, plenty of important gear may not see use, but you are better off being safe than sorry.
A great example of this is a medkit where you likely have a better hike when you do not need to use it. Because of how useful smart devices are, even in the wilderness, a backpacking power bank is another example.
That is why we put together a list of the five best backpacking power bank reviews of 2020, highlighting what each one does best. We also provide a helpful buyer’s guide, so you know what to look for in your backpacking power bank.
Looking for a new power bank for your next outdoors trip?
You’re in the right place! In this guide we will be covering the following:
- Break down the different power banks into specific niches
- Favor a compact profile and lightweight design over other features
- Examine the various features and which are the most important
Why take a Power Bank Backpacking?
We develop technology to do work for us, and modern smartphones are pretty much pocket computers able to do numerous things hikers would otherwise have to rely on their wits for. A great example of this is navigation, where you can easily download maps and routes into your smartphone ahead of time for use on the trails.
On top of that, depending on where you hike, a smartphone might be one of the most valuable pieces of hiking safety gear you keep on you. Of course, none of these features matter if your phone battery dies while you are on the trail, which is why a power bank is a good idea.
Do You Need a Quick Charge Set-up?
This question depends on where you hike and what kind of hiking you do with more dangerous trails leaning towards yes. Consider that hiking on elevated, rocky terrain may leave you with an injured leg or ankle.
At this point, getting back down the trail will be more hazardous than when you had full mobility, and the elevation means that night might be deadly cold. In this instance, being able to charge your smartphone enough to call for help can potentially save your life.
However, if you have to waste precious hours waiting for your phone to charge, the power bank is moot anyway.
How to Choose the Right Battery Pack for Your Needs
This tends to be one of the more touted aspects of a power bank, which makes plenty of sense in most average, day to day contexts. However, the needs of a backpacking power bank differ from those of someone just sitting on the train or somewhere else without an easily accessible outlet.
That said, you still want to make sure that the power bank carries enough juice to charge your smartphone at least once. If you plan on hiking for an extended period, it might not be a bad idea to get a power bank that can charge your smartphone multiple times.
Input and Output Charging Speeds
The former of these two features is purely one of convenience as the recharging speed will not impact you hike in any meaningful way unless you get off to a late start because you were recharging. The power bank’s charging rate, on the other hand, can be a bit more critical, though this is only if you have an emergency.
Keep in mind; you likely are not using your smartphone all that often while hiking in the first place. So, as long as both your phone and the power bank have a full charge before you start, this is not the most important thing to look for.
Number of Ports
This is another quality that matters significantly more in other contexts than it tends to while hiking. Granted, if you hike with a large group of people who all use their smartphones and only one person brings a power bank, this factor might matter more.
Of course, in that circumstance, you would expect more than one person to bring a power bank as well. As it stands, having multiple charging ports is nice, but few power banks offer numerous ports of the same type, so your hiking group better use different smartphones as well.
Physical Size and Weight
Assuming your power bank has the minimum amount of power reserves to charge your smartphone at least once, this is the most important consideration for most serious hikers. With weight and space so limited on most hikes, being able to shed ounces and pack more gear is invaluable.
Thankfully, plenty of power banks can maintain an incredibly compact size and lightweight design while still providing an adequate power reserve. The only time larger power banks with massive power reserves are worth the weight is for recreational purposes.
On the surface, integrated solar panels seem like an obvious choice for a backpacking power bank. The ability to recharge your power bank on the fly using only the sun means that you will never have to worry about running out of power again, right?
While this is technically true, few power bank solar panels can keep up with any significant drain on the power bank, often taking more than a day and a half to recharge by sunlight alone. That said, if you hike for a week or longer, it might not be a bad idea to get a power bank that recharges with solar panels.
Looking for Hiking Safety devices?
- When the weather gets blustery, a great windproof lighter is called for.
- Don’t let the weather conditions catch you out – consider taking a backpacking thermometer with you on your next trip.
- Whether you’re staying overnight, or are running a little late home, a camping flashlight is a great item to have in your pack.
Best Power Bank for Backpacking: The Results
Anker Astro E1
Best Power Bank on a Budget
- The Anker Advantage: Join the 50 million+ powered by our leading technology.
- Exclusive PowerIQ Technology: Detects your device to deliver its fastest possible charge speed up to 2 amps. Does not support Qualcomm Quick Charge.
- Upgraded Capacity: Add over two full charges to an iPhone 8 or 1.5 full charges to an X, Galaxy S8, Nexus 5 or other smartphone (use your device's original cable).
- Incredibly Compact: The size of a small candy bar (3.8 × 1.7 × 0.9in, 4.4oz) it fits perfectly in your pocket. Recharges in 5.5 hours with a 1A adapter (not included) and the included Micro USB cable.
- What You Get: Anker Astro E1 Portable Charger, Micro USB Cable, travel pouch, welcome guide, our fan-favorite 18-month warranty and friendly customer service. USB-C cable and Lightning cable for iPhone / iPad sold separately.
The Anker Astro E1 comes with a wide range of great features that make it an excellent option for backpacking, but one of the best qualities of this power bank is that it is a great value. Not only does this device provide an excellent value, but it also offers numerous safety measures as well as an 18-month warranty to extend its lifespan and overall value further.
For backpackers, in particular, the Anker Astro E1 is one of the smallest models on our list at 3.8” x 1.7” x 0.9”. Even better, this is also one of the lightest backpacking product we came across at only 4.4 oz, making this one of the more portable and packable devices we reviewed.
That said, a great value always comes with a couple of caveats, and the Anker Astro E1 has one of the smallest power reserves that we reviewed at only 6700 mAh. Though, this averages between one to two charges for most of the popular smartphones and potentially more for low-end power banks.
Still, this is also one of the slower charging power banks on our list with a 5 ½ recharge time and only a 5A 2V charging port with no Qualcomm Quick Charge capability.
- Priced at the cheaper end
- Nice and compact & adds little weight
- Has numerous safety features
- Has a smaller reserve
- Charges slower than some
Bottom Line: The Anker Astro E1 may not pack the most punch, but its small size and lightweight design make it a packable value that is great for extended backpacking.
Anker PowerCore Essential 20000 PD
Most Durable Power Bank
- The Anker Advantage: Join the 50 million+ powered by our leading technology.
- Ultra-High Capacity: The massive 20, 000mAh capacity provides more than 5 and a half charges for iPhone XS, more than 4 full charges for Samsung Galaxy S10, and over 2 and a half charges for iPad mini 5.
- High-Speed Charging: deliver an 18W high-speed charge to phones, Tablets, and more via the USB-C power delivery port or the Qualcomm Quick Charge-enabled USB port.
- Rapid Recharge: Pair the included USB-C to USB-C cable with an 18W Power Delivery wall charger (not included) to refuel your PowerCore in less than 7 hours. Please note: Recharging with a normal USB wall charger will take approximately 20 hours.
- What You Get: PowerCore Essential 20000 PD, USB-C to C cable, travel pouch, welcome guide, our worry-free 18-month warranty, and friendly customer service. (USB-A to C cable and Power Delivery wall charger not included.)
Anker makes another appearance on our list with the Anker PowerCore Essential 20000 PD, though this time, the company aims to offer performance over value. For example, this backpacking power back offers the second-largest power reserve on our list at 20000 mAh.
That massive reserve provides over five charges for the newest iPhone, 4 for the latest Samsung, and even more than two full charges for the latest iPad. To make the Anker PowerCore Essential’s charging even more impressive that it pushes a whopping 18W of power, which is also the second-most on our list.
On the other hand, this is one of the larger power banks that we reviewed at 6.2” x 2.9” x 0.8” and is also heavier than most other options at 12.2 oz. On top of that, while the Anker PowerCore Essential charges quickly, it takes up to 6.8 hours to recharge.
Still, with a textured, durable exterior, this is by far the most durable power bank on our list and the easiest to keep ahold of in inclement weather. On top of that, its trickle charge mode means you do not have to worry about either this power bank or your smart devices.
- Has a 20000 mAh battery capacity
- Has an 18W charge speed
- Has trickle charge mode
- Has a durable, textured exterior
- Is a more expensive power bank
- One of the more cumbersome battery chargers
Bottom Line: The Anker PowerCore Essential 20000 PD offers the second-best power reserve and charge rate with uncommon features and superior durability.
Jackery Bolt 6000 mAh
Best Power Bank for Portability
In a couple of ways, the Jackery Bolt seems as though it were made for backpacking, though it is not due to being the absolute best value. Instead, this device works so well for any backpacking trip because it helps you eschew the need for additional hardware by coming with accessories you usually need to purchase and carry separately.
Specifically, the Jackery Bolt is the only model on our list that comes with charging cables built into the base design of the device itself with both a micro USB and custom lightning cable attachment. This power bank also comes with an additional micro USB cable for charging and features an additional traditional USB port as well.
While the built-in charging cables are convenient on the one hand, they can make using and charging your device simultaneously a bit awkward as the built-in cable does not extend far from the base of the unit. On top of that, the Jackery Bolt has the smallest power reserve out of all the battery packs reviewed at only 6000 mAh.
On the other hand, this is one of the most compact power banks that we came across at only 4.3” x 1.9” x 0.9” and is also extremely lightweight, coming in at only 5.3 oz.
- Is a compact power storage unit
- Is a lightweight power bank
- Has integrated charging
- Has a 4-hour recharge
- Has a smaller power capacity
- Can be a bit awkward
Bottom Line: For an all in one package that will not weigh you down or take up too much room in your pack, the Jackery Bolt’s integrated charging cables are perfect.
Hiluckey Outdoor Portable Power Bank with 4 Solar Panels
Best Portable Solar Panel Power Bank
- 25000mAh High Capacity: Built-in 25000mAh Li-polymer battery, it can charge your phones 8-10 times or tablets 3-4 times for an average of 9 days of usage per charge.
- 4 Solar Panels: With 4 foldable high-effeciency solar panels, up to 1A input current under the sunlight, which is 4 - 6 times faster than the other solar chargers. You can also use micro USB cable to charge it.
- Dual USB 2.1A Output: Dual 2.1A USB ports allow you to charge 2 devices simultaneously with 2.1A high speed charging. Auto-detect your devices' current to pair the optimal output.
- Built for Outdoors: Rugged construction is dust, shock and waterproof; Built in LED flashlight with SOS mode, perfert for outdoor emergency.
- What You Get: Hiluckey 25000mAh Portable Solar Charger, a micro USB cable, User Manual.
The Hiluckey power source stands out in many ways, but the most obvious is its ability to recharge its power reserves on the fly thanks to its four solar panels. Of course, it may never come to you needing to use that feature as this model also sports the largest battery capacity on our list at 25000 mAh.
This massive power reserve is enough to charge an iPhone or Samsung smartphone up to 10 times or an iPad or other tablet up to 4 times. Even better, you do not have to worry once you drain the power reserves as the Hiluckey also features the fastest recharge time on our list at around 2 to 3 hours.
Unfortunately, this rapid recharge only applies to recharging the device through a wired connection with the solar panels requiring anywhere from 35 to 45 hours to fully recharge, depending on weather conditions. It also does not help that this is easily the heaviest products on our list at 1.1 lb, not to mention the largest at 6.1” x 1.3” x 3.3”/13.9” when unfolded.
That said, this device is also the only model on our list that comes equipped with additional tools, the Hiluckey featuring a powerful LED flashlight.
- Has a 25000 mAh reserve
- Solar panel charging capacity
- Has a built-in LED flashlight
- Takes only 2-3 hours to fully charge
- Has a hefty price tag
- Is a large, heavy product
Bottom Line: If you have the space for it, the Hiluckey solar panel power pack is a reliable option for extended hikes, where you might not be able to recharge for a while.
RAVPower 10000mAh Power Bank
Best Portable Power Pack for Rate of Charge
- Dramatically fast charging: only 25 minutes will charge your iPhone to 50% via the USB-C port with a USB-C to lightning cable (not included). Note: the package only includes a USB-C to USB-C cable.
- Light weight and compact: using LG 21700 battery cells, measuring 4. 4 x 2. 0 x 1. 0 inches and weighing only 6. 7oz. This mini portable charger is perfect for traveling
- Small size massive power: an compact 10000mAh portable charger provides 4 charges for iPhone 8, 2. 1 charges for iPhone 11, 2 charges for Samsung S10, or 2. 2 charges for Pixel 2
- Full recharge in 3 hours: power up in just 3 hours with the included USB-C to C cable connected to a USB-C 18W power delivery wall charger (not included)
- 29W total output: dual output ports (total 29W) allow simultaneous charging of your devices without sacrificing charging speed
The RAVPower is another model that provides its value by offering something that none of the other options do: charging speed. While there are other power banks we encountered with quick charging speeds, none of them can hold a candle to the RAVPower, which features a maximum total charging power of 29W.
To be clear, this maximum charging speed comes by way of an 18W charging port and a second 11W output port, which allows the RAVPower to charge two devices quicker than any other option we reviewed. This device can charge your iPhone up to 50% in under 30 minutes and stores a total of 10000 mAh of power in reserve.
As if that were not enough, the RAVPower also has one of the quickest recharging times on our list at only 3 hours. Even better, this model is also extremely compact at only 4.4” x 2.0” x 1.0”, though the same cannot be said of its weight as its 6.7 oz is a tad on the heavier side.
It is also worth noting that the RAVPower comes with a single USB-C to USB-C cable, so you will need to purchase additional cables and adapters to get the most out of it.
- Has a 10000 mAh reserve
- Has a 29W power output capacity
- Is a compact unit
- Has a 3-hour recharge
- Is a heavier device
- Requires additional hardware
Bottom Line: When you need to charge one or more devices as quickly as possible, no other battery bank on our list can match the blistering speed of the RAVPower.
Whether you intend to top up the battery life of your iPhone 7 or utilize that charging technology to keep your camera batteries fully charged, having a power bank with you in the wild can be priceless. We hope you’ve enjoyed our article, and if you have any comments or recommendations please don’t hesitate to hit us up below.
Last update on 2020-10-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API