The Best Portable Chargers

Electronics are a big part of the outdoor experience for many users now, and without an outlet to plug into at the end of the day while on the trail portable chargers have become a necessity to keep all those gadgets going.  While they are usually marketed as “travel chargers,” outdoor enthusiasts have adopted them for their off-grid use. Some companies have catered to this, like Goal Zero with their waterproof Venture 30 and 70, as has EcoXgear with the EcoCharge. While we’re not often plugging in to charge up in the middle of a rain storm, it’s nice knowing a little extra moisture in the air isn’t going to bother these units. For the non-waterproofed units, users must be sure to take good care of them by keeping them in plastic bags, dry bags or dry boxes.

Our portable chargers run the range from the very small for single person or one night use to the rather hefty for many users and/or for many nights on the trail.

With these come the possibility of using resources on the trail to keep these chargers topped off. Things like solar panels, dynamo cranks, thermocouples among others have gained popularity for these users.

Our tests below includ charge and discharge rates, actual battery capacity as well as durability and environmental tests to see which ones are the best for taking on your adventures be it in the heat or cold, rain or shine.

Review Year
Best in Class
Overall Rating
Price
Name Overall Rating Ratings The Good The Bad Price
iBattz BattStation Optimus 20400
85
Best in Class
2016
Battery Life 9
Power/Size 8
Durability 5
Features 6
Value 7

Outstanding battery life

Outstanding power per size

Average durability

Relatively slow discharge rate

Pricy

MSRP
$129.95
BEST DEAL
N/A
Goal Zero Venture 30
84
Battery Life 6
Power/Size 6
Durability 8
Features 8

Highly durable & water resistant

Integrated charging cables

Charges devices quickly

Low overall battery life

High cost per minute of power

MSRP
$99.99
BEST DEAL
$99.99
OutdoorTech Kodiak Plus 10000
83
Best in Class
2016
Battery Life 7
Power/Size 6
Durability 8
Features 5

Excellent battery life

Excellent durability & water resistance

Expensive

MSRP
$99.99
BEST DEAL
N/A
Zilu SafePower S5 smart battery pack
83
Battery Life 7
Power/Size 7
Durability 5
Features 6

Good battery life

Excellent power-per-ounce

Average durability

MSRP
$29.99
BEST DEAL
N/A
Anker PowerCore+ 13400
82
Battery Life 7
Power/Size 7
Durability 5
Features 5
Value 8

Outstanding battery life

Outstanding power-per-dollar

Attractive design

Heavy for its size

Average durability

MSRP
$37.99
BEST DEAL
N/A
Incipio offGRID 8000
82
Battery Life 7
Power/Size 8
Durability 5
Features 5
Value 7

Outstanding battery life

Best-in-class power per cubic inch/ounce

Average durability

MSRP
$49.99
BEST DEAL
N/A
GoalZero Switch 10
82
Best in Class
2016
Battery Life 5
Power/Size 7
Durability 8
Features 7
Value 5

Excellent durability

Excellent battery life

Outstanding power per cubic inch and ounce

Relatively high cost per minute of power

Questionable water resistance

MSRP
$39.99
BEST DEAL
$39.95
Brunton Revolt 9000
82
Battery Life 7
Power/Size 7
Durability 7
Features 5
Value 6

Durable

Water resistant

Good overall battery life

Charges devices quickly

Large compared to similar devices

Low power:size and power:weight ratios

MSRP
$99.99
BEST DEAL
N/A
Kmashi 20,000
82
Battery Life 8
Power/Size 7
Durability 4
Features 5
Value 8

Outstanding battery life

Outstanding power per inch/ounce

Best-in-class value (power-per-dollar)

Limited durability

Very heavy

MSRP
$29.99
BEST DEAL
N/A
Ventev PowerCell 3015c
81
Best in Class
2016
Battery Life 7
Power/Size 5
Durability 7
Features 6

Great battery life

Integrated cables

Excellent value

Durable

Larger and heavier than competitors

MSRP
$49.99
BEST DEAL
N/A
Kmashi MP806
81
Battery Life 7
Power/Size 4
Durability 6
Features 6
Value 8

Outstanding battery life

Integrated LED flashlight

Good durability

Outstanding value

Relatively large and heavy

Relatively low power:size ratios

Slow discharge rates

MSRP
$15.98
BEST DEAL
N/A
Brunton Resync 6000
80
Battery Life 5
Power/Size 5
Durability 6
Features 8
Value 6

Light weight

.75 watt integrated solar panel

IPX5 rated (debris and waterproofing)

Low overall battery life

Low power per inch/ounce

Relatively expensive

MSRP
$79.99
BEST DEAL
N/A
ChoeTech 3-in-1 Emergency Flashlight
80
Battery Life 4
Power/Size 4
Durability 8
Features 7

Outstanding durability

Temperature and water resistance

Powerful LED flashlight

Average battery life

Low power for size

MSRP
$23.99
BEST DEAL
N/A
Scosche goBat 6000
80
Battery Life 5
Power/Size 5
Durability 9
Features 5

Outstanding durability

Outstanding waterproofness

Relatively lightweight

Low overall battery life

Relatively expensive

MSRP
$69.99
BEST DEAL
N/A
Incipio offGRID 4000
80
Battery Life 7
Power/Size 5
Durability 5
Features 5

Excellent battery life

Excellent value

Cable management

Largest & heaviest in category

Average durability

MSRP
$29.99
BEST DEAL
N/A
myCharge RazorPlus 3000
80
Battery Life 5
Power/Size 7
Durability 7
Features 6

Rugged durability

Best power per ounce

Best power per size

High cost per minute of power

Low overall battery life

MSRP
$49.99
BEST DEAL
N/A
myCharge HubPlus
79
Battery Life 6
Power/Size 6
Durability 4
Features 8
Value 5

Fast 3.4 amp charging

Integrated charging cables

Integrated wall outlet plug

Above-average power to size/weight ratios

Low overall battery life

Average durability

Average power per dollar spent

MSRP
$99.99
BEST DEAL
N/A
myCharge AllTerrain 3000
79
Battery Life 5
Power/Size 6
Durability 8
Features 5
Value 5

Lightweight

Excellent water resistance

Excellent battery life

Large in size & volume compared to competitors

MSRP
$39.99
BEST DEAL
N/A
iHome PowerClip 5200
78
Battery Life 5
Power/Size 7
Durability 3
Features 6

Relatively light weight

Good battery life per ounce

Integrated loop, carabiner, and LED lights

Poor durability

Poor overall battery life

Only one 1-amp USB port

MSRP
$39.99
BEST DEAL
N/A
Kmashi Victor K1
78
Battery Life 6
Power/Size 6
Durability 4
Features 5

Excellent battery life

Low cost for its size

Outstanding value

Relatively large and heavy

Limited durability

MSRP
$10.99
BEST DEAL
N/A
Outdoor Tech Kodiak Mini
78
Battery Life 4
Power/Size 7
Durability 7
Features 5

Lightweight

Good battery life

Good impact resistance

Excellent water resistance

Limited durability

Slow discharge rates

MSRP
$24.95
BEST DEAL
$13.95
Kmashi Arma 3-in-1 battery flashlight charger
77
Battery Life 4
Power/Size 4
Durability 6
Features 8
Value 5

Outstanding impact resistance

Integrated LED flashlight

Integrated bluetooth speakers

Low overall battery life

Low power to size ratio

Quality/reliability issues

MSRP
$36.99
BEST DEAL
N/A
LinearFlux LithiumCard Pro
77
Battery Life 6
Power/Size 4
Durability 5
Features 7

Excellent battery life

Integrated charging cables

Excellent value

Limited durability

MSRP
$59.99
BEST DEAL
N/A
Brunton Torpedo 2600
77
Battery Life 4
Power/Size 4
Durability 8
Features 7

Best-in-class durability

Integrated car charger

Poor overall battery life

Low power per cubic inch

Low power per ounce

High cost per minute of power

MSRP
$39.99
BEST DEAL
N/A
EcoXGear EcoCharge
77
Battery Life 4
Power/Size 4
Durability 8
Features 5
Value 6

Outstanding durability

Outstanding water resistance (IP67)

Good value

Relatively low overall battery life

Relatively low power/size ratios

MSRP
$19.99
BEST DEAL
N/A
Motorola WPS-601/P893
72
Battery Life 3
Power/Size 3
Durability 4
Features 6

Low cost

Integrated micro-USB cable

Excellent value

Poor overall battery life

Slow discharge rate

Low power per cubic inch/ounce

Suspect durability

MSRP
$4.95
BEST DEAL
N/A
iHome PowerClip 2600
71
Battery Life 4
Power/Size 4
Durability 3
Features 6
Value 4

Lightweight

Integrated loop & carabiner

LED lights

Poor durability

Low overall battery life

Slow discharge rates

High cost per minute of power

MSRP
$29.99
BEST DEAL
N/A

How we test portable chargers

by: Last Updated:

To conduct our portable charger test we used these chargers in a variety of situations to compare their battery life, power efficiency, and durability.  

All portable power banks were charged for 24 hours prior to tests and were tested on standardized android hardware and software platforms, running custom software to log and measure total charge capacity, discharge rate/time, and milliamp per cubic-inch/pound. All devices used their own cables during both charge and discharge tests. Devices were also retested for accuracy and impact of durability tests on battery life and performance.

All portable chargers were also subjected to standardized torsion and compression stresses and an array of drop and impact tests. More durable devices were also tested for temperature resistance. For low temperature tests, devices were placed in a sealed container to limit moisture exposure, and placed in a freezer for one hour. High temperature tests consisted of placing devices in an oven at 125F for 30 minutes. Devices that survived this without issue were then retested in an oven at 150F degrees for 30 minutes.

Each charger was rated on battery life, power/size, durability, features, and value. The Gear Institute Rating is the combined score across all categories, representing the highest overall level of performance.