If you plan on biking, backpacking, or hiking, your phone is a valuable tool that’s hard to travel without. Having access to everything from GPS to emergency calls is massively important, and you’ll always want to be careful not to have your phone run out of battery in times of need.
You want the best power bank you can find to charge it on the go, and many double as excellent backpacking power banks. Whether you want a solar power bank that’s strong enough to last through a long hike or just want a portable charger with that much durability and longevity for normal use, there are tons of options available.
What Makes A Good Power Bank?
Generally speaking, most power banks are similar in terms of what they do. Some will have additional features like fast-charging and multiple ports, but the base function of being a portable battery that can charge your devices is stable through each device.
With that said, an ideal power bank simply has to hold charges for long periods and not overcharge your device to damage its battery. For the most part, few power banks will cause this, so a good power bank just has to fulfill this quality while providing many features you consider beneficial.
Which Phones Do Power Banks Work With?
One of the absolute best parts of a power bank is just how versatile they are. Most will come with a micro USB cable to charge the power bank itself, but so long as you have a USB charge cable for your phone, a power bank will work with any model of phone.
This makes it substantially easier to buy than most other phone devices since all you need to focus on are your personal needs for a power bank. Those features, though, will greatly depend on the brand and style of the power bank you choose to purchase.
- Multiple USB cable ports
- Compatible with all phone models
- 2.4A charging outputs
- No charge display screen
- Relatively large size
This portable power bank is easily one of the most straightforward options you can go with, providing plenty of energy at a fairly low price. It’s extremely compact and doesn’t feature an LED screen like certain products to let you know its charge amount, but it holds a standard 10000mAh and is compatible with 2.4A high-speed charging cables.
It’s a simple and excellent choice for a power pack, particularly if you’ve never owned one before and don’t want an overly complicated one. Since it’ll work with all phones and standard cable choices, you also do not need to worry if it won’t work with your particular model.
- Extremely lightweight design
- Cable-free charging
- USB-C and Micro USB options
- Does not work with most Apple devices
- Requires unique charging cable to load
If you haven’t appreciated the large size of most power banks, you might be more interested in something slightly smaller. There aren’t many models you can find that feature a cable-free charge that goes right into your phone, but this Amazing Compact Power Bank will do just that by plugging directly into your phone.
This power bank is easily one of the smallest you’ll find. Despite that size, it’s able to hold a fairly impressive eight to 12 hours of charge power, which can be great for backpackers holding their phones to check frequently on hiking trails, but it can still come loose with enough shaking, so be careful putting it loosely into your backpack while plugged in.
- Compact and stylish design
- Compatible with most phone types
- Built-in LED emergency flashlight
- Charging cables take up space
- Does not come with Apple charge cables
If you want something small but slightly more traditional, the Poweradd micro bank is a wonderful portable battery pack that’ll fit much more nicely in a backpack. This simple and small charger fits in-wall chargers but can connect to any USB charger with great overcharge and overvoltage protection if you wish to keep phones plugged into banks for long periods.
The one warning to be had with this product is that it only comes with a standard micro USB charger, so if you have a device that requires Apple or USB-C inputs to charge, you may need to provide your own cable. Since most phone owners will aim to have multiple charge cables in case of emergencies, this is not bound to be a problem for most users.
- High-speed 2.4A charge cable compatibility
- Dual USB ports for charging multiple devices
- Deceptively small build
- Only comes with one charge input
- Greater weight
This power bank is much more traditional than the models mentioned slightly earlier, having a bulkier handheld structure instead of the more subtle and colorful designs. That said, traditional power banks are still a great value when those are what you need, and this one does all that with a surprisingly small size compared to other options.
This item is remarkably small compared to your phone, even though it may seem slightly bulky and heavy at first glance. It also stores a surprising amount of power given that size, as well as compatibility with 2.4A charge cables to let you charge your devices faster than most miniature power banks like this.
- Multiple foldable panels for effective solar charging
- Dual USB ports for multiple devices
- Still can charge with wall inputs
- Still the size of a standard phone, even when folded
- LED light can be turned on by accident
If you plan on hiking or backpacking for long periods, it’s easy to not see the need for banks that charge through wall inputs. Having a long-lasting bank or multiple banks can get around this, but an easier solution is to simply let it charge your phone through other means, such as solar paneling.
This is one of many solar banks available through Arc Tech and provides one of the most reliable charges of any solar charge bank. Folding into three panels lets it charge much more efficiently than most others, and with a powerful LED light that can utilize this charge in dark environments, it’s a great general emergency tool for hikers of any skill level.
- Wallet-sized and lightweight
- Dedicated solar charging device
- 22% solar energy conversion rate
- Fairly wide when fully unfolded
- Poorer power storage
The previous product mentioned is a great tool for those wanting a combination power bank, but those wanting a pure solar charger will find this Compact Charger is exactly what they need. This item isn’t so much about storing power as it is about recharging power and charging devices.
This can limit its use to certain users, but it also means its solar charging capabilities are far greater than most banks that charge through multiple means. If you want something lighter that can recharge your devices and spend lots of time at a campsite where you can charge your phone between hikes, then this will likely be an ideal option.
- Convenient LED charging screen
- Wireless charging pad with dual USB port
- Bright dual-bulb flashlight
- Compact, but slightly heavier than similar models
- Less overcharge protection
When looking at more traditional power banks, it’s important to mention the All-In-One, which makes for both great charging options during the night and day at your campsite, as well as in your backpack mid-hike. This model has a wireless charging pad built-in, meaning you can lay certain phone models on top to charge it without cables.
It’s unfortunate to lack solar charging because otherwise, this is an ideal charger for both backpacking and hiking pros and students who need an emergency power source for their phones. It is an ideal product for most mobile phone users, but backpackers will especially appreciate the range and ridiculously large battery life of this particular power bank.
- Remarkably high 50k mAh charging capability
- Smart LED digital display
- Always-on LED display can drain power
This power bank isn't the only one so far with 50000 mAh, but this is likely the one that’ll be most valuable to those who want something with a ton of charge power. It’s a simple cable charger, so it won’t have additional functions like wireless charging or built-in solar options but instead will remain fully charged during any long trip without outlets to reboot it.
The LED display cuts into this battery life slightly, but this is hardly a problem given how high it is, and it’ll easily stay charged for multiple days without decay for long trips. This option is much better if you’ve considered solar banks for longer trips but aren’t confident in the weather giving you enough light to properly reload your devices.
- Multiple charge inputs for modern charge cables
- 20000 mAh charging power
- Extremely durable design
- Does not charge with standard Micro USB charge cables
- Only one port works well with USB-3 cables
For hikers on longer trails carrying heavier loads, having a durable power bank with exterior and cable inputs is massively important. That is exactly what this Dual Port Rapid Charge product provides, with a much more modern set of ports than many older and classic charge banks thanks to its cable options.
This power bank is one of the only ones mentioned in our list that charges using iPhone and Android charge cables, rather than more generic Micro USB ones. You won’t need to dig out old cables to charge this device, a great benefit alongside just being a solid lightweight battery charger that can take drops and pressure with no damage.
- Shock-resistant and durable exterior
- Dual USB ports for charging multiple devices
- Charges through both built-in solar panel and wall inputs
- Single solar panel
- Difficult-to-read battery indicator
This final product is likely the best option for experienced backpackers who want a solid combined power bank, as this is easily the most traditional power bank that also features solar charging options. This device stores a remarkable amount of power but can also charge multiple devices with a compact single solar panel.
It likely won’t charge as fast as dedicated solar chargers mentioned earlier, but this gives it a ton of range for backpackers who just need a solar charger as an emergency option. With its friendly backpacking design, it’s sure to be a great addition to your hiking and camping tools for both long and short trips.
Whatever choice you go with, the important thing is to make sure your option is right for you. If you’re not looking to do anything too physically active, grabbing a durable power bank won't give you as much benefit as a smaller one. Those worried about dropping their devices frequently don’t typically need an overly compact model either.
Thankfully, most models tend to work with any phone model so long as you have an additional charge cable. There are extremely few bad options for what the best backpacking power bank is for you, and at least one of these products is sure to be exactly what you need from a portable battery charger.