The 7 best power banks for camping – Mic

From backpacking to car camping, no matter what style of camping you’re into, one thing is certain: You don’t want to get caught without power when you need it. The best power banks for camping are easy to pack, suited to the conditions at hand, and, of course, have the necessary amount of battery power to recharge phones, tablets, and even larger devices. From mini battery packs to larger power stations, there are options to cover your specific needs and budget.

When shopping for a power bank, you’ll want to consider battery pack capacity, measured in milliampere-hours (mAh). The mAh needed to fully charge a smartphone will depend on the model, but, as an example, a 10,000 mAh battery should allow you to fully charge an iPhone X about two times. If you need more power, however, this list includes options up to 60,000 mAh that will be capable of charging laptops and other large electronics (such as CPAP machines). On a related note, you’ll want to think about what output ports your devices require. While most smaller power banks have USB-A or USB-C ports, many larger options also offer AC and DC ports.

You’ll also want to consider how the power bank itself recharges. All the options below can be charged by plugging into a power source, but some options can gain power through solar panels, which is helpful if you’re off the grid.

Next, the ideal size and shape of your power bank will depend on what kind of camping trip you’re taking. Lightweight, slim options will be better suited for backpacking. But if you’re car camping, want a high-capacity battery, or just don’t mind the extra weight, a large power bank might be a good fit. And if you anticipate inclement weather or plan to spend time by the water, consider a battery pack with an IP water-resistance rating.

Below are some of the best power banks for camping to help you stay connected wherever you may roam.

1. The basic one

  • Capacity: 10,000 mAh
  • Dimensions: 5.87 x 2.68 x 0.55 inches
  • Weight: 7.5 ounces
  • Charges via: USB-C or micro-USB
  • Output ports: 1 USB-A port
  • Water resistance: None

What’s great about it: If your style of camping doesn’t require any special charging needs or high-powered electronics, this simple power bank should cover all of your basics like phone and headlamp charging while maintaining a slim profile. It can serve double-duty as a power bank for everyday use as well. The power bank comes with a micro-USB cable for charging and has a light to indicate its charge level. This battery pack comes in black and white and is backed by an overall 4.7-star rating on Amazon after more than 46,000 reviews.

One reviewer wrote: “I like taking these with me when I go camping. I don’t need to worry about charging my phone or smart watch in the vehicle. I can just keep this battery pack with me in the tent and it will charge my devices several times. I also like it in case we ever have a power outage. It is small, very powerful, and charges my devices multiple times.”

2. The mini one

  • Capacity: 3,350 mAh
  • Dimensions: 3.7 x 0.83 x 0.83 inches
  • Weight: 2.5 ounces
  • Charges via: Built-in USB-A or a compatible solar panel (sold separately)
  • Output ports: 1 USB-A
  • Water resistance: Unspecified

What’s great about it: Perfect for a brief overnight trip or as a “just in case” on any camping or hiking trip, this mini power bank weighs only 2.5 ounces and is perfect to throw in any bag. Depending on the phone model you have, it may not be able to give your device a full charge, but it can revive it in an emergency and charge smaller electronics like headlamps as needed. Its built-in USB-A input eliminates the need to bring an extra cord to recharge, and it has an LED battery level indicator for convenience.

One reviewer wrote: “It provides a fast charge, is very lightweight and is good for 2 or 3 charges before it needs to be recharged.”

3. The water-resistant one

  • Capacity: 10,000 mAh
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 2.7 x 0.67 inches
  • Weight: 7.7 ounces
  • Charges via: USB-C
  • Output ports: 1 USB and 1 USB-C
  • Water resistance: IP67

What’s great about it: If water resistance is a priority, this power bank will likely be a great fit since it has a rating of IP67, meaning it’s submersible in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes, and it’s dust-proof too. In addition, it has a fair amount of charging capacity and is relatively small and lightweight, making it a perfect addition to a backpack, especially if you don’t want to worry about placing your charger in a waterproof bag. It also has a small built-in flashlight and comes with a USB-A to USB-C cable and a stainless steel carabiner.

One reviewer wrote: “I purchased this unit based on reading other reviews. I’ve used it on multiple camping and boating trips and have been happy with it. Paired with a solar charger it will provide reliable charging power for phones and other electronic devices. I leave it in my truck and it has held up well in extreme hot and cold conditions. The flash-light is also a handy feature. I will be purchasing 1-2 more to keep on the boat.”

4. The solar-powered one

  • Capacity: 40,000 mAh (also available in a 30,000 mAh version)
  • Dimensions: 6.2 x 3.2 inches folded; 14.2 x 6.2 inches unfolded
  • Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Charges via: USB-C or included solar panels
  • Output ports: 1 USB-C and 2 USB-A, plus a wireless charging panel
  • Water resistance: IP66

What’s great about it: This solar-powered battery pack features a built-in, fold-out solar panel, which is wonderful for anyone looking to be more sustainable or be prepared with a backup power source in case their bank runs out of juice midway through a camping trip. However, it’s also chargeable via USB-C if you want to fill it before heading out. Its IP66 rating means it’s water-resistant against high-pressure sprays such as a heavy storm, and it’s dust-proof. It has a wireless charging pad for compatible devices and a built-in flashlight, plus it comes with a carabiner with a compass and a USB-C charging cable. On top of all that, it has a near-perfect 4.8-star overall rating on Amazon after more than 1,000 reviews.

One reviewer wrote: “There’s always a balance between function and weight when backpacking/camping. I’ve been through a handful of power banks and this will be with me for many miles to come. It performs very well (charges my Apple Watch and iPhone 12 Pro Max 4x+) and the 4 solar panels are more functional than other single-panel gimmicks. The [wireless], fast charge/usb-c work as expected. Would certainly purchase again.”

5. The feature-packed one

  • Capacity: 25,600 mAh
  • Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.68 x 1 inches
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Charges via: Any USB source or a compatible solar panel (sold separately)
  • Output ports: 2 USB-A, 2 60W USB-C PD, Wireless Qi, 110V AC Inverter
  • Water resistance: None

What’s great about it: While it’s the priciest option on the list, this portable-yet-powerful Goal Zero power bank has a high capacity and six ports (including Qi wireless charging) so you can power up multiple devices at once. Though it’s a bit weighty at 2 pounds, the battery pack maintains a slim profile and is equipped with an AC plug (aka a typical plug like you’d find in the wall). It’s a good choice for those looking to edit video, charge a camera, or juice up a laptop while camping. This option comes with Lightning, micro USB, USB-C, and USB-C to USB-C cables, and it has a small display to monitor the bank’s charge.

One reviewer wrote: “This thing is a beast for power while camping. I was able to charge my smart watch, my wife’s fitbit, my tablet (Samsung Tab S5e), my Note 9, and my wife’s Samsung s20 with power to spare. Note most were not lower than 60% battery. Charged fine from a cell phone charger (3A) in the van.”

6. The one that balances power & size

  • Capacity: 20,000 mAh (also available in 10,000 mAh and 6,000 mAh versions)
  • Dimensions: 6.7 x 3.2 x 1 inches
  • Weight: 16.4 ounces
  • Charges via: USB-C
  • Output ports: 2 USB-A ports and 1 USB-C port
  • Water resistance: None

What’s great about it: For a powerful option that still only weighs about a pound, this compact BioLite power bank packs a lot of battery into a pretty small package. It comes in three sizes, but the largest version has 20,000 mAh and weighs a bit over a pound. All sizes come with a USB-A to USB-C cord, according to the brand’s website, and have a battery indicator light.

One reviewer wrote: “Went on a week long camping trip with our 2 kids. This charger was a HUGE help!! Between charging phones, pads, ear buds, etc, this charger kept us going all week. I am super impressed and grateful it was so easy to work with.”

7. The power station

  • Capacity: 60,000 mAh
  • Dimensions: 9.76 x 3.38 x 5.94 inches
  • Weight: 5.6 pounds
  • Charges via: AC (wall), 12V car charge port (car charger included), or via compatible solar charger
  • Output ports: 2 110V AC outlets, 2 12V DC Ports, 2 QC3.0 USB ports, and 1 2.4A USB port
  • Water resistance: None

What’s great about it: For car camping trips where weight and size are no issue and you have specific power needs such as a CPAP machine, this power station has you covered with tons of output options and a very large battery capacity. (Heads up that for CPAP machines specifically, the manufacturer recommends using a DC converter for the best performance.) The power station also has safety features such as short-circuit and overheat protection. Plus, it has a handle for easy carrying and a screen for monitoring its remaining battery.

One reviewer wrote: “This portable generator was purchased to run a Cpap while camping without electricity. I did purchase an additional dc plug for the Cpap, as I read it used less energy than the plug. I also turned off the dehumidifier. It worked flawlessly for 3 nights without charging. I like that this shows how much battery you have left and while charging at home shows when it is fully charged. I felt it was a good value for the money versus buying a specialty battery for the Cpap.”

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