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Nothing is more frustrating than having an almost empty battery, especially when you’re waiting for an important end-of-day work email, need driving directions to your weekend getaway, or want to take a selfie at DC’s newest museum. The solution? Always have a compact portable charger in your purse or backpack for an instant power boost. Whether it’s for your phone, tablet, or Kindle, a portable power bank will save the day when your battery is almost empty.
Portable chargers also make for practical Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers since some are really small.
Here, we rounded up the best and most compact ones to gift yourself or a friend this holiday season.
When in doubt, consider this Anker portable charger that’s compatible with pretty much any smartphone or electronic device. It has 74,000 Amazon reviews—the overwhelming majority of them five-star—and is the retailer’s best-selling power bank. It’s slim (0.55 inches), lightweight (7.5 ounces), and can charge a phone up to three times.
Looking for a great stocking stuffer? This tiny power bank fits in the palm of a hand and has a capacity of 4500mAh, which, in everyday language, means you can fully charge an iPhone once. The only downside is that because this one plugs directly into your smartphone, it is compatible with iPhones only.
The 2022 version of this best-selling power bank is slimmer and lighter than its predecessors. But it’s just as powerful. In fact, at 0.5 inches, this might be the thinnest 10,000mAh external battery we’ve seen. Other perks include three outputs allowing you to charge three devices simultaneously, a built-in flashlight, and a cute light-up paw-shaped battery indicator.
This set of two power banks comes at a reduced price, making it a good deal.
Each portable battery can charge an iPhone up to 3.6 times or a Samsung device twice. It’s lightweight, slim, and airplane-approved (only in your carry-on), so feel free to pack it for your next business trip or beach getaway (or gift it to the frequent traveler in your life).
Designed with iWatch owners in mind, this keychain-style charger is ultra-small and lightweight. With a capacity of 1,000 mAh, it can power up your iWatch twice before it needs to be plugged in. Fashion-conscious buyers can choose from several bright color options aside from black.
If you hate carrying a charging cable in your bag, this portable charger is for you. The multitasking gadget has two built-in cords and three ports, so you can charge up a smartphone three times (it works with all the popular brands). Plus, it’s slim and weighs only 7.4 ounces.
This is for the die-hard iPhone fan in your life who always runs out of battery. It magnetically attaches to the back of the smartphone and charges it automatically without having to turn it on. It is also small enough to fit in a pocket or a purse. The only downside is the price, but Amazon sells it 15 percent cheaper than Apple stores.
This is another Amazon best-seller that has an impressive 25,800mAh capacity, perfect for families with many devices (it will last six to eight charges). It has two charging ports and is universally compatible with phones, tablets, and laptops. Press the side power button to save its battery when not in use or to begin charging a device.
If you need a portable battery for your desk, this one from Anker is a sleek and powerful option. Designed with a built-in foldable stand, it will keep your iPhone upright so you can keep an eye on your alerts and notifications. It has a power capacity of 5,000mAh and a lightweight design.
Have a mess of tangled cables in your bag? Opt for this portable battery with a duo of built-in cords suitable for Apple and Samsung Galaxy phones. Another selling point is its size: It measures approximately 4 x 2.5 inches, or the size of a credit card, and is only half an inch wide.
While a solar battery charger is not the most practical everyday option (they are a bit bulky and heavier than regular portable batteries), if you’re heading camping or somewhere off the grid, they are a must-have. This one has four built-in cords, including a USB input cable and an iOS cable, so you can pretty much power any device. This is also the most powerful option on our list—at 36,000mAh, it can charge an iPhone 12 more than eight times or an iPad mini four times. The battery is made to withstand the elements—it is waterproof, dust-proof, and shockproof. Two extra-bright LED lights will come in handy during power outages.