Three Things to Consider Before Buying a Portable Phone Charger

Whether you’re an uber urbanite or a castaway on a deserted island, there’s a phone charger for you.

Man looking at phone at the beach on the rocks
Most portable phone chargers are small, lightweight, and incredibly handy when your phone is low on juice and you’re nowhere near an outlet.Unsplash/Devon Janse van Rensburg

We take our cell phones everywhere. After all, they’re more than phones. They connect us to our family, our friends, our jobs, our homes, our money, our pursuits. We work and play on our phones. We take photos and videos with them. Our phones aren’t just portals to our lives, they’re part of our lives.

Unless, of course, our phones run out of power. Then we’re screwed. That’s why a portable phone charger is a crucial need for many of us. Here’s a rundown of four cell-phone lifestyles and the best charger for each.

Portable Charger Anker PowerCore 20100mAh - Ultra High Capacity Power Bank with 4.8A Output

No Outlet Access

Anker’s 20100mAh portable charger will recharge an iPhone 8 more than six times before needing a charge itself.Anker

That means that you don’t always have the time or opportunity to plug your phone in and recharge it. This situation calls for a basic phone recharger—one that’s not so large and heavy that it’s cumbersome to carry around, but does provide enough power to recharge your phone about as quickly as a standard AC outlet. A charger in the 20000mAh (milliamp hour, a measurement of the energy capacity of a battery) range will have plenty of power to charge up most phones several times before needing a charge itself, and do so quickly.

Solar Charger, 25000mAh Battery Solar Power Bank Portable Panel Charger with 36 LEDs and 3 USB Output Ports External Backup Battery for Camping

Off Grid Power

GoerTek’s 25000mAh Solar Charger is ideal for campers, fishermen, and anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors.Goertek

Some chargers can be charged by solar energy as well as by plugging into a standard AC outlet. Those are the best chargers to get if you’ll be spending time away from the power grid. These tend to be a bit thicker and heavier than non-solar chargers, but the convenience of always having a way to charge your phone, no matter where you are, is well worth it.

Anker PowerCore 10000 Portable Charger

You Carry a Backpack or a Lot of Gear

The Anker PowerCore 10000 Portable Charger weighs 6.3 ounces and will charge an iPhone 8 more than 3 times when fully powered.Anker

Phone chargers can be heavy—some weigh more than 1 1/4 pounds—so if you’ll be carrying your charger in a backpack or briefcase, choose a model that’s designed for such a lifestyle.