11 Best Portable Power Banks for Backpacking & Camping (2022)

By Joshua Davis •  Updated: 08/17/22 •  21 min read

To say that the world of backpacking, hiking, and camping has changed since my introduction to it in the 80s is a colossal understatement. The advent of GPS units, digital cameras, smartphones, and other devices has made the great outdoors a lot more accessible to a wider audience.

But with this newfound accessibility comes new challenges, namely how to find a reliable power source for all of your devices when you’re miles from the nearest outlet. That’s where portable power banks come in.

These handy little powerhouses can give your devices the juice they need to keep going, even when there’s no outlet in sight.

There are a lot of portable power banks on the market, but not all of them are created equal. To help you find the best one for your needs, we’ve rounded up the best portable power banks for backpacking, hiking, and camping.

OFHQ’s Favorites

Before your next state park, national park, or wilderness excursion, take a look at some of OFHQ’s highest-ranked power banks that will ensure your e-devices have plenty of juice!

1. Goal Zero Venture 35

For us, the best power bank for backpacking MUST be waterproof and dustproof and should be able to provide enough phone juice to span an overnight trip at the minimum.

The Goal Zero Venture 35 perfectly fits that bill and is our top pick! This power bank can take a beating and keep on going. And, it’s packed with enough power to provide a typical smartphone with an additional charge and a half.

Plus, GoalZero’s 2-year warranty is tough to beat, demonstrating the company’s faith in its own product.

If you’re looking for a tough and rugged power bank that can go anywhere you do, the Goal Zero Venture 35 is the way to go.

Best Overall
Goal Zero Venture 35
$69.95
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10/02/2022 03:36 am GMT

2. Anker Powercore Solar 10000

If you want the little extra kick provided by solar power, the Anker Powercore Solar 10000 is a great option.

Just because it’s solar-powered doesn’t mean it’s any less tough and rugged than the Goal Zero Venture 35. The Anker Powercore Solar 10000 is also waterproof and dustproof.

It can charge most phones up to three times, a tablet at least once, and has enough juice to give your GoPro up to 24 hours of recording time.

Best Solar Powerbank
Anker Powercore Solar 10000
$49.99
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10/02/2022 04:48 am GMT

3. MyCharge Adventure H2O

If you play rough with your toys, the MyCharge Adventure H2O is ready to tussle. It’s waterproof and dustproof, like the Goal Zero Venture 35, but it’s also shockproof.

So if you drop it, no worries!

The MyCharge Adventure H2O can provide a full charge to most phones up to three times and has a USB-C port for faster charging.

If you’re looking for a durable and affordable power bank, the MyCharge Adventure H2O is a great option.

Best Budget Powerbank
MyCharge Adventure H2O
$59.99
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10/02/2022 03:41 am GMT

4. GoalZero SHERPA 100PD

If you take a lot of tech with you on the trail or plan to be out for a longer expedition, the GoalZero SHERPA 100PD is a great option.

This power bank can charge most laptops, tablets, and phones multiple times.

It also has a USB-C port for charging laptops and other devices that support USB-C PD (Power Delivery). If you need a lot of power on the go, the GoalZero SHERPA 100PD is the way to go.

Pack it with care; however, and don’t get caught charging in the rain. While this power bank is rugged, it’s not waterproof.

Best High-Capacity Powerbank
GoalZero SHERPA 100PD
$199.95 $149.95
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10/02/2022 03:42 am GMT

The Line Up: 11 Best Power Banks for Backpacking, Hiking, and Camping

Choosing the best power bank for backpacking or to add to your camping gear arsenal will typically center around a balance between capacity and weight. The best portable chargers are ones that can deliver a high number of charges while also being as lightweight as possible.

With that in mind, the following power banks have been organized by their capacity, from lowest to highest. As a result, they are roughly in order from lightest to heaviest.

1. Anker Powercore 5000

Anker Powercore 5000
$17.99
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10/02/2022 04:48 am GMT

If all you need on your next backpacking trip is a single charge for your smartphone, the Anker Powercore 5000 is one of the best portable chargers you can buy. It’s incredibly lightweight and can easily slip into your pocket or pack.

The Powercore 5000 also features fast charging, meaning it can juice up your devices faster than most standard, low-capacity chargers.

One thing to keep in mind with the Powercore 5000 is that it doesn’t have passthrough charging, so you’ll need to wait for it to fully charge before you can use it to charge your devices.

Also, while the casing will provide some degree of moisture repellence, it’s not waterproof. We recommend keeping it stored in a dry sack.

2. Goal Zero Flip 24

Goal Zero Flip 24
$29.95
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10/02/2022 05:08 am GMT

It’s not too often you find a really small power bank with a built-in charge indicator; but, that’s exactly what the Goal Zero Flip 24 offers.

This pocket-sized charger has enough juice to give most smartphones two full charges and can even top off a tablet, making it a solid candidate for best portable charger.

The Flip 24 also features passthrough charging, so you can charge your devices and the power bank simultaneously. Just keep in mind that it doesn’t support fast charging, so it’ll take a while to fully charge up your devices.

As for the build quality, the Flip 24 is surprisingly rugged for its size. The casing is made of tough ABS plastic and can withstand being dropped or bumped around without issue. However, it’s not waterproof, so don’t get caught charging in the rain.

3. Goal Zero Venture 35

Best Overall
Goal Zero Venture 35
$69.95
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10/02/2022 03:36 am GMT

For those who need a relatively small charger that can take a beating, look no further than the Goal Zero Venture 35.

This charger is rated IP67, meaning it’s dustproof, sand proof, and waterproof to 1 meter for 30 minutes. So, whether you’re caught in a rainstorm or fording a shallow river, your power will be ready when you need it.

The Venture 35 also features fast charging via USB-C, meaning you can charge up your devices relatively quickly. Just keep in mind that it doesn’t have passthrough charging, so you’ll need to wait for the Venture 35 to fully charge before using it to top off your devices.

One thing to note is that while the Venture 35 can be charged via solar panels, it doesn’t come with any. If you want to be able to charge it via solar power, you’ll need to purchase a panel separately.

Oh, and it has a cute little 50-lumen flashlight. Not a game changer by any means; but, handy.

4. Anker Powercore Solar 10000

Best Solar Powerbank
Anker Powercore Solar 10000
$49.99
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10/02/2022 04:48 am GMT

At this stage in portable solar technology, it’s best not to rely on solar panels for your primary source of power. While the tech is great for trickling a little more juice into your devices, it’s not the best option for charging them up in a reasonable amount of time.

That being said, the Anker Powercore Solar 10000 is one of the best solar chargers for those who want the peace of mind that comes with solar charging and a casing that is built for exposure to the elements.

This charger features two solar panels that can top off the Powercore’s 10,000mAh battery in about 25 hours. That’s not fast by any means; but, it’s great for those who are constantly on the go and may not have access to an outlet for a while.

The Powercore Solar 10000 also features fast charging via Micro USB. So, if you need to charge up your devices in a hurry, you can do so without issue. Just keep in mind that the solar panels add quite a bit of bulk to the charger, so it’s not the most portable option out there.

5. BioLite Charge 40 PD

BioLite Charge 40 PD
$59.95
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10/02/2022 05:10 am GMT

Brought to you by the same folks who turned a wood-burning camp stove into a phone charger, the BioLite Charge 40 PD is a solid option for those looking for a smaller, tough-built backpacking power bank.

Equipped with fast-charging capability and 3 output ports, the Charge 40 PD will juice up your devices quickly; however, it’s worth noting that passthrough charging is not specified.

As for the build, the Charge 40 PD boasts a rugged exterior with a rubberized base that can take a few bumps and scrapes. However, it’s not waterproof rated, so don’t drop it in the drink.

One thing that sets the Charge 40 PD apart from other power banks is the fact that it can be charged via BioLite’s line of solar panels. So, if you’re looking for a way to expand to off-grid backpacking for longer periods, this is a good option.

Just keep in mind that, like the Venture 35, it doesn’t have passthrough charging, so you’ll need to wait for the power bank to fully charge before using it to top off your devices.

One of the coolest features of the Charge 40 PD is the built-in LED battery meter. A quick press of a button will give you a good indication of how much juice is left. No more guessing whether you have enough power to make it through the day.

6. Anker Powercore 313

Anker Powercore 313
$21.99
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10/02/2022 05:08 am GMT

At 10,000 mAh, we are now looking at power banks that can fully charge a standard iPhone 7 almost four times over.

The Anker Powercore 313 is one of the smallest and lightest on the market relative to its capacity, weighing in at just 8 ounces.

This little power bank has some pretty impressive features for its size. It comes with fast charging via USB-C or Micro USB and can juice up your devices relatively quickly. Also, for low-power-devices like earbuds, it sports a handy trickle-charge mode that can be activated with the push of a button.

Just keep in mind that it doesn’t have passthrough charging, so you’ll need to wait for the Powercore 313 to fully charge before using it to top off your devices.

While it’s not specifically waterproof, the Powercore 313 is designed to be drop-tolerant; so, it can handle a little rough-and-tumble.

One downside is that the Powercore 313 only has a single USB port. So, if you have multiple devices that need charging, you’ll need to prioritize.

7. MyCharge Adventure H2O

Best Budget Powerbank
MyCharge Adventure H2O
$59.99
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10/02/2022 03:41 am GMT

The problem with most power banks and battery packs is that one drop ports-down in the dust or the drink and they’re done.

MyCharge has you covered with the Adventure H2O, a rugged, waterproof power bank designed to go where you do – even if that’s off the beaten path.

With a capacity of 15,000 mAh, the Adventure H2O can charge a standard cell phones almost five times over.

The power bank sports two USB-A ports, so you can charge multiple devices at once. And, with fast charging support, you can juice up your devices relatively quickly.

Just keep in mind that the Adventure H2O doesn’t have passthrough charging; so, you’ll need to wait for the power bank to fully charge before using it to top off your devices.

When it comes to the build, the Adventure H2O is encased in a shockproof and waterproof (IP67) exterior. So, whether you drop it in the mud or in a puddle, this power bank can take a beating.

One downside is the weight; at 12 ounces, it’s one of the heaviest power banks on this list. But, if you need a power bank that can go anywhere and do anything, the Adventure H2O is a good option.

8. Anker 737 PowerCore III Elite

Anker 737 PowerCore III Elite
$179.99
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10/02/2022 05:10 am GMT

Built for power and speed with heat and surge protection built in, the Anker 737 PowerCore III Elite is one of the most impressive power banks on the market.

With a whopping 26,000 mAh capacity, this power bank can charge a standard iPhone 7 almost eight times over.

What’s more, the PowerCore III Elite comes with a rapid recharge feature that allows you to juice up the power bank in just 2.5 hours – one of the fastest recharge times on this list!

The power bank also supports fast charging for your devices, so you can charge them relatively quickly. Just keep in mind that it doesn’t have passthrough charging; so, you’ll need to wait for the PowerCore III Elite to fully charge before using it to top off your devices.

Anker’s patented trickle-charge feature is also included; so, you can use the power bank to charge low-power devices like earbuds without overloading them.

When it comes to the build, the PowerCore III Elite is encased in a durable and sleek aluminum exterior. And, despite its large capacity, it’s relatively lightweight and portable, weighing in at just 1.3 pounds.

9. Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD

Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD
$68.99
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10/02/2022 05:10 am GMT

More power. More weight. That’s the tradeoff you make with the Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD.

This power bank has a huge capacity of 26,800 mAh – enough to charge a standard iPhone 7 almost eight times over.

And, with three USB-A ports, you can charge multiple devices at the same time. Just keep in mind that the PowerCore+ 26800 PD doesn’t have passthrough charging; so, you’ll need to wait for the power bank to fully charge before using it to top off your devices.

The PowerCore+ 26800 PD does support fast charging for your devices, though; so, you can juice them up relatively quickly. And with two Micro USB inputs, it can juice itself up in under 7 hours … not bad considering its capacity.

One downside is the weight; at just over a pound, this is one of the heaviest power banks on this list. But, if you need a power bank with a huge capacity, the PowerCore+ 26800 PD is a good option.

10. GoalZero SHERPA 100PD

Best High-Capacity Powerbank
GoalZero SHERPA 100PD
$199.95 $149.95
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10/02/2022 03:42 am GMT

Something that generates this much power and can recharge in 3 hours is worth a look! The GoalZero SHERPA 100PD has a huge 25,600mAh capacity and can deliver up to 45W of power.

This is enough to charge your action camera about 19 times, a MacBook Pro almost twice at full speed,or give your Nintendo Switch a much-needed boost … if that’s what you take on a hiking trip.

To each his own.

Along with its USB-C port that doubles as both an input and output, the GoalZero SHERPA 100PD has a wireless charging pad for Qi-compatible devices and two standard USB-A ports.

This is one of the very few power banks on the market that offers passthrough charging; so, you can use it to top off your devices while it’s plugged into the wall. Plus, the digital readout provides real-time feedback on the battery life percentage level to help ration your power supply.

All these goodies mean it’s a bit of a beast to carry around, especially on longer backpacking trips.

At 1.4 pounds and 7.5 x 3.7 x 1 inches, it’s not exactly pocket-sized. But, if you need a power bank with a huge capacity and plenty of chutzpah, the GoalZero SHERPA 100PD is a good option.

We recommend keeping it packed, padded, and in a dry sack on the trail.

11. Crave PowerPack 2 Portable Battery Pack Charger

Crave PowerPack 2 Portable Battery Pack Charger
$249.99
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10/02/2022 05:36 am GMT

The biggest and the baddest on our list in terms of power storage, the Crave PowerPack 2 lives up to its name with a whopping 50,000mAh capacity.

This is enough to charge your smartphone about 15 times or your tablet about 5 times.

The Crave PowerPack 2 also has two USB-C ports and two standard USB-A ports; so, you can charge multiple devices at the same time. Just keep in mind that it doesn’t have passthrough charging; so, you’ll need to wait for the power bank to fully charge before using it to top off your devices.

The Crave PowerPack 2 also supports fast charging for your devices; so, you can juice them up relatively quickly.

One downside is the weight; at just over 4 pounds, this is one of the heaviest power banks on this list. But, if you need a power bank with a huge capacity, you’ll pay the price of lugging it around.

All things considered, the Crave PowerPack 2 is a great option for those who need a power bank with a huge capacity. We would recommend it for a car camping trip where the whole crew needs a charging hub.

Important Features of a Portable Power Bank

Perusing the vast options when shopping for the best power bank will almost certainly result in information overload. However, if you know what you’re looking for, narrowing the field is easy.

Here are the top 6 features considered to be the most important in a portable power bank:

1. Capacity (mAh)

The capacity of a power bank is an important metric and refers to the amount of power (measured in milliamp hours) that its internal battery can hold. A higher capacity means that the power bank can store more energy and, therefore, charge your devices multiple times before needing to be recharged itself.

It’s also important to understand that, due to the Joule Effect (heat energy lost when using the bank to charge a device), an average of 15-20% of a bank’s capacity is lost during energy transfer from the bank to a device.

For shorter backpacking, hiking, and camping trips, we recommend looking for a power bank with a capacity of at least 10,000 mAh. This will give you enough power to charge most smartphones 2-3 times or a tablet once.

If you plan on using your power bank to charge larger devices like laptops or are planning a trip of longer duration, however, you’ll need one with a much higher capacity. We recommend looking for a power bank with at least 20,000 mAh in this case.

2. Weight and Size

The greater the capacity (mAh), the bigger the internal cells, and the larger and heavier the power bank.

While it may be tempting to buy the biggest and baddest bank available, keep in mind that you’ll be carrying this thing around with you on your trip. A heavier bank means more weight to lug around and less space in your backpack for other things.

We recommend finding a balance between capacity and portability. For most people, a power bank between 10-20,000 mAh will suffice.

3. Charging Method(s) and Passthrough Charging

AC? DC? USB? Solar? Crank?

The charging method(s) refer to the way(s) in which the power bank can be recharged. The three most common methods are via AC power (i.e. plugging into a wall outlet), DC power (i.e. plugging into a car cigarette lighter), or USB power (i.e. plugging into a computer or USB wall charger).

Some higher-end power banks also offer solar charging, which can be handy if you’re planning on spending extended periods of time in the wilderness with no access to traditional forms of electrical power.

Just be aware that solar charging is generally slow and is best used as a supplement to other methods.

Another feature to keep an eye out for is pass through charging, which allows you to charge both the power bank and your devices simultaneously.

This can be a real lifesaver if you find yourself running low on juice and need to recharge both your devices and your power bank as quickly as possible.

4. Charging Ports and Compatibility

The number and type of rechargeable devices you take with you will determine the number and type of charging ports you need in a portable power pack.

If you only need to charge one device, then a power bank with only 1 USB output will suffice. However, if you need to charge multiple devices simultaneously or want the option to charge non-USB devices (like laptops), then you’ll need a more powerful bank with additional ports.

Keep in mind that not all USB ports are created equal. Some banks use standard USB ports while others use the newer and faster USB-C port or Quick Charge 3.0 ports.

If charging speed is important to you, then make sure to look for a power bank that uses these newer, faster standards.

In terms of compatibility, it’s important to make sure that the power bank you’re considering can actually charge the devices you plan on taking with you.

Most banks will have no problem charging popular devices like iPhones, Android smartphones, and iPads/tablets.

However, if you have less common devices (i.e., high-end cameras) or need to charge multiple laptops, then you’ll want to make sure that the power bank has the necessary ports and wattage output to accommodate your needs.

5. Life Expectancy

The life expectancy of a power bank refers to how many times it can be recharged before it finally loses its ability to store sufficient power.

For most people, a power bank with a life expectancy of 500+ charges will be more than enough. However, if you plan on using your power bank extensively or need it to last for extended periods of time (i.e., months or years), then you’ll want to look for one with a higher life expectancy.

Most of the time, manufacturers are shy about divulging specific info on a power bank’s life expectancy. Suffice to say, the average life expectancy is between 300-500 cycles.

6. Armor and Waterproofing (IP Rating)

Electronics get roughed up in the great outdoors. Whether it’s being dropped, jostled around in a backpack, or exposed to the elements, your power bank will need to be able to withstand some abuse.

Most banks are made with a durable casing that can take a beating, but if you’re particularly hard on your gear or plan on spending time in extreme conditions, then you’ll want to look for a power bank with even more robust construction.

Some higher-end models even come with waterproofing and/or dust proofing (usually signified by an IP rating).

Just be aware that these features will usually add to the price tag.

Before We Leave …

A final note: steer clear of power banks peddled by obscure brands who bait buyers with thousands of 5-star Amazon reviews. Numerous dishonest, Asian-based companies are buying positive reviews to maximize their sales and, unfortunately, Amazon does little to weed these out.

Once they’ve made their cut, they exit the market quickly before the poor quality of their products sends the mobs of angry buyers their way demanding warranty service (which is often impossible to obtain).

Stick with manufacturers of trusted brands that have been around for a while and have proven themselves. You may pay a little more; but, in the long run, you’ll be much better off.

We hope this post has made your decision-making a little bit easier.

Now, get out there!

Joshua Davis

Being outdoors is freedom! Being outdoors with my wife and two boys is LIVING! Whether in my backyard or getting lost in a National Park, there’s nothing I’d rather do than explore, discover, and experience the paradise that surrounds us. Give me my family, a backpack, and a trail and my life is full!