Batteries are not a hot business topic, but we each crave longer battery life for our devices and equipment, especially when traveling. This short list of portable battery packs may help you just enough to keep an important business conversation going on your phone or allow you to finish a document on a tablet.
A technical abbreviation that you’ll want to know when considering an external portable battery pack is milliampere hour (mAh). It describes the energy charge that a battery holds and how long a device will run before you need to recharge it. I’ve included the Amazon link for each battery pack, when possible and some of these devices were sent to me for media reviews.
Anker: Astro Slim2
This is my favorite for travel. Ultra-slim external portable battery that stacks against your smartphone and supplies simultaneous, full-speed charges for two devices. If you do a search for portable battery on Amazon, Anker frequently pops up first. It’s available here (not an affiliate link) on Amazon for $27.99.
- Compact, easy-to-grip slim design specifically sized to stack battery behind your smartphone while in use.
- Hideaway micro USB cable for Android reduces the number of cords you need to carry to stay connected; USB port available for iPhone. Elegant.
- 4500mAh battery offers enough power for 2-3 charges on most phones.
- Dual ports supply 1Amp of power each so you can power up in no time.
- LED column lets you know exactly how much battery power is left.
Satechi Portable Energy Station
Another favorite of mine. This company makes lots of great travel products and innovative gadgets. I have owned this one for a long time and it has taken some abuse and held up well. You can find it on Amazon here for $59.99.
- Instant dual power – recharge your tablet and smart phone or other mobile devices simultaneously.
- 10000 mAh Lithium Polymer Battery – Rapid charging – faster than charging from a traditional outlet.
- Battery life indicator & auto OFF feature that detects when fully charged. (When you look at these tiny devices, this becomes somewhat important.)
- Lightweight and compact – easily carry it on long flights in your laptop or tablet bag. You can expect the weight to increase when you increase mAh.
- It offers an overload protection feature to keep your battery safe.
iWALK: Extreme Series Universal Backup Batteries
This company has a large selection of portable batteries for devices, even one to power your laptop. Here is a link to the compact 5200 mAh model on Amazon, which sells for $43.99.
- 9 compact models ranging from 1,800mAH to 15,000mAH.
- Equipped with LED battery charge and discharge level indicator.
- Ideal for smartphones, navigation units, cameras, Bluetooth headsets.
- Extreme 15000 – largest capacity unit in the world with 8 different connectors.
- Extreme 8200 Duo – capable of charging two devices at the same time.
Snow Lizard: SLPower 7
Like some of the chargers above, slim and easy to pack. Plus, you have to give them credit for a creative name. It’s memorable. Not sure what it has to do with batteries though. Amazon has it for $51.91 here. White or black.
- Boasting a 7000 mAh battery the SLPower 7 has enough power to rapidly charge your iPad, tablet and smartphone.
- Designed for on the go use, the low profile charger provides power and portability at just over one half inch thick.
- 2 USB connections – Dedicated iPhone Connection and USB connection for tablets and smartphones.
Digital Treasures: PowerFlask
Although I don’t think I would walk around with this battery in my pocket, it certainly fits. A portable, novel way to charge two USB devices simultaneously. You can find it on Amazon for $71.91.
- 13,000 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery which will keep supplying extra juice for devices on-the-go. I did find that when I had depleted the charge it took overnight to fully recharge.
- Two ultra-bright flashlight LED’s are situated at the top of the PowerFlask for lighting options while the user is on the road. (It took me a while to figure out how to turn these on – should have read the manual sooner.)
- The PowerFlask is wrapped in supple leather with an aluminum finish for a high-quality and eye-catching aesthetic.
Scosche: goBAT II
Dual USB portable charger and backup battery. Available at: Amazon for $42.88. You can also get it at BestBuy.com and Buy.com.
- Internal 5000 maH rechargeable lithium ion battery can charge a drained iPhone 4 2.6 times.
- 10 Watt (2.1 Amp) port is perfect for charging tablets and 5 Watt (1 Amp) port can charge virtually any other USB powered handheld.
- Four blue LED lights indicate how much battery life is left.
New Trent: Powerpak+
This battery is rugged looking and powerful. One of the small things I liked about it is the ridges on the side that made it less likely to slip out of my hand. You can find it on Amazon for $54.95.
- Powerful 13,500mAh battery pack quickly and efficiently charges USB-based devices.
- Features a 1A and 2.1A port to juice up both iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. (I found this handy for the occasional time when I needed to charge both devices.)
- Charges most smartphones up to 6 times.
- Slim and compact design allows it to easily fit into any backpack, purse or carry-on.
Goal Zero: Switch 8 Solar Recharging Kit
This small 3.5 Watt Solar Panel recharging system is pretty cool. It comes with four AA batteries (and will also recharge AAA). You also can purchase a portable unit called the “Switch” that is smaller than a roll of quarters, but powerful enough for smartphones, iPods or your GPS. It is available on Amazon for $119.99 (for the panel only) and $39.95 for the Switch.
If you are out in the field a fair amount, this solar recharger may be the unit for you. You can plug your device into the solar panel charger directly. Of course, you could buy extra battery units for your device(s), instead, but this one at least gives you some recharge options.
- Charges devices via USB port.
- Power pack and solar panel combined weight only .7 lbs. (less than one pound). It is small enough to fit in a backpack, briefcase or purse.
- Foldable and rugged Nomad 3.5 Solar Panel recharges Switch in 2-4 hours.
You may not think about batteries on a daily basis, but if you find your devices running low all too often this list may help. It might help you to prevent that beeping tone that says, “You have less than 10% battery life remaining, plug in now…”
How do you handle keeping your devices charged while on the road?
Full Charge Photo via Shutterstock