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The Best Portable Battery Charger for Everyone

The Best Portable Battery Charger for Everyone

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Jackery Bolt 6000 mAh Ultra-Compact External Battery

We picked the Jackery Bolt as the best portable battery charger because unlike most external battery packs, even so-called “ultra-portable” ones, this one comes with two built-in charging cables: a micro USB cable and a MFI-certified Lightning cable. This means you never have to worry about bringing a wire with you while on the go, which admittedly most of us don’t want to do anyways. Plus, with its built-in 6,000mAh battery, you can charge your iPhone at least two times over before it needs recharging.

Jackery Bolt
Jackery Bolt 6000
Jackery Bolt
  • Built-in Lighting and micro-USB cables in addition to a USB port allows you to charge up to 3 devices at once
  • 6000mAh battery can fully charge an iPhone 7 at up to 3 times
  • Includes a built-in flashlight for convenience
  • Easy to carry in your pocket or bag
$22
available
on Amazon
* price at time of publishing was $22

What makes a great all-purpose battery charger?

There isn’t a person in this world who isn’t looking for more battery life out of their smartphone. Whether you’re at a coffee shop or at an airport, you always want more juice so that you can use your mobile device without being tethered to an outlet.

Here are three main things we want in a portable external battery:

  • It should be small, neither too heavy nor too big and it should fit into most purses, bags, and some pockets
  • It needs to have enough battery to recharge your phone at least two times over
  • It should be plug and play

Why the Jackery Bolt is the best?

The Jackery Bolt portable battery charger is the best because it fulfills all of the requirements above and then some. The 6,000mAh battery is plenty enough to get you through the day, even if you’re a pretty heavy user. It’s small enough that it doesn’t feel like you’re lugging around a brick all the time and it has two built-in cables! I can’t emphasize enough how awesome this is to have. It’s one of those things you don’t come to appreciate until you realize you don’t have a Lighting cable with you. These small conveniences matter.

Our experience with the Jackery Bolt

The Jackery Bolt portable battery charger has built-in Lightning and Micro-USB cables

The Jackery Bolt portable battery charger has built-in Lightning and Micro-USB cables

Credit: Karl Conrad

The Jackery Bolt solved two major complaints I have regarding most portable battery chargers: First, I don’t have to carry around an extra Lightning cable everywhere I go (I’ve lost more than I’d like to admit). And second, it’s compact enough that it fits in my bag without adding virtually any bulk. In fact, my wife carries around one too and it fits in her purses without any issues.

Speaking of wires, what I absolutely love about this particular battery pack is that the Lightning cable is Apple MFI certified. Why is this important? Because it means that the every time I plug in my iPhone, I know it’s going to work. The last thing I want is to plug in some crappy battery into my super expensive smartphone. With this, there is no worry.

Every time I plug in my iPhone, I know it's going to work

Because it has a 6000mAh battery I was able to leave my house in the morning at around 8 a.m. and come back at 6 or 7 p.m. without having to worry running out of battery on my iPhone 7. If I found myself getting close to the 20 percent warning, I would simply plug in my iPhone for 15-20 minutes and get back up to about 50 percent, though to keep me going a few more hours.

In my testing, I also found this battery pack to stand up well in my day-to-day use. I’ll admit, I wasn’t throwing it on the ground, but I didn’t treat it like a special piece of hardware. Instead, I put it in my bag and I purposely dropped it on the ground a few times a week. After a few months of this, my battery pack is still going strong without any issues.

Charge three devices at once with the Jackery Bolt portabl battery charger

Charge three devices at once with the Jackery Bolt portabl battery charger

One amazing feature that I came to learn after a few weeks is that the Jackery Bolt will keep charging your devices even while it is being charged itself via the built-in micro-USB port. Most external batteries do not do this. This effectively means that you can plug in the Jackery Bolt and plug in up to three devices and everything will get charged at the same time. I loved doing this in the evenings with my iPhone and my Apple Watch. I’d just wake up and everything would be at 100 percent.

How many times the Jackery Bolt was able to charge various devices.

How many times the Jackery Bolt was able to charge various devices.

Credit: PowerBankExpert

All-in-all, this is my favorite portable battery charger to date. I love its size, its power, and most of all its versatility.

Who Else Likes It

On Amazon, nearly 300 owners have given the Jackery Bolt Portable Battery Charger a 4.5-star rating, with many citing the included Lightning cable as a huge benefit. One user said that the bolt was a “good combination of capacity and physical size: enough juice to fully charge my iPhone more than once, but not so big and heavy that I’d think twice before adding it to my brief bag.”

PowerBankExpert also praised the Jackery Bolt saying that it’s “structurally sound and cleverly designed.”

Also Great

One of the Slimmest Portable Chargers on the Market

The Flux Portable battery charger is a small, ultra-portable battery great for those looking for something so small that it could fit in your pocket without adding much bulk. It has a 4000mAh battery making it good enough to give charge most smartphones one full cycle. This is great if you’re willing to recharge it frequently.

Flux Portable Charger
Flux Portable Phone Charger
Flux Portable Charger
  • Beautifully engineered with premium aluminum and is slim enough to slide into your pocket
  • Two built-in cords compatible with all iPhone Lightning models, micro-USB Android models
  • Charge all of your devices including Smartphones, Headphones, Tablets, and more
$59.95
available
on Amazon
* price at time of publishing was $59.95

A Big Battery with Built-In Lightning and Micro USB Cables

If you like the 6000mAh version of the Jackery Bolt, but would rather have a little more power, this 10500mAh is a great fit. The extra 4000mAh will give you at least one extra full charge on your iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus and can charge an iPad mini from 0 to 100% once.

Jackery Bolt 10050 Portable Battery
Jackery Bolt 10050 Portable Battery
  • Built-in Lighting and micro-USB cables in addition to a USB port allows you to charge up to 3 devices at once
  • 10050mAh battery can fully charge an iPhone 7 over 3x
  • Includes a built-in flashlight for convenience
  • Fits in the palm for your hand
$35.99
available
on Amazon
* price at time of publishing was $35.99

Recharge Your Favorite Devices Many Times Over

If you’re looking for a portable battery charger that will provide you with maximum battery capacity, we like the RAVPower 26800mAh power bank. It a bit big and bulky, but it allows you to charge an iPhone 7 over nine times before it needs to be recharged. It also allows you to charge up to three devices as once. This is great for long trips or for those times when you know you’ll be away from an outlet for a long time.

RAVPower 26800mAh External Battery
RAVPower 26800mAh 5.5A Output 3-Port Power Bank
RAVPower 26800mAh External Battery
  • 3 USB ports for a total current output of 5.5A
  • External battery pack that retains 70-80% of its capacity after 500 charge cycle
  • Charge your iPhone 7 over 9 times
$49.99
available
on Amazon
* price at time of publishing was $49.99

Also Considered

Anker Astro E1
$15.99 on Amazon
* price at time of publishing was $15.99

This battery charger is great if all you’re looking for is a single USB port external battery, but because it doesn’t include Lightning or Micro USB, it really makes the Jackery Bolt a better bargain.

ZILU 4400mAh Portable Charger
$14.90 on Amazon
* price at time of publishing was $14.90

This battery pack is compact and durable with a nice LED battery life indicator. We just wish it had a little more power. At 4400mAh, it will require more frequent recharging.

Anker PowerCore Slim 5000 Portable Charger
$29.99 on Amazon
* price at time of publishing was $29.99

This battery charger has a nice, small footprint and is pretty thin. However, it's about the same price as the Jackery Bolt and doesn't include cables making it neither more portable nor more convenient.

OLALA C2-i 6000mAh Portable Charger
$23.99 on Amazon
* price at time of publishing was $23.99

The Olala C2-i looks like a good charger on the surface, but the cables that are included are not very good. After repeated use, the cables start to lose their connection, making one of its main features pretty much useless.