Best Portable Charging Banks for Hiking

portable power banks for charging while hiking
Traditionalists may not like it! But personally, I don't like to risk being stuck on a hill or mountain with a dead phone or head torch battery. So I like to carry a portable charging device (or 2, or 3) with me. Here are the best portable charging banks for hiking that I've used. (And I've used a lot, by the way).

Contents

The Best Portable Chargers and Power Banks for Hiking

I get it. Some people don’t like electronics involved in any way with their hiking or navigating experience. But it’s 2024 and some of the electronic navigation devices can be incredibly useful, particularly for giving you a pinpoint of your own exact location right now in poor visibility conditions.

So, yes, I can read a paper map and I can use a compass and I carry them. But they’re always my backup. My first choice is electronic navigation (OS Maps subscription is worth the investment for out on the hikes and I love a bit of AllTrails for route inspiration). So I don’t like to risk being without battery on my phone. Plus, I take a rechargeable head torch everywhere I go as well and I like to know I can recharge that if I have to!

With that in mind, I’ve tried, tested, loved, loathed, kept and given away dozens of different portable charging and power banks over the years. So I thought it was time to talk about my favourites.

I’ve used all of these and found them to be reasonable in terms of battery capacity, size and value. I’ve highlighted my absolute favourite:

My Favourite
Charmast 26800mAh Slimline Portable Charger
Veektokmx 10,000 mAh Charger with Built in Cables
5000mAh Mini Plug in Power Bank
Solar Power Bank 26,800mAh
Charmast 26800mAh Power Bank USB C Battery Pack Portable Charger USB C Slim Type C Battery Bank with 3 Input & 4 iSmart Output compatible with Smartphones Tablets and More (Black)
VEEKTOMX Power Bank 10000mAh, Portable Charger with Built-in Cables, USB C External Battery Pack with 5 Outputs and LED Display for iPhone/iPad/Samsung Galaxy and More (10000mAh-Black)
VEEKTOMX Mini Power Bank Fast Charging 20W, 5000mAh Portable Charger for iPhone, Small Battery Pack Travel powerbank Compatible with iPhone 14/13/12/11/XR/XS/X/8/7 Travel Essentials, Black
Solar Power Bank 26800mAh, Solar Portable Charger With Type C Port Input & 2 USB Outputs, External Backup Battery Pack Fast Charge with LED Flashlight for Smart phone, Tablet, Hiking, Camping(Black)
£22.46
£19.99
£19.99
Price not available
Slim line, fits in a large pocket, not much bigger than my iPhone. 8 to 9 iPhone charges from a single charge. Multiple input and output ports.
Around 4 charges. Wires built in so no worrying about making sure you’ve got the right cables.
One or A couple of charges only from these small capacity ones. But very small and very easy to keep handy for shorter hikes.
Large capacity, multiple different ports. 8 or 9 chargers. Didn’t find the solar element worked at all. Bulkier than the Charmast one of the same capacity.
My Favourite
Charmast 26800mAh Slimline Portable Charger
Charmast 26800mAh Power Bank USB C Battery Pack Portable Charger USB C Slim Type C Battery Bank with 3 Input & 4 iSmart Output compatible with Smartphones Tablets and More (Black)
£22.46
Slim line, fits in a large pocket, not much bigger than my iPhone. 8 to 9 iPhone charges from a single charge. Multiple input and output ports.
Veektokmx 10,000 mAh Charger with Built in Cables
VEEKTOMX Power Bank 10000mAh, Portable Charger with Built-in Cables, USB C External Battery Pack with 5 Outputs and LED Display for iPhone/iPad/Samsung Galaxy and More (10000mAh-Black)
£19.99
Around 4 charges. Wires built in so no worrying about making sure you’ve got the right cables.
5000mAh Mini Plug in Power Bank
VEEKTOMX Mini Power Bank Fast Charging 20W, 5000mAh Portable Charger for iPhone, Small Battery Pack Travel powerbank Compatible with iPhone 14/13/12/11/XR/XS/X/8/7 Travel Essentials, Black
£19.99
One or A couple of charges only from these small capacity ones. But very small and very easy to keep handy for shorter hikes.
Solar Power Bank 26,800mAh
Solar Power Bank 26800mAh, Solar Portable Charger With Type C Port Input & 2 USB Outputs, External Backup Battery Pack Fast Charge with LED Flashlight for Smart phone, Tablet, Hiking, Camping(Black)
Price not available
Large capacity, multiple different ports. 8 or 9 chargers. Didn’t find the solar element worked at all. Bulkier than the Charmast one of the same capacity.

Generally, I carry two portable charging banks with me on any hike.

It’s worth me saying that I’ve never needed the second one, but I like to feel like I have what I need and I buy slimline ones for the most part so they take little space.

As for which is the best power bank for hiking… well this is subjective, of course. But for me, when I’m hiking in particular, I am looking for a few key things in a power bank:

  • Capacity – I want a charging bank with high capacity so I can get multiple device charges from a single charging bank without stressing that the power bank itself is going to need recharging
  • Size – the more capacity in the smallest physical size is the aim of the game for me. I don’t ask for much, I know. But particularly when winter hiking, my bag is already pretty full. I need these things to be small and compact. For me, slim line is essential
  • Value – Do I want to remortgage my house to be able to recharge my phone on a hike? No. No I do not.
 

Some people are concerned with durability or getting ones that are waterproof and so forth. But I tend to use small dry bags for my mobile phone and other electronic equipment. And I leave them in my main bag, so I’m a little less concerned with having them waterproof and throw-them-to-the-ground proof.

My Favourite Charging Bank for Hiking

My personal favourite is the Charmast 26800maH charger that I picked up from Amazon. Here it is:

Sale
Charmast 26800mAh Power Bank USB C Battery Pack Portable Charger USB C Slim Type C Battery Bank with 3 Input & 4 iSmart Output compatible with Smartphones Tablets and More (Black)
  • ????⚡????【Massive 26800 Capacity】Made by High Quality Battery Pack, Perfect battery backup phones, tablets,and more.Fast charging iPhone 7/6/6s 8.5 times,7/6Plus 5 times, Galaxy S8/S7 5 times and S6 6.5 times.
  • ????⚡????【USB Type-C Input &Output】The Bidirectional USB Type-C Port both supports Fast in and out. Use your Original Type-C to Type-C cable to charge your USB C devices. Up to 2.6A/3A input and output with USB Type-C port, fully recharge the power bank at around 9Hrs.
  • ????⚡????【Multi 3 Inputs & 4 iSmart Outputs】This one must be the most Full Compatibility Power bank for recharging and charging. It supports 3 USB ports to recharge, Micro USB/iOs/ Type-c. And 4 Smart Identification USB output ports (1 USB C + 3 USB A) can automatically detect and adjust the charging current to obtain the fastest charging.
  • ????⚡????【Smart & Safety System】Built-in 4 LED Power indicators keep you informed of remaining capacity. Ultra-reliable A+ Lithium-Polymer battery cell with over 500 battery charge life cycles. Intelligent Safety Protection, supports over-charged, over-discharged, over-voltage- over-current and short circuit protection, safer to use.
  • ????⚡????【About the Size/Ultra-thin Slim Design】We improved the dimensions become more smaller and compact. The dimensions are 162x 91.8x15.5mm/6.38"*3.6"*0.61", a little bit larger than an iPhone 13 Pro.And it weighs 338g/0.75lb.Ultra slim design with only 15.5mm thickness, solid and portable.Fully rubber oil surface cover offers a good touch feeling and protect your devices from scratched or dropped.Smooth, classical design allows you to power in style and slide into your backpack easily.

Charmast 26,800mAh Power Bank – Quick Review

For full day hikes (or longer) I don’t like to go out with anything less than a 26,000mAh power bank fully charged in my bag. 

I was using the fourth one in the table above for a long time until I lost it and I replaced in December last year with the Charmast. I’ve since bought another couple of the Charmast ones to make sure I have one in each bag I take out with me.

The Charmast power bank is incredibly slim. For the capacity, it’s the slimmest portable charging bank I’ve used and thus fits easily into jacket and coat pockets.

Frankly, it’s not much bigger than my iPhone itself:

iphone charmast portable charging bank

There’s a comparison with my iPhone 14 plus Max. 

What it means is that I can plug my phone in and pop both the phone and the charger into a jacket pocket. 

It has other important features too. I love the number of different input and output options it has:

input and output options on the charmast portable charging bank

3 x USB and a USBc port all available for charging devices. And in addition there’s a lightning port and a micro USB input port for charging up the device itself. So I can charge my phone, my watch and a head torch on this single power bank.

You won’t need to charge it too much though. Personally, I like my power banks full before I set out on each hike, but I honestly never use all the power in this. I experimented when I first got it to see how many iPhone charged I’d get out of it and i got 8 and a half (albeit the phone wasn’t ever at 0% each time – I waited instead until it was at around 10% to charge). 

The capacity, slimline nature of this device and the decent value makes this my firm favourite.

Bear in mind it doesn’t come with built in charging cables! So don’t forget your cables and make sure you’ve got the right cables. 

 

The Solar Portable Charger

Honestly, don’t bother with this device if you’re actually hoping to charge your phone using solar power. I didn’t find I was able to get any power into the device using the solar power even with it left out in the sun on hikes. To be fair, they make that pretty clear in the product description (highlighted below) too:

 

Solar Power Bank 26800mAh, Solar Portable Charger With Type C Port Input & 2 USB Outputs, External Backup Battery Pack Fast Charge with LED Flashlight for Smart phone, Tablet, Hiking, Camping(Black)
  • ????【26800mAh High Capacity & Universal Compatibility】The solar power bank built-in 26800mAh Li-polymer battery, it’s enough to charge an iPhone XS for 6.8 times, Samsung Galaxy S10 up to 5-6 times, an iPad Pro for 2 times; No worries with the low battery of your mobile phone. Power bank is compatible with all electronic devices which have USB port, such as iPhone, iPad, Android, tablet , camera and more;
  • ????【Type-C Input & 2 USB Outputs Fast Charge】This power bank Equipped with multi-security system: It offers IC protection for overloads,overdischarges,overvoltages,overcurrents and short circuits, supporting quick charging and discharging, with 2.1A Type-C input; 5V/2.1A,5V/1A intelligent output., charge two devices at the same time. Certified with CE/FCC/RoHS.The quality is higher, safer, reliable.
  • ????【1.2m Drop Test & with 3 lighting mode】 The solar powerbank has a solid and durable structure, has very strong anti-knock ability (1.2m drop test); also with 3 lighting modes (Steady/SOS/Strobe).When fully charged, it can turn on continuously for 49 hours in Steady mode ; It is a good helper for hiking, climbing, camping and unexpected power outages.
  • ????【Solar Charger for Outside Emergency】The solar panel could absorb light and transfer it into electricity, but affected by the intensity of sunlight and the conversion rate of solar panels, It can take anywhere from 24 - 36 hours which is pretty slow going, only a auxiliary function which is only for emergency when you are in outdoor activities.Please mainly use electric power charging as the main charging method.
  • ????【Guarantee】: 60 days money back, 24 months warranty and 24 hours professional after-sale sevice :if you have any questions, ☛Click [your account]> [your order]> [order problem]> [contact seller],we will do our best to help you.

This one is also bulkier (for the same capacity) as the Charmast one. And while it was able to get 8 charges out of that too, it’s no cheaper than the Charmast, takes up more space and has fewer output types. Make no mistake – it’s up there on this list for me because it has excellent capacity and it’s incredibly durable.

I might be a tad guilty of not fully reading product descriptions though because when I got it I was really hoping that, on clear sky days, I’d be able to recharge the solar power bank from… well… the sun?! But honestly, I don’t think the solar panel is even effective enough to make a noticeable difference to the power levels of the bank.

So – buy it if you want big charging capacity, a durable power bank and you’re not too fussed about it being a bit bulky.

Don’t buy it if you actually want to use the solar panel to charge from the sun.

Low Capacity but Teeny Tiny

I love my little miniature power bank. I’ve got this one but lots of variants are available.

 

Sale
VEEKTOMX Mini Power Bank Fast Charging 20W, 5000mAh Portable Charger for iPhone, Small Battery Pack Travel powerbank Compatible with iPhone 14/13/12/11/XR/XS/X/8/7 Travel Essentials, Black
  • 【Lightning Faster Charging】 — Get ready for super-fast charging with VEEKTOMX mini portable charger. Featuring 20W PD fast charging capabilities, 400% faster than regular power banks, juice up your iPhone from 0% to 60% in just 30 minutes, outpacing old-school power banks by miles and staying powered up all the time.
  • 【Designed For Your iPhones】 — VEEKTOMX iPhone portable chargers are designed for the iPhone Series, including iPhone 14/14 Pro/14 Pro Max, iPhone 13/12/11/XR/XS/8/7/6, iPad and AirPods. Note: If you need an iPhone 15 portable charger, you can pick another VEEKTOMX charger which comes with a type-c charging plug.
  • 【Ultimate Travel Essential】 — This mini portable charger is a must-have for travelers. With a compact design, similar in size to lipstick, it can easily slip into your pocket, purse, or bag. Whether you're on a long journey or a day trip, never worry about running out of energy by adding our 5000mAh portable charger to your pocket!
  • 【Anytime, Anywhere Convenience】 — Comes with a built-in phone stand that easily holds your iPhone horizontally or vertically. Supports pass-through charging technology, convenient for catching up on your favorite show, listening to music, or conducting video calls with your loved ones.
  • 【Case & LED Friendly】 — Supports cases that are less than 4mm thick. Equipped with an LCD display on the charger bank, you easily monitor remaining power and optimize your charging routine for maximum efficiency.

One limitation of this portable charging bank is that it only fits iphones. You’d need a different variant to charge a non iPhone device. But it’s tiny, doesn’t require external cables and you’ll get a couple of charges out of it.

So I generally take this with me if I’m on a local half day or less hike in a place I know pretty well. The size and convenience of just popping it into the bottom of your phone really is quite useful. I can get my phone back in my pocket with this plugged in, which is much more convenient than faffing around with loose wires.

Definitely not something I’d be relying on for full day hikes or longer though given the restrictive capacity.

The Durability Factor

One thing I’ve not really considered in my own purchasing is durability. You can get products that claim to withstand drops – many of them with bulky exterior shells.

Frankly, if my phone is attached to something I don’t want to be dropping it anyway. My charger stays in my bag or a jacket pocket and I’ve never broken one out on a hike a yet. So I forego things like rubber shelling in order to save more space.

Speed of Charging

You can also get some chargers that claim to speedily charge devices and some will charge devices faster than others for sure.

However, I also tend not to worry about this. If I’m out hiking then the whole point is the charger is portable. So my phone stays plugged into it while I hike.

On that basis, it doesn’t matter much to me whether it’s charging in an hour or an hour and 15 minutes. I’m moving anyway.

And Just a Note on Storing…

Personally I keep all my electricals, including my portable chargers, in a dry bag inside my hiking bag.

Do store them safely. And don’t forget your cables…

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