The Best Power Banks for Backpacking

| Posted by: |

Discover the top 6 most durable power banks for backpacking and hiking in 2024, with great power efficiency and additional features.

We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on this site. Thanks for supporting us! More here.

At a glance…

We recommend the Dark Energy Poseidon Pro. It’s easily the most durable power bank on the list, boasting MIL-STD-810G and IP68 ratings. 10,200mAh may not be list-topping, but with careful planning, you can squeeze a lot of continuous usage out of your devices with it. And it comes with a 5-in-1 multi-tool!

For a lower-budget option, we’d recommend the Nitecore NPB4. It’s also IP68 rated, has the most diverse selection of ports for good compatibility with multiple devices, and also doubles the mAh of the Poseidon Pro for half the price.

And as a bonus recommendation, check out the MyCharge Adventure H20. It’s not winning any prizes, but it does what it promises at a price that’s not only reasonable but flexible. 

Best Rugged
9.5
Dark Energy Poseidon
  • Perfect for: Tactical operations, military excursions, or any kind of hazardous environment where devices need to be charged. 
Best Power Density
9
Nitecore NPB4
  • Perfect for: Multi-device owners looking for a ‘jack of all trades’ portable charger with great power density.
Best Value
8
MyCharge Adventure H20
  • Perfect for: Budget shoppers in the market for an affordable, reasonably durable power bank.

Portable power

Backpacking purists may scoff at the idea of bringing anything more than a flip phone with you on backpacking trips.  

After all — you’re there to enjoy the beauty of nature, not stare at your phone. And we agree! for the most part…

But aside from basic safety, there are a number of good reasons to bring a selection of gadgets and tech with you on your backpacking, hiking, and camping trips. 

GPS navigation, route mapping, taking beautiful images or video, identifying constellations, recording audio logs, and identifying animals or plants, to name but a few. 

To do any of these things, you’ll need power. And there are no outlets in the great outdoors. 

Enter power banks. Little bricks of energy that you can plug into your devices for a quick charge anywhere and everywhere. 

These things will be able to keep you juiced up and prepared for your adventures. And they could even save your life in an emergency. 

But are they suited to the outdoors? For the average power bank, the answer is no. 

So, we’ve done the research to figure out which power bank brands and models are tough enough to survive the elements. Read on for our power bank buying guide, as well as the top six best power banks for backpacking in 2024.  

Power banks buyer’s guide

Voltage, power density, capacity, ports, compatibility… 

There’s a surprising amount to consider when buying a power bank. So don’t make an impulse purchase before reading this essential consumer guide. 

Power bank key considerations

To make things a little simpler, check out these four essential elements you need to consider when making your decision on which kind of power bank to buy:

  • Power capacity — the amount of power a power bank can hold. Relates to how many times a power bank can bring a certain device to full charge before running out of power, typically measured in mAh (‘milliamp hours’, a unit measuring the electrical power output of a device over time)  
  • Battery type — There are two battery technologies used in power banks; the older Lithium ion, and the more recent Lithium polymer. The latter has a weight and therefore power efficiency advantage over the former [1]
  • Compatibility — This relates to the power bank’s ability to charge and be charged by different devices via input and output port selection (USB-A, USB-C etc.), as well as the comparative voltage requirements for power bank and device (power bank voltage must be equal or greater to device voltage to charge) 
  • Additional features — Power bank models differentiate themselves by offering additional features such as multi-device charging, LED power status alerts, and visual design considerations.

How much mAh do you need for backpacking?

Finally, you might want to think about what your battery capacity needs will be for your next expedition, and why. This will help you to pick the power bank with the right capacity for your devices and trip. 

Decide what devices you plan on bringing on your backpacking trip and how many charges you anticipate they’ll need, based on expected usage. 

Then, use the below table of common devices and their respective battery capacities to tally up the power bank mAh that’ll perfectly complement your trip.

DeviceCapacity (approx.)
iPhone2500 — 3500 mAh
Smartwatch350 — 500 mAh
Android phone4500 — 6000 mAh
Action camera (e.g. GoPro)1000 — 1500 mAh
SLR camera5000 — 7000 mAh

For example, if you’re taking your iPhone and smartwatch on a four-day trip and plan to fully charge each device once a day, you’ll need a power bank with at least a 16,000 mAh capacity.

BIFL

We saved our favorite consideration for last — our ‘Buy-it-for-life’ product philosophy and scoring system. 

BIFL products are ones that are designed with consideration for extremely long-term or preferably lifetime usage, which we prefer. Our scoring system measures the potential of a product to pay you back with years of reliable usage.

In the realm of power banks, we’re looking out for the following qualities across the four key dimensions of BIFL-ability:

#BIFL
  • Ruggedness: 50% weight of total score – Durable materials and design, rugged certifications like IP ratings and impact resistance
  • Repairability: 20% weight of total score – Great customer support, satisfaction guarantees, and generous warranties. 
  • Upgradability: 15% weight of total score – Inclusion of wires, possibility of purchasing accessories
  • Multipurposeness: 15% weight of total score – Offering additional features like solar charging, wireless charging, pass-through charging, flashlight etc.

With all that in mind, you’re set to make your perfect pick. The ultimate power bank for your next backpacking trip.

Let’s get into it.

Best power banks for backpacking: top 6 most durable choices

Ranked #5 of 6

Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD QI | Image Credit: Amazon com
Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD QI | Image Credit: Amazon com

7.0out of 10

Rugged4.5
Repairable9.0
Upgradable10.0
Multi-purpose9.5

It’s nice when a company has a core focus in their product line, and make no mistake. Goal Zero is all about portable power. 

The Sherpa 100PD is a beast of a unit to start off with, boasting the highest battery capacity on the list. For those with serious power needs, it may be worth every cent of its list-topping price. 

Features

Marrying beastly power capacity with functional versatility, the Sherpa 100PD is ready for every device you could throw at it, including laptops. 

With a 26,500mAh capacity, this model can charge any USB-C device a few times over. To give an idea, you could charge your phone from zero to 100% 7 times, your action camera 19 times, and your laptop 1.5 times.

It also features ‘power delivery’ — a fast-charging power specification [2]. Compatible devices will charge quicker from this unit than non-PD ones. 

You can also enjoy wireless charging for Qi-enabled devices like the latest iPhones by simply placing your phone on the top of the unit. 

Durability

Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD QI - custom

All that power comes at the cost of a pretty weighty unit, at a generous 1.4lbs.

And it’s not exactly what we would call a ‘rugged’ device, with no durability certifications like IP ratings or steel construction (it’s actually Aluminum) to speak of.  

It earns its place on the list in other ways, such as offering the ability to solar charge the unit with the separately purchasable Nomad solar panels, as well as a 30-day satisfaction guarantee and generous two-year warranty

PRICE: Around $200.

PERFECT FOR: Multimedia professionals with a suite of electronic devices to charge for outdoor projects.

No products found.

Anker 325 Power Bank (PowerCore 20K) — Best compact power bank

Ranked #6 of 6

Anker 325 power bank (Powercore 20k) | Image Credit: Anker com
Anker 325 power bank (Powercore 20k) | Image Credit: Anker com

6.5out of 10

Rugged5.6
Repairable9.5
Upgradable7.0
Multi-purpose5.0

It wouldn’t be a good portable charger list without at least one entry from world-leading device charging company Anker. 

The 325 packs a high capacity and the latest charging optimization technology into a surprisingly compact footprint. 

Features

At only 6,500mAh less than the previous entry, this 20,000mAh charger offers great ‘power density’ (a favorable ratio of charging capacity vs. weight), considering it’s around the size of an average smartphone. 

That’s more than 5 charges for the iPhone XS, almost 5 full charges for Samsung Galaxy S10, and over 2 and a half charges for iPad mini 5.

This makes sense, as it’s these types of small-capacity, handheld devices that the 325 aims to charge — it isn’t compatible with laptops. 

But it packs in some pretty neat features that might pick your interest. Like ‘PowerIQ’ and ‘VoltageBoost’ [3] technology, which deliver an optimized charge to your devices, while the ‘trickle-charging’ mode [4] intelligently delivers charge to low-power devices like headphones.

Durability

Anker 325 power bank (Powercore 20k) - custom

And it’s no slouch when it comes to durability, either. 

They claim it’s ‘certified’ by the Anker 1-meter drop-test. No further details are given, and of course, this isn’t a recognized certification, but it suggests that you don’t have to worry about this thing falling off your desk or a boulder that’s no more than 1-meter high…

The textured exterior offers grip to lessen the possibility of slippage, too. 

It comes with a micro-USB cable, carry pouch, and a nice 18-month warranty

PRICE: Around $60.

PERFECT FOR: Those with a selection of low-power devices (smartphones, headphones, smartwatches) looking for great power efficiency.

Sale
Anker Portable Charger, Power Bank, 20,000mAh...
  • Ultra-High Cell Capacity: The massive 20,000mAh cell capacity provides more than 5 charges for...
  • Advanced Charging Technology: Anker's exclusive PowerIQ and VoltageBoost technology combine to...
  • Simultaneous Charging: Twin USB ports allow you to charge two devices at the same time. The USB-C...

Last update on 2024-03-06 at 16:53 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Novoo Waterproof Portable Charger 18W PD — Best ultralight power bank

Ranked #4 of 6

NOVOO Waterproof Portable Charger 18W PD | Image Credit: Amazon com
NOVOO Waterproof Portable Charger 18W PD | Image Credit: Amazon com

7.5out of 10

Rugged7.1
Repairable7.5
Upgradable7.5
Multi-purpose9.0

Those concerned by the lack of true, no-compromise ruggedness thus far can worry no more. 

The NOVOO waterproof portable charger is here for the all-weather adventurers among you.

Features

At 10,000mAh, this unit has relatively modest ambitions of what it can charge. For an iPhone 11 Pro Max, that’s about 1.5 charges. Or, get 2.1 charges for a Samsung Galaxy S10.

Either way — don’t expect this thing to carry you for more than a day or two. 

But that’s not exactly what it was designed for. With 18W Power Delivery, this model aims to charge your phone quickly and fully before requiring recharging itself. Its real skills, however, are in the durability department. 

Durability

NOVOO Waterproof Portable Charger 18W PD - custom

With an IP67 water rating, the NOVOO portable charger is fully dustproof and partially waterproof, able to survive for 30 minutes under up to 15cm of water. 

Essentially, that means it’s rain and puddle-proof, which is perfect for short backpacking trips in in-climate weather. 

On top of that, it actually features an LED flashlight at the top near the attached belt loop that offers up to 45 hours of use, helping you save space in your backpack. 

You can enjoy a reasonable one-year warranty with each purchase. 

PRICE: Around $35.

PERFECT FOR: All-weather adventurers who prefer to pack light.

NOVOO Waterproof Portable Charger 18W PD...
  • Waterproof &Dustproof &Shockproof: Novoo Explorer 10,000 mAh Power Bank with an IP67 Waterproof...
  • Fast Charge at PD 18W Speed: USB-C Power Delivery port gives all USB-C devices a blazing-fast power...
  • Built-in Flashlight: portable power bank comes with emergency LED flashlight that offers up to 45...

Last update on 2024-03-06 at 16:53 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dark Energy Poseidon Pro — Most durable power bank

Ranked #1 of 6

Dark Energy Poseidon Pro | Image Credit: Bestbuy com
Dark Energy Poseidon Pro | Image Credit: Bestbuy com

9.5out of 10

Rugged10.0
Repairable9.5
Upgradable8.5
Multi-purpose8.5

It’s easy to imagine that, in the future, this next portable battery charger will become the standard issue for armies across the world. 

It certainly looks like something you’d find strapped to a soldier. But does Poseidon Pro stands up to its beefy, metallic aesthetic?

Features

At 10,200mAh, much like the priory entry, this unit isn’t a battery powerhouse. 

But unlike the prior entry, it is on the higher end of the price scale for this product category… What gives?

Well, firstly, you can charge both handheld devices and laptops, with the Poseidon Pro offering 36 hours of power to smartphones, 10 hours to tablets, and 5 hours to laptops. 

But more than that, it’s not really just a power bank. It’s a survivalist’s best friend, bizarrely featuring a 5-in-1 carabiner attachment with a blade, bottle opener, glass breaker, dual-head screwdriver, and locking carabiner. 

Durability

Dark Energy Poseidon Pro - custom
Dark Energy Poseidon Pro – custom

And it makes absolutely no compromises when it comes to durability, either. 

It’s IP68 rating, means it’s fully dustproof as well as being submersible underwater for 45+ minutes. It also holds the MIL-STD-810G military certification for drop, shock, and temperature resistance.

Thanks to this rating, awarded in no small part due to its steel-like polymer armor, it can really take a beating. Check this video of the Poseidon Pro eating a shotgun blast, taking a swim, and ‘chilling’ in a block of ice if you don’t believe us. 

The two-year warranty supports the durability claims of Dark Energy’s rugged power bank.

PRICE: Around $120.

PERFECT FOR: Tactical operations, military excursions, or any kind of hazardous environment where devices need to be charged. 

MyCharge Adventure H20 — Best budget durable power bank

Ranked #3 of 6

MyCharge Adventure H20 | Image Credit: Amazon com
MyCharge Adventure H20 | Image Credit: Amazon com

8.0out of 10

Rugged8.4
Repairable7.5
Upgradable8.0
Multi-purpose7.5

For those who appreciate a flexible bargain, we present this durable option from MyCharge

It’s not all that fancy when it comes to tech-specs, but it does a commendable job of charging your devices in a durable package. Let’s take a closer look. 

Features

Perhaps the most notable feature of this portable power bank is its flexibility when it comes to capacity. 

It’s the only one on the list that offers you, the customer, your choice of battery capacity in the same rugged housing. 

With five options, the highest at 21,000mAh and the lowest at 3,350, you can select the capacity that not only matches your device needs but also your budget. And at around $70 for the highest capacity, most options are really quite affordable. 

And that’s not to say that it’s under-specced, either. With two USB-A ports and a 2.4A output, you’ll be able to get your smartphone and tablet charged up in no time. 

Durability

MyCharge Adventure H20 - custom

And, as you may have guessed from the name, it boasts some nice durability features, too. 

The Adventure H20 is IP67 dust and water-resistant, matching the NOVOO for resistance to rain and puddles. 

Its rubberized exterior ensures it can also survive a few scrapes and bumps as well, though it might not be quite ‘mission ready’.

MyCharge offers a one-year warranty with each purchase. 

PRICE: In the range of $30 — $70.

PERFECT FOR: Budget shoppers in the market for an affordable, reasonably durable power bank.

myCharge Portable Charger Waterproof Power Bank...
  • PORTABLE CHARGER: Ideal for power boosts and extending the life of your tablet, cell phone,...
  • WATERPROOF RUBBERIZED FINISH: Designed to withstand the most extreme outdoor conditions (waterproof,...
  • BUILT-IN CARABINER: Features ability to attach included carabiner clip to your backpack, belt,...

Last update on 2024-03-06 at 16:53 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Nitecore NPB4 20,000mAh Waterproof Power Bank — Best power density power bank

Ranked #2 of 6

Nitecore NPB4 | Image Credit: eBay com
Nitecore NPB4 | Image Credit: eBay com

9.0out of 10

Rugged10.0
Repairable6.0
Upgradable9.0
Multi-purpose9.8

This power bank takes a different approach than its contemporaries, making dozen-or-so quality-of-life improvements to the power bank experience in a unique form factor. 

Versatility is the word that comes to mind when looking at the Nitecore NPB4. Let’s take a look at how it does what it does. 

Features

Packing four 5,000mAh batteries into a cuboid-style design for a total of 20,000mAh, it’s surprisingly lightweight for its bulky shape at only 13.3oz. 

It also offers a unique selection of ports: x1 micro-USB input port, a USB-C input/output port, and x2 USB-A output ports for a truly versatile selection of compatible devices. 

With its hefty milliamp hours, it can offer 6.5 full charges for an iPhone 12, 3 charges for the Nintendo Switch, and 1.6 charges for an iPad pro. 

But it’s the little things that distinguish the NPB4 from the rest. The touch sensor that reveals the battery level indicator, the mirrored USB-A ports that solve the annoying non-reversible input, and the heavy-duty nylon holster included for travel. 

But what about toughness?

Durability

Nitecore NPB4 - custom
Nitecore NPB4 – custom

Its versatility doesn’t fail to reach the dimension of ruggedness. 

Its IP68 rating means you could take it underwater, with this video showcasing its ability to charge devices even while fully submerged.  

Additionally, its TSA-compliant [5] safeguards include overcharge, short-circuit, and thermal protection to ensure you won’t be spending too long in the airport security line. 

It can also withstand 14° — 104°F temperatures without breaking a sweat. 

Unfortunately and quite unusually, Nitecore doesn’t offer warranties of any kind according to their website, a huge red flag under normal circumstances. Given the positive user reviews and video demonstrations, however, we’re willing to let it slide but must advise you to exercise caution. 

PRICE: Around $100.

PERFECT FOR: Multi-device owners looking for a ‘jack of all trades’ portable charger with great power density.

Comparison Table

ProductFeaturesRUGGED RATINGSPrice
Best Rugged
Dark Energy Poseidon Pro

Dark Energy Poseidon Pro

  • Capacity (mAh): 10.200
  • Weight (oz): 9.60
  • Dimensions (in): 3.25 x 6.0 x 0.63
  • Output: 1x USB-A, 1x USB-C
  • Additional Features: IP68 rating for dust and fully submersible waterproofing, Ballistic fiber reinforced USB-C and a 5-in-1 carabiner pro tool, Armored for impact resistance
9.5
Check Latest Price
Best Power Density
Nitecore NPB4 20,000mAh Waterproof Power Bank

Nitecore NPB4 20,000mAh Waterproof Power Bank

  • Capacity (mAh: 20.000
  • Weight (oz): 13.30
  • Dimensions (in): 2.02 x 4.07 x 1.95
  • Output: 2x USB-A
  • Additional Features: Includes nylon holster, IP68 rating for dust and fully submersible waterproofing
9
Check Latest Price
Best Value
MyCharge Adventure H20

MyCharge Adventure H20

  • Capacity (mAh): 20.100
  • Weight (oz): 16.60
  • Dimensions (in): 3.0 x 7.0 x 1.0
  • Output: 2x USB-A
  • Additional Features: Attached carabiner, IP67 rating for dust and waterproofing
8
Check Latest Price
Novoo Waterproof Portable Charger 18W PD

Novoo Waterproof Portable Charger 18W PD

  • Capacity (mAh): 10.000
  • Weight (oz): 7.70
  • Dimensions (in): 2.7 x 5.5 x 0.67
  • Output: 1x USB-A, 1x USB-C PD
  • Additional Features: IP67 rating for dust and waterproofing, Dual-device charging, LED flashlight
7.5
Check Latest Price
Goal Zero Sherpa 100 PD QI

Goal Zero Sherpa 100 PD QI

  • Capacity (mAh): 25.600
  • Weight (oz): 22.70
  • Dimensions (in): 3.1 x 7.5 x 1.0
  • Output: 1x 60W USB-C PD Bi-Directional, 2x 2.4 USB A, Wireless Qi Charging Pad
  • Additional Features: Qi wireless charging, Airline approved, "Power Delivery" standard for fast charging
7
Check Latest Price
Anker 325 Power Bank (PowerCore 20K)

Anker 325 Power Bank (PowerCore 20K)

  • Capacity (mAh): 20.000
  • Weight (oz): 12.30
  • Dimensions (in): 2.93 x 6.23 x 0.76
  • Output: 2x USB-A, 1x USB-C, 1x Micro USB
  • Additional Features: Dual-device charging, ‘Trickle charging’ for optimized charging of low-power devices
6.5
Check Latest Price

Rugged recommendation: 3 choices

Lots of great options for the gadget-loving backpackers out there.

Based on all available information, user reviews, and our BIFL scoring, we can confidently recommend two of these durable power banks for backpacking. 

First, it has to be the Dark Energy Poseidon Pro. There’s a reason why these things are used by the US army and special forces. It’s the only military-grade power bank on the list, featuring the highest level of waterproofing achievable, armored exterior that makes it literally shotgun proof (at range, of course), and on top of that, it’s quite well-featured. 10,200mAh may not be list-topping, but with careful planning, you can squeeze a lot of continuous usage out of your devices with that by your side. And it comes with a 5-in-1 multi-tool?? Have to love that. 

If the Poseidon Pro is slightly out of budget, we’d recommend taking a look at the Nitecore NPB4. Honestly, you won’t find another power bank like it. It’s also IP68 rated, has the most diverse selection of ports for good compatibility with multiple devices, and also doubles the mAh of the Poison Pro for half the price. The lack of warranty, though, is both unheard of and concerning. Proceed with caution. 

And as a bonus recommendation, check out the MyCharge Adventure H20. It’s not winning any prizes, but it does what it promises at a price that’s not only reasonable but flexible based on your battery capacity needs. 

Ser
Follow us
Latest posts by Ser (see all)
ERinfo.me AD

Before you go

The products you buy should be designed with longevity in mind.

Get Deals & Discounts for our recommended products that are Rugged, Repairable, Upgradable, and Multipurpose.