Best Festival Portable Charger

Best festival power banks: 14 portable chargers that will last all weekend

12th May 2018 Off By

Long gone are the days when Glastonbury would be awash with rumours that the Queen had died. Now that everyone has a smartphone, many festivals now benefit from enhanced 4G internet coverage, leaving power the one remaining hurdle to staying connected throughout the weekend.

Phone charging stalls are a common, and expensive, sight at festivals. Some will charge well over a fiver, for only an hour of charging. Others offer phone charging facilities as part of pricey VIP camping upgrades.

Power banks, or portable chargers, offer a much better alternative. A high-capacity power bank can keep a modern smartphone going throughout even a 5-day festival. Often for less than the price of a phone charging pass at a festival, you can get a decent power bank that you can use again and again for years to come.

These devices contain batteries way bigger than inside your phone, and once charged, provide USB ports for keeping your phone and other devices going when you’re away from mains power. Portable chargers are perfect for days out, camping, and of course, music festivals.

We’ve listed 14 tried and tested power banks below, and alongside loads of great chargers available online, we’ve even found some that are available to collect today on the high street.

Best portable charger: So which power banks will last all weekend?

Best power bank: The best portable charger for a music festival

A power bank’s battery capacity is measured in mAh, just like your phone. The smallest are around 2,000mAh, and with most modern smartphones batteries around 2,000 – 3,000mah these tiny chargers are only good for a quick top-up charge. Their tiny size can make them useful, and can often be carried in a pocket, but they’re no use for a music festival with 3 to 6 days away from a plug socket.

Even the best portable charger doesn’t operate totally efficiently, though a good one should only lose 10% – 20% of its stated capacity when charging your phone. For this reason, we recommend a portable charger with a capacity over 20,000mAh for music festivals and camping trips.

Whilst they can be expensive on the high street, safety certified high-quality power banks with a 20,000mAh capacity can now be purchased online for less than the price of a weekend charging wristband at a festival.

For a festival, a 20,000mAh or larger capacity is perfect. It should ensure your smartphone lasts the entire event, even if you use it heavily and require more than one recharge per day. Most will have multiple USB sockets, allowing you to keep a friend’s device topped-up too!

The best power bank: 14 portable chargers that will last an entire festival

EC Technology 21000 Quick Charge 3.0 power bank

Best power bank for festivals EC Technology
Image credit: EC Technology

This summer, EC Technology have discontinued their distinctive black and red power bank that became a festival stalwart. They achieved that status by matching the features and quality of the best on the market, whilst also offering the best value around. 

Their new power bank offers similarly brilliant value, offering a 21,000mAh capacity with the very latest Quick Charge 3.0 tech.

The new EC Technology power bank has three USB sockets for charging multiple devices, and two microUSB sockets for fast recharging.

By using both microUSB ports together, you can recharge the entire power bank in just five hours. Meanwhile, the Quick Charge 3.0 technology means Android phones will recharge in lighting fast time.

The Auto-IC technology also ensures iPhones and iPads charge at their fastest possible speed.

Update: The Android Quick Charge version of this power bank is currently out of stock. There’s a cheaper, non-quick charge version linked below instead that will still charge an iPhone at its maximum speed, and charge an Android phone at its standard charge rate.

Last update on 2018-09-26 / As an Amazon Associate TheFestivals.UK earns from qualifying purchases / Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.co.uk, Inc. or its affiliates / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

AUKEY 20,000mAh Power Bank with Lightning and Micro-USB input and 2x USB ports

Best portable charger: Aukey Power Bank
Image credit: Aukey

Aukey’s reputation has solidified in recent years, partly thanks to their awesome 24 month warranty. This is a great value, high quality power bank with a 20,000mAh capacity, enough to last throughout a festival. Two USB ports provide enough power to charge two iPads at the same time, at full speed!

This portable charger is set apart by its dual micro-USB and Lightning charging inputs. Most power banks only charge via micro-USB, meaning iPhone users need to keep an extra cable around to charge their power banks, which often get lost.

By recharging with either micro-USB or Lightning cables, iPhone users can recharge this Aukey power bank using the same cable they charge their devices with. This is a unique feature we haven’t really seen on anything else. And no, you can’t charge it faster by plugging both in at once. Sorry.

Oh, and it comes in three different editions, each with next-day delivery available from Amazon in most areas of the UK. 

There’s the standard version, perfect for iPhone users, as the more expensive versions only help Android phones charge faster. The standard version will charge your iPhone at the fastest possible speed, matching your official Apple mains charger.

The next model up comes with Quick Charge 2.0, allowing compatible Android phones to be charged at superfast speed.

There’s now a third version available too, this time with Quick Charge 3.0, allowing the very latest devices to be charged even faster. This is Aukey’s best power bank.

The current prices of the standard, Quick Charge 2.0, and 3.0, Aukey portable chargers are shown in order below.

Product
AUKEY Dual Input Portable Charger
AUKEY Dual Input Portable Charger with QuickCharge 2.0
AUKEY Dual Input Portable Charger with QuickCharge 3.0
Capacity
20,000 mAh
20,000 mAh
20,000 mAh
QuickCharge 2.0
QuickCharge 3.0
LED Torch
Inputs
1x MicroUSB 1x Lightning
1x MicroUSB 1x Lightning
1x MicroUSB 1x Lightning
Outputs
2x Standard USB
2x Standard USB (1x with QuickCharge 2.0)
2x Standard USB (1x with QuickCharge 3.0)
Prime
Price
£22.99
£35.99
£34.99
AUKEY 20000 mAh Power Bank for Smartphone - Black
AUKEY 20000 mAh Quick Charge 2.0 Power Bank with 20 cm Micro USB Cable for iPhone 7/Samsung/Kindle/Speakers
AUKEY Quick Charge 3.0 Power Bank 20000mAh, Portable Charger with Lightning & Micro USB Input, 2 Output for iPhone X/ 8/ Plus/ 7/ 6s, Samsung S8+/ S8, iPad
Product
AUKEY Dual Input Portable Charger
Capacity
20,000 mAh
QuickCharge 2.0
QuickCharge 3.0
LED Torch
Inputs
1x MicroUSB 1x Lightning
Outputs
2x Standard USB
Prime
Price
£22.99
AUKEY 20000 mAh Power Bank for Smartphone - Black
Product
AUKEY Dual Input Portable Charger with QuickCharge 2.0
Capacity
20,000 mAh
QuickCharge 2.0
QuickCharge 3.0
LED Torch
Inputs
1x MicroUSB 1x Lightning
Outputs
2x Standard USB (1x with QuickCharge 2.0)
Prime
Price
£35.99
AUKEY 20000 mAh Quick Charge 2.0 Power Bank with 20 cm Micro USB Cable for iPhone 7/Samsung/Kindle/Speakers
Product
AUKEY Dual Input Portable Charger with QuickCharge 3.0
Capacity
20,000 mAh
QuickCharge 2.0
QuickCharge 3.0
LED Torch
Inputs
1x MicroUSB 1x Lightning
Outputs
2x Standard USB (1x with QuickCharge 3.0)
Prime
Price
£34.99
AUKEY Quick Charge 3.0 Power Bank 20000mAh, Portable Charger with Lightning & Micro USB Input, 2 Output for iPhone X/ 8/ Plus/ 7/ 6s, Samsung S8+/ S8, iPad

Last update on 2018-09-26 / As an Amazon Associate TheFestivals.UK earns from qualifying purchases / Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.co.uk, Inc. or its affiliates / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sandstrom 20100 USB-C Portable Power Bank

This one’s available today on the high street!

Best power bank: Sandstrom 20100 Portable Charger
Image credit: Currys

If you don’t fancy buying online, or you need something you can pick up right now, this power bank is available on the high street. There’s also an Argos pick further down if Currys isn’t your thing.

It’s a 20100mAh capacity means it’s a great portable charger for festivals. It has one standard USB socket, that’s also Quick Charge compatible. Plus, it has the new USB-C connection, the reversible connector found on the very latest Android phone.

The USB-C socket is bi-directional, so can be used for both recharging the power bank, and charging devices from the power bank. All the with same cable.

It’s currently £34.99 in Currys, and if you need it today, you can enter your postcode to check stock in nearby stores and collect in minutes.

Anker Powercore

Best Portable Charger: Anker Powercore 20100
Image credit: Anker

Anker are the big name in portable chargers, known for their exceptionally high-quality products. They also have an awesome 24 month warranty.

We’re going to recommend three of their Powercore power banks, each with enough capacity to last an entire festival, or even a week-long camping trip.

Firstly, the Anker Powercore 15600 is Anker’s entry-level option, with slightly less than the recommended 20000mah capacity. Its 15600mAh of power should still be enough for most festivals, as long as you don’t use too much Snapchat. There’s a MicroUSB input for recharging the power bank and two safety-protected USB outputs.

Second, the Anker Powercore Speed 20000 is pretty much the same thing, but adds Quick Charge 3.0 capability. At the expense of a fraction of capacity, this 20,000mAh portable charger will charge any Quick Charge 2.0 or 3.0 capable Android device at super-fast speed. This is brilliant at a festival, as you can top your device up quickly when needed, often adding enough power to last the whole day in half an hour.

Finally, the Anker Powercore 26800 takes the capacity up even further to 26,800mah, perfect if you want to share your portable charger amongst your friends. It’s also great if you’ll be taking longer trips away from power, or have multiple devices to recharge. Its special feature is dual microUSB recharging, which allows it to be recharged from two microUSB cables at once, reducing the total recharge time to just 6 hours. It’s often cited as Anker’s best portable charger.

The current prices of the Anker Powercore 15600, Speed 20000, and 26800 are shown in order below.

Product
Anker Powercore 15600
Anker Powercore Speed 20000
Anker Powercore 26800
Capacity
15,600 mAh
20,000 mAh
26,800 mAh
QuickCharge 2.0
QuickCharge 3.0
Time to refill
~7 hours
~10 hours
~6 hours (using both inputs)
Inputs
1x MicroUSB
1x MicroUSB
2x MicroUSB
Outputs
2x Standard USB
2x Standard USB (1x with QuickCharge 3.0)
3x Standard USB
Prime
Price
£29.99
£37.99
£49.99
Anker PowerCore 15600 mAh Super High Capacity Battery Pack Power Bank with Most Powerful 4.8 A Output and PowerIQ Technology for Smartphones - Black
Anker [Upgraded] PowerCore Speed 20000, Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 Portable Charger, Backwards Compatible With Quick Charge 1 & 2, with PowerIQ, 20000mAh Power Bank for Samsung, iPhone, iPad and More
Anker PowerCore 26800 Portable Charger, 26800mAh External Battery with Dual Input Port and Double-Speed Recharging, 3 USB Ports for iPhone, iPad, Samsung Galaxy, Android and other Smart Devices
Product
Anker Powercore 15600
Capacity
15,600 mAh
QuickCharge 2.0
QuickCharge 3.0
Time to refill
~7 hours
Inputs
1x MicroUSB
Outputs
2x Standard USB
Prime
Price
£29.99
Anker PowerCore 15600 mAh Super High Capacity Battery Pack Power Bank with Most Powerful 4.8 A Output and PowerIQ Technology for Smartphones - Black
Product
Anker Powercore Speed 20000
Capacity
20,000 mAh
QuickCharge 2.0
QuickCharge 3.0
Time to refill
~10 hours
Inputs
1x MicroUSB
Outputs
2x Standard USB (1x with QuickCharge 3.0)
Prime
Price
£37.99
Anker [Upgraded] PowerCore Speed 20000, Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 Portable Charger, Backwards Compatible With Quick Charge 1 & 2, with PowerIQ, 20000mAh Power Bank for Samsung, iPhone, iPad and More
Product
Anker Powercore 26800
Capacity
26,800 mAh
QuickCharge 2.0
QuickCharge 3.0
Time to refill
~6 hours (using both inputs)
Inputs
2x MicroUSB
Outputs
3x Standard USB
Prime
Price
£49.99
Anker PowerCore 26800 Portable Charger, 26800mAh External Battery with Dual Input Port and Double-Speed Recharging, 3 USB Ports for iPhone, iPad, Samsung Galaxy, Android and other Smart Devices

Last update on 2018-09-26 / As an Amazon Associate TheFestivals.UK earns from qualifying purchases / Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.co.uk, Inc. or its affiliates / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Energizer Ultimate 20000mAh Power Bank

Check stock in your local Argos and pick up today

Best power bank for festivals Argos
Image credit: Argos

If you prefer Argos to Currys and need to buy on the high street, this is another viable option.

It’ll cost you more than an online brand like Anker or Aukey, but the big advantage here is that it’s stocked by Argos.

That means you can find local stores with stock online, then reserve one to pick up immediately. You could even reserve one to pick up on the way to your next festival, though you’ll need a while to charge it in the car.

You can also order for home delivery if you’d prefer, but to be honest, if you’re getting it delivered you’re better off with Anker or Aukey.

It’s currently £44.99 on the Argos website. Down from £55, apparently.

RAVPower iSmart Portable Chargers

Best power bank: RAVPower iSmart Portable Charger
Image credit: RAVPower

These three chargers from RAVPower all come with lifetime warranties, so whatever happens, you’ve got power for life. They all have a capacity of 20,000mAh or over, so will be enough to last for an entire music festival.

The first is the RAVPower 20,000mAh power bank with dual USB charging ports, alongside a single microUSB socket for recharging the power bank itself.

The second is the RAVPower 22,000mAh power bank, which adds a third USB output to charge three devices at once. Despite only having a single microUSB socket for recharging, it can be fully recharged in as little as 11 hours.

Finally, the RAVPower 26,800mah power bank boosts the capacity even further, matching the massive capacity of the Anker Powercore 26800. Perfect if you’ve got an early entry pass and six whole days without power! This is RAVPower’s best power bank.

Product
RAVPower Dual USB Power Bank
RAVPower Triple USB Power Bank
RAVPower High Capacity Power Bank
Capacity
20,000 mAh
22,000 mAh
26,800 mAh
QuickCharge 2.0/3.0
Inputs
1x MicroUSB
1x MicroUSB
1x MicroUSB
Outputs
2x Standard USB
3x Standard USB
3x Standard USB
Prime
Price
£25.99
from £49.99
from £79.00
RAVPower Power Pack 20000mAh USB Portable Charger with Dual iSmart 2.0 USB Ports, 3.4A Max Output, 2.4A Input USB Battery Pack for iPhone XS/XS MAX/XR, iPad, Galaxy S9/S8 and Android Devices - Black
Portable Charger RAVPower 22000mAh External Battery 22000 Power Bank 5.8A Output 3-Port Backup Battery Packs (2.4A Input, iSmart 2.0 USB Ports, Li-Polymer) for iPhone XS/XS MAX/XR/8, Galaxy S9/S8 – Black
Power Banks RAVPower 26800 Portable Charger 26800mAh 3-Port 5.5A iSmart Output Battery Pack for iPhone XS/XS MAX/XR, Galaxy S9/S8 and Other Android Devices
Product
RAVPower Dual USB Power Bank
Capacity
20,000 mAh
QuickCharge 2.0/3.0
Inputs
1x MicroUSB
Outputs
2x Standard USB
Prime
Price
£25.99
RAVPower Power Pack 20000mAh USB Portable Charger with Dual iSmart 2.0 USB Ports, 3.4A Max Output, 2.4A Input USB Battery Pack for iPhone XS/XS MAX/XR, iPad, Galaxy S9/S8 and Android Devices - Black
Product
RAVPower Triple USB Power Bank
Capacity
22,000 mAh
QuickCharge 2.0/3.0
Inputs
1x MicroUSB
Outputs
3x Standard USB
Prime
Price
from £49.99
Portable Charger RAVPower 22000mAh External Battery 22000 Power Bank 5.8A Output 3-Port Backup Battery Packs (2.4A Input, iSmart 2.0 USB Ports, Li-Polymer) for iPhone XS/XS MAX/XR/8, Galaxy S9/S8 – Black
Product
RAVPower High Capacity Power Bank
Capacity
26,800 mAh
QuickCharge 2.0/3.0
Inputs
1x MicroUSB
Outputs
3x Standard USB
Prime
Price
from £79.00
Power Banks RAVPower 26800 Portable Charger 26800mAh 3-Port 5.5A iSmart Output Battery Pack for iPhone XS/XS MAX/XR, Galaxy S9/S8 and Other Android Devices

Last update on 2018-09-26 / As an Amazon Associate TheFestivals.UK earns from qualifying purchases / Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.co.uk, Inc. or its affiliates / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

F.A.Q.

What is Quick Charge?

Most modern Android phones support Quick Charge, either 2.0 or 3.0. This means if you also purchase a portable charger with Quick Charge support, it’ll top-up your phone battery at super-fast speed. Perfect if you want to recharge at your tent for half an hour before heading back into the festival with a fully charged phone.

It’s backwards compatible, so don’t worry about getting 2.0 or 3.0 mixed up. If you have a compatible Android phone, look out for power banks marked as Quick Charge compatible.

And of course, if your phone isn’t Quick Charge, it will still charge as normal at standard USB speeds from a Quick Charge charger.

Does my phone have Quick Charge?

If it’s an iPhone, no it doesn’t. You can ignore the Quick Charge features as they won’t make any difference to your iPhone charging speed.

For all other phones, try Googling the model number of your phone followed by ‘quick charge’ and you should find out pretty quick. There’s an official device list here, but it hasn’t been updated for nearly a year.

I’ve seen chargers on eBay with much higher capacities, how come?

Portable chargers, or power banks, sold on eBay unfortunately often have fake capacity listings. It’s difficult for a consumer to test the capacity of a power bank themselves, and most don’t understand the capacity ratings anyhow. eBay sellers take advantage of this and pretend their power banks have a much higher capacity than in reality.

It’s very hard to create higher density batteries, so if you see a power bank offering 40,000mAh capacity in a similar size and weight to the 20,000mAh ones listed here, you know it’s a fake capacity.

Worse still, most of these fakes also aren’t safety tested. As power banks are made of volatile lithium batteries, we recommend sticking to the official Amazon stores of the trusted brands listed above, or even the high street. Never buy untested lithium battery products from unknown eBay sellers.

Why are portable chargers so expensive on the high street?

High street stores take advantage of poor customer knowledge, as few are aware of what the different capacities mean, and how they relate to their devices. They often charge as much for a 5,000mAh charger as a higher quality, 20,000mAh charger would cost online.

For example, the cheapest portable charger available in Argos is currently £54.99. It lacks many of the features of higher capacity portable charger available online for less than half the price.

How do you recharge a portable charger?

It’s usually really simple to figure out how to recharge a portable charger or power bank. Just look for a small socket, usually labelled input. It’s usually a microUSB socket, but whatever it is, it’ll match the short cable included with your power bank. Most of these high capacity power banks will take 10-12 hours to fully charge, and all have LED lights which will indicate when the power bank’s batteries are full.

The Aukey power bank also has a Lightning charging socket, allowing it to be recharged using the same cable as an iPhone or iPad. The Anker Powercore 26800 and EC Technology power banks support dual-microUSB recharging, using two charging cables to cut the charging time to under 6 hours.

What’s the difference between power banks and portable chargers?

Nothing. We’ve used the terms interchangeably here. Sorry. Some people also call them battery packs or power packs. They all mean the same thing. Simply a battery with some USB sockets that can be used to recharge other devices’ batteries.

How many times can a power bank be recharged?

A portable charger, or power bank, uses the same type of Lithium battery as your phone. They can be recharged thousands of times whilst remaining effective, though after several years, there may be some reduction in total capacity.

Can temperature affect a power bank?

Yes. Lithium batteries work best between 10°C and 50°C, and should never be recharged when below 0°C, as this can damage the battery. Using a power bank at a low temperature shouldn’t have any permanent effects, but may reduce the effective charge of the power bank.

And remember, your phone uses the same Lithium battery technology, so avoid charging it if it’s ever below freezing.

It’s normal for both power banks and smartphones to become warm or generate heat during use. However, if your device gets too hot, safety mechanisms should cause it to cut off. This can happen if you leave your smartphone or power bank in direct sunlight, or during a malfunction.

Featured image credit: Lukas @ Pexels

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