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Best Backcountry Phone Charger for 2024

We rely on our phones for so much in our daily lives. We use them to conduct work, research, and keep in touch with friends and family around the world. Like all electronics, they are limited by their battery lives.

Whether you’re a hiker, camper, a survivalist, or anything in between, having your mobile phone on you is always important. Having a way to communicate with emergency services and the authorities can make the difference between life and death. However, the battery on your phone, no matter how good of a model you purchase, will only last so long. This is where a backcountry phone charger comes into play.

Most times, recharging our devices is as simple as finding the closest outlet, but sometimes that isn’t an option. In this review, we will be going over some of the best and most reliable portable phone chargers. They could be used on camping trips, during power outages, or any other time that you find yourself without an outlet.

A good backcountry cell phone charger can keep your cell phone’s battery life at maximum capacity for days. It provides you with a way to call for help if needed and provides you access to all of the other perks and amenities that your smartphone features. That being said, finding the best phone charger for the backcountry is easier said than done, mainly because there are so many different options to choose from.

This is exactly what we are here to help you with today, to narrow down the choices and help you determine which is the best backcountry cell phone battery charger. We’ll first take a look at all of the different criteria you need to take into account before making a purchase, and we also have a few great options for you to take a look at yourself.

By the end, you will have a better idea of what is available, and you will be able to find some options that would suit you best.

Key Takeaways

  • There are various aspects to keep in mind when choosing your portable phone charger. These include weight, size, mAH capacity, and charging options.
  • We will cover 6 of the best portable phone chargers from some of the top brands to determine which will be the best for you. We will cover features, benefits, and drawbacks.
  • Several backcountry phone chargers are considered to be some of the best in the world, we will provide you with in-depth reviews below.

Read our QuadraPro Solar Bank Review right here!

Criteria for the Best Backcountry Phone Charger

Before you go out and buy any backcountry phone charger, there are a variety of factors you need to take into account. Specifically, you need to consider the durability, portability, capacity, charging speed, and solar compatibility of the unit in question. Let’s look at each of these factors so you know what you’re getting into.

Durability

A good backcountry phone charger should be able to resist exposure to various elements, such as extreme temperatures, dust, dirt, rain, and strong winds.

These chargers should also feature a solid shell with good impact absorption, so they can easily handle impacts and drops.

A durable charger might be slightly heavy, but they also have builds made with corrosion-resistant materials, casings that can absorb shock, water-resistant ports, and more. Always look for IP ratings such as IP65 or IP67, which means that it is very resistant to water and dust.

Portability

There is a bit of a tradeoff between durability and portability because a more durable backcountry phone charger will usually be slightly heavier than a less durable one, but of course also less portable. The weight and size of the phone charger in question matter greatly, especially if you are hiking or backpacking great distances.

A compact charger that is lightweight is ideal for traveling long distances, with many even featuring loops, carabiners, and other accessories so you can easily attach them to your person. That said, ensure that getting a small and portable phone charger doesn’t compromise the more important features, such as durability and capacity.

Capacity

Perhaps the most important feature to pay attention to when choosing the best backcountry cell phone charger is the capacity. Remember, these are essentially batteries in themselves.

If you get a charger that has a minimum of 10,000 mAh, you’re off to a good start, as this should be able to charge a standard phone three or four times, depending on the mobile you have. However, if you’re planning on taking long trips that will last several days or even weeks, going for a model that has 20,000 mAh or even more is recommended.

The higher the mAh, the more times the charger in question will be able to recharge your phone. Yes, a larger charger with a higher capacity is heavier and less portable, but it’s worth it for longer trips.

Charging Speed

A good backcountry phone charger should be able to charge your phone quickly and efficiently. This comes down to the output power of the phone charger in question, which is usually measured in watts. If you can find a unit that has at least 10 watts of output, you’re on the right track, with 15 being good, and anything higher than that being ideal.

Some backcountry phone chargers may have multiple output ports, so you can charge multiple devices at once, but keep in mind that this will effectively cut the output per port in half. If the total output is ten watts, then each port will only put out five watts if both are being used.

Solar Compatibility

One of the most essential features you could look for in any backcountry phone charger is solar compatibility. These chargers are designed to keep your phone charged, but what happens when they themselves run out of battery power?

If you’re out in the woods, you can’t plug it in, and one of the only other alternatives is solar. Therefore, any good backcountry phone charger worth its money should come with some kind of supplementary feature that allows for solar charging in a worst-case scenario.

Wondering what the best battery pack for backpacking is?

How to Choose the Best Backcountry Phone Charger

When choosing the best backcountry phone for your specific situation, it can be difficult to know what to look for. There are a few facets that you should pay attention to, however, and we will outline them in this next section.

Power can be increasingly difficult to come by worldwide. This can be due to situations like extreme weather scenarios, as we have covered before.

We have also looked at ways to achieve off-grid power, and a portable power bank can fit well into that plan.

Weight

The weight of your charger may seem inconsequential at first, but it can make a big difference. When you’re camping or out on a hike, there is a limit to the gear that you can carry. If it gets too heavy, you will fatigue yourself quicker, so it’s important to keep weight down.

Even for something as small as a portable charger, it can make a difference if it is even slightly too heavy. So if you can find one that is fairly lightweight while still maintaining the other important facets, then that would be ideal.

Size

Size is also a factor to consider. The charger may be lightweight, but that won’t matter much if it is big. It will take up a lot of space in your backpack or pockets, meaning there will be less room for other important items you may need on your travels.

A good balance between size and weight is definitely something worth considering.

MAH Capacity

The mAh capacity of a charging device refers to how much charge it can contain. The higher this number, the more times you will be able to charge devices. You should try to find as high a number as possible, especially for longer trips or situations where multiple people will need it.

Efficiency

When using a backcountry charger, time will usually be of the essence. So, you would hope that the device would be efficient enough to charge your devices quickly. That way, you can be on your way faster.

Finding an efficient charger is highly recommended to get the most out of the device.

If you want to get even more out of a portable charger, we have previously looked at some of the best solar devices to pair with a charger.

Best Backcountry Phone Chargers

Now, we will show you a selection of 6 different chargers that we found to be great options. There are differences between them that will make some better for some people than others. We will highlight the good and the bad aspects of each one, and that way you will be able to decide for yourself which is best for you.

Anker 737

Best Overall Backcountry Phone Charger

The first charger we have is the Anker 737. This is one of the best options we have seen, and we think it’s one of the best overall chargers we have seen. Let’s see why we thought this as we take a closer look.

About the Brand

If you’re in the market for portable chargers, Anker is a name that you will certainly come across. They’re one of the top names in charging technology, and they have accrued a positive reputation for innovative and high-quality products.

This reputation will be proven as you see what this particular product has to offer.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Powerful 2-Way Charging
    The charger features bi-directional technology that allows for quick charging of the device or for anything you would like to use it to charge.
  • High Capacity

The charger features a 24 000 mAh battery, and Anker estimates that you could charge the average iPhone or smartphone around 5 times on a full charge.

  • Smart Display
    There are no guessing games involved in knowing how much charge is left, as a smart display shows you the remaining power and charging progress.
  • 3 Devices at Once
    The ports on the device allow you to charge up to 3 devices simultaneously.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • High capacity.
  • Fast charging.
  • Screen included on the device.
  • Can charge up to 3 devices.
  • Known and respected brand.

Cons

  • Is a bit big and bulky, making it a bit less portable.

QuadraPro by Frog and Co

Best Solar Battery Pack Charger for Backcountry

If you want to be even more self-sufficient, you can consider something like the QuadraPro by Frog And Co. This battery pack gives you solar charging, which can be helpful for longer trips or areas where electricity is difficult to access.

About the Brand

Frog And Co falls under the Survival Frog company. This is a company we see a lot in our various reviews, as they are one of the best suppliers of survival tools, food, and accessories on the market.

They also produce products like the one we will be looking at, and their expertise in quality survival tools certainly shines through in their products.

For a closer look at this device, check out our QuadraPro review for more information.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Solar Charging
    The battery pack has 4 battery packs that unfold so that you can charge it with solar power. It will take around 12 hours of direct sunlight to charge this way.
  • Charging Options
    If you have access to a charging outlet, you can charge the battery pack that way, and it will be much quicker.
  • Battery Capacity
    The capacity of the device is 6500 mAh. This is a bit low but should be more than enough to partially charge most smartphones at least once.
  • Easy To Carry
    The charger folds up to a small size and can be clipped to clothing and accessories that allow for the device to charge as you travel

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Solar charging option.
  • Durable and portable.
  • Gives you multiple charging options.

Cons

  • Capacity is a bit low.
  • Solar charging takes a while, so is best suited as a fallback charging method.

Charmast

If you’re looking for a portable device that still packs some decent capacity, then the Charmast portable charger is one you should definitely consider. Let’s see what this small but mighty charger has to offer you.

About the Brand

Charmast may not have the brand recognition that a brand like Anker does, but they have an impressive catalog of devices. You can see on their product page that they have many different charging products that have been pretty well received.

Key Features and Benefits

  • High Capacity
    Despite the small size of the charger, it has a capacity of 10 000mAH which the company estimates will charge a smartphone about 3-4 times.
  • Small Size
    This is one of the smallest portable chargers we have seen. It has dimensions of 3.56×2.44×0.87 inches, making it palm-sized and highly portable.
  • 3 Outputs
    The device has three outputs for multiple devices, and it has fast charging for one device at a time.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Small size.
  • Good capacity.
  • Fast charging.

Cons

  • Some users had issues with the build quality.

Anker 747 Power Bank

Best High Capacity Charger for Backpacking

We have another product from Anker with the Anker 747 power bank. This is a powerful charger that would be perfect for longer trips or multiple people.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Ultra Capacity
    The capacity of this device is 25 600mAh, and Anker estimates that you could charge a smartphone or iPhone between 3-5 times.
  • Fast Speeds
    The device features fast charging for all devices, offering some of the fastest charging for these kinds of devices.
  • 4 Devices At Once
    4 ports allow you to charge 4 devices simultaneously.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Ultra-high capacity.
  • Fast charging.
  • Multiple ports,

Cons

  • A bit big and bulky, making it less portable.

Anker PowerCore Slim

Best Lightweight Charger for Hiking

The previous Anker products we have looked at have been a bit big, so the next option is the Anker PowerCore Slim. This is a much smaller device that still has decent capacity and the benefit of the Anker seal of quality.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Super Slim
    The device is only 0.6 inches thick, making it slim and easy to slip into a pocket or a backpack.
  • Capacity
    It features a capacity of 10 000mAH, which they estimate would charge a smartphone around 1.3 times. This means it would be best suited as a backup charger for emergencies.
  • Durable Casing
    The charger has been designed with durability and resistance in mind, making it perfect for hiking and camping trips.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Slim, small size for portability.
  • Durable design.
  • Fast charging.

Cons

  • Capacity is decent but a bit limited.

T-Core Power Bank

Best Single Charge Charger for Backcountry Hiking

Next up, we will be looking at the T-Core power bank. This is one of the smallest options we have seen, making it perfect for portability while still having a decent capacity.

About the Brand

T-Core is certainly a lesser-known brand, and the power bank we are looking at is one of their only products featured on Amazon. That means we will be judging the device purely on its own merits, so let’s see what it offers.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Decent Capacity
    The device has a capacity of around 10,000 mAh, which is pretty decent and should allow for at least one charge for most smartphones.
  • Fast Charging

2.0 quick charge technology ensures fast and efficient charging of your devices.

  • Small Size
    Weighing just 0.48 lbs, this is a truly small and portable device that you can take with you pretty much anywhere.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Small size.
  • Fast charging.
  • Decent capacity.
  • Durable build.

Cons

  • Small size could also be detrimental, as it’s easier to misplace the device.

INIU 140W Power Bank

Last updated on July 18, 2024 3:07 am

The INIU Power Bank is one of the highest-performance units on the market at this time, and it’s all thanks to its 27,000 mAh capacity. Technically speaking, this unit is designed to be a laptop charger, which explains exactly why it has such a high capacity. It should be able to charge most smartphones at least ten times over, not to mention that it can easily handle laptops, tablets, and more.

Also worth noting is that it allows for very fast charging, as it features a whopping 140 watts of output, which allows you to charge a MacBook Pro to 59% in as little as 30 minutes. In terms of charging, it features a 140-watt in and out port, so the unit itself charges very quickly as well. It also features additional dual output ports, so you can charge multiple devices at once.

Its LED power display is also quite useful, as it tells you exactly how much battery life is left, along with other important metrics. It comes with its own little travel pouch for portability, although one of the downsides is that it is somewhat large and heavy.

Remember, this is a backcountry phone and laptop charger designed for long-term use. It also features a three-year warranty and has a durable outer shell, although to be fair, this charger is technically not designed for outdoor use.

  • Durability: 4/5
  • Portability: 3.5/5
  • Capacity: 5/5
  • Charging Speed: 5/5
  • Solar Compatibility: NA

Pros

  • LED Display
  • Very high capacity
  • Extremely fast charging
  • Multiple output ports
  • Quick to load

Cons

  • Limited durability
  • Somewhat limited portability

UGREEN 145W Power Bank 25000mAh

Here we have another very high-capacity battery bank, one that has a number of useful features. For instance, the overall capacity is 25,000 mAh, which is very high. For example, it should be able to charge an iPhone 14 nearly six times and charge a MacBook Pro 14 nearly twice. The high capacity isn’t the only bonus you get, because it also features extremely fast charging.

Thanks to the total power output of 145 watts, you can expect any device you have to charge very quickly. Your smartphones should only take a few minutes, while under an hour, to fully charge. Let’s not forget that it also comes with a total of three output ports, so you can charge three separate devices at once.

There is also a separate fast-charging cable included, which features 65 watts of input, which allows you to charge the UGREEN itself in just under two hours, therefore allowing you to get ready for emergency situations much faster. However, without this special fast-charging cable, it does take much longer to charge.

This unit comes with a very simple display that shows you how much battery life it has, as well as a simple yet durable outer shell.

Although the outer shell is not designed to be weather-resistant in any way, it is impact-resistant, so it should be able to survive a couple of drops. It comes in at just over 1 LB, with dimensions of 6.3 by 3.18 by 1.05 inches, therefore making it fairly portable.

  • Durability: 4/5
  • Portability: 4.5/5
  • Capacity: 5/5
  • Charging Speed: 5/5
  • Solar Compatibility: NA

Pros

  • Impact resistant
  • Quite portable
  • Great capacity
  • Fast charging speed
  • Simple display

Cons

  • Not weather resistant
  • Requires a special cable for fast reloading

IXNINE Power Bank

If you are looking for what has to be one of the most affordable backcountry phone chargers available at this time, then this model from IXNINE is worth considering. In terms of its overall capacity, it features 26,800 mAh of charging power, which should be more than enough to charge most phones up to around ten times.

In terms of charging speed, if only one device is connected, it can charge any device at 3 amps. Which is quite impressive all things considered. This should be able to charge most devices up to 2.5 times faster than most other battery banks are able to at this time. That said, there are four outputs, which is convenient because you can charge up to four devices at once.

However, the downside to this is that if you connect multiple devices, the charging speed per device will be greatly reduced. On that note, the charger itself can recharge in about eight hours. It’s not the fastest, although it’s also far from the slowest. There is a small LED display that tells you exactly how much battery life it has.

It also features a special design with an impact-resistant case that keeps it safe if you drop it, plus it features a special texture so it’s easy to hold on to. It comes in at only 2.9 by 0.9 by 5.9 inches and weighs just over 12 ounces, therefore also making it extremely portable.

  • Durability: 4/5
  • Portability: 4.5/5
  • Capacity: 5/5
  • Charging Speed: 4.5/5
  • Solar Compatibility: NA

Pros

  • Highly portable
  • Easy to hold
  • Great impact resistance
  • Four outputs
  • High capacity

Cons

  • Recharging the unit takes quite some time
  • Does not appear to be weather-resistant

AsperX 2-Pack

If double the protection is what you need, then this two-pack of power banks might be right for you. Although it is a two-pack, it also happens to be the most affordable product on our list today. Keep in mind, however, as far as backcountry battery banks are concerned, both of these only have 10,000 mAh of capacity. To put this in perspective, both of them together still have a lower capacity than any of the others we’ve looked at today.

However, 10,000 mAh should still be enough to charge most mobile phones several times over, specifically an iPhone X, 2.4 times. The output here isn’t amazing, although it should still be able to charge your devices in relatively short amounts of time. What’s also quite impressive about this particular battery bank is that it is fairly durable, all things considered. It has a somewhat impact-resistant shell.

The main benefit of this backcountry battery bank is that it is small and portable. Each unit comes in at just over 7 oz and 5.35 by 2.68 by 0.47 inches. If you’re looking for something that you can easily fit in your pocket or any camping pack, then this is certainly it.

It’s convenient that you get two of them as well because you can divide them up between you and somebody else. If portability is one of your biggest concerns, then this might just be the best backcountry phone charger for your needs.

  • Durability: 4/5
  • Portability: 5/5
  • Capacity: 3/5
  • Charging Speed: 3/5
  • Solar Compatibility: NA

Pros

  • Superior portability
  • Easy to hold
  • Great price
  • Decent capacity considering the low price
  • Relatively durable

Cons

  • Not very fast to charge or to load

Survival Frog QuadraPro Solar Charger Power Bank

Here we have what is by far the most unique backcountry power bank on the list today, and it’s the first one that actually has dedicated solar capacity. Now, the unit itself features an 8000 mAh battery, which you can charge up using a variety of means, including by simply plugging it in.

On its own, an 8000 mAh battery may not seem all that impressive, especially when compared to the other battery banks that we’ve examined on our list so far today. Keeping in mind, however, 8000 mAh is still more than enough to charge any smartphone several times over.

The real bonus here is that there are solar panels included with this battery bank. To be specific, there are four separate solar panels, each with 5.5 watts of power. In terms of usefulness in an outdoor survival situation, the ability to charge using solar power makes this by far the most useful and effective backcountry phone charger on the list.

Even if the 8000 mAh capacity is not enough, all you have to do is unfold the solar panels, place the unit in the sun, and watch as it charges your devices. You can use the solar panels to charge devices directly or to charge the battery bank itself.

Also worth noting is that this backcountry battery bank is designed with an extremely impact-resistant and durable outer case, both to protect the interior battery and the solar panels. Even better is that it is also designed to be weatherproof, so wind, snow, rain, and moisture of all sorts should not affect it.

It’s certainly one of the best phone chargers for backcountry out there at this time. No, we wouldn’t go for a swim with it, but a bit of moisture and harsh weather should do just fine. The only downside is that it is quite large and heavy.

  • Durability: 5/5
  • Portability: 3.5/5
  • Capacity: 5/5
  • Charging Speed: 4/5
  • Solar Compatibility: YES

Pros

  • Solar capabilities
  • Very durable
  • Weather resistant
  • Decent charging speed
  • Ideal for survival situations

Cons

  • Big and heavy
  • Requires bright sun for the solar panels to function properly

ELECOM NESTOUT Portable Charger

Although this might look like some kind of solid metal military canteen or package of C4 explosives, it’s actually a portable phone and device charger. The reason why it looks the way it does is simply because it’s designed for the ultimate endurability. It might look really odd, but that’s because it’s built like a little tank.

It’s made with some of the most durable exterior materials that you could imagine, it has amazing impact and shock resistance, it’s electric shock proof, and waterproof as well. It’s actually waterproof to the point where you can go for a swim with it, and it should be just fine. It’s by far the most durable backcountry battery charger on the list today, and therefore the most ideal for long-term survival situations.

As far as capacity is concerned, it comes in at 15,000 MH. As you might recognize, this is pretty average. It’s certainly not the biggest battery bank in the world, although there are also much smaller ones. It should be easily able to charge any smartphone several times over. It also features an output of 32 watts, which means that it should charge your devices fairly quickly. It even has the ability to work with so-called modular accessories, such as a lamp or lantern.

It’s also a useful device because it can charge while also being charged. In other words, it has pass-through charging capabilities, which can come in quite handy. The dual outputs allow you to charge up to two devices at once.

It comes in at 12.3 oz, and at 5 by 2.4 by 2.99 inches, therefore also making it quite lightweight and portable. If you’re looking for a mix of all of the best features, then this is likely the best backcountry cell phone battery charger for you.

  • Durability: 5/5
  • Portability: 5/5
  • Capacity: 4/5
  • Charging Speed: 4/5
  • Solar Compatibility: NA

Pros

  • Superior durability in all regards
  • Very portable
  • Decent capacity
  • Fast charging
  • Pass-through charging

Cons

  • No solar capabilities

Read our review of the Anker 737 Power Bank!

Man holding phone in the wilderness

How We Chose Our List for Best Backcountry Phone Chargers

When compiling our list, we tried to keep the fact that different people will have different priorities in mind. Some will prioritize high capacity and not care about portability, while others will care the most about having a small size for the charger.

We tried to keep a good range of products that would cover a wide range of different needs and preferences. While choosing these, we also ensured that each one is high quality and that it has been mostly well received by other customers.

The wilderness offers beauty but also presents real risks, from sudden weather changes to the potential for accidents. Battery packs like the Anker 737 and QuadraPro serve as a safety net, ensuring that hikers can keep their electronic devices charged for emergency use. This capability is crucial for accessing rescue services, signaling for help with a flashlight app in low visibility conditions, or simply staying on the correct path with GPS guidance. By mitigating the risks of getting lost, suffering from hypothermia, or being unable to call for assistance, a dependable battery pack becomes a key component of any hiker’s safety strategy.

Eddie Penney Emergency Prep Expert

Conclusion

We hope that you found a few different chargers to consider on this list! As mentioned, we tried to cater to every preference, so if you’re looking for a portable charger then you should find at least one on the list that would suit your needs.

Remember to pay attention to what is most important to you and try to find products that meet those needs. If you can find one that is well-rounded, then even better! Whatever you choose, we know you will be better prepared for emergencies and situations where you need a quick and convenient charge wherever you are.

Portable Phone Charger FAQs

How to Charge a Portable Phone Charger

You can generally charge a portable charger via a USB cable, charger, or even with solar power in some cases.

How to Charge Phone While Backpacking

Using a portable phone charger with a compatible USB cord will allow you to charge your phone while backpacking.

How Long do Battery Pack Chargers Last?

This will depend on the capacity of the charger and can vary wildly depending on the specifications.

Can You Bring a Battery Pack Charger on a Plane?

You should be able to take most battery pack chargers on a plane with you.

Are Battery Pack Chargers Bad for Your Phone?

Most quality battery pack chargers will be safe for your phone, but you should still charge phones with regular outlets where possible.

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