TSA battery rules: approved power banks & chargers

Traveling often means long days for you and your electronics. The best way to keep your devices charged while in use is by using a power bank. But, it can be difficult to figure out what kind of mobile chargers fit within the rules of the Transportation Security Administration or Federal Aviation Administration so that they are not removed at check-in or at the security checkpoint.

All battery packs meet very strict air travel guidelines. Lithium-ion (rechargeable) batteries and portable batteries containing lithium-ion can only be packed in hand luggage. They are limited to a rating of 100 watt hours (Wh) per battery. With the approval of the airline, you can bring two larger spare batteries (up to 160 Wh).

Here are our favorite battery packs that are within FAA and TSA regulations so you can keep your smartphone, tablet, laptop or headphones juiced up during long plane rides. Whether you need a boost to binge-watch your favorite series or keep up with conversations before you board, these portable chargers will have you covered.

$159.99 at Amazon and Anker

This top-rated battery pack from Anker packs the most power you can take on a flight. It has a 45-watt USB-C port to charge your laptop back to full battery and 15-watt USB ports to charge smartphones and other small devices. The extra battery itself charges quickly and will reach a full charge in less than three and a half hours. It comes with a 60-watt USB-C wall charger and USB-C cable, so you’re equipped with everything you need. It’s on the more expensive side, but the speed at which it can repower your devices and the included wall charger and charging cable make the battery worth the splurge.

$21.99 at Amazon and Anker

Anker Power Bank Power Core Slim

We like this pick from Anker because of its low price and sleek design. It is super lightweight and easy to slip into a purse, backpack or pocket. It has trickle charging mode so you can safely charge smaller devices like your earbuds. You’ll need to get your own charging cables, as the only one with the battery is a Micro USB to charge the battery (it’s also chargeable via the USB-C input port, but you’ll need your own cable). It will take 5.5 hours to charge if you use a 10-watt wall charger. Overall, the slim design makes this a great choice for super handy portability.

$35.99 at Amazon or $39.99 at Anker

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After testing, this was our pick as the best overall portable charger, and it’s also perfect for travel. It has an impressive 13,000mAh, which is enough to charge an iPhone 11 two and a half times. In our testing, this small but mighty—and affordable—charger packed a ton of value into its three ports.

$39.99 $24.99 at Amazon

Belkin Boost Charge Power Pocket 5K

In our tests, we called this device the best portable charger for iPhones. That’s because it has a Lightning port included in the device as well as a USB Type A port, which means you can use the same cord to charge your phone and refill the battery. We were impressed with its fast charging and just how much it could charge, making it one of the best options we tested in terms of living up to its 5,000mAh promise.

$25.99 $23.99 at Amazon

Anker PowerCore Fusion 5000 Portable Charger

The PowerCore Fusion doubles as both a wall charger and a portable battery. It’s a perfect option if you’re looking to travel light, as you’ll have power on the go and an easy wall plug once you arrive at your destination. It’s quite small, measuring 2.7 inches by 1.2 inches, which makes it easy to throw into your handbag. The portable battery charges via the wall plug, which also helps reduce your cable clutter. It will charge your phone up to three times, so it’s perfect if you’re looking for quick boosts to your battery.

$29.99 at Amazon

Luxury Portable Charger

This portable charger has 4.4 out of 5 stars in reviews on Amazon. It has a 5,000mAh battery with a built-in Apple MFi-certified Lightning charging cable, so you don’t have to worry about carrying extra wires with you to charge your Apple device on the go. The design is super thin (0.31 inches, to be exact), so it’s perfect for quick and easy storage and holding while in use. It has a maximum output of 5V for safe charging and can get your iPhone back to 50% battery in 30 minutes. We like it a lot for the super-slim profile and built-in Lightning cable for a super convenient charge.

$39.99 at Amazon

Pocket Power 10K Power Bank

This power bank is aptly named because it makes power on the go a breeze in a pocket-sized device. It has two universal USB ports for charging up to two devices at the same time. It has a 10,000mAh battery to provide up to 36 extra hours of video playback, so it’s a solid option if you like to stream your favorite shows on the go. It will provide up to a 5-volt charge to smartwatches and fitness bands, earbuds, action cameras and other Bluetooth-enabled devices. It has fast charging with the included Micro USB cable. It also has a smaller version in the Belkin Power Pocket 5K, which we called the most portable power pack in our testing.

$29.99 at Amazon

Belkin Portable Power Bank Charger 10K

This choice from Belkin has a 10,000 mAh battery to give you an extra 36 hours of extra battery life for your smartphone. It has two USB-A ports, a USB-C port and a Micro USB input port. It can provide up to a 12-watt charge from the USB-A port when a single device is plugged in for a quick battery boost. A total of 15 watts is shared when all ports are used. It is available in three colors – rose gold, white and black – so you can choose a color that matches your other accessories.

$20 at Amazon

Power station

This 6,000 mAh battery pack can charge your smartphone up to twice. It has two dual charging ports so you can charge more than one device at a time when you’re on the go. You can use it to charge your smartphone, headphones, speakers and tablets. The LED indicator on the side of the power bank will let you know how much power is in the battery, so you know when it’s time to plug in the power brick. The bank itself charges via an included Micro USB cable.

$99.99 at Amazon

Quatro Wireless Power Bank

This is a wireless power bank that’s great to use when you’re traveling because it eliminates the need for extra wires when using Qi-enabled devices. As a bonus, there’s a designated charger for your Apple Watch. You can quickly charge your iPad or other non-Qi-enabled tablet with the USB-C PD port that maxes out output at 18 watts for compatible devices. The 10,000 mAh capacity can charge an iPhone 11 up to twice to keep you powered up on your travels.

$59.99 at Amazon

Zendure 10,000mAh portable charger

Zendure’s portable charger has a sleek and high-tech look while packing a 10,000mAh battery to charge your smartphone up to three times. It’s made of a crushproof composite material, so it’s safe from bumps and knocks when you throw it in your handbag. It has USB-A and USB-C ports, and the battery pack itself is charged via a Micro USB cable. Plus, we love the striking design and color options.

$19.99 at Walmart

Aukey USB-C Power Bank

Available in black or white, Aukey’s power bank has a 10,000mAh battery to keep your devices charged via the two USB-A ports and one USB-C input/output port. It’s slim in design and about the same size as your phone, so it fits easily in pockets and bags. You can use the two USB-A ports to charge multiple devices at the same time, and the output maxes out at 12 watts for compatible devices.

$39.99 at Amazon

HALO Pocket Power 6000 Portable Charger Power Bank

This TSA-approved 6,000mAh power bank comes in six colors to match your other electronics, plus it packs a serious power punch. It has dual USB charging ports to charge multiple devices simultaneously. Depending on your phone model, it can provide between 18 and 47 hours of talk time. It weighs less than 6 ounces, so it’s easy to throw in your favorite travel backpack for a long trip ahead.

$19.99 at Amazon

INIU 10,000mAh Portable Charger

This device has over 10,000 5-star reviews on Amazon – and for good reason. It’s billed as the thinnest 10,000mAh power bank on the market, making it ideal for travelers who want to stay charged on the go. It can charge an iPhone 8 more than three times. Plus, it has a USB-C in/out port for added convenience. Perhaps best of all, it comes with a three-year warranty.

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