Four portable battery chargers to take on the go

As a society, we’ve become attached to our mobile devices. We want to be able to share every moment with our friends and families at all times, and when a dead battery impedes our ability to do that, we get frustrated.

Luckily, as our mobile technology has advanced, so, too, has the design of portable batteries and power banks, ensuring you’ll never have to endure the agony of a drained battery again.

With that said, here are our picks for the best portable batteries.

Scosche goBAT 6000 Backup Battery ($69)

goBAT 6000 Rugged Portable Backup Battery

Not only is the battery waterproof, but it’s also completely dust-proof, meaning you’ll never have to worry about it shorting out. Photo: Scosche

You can tell a lot about a person by the number and type of apps they have on their phone, and if my home screen says anything about my values, it’s that playlists > newsfeeds. (Entirely separate folder just for apps that stream music? Check.)

Unfortunately, however, the apps we like to have running in the background while we’re in the backcountry — fitness trackers, Spotify, Insta, mapping tech — can suck the life force out of your battery.

Considering that being able to use a phone for its original purpose if something sketchy happens is, you know, key to survival or whatever, bringing an alternate source of power is wise.

The Scosche goBAT 6000 Rugged Portable Backup Battery plays that role effectively. Waterproof and dust-proof up to 3 meters, and military-spec drop/shock tested with flying colors, it’s beyond durable, and through some kind of tech witchcraft I’m not even going to begin to question, it packs enough power to charge most smartphones three times without blinking out.

— Kim Stravers

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ECOXGEAR EcoCharge ($20)

ECOXGEAR EcoCharge 2015 GTV Gift Guide

The EcoCharge is the size of a roll of quarters and can keep your phone alive no matter where you go. Photo: ECOXGEAR

It doesn’t matter if you’re going for a casual bike ride or skiing down a mountain trail, there is nothing worse than having your cell phone die while you’re out and about.

And while it would be nice to be able to carry a portable power bank with you everywhere you go, given the size of many portable chargers, that simply isn’t feasible.

That’s exactly where ECOXGEAR’s EcoCharge ($20) comes in handy.

Roughly the size of a tube of lipstick, the EcoCharge may be the most portable power bank we’ve seen. Given that it’s completely waterproof and shockproof rubber casing, you can take it anywhere without worrying, making it easy to slip in your pocket whether you’re out trail running or skiing glades.

The ability to carry it around in the pocket of your pants or shorts may seem like a minor benefit, but when you consider the alternative of potentially having to rock a backpack with a portable battery the size of a brick while on the trail, you start to realize just how convenient the EcoCharge is.

— Robert Pursell

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WakaWaka Power+ ($79)

Whether you’re camping or just taking a hike, the WakaWaka Power+ is the perfect companion for those long trips off the grid.

The solar charger can power up a dead phone in about two hours. Its USB connectivity also lets you charge up any portable device. We powered up a dead speaker in less than an hour, a basic point-and-shoot camera in less than 40 minutes and a mini drill battery in less than 30.

And if you’re not in need of some extra power, the WakaWaka Power+ doubles as a light source. Equipped with two LED lights, the WakaWaka Power+ has four different light settings: five to 75 lumen. Its lighting system includes a SOS beacon, which can come handy even when not in remote areas. We keep one in our cars just in case of emergencies.

— Lynn Lieu

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Mophie Juice Pack H2Pro ($129)

Mophie

One iPhone case to rule them all. Photo: Mophie

Extra battery life AND waterproof protection for your iPhone? Mophie has made that dream a reality.

Though one could argue that that kind of double-duty is overkill, especially since whoever’s really on the water long enough to run through an entire battery, but the protection is for more than just aquatic submersion.

For someone as accident-prone as I am, having comprehensive protection for my iPhone has always been a major issue. Not only are those heavy-duty cases expensive, but they limit my ability to listen to music easily or charge up my iPhone with an extra battery pack.

So, to find a case that does both (without any bulky cables or overheating battery units) feels a bit like a Holy Grail find.

The Mophie Juice Pack H2PRO is comparable in price to those other waterproof cases, but it provides more than 100 percent extra battery when you need it most.

For the accident-prone outdoorsman or woman in your life, this is the perfect gift this holiday.

— Amanda Reid

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