Recommendations on phone power-pack?

So the phone becomes even more important when Looping…

Any recommendations on a good power-pack or power-bank to recharge it?

Looking for something small and easy to carry around, and one that can supply a good charge and hold a big charge itself.

I don’t need it when at home, so portability is a big factor.



@Eric I have had very good luck over the years with several of the Anker <15k mAh battery packs. They last for ever and take quite a bit of abuse. Depending on your desired form factor they have USB A or C and they might have Lightening by now. The major factors are weight, size, and volume of charges, most have a quick charge feature with up to 3A.


I use this one and like it. My former one (same brand) died when a bottle of dish soap spilled in my backpack on the way home from a store (hint: do not pile all groceries on top of said bottle of dish soap…). I bought a second one to replace the dead one. It stays charged forever and is enough to charge my phone and other devices (Libre reader, braille display, Fitbit) on the go.


I like two of different colors to make it easier to keep track of the one vs the other.
And I like two small batteries so while one is charging, the other is available for use if needed.

3350 mAh
Comes in choice of five colors
$20 ~ $24 depending on color
3 ounces



For a larger battery yet still reasonably portable, I like the Anker 26,800 mAh.
This is the largest size allowed in airliners without any additional approval as it comes in just under 100 Wh.

26,800 mAh
1.28 lbs


= = = = = = =

There is another version of the Anker 26,800 if you don’t need or want the 30 watt Power Delivery (PD) output.

26,800 mAh
Black or White
$66 ~ $70 depending on color
1.08 lbs


Anything Anker, we use 4-5 different sizes. No issues with last years models.


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@Eric. Not sure it matters, fwiw any charger less than 10k mAh is TSA compliant


I’m not looping but I use a Blackview BV9500. It has a 10Ah battery and runs xDrip+ fine for three or four days between charges. It’s dual SIM but it doesn’t work in the US; no problem for me because I have a NetGear MiFi in my car for use in the US and my wife has a Samsung which we hotspot if we don’t have the MiFi.

The Blackview will charge the Omnipod Dash PDM just fine (I tried that a couple of days ago). In principle the same approach should be able to power/charge an OmniLoop (RileyLink and Pi Zero) but I haven’t got round to trying that yet and I suspect the Pi will drain the power rapidly.

John Bowler

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You may need to pay attention to the charge current that the battery outputs. In theory the device or phone will limit how much current it draws while charging, but if you match them there should be less chance of charging too fast and overheating. My Sony watch only wants 0,5A so I use older Duracell charging batteries like this one:

It’s the smallest I have found, and limits charging current to 0.6A. I only carry one, so if needed it can charge my Tandem pump, although the pump can handle 1.0A. I can’t imagine using a rechargeable pump without having a backup charger available. And the watch is my data collector for my Dexcom G6, so I regard that as critical too.

Also have a junky one that uses disposable AA alkaline batteries and couple of larger capacity ones similar to the Ankers above for travel. My phone has an extra-large battery, so I seldom get caught with that depleted, and if I do the Duracell would partially charge it. The phone has a cable that would charge the pump or my watch as well. (It’s a four year old Huawei Ascend Mate II.) When I am off-grid at our cabin I worry about charging!


The rules change every microsecond. At present the TSA does not permit any LiIon backup battery in checked baggage; they were treated as ‘raw’ lithium batteries and had to be carried in cabin baggage.

The TSA regulations are written in Wh (Watt hours) which is the stored energy and that is reasonable, Ah measures are actually the stored energy per volt and translating into energy is tricky because the voltage varies. I believe some sellers use the battery voltage, which is 3.7V, rather than the output voltage (5V to 12V typically) just to get bigger Ah figures. Here’s an example of an Amazon advert for a 100Wh battery (the checked baggage limit) which actually gives all the numbers.

Here’s the current TSA instruction set (check before every flight :frowning:

I got the PDF link from this TSA url, note the words: “External chargers are also considered to be a battery.” Then there is the checked baggage restriction:

Spare lithium metal and lithium ion/polymer batteries are prohibited in checked baggage—this includes external battery packs. [* * *] “Checked baggage” includes bags checked at the gate or planeside.

The seller of that Anker 26.8Ah battery @Thomas identified is apparently quoting the capacity at 3.7V (which, guess what, multiplies out to 99.16Wh). The TalentCell item I gave a link to is $50 for exactly the same capacity.

I should add that I don’t think anyone actually believes any of these numbers; they are just made up. (For one thing, an LiIon cell starts out delivering over 4V and ends up at about 2.8V).

The other issue is that whether or not you get a fast charge out of these things depends on the match (or not) with whatever you are charging. There are a variety of conventions and at least some of these depend on having exactly the right cable connecting charger and chargee. It’s also almost impossible to work out if it is working; I have a variety of testers that I can put in the middle but these interfere with some of the protocols that the chargee uses to talk to the charger.

So far my experience is that the only way I can get my phone to charge “fast” is to use a wireless charger, even though my phone has a USB-C port and, supposedly, USB-C has standardized the whole mess. (Alas, even though it did, manufacturers don’t all seem to have read the spec)

John Bowler


I only put Li Ion batteries in my carry on bags anyways, when asked I say it’s to charge my implanted medical device and no one questions it. When I use a USB c power bank it charges my items just as fast as a wall charger.


Thanks everyone for the recommendations!

I found a few short charging cables to get also. I am getting these small ones so that it will be easy to carry.

One for the phone, and one for the Riley Link:


I like those short cables you have pictured.
I only have the longer ones so if I am charging something with the battery and device both in my pocket than I have extra feet of cable coiled up and completely unneeded also in my pocket.

I am adding a couple of these onto my shopping cart !!!


Have you tried this with the MacBook Pro 15"? Can you use the PD charger when it is connected to the wall directly to the USB-C port on the Mac for charging, and if so, does this charge the MacBook faster than the Apple adapter?

Maybe it does not support faster charging per the Amazon link:
“- Does not support high-speed charging for MacBook Pro, Samsung W700, Lumia 950, or Motorola Z Force Droid Edition.”

Instead of carrying multiple cables, my battery bank came with a short cable that was micro USB, and I bought USB-C and lightning adapter ends for them. I keep everything in the little mesh case that the battery bank came in. The cable it came with probably isn’t as short as the ones you linked to, so I may look into getting a single shorter one.


I’ve never had a problem flying, but I’ve also never been asked nor declared that I have a battery bank (only in carry-on). Maybe the rules are different in Canada and I’ve just been lucky when I’ve gone to the States.


Hey, that’s a great idea! I will look for that next. Thanks Jen!


The battery itself outputs 30 Watts from the PD and inputs 27 Watts. My understanding is that is the minimum required to allow the MacBook Pro to charge? But certainly not high enough wattage for fast charging the MacBook Pro. I am not sure but fast charging on the MacBook Pro might need something like 90 Watts?

The wall charger outputs 30 Watts so same as the battery.


Macbook Pro’s will charge from a 30w (or 18w iPad Pro) charger, but slower. The recommended wattage is 60W (the power adapter that comes with the Macbook Pro is 61w). You can plug into a 90w charger, but the Macbook will still only draw at 60w - so no power advantage going with larger. Using a 60w PD charger is the best bet.


I recently started using ravpower products for my loop rigs…one thing that is a bit unique with them is that most of their products have pass-through charging circuitry, meaning that you can charge the battery while it is hooked up to the rig or phone. It allegedly slightly shortens the overall life of the product, but I’m always paranoid about logging to many plug/unplugs on the micro-usb port on the rig, so I’ll sacrifice a bit of a battery’s useful life for some additional assurance there-

Here’s a blog post with a graphic that has all of their “pass-through” models…


Be careful of the fake Chinese ones :wink:

They have a tiny fraction of the advertised capacity because they’re full of… sand.