Best Battery Packs for Filmmakers
These high-capacity portable power chargers are perfect for filmmakers on the go or anyone who wants a lot of backup battery power at their fingertips.
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Having access to fast, portable, high-tech gadgets is integral to our way of life in 2020 — which means that if you lose power on your device, you’re at a loss. Whether that means your phone ran out of juice and you can’t pull up your map or directions to get home, or something much more technologically advanced — say, you’re running a low-budget film shoot using your iPhone and a few key devices to get professional-quality results on a shoestring — you’re going to need access to power.
The super-fast advances in technology that make our phones slimmer and more powerful each year extend to every avenue of tech, including batteries. Power banks that can charge your phone, tablet, and laptop at the same time can fit in your pocket, and don’t necessarily cost the same as your phone itself.
We’ve compiled a list of the biggest, strongest, and cheapest power banks and portable battery options for all sorts of uses — from on-the-go phone charging to powering lights and audio equipment — in the list below, plus added a few Amazon user comments that speak to certain features to help make sure you can choose the best battery pack for you.
This ultra-powerful high capacity power bank has a capacity of 30000mAh, or milliampere per hour, which means it can charge your iPhone 11 more than six times over, your iPhone X seven times, your iPhone 8 more than 10 times, and your iPad Air more than two-and-a-half times. While it’s not exactly small enough to fit in your pocket because of its high capacity, it’s still portable and weighs less than a pound and a half. It has a smart digital screen that displays your remaining power whenever you activate the display, and it has three USB outputs so you can charge three devices at the same time.
If you’d like to charge a MacBook or similar laptop that uses USB-C, the next model up offers two USB A ports and one USB-C for high-speed charging (though at a premium — it’s almost double the cost at $59.99).
Amazon user Hart praised the X6’s ease of use and high capacity, adding, “For performance, this is a Qualcomm 3.1 certified charging device. No matter what your current devices needs are for voltage or current to achieve a fast charge this power bank can provide it. If you have a device that can fast charge at 5v, 9v plus or 12v (or somewhere in between) but only have the one charger that came with the device, this becomes your second charger. And the best part is you can charge this from any USB power source. You can have three devices charging at the same time and each one will get the right voltage and current that it needs.”
Another high-capacity, low-cost choice is this POWERADD model, which also comes with 30000mAh capacity and three USB outputs (plus two USB cables). You’ll be able to charge your smartphone as many times over as the imuto model, while the dual inputs mean you can simultaneously recharge with the included two micro cables — which means you can charge the full power bank in just eight to 10 hours. Built-in safeguards protect your devices against excessive current, overheating, and overcharging, and the grade A+ Li-polymer battery cell supports more than 500 cycle charges. It comes in a stylish white and a simple black so it’ll fit in well with the rest of your devices, and it too weighs around a pound and a half (though it’s slightly heavier than the POWERADD).
Wrote Amazon user Bunny Lee, “I thought the unit was going to be a lot smaller. It is bigger than my phone & it is hefty. At first, I was going to immediately return it. I wanted to try it out & give it a chance. I am so glad that I did this because it is SUCH a great charging bank. I TRULY CANNOT BEGIN TO EXPRESS HOW MUCH I LOVE THIS THING. It is so powerful. It works wonderfully & it fits in my purse. I take it everywhere & my phone is always at 100%. I use my phone for navigation AND I am geographically-challenged, so having a low battery can kind of stress me out. This charging bank offers me peace of mind. I have owned other charging banks — several others that were less expensive. I needed SEVERAL of those to even do a fraction of the job that this one does. & even then, those other charging banks barely worked. They sustained my current battery life instead of adding to it & getting it to 100%. Those other chargers were only effective when I could plug my phone in without using it at the same time. This charger allows me to actively use my phone & it will still charge faster than the rate at which I am draining the battery due to use. THAT is very impressive. Also, I can charge three phones at one time. The unit itself requires so little recharging. We took an 16-hour trip in a car that did not have a working cigarette-lighter to charge the phones. We used this & it worked perfectly. I did not even have to charge it up again when we got home.”
You thought 30000mAh was a lot of power? This portable charger packs 58,830 mWh — enough to charge phones, tablets, computers, and even JUMPSTART A CAR. It’s still lightweight and compact (though it can’t fit in a pocket, it can definitely still fit in a purse, satchel, or backpack). It weighs just 1.66 pounds, and comes with a car charger, 120V AC wall outlet, two USB phone chargers, and a whole car emergency kit — LED flood light, battery jump starter, jumper cables, and carrying pouch.
You’ll get 7.9 hours of battery life for a 13.3” MacBook Pro, 8.6 hours for an iPad Air, 19.9 hours on an iPad Mini, or 62.7 hours of talk time on an iPhone 7. A variety of designs — paisley, floral, graphite, chevron, and camouflage patterns are all available — means you can customize the look according to your own personal taste.
Wrote Amazon user jmriddell24, “I’ve used this battery at the security company I worked for. We would jump-start people’s vehicles and/or our own vehicles in the parking lot of our business. Most of the time, items made for residential use will not hold up in a commercial grade environment. This Halo battery was an exception though. It held up well despite the abuse and I liked it so much I bought one for myself. I’ve already used it multiple times and it works just fine. The lights on it is very bright, the house outlet works, the USB chargers work, and it’ll jump start a big 5.4L V8, 16 valve SOHC Ford Triton engine without a problem (which is impressive). I would definitely recommend buying from the Halo brand instead of other brands because Halo has incredibly good customer service. If you have a problem you can simply call them and they will fix it for you. When my charger failed due to a manufacturing error, they sent me out a new one for free!”
If you want the same amount of power (actually, slightly more) in a slightly smaller package, this 32000mAh power bank weighs just over a pound, has three USB output ports, and comes with two microUSB cables for charging. The battery indicator shows you how much life is left in your unit, and the internal capacity means you can charge any smartphone multiple times.
Wrote user Nikki Hamilton, “This is by far the largest and highest mAh power charger I have. I love that I can charge and re-charge multiple phones multiple times before needing to recharge this charger. I just was on a trip with my kids and it was handy to have one charger to pass around as needed. This unit is larger and heavier than most portable chargers so this isn’t exactly a carry in your purse unit. This is much better for things like camping trips where you want to charge up your phone overnight in the tent. It can handle 3 devices at the same time. I didn’t think it was the fastest charging unit as I have several others that seem to charge at a faster rate, however, it did take my phone from 4% to full in about 2 hours. This is a great device to have on hand if you live in an area that is subject to extended power outages since it is such a high mAh unit.”
If you’re looking for a slim, pocket-sized charger perfect for topping up your phone or taking with you in case of an emergency, you can’t beat this Anker unit. The brand has a reputation for a reason — this is a solid, lightweight, reliable 10,000mAh portable charger that comes with microUSB cable and travel pouch. It’ll charge an iPhone eight more than three times or a Galaxy S8 more than two, and the PowerIQ and VoltageBoost technologies combine to deliver the fastest possible charge. It weighs just 6.3 oz (or less than a half a pound), and comes in a variety of colors.
Wrote user Patrick, “It’s the size of a credit card and only a hair heavier than my iPhone 6 making it extremely portable without being bulky and heavy. There’s a power button you press which shows how much power is left via 4 blue leds (when it’s dead, only one led will flash). You can only charge one device with this power bank but I’m always impressed by how quickly this charges my iPhone 6 (from 10% to near full takes approximately 1 hour). So far, I’ve been able to charge my phone about 4 times from near empty to full before having to charge the power bank.”
This battery pack is so slim — literally a half-inch thick — that it’ll fit next to your wallet in your back pocket without adding extra bulk. It’ll fully charge any model cell phone more than once thanks to its 10000mAh capacity, and comes with built-in USB-C, lightning, and microUSB cables, plus a microUSB charging cable to charge the unit itself.
Wrote one Amazon customer, “This charger was perfect for our recent Disney trip. We were able to fully charge three phones, two iPhones and an Android, throughout our day and still had power left for at least one more charge. And the recharge time on it is only a couple hours.”