TSA-approved battery packs to bring on your next flight

Rudie Obias, CNN Underscored
Updated Fri March 15, 2019

Story highlights

  • Battery packs face very strict guidelines for air travel
  • We found the best battery packs that are within FAA regulations

Air travel can be stressful and exhausting, especially when you pack electronics like smartphones and battery packs into your carry-on bag. It's tough to figure out what kind of mobile devices are approved by the Transportation Security Administration or Federal Aviation Administration, so they won't get taken away during security check-in.

All battery packs face very strict guidelines for air travel. Lithium ion (rechargeable) batteries and portable rechargers that contain them can only be packed in carry-on baggage. They're limited to a rating of 100 watt hours per battery. With airline approval, you can bring two larger spare batteries (up to 160 Wh).

We found the best battery packs that are within FAA regulations, so you can keep your smartphone, tablet, or laptop juiced up during long airplane rides. Don't worry, the TSA won't take away any of the batteries listed below, so you can use them to keep your mobile devices charged and ready to go.

Anker PowerCore+ ($129.99; amazon.com)

This top-rated battery pack from Anker packs the most power you're allowed to take on a flight. The Anker PowerCore+ comes in at just under the FAA's 100-Wh battery restriction, with 26,800mAh (milliAmp hour) of power and a 3.7-volt standard lithium cell. The battery pack provides fast charging for smartphones and tablets, while it can even give some juice to premium laptops like the MacBook Pro via a USB-C port.

The Anker PowerCore+ comes with one USB-C port and two USB-A ports, which are perfect for travelers with an iOS or Android mobile device — such as the iPhone XS, iPad Pro, Samsung Galaxy S10, Google Pixel 3, and more. The battery pack includes a wall charger, micro-USB cable, USB-C cable and a handy travel pouch.

TravelGo ($32.95; amazon.com)

The TravelGo Portable Charger is a sleek and lightweight battery pack that's perfectly compact to include in your carry-on bag. But don't let its size fool you. It's a small but mighty battery pack that pumps out 10,400mAh of power at 5 volts for fast charging iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. In fact, feel free to charge two devices at the same time with the pack's dual USB-A ports.

While it only includes a micro-USB cable for charging, TravelGo encourages customers to use the charging cables that came with their own smartphones to protect from short circuits and over-voltage, so your mobile device will last longer without overcharging or diminishing its battery life. On Amazon, the battery pack has a 4.6- out of 5-star rating with more than 50 reviews.

Jackery Bolt ($29.99; amazon.com)

For less than $30, the Jackery Bolt offers the best bang for your buck as an ultra-portable battery pack for just about any iPhone or Android device. In fact, this battery pack is so compact that it includes two built-in charging cables; one Lightning for iPhone or iPad and one micro-USB for Android. However, if your Android device doesn't have a micro-USB charging port, the Jackery Bolt also includes one USB-A port, so you can simply plug in your own charging cable to get some quick juice on the go.

The battery pack is powerful, with its 6000mAh power bank, while its aluminum body is compact and smaller than a standard credit card. It also includes a micro-USB port for charging when plugged into a wall charger (which is not included), and the Jackery Bolt has a handy, built-in LED flashlight for emergencies — which is a nice touch for traveling.

Mophie powerstation ($29.18; amazon.com)

The sleek Mophie powerstation is designed for portability for travel. With a total weight of just 2.86 ounces, the Mophie powerstation is a small and lightweight battery pack. It features a single USB-A port for output power to just about any iOS or Android smartphone, tablet or smartwatch. Mophie triple-tested this mini battery pack for safety and performance with 3,000mAh and 5 volts of charging power. This translates to 15Wh, which is well below the FAA's carry-on battery pack regulations for air travel.

Belkin Pocket Power ($39; amazon.com)

With a 4.4- out of 5-star customer rating, the Belkin Pocket Power is an "Amazon's Choice" product for a good reason. This portable and compact battery pack is ideal for traveling because it's within the FAA's carry-on flight regulations, while it features a 10,000mAh polymer battery with two USB-A ports for dual charging iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. The charging battery lives inside a rugged and slim plastic case that's designed to regulate temperature to reduce overheating and voltage fluctuation.

In addition, the Belkin Pocket Power features four LED indicator lights to show power level status at a glance. And when the Belkin Pocket Power runs out of juice, just plug the battery pack into an outlet with a USB wall charger and its included micro-USB charging cable.

Note: The prices above reflect the retailers' listed prices at the time of publication.