Until a company makes a cell phone with at least a week of battery life, particularly when traveling, portable chargers will remain essential backpack accessories. The problem is the more charge capacity a portable battery has, the larger it is physically – with most people opting for capacity, despite the bulky trade-offs.

Anker’s PowerCore 13000 though sits in a sweet spot. The PowerCore can charge up most modern phones 5 times over, has dual USB ports, and is the size of a beefy pack of playing cards. You can watch my entire review of the Anker PoewrCore 13000 in the video above, or read on.

Bringing Back Basics

Numbers representing milliamp hours (mAh) might not mean much to you but most chargers this size have have half the capacity. To break it down simply, mAh is a measurement used for battery capacity, the PowerCore 13000 has, well, 13000 mAh, and your iPhone has around 2000. Do some simple division and you’ve got around 6 charges in a perfect world. Of course other (*cough* most *cough* Android) phones have larger batteries so you’ll get 4-5 charges out of a PowerCore 13000 on those devices.

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In comparison, the PowerTrip and PowerStick+ I recently took a second look at, can charge the average phone around 1-3 times – and the PowerTrip is larger than the PowerCore.

The PowerCore 13000 does have noticeable heft, weighing 255 grams (9 ounces), but generally outclasses most other chargers this (physical) size in the ways people care about most.

Features For A Friend

Having two USB ports on a charger is important, whether you’re traveling solo, with friends, or family, having the option to charge multiple devices at once is a big time saver. Dual USB ports is also a space saver because you won’t need multiple chargers or risk a dead iPad. (Sorry tablet, phone wins.)

anker powercore 13000

Having two chargers on the PowerCore 13000 is particularly useful since it doesn’t support quick charging in either direction. Meaning your phone won’t charge at super speeds (though at 2 amps maximum output isn’t sluggish); plus the PowerCore 13000 itself takes a long time to charge up.

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Don’t Plan To Plan

13000 mAh is a lot of charging capacity but the reverse is it takes a solid 12 hours to charge the PowerCore from dead to full.  As I mentioned, there’s no quick charging and if you forget to plug the PowerCore 13000 in one night or even two, you’ll probably be fine. But trying to quickly charge the PowerCore while you stuff clothes in your luggage and take a hygienically questionable shower to catch a flight you’re very late to, isn’t going to cut it.

You’ll want to make sure to top off the Anker every night if you’re a poor planner and aren’t too worried about battery longevity. Also, it’s worth getting the PowerCore 13000 in your hands a week or two before a trip to make sure it’s working properly. Anker’s exchanges are prompt but that won’t do you any good if you’re already flying to one world’s most remote islands.