The One Little Thing: Anker External Battery

Anker's Astro E3 external battery

Check out all our One Little Thing posts in our master list.

What’s the one little thing you can’t travel without?

An external battery! My battery of choice is the Astro E3 from Anker, and it just happens to be mighty cheap (under $30!) on Amazon right now. I’ve used it on all of my travels this year, and now I can’t imagine traveling without one!

Why has this one item been so important to you?

Because my iPhone is one of my most important travel tools, it’s a huge bummer when it runs out of battery. Thankfully, this external battery will charge my phone 3-4 times on a single charge, and I never have to worry about missing a photo op, not being able to look up directions, or missing out on games and music on a long flight.

How packable is it? Does it take up much room? Is it heavy?

An external battery is extremely packable. The one I use is about size and weight of a smartphone, so it’s easily slipped into a purse or daypack without adding much weight at all. For those really short on space, Anker makes a much smaller external battery, though it does need to be recharged more often.

Would you recommend this to your travel friends?

Absolutely! I recommend it to everyone. This battery is super portable, and since it can charge anything that charges with a USB cable, you’ll find yourself using it all the time.

Can you name one situation where you were glad to have this item with you?

When I was camping in Iceland this summer, there weren’t many opportunities to plug in to charge. With so much incredible scenery, I’m glad that I was able to charge my phone multiple times, and didn’t have to miss out on snapping any photos.

How did you hear about this item?

I was worried about keeping my phone charged on my long-term travels, and I started researching solutions last year. A friend suggested this external battery, and after reading the stellar reviews, I knew I had to have it. It’s been a constant companion ever since.

What sort of traveler is this item perfect for?

Any tech-savvy travelers could benefit from this little security blanket. The external battery is especially handy for hostel travelers, since outlets are at a premium in many dorms. This battery has two USB ports, so it could even help you make a new friend!

(Since I bought my battery, Anker came out with a newer, slightly smaller version that’s only a bit more expensive. You can find it here!)

Written by Katy

Hailing from Seattle, Washington, Katy is a travel addict constantly seeking her next destination. Fresh off a two-month summer trip to Iceland and The Faroe Islands, she is now embarking on a year-long working holiday in Australia. Katy’s future dream destinations include Southeast Asia, India, Scandinavia, and Antarctica. When she isn’t writing about plus-size travel gear for Her Packing List, you can find Katy blogging about her travels at Six Bones. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Add your voice & leave a comment!

Gear We Use


Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.

Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.

Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking! – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions


  1. Patty says

    Great tip! I actually have the same exact external battery pack, and it saved me the last time I travelled through Asia. It was a great help for all my tech-savvy friends as well, and kept our portable wifi charged at all times.

    One tip though: The Astro E3 is actually smaller than the new E4. DO NOT LET THE PICTURE FOOL YOU! My boyfriend bought the E4, and it is significantly heavier, and longer than the E3. That being said, it offers PowerIQ technology, which means that both ports are compatible to all kinds of devices, and doubles as a LED flashlight.

Leave A Reply