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Congrats, you just got an Apple Watch. Now you’re going to need a couple of things to keep your watch running smoothly and efficiently. While many people start by switching out their Apple Watch band (and we’ve found some stylish options here), we think it’s important to first pick up a solid Apple Watch charger, namely, a portable version that will power up your watch sans wires.
While Apple does make a number of chargers for its watches, there’s one big annoyance: All of them require plugging in a cable at all times in order to power up your device.
When you’re on the road or don’t have easy access to an USB port or outlet, it leaves you with few options should you find your watch battery entering the dreaded red zone. Our suggestion: Pick up one of these portable chargers, for backup power in a pinch.
What You Need to Know Before Buying An Apple Watch Charger
We considered several factors when compiling the options for this guide, but you’ll find the most important ones below.
Style: Apple Watch chargers come in two styles: charging pads, which lay flat on your desk or nightstand, and charging stands, which hold the Apple Watch upright.
Portability: Some chargers are totally portable, which means they don’t need to be plugged into a power source in order to charge your Apple Watch. Others are portable in the sense that they’re small enough that you can easily carry them in a bag.
Multi-device charging: This is an Apple Watch-first guide, but some of the options below can charge multiple devices at the same time.
1. UGREEN Stand for Apple Watch
UGREEN’s Apple Watch stand is simple in the best way possible. It’s 6.7 inches tall, and holds your watch toward you at a 45 degree angle, so it’s easy to see on a desk without twisting your neck.
The stand has a ridge in the back that discreetly hides your Apple Watch charging cable (yes, you have to use your own cable) to create a really clean look.
A silicone pad on the bottom of the stand will keep it from shifting if it gets bumped, and a rubber cushion around the top of the charger prevents the bottom of your watch from getting scratched.
2. Simpeak 4 Port USB Charger Station
If you’ve been having trouble keeping all of your devices charged, Simpeak’s charging station is a compact solution. The 3.5-inch cube has an Apple Watch charging station on top, and three USB ports on the bottom. Each USB port is capable of charging a device of up to 2.4 amps (faster than a traditional iPhone charging brick).
3. Twelve South TimePorter for Apple Watch
Twelve South’s TimePorter is an Apple Watch carrying case with a cutout on top for an Apple Watch charging cable. Once a cable is inserted, the Apple Watch can be charged by draping it over the top of the case. There’s a little hole on the side of the case that allows you to route charging cable to a charger subtly.
While this isn’t a totally portable Apple Watch charger on its own, there’s enough space inside the case to fit a small power bank, which you can use charge your Apple Watch without plugging it in. This isn’t a multi-device charger, and you’ll have to supply your own cables, but this is the right pick if you need a way to charge your Apple Watch and keep it protected when it’s not on your wrist.
4. Belkin Boost Charge Power Bank
Belkin’s Boost Charge Power Bank is a totally portable charger for your Apple Watch. The battery has a capacity of 2,000mAh, which Belkin says can provide up to 63 additional hours of usage to your Apple Watch. When laid flat on its back, the Charge Power Bank is a charging pad, but you can orient it upright to work like a stand. It won’t hold your Apple Watch up at a comfortable angle, though.
The Apple Watch charger is built right into the battery, so you don’t need to worry about carrying that cable, but you still need a MicroUSB cable to charge the battery pack itself. Belkin includes one in the box, but it’s a little disappointing this charger doesn’t charge via USB-C, which has become the standard charging port for most tech accessories over the past couple of years.
That’s a small nitpick, though, and overall Belkin’s Boost Charge Power Bank is the best totally portable Apple Watch charger we could find. Its battery capacity and small size really help it stand out.
5. Native Union Drop XL Wireless Charger
Native Union is responsible for some of the best-looking, deluxe accessories for Apple gear, and its Drop XL Wireless Charger is no different.
It has a charging stand for an Apple Watch, and two wireless Qi charging pads, which can be used with a smartphone (iPhone or Android), and totally wireless earbuds (AirPods or otherwise).
The Qi chargers have a maximum charging speed of 10W (watts), which is the current standard for most wireless charging devices. While the Qi chargers aren’t exclusively meant for Apple tech, the Apple Watch charger can’t be used with any other device.
The Drop XL Wireless Charger includes a 45W USB-C power adapter, which supplies enough energy to charge all three devices at the same time. Native Union also includes a 6.5 foot braided charging cable, which shouldn’t fray, even after years of regular use. Its body is made out of aircraft grade aluminum, and a non-slip textile surface to prevent your devices from slipping off.
It may not be totally portable, but Native Union’s Drop XL is an excellent multi-device charger for Apple Watch owners.