Best Rechargeable Batteries for Disasters and Emergencies

Rechargeable battery technology has come a long way over the years. With recharge life cycles well into the thousands and higher capacities available in standard battery types, they are becoming even more effective and reliable. All of these advancements make the best rechargeable batteries ideal for applications during disasters, emergencies, and even tactical situations. There are many brands and types of rechargeable batteries available.

This is where we come in. We’ve researched the best rechargeable batteries, put them to the test, and now the results are in: the overall best, a budget option, and an upgrade option. If you need a watch to keep time and more, one of our picks will add some survival versatility to your wrist.

Contents (Jump to a Section)

Tenergy Premium PRO

The Best Rechargeable Batteries

Tenergy Premium PRO

High Capacity, Efficient, with Long Shelf Life

These batteries gave us a clean sweep with high energy capacity, good durability, and trusted efficiency.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

Tenergy manages to pack some power in their affordable batteries, but they step it up a notch even further when you get Premium PROs. With unmatched capacity paired with low cycle loss, these batteries stand out for disaster and emergency applications.

Here is what you get with Tenergy Pro batteries, with AA as an example:

  • 12-pack AA
  • NiMH
  • Capacity: 2,800 mAh
  • Cycles: 1,200
  • Operating Temperature: -4°F – 122°F

With reliable and long-lasting energy, it’s easy to see why the Tenergy Premium Pro Batteries are the best for prepping.

Amazon Basics Rechargeable Batteries

Budget Rechargeable Batteries

Amazon Basics HC

Durable, Inexpensive, and High Capacity

This inexpensive option fights way over its weight class with high capacity and reliable power.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

If you are stocking up on rechargeable batteries, Amazon Basics makes it easy. These are the high-capacity versions, making them great for providing consistent power to high-powered lights and comms gear. They also hold an excellent charge on a shelf, making them ideal for survival kits.

Here is how these batteries measure up:

  • 12-pack AA
  • NiMH
  • Capacity: 2,400 mAh
  • Cycles: 500

If you are looking for inexpensive but dependable rechargeables, the Amazon Basics High Capacity Rechargeable Batteries are what you need.

Panasonic Eneloop

Upgrade Rechargeable Batteries


Quality, Dependable, and Durable

The best-of-the-best has high capacity, charge cycles, shelf life, and is consistently durable to boot.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

The regular Eneloop batteries are good enough for just about anything. They are already an upgrade over other battery brands with consistent quality, capacity, and low cycle memory. Despite testing the Eneloop Pros, we found these regular Eneloops a better option for practical use.

The Pros had higher capacity but came up shorter everywhere else- including shelf life and recharge cycles. Regular Eneloop batteries are the best choice for high-quality power in any device.

Here are the full specs:

  • 12-pack AA
  • LSD NiMH
  • Capacity: 2,000 mAh
  • Cycles: 2,100
  • Shelf-Life: 10 years
  • Operating Temperature: -4°F – 122°F

If you are looking for the hands-down best rechargeable batteries, grab some Eneloop Rechargeable Batteries.

Everything We Recommend

Tenergy Premium PRO

Tenergy Premium PRO

These batteries gave us a clean sweep with high energy capacity, good durability, and trusted efficiency.

Where to Buy

$27* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

Amazon Basics Rechargeable Batteries

Amazon Basics HC

This inexpensive option fights way over its weight class with high capacity and reliable power.

Where to Buy

$16* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

Panasonic Eneloop


The best-of-the-best has high capacity, charge cycles, shelf life, and is consistently durable to boot.

Where to Buy

$37* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

The Batteries We Compared

Our research narrowed the field down to several brands of batteries that we compared: Tenergy, Eneloop, Energizer, Duracell, Rayovac, EBL, Amazon Basics, PowerOwl, and more.

You can see our full list of review criteria below in the What to Look For section, with an explanation for each.

We considered a huge range of battery brands and types at first. We narrowed it down to higher-capacity rechargeables, and then compared the efficiency, storage loss, and value in standard tests. For suggestion purposes, we talk about pricing and quantities of AA 12-packs, although you can find standard battery types and various quantities for all brands.

We’re always looking for new and better gear, so if you have rechargeable batteries that you swear by, let us know in the comments. We review most of our tested supplies annually so we can try to get it in the next roundup round and see if it will beat out our top picks.

What to Look For

The best rechargeable batteries have a few features to look for:

  1. Value
  2. Performance
  3. Longevity
  4. Charge Time & Efficiency
  5. Durability

When you get the right blend of these, you can find batteries that will keep your gear reliably powered in survival situations. Below, we break down what each of these features means for the rechargeable batteries that truly set themselves apart.

Value: Cost vs. Benefit

The amount of money you spend on something like batteries shouldn’t blow out your entire budget. If you already have a huge stash of non-rechargeable batteries, you don’t need an additional large stash of rechargeables.

You never want to spend too much money on one thing when it comes to supplies for your kits, especially if it’s just a simple battery. It’s better to diversify your gear and budget to make sure you are covered for a wide range of scenarios.


Capacity and consistent power quality make up the performance category. Most reviews on batteries will focus exclusively on their performance, comparing how they last being used in the exact same applications with the same power demands.

While this doesn’t cover all aspects of rechargeable batteries, performance is certainly a big feature you’ll want to look out for and understand. Tyler recently did a great job comparing budget rechargeable batteries in the same way we determined battery performance from the higher capacity models we compared:


Typical batteries have longevity tied to their shelf life and in-equipment performance. Rechargeables also have a charged shelf life but also have limited charge cycles. Over the years, technology has allowed these charge cycles to grow into the thousands making rechargeable batteries much more useful and efficient.

Charge Time & Efficiency

The recharge time of batteries is usually between 4-8 hours. Planning ahead and understanding your power needs can make charge time inconsequential.

On the other hand, battery efficiency is very important. You want your batteries to hold a charge while not in use and not to be depleted quickly through use.


Broken batteries aren’t just a headache, they can be dangerous. Acid leaks have ruined electronic equipment for decades now, but with rechargeable batteries the threat is heat. Rupturing batteries is not something you want to contend with when you are already facing a disaster or emergency.

Despite failures of lower-quality batteries being infrequent, it is still worth knowing that you have quality, proven batteries in your critical survival gear.

Why Rechargeable Batteries are Useful for Prepping

Reusable components always stand out when used as preparedness and survival gear. Ferro rods have much more longevity than lighters and tended gardens have more sustainability than a can of vegetables.

Applying this reuse principle to batteries to improve your prepping just makes sense. If you have solar infrastructure you can turn the effectiveness of just a dozen batteries into the equivalent of tens of thousands of standard batteries.

Rechargeable batteries aren’t just convenient and cost-saving… they are excellent preparedness tools as well.

Who Needs Rechargeable Batteries?

Almost everyone (except the Amish, maybe) uses batteries. You’ll find them in everything from TV remotes to smoke detectors. In survival situations, batteries are used to power critical gear for communication and lights (at the very least).

We consider batteries essential for:

However, batteries aren’t essential for basic survival. For that reason, we merely suggest you add batteries to these kits:

You can always find a use for extra batteries- it’s not like having extras in your kits will be useless for you. Quit stealing batteries from remotes and get your battery supply going already!

How We Review Products: We research thoroughly before selecting the best products to review. We consult experts in the field for a better understanding of what makes the gear great. Hours on end are spent field testing gear in stressful conditions. We assign performance criteria and impartially rate each tested item. You can support us through our independently chosen links, which can earn us a commission at no extra cost to you. After our review process, some of the items reviewed end up in our giveaways.

Sources and References

All of our experience and the testing we do to determine the best rechargeable batteries are useless without listing our research sources and references. We leaned on these for the book knowledge that we paired with our hands-on testing and practical survival experience:

Fichtner, M., et al. (2021). Rechargeable Batteries of the Future—The State of the Art from a BATTERY 2030+ Perspective. Advanced Energy Materials. Volume 12. Issue 17. (Source)

Liang, Y., et al. (2019). A review of rechargeable batteries for portable electronic devices. InfoMat. Volume 1. Issue 1. Pages 6-32. (Source)

Buchmann, I. (2001). Batteries in a portable world: A handbook on rechargeable batteries for non-engineers. 2nd ed. U.S. Department of Energy Office of Scientific and Technical Information. (Source)

The Final Word

Power up your prepping with rechargeable batteries. If you aren’t using them, they are an easy way to upgrade your critical comms, lights, and other survival gear. Paired with solar panels, they can be particularly effective for emergencies, disasters, and survival situations.

Here are a few other guides and reviews our subscribers have found helpful:

We presented quite a lot of information, but as always: if you have any questions let us know and we would be happy to help. Our research and testing found the Tenergy Premium PRO Rechargeable Batteries to be the best option given their value, performance, longevity, charge time/efficiency, and durability.

Keep exploring, stay prepared, and be safe.

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The Best Rechargeable Batteries for Prepping

Rusty Collins

I am an engineer, Air Force veteran, emergency manager, husband, dad, and experienced prepper. I developed emergency and disaster plans around the globe and responded to many attacks and accidents as a HAZMAT technician. I have been exposed to deadly chemical agents, responded to biological incidents, and dealt with natural disasters. Check out my full story here: Rusty's Story

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