Those of us who travel frequently have at some point realized how dependent we actually are on all our gadgets, especially when we are far from home. A flat battery has become the last thing we would hope for when we are on the go. However, should we run into trouble, decent power banks could save our day.
For those who are not very familiar with the term, a power bank is a portable extra battery or external charger which can be insanely useful when we are on the road and we do not have where to charge our mobile devices. Even better said, they can be extremely helpful if we have done our homework before actually purchasing one. So, what should we know when looking for a power bank to meet our traveling needs?
The first step would be to find out the capacity of the battery of the mobile device we need to charge. The battery of the ideal power bank should be at least of a similar size as the battery of the gadget. This way, one will make sure that the power bank is able to fully charge the device at least once. Undoubtedly, one can play safe and opt for a much bigger power bank. However, the bigger the capacity we want, the more costly it will be. So it is extremely important to think carefully about what our real needs are when we travel. Keep in mind that how much we need also greatly depends on how fast the device is consuming its battery. It is wise for big power consumers to opt for bigger power banks.
Make sure to check out the specifications of the original charger of your gadget. The output current of your new power bank should be at least equal – if not even higher – than the original charger’s output. Usually, the output is given in milliamps or amps (for example 1A, 2.1A, or 1000mA). The higher the output current, the faster the device will get charged. However, you should make sure that your gadget can accept a higher current. Should the output be lower, the device will actually consume more power than it can get from the power bank. That means that you will end up having to deal with a dead battery. It is true that some devices, such as the Goodspeed hotspot, will warn you if you are trying to use inappropriate chargers. However, many do not do so. And this means that a flat battery may come as a total surprise. 1A output ports are suitable for most smartphones. However, older phones (such as flip phones or feature phones) require 0.5A ports. Tablets and iPads require 2.1A out-ports for optimal charging. Those power banks that are able to charge laptops will more than likely come with 3A ports.
If you travel a lot and you need to charge multiple mobile devices, then checking out how many cables and ports your potential power bank comes equipped with might be a great idea. There is no doubt that being able to charge multiple gadgets at a time can be a time and stress saver. And, naturally, you should make sure that the battery capacity of the power bank is actually adequate for the needs of all your gadgets.
For those users who highly appreciate a long lifespan and security, there are certain features that can be considered essential. For example, the short circuit protection will cut the power if a short circuit occurs, thus ensuring that the power bank does not catch fire. In addition, the overcharge protection will cut off the electricity as soon as the power bank gets fully charged. Otherwise, if you continue to charge it, you would do nothing but shorten the battery’s life.
The casing and material can also play a major role, especially if you are planning on using the external battery pack mainly outdoors. If that’s your case, then you will definitely want to take into consideration a power bank made of a durable material, such as aluminium or silicone.
It is a known fact that portable chargers are available in virtually all shapes, weight, and dimensions. However, some of you may not be aware of the fact that, usually, a power bank’s physical size and its battery capacity may go hand in hand. So, if you are in search of an ultra-portable power bank, you may see yourself forced to sacrifice its battery size.
Below you can find some recommendations depending on various lifestyles and needs.
Size does matter
If you are already forced to carry around your wallet, keys and smartphone in your pocket, you may not be very eager to add another bulky power bank to this mix. And this is where the Slimger ultra-portable charger comes into play, allowing you to literally fit it in a wallet. Since it is only 0.17 inches thin and it weighs only 2 ounces, this mobile device can be the ideal option for those of you who are concerned about bulk. This gadget features a 1,400 mAh battery and a built-in cable and. You can comfortably keep it in your wallet or purse until a phone emergency arises.
A lot of Power for Various devices
If, for example, you are headed into the wilderness and you are carrying all your electronic devices with you, you will more than likely need a super power bank. What’s more, you will more than likely also want your external battery to be able to support charging multiple devices simultaneously and, maybe, be compatible with a wide range of laptops (a feature that is not standard for many portable power banks). If that’s your case, then the Maxoak Ultra High Capacity power bank delivers 50,000 milliamp hours of power. However, keep in mind that great power usually comes with great size as well (however, it is still smaller than many laptops). This device could make a great choice for those of you who frequently travel internationally and want to avoid dealing with power converters.
Durable and Rugged
If you are in search of an outdoor companion to carry around when you are hitting the trails or when going to the beach, you will more than likely want something rugged, able to withstand shock, water, and dust. Manufactured by Outdoor Tech, Kodiac 6000 is endowed with a silicone exterior that protects against water and unexpected drops. If you are looking for a more portable device, you should definitely take into consideration the EasyAcc® Power Bank PB9000TP. This device is endowed with a carabiner–just clip.
Additional functionality depending on travel habits
Below you can find a list of portable chargers that come with multiple features and functions that you may find useful:
Braven BRV-Bank: Bluetooth enabled power bank
Tylt Energi: Portable charger with a built-in cable
Winbest BK11904: Portable charger with flashlight
Junopower Junojumper: Portable power bank equipped with a car jumper
Pearl 3000mAh Compact Mirror: Portable charger and compact mirror
To take into consideration:
If you opt for a portable charger that is built directly into your phone case, you will never again have to worry about forgetting it at home. These cases are perfect for those power users who are capable of draining a phone’s battery even before lunchtime. Depending on the model you opt for, Mophie’s Juice Packs are able to double the life of your phone’s battery.
Solar-powered power banks will make a great addition for any traveller who spends a lot of time outdoors. All you have to do is clip it to the day pack and just start converting sunlight into priceless battery time. There are many online retailers to choose from for those of you who are interested in this type of portable power bank.
Just Plain Fun
If you are one of those persons who love to use their desks to showcase their awesome collections of desk toys or figurines, or you simply appreciate the gadgetry that does not sacrifice quirkiness, then there is a wide range of portable battery chargers which offer both novelty and power. If, for instance, you are a Star Wars fan, then force will be always with you and your smartphone with the Darth Vader Lightsaber charger. From Avengers power banks to neo-Victorian fashion, there is something available for all tastes and budgets.