Power banks for tramping
Lately I've been updating electrical devices (torch, gps, camera are my main three). More and more they're trending towards charging and/or running straight of USB, whether or not they have replaceable batteries. I used to try and always get stuff that ran off AA batteries to make it simpler to manage spare power between them, but now it's making more sense to have lighter devices and carry a power bank instead. I presume many people here are already doing something like this. I haven't bought one for a while, though. With a tentative look there seem to be lots of power banks out there, but much of which also looks very consumer grade and aimed at people are are just hanging around town and worried about their phone battery running out. Are there any favourites out there for tramping purposes, or thoughts on what might be good value for money? In my mind I'd like something reliable and reasonably durable, like if I knock it or if it got a little wet then I'd want it to keep working. Weight's always of interest, as is having a decent charge and some kind of indicator of remaining charge. I'm not expecting to get it perfect first time, but I might as well try. Any thoughts?
Importing these things is a pain, so you're limited to ones you can buy here. I'm quite happy with the Smaak brand. Got this from Noel Leeming on sale, I think it was like $70 for 12Ah. Weight pretty low.
this is one option of the ruggedised power banks, known reputable brand Goal Zero a lot of the outdoors ones tend to get paired with solar panels which are of limited use. slow to charge and reliant on good weather and not being under a tree canopy https://www.torpedo7.co.nz/catalogindexsearch.do?formAction=search&searchString=power%20bank&brandCodes=G7&sortOrder=bestmatch%3Adesc&savePrefs=false&pageSize=20
Bear in mind you get 30-40% efficiency charging from battery to battery so for example need at least a 8000mAh power pack for one charge to a 2800mAh phone battery. I've found power packs weighty and frustrating and slow to charge devices (ie overnight). 400g to get something that will give me 2-3 charges compared to 20g per battery per spare lithium ion battery. So I'm currently hoarding / replacing with older gear that still takes replacable batteries: Inreach 1.9., galaxy S5, 18650 battery torch/headlamp. Not a solution, I know ... just a delaying tactic before accepting the inevitable.
After trying out a few, I settled on a 3600mAh powerbank from the UK. Its nice and light, however only really suitable for a weekender. It will charge my iphone something like 1.5 times (which I use for emergency backup & its also my camera) and my portable music player a couple of times. Which I reckon is pretty good for a little powerpack. In winter, I keep all my electronic gear in my sleeping bag with me at night so the batteries dont get too depressed and crap themselves. Keeping the batteries warm does help when its frickin cold (like now). I also bought a 10000mAh powerpack for longer trips but its just too heavy. I also take a spare set of rechargeable AA's for my trusty GPS and headtorch
I have this one and think it's pretty good. $39, free shipping, 10,400mAh and only weighs 230 grams https://www.dicksmith.co.nz/dn/buy/anker-powercore-10400mah-black-a1214h11-anker/
Believe it or not Ive just replaced the power bank I use for work. 15000mah which runs an ipad all day with the internal battery still at 100%. Bought from the Warehouse Dannyvirke which limited my options but retail $49 but it was on special $29 and cheaper than the 7000mah version. I would expect all branches to have it. Reliability Its worked for 2 days now so perfect for that long at least. The one I had before was an hho branded version from Warehouse stationary which lasted a year before losing capacity and bulging. It did have a hard life though.Charged and flattened 4 days a week on average
Reading the post again. Waterproofness with open plugs could be tricky and expensive. 2 sealed plastic bags when not in use also works
If you are wanting to charge non-phone devices, just be aware that many (most?) power banks negotiate with the device and won't supply charge if the device doesn't respond. USB devices that are designed to charge out of a power point or from a computer may not charge from a power bank. Worth testing first or make sure you can return for refund.
@madpom wrote: > Bear in mind you get 30-40% efficiency charging from battery to battery so for example need at least a 8000mAh power pack for one charge to a 2800mAh phone battery. That's total nonsense. You can safely assume 100%. A 8000mAh does about 2.5 charges of your 2800mAh phone battery.
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