Staying charged with RAV Power for travellers

It’s mid-afternoon and you’ve been out all day: photos, maps, what-the-heck-is-that trips to Wikipedia and how-do-we-escape-the-tourist-trap trips to your favourite blog. Now it’s time to Instagram your coffee and cake and… wham. Battery’s out: your phone is dead.

Until a few weeks ago I’ve kept my iPhone working through willpower alone. Now I can stop praying and plug in anywhere with my new external battery pack from RAV Power (company website | Amazon

I really don’t know why I didn’t get one of these in 2006.

After the power pack is plugged into the wall, it takes a few hours to get fully charged. However, it carries enough juice to power up several different devices. In my non-scientific stress-test I charged two Kindles (one from nothing, one from 40%), an iPhone 4 and an iPhone 5 from no power. The battery pack was still going strong, but I was out of things that charge with USB.

You can charge almost anything that has a USB adapter (and allows five volt, one or two amp connections – i.e. almost any phone), and it ships with half a dozen different adapter heads for most types of phone and battery chargers. I ended up dropping those in favour of the iPhone and Kindle cables we already carry. It also comes with a soft bag that can fit all of those heads plus the battery itself.

Not too many power points when out hiking. But no problems now!

Not too many power points when out hiking. But no problems now!

Linda's phone rescued from the red zone!

Linda’s phone rescued from the red zone!

One unexpected use that I’ve found for the battery pack is to charge my phone overnight. A surprising number of hostel and hotel rooms aren’t equipped with a power plug by the bed, and as I use it as an alarm, I don’t want to leave my phone on the other side of the room while I sleep. By plugging into the power pack, I can keep the phone by my bed and charge it up, regardless of where the power outlets are located.

The battery is about the same size as an external hard drive, and about 50% heavier — in order to balance out the weight in my pack I sent a spare pair of shoes home by post. It’s small enough to fit in a jacket pocket and — when my phone is running low — my iPhone and the power pack end up sitting together in my breast pocket.

So now I can bring you instagram photos all day long… If only I can find the wifi.

RavPower got in touch with us and sent us two units for review. I like it. You can buy your own directly from them or see RAVPower External Battery Pack reviews on Amazon

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