5 Best Portable Battery Packs for Camping & Backpacking. Puridea power bank

PURIDEA i2 bluetooth bike speaker with integrated power bank and torch

A multi-functional Bluetooth bike speaker and high capacity power bank. Featuring a bright LED torch, integrated USB charging cable, hands-free calling and SIRI controls.

The PURIDEA i2 comes with an adjustable handlebar bracket to securely mount the device. It can be quickly removed and refitted when needed.

Integrated cable is a little fiddly, length of mount screw is excessive, not sure of IP water-resistant rating

  • Bluetooth speaker (10 Hours playback)
  • 8000mAh Power Bank (3 phone charges)
  • Integrated USB charging cable
  • Bright LED torch / flashlight
  • Hands Free calls Siri connection
  • Quick release bike mount

Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Intro

I’d like to apologies to anyone who’s already watched the YouTube video at the top of this review. Yes, my legs really are that white and yes I really do dance that badly. You may also have noticed I used my boy’s scooter rather than a bike. I know the PURIDEA i2 is designed to be a Bluetooth bike speaker, but mine has two flat tyres. It’s also buried behind a shed full of junk and I’m far too lazy to dig it out. With that out of the way, let’s get on with the review.

PURIDEA i2 Bluetooth bike speaker – Design and Build

The PURIDEA i2 has a flattened tube design that measures 5 x 5cm by 15cm long. All sides and edges are well rounded and extremely well fitting. The matte surface is a pleasure to hold and the housing feels robust.

All the control buttons are well positioned on the top and the speaker faces the rear. In front of the buttons, there is an undercut in the housing with an integrated micro USB cable coiled around it.

There are a micro USB input, output and an audio-in port on the front of the device. During the testing phase I was surprised to see there was no weather protection for these openings. As it’s designed as a Bluetooth bike speaker, I’d consider that to be a vital element and I was gearing up to make a big song and dance about it.

As it turns out, there is a cover… It’s just not that obvious (to me anyway) and in my defence, there’s no mention of it in the user guide. If you take a look at the image below, you can see it’s actually retained on the bike bracket.

There are a couple of minor things I could nitpick with regards to the design. Firstly, the integrated USB cable has to take a tight 90 degree turn to clip inside the speaker housing. I’m a little concerned that over time this could put unnecessary stress on the cable. Secondly, the tightening screw that clamps the bike bracket onto the handlebar is way longer than it needs to be. You could lose an inch off the end and it would still be plenty long enough – that’s what she said…

PURIDEA i2 Bluetooth bike speaker – Features

The PURIDEA i2 has all the standard features you would expect from a regular Bluetooth speaker. It pairs quickly and appears to keep a reliable connection to at least 10 metres unobstructed.

  • Size, Weight- 15 x 5 x 5 cm / 328g
  • Bluetooth, range – 4.0 / 10m
  • Input – 2A 5V /Output – 1A/2A 5V
  • Playback time – 10 hours
  • Charge Time – 6 Hours

It does a very impressive job when used as a hands-free device. Holding down the microphone button for a couple of seconds it will open Siri, Google or Cortana. You can then use voice commands to control your phone, eg. ‘Call Home’ The microphone is not particularly loud or pin sharp, but as long as you are close enough to the device, it works well.

I’m unsure of how many lumens the twin LED’s put out, but it’s a decent amount. Perfect for using as the front light on your bike or as a handheld flashlight.

Possibly my favourite feature has to be the portable charging capacity of the i2. Having 8000mAh of spare power is great. It’s enough to fully recharge most phones about 3 times. The integrated cable is micro USB which should be fine for most non-Apple devices. There’s also a standard USB port on the front should you wish to charge an iPhone with a lightning cable. Next to the front USB port is a small battery status indicator which displays the remaining charge in increments of 25%.

PURIDEA i2 Bluetooth bike speaker – Sound Quality

For what it is and for its price, the audio is good. There is plenty of volumes, considering it’s size and it does a great job of remaining distortion when turned all the way up. The highs and lows are definitely present. For a Bluetooth speaker with a single 40mm driver it performs very well indeed.

Verdict

The PURIDEA i2 is a highly versatile portable device with a ton of great features. The bright LED torch and high capacity power bank set the i2 apart from most other Bluetooth bike speakers. The mounting bracket is well designed and easy to use. Many other Bluetooth bike speakers have a simple elasticated strap that wraps around the handlebar. This one is far more suited to housing a device that can be also used as a front light.

It would be nice to get clarification on how water resistant the PURIDEA i2 is in terms of its IP rating. I’ll ask the manufacturer and update this review if I get a response.

I hope you found this review useful, if so, please share it socially – Thanks!

Best Portable Battery Packs for Camping Backpacking

Most of the campers and backpackers we know are weekend warriors, and the Astro earned our Top Pick with them in mind. At 6700 mAh capacity (4,121 mAh based on our discharge test) and only one output port, the Astro is a rather minimalist battery pack when it comes down to it. Yet that is what makes it great for our purposes. At 4.3 oz, It is one of the smallest and lightest battery packs for its capacity. It holds enough juice to charge a smartphone around 1.5-2 times — a perfect amount for 2-4 days of limited phone use. Simply put, for most weekend warriors, the Astro is an affordable battery pack that gives you everything you need to keep your devices charged and nothing more. Its max input charging speed of 1A leaves something to be desired though. This isn’t a huge issue unless you need to charge it constantly on your trip, such as when thru-hiking. Otherwise you can just recharge it once you get home. While the Astro is our Top Pick, it isn’t perfect for every camper and backpacker. We spend the rest of this article discussing good alternatives, especially power packs with greater capacity. If you’re looking for the opposite — a battery pack with less capacity — check out the Anker PowerCore Mini 3350. It’s a 3 oz “lipstick sized” pack that can give a smartphone about a half to a full charge.

Best for Power: Anker PowerCore II 10000

When deciding which battery packs to test, I spent some time reading relevant threads in hiker forums and subreddits. From that I learned the PowerCore II 10000 and the first-generation PowerCore 10000 are two of the most popular battery packs among ultralight backpackers. It turns out the popularity is warranted. If you need more power this is the pack we recommend. But it’s not just ideal for backpacking. It’s also a great portable power source for camping trips. On a recent weekend climbing and camping trip to Sand Rock, Alabama, five friends and I used this power pack exclusively to charge our phones and Bluetooth speakers. It had more than enough power to handle all the different devices. Indeed, the PowerCore II has the greatest capacity of all the battery packs we tested according to our discharge test. Here are the discharge test results of the three battery packs with a stated 10,000 mAh capacity:

  • Anker PowerCore II 10000: 6,518 mAh
  • Puridea S2 10000: 6,352 mAh
  • RAVPower 10000: 4,878 mAh

Anker lists the pack at 6.9 oz, but when we weighed it ourselves it clocked in at 6.7 oz. Its low weight and high capacity make it the best option in terms of power per ounce (mAh/oz).

The main drawback is the lone output port. You won’t be able to charge two devices simultaneously with this pack. While testing we rarely found ourselves needing two output ports, but we know this might be important to some of you.

Since older generation battery packs are constantly being discontinued, we tested the 10000 mAh model from the newer PowerCore II generation. The 10000 mAh model from the previous PowerCore generation, the Anker PowerCore 10000, is worth a close look as long as it’s still around. It’s slightly cheaper and lighter.

Campers and backpackers who need even more power (and output ports) should look at the packs in the PowerCore and PowerCore II line with greater capacity, such as the PowerCore 13000 and PowerCore 20100. We didn’t test them but they’re well reviewed around the web.

Jackery Bolt 6000

Looking at specs alone can mislead you when it comes to the Jackery Bolt.

best, portable, battery, packs

The Bolt weighs 5.57 oz and has a capacity of 6000 mAh (4,063 mAh based on our discharge test).

The Anker Astro E1 weighs 4.3 oz and has a capacity of 6700 mAh (4,121 mAh according to our discharge test). It also isn’t as bulky and retails for a little less at the time of publishing.

The Astro is the obvious choice, right? It’s lighter, smaller, cheaper, and has greater capacity.

For an apples-to-apples comparison, you have to take into account the Bolt’s built-in features:

(Not to mention that the Bolt has a faster input charging speed and can charge three devices at once.)

If you brought along your own cables and light, at the very least (assuming you buy the shortest possible cables and the lightest possible flashlight or headlamp) that’s an extra 1.5-2 oz of weight.

That would make your charging ‘system’ with the Astro slightly heavier. You’d also end up spending more overall.

All this plus the fact that the Bolt with its built-in cables is just less hassle and you have a battery pack that is certainly the right choice for some.

However, the Bolt isn’t perfect and we actually don’t think it’s better than the Astro for most backpackers. While the built-in light is nice, it can’t replace a good backpacking flashlight or headlamp. It’s too dim, too limited in functionality for most purposes — like the flashlight on your phone.

Though it can charge three devices at once, assuming you’re charging devices like smartphones it doesn’t have enough capacity to provide more than a partial charge to each.

For the backpacker who only needs to charge their phone, and prefers to pack a good headlamp or flashlight, the Bolt is overbuilt.

I’ll finish by saying that towards the end of my month of using these five battery packs in daily life the Bolt became the one I used almost exclusively. It sounds minor, but not having to carry around extra cables made all the difference. If you want one battery pack that you can use on the trail and in your daily life, we recommend the Bolt.

Budget Buy: Puridea S2 10000

When deciding which battery packs to test, we combed through plenty of spec sheets and product pages, paying special attention to price, weight, and stated capacity.

The S2 stood out as a potential budget-friendly option with a stated capacity of 10,000 mAh and a competitive weight of 7.13 oz.

Like many products from these obscure brands that are only available online, the S2’s price fluctuates constantly. As long as it doesn’t creep too high the S2 is worth a look.

We want to make sure you’re aware of the drawbacks upfront. So let’s start with the negatives.

The S2 has some fake positive reviews which is never reassuring. While I’ve used it for over a month without problems, some reviewers (hopefully some of the reliable ones?) have reported that the pack has died after a couple weeks or months. Rest assured we’ll update this review if ours dies prematurely.

Caveat emptor.

With that out of the way, let’s look at the positives.

While it doesn’t look like it from the photos, the S2 is actually the second least bulky battery pack (in cubic inches) we tested, behind the Astro. It’s surprisingly slim, just under half an inch tall.

In our discharge tests we recorded an average capacity of 6,352 mAh. That was second only to the 6,518 mAh of the PowerCore II and roughly 1500 mAh greater than the RAVPower 10000.

Unlike the PowerCore II, the S2 has dual output ports so you can charge two devices at once. For a change of pace, it also has plenty of color options.

Considering the price we paid and the results from our testing, we think the S2 is a good choice — but only for those on a budget.

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RAVPower 10000

The only thing we liked about the RAVPower was its price.

As for dislikes, it’s the heaviest (9.14 oz) and bulkiest option on the list by quite a bit. That’s never a good title to hold in the world of camping and backpacking gear.

The results of our discharge test with the RAVPower were also uninspiring.

The RAVPower had an average capacity of 4,878 mAh. That’s more in line with the capacities of the Astro E1 6700 and Bolt 6000 than the other battery packs with stated capacities of 10,000 mAh.

The RAVPower does have two output ports, but so does the Puridea S2. In other words, we don’t see any good reason to pick this pack over any of the other options.

Summary

Here are the best portable power packs for camping and backpacking:

  • Anker Astro E1 6700
  • Anker PowerCore II 10000
  • Jackery Bolt 6000
  • Puridea S2 10000
  • RAVPower 10000

What about Battery Packs with Qualcomm Quick Charge?

The ideal Quick Charge battery pack has Quick Charge input and output, but forced to choose we would pick a battery pack with just Quick Charge input over one with just Quick Charge output.

We’d rather shorten the time we spend waiting in town for our battery pack to charge than the time it takes to recharge our devices while hiking.

Here are some well-reviewed, lightweight Quick Charge battery packs to consider:

Don’t forget to pick up any related accessories. Your wall charger and charging cable also need to be Quick Charge compatible to get the benefits on the input end.

And on the output end, your devices need to be Quick Charge compatible as well, otherwise they will charge at their standard speed. This is another reason why we’d prefer just QC input over just QC output.

Do You Actually Need a Quick Charge Set-up?

Clearly a Quick Charge set-up is the more expensive route. This begs the question:

Which campers and backpackers would benefit most from a Quick Charge set-up?

Thru-hikers need to recharge their battery pack when in town. A Quick Charge set-up could shorten each stop in town by hours.

Weekend warriors on the other hand won’t benefit as much from Quick Charge. A single charge of a battery pack will last most of their trips. They most likely won’t be stopping in town during the trip either.

Of course, Quick Charge output can charge your devices much quicker assuming they’re Quick Charge compatible. That would benefit both thru-hikers and weekend warriors alike.

How to Choose the Right Battery Pack for Your Needs

Beyond the ever-present considerations of weight and bulk, here is what to take into account when picking out a battery pack for camping or backpacking.

Capacity

To estimate how much capacity you need, take into account the devices you’ll be taking, the number of times you’ll be charging each, and their battery capacity.

best, portable, battery, packs

Calculate the total capacity you’ll need in mAh, then pick a battery pack with a stated capacity roughly 1.5x greater since in real-world conditions battery packs aren’t perfectly efficient.

For example, let’s say I’ll be taking my iPhone 5s and Kindle Paperwhite on a 4-day backpacking trip.

Here is the battery capacity of each:

I estimate I’ll need to charge my phone three times and my Kindle once. That works out to the following:

(1570 mAh 3 charges) (1420 mAh 1 charge) = 6,130 mAh

The batteries that performed best in our discharge test discharged on average about two-thirds of their stated capacity, so to calculate how much stated capacity I need my battery pack to have I’d do the following:

In this example I’d pick a battery pack with a stated capacity of 9,000-10,000 mAh.

Number of Ports

Pick up a battery pack with enough ports to charge as many devices as you’ll need to charge at once.

Input Output Charging Speed

This one’s straightforward:

The faster you need your devices and battery pack to charge, the faster should be your battery pack’s input and output rates.

At one end of the spectrum is 1A, the lowest we saw, which is quite slow. Quick Charge is on the other end of the spectrum and lives up to its name.

Manufacturers will list the input and output charging speeds on their product pages. Unlike capacity, these tend to accurately reflect real-world performance.

Miscellaneous Features (Beyond Quick Charge)

We didn’t view any miscellaneous battery pack features as critical. They could tip the scale for you one way or the other though.

How We Tested

Discharge Test

We used a USB power meter and USB load tester to perform two discharge tests on each battery pack to measure capacity. Battery capacity depends on discharge speed, so we tested every battery at a constant output of 1 amp.

Here are our averaged results:

  • Anker Astro E1 6700: 4,121 mAh
  • Anker PowerCore II 10000: 6,518 mAh
  • Jackery Bolt 6000: 4,063 mAh
  • Puridea S2 10000: 6,352 mAh
  • RAVPower 10000: 4,878 mAh

Because of our crude instrumentation, take these results with a grain of salt.

Important Specs Ratios

We weighed and measured the battery packs and calculated two important ratios for each:

These value and weight efficiency ratios as well as the absolute weight were weighted heavily in our scoring.

Field Testing

We took these battery packs with us to Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest in north Georgia and Cherokee Rock Village in northeast Alabama to test them in the field.

We planned to field test them for a week but realized quickly that capacity and the specs and ratios mentioned above were most important. What’s more, using these battery packs on the trail and at camp didn’t much alter our thoughts on them. We cut the field testing short after four days.

Usually the results from our field testing are heavily weighted in our scoring. This time they weren’t.

We also used the battery packs in daily life over the course of a month to charge everything we could — phones, Kindles, speakers, Bluetooth headphones, and so on. Each went through multiple recharge and discharge cycles.

Batterie nomade Puridea Power Bank S4 6600 mAh

Avec sa capacité de 6600 mAh et ses 2 ports USB pour charger 2 appareils à la fois si besoin, la batterie externe Puridea Power Bank S4 est la batterie nomade idéale en voyage. 6600 mAh, c’est suffisant pour charger 1 tablette ou 2 Smartphones par exemple. Les plus : témoins de charge, toucher doux et bonne résistance à l’eau ou à la chaleur. Taille : 15 x 7 x 1 cm. Poids : 120 g. Inclus : câble.

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Description de la batterie nomade Power Bank S4 Puridea 6600 mAh

Une bonne solution en voyage ou en randonnée pour ne jamais tomber en panne de téléphone, en panne de GPS ou en panne de lampe frontale consiste à prévoir une batterie externe, une batterie nomade ou une batterie rechargeable de secours. La batterie Puridea Power Bank S4 a été développée exactement pour ces différents usages. De plus, elle possède plusieurs atouts supplémentaires qui la place parmi les meilleurs modèles.

La batterie nomade Puridea Power Bank S4 6600 mAh en détail :

Concrètement, la batterie Puridea Power Bank S4, c’est 6600 mAh en termes de capacité (autonomie). Cela signifie qu’elle peut recharger complètement une tablette ou deux Smartphones (l’un après l’autre ou même simultanément grâce à ses 2 ports USB). En termes de confort d’utilisation, cette batterie nomade possède un toucher très agréable (type gomme) : toucher doux. En termes d’encombrement, on est plutôt dans la bonne moyenne avec un volume total de 15 cm de long, 7 cm de large et 1 cm d’épais. En termes de poids, on est dans la normalité : 120 grammes. En termes de technologie de la batterie en elle-même, on est bien : batterie rechargeable Lithium Polymère de dernière génération. Tension : 5 V. Coloris : gris.

Garantie Mobility

La batterie Power Bank S4 Puridea est garantie 2 ans. La garantie vaut pour tout défaut de matériel ou de fabrication.

Désignation batterie nomade Marque Mobility Lab Modèle Power Bank S4 6600 mAh Couleur dominante gris Poids (grammes) 120 Volume de rangement 150 x 70 x 10 mm Technologie batterie Lithium Voltage 5 V Capacité 6600 mAh Inclus avec ce produit câble USB / micro USB

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