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Battery Bank for Phone


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  • #3811731
    Al K
    BPL Member

    @aloncc

    Locale: South Florida

    I am looking to buy a new battery bank for my iphone 15 on 3-6 day trips. I think I need 10,000mAh and under 7 oz. A few options I am eying are

    $60 – Nitecore NB10000 Gen 2 Power Bank

    $18 – INIU Portable Charger, Slimmest 10000mAh 5V/3A Power Bank

    $23 –  OKZU 10000

    $30 – Charmast 10000 Mini

    I am not so price sensitive but don’t need waste $ for brand name either – just want something reliable and field tested that I won’t regret.

    thanks in advance for any replies

    #3811733
    Ray J
    BPL Member

    @rhjanes

    I have two of the Nitecore Gen 1 and love them.  They work well, lightweight.

    I can’t comment on the others as I don’t know them.   I’d be wary of the cheaper ones.

    #3811734
    Bill K
    BPL Member

    @offtraildog

    +1 for nitecore. used on a 12 day backpacking trip to charge my inreach 2, iphone 13 PM and steripen ultra. I had my inreach on all day, turned off once done for the day. Keep my iphone off unless I need to consult a digital map (was off-trail). Nitecore lasted the entire trip.

    #3811799
    Brad W
    BPL Member

    @rocko99

    Reliable? Anker. Light? Nitecore.

    #3811801
    Dan
    BPL Member

    @dan-s

    Locale: Colorado

    I don’t think there is really much difference between these mass market chargers. I would just buy one that met my needs in terms of specs, and was from a known brand with a warranty (not some sort of generic Alibaba thing).

    Whichever one you buy, practice with it at home a few times so you understand exactly how it works. Also, I’d be careful using it to charge your phone under cold conditions. It’s not supposed to be a problem, but I set up my iPhone to charge overnight one time (with the phone powered up), and woke up with everything pretty much dead. Since then, I usually charge in the evening while I can keep an eye on it, and then disconnect and power down before going to sleep.

    #3811803
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    I power down phone after using it for the day to preserve battery

    Then I charge it and turn that off as soon as phone is charged to preserve power bank

    If it’s cold, it’s warmest in late afternoon so I’ll try to charge it then.  If it’s too cold, I’ll put power bank and phone in my pocket to keep them warm while charging

    #3811810
    Matthew / BPL
    Moderator

    @matthewkphx

    I have a Nitecore NB10000 and it feels fragile and I have read stories of failures although it has been fine. It is compact/light and I appreciate the slow charge feature for low-draw devices.

    I have a couple of Anker 10000mah that are years old and have been knocked around in hard daily use around the house and in computer bags going to work/school and have been on trips everywhere and used in the backyard, etc, etc and they have been absolutely rock solid.

    tl;dr: I agree with Brad’s assessment

    (also I agree with Ray’s wariness of unknown brands for something that I want to rely on).

    #3811833
    Bill in Roswell
    BPL Member

    @roadscrape88-2

    Locale: Roswell, GA, USA

    Anker is stellar for dependability. I have Nucore headlamps and love them. But the NC10000 lasted about 3 months before it got hit, swelled up and no longer worked.The new ones may be more reliable. Currently I have an INIU 10000, rubber coated, 2 USB-A and 1 USB-C, plus a flashlight. Weight about same as Anker.

    #3811842
    Ray J
    BPL Member

    @rhjanes

    what do you mean by “got hit”?

    #3811843
    Link .
    BPL Member

    @annapurna

    BatteryBench Tests of Nitecore and Anker Portable Battery Chargers this article is from 2022 with the Nitecore  first generation now there is the gen 2 that came out in 2023. I have had no problem with mine. Here is Ryan Jordan’s Publisher’s Gear Guide and what he says about it

    The Gen1 power bank was terrific (see our test results in our BatteryBench series), but Gen2 has more durable ports and more visible indicator lights. I’ll take one to three of these, depending on the length of my trip. They are used to charge my watch, messenger, phone, and headlamp.

    #3811844
    GR
    BPL Member

    @rand12

    The Nitecore Gen2 NB1000 does have one unfortunate flaw, if you accidentally hold down the power button for too long (i.e. it gets pressed down in your pack) the power bank will go into some kind of hibernate mode and refuse to charge anything. You will then need to plug in the NB1000 (which isn’t easy to do mid trip!) to recharge it for it to start working again.

     

    #3811845
    David D
    BPL Member

    @ddf

    One difference between banks is the storage efficiency. Some banks do better than others, which might be useful to some for safety margin.

    I tested my Anker Powercore 10,000mAH and can pull 6500mAH out of it, in line with Anker’s claimed spec:

    What’s the output efficiency of the PowerCore 10000 Portable Charger?
    Approximately 30-40% of the external battery’s capacity is unable to be used because of efficiency problems that affect all electronics devices. These include power lost from circuit heat and voltage conversions from the battery, the charging cable and your device. Your battery is able to supply 60%-70% power to other devices.

    BPL measured 66% for the Nitecore 10000, basically a wash with the much cheaper Anker

    Here are some other results for other batteries.

    I noticed some independent sites seem to overstate the charge capacity or test them differently so results can’t be compared against mAh, but this one is good for comparative purposes

    I use the basic Anker Powercore for its reliability and low cost and eat the ounce vs the Nitecore

    #3811848
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    the 10,000 mAh is the rating of the battery, which is 3.7 volts

    the powerbank has to convert that to 5 volt USB voltage, so if 100% efficient, you would get 10,000 * 3.7 / 5 = 7,400 mAh of USB voltage

    maybe it’s weird that they spec the battery, and not the USB voltage, but it’s industry standard so you can compare powerbanks

    USB voltage can be larger than 5V which makes it more complicated

    They could spec watt-hours which would take into account the complexity

    But, the standard is to spec the battery

    Besides, mAh of USB voltage or watt-hour or whatever is not intuitive.  Now, everyone knows how many mAh of the battery is required for their needs.

    #3811854
    Thom
    BPL Member

    @popcornman

    Locale: N NY

    I like fast charge battery packs.
    thom

    #3811855
    Adrian Griffin
    BPL Member

    @desolationman

    Locale: Sacramento

    The power button issue noted by GR would be a deal breaker for me.

    #3811858
    David D
    BPL Member

    @ddf

    The battery rating is indeed the input rating and why differences in battery bank output efficiency can be important.  It matters more how much charge they provide than what they take to charge up themselves (though bank charging speed matters).

    I just google my devices’ (phone, garmin etc) battery capacity, look at the battery bank efficiency and calculate how many charges I’ll get, easy.

    Best to test the # charges into your devices from your chosen bank before departing on a long trip, to avoid carrying excess capacity, or too little.   The Anker was dead on spec

    In a culture of toothpaste tabs and culocleans, this is another learned skill helping keep pack weight down a little bit.

    #3811862
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    I had a 10,000 mAh powerbank but if I did 4 nights, it ran out of capacity, so I got a 13,000 mAh.

    The load of my phone increases if I’m making a GPS track, and if I listen to podcasts with earbuds.  It’s hard to know how many mAh you will consume, based on specs or anything, you really just have to do it by experience.

    If my battery is running low, I’ll turn off tracking and podcasts.  If I put the phone in battery saving mode, it will quit taking a track when the phone is off, so I can just turn it on occasionally if I’m changing direction or something, then I’ll get a pretty good measure of distance travelled without consuming much battery.

    I’ve used several Ankers for years without problem.

    #3811875
    David D
    BPL Member

    @ddf

    Bluetooth on the iphone is a battery killer.  I only turn it on temporarily to check my Garmin, and use Apple wired headphones.

    Airplane mode, low power mode and only tracking GPS when needed to confirm a turn off saves a lot battery too

    Doing these I easily get 6 or 7 days from an iphone 11 and a 10000 mAh Anker, while still listening to a lot of podcasts and reading a downloaded book in the tent

    I just did 4 days with a lot of phone use and only used ~ 3/4 of my smaller 6000 mAh battery bank

     

    #3811900
    William Chilton
    BPL Member

    @williamc3

    Locale: Antakya

    ‘what do you mean by “got hit”?’

    It got hot?

    #3811935
    Ray J
    BPL Member

    @rhjanes

    Maybe that is what was meant.  Hot Batteries usually mean an internal short.

    #3813036
    Tom D.
    BPL Member

    @dafiremedic

    Locale: Southern California

    I saw a review of the Veektomx 10k battery pack on YouTube. The guy said his weighed 5.9 oz, had a numerical charge indicator, and was $19.99 at the time,  so I bought one.

    Mine weighs 6.0 oz (My Nitecore 10k Gen 2 weighs 5.3 oz, my Anker weighs 6.3 oz.). I tested all 3 on my phone, all 3 brought my phone from 50% to a full charge exactly 5 times. I can’t detect any difference in performance.

    The Nitecore’s “safety feature” of locking up until you can hook it up to a charger has me a bit leery about hiking with just that battery. I read that you can unlock it by connecting it another battery bank, so if carrying 2, I’ll use the Nitecore first.

    #3813037
    AK Granola
    BPL Member

    @granolagirlak

    I have an old Anker 10k and a lipstick charger. The Anker has been great. When I was on the TRT I thought it was dead, and didn’t realize until after my trip that it was the brick I was using that was dead, not the charger. It is still going strong after many years and trips. Because I was mid-trip, I bought a small lightweight one (Flip 24 Goal Zero) at the outfitter in Tahoe City. That one only has about 2 phone charges, so I use it more for travel than backpacking. The Anker is my go to.

    #3813040
    HkNewman
    BPL Member

    @hknewman

    Locale: The West is (still) the Best

    For almost a week on iPhone and  rechargeable headlamp, I’ve been user Anker 10k for reliable toughness.  Saving an oz for something which seems a bit more fragile doesn’t seem that great a trade off.    Think I’d rather ditch a few wrappers on some Snickers bars.

    Those who do audio visual (seperate cameras), store movies to watch at night, or even vape need 20k of juice for almost a week of backpacking nights it seems

    #3813052
    Brad W
    BPL Member

    @rocko99

    I would disagree on bluetooth using much battery on the iPhone. I have never noticed any signifigant loss leaving it on all day. The consensus is 1-2% /day max. Android tests prove this as well-https://www.androidauthority.com/does-bluetooth-drain-battery-1145853/#:%7E:text=The%20results%20show%20that%20playing,playing%20back%20audio%20over%20Bluetooth

    Of course it’s always possible to have a rogue offender device but it’s usually the associated app draining the battery rather than the Bluetooth module.

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