I don't go on as many camping trips as I'd like to, nor do I think I'd want to bring a ton of tech with me if I did — likely just my phone and maybe my camera. But you never know when you're going to need other, less obvious gadgets and appliances like a hot plate or even a portable camping shower.
MrMobile took a trip to a small island called Nassau Point last week to test out two high-capacity battery banks — the Anker Powerhouse 200 and the Jackery Explorer 240 — and see how quickly he could deplete each battery in four hours, before the tide reclaimed the island from right under his feet.
Portable battery banks aren't just for camping trips and weekend getaways. They can be essential pieces of kit in an emergency situation; living in Indiana, I deal with tornado scares on a near-weekly basis throughout the summer, and others elsewhere can have it much worse. Should you find yourself without power, a battery bank like these can be a tremendous help as a temporary solution.
They're also handy for working on your laptop on the go, particularly for power-intensive tasks like video editing and 3D rendering, though you won't be able to fly with either of these batteries since they exceed the 100 watt hour limit enforced by most airlines.
With each of these batteries, you get a couple USB-A ports, a car charger port, and an AC inverter, as well as a display for monitoring power input and output. The Anker has a bonus USB-C port with 30W charging, but the Jackery has a larger 240Wh battery.
There's no one-size-fits-all battery bank for everyone, but these two are a great place to start, and each comes with its own list of pros and cons — but either can be a lifesaver at the right times. Check out MrMobile's full video linked above for a more in-depth look!
Smaller with USB-C
USB-C for handling power to and from the battery.
The Powerhouse is pricier than the Explorer 240 and has a smaller capacity battery, but it's physically smaller and comes with a USB-C port, which can handle 60W in and 30W out. It's far more efficient for charging a USB-C laptop, and can even power a mini-fridge for four hours.
Larger, higher capacity
The 240Wh capacity is well worth its size and lack of USB-C.
The Explorer 240 is physically larger than the Powerhouse 200, but in exchange you get considerably better battery life. The inverter isn't nearly as efficient as a USB-C port, meaning this isn't a great fit for charging your laptop, but it's well-equipped for just about any other situation.
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