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Backpacker Magazine – 2010 Editors' Choice/Gear Guide

Editors' Choice 2010: Mophie Juice Pack Air

Make your iPhone trail-ready.

by: BACKPACKER Editors

Mophie Juice Pack Air (BP Photo Department)
Mophie Juice Pack Air (BP Photo Department)

Until last fall, our affection for the iPhone 3GS knew only two limitations. One, it wasn’t waterproof. Two, the camera, video, and GPS drained the battery wicked fast. We could get a weekend’s worth of photos, tunes, and reading with the GPS off, but running a nav app like MotionX cooked the phone in about four hours.

Enter the Mophie, a hardshell case and rechargeable battery pack. Slide it over your iPhone (or iPod Touch), and you’ll almost double your battery life. In the field, one editor shot more than 200 photos and 30 video clips during a four-day hike in the Wind Rivers—and listened to NPR podcasts each night.

That kind of juice lets the iPhone go places it couldn’t before. (Tip: Turn on power-saving options and limit playback to achieve times like ours. And carry a Ziploc for rain; this doesn’t solve problem #1.) $80 (available through iTunes and authorized Apple vendors); 2.7 oz.; mophie.com

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READERS COMMENTS

David
Feb 22, 2011

I always carry a Brunton Inspire power pack with me. It's half the price and can be used for more type of devices.

Ian Morrison
Jun 26, 2010

This is a great accessory and fixes the iphone battery life problem. I prefer this form factor to the unadorned iPhone. There are some drawbacks:
Top part slides off too easily.(I've taped mine.)
Micro USB connection a little flaky.
Suggested improvement: Add lug for lanyard.

Mark Brandon Printup
May 04, 2010

I've had one for a while and like it quite a lot. It does as it claims and, while it doubles the size of the iPhone, it has a sleek design and you don't notice the additional bulk too much (no more than any other case).
The only complaint that I have is that it's so sleek that there's little structure in the area around the volume/mute buttons. This part has broken 4 times and counting. Super-glue fixes it pretty well but it's just that thin.

Mark Brandon Printup
May 04, 2010

I've had one for a while and like it quite a lot. It does as it claims and, while it doubles the size of the iPhone, it has a sleek design and you don't notice the additional bulk too much (no more than any other case).
The only complaint that I have is that it's so sleek that there's little structure in the area around the volume/mute buttons. This part has broken 4 times and counting. Super-glue fixes it pretty well but it's just that thin.

King
May 04, 2010

There is currently a 25% off sale for these for Mother's Day, I just picked mine up! Way to go moms!

3G Hiker
Apr 21, 2010

Duracell has a rechargeable usb charger that is very small (3/8' x 1 9/16" x 3 1/2") and negligible in weight. It charged my 3G iPhone, from the 20% indicator, nearly twice the first time I used it and one full charge plus another 50% every time since. the cost, $25-30 depending on the store/sites that you like to shop at. The package claims 180 min additional talk time. All that you'll need for your trip would be the charger and your iPhone/iPod usb cable. The $50 that you'll save you can get a few more Mountain House meals or a new footprint or whatever ;-). Hope this helps the budget minded backpacker. See ya on the trails.

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