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Gear Reviews

4 Backcountry Power Devices

Don’t get stuck with a dead smartphone or headlamp on your next weekend trip. Pack one of these and always have spare juice.

For weekend jaunts, packing a portable power brick (pre-charged at home) makes a lot more sense than hauling a charging contraption. There are virtually hundreds of these on the market. I’ve tested a whole bunch, but these are the ones I’ve come to rely on most. I bring them on backpacking trips, yes, but I also find them indispensable at home and around town, too. Bottom line: No more getting stuck with a dead battery. My iPhone is always charged!

[max power+light]

Bracketron SmartLantern

This is the heaviest battery in my arsenal, but at 7800mAp, it also packs the most punch. Fully charged, it replenishes my iPhone 4S three times. Plus, it’s also a nice little camp lantern.

$80; 7.4 oz.; 7800mAp; 3 ¾” tall x 1 ¾” diameter; bracketron.com

[bargain]

JackeryBar

With this svelte battery, you’ll get the most power bang for your buck. At only $30, it’s a steal, and it refilled my iPhone 2.5 times per charge. $30; 5.6 oz.; 5600mAp; 3 ¾” tall x ¾” wide; jackeryusa.com



[lightest]

Power Practical Lithium 4400 Battery Bank


I like this one for when I’m going light and fast, plus it’s so tiny it can slip into the pocket of my skinny jeans. A full battery nets 2.5 iPhone charges. Bonus: It also has a flashlight feature and I love the included 3-in-one charging cord, which means I can leave all my other cables at home.

$60; 4.2 oz.; 4400mAp; 3.5″ x 2″ x 1″; thepowerpot.com



[solar]

WakaWaka Power


This device buys me a little extra insurance if I get stuck out longer than I intended or if I use more juice than I meant to. Charge it up via the wall at home, then keep it topped off in the field via its 5” by 2.5” solar panel. Fully loaded, it charged my iPhone once, and 7 hours in full sun provides a 32% boost on the same phone. Note: It also comes with a built-in light. $79; 5 oz.; 2200mAp; 5 ½” x 2 ¾” x ½”;getwakawaka.com

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