I can hear Robert yelling at me as enter the title to this review. “This is a firearms website! Why the hell are we reviewing a big *ss battery?” As Lucentio would say, my reasons are both good and weighty. I get the feeling that you readers would appreciate this one . . .
There’s been a bit of an arms race in recent years over portable battery packs.
We’ve become increasingly reliant on portable electronics to gt through our daily lives, from iPads to mobile phones that keep getting smaller and smaller — squeezing out every last spare battery cell in the name of making the device just a little bit thinner.
As a result more and more people are shuffling from one power outlet to the next. I can think of a couple friends with iPhones who have found the need to purchase a case with an external battery just to get through the day.
Thanks to that need to top up our devices there’s a significant market for portable batteries designed to charge our stuff without the need to be tied to the power grid. Whether we’re streaming cat videos on our iPhones or running high tech ballistic calculators in the field (see Robert, there is a gun related connection!) having a portable power source is more important than ever.
Enter the MyCharge Portable Power Outlet.
The first portable power bank I ever bought was a mere 1,000 mAh, or barely enough to charge a normal iPhone to about 1/3 capacity. These days I don’t leave the house without a 10,000 mAh battery pack — mainly because I know my significant other will probably need it before the day is out. The MyCharge Portable Power Outlet clocks in at a downright impressive 20,000 mAh, double the capacity of anything else I have in my bag. And it has a few tricks of its own beyond that raw capacity.
One of the interesting features is that the power pack not only features the usual USB charging ports, but it also has a three prong AC power output functionality. So not only can you plug in your USB devices but you can run any standard electronic device you need. This would be especially important in say a TEOTWAWKI situation (hah! another tangential gun related scenario!) where you might need to power a radio station or provide some temporary power while you get your generator running.
One scenario that MyCharge specifically called out was the ability to run a TV from the battery pack, for things like tailgating parties. Or, to put a firearms related spin on it, watching movies during hunting trips in the woods. The site claimed that it could run a small TV for a few hours, so I decided to put it to the test.
Hooked up to my 42 inch 4k TV streaming Netflix over the WiFi (pretty much the worst case scenario for power drain) the battery lasted a full and complete hour. It powered the TV without a single complaint and zero overheating issues. If you have a smaller TV and weren’t using all the bells and whistles I don’t doubt that this could last the entirety of a football game.
But what about usefulness in a more compact environment?
As Robert knows, flying is my passion. I’m an instrument rated pilot which requires either (A) a metric ton of paperwork updated every few months or (B) a functioning iPad with a special app installed. As with most pilots these days I chose Option B. But flying around with Garmin Pilot running on my iPad all day drains the battery faster than a newbie shooter with a machine gun drains a magazine.
That’s where the MyCharge comes in. Powerful enough to provide electricity to all my gadgets for an entire day, it still fits neatly into the tiny cramped cockpit of a small airplane with space to spare.
So here’s the bottom line. We live in a world increasingly dependent on electronic devices. Whether you’re powering an iPad that is the only thing keeping you from becoming a smoking crater in an airport or a ballistic calculator app that is trying to help you hit that long range target, you need something that you know will work and will get the job done.
The MyCharge Portable Power Outlet is something that I’ve come to trust to provide all the power I need whenever I need it, and do so without taking up all the spare room in my bag.
Specifications: MyCharge Portable Power Outlet
Capacity: 20,000 mAh
Output Ports: 2x USB, 1x 3 prong US AC
Maximum Output: 110v / 65w
Size: 5.0 in x 5.75 in x 1.4 in
Weight: 1.05 lbs
MSRP: $179.99 (like $127 on Amazon)
Overall: * * * *
I’d like to see this a little cheaper than it is, but I haven’t seen a similar product on the market that has these same features in such a slick package. I’m a fan, and it’s definitely going in my rainy day bag.