Has your smart phone or helmet cam run out of juice mid day while on the mountain while skiing or mountain bike riding? Well, guess what, so did both my helmet cam and cellphone at Snowbird last season.
To mitigate this dilemma, I could buy a new battery with as a spare or one with a larger capacity if one is available. Or if I am skiing, I could also carry a cellphone charter with me and plugin when I am.
Well, what am I going to do if I don’t want to break for lunch? And to buy a new battery for a phone is usually not very cheap. On top of that, I would have to buy a spare battery for my helmet camera as well. Then I’d have to carry both and also charge both. breaking for lunch.
All of the sudden, it seems like I’d need to carry more gear and also keep track of more gear. Well, I don’t really want to be carrying any more gear than I absolutely have to.
If I had brought the dedicated wall charger, I’d have to wait while the helmet cam or phone battery was charging while in the ski lodge. And that is if I could find an unused outlet. Then I would have to hope the device charged enough to enable me to get through the rest of the day.
While being able to charge when I want enables me to able to take a few laps off of recording and charge the camera while skiing, riding the lift or inside the lodge. It doesn’t matter, as I can charge when its convenient for me.
So after looking into this, I realized that the cheapest and also the best solution for me, would be to find a stand-alone universal battery pack. After browsing around, I found the 3000mAh Anker Astro Light. It looks like an oversized lipstick container with its tubular shape. And get this, the Astro Lite only weighs just 4.5oz.
Included in the packaging is one universal usb plug on one side of the coiled cord and the other side has a universal attachment so anyone one of the included plugs: micro usb, mini usb which are used by HTC, Samsung etc and there is an iPhone 3/4/4S connector as well. So if you have a smartphone, chances are, this unit will be able to charge it right out of the box.
This mini sized fat cigar can give my phone 2 full or nearly full charges. One of the included features is that when my battery on my POV cam begins to run down, I can place the camera in my backpack or ski jacket pocket and begin charging it while riding the chairlift. No more waiting around the lodge for me.
One of the Anker’s key features is its charging rate. It will charge your phone at almost the same rate as a wall plug-in, not a trickle charge like most car plugins.
This enables you to get a good quick charge after a few laps and riding the chairlift. Or, if you do decide to hit the lodge, you can charge at your table, either inside or out during your lunch break.
You can also plug your phone into it and leave it plugged in while riding or making calls as it will power your phone enough to allow you to operate your phone or video camera at the same time.
At a relatively low price-point, being below $25, and being able to use it for multiple devices: ipods, iphones, android phones and pov cameras this is a bargain in my book.
Need a weekend supply of juice? Then check out a little larger unit, the NewTren NT 1200c, which provides you with 12,000mAh worth of battery. This beast can charge your phone at least 6 times. So much juice is stored, that you can even share some with your friends.
Recently on a camping trip, I used it for 2 nights to power up my hotspot so we had Pandora running during the evenings cocktails are the way through the smore fest. I enough power to charge up my phone on the third day and I estimated, there was at least one more charge in the unit.
Both units are super easy to use as you plug one a cord into recharge the battery pack. When the battery pack is fully charged, you use the provided adapter to plug into your phone or helmet cam. That is it.