I’m a procrastinator. I’m EXCELLENT at putting things off. In fact, it’s been at least three years now that I’ve been saying that I need to pick up a little battery booster pack for inevitable dead winter batteries.
Size-wise, it’s almost the same height as my LG G7 ThinQ, just SLIGHTLY wider, and a LOT thicker. And it’s pretty hefty, at a smidge under one pound. (15.5oz/440g)
Included in the box are a short set of battery cables, with fairly strong clamps. One thing I dislike are weak clamps on battery chargers and jumper cables. My NOCO Genius charger has really weak clamps, and I’m always worried they will just fall off the posts – especially on side posts. I don’t think that will be an issue with this.
You also get a 12V USB car charger, a micro USB cable, which this battery pack uses for charging, and a semi-rigid black fabric style case. One side has a zippered mesh to hold the cables/charger/USB cord – and it’s pretty tight getting things back in there once you take them out. The connector on the jumper cables is a bit chunky. It all fits, but barely.
On the other half of the case there’s a foam flap, and a mesh pocket that the battery pack slides into, along the the user manual.
You DO NOT get an AC charge block with this. You will need to use your own phone charger, or plug it into a USB port on your computer. I used my QC 3.0 charger. I just had to swap out the USB-C cable for a micro USB.
The battery pack was showing 50% charge on the indicators, out of the box. Hooked up to a QuickCharge 3.0 brick, it hit 100% in a touch over two hours. That puts a full charge in the 4-5 hour territory. I don’t think that’s so bad for a 12,000 mAh pack.
There’s a built-in LED flashlight, rated for 35 hours on a full charge. I think that would make this pretty handy for camping, especially since you can also get a few full charges of your phone out of it. It’s useful beyond just jump starting car engines. The flashlight has three modes – full, strobe, and S.O.S. You start by holding the power button for about 3 seconds, then press to cycle the modes.
When you plug the jumper cables into the battery pack, there is some built-in circuitry to prevent reverse polarity. There are simple indicator LEDs to tell you if the connection is good, as well as an override button that will allow the pack to boost (or attempt to boost) a completely dead battery at 0V. The button is inset a bit though, so you will need to use a pen or tip of a key or something to actually push it in. That button overrides all of the built-in safety functions as well, for 30 seconds, allowing access to the full 600A of power, briefly, from a fully charged battery pack.
It’s rated for boosting gasoline engines up to 5.0L. Which covers the 2.4L in our SUV and the 5.0L in my truck. While I never hope to come out to a dead battery, I am kind of hoping it happens again so I can test the marketing claims for myself.
I’m looking forward to using this in the coming years. It would have been REALLY handy a couple of weeks back when I left work to find the battery in my truck had died – and so had the one in the company vehicle. (Temperatures in the -30s will do that to batteries, especially when said vehicles had been parked for a couple of weeks over the holidays.)
The user guide recommends charging every 6 months, or after every use. Being lithium-ion based, it should hold a charge for a long time, and there is no memory effect to deal with. It’s one of the main reasons I wanted a pack like this vs. the larger 12V lead-acid battery based ones. Size, weight, and the ability to use it as a battery bank for 12V devices being others.
I wonder how long it would power up a Raspberry Pi? Hmmm. Could be an interesting future experiment! Mainly to see if the Pi draws enough current for the battery pack to not just automatically shut itself down. There IS a threshold.
Anyway, if you can catch it on sale this week at Canadian Tire, I’d recommend getting one! It’s handy portable power for your devices, and can save you from a tow truck call should you find your car’s battery suddenly dead.