A while ago I wrote about a ruggedized battery that I liked to take with me on the road and that was especially useful for charging things like GoPros on the go. Now I have a new favorite. It’s smaller, lighter, and this one really isn’t just water resistant, it’s waterproof.
It’s the FosPower Active Power Bank.
It’s an external USB battery that’s marketed as snow proof, dirt proof, drop proof, and waterproof. Specifically, it has an IP67 rating, which means it’s designed to withstand submersion in 3 feet of water for 30 minutes. I was a bit skeptical, so I decided to test it out so that I didn’t end up with a nasty surprise when out on the road. I dunked it in a bucket of water, fully submerged, and fished it out half an hour later. It was completely fine.
There is, of course, a very important qualification–you can’t actually use it underwater. It’s only waterproof with the access doors closed and sealed, and those doors cover the cable ports. So it’s waterproof for transporting–you don’t have to worry about a downpour and your pack getting drenched, for instance–but it’s not like you can use it to power a camera on a Scuba diving filming session.
It’s also quite compact. Here’s how it compares with a GoPro HERO5 Black, for instance.
It’s rated at 10,200 mAh, with puts in the range to fully charge an iPhone up to 4-5 times and a Galaxy S series up to 2-3 times. GoPros and other small action cams have much smaller batteries, so it’ll charge them many more times over.
The charge status is indicated with a row of LED lights on the top of the unit. There’s only one USB output port—a 2.1A output port—not the two that many other batteries have. And like many of these external batteries–and I’ve never quite figured out why–it also has an LED flashlight, but to use that you have to open the port cover. It also comes with a small compass and carabiner, neither of which I find especially useful, but I guess it helps convey the impression that this is designed as go-anywhere battery pack.
I’ve found it to work well. The power ratings seems about right, it’s small, and the case is grippy. About my only issue with it is that it only has one output port, so you can only charge one device at a time.
What’s in the Box?
- Battery pack
- micro USB cable
- small compass and carabiner (attached to the battery’s strap)
I bought mine at Amazon. There’s also another alternative that looks interesting from Outdoor Tech.