RAVPower IP66 Camouflage Power Bank Review
By Werner Schmidt
Testing the Limits
Endurance cycling is one of my favorite pastimes. Spending hours, sometimes days (and nights) on a bicycle, often without access to any electricity, necessitates access to a reliable portable charging device for technology such as my Garmin 520 GPS, charging my flashing red rear light in the day so it’s available at night, my iPhone and the occasional cardio resuscitation (no, not for me, for the pesky field mice that keep thinking my front wheel is a hamster wheel). Over the past two years I have been using a 10500mAh power bank which has stood the test of time, but in the spirit of preventing the fallibility of things at the most inopportune times, it was time for a new one.
Most commercial power banks are made of hard plastic and are not rated dust, water or shock proof resistant. Enter the RAVPower Xtreme Series Rugged Portable Charger (10500mAh). I specifically chose this device because it is IP66 rated. For the non-techs, this basically means it is dust-proof and waterproof to rain or spray (not submersion). This is important as I often get caught in rain or, more often than not, find myself on endless gravel roads where dust gets into places it really shouldn’t.
It also sports a cool green camouflage skid resistant outer case. This provides a rugged look and feel, is nonslip and after a month of usage it has no scratches on it, so I can comfortably use it in the office without the sense of it having been dragged behind me for miles along the asphalt.
When I first received the device and unboxed it, I immediately got a feeling of “value for money”. The box itself is posh enough for a Tiffany’s bracelet if you are that way inclined and I found the contents to have much more than any other standard power bank. There is a mini carabiner which can be attached to the power bank and hung wherever you will (even to a rope and dragged behind you if you really want that rugged look). Disclaimer – No, it cannot hold your body weight. It also has a mini compass and unlike most power banks it has two MicroUSB charging cables (1x 315mm and 1x 255mm).
The power bank itself has two USB ports with an output of 5V 1A – 2.4A, a MicroUSB port to charge the power bank as well as a handy LED light. In complete darkness, on a desolate road at night, it may not be bright enough to hail over assistance after cycling into a ditch because you fell asleep on the bike. It is, however, bright enough to help you find your last Jelly Baby in your bike bag when you’re desperate for sustenance. All of this is hidden under a nifty little dust-proof flap. The initial out of the box charging time took three hours, and this was enough for its four, blue pin-head sized indicator lights to show a full charge.
Xtreme Power Meets Extreme Cycling
So off to the road we went. I was busy training for a 1200km event in France in August 2019 and needed to make 100% sure the power bank was capable and reliable enough for the event. I trained for between nine and eighteen hours at a time, in good weather as well as cold rainy conditions.
The dust-proof flap kept the ports dry while closed and I was able to schedule my charging to non-rainy moments as one obviously has to open the flap to charge your toys, which will expose the ports to moisture if raining, unless you have learnt like me to put the power bank and phone in a Ziplock bag if you have to charge in the rain.
During these rides I would only need to top my Garmin and iPhone up once, so the charge never dropped below three power lights. By the way, this specific power bank suggests it can charge an iPhone around 3.1 times, and I can confirm that in an isolated home test, I was able to charge my iPhone 7 three times from around 15% power before it bottomed out on the fourth attempt.
Finally, off to France I went satisfied that it would serve me well. During the 19 hours of flying I used it once and because of its camouflage pattern the Customs Officials did not even see it. I went into the race with a back-up power bank (that’s just the OCD in me), but never needed it in the end.
Over a period of 78 hours during the race I charged my Garmin eight times off around 30% power (did I mention I was OCD) and my iPhone once from 10% and still had one blue power light left at the end. It never rained at the event, but the device was exposed to 78 hours of road shock and bump contact from other items in my top tube bag and never flinched. Further, we had extreme temperature fluctuations during the event (2 degrees to 38 degrees Celsius), which really messed with my Garmin’s battery ability (hence the required eight charges), but these conditions had no negative impact on the power banks’ ability to charge.
So, are there any negatives you ask? Well, I couldn’t find any during the month thus far, but then again, my needs are simple and really, this big boy served all of them. So, if you are the outdoorsy kind of person, this boy is just for you. And, if you want people to think you are an outdoorsy kind of person, this boy is just for you. So get yourself a RAVPower Xtreme Charger and enjoy its rugged good looks and reliability, I surely am!