One of the neater products I saw at CES 2015 is now out in force and being manufactured by several companies – that gadget is a combo power bank (to keep your phone charged,) and car jump starter (to keep you from having to use your phone to call AAA.)
If you are, or you’ve got a loved one who ends up with a dead battery all the time, dead car too often, and don’t want them to end up dead (ok, I’m stretching here,) these products can save a day by providing the phone or car battery with some more life.
I won’t call this a full and proper review as I wasn’t able to locate dead cars/batteries to jump start in the timeframe I’ve played with this and have to trust the Amazon reviews and videos saying and showing it works to be true.
The kit comes in a case for storing in your vehicle. You can chuck it in the trunk of junk and be pretty confident that your stuff will not get crushed. The case appears to be a generic case that 1byone has slapped their logo sticker on as mine are slightly air-bubbled out.
Upon first opening the case I was not aware that there were cutouts in the foam where everything was supposed to be as everything was everywhere. There’s extra space in the case, so you can either stuff something there or get a piece of foam to keep it in place. Eh, whatever, it shipped across the country and made it in one piece, I’m happy.
The battery is a 9000mA charger capable of recharging your phone about four times from dead, has a 2.1amp USB charger that can charge phones or tablets, a fairly bright flashlight that can blink as a roadside warning light, and also it can deliver 450 peak cranking amps to jump start your car.
The battery is light enough if you want to carry it and charge your phone that’s fine. The car jump starting cables can stay in the case, no need to bring them along unless you’re really into that sort of thing and want to look like you’re carrying parts to a bomb.
The battery portion feels like you need to drop it to figure out how tough it is. It’s pretty solid. My only dislike of it is how easy it is to hit the power button on it. Just by setting it up for a photo I’d triggered the flashlight. Not a terrible thing to happen but you might find light shining out of your pocket and be at a loss to come up with a proper joke in the amount of time you have available.
I really wish this came with a little air compressor also so I could get rid of my 20.6 pound 400amp PSX jump starter as the entire kit weighs only 2.5 pounds.
The kit comes with a car power adapter to charge off of your battery/alternator, and a wall charger for when your car or car battery isn’t going to cut it.
The battery will hold a charge for up to a year, although they suggest that you charge it every six months to keep it good.
According to the manual you can use the 9000mAh battery to jump start approximately 200 cars, which breaks down to about 45mAh per car start (at about two seconds cranking for a start.) Unfortunately, or fortunately, I don’t have a dead car to show a video of it starting, and then starting again. There are plenty of videos on the product page, so we’ll have to do with them.
I really wish his thing had an inflator tucked away in it somewhere, it would be nearly perfect. Well, that and a seatbelt cutter and window hammer and pass through power supply. Actually if you could slap on a solar panel and recharge the unit via USB it would be perfect for activities away from the grid. That does sadden me a bit that it doesn’t have a USB input as I could use it with my solar panel in the event of sudden and unexpected camping.
You can get less expensive jump starters, and less expensive phone chargers, but man the usefulness of this little thing is astounding. It’s got more useful neat per cubic inch than most of the stuff that I’ve played with.