In this blog post I would like to write about the best portable USB battery packs which I have selected for our hiking and backpacking trips as we need a lot of energy to power our USB devices such as our GoPro Hero camera, iPhones or headlamps
Having a headlamp can be a life saver, and it’s a good idea to have one with you in your backpack especially during the winter.
For a multi-day trip where we have no access to a power socket we solely rely on a portable USB battery to charge our devices.
Further, we are also experimenting with a solar panel, however in regions like in Scandinavia there might be longer periods with no sun.
Previously, we have used the Astro E3 10000 mAh for our trips which worked quite well for 4-5 day trips.
However, on our trip to the Sarek National Park in Sweden we realised that 10000 mAh might not be sufficient for longer trips exceeding 4-5 days (depending on how much gear you have to charge).
As we are planning a more extensive trip this year we had a look on a USB battery which has even more capacity at a similar weight and size of our old Anker Astro E3.
After doing some research online I came across the Anker 2nd Gen Astro E5 with a capacity of 16000 mAh – 6000 mAh more juice than the Anker Astro E3.
There were also some similar products available but after reading reviews and comments some of them didn’t deliver the capacity as they were advertised.
The Astro E3 outputs 5V / 2A and USB 5V / 1 A – depending on the device. You also have to make sure to connect the right device to the right USB socket while the new Anker 2nd Gen Astro E5 can automatically detect the device connected on one of the 2 USB sockets (the company calls this technology PowerIQ).
There are also 4 LEDs on the device which indicating the battery status. The battery can be charged with the included USB cable e.g. on a computer or on a power socket if you have a USB adapter.
The Anker 2nd Gen Astro E5 comes at a size of 150 × 62 × 22 mm while our old Astro E3 comes with 142 x 72 x 16 mm.
The Anker 2nd Gen Astro E5 16000 mAh weights about 296 grams while our old Astro E3 10000 mAh weights about 245 grams – an increase of weight by only 66 grams.
While the Astro E3 weights about 0.0245 grams/mAh we can see a decrease to 0.0185 grams/mAh on the 2nd Gen Astro E5.
We have tested the Anker Astro E5 on our trips in Sweden and Finland and we are very happy with it as battery pack which is worth taking to your adventures.
Update: The Anker PowerCore 20100 is a new model which offers more capacity than the Astro E5.
There are a few alternative USB Power banks available which I would like to mention.
Anker Power House
If you need the ultimate power bank in your camp then you should probably have a look at the Anker Power House.
It offers a capacity of 120.000 mAh and can be connected to your car to recharge it.
If you are looking for a waterproof alternative to the Anker Power Bank then you could have a look at the EasyAcc 20000 mAh, a rugged outdoor power bank which is IP67 waterproof.