You might remember back towards the beginning of the year that I attended the Outdoor Bloggers camp with Varta? They were kind enough to give me some Varta Power Banks to try out. As something I am never without, I have been able to give them a thorough test. So I am now ready to give you my review.
I have been using portable power banks for many years now and they have been a life saver. Not only by means of back up power but eeking me thorough while saving up for a new phone.
What and why Power Banks
Firstly, let me explain a bit more what power banks are and why you would want one. Power banks are portable external batteries that you can use to charge your phone/iPad etc on the go. They charge from the power in your home and store it so that you can use it when you don’t have access to a plug socket. So why would you want on? Well, as you might know, phone batteries have that certain knack to run out at the most inopportune moment. When you’re trying to use it for Sat Nav or catch that perfect photo. When your train is delayed and some music would ease the waiting time or when you need access to your travel ticket that is safely stored in your phone’s memory. You know the moment. And probably the panic that comes when you watch that percentage drop quicker than you can fumble through your bag for a power cord.
Having external power, for me, is very important. I hold a lot of stuff on my phone and do a lot of my work through it too. This means that if I lose power, then I’m absolutely screwed! So this is where a power bank comes to the rescue. Most of them hold at least 2-3 full charges and will fill up your phone in less than half an hour (perfect for when you’re eating your lunch or grabbing a drink on the go) Yeah, so you might be carrying around a bit of extra weight in your rucksack, but you know what? It’s far better than the alternative.
On the go and at home
If like me, you’re a sucker for a bit of technology, you will more than likely have more than one thing to charge. I use my Varta power bank mainly when I am out and about but also when my other charging cables are in use (or I want access to the charging item away from a socket e.g. when I am cooking. The good thing about having more than one power bank is that you can charge on up while you’re out with the other one. (and yes, the photo is a nod to my other blog Susty Meals! And why not?)
The tech bit
OK, so you’ve seen both of them in action, and I could put a glass eye to sleep with my technical babble so I’ll keep it fairly normal.
The big power bank
The large Slimline Varta Power Bank (that’s the big silver one) is 12000 mAh. This means that it will charge my iPad mini 2 and a bit times and my iPhone, 5 times. We are yet to try the USB C connection so keep your eyes peeled for an update on that. You charge it up using a regular Micro USB and get a full charge that will last you for weeks. The longest I have gone without using it and checking the charge is three weeks, but I would bet it lasts longer. You can charge with regular USB and USB C.
It is coated in a lovely brushed metal which makes it nice and robust. Something that it needs to be when you’re chucking it in your rucksack and taking it on adventures. Mine has been to Paris, The Netherlands, Wales, London and around the north west of England and looks pretty good for the battering it has received.
The small power bank
The small power bank is more of my pocket one. The one that I stick in the upper lid of my bag for swift charges while on the move. It fits into my pocket along with my phone and is great in an emergency. It is smaller in power, as you would imagine for the size, but it still caries a power punch. At 5200 mAh and compact size, it still gives you a good 2-3 charges on a smart phone (depending on how low the battery is) or one charge of my iPad mini from under 10%. And it is quick too! An advantage is that it starts charging from when you plug it in rather than having to faff with buttons and stuff. A useful feature is that both of the Varta power banks have green indicator light to let you know how much charge is remaining. This saves you from heading out thinking you’re safe only to run out of power in there too (It’s absolutely gutting, I can tell you!)
Having used the same kind of power bank for the last few years I wasn’t convinced that someone could change my mind. But I was wrong! I very rarely take out my Technet or the freebie ones any more. The large Varta power bank fits perfectly into the bladder holder in my bag and I’ve found that I can also charge by threading the cable through the straw holes. Handy when you’re out and about. I pretty much have both of the batteries on me at all times too – mainly because I have room in my dainty 32 litre Lowe Alpine rucksack.
If you’re in the market for some power banks, then I would definitely recommend the ones by Varta. They are both affordable, robust and reliable. And I give mine a really hard time, as you can see by the state of the poor things!
So there you have it, my review of the Varta Power Banks. If you have any other questions, please ask away in the comments and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
And if you fancy grabbing one for yourself (and helping me get a few pennies towards running my blog) you can buy them through my Amazon affiliate links below.
Let’s keep powered while out exploring!
Disclosure: Varta gifted me with the power banks for review. This is not a sponsored post. As always, all words, photographs and honest opinions are my own.