(Graphic: Ryan McCullah)
I’ve cowered in the corner of a grocery store, sat on the floor of a bathroom at the Democratic National Convention, and helped a Kenyan gas station attendant crank a car battery in the dead of night, just to juice up my electronic devices on the road.
My last-minute can-do spirit of “Will charge anywhere!” stems mainly from unpreparedness. If I had only thought ahead, or rather charged ahead, I wouldn’t find myself in these precarious predicaments. If I were willing to look at it from a more Buddhist standpoint, I would counter with the fact that my constant searching for outlets has allowed me to make wonderful new friends.
Regardless, dead devices are just annoying. Here are a few things I like to take on the road with me these days, to make sure I am always fully charged.
If you have an iPhone, the Mophie is the way to go: this case snaps onto the phone and adds battery power. I prefer the super-charged version (go big or go home, I like to say). This 2100mAh battery case is equipped with up to 120% extra battery for your smart phone. It also comes in red!
When you need a boost, you need the Mophie Power Station. Keep this 12,000mAh battery fully charged to give a kick to tablets and phones.
I love this because it is one of the more compact solar chargers on the market. Just hang it outdoors or clip it to your backpack — a few hours of direct sunlight will fill it right up. You can then charge your devices through a USB. The best part about this little guy is that he folds up like a fruit rollup to easily fit into your bag.
(Photo: LL Bean)
I always bring along an extra USB power cube. It’s easy to find the charging wire on the go and less easy to find a way to plug it into the wall.
I usually stash this portable car charging kit in the glove compartment of my car, but I also bring it along when I’m renting a car. It contains a 3000mAh instacharge power bank, a USB car charger, a wall charger, a USB to micro-USB charging cable, and a handy carrying case.
Keep this backpack charged and it will be able to deliver a 3000mAh charge to your devices while you are on the go — which is about enough to power your smart phone twice. Its pockets include dedicated Apple and M2 connectors with micro and mini USBs for charging Android devices. The full-sized internal USB port allows you to charge pretty much anything.