Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Gear Closet: Outxe Portable Battery Pack Review

These days, keeping all of your electronic devices charged while on the go is a serious concern, which has thankfully been addressed by a wide variety of different portable battery packs, solar panels, and power stations. In fact, there are new options coming to market all of the time, many of which are built specifically with the adventure traveler and outdoor enthusiast in mind. Take for example a new battery pack called the Outxe Savage that I've been testing over the past couple of weeks. It's a rugged, fast-charging option that brings a lot to the table for those looking for a good charing solution for smaller gadgets.

Purpose built for use in demanding environments, the Outxe Savage a very durable case designed to protect it from accidental drops and the elements. It is IP66 water-resistant, dust proof, and shock proof, which means it can survive being used in the rain, dirty environments, and being dropped on rocks or other hard surfaces. This makes it an ideal choice for taking with you on your adventures, no matter where you're going.

The Savage is also equipped with a fairly large rechargeable lithium-ion battery offering 20,000 mAh of capacity. That's enough to recharge a typical smartphone as many as six or eight times before the battery pack itself needs to be juiced up again. And since the Outxe comes with two USB out ports – including a fast-charging USB-C option, you can charge multiple gadgets at once. I used the Savage to charge my iPhone and iPad while on the road recently, and it worked great. But, I also routinely travel with rechargeable headlamps, watches, cameras, and other devices too, and they all worked very efficiently with this battery pack. The fast-charging option can actually put out as much as 18-watts, which can recharge supported devices to 80% in a little more than half-hour.

One of the things that is very unique about the Outxe Savage is that it also has two USB input ports. This allows it to be charged via micro-USB or USB-C, minimizing the number cables you may need to bring with you. The device recharges fairly quickly too, requiring just six hours to refill its large battery. That's a fairly rapid pace for a battery pack of this size.

While all of these features already make the Savage a nice option for those needing an on-the-go charging solution, it has a few extra features up its sleeve that come in handy too. For instance, it has a built-in flashlight with there different settings, high, low, and SOS. That light can burn for up to 100 hours using the battery pack's internal power supply, making it handy for use around the campsite.

One of the other features that the Savage offers is a built-in solar panel that can collect light from the sun and store the energy back in the battery. In theory, this would be a great way to keep the pack charged while away from a power outlet, but in practice it is extremely slow at recharging the device. As with most solar panels, it is most efficient when set in the direct sunlight, which we all know seldom happens in the outdoors. Still, the small solar panel does provide a trickle charge which in turn adds juice to the battery, it is just so slow that it is almost a negligible amount. In fact, it might have been better for Outxe to just leave the solar panel off, allowing the device to be a bit slimmer and lighter.

Speaking of which, those who count ounces when hitting the trial may want to look for another option. This battery pack tips the scales at 18.5 ounces (525 grams), which is fairly substantial. That said, a similar charger that I use from a competing company is only a few ounces lighter, but has less power, fewer charging options, cost twice as much, and doesn't come with built-in solar. In other words, the trades-offs in terms of weight are fairly small, so its a matter of deciding where your own priorities lie.

All of that said, I'm impressed with this battery pack. It isn't quite as slim or light as I'd like, but it is also powerful, durable, and fast. All of those things are what you're looking for in terms of portable power and best of all it is also very affordable. The Outxe Savage is available on the company's website for just $55.99 and on Amazon for just $49.99. That's surprisingly cheap for everything that it brings to the table and making it easy to recommend to those who are in need of this type of performance. Just don't get your hopes up on the solar charging too much.

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