Gadget Review: RAVPower Dynamo-On-the-Go
June 13, 2014 | 2:07 pm
By Juli Monroe
It’s ironic that it’s described as great for camping, and they offered it to me a day before I was leaving for a camping trip, which meant it didn’t arrive in time for me to use it. However, I can certainly see why it would a great camping accessory.
I hadn’t really clued in on the fact that it’s cammo-colored, so I had a good chuckle when I took it out of the box. Actually, the color doesn’t seem to be a selling point to me. I’ve dropped many things while camping and needed to hunt around in the grass or brush to find them. The color works against you here. I think it would blend right into most campsites and be difficult to find. I would prefer something brightly colored.
As a battery, it works pretty much as you’d expect, although it doesn’t seem to put quite a full charge on my iPhone. I tested charging my phone with this one night and then using a wall socket the next. In the morning, my battery indicator was 96% after charging with the RAVPower Dynamo-On-the-Go and 99% after the wall socket. Battery life the next day seemed less after using the RAVPower. It could be my phone, which is almost two years old and doesn’t hold a charge like it used to. However, I don’t notice it when I use other external batteries.
Full charge or no, I got three nights of charging on my phone before I needed to top off the RAVPower, so it’ll serve on a many-day camping trip with no problem.
It’s light and feels about the same weight as another charger I own which has only half the capacity of this one. We’re trailer campers, so weight isn’t an issue for us, but backpackers could certainly carry this along and not notice the weight.
As you can see from the picture, it’s a two-function device: both charger and LED light. This does make it a great camping accessory. The light is bright enough to get you to and from a bath house (or a tree) in the middle of the night. It’s also handy at home when the power goes out. Considering the storms blowing through right now, I might get to use it later today. I haven’t tested how long the light lasts, but they say it’ll last 72 hours if not used to charge devices.
With 7200 mAh of power, it’s good for charging phones, but don’t expect to get much extra life for your iPad or other tablet. I did use it to charge my Kindle Paperwhite, and I had more than enough left over to charge my phone, however.
It comes with a loop and a clip to attach to a backpack or the like, assuming you want to use it that way.
While the device does come with a micro-USB cable, it doesn’t come with a charging block. However, I used it with my iPhone block with no problems, and it’s likely you have something kicking around your house that will work just fine. It takes several hours to charge.
Considering I went an entire week-long camping trip without needing to recharge my Kindle Paperwhite, this device would keep me reading for a long time. If it weren’t for the lack of Internet access, I could just about survive a zombie apocalypse with them.
Other than the color and the fact that it didn’t seem to put quite a complete charge on my phone (assuming that isn’t an issue with my phone), it’s a good external battery, and the LED light is a nice extra bonus. Right now, it’s on sale for $29.99, and that’s a great price for this device. (Regular price looks to be $39.99, which is also quite good.)