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GEAR | Powapacs ION Portable Solar Powered Camping Power Pack – Review
GEAR | Powapacs ION Portable Solar Powered Camping Power Pack – Review

GEAR | Powapacs ION Portable Solar Powered Camping Power Pack – Review


If you’re on the look out for something compact and portable that will keep your essential electrical devices charged on camping trips, you might want to consider the Powapac ION. Read on for our full review and verdict.

 

What is it?

Powapacs ION Portable Power Supply RRP: $169.99

Overall Rating 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

Features

  • Portable power supply, with AC, QC 3.0 USB for supplying power to small appliances
  • 24000mAH 84Wh high capacity lithium batteries
  • 1 universal 230v AC socket for universal standard plugs
  • Peak 95W, continuous 65W
  • LED light indicator, AC power on, power indicator and error warning
  • 1 x QC 3.0 USB output
  • 1 x Type C input
  • Power off automatically in 30 minutes without load connection
  • Input: 15v type C mains and solar
  • Battery pack high rate 18650 lithium battery.
  • Capacity 24000mAh/3.7V
  • LED Power indicator
  • ON/OFF indicator
  • Red Light Error indicator Charging Input Amperage Type C 15v
  • Charge time 6 Hrs
 Li-Po Powapac ION

 

What We Thought

We’ve been using the Powapacs ION for the past 3 months, taking it on several camping trips both here and overseas in that time allowing us to really put it through its paces in a variety of conditions.

Before our first camping trip, I left it charging for most of the day (it takes 6 hours to fully charge from the mains), just to make sure it was fully charged, and thanks to the indicator lights on the unit, it was easy to gauge when it was indeed full.

Over the course of our first camping trip, we both charged our phones from almost empty – twice and we topped them both up a couple of times. I also topped up my Lenovo Yoga tablet and by the end of the trip, the unit had dropped down to 3 lights, or around 60% capacity, which we thought was pretty impressive considering how much we’d used it.

Powapac ION solar panel and battery pack

 

Solar Panel Performance

The next time we used it, we decided not to fully charge it from the mains, and instead tried out the solar panel that is supplied with the unit. It was spring time in the UK and the days were bright and clear, but with reduced daylight hours.

After half a day in the sun, the unit still remained with 3 solid lights and a blinking 4th light – the same as when we’d plugged the solar panel in at the start of the day.

LED Indicator lights on the ION

We opted to mains charge it before subsequent weekend camping trips, and have never yet managed to get it to drain fully!

The biggest test for the Powapacs ION came when we spent a full week camping in the Caribbean. As you might expect, it was boiling hot, bright sunshine and virtually cloudless skies every single day – the perfect opportunity to see what the solar panel was really made of.

At the start of our fourth day, the unit was down to 2 dots out of a possible 5, so let’s say it was around the 40% mark. I plugged in the solar panel and opened it out to ensure it would be in direct sunlight, then put it outside the tent at 6:30 a.m. in the morning. I kept moving the panel throughout the day to keep it in full sunlight until the end of the day (when the photo below was taken).

Powapac ION portable power bank

By sunset, the fourth light had started flashing, meaning it was somewhere between 60% and 80% charged. We were both surprised!  Being in direct sunshine all day (over 12 hours), we’d expected to come back and find it fully charged.

 

Pros

  • Good sturdy build quality
  • The power block holds a LOT of power, and it saw us through 3 full days of camping (charging 2 phones several times, a handheld fan, and a GoPro)
  • Indicator lights that show how much power is left
  • The plug socket adds to the versatility of the ION
  • Handy carry case which makes it easily portable
  • Can be charged easily from mains at home before a trip
  • Auto power off is super useful

Cons

  • Slow charge when using the solar panel alone
  • The solar panel cable is far too short

The verdict

Our Rating

Quality 4/5

Practicality 3.5/5

Performance 3.5/5

Value 4/5

Overall Rating 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

This is a good bit of kit, with a really good battery capacity that benefits from being mains charged. Once fully charged, the ION contains a lot of oomph and is sufficient for any weekend family camping trip.

We did feel that the short length of the solar panel cable impacted our ability to leave it charging outside the tent, with the power block safely inside the tent (and potentially out of the rain), when camping in the UK.

DISCLOSURE | Thank you to Powapacs who supplied the featured product for us to test. We were not paid to write this review.

 

Where to next?

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Shell loves all things travel and outdoors and is a nature-loving, comfy-camping kinda girl. Shell started the Camping with Style blog after a serious snowboarding accident which left her with a broken back. Despite this she used the outdoors and healing power of nature to aid her recovery and she continues to spend time outdoors whenever she can.

From open water swimming, snowboarding and kayaking to hill walks and meditation, Shell shares her travels and microadventures here on the blog and in various publications she’s written for, Shell has a particular interest in promoting wellbeing and the many benefits of nature therapy.

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