Enhance your campout or hike with the highly portable PowerCore II from Anker.

My 11-year-old son has progressed through Cub Scouts and is now a Scout within the Scouts BSA. This past weekend, we loaded up our cars and caravanned to Shiloh, TN to tour the Shiloh National Military Park. As a group of 20 strong, we set up camp and enjoyed the camaraderie/camp atmosphere. We got up early on Saturday morning, made breakfast, loaded our hiking backpacks with the essential items, and set off for the starting point at Shaw’s Store. With compass in hand, we started the 40 point monument adventure. As an example, we started at the concrete marker near Shaw’s store. The instructions told us to hike 58 degrees for 1900 feet to a red plaque for the 2nd and 7th Arkansas Infantry in the woods on the west side of Seay Field. Counting steps and navigating via compass, we trekked through the woods, over the open battlefield, and perused the instructional signs. If you are a fan of military sites, of history, or simply like to visit cool places, I would definitely recommend that you take a trip to Shiloh.

Combined with a tent-camping experience, dutch-oven cooking, the educational weekend proved to be a blast. I took several pictures of the hike, of the kids enjoying the historical cannons/museum, and used the compass app on my iPhone 11 Pro Max. Without power at my campsite, I needed a portable option to keep my iPhone 11 Pro Max charged. To cut down on weight, I purchased an amazing lightweight portable charger from Anker. The Anker PowerCore II 10,000mAh battery arrived in a petite 3 15/16 inches square by 1 inches thick box. At first glance, you will notice the blue ANKER title along the top right of the cover panel and the PowerCore II 10000 name along the lower left of the panel. However, upon closer inspection, you will notice a detailed, slightly raised tech-like design hidden against the white backdrop. This added feature extended onto every surface of the packaging and enhanced the overall feel of the box. Both side panels provided the blue Anker name and listed “Charge Fast, Live More” motto, while the top and bottom panels remained unadorned. The back panel had a sticker-seal along the top, which thanked the user for choosing Anker. Additionally, the panel provided two icons (Faster Charging with Industry-Leading Technology, and 20 Million+ Happy Users and Counting) along the top, the PowerCore II 10000 name, the A1230 model number, that the device was an external battery/portable charger, the product manufacturing labels an SKU sticker, and trademarking information. To access the battery, I cut the tape along the top of the panel, lifted the flap, and then slid the inner box out of the outer shell. I loved the white on blue theme and was pleased to find the inner box used the same blue coloring as the “ANKER” name on the outer packaging.

I lifted the lid of the inner box and removed the 2 7/16 inches wide by 3 3/4 inches long by 3/4 inches thick, plastic-wrapped, battery. Within a secondary compartment, I found a 23 1/2 inches long USB-Micro to USB-A cable and a 3 5/8 inches wide by 5 1/4 inches tall black-mesh, drawstring travel pouch. Like the cover paneling, the travel pouch was more than it appeared. The outer fishnet layer was matched with an inner fine mesh layer and provided a rather ingenious protective layer for the battery, both scratch and impact resistant. The bag may have been a little bigger than it needed to be, weighing in at 0.21 ounces. Since every ounce adds up, they could have eliminated nearly 1/2 inch of material from the top and side of the bag. This change would s/till allow the battery to stand upright within the outer shell. As it stands, you could turn the battery sideways and still nearly fit another battery within the bag. I liked that the included bag was big enough to include the charging cable because some companies forget to include that within their designs. Fully packed the 0.21-ounce travel bag (with blue ANKER fabric tag), the 6.80-ounce battery, and the 0.45-ounce charging cable weighed 7.51-ounces.

The front panel of the black ANKER 10000 man battery showcased the matte-black, etched, ANKER name inline with the axis of the battery. On the opposite side of the cover, you will find a 9/16 inches diameter power button. The sides of the battery, like the front and back panels, had a ribbed texture instead of a smooth finish. The grippy texture enhanced the feel within my hands and seemed to reduce the chances of a drop. The bottom panel provided the product manufacturing labels, the product PowerCore II name, the battery size, model number, and specifications: 10050 mAh/3618Wh, PowerIQ 2.0 input 5V/2A 9/2A ~18W, PowerIQ 2.0 Output 5V/3A 9V/2A, 12V/1.5, and the ANKER name. The top panel provided a blue USB-A output port and a blue USB-micro input port. Although the device did not employ USB-C technology, you will be hard-pressed to find a lighter 10,000 mAh battery.

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The lightweight device was perfect for its portability and was an ideal candidate for my recent campout due to the palmable/pocketable size. Using a standard Apple USB-A to Lightning cable and a DROK USB-A multimeter, I tested the output of the battery. With the battery fully charged, I plugged the DROK USB-A cable into the sole power-out port on the battery. I plugged a lightning cable into the multimeter and then into my iPhone 11 Pro Max. The 3969 mAh battery charged at approximately 1% per minute, at a rate of 5.02V/2.06A. Assuming 80% efficiency, the 10,000 mAH battery should provide approximately 8000mAh of battery power. The company website promised 3 full charges for an iPhone 8 (1821 mAh), or 2 charges for an iPhone X (2716mAh Battery). Thanks to the 3969 mAh Anker PowerCore II Battery, I was able to charge my iPhone 11 Pro Max twice from about 25% to full power. Compatible with most USB devices, the battery was designed for portability rather than technology superiority. It does not have a USB-C output, it does not support Power Delivery “PD” fast charging for Apple devices, it does not support passthrough charging, nor does it provide full-speed charging for some USB-C devices. However, you can fully charge the battery in about 3 hours and it complies with aviation portable battery requirements, which will allow you to pack the battery into a carry-on bag.

When it comes to portable batteries, bigger is not always better. I have several 20,000 mAh batteries and a 250W Power Station. Unfortunately, with the increased power and increased capabilities, you gain a significant amount of weight. Coupled with the portable bag, the Anker PowerCore II can easily fit into a cargo pocket, into an admit cubby in a backpack or into a shirt pocket. If you want to attach the device to the outer webbing on a backpack, you can purchase a $10 upgraded Hermitshell Hard Travel Case for the Anker PowerCore II battery. Adding 2.68 ounces to the battery/charging cable, the clamshell case/battery weighed a total of 9.8-ounces. If desired, simply clip the included carabiner to a belt loop, to your backpack, or to a a jacket. I liked that the accessory was available, I liked the $10 price point of the case, and I loved that you could decide for yourself if the upgrade was worth the $10. As an overall investment, I feel that $30 was more than reasonable for the 10,000 mAh battery/case. For day hikes and short camping trips, I do not think you will find a better value for weight/cost.

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