Small, versatile battery packs a powerful punch.

I can’t stress the importance of being prepared. Taking a few moments to ensure you have all the things you need for a trip or simple visit to a friend’s house can really save you from problems along the way. In recent years, one of the things I need the most help with is keeping my mobile devices charged and ready at a moment’s notice. After a day at work, my phone has usually drained to 20% or less and my Apple Watch is ready to go into power-saving mode. So, I try to always keep a portable battery along with me. Unfortunately, some batteries are less portable than others and all power banks are not created equal. I recently picked up a new battery from Griffin — 9000 mAh Reserve Power Bank — and it’s been a nice addition to my daily necessities.

Griffin 9000 mAh Reserve Power Bank REVIEW

The Reserve Power Bank is actually part of a series of portable batteries that include a small, medium, and large option for charging needs. The 9000 mAh model is the medium version of this durable power bank. The Reserve Power Bank is designed to provide reliable portable power for any smartphone or tablet. It comes packaged with a short Micro USB cable for input or output charging and the power bank is equipped with both the Micro USB (input) and USB-A (output) ports. I usually prefer to have built-in cables with my batteries, but appreciate the flexibility that the USB-A port provides users. The power bank has a 4-LED power gauge that shows the battery’s capacity. The Reserve Power Bank delivers 12 watts of charging power (5V/2.4A), which is strong enough to charge larger tablets like the 12-inch iPad Pro.

The shell of the battery is a hard polycarbonate material and it’s a neutral light grey color. It’s small enough to slide into a purse or pocket, but it does have a little weight to it so plan accordingly. You can recharge the power bank from any wall charger, car charger, or laptop and with a capacity of 9000 mAh, you can expect to be able to get multiple charges (for your smartphone) with a single charge.

Griffin 9000 mAh Reserve Power Bank REVIEW

Since I’ve had experience with different styles of batteries, I decided to use the Reserve Power Bank to charge a couple different devices. First, I plugged in my Apple AirPods. The earphones themselves had a 100% charge, but its charging case was down to a measly 29%. After 36 minutes, I had gained 53% battery power. That’s an average of 1.5% per minute. I was pretty impressed with that. What was even more impressive than that was the fact that the battery was still showing 75% capacity. There was no heat detected on the battery, which didn’t surprise me since they don’t require the same amperage as the iPad Pro 12-inch.

Speaking of which, the second test I did was to charge my iPad Pro 12-inch. As a reminder, this beast requires a 12W power adapter and has a 10,300 mAh battery inside its shell. So, it takes a lot to charge it. I plugged it into the Reserve Power Bank and found that after 10 minutes, the iPad Pro had only gained 2% battery life and the end of the power bank with the ports had heated up quite a bit. This was to be expected in my opinion given the power requirements of the device. Also after that 10-minute charging period, the power bank only had two LEDs lit, which means it only had 50% (or less) capacity left.

Griffin 9000 mAh Reserve Power Bank REVIEW

Finally, I plugged my iPhone 7 into the power bank. My phone was at 90% battery when I plugged it in and in less than 10 minutes, I had a full battery. With the phone charging, I didn’t notice any issues with heat. That only occurred with the iPad Pro. With each device that I charged, I noticed that they each started charging automatically and when it didn’t start right away, I could press the power button on the battery and the charge would start. I prefer this method to having to force the charging to start.

One thing I was a little disappointed in was that the box indicates that the battery is pre-charged. So, when I took it out of the box, I expected to be able to start charging right away, but as it turned out, the battery was completely dead. This could have been because it sat on a shelf too long before I received it, but it’s a good reminder to be prepared to have to charge a portable battery before its first use.

The Griffin 9000 mAh Reserve Power Bank is a nice portable battery option. I like that it’s built to be versatile and used for many different types of devices. I do wish it wasn’t quite so heavy, but it’s not a deal-breaker for me especially since this battery has a 9000 mAh capacity. The power bank is available in two colors — grey and black — and has a price point of approximately $30.

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