New Trent Travelpak battery pack
As the devices we carry grow more and more power hungry, so does our need to supplement them when we are away from outlets and car chargers. Because of this issue, external battery packs and cases of all shapes, sizes, and capacities have flooded the mobile accessory market over the past several years. I personally have a Mophie Juice Pack Helium for my iPhone 5, which have been pretty happy with. However, the three other battery packs in my possession are far more underwhelming. Between them, they all have different charging connectors, different capacities, and one is even saddled with an old-school 30-pin dock connector. Thanks to their underwhelming performance, I barely pay attention to all of the new batteries that are coming out all the time.
Despite being a bit jaded on this subject, I did take notice of the announcement of New Trent’s Travelpak and Travelpak+ two weeks ago. In a category full of “me-too” items, here was a product that actually stood out. It has an integrated AC wall outlet connector for recharging without cables, high battery capacities in both models, and best of all, it will simultaneously charge two devices via its USB Outputs while recharging its own battery. In other words, this isn’t just another battery pack that results in a tangle of chords and won’t get your device all the way back to 100%. The New Trent Travelpaks can legitimately replace two different accessories in your gear bag, and for a road warrior like me, that’s worth taking notice of.
Travelpak’s basic black design is very simple and non-descript, with only the logo and LED charging indicator standing out.
The AC wall outlet plug conveniently folds into the bottom of the Travelpak, making it much easier to carry and sit on flat surfaces while charging on the go.
The Travelpak has two USB Outputs on the bottom for charging whatever smartphones, media players, and accessories you may have with you.
Both of the Travelpak’s outputs are 1 Amp, while the Travelpak+ has one 1 Amp port, and one 2 Amp port for recharging larger devices, such as tablets.
The Travelpak has a single On/Off button on the right side.
This button enables the pak to recharge via the 2 USB outputs while unplugged from the wall. Note that, when the Travelpak is plugged into an AC outlet, there is no need to turn it on to charge via the outputs. It does so automatically.
When it comes to mobile chargers and backup batteries, design is nice, but performance is the only thing that really matters. Thankfully, this is where the Travelpak really delivers. First of all, as already mentioned, its versatility really makes it stand out. I used to carry a standard dual USB charger from Griffin in my gear bag every day, but since I got the Travelpak, this old charger has found its way to the drawer. Since the Travelpak can charge both my iPhone and iPad Mini both either at home or in the hotel room at night, and while out and about via its internal battery, there isn’t a need to carry a bunch of USB chargers around anymore. Now, I carry one extra Apple brick, and that’s it.
The real measure of the Travelpak is in its battery performance. Clocking in at 4000 mAh, the Travelpak has enough juice to charge any current iPhone at least three and a half times. So, you can plug two iPhones or iPod Touches in, completely recharge both of them, and still have some charge left over. Even better, the standard Travelpak has just enough juice to bring your iPad Mini back to life if its running low. Considering that I carry an iPhone 5 and an iPad Mini with me everyday, the Travelpak is a perfect fit. When I leave the house or hotel for the day, I know I’m covered.
For those who carry larger tablets with them on the go, the Travelpak+ is going to be the better choice. At 7000 mAh, it isn’t quite big enough to fully recharge an iPad 2-4, but it can get you from over 50% to 90%, depending on your device and your device’s current battery charge. Also, the addition of a 2.1 Amp USB Output is a big plus in general, as it will not only recharge a tablet in a reasonable amount of time, but also smartphones and smaller devices lightning fast.
I received a standard Travelpak for this review, and I came away impressed during my field testing. There were a few small minuses, however. First, the Travelpak is a bit bulky. While I believe its performance is worth the size and weight, it may not be the best choice for those who are looking for a small battery that can be carried around in their pocket.
Second, charging and recharging aren’t blazing fast. This may be a bit different with the Travelpak+, since it has a 2 Amp output, but the 1 Amp outputs aren’t going to set any speed records. However, as long as you give the Travelpak and your devices some time, such as overnight, to recharge.
Last, while the LED charge indicator is clear and easy to see, it’s maybe a bit too easy to see. It is quite bright, and since it is on the front of the Travelpak, it can be pretty annoying at night if you don’t prefer a night light. I have to find a spot for it that isn’t too exposed when I am in a hotel room, so it won’t keep me awake. This isn’t the end of the world, but it would have been nice if you could turn the LED off if you don’t prefer to see it at night.
Despite these small gripes, the New Trent Travelpak and Travelpak+ pass both the eye and performance tests. Also, at $44.95 and $54.95 respectively, the Travelpaks are also a good value. Many other battery packs with fewer features will run you more money, so the price is definitely right. While, there are definitely higher capacity batteries on the market, the Travelpaks win in my book due to the practical size, pass through charging, and reasonable price. At only $10 more, I would personally recommend the Travelpak+, due to its 2 Amp output, but either of these battery packs will make a fine choice for anyone looking for a versatile device to keep their mobile gadgets charged up, both at home and while away.
The New Trent Travelpak is available from New Trent for $44.95. The New Trent Travelpak+ is available from New Trent for $54.95.
The New Trent Travelpak was provided by New Trent for review on iSource. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the “About” page.