We here at the Cool Stuff international headquarters have been high on consumer electronics brand Anker lately. Their sleek, no nonsense and expertly crafted chargers and bluetooth speakers have been making my home life more enjoyable. Particularly, the latter, which aided me in listening to my podcasts as I shlepped around my apartment in the throes of a staph infection.

But what about when I'm shlepping around the world? A few months ago, I had the misfortune of trying to navigate New York City for a week on an iPhone 6s, just after the release of iOS 11. Like it did for all older iPhone models, iOS 11 sucked the life out of my phone's battery at such a rapid clip that, by the end of the day, I had search out public electrical sockets every 45 minutes like I lived in some kind of ridiculous video game just so I could use my phone to get home.

You know what would've helped me a lot? The portable battery (or, power pack) that Anker sent me a few short weeks after my trip. The power pack that, if Anker's advertising is to be believed, could run my phone nonstop for a week straight without having to be recharged.

Well, I didn’t test that theory out, but I did bring Anker’s PowerCore II 20000 on a recent trip to New Zealand, where my wife and I used it as my go-to airport charger and backup phone charger (we only had one NZ outlet-compatible plug) for two weeks worth of travel. And we were able to keep both of our phones healthily charged the whole trip without having to recharge the PowerCore II once.
Like other Anker products, the PowerCore II is heavy (about 12 ounces) and sturdily built with 20000 mAh of energy storage capacity (this is a lot). The only embelisments it comes with are a mesh carrying case, a USB charging cable and a light-up button that tells you how much charge the battery has left when pushed. Most importantly, it comes with two USB ports, one calibrated for 12 watts and the other 18 watts of energy output, meaning you can charge two devices simultaneously.
And this battery lasts forever. After half a dozen phone charges with an iPhone 5s and an iPhone X over the course of two weeks, we had barely managed to crack a quarter of the PowerCore’s storage capacity. And being able to charge two phones at once from our seats, instead of having to find some random outlet somewhere at LAX, was a godsend after 16 gruelling hours of air travel.
Having two ports really comes in handy when you’re tired and exhausted. (Walker MacMurdo)
Having two ports really comes in handy when you’re tired and exhausted. (Walker MacMurdo)
As I’ve mentioned with my other reviews of Anker’s products, there really isn’t much to complain about with them because they’re sturdy, they come with 18-month warranties, and they don’t have any extraneous features. The PowerCore does, however, take quite a while to recharge, think six to eight hours from empty. But the storage capacity is so great that only the most foolish of travellers would find themselves caught with a dead battery.
I very much wish I had this thing with me in NYC a couple of months ago.
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