With all of our electronic toys these days, we need to have ways to charge them. Headlamps, cameras, GPS, phones, drones, and satellite messengers all have rechargeable batteries and need a charge at some point.
Small battery packs are great to charge those accessories on hikes that last one to a few days but what about road trips, traveling and charging at base camp? In between the small pocket chargers and massive batteries like GoalZero Yetis are a new category of charger that’s small enough to fly with but can still charge phones many times and even laptops.
The Pheonix 100 Mini Power Station by Renogy fits firmly into that large but still travel-friendly category. It’s slightly larger than a beer can and carries 27000 milliamp-hours (mAh) or 100 watt-hours (Wh) of charge, exactly the per-battery limit you are allowed to fly with per TSA rules. It weighs just over a pound at 17.8 ounces and easily fits in water bottle pockets and camera lens slots in backpacks.
Pheonix 100 Mini Power Station Specs
- 27000 mAh (100 watt-hours)
- Micro-USB and USB-C inputs
- Dual-input charging up to 15 watts
- 15-watt USB-C, 12-watt USB-A, and 100 watt AC outputs
- overcharge, short circuit, and current surge protection
- cooling fan
The Pheonix 100 has a decent selection of charging ports on it. A 10-watt USB-A port and a 15-watt USB-C port will probably do most of your charging. The USB-C port is a nice addition as most devices will be USB-C in the coming years. It would have been nice to see more than just two USB ports. I carry a drone, phone, camera and satellite messenger on day hikes which all need a charge though often not at the same time.
The 85 watts (100-watt max) AC outlet is very useful for electric coolers, laptops and anything else you need to charge that’s not USB powered yet. For larger items, something like the GoalZero Yeti 400 would work well with more ports and available solar panels but the travel size of the Pheonix 100 is very convenient.
The fast charging using the AC plug generates more heat than the USB ports do which is where the cooling fan comes in. Holding down the power button enables the AC plug and turns the fan on. The fan runs the whole time the AC outlet is enabled. The noise sounds like a laptop fan which can be intrusive in a quiet place but traveling on a plane, it’s not noticeable. Other batteries this size all have cooling fans when the AC outlet is running. The plug cover on the AC outlet stays put but is a little fiddly to get back in.
Our battery-powered toys are not going away and USB-C charging on everything is just getting started. The 27000 mAh of power and AC plug on the Pheonix 100 are very convenient for traveling, road trips, and base camping. The price ($160) is relatively low for this size of the battery. While you probably won’t take this backpacking, it will work well for any plane travel or car-camping adventures. $160. Buy now.