Today on the blog we’re going to be taking a look at one of our favourite options for keeping your gear powered on the trail: the Anker PowerCore 13000. We’ve been looking at portable power options for backpacking for a while, and this little beauty really caught our eye. Let’s take a look:
Overview / Specs
Portable power banks are a great way to ensure that your essential gadgets don’t run out of juice on the trail. Simply charge the power pack itself, and in turn it can charge your phone or GPS whenever you need it.
The technology has come on leaps and bounds in recent years, with manufacturers able to to squeeze a lot of charging capacity into ever smaller and lighter designs. Anker have become a market leader in this space, with the PowerCore 13000 one of their ‘mid range’ offerings (the highest capacity power bank we could find from them on Amazon was a whopping 26800mAh!).
Size and Weight
The PowerCore 13000 is a very pocket-friendly 9.7 x 8 x 2.2 cm. It weighs just 240g, minus the charging cable and pouch. That’s pretty small potatoes for the piece of mind that comes with knowing you’ll always have power for that emergency phone call.
The capacity of this unit is – as the name implies – 13000 milliamp-hours. What this means it terms of how much juice you get will depend on what exactly you’re trying to charge.
For example, I’m currently rocking a Motorola Moto G6 Play*, which has a 4000mAh battery. If we take the 13000mAh capacity of the power bank, and divide it by the 4000mAh of my phone battery, we get 3.25 – meaning this unit should be good to charge my phone 3 and a quarter times. If you’ve got a Samsung S8, with a 3,000mAh battery, we run the same calculation and find that the Anker has you covered for 4 full charges.
*Incidentally, if anyone is looking for a solid but fairly cheap smartphone, I heartily recommend the Moto G6 Play!
The PowerCore 13000 is basically a small, matte black brick about the size of your palm. The unit itself is charged via a micro USB port on the side, and there’s a cable included for this. When you need to charge your gadgets with the power pack, you use the two standard USB ports on the same side of the unit. No cables are included for this, but in fairness most people have 20 of them lying around.
A small button on the unit activates an LED indicator to tell you how much charge you have left. The PowerCore also comes with a pretty handy travel pouch so you can keep it bundled up with your cable(s) in your pack.
Anker PowerCore 13000 Review
With Power packs, there tends to be very little that can really ‘go wrong’, so we were stuck for ideas on how to put this one through its paces. Nevertheless we did think of two points of interest people might want to know about – charge time and durability. So, read on to find out how it performed…
The Anker PowerCore 13000 got to us with the battery half full. We set it on charge straight away to see how long it would take to get it up to full. After just under four hours, the battery was showing full capacity, so we’d estimate 8 hours for a complete charge cycle. So ideally you’d want to leave it charging overnight a day or two before you set off on your trip.
One concern we always have about electronic equipment on the trail is: how sturdy is it? Can it survive the bumps and scrapes you might expect from your typical brisk hike? With the PowerCore we’re happy to report that the answer is yes, yes and furthermore yes. This thing is solid. I genuinely feel like I could hurl it down the stairs* and it would be fine to use afterwards. Considering that the casing is only made of plastic, Anker have done a great job of housing this unit so it won’t come to any harm.
*I don’t recommend or condone this.
If you’re looking for a portable power pack that won’t break the bank, we really can’t fault the Anker PowerCore 13000. It gives solid performance in a decent, hard case. Just make sure you leave it on charge overnight 😉
That’s all for this week peeps. Stay tuned for more tips, tricks and gear reviews from the trail. And don’t forget to let us know your thoughts in the comments!
*Disclaimer: Affiliate links are used in this review.