If there is one thing we've learnt from our regular trips to test tents and camping equipment, its that we're massive softies. The thing about putting things on the internet for a job is that without electricity and mobile data signal we are essentially useless individuals, only good for being indoors talking about megapixels and gigabytes. Fortunately portable power packs are a thing, even for adventures out into the biting British winter weather. We test the Griffin Survivor Power Bank.
By now most of you should be more than familiar with power packs, and probably own at least one yourself. Essentially these are battery packs that you charge up at home and use to top up your phone or tablet when away from an electrical socket, be it on the bus, out in the city, or while hiking up a mountain. If you use a mobile device with any regularity they are pretty much a must-have accessory.
However, not all power packs are created equal, and while you can pick up a few cheap Chinese knock-offs from Amazon to juice up your phone for a ten minute call, if you're trekking out into the wilderness for days at a time you're going to need something better - not to mention something that will survive the harsh conditions.
The Griffin Survivor Power Bank stands out amongst 'lesser' power banks. First up, it is wrapped in a rubbery body which protects it from bumps and scrapes. In fact, Griffin claim that it can survive a fall of six feet, and although we really didn't want to push that (as we were actually using it to power a phone at the time) it certainly seems rugged and tough enough to withstand even careless use.
It is also "weatherproof", which, in our experience, means it can survive in the rain and in messy conditions, but don't go dropping it into a lake. The rubber top that you peel back to reveal the USB in and out ports (as well as a nifty torch) closes well but definitely doesn't seem to offer a total waterproof seal. Still, be it in your bag or pocket, it seems like the Griffin Survivor Power Bank will do just that; survive.
So, how much power can this thing actually provide? Well the internal battery has a 10,050 mAh capacity, which puts it in the better performing category of power packs. Translated into actual use, that means that, if you have a medium sized phone like the iPhone 5, you should get a total of five full charges from it. Of course, that all depends on your actual phone, if you use the phone while charging, whether or not you've also used the torch feature, and how well you charge and drain the pack itself, but about five recharges is about right.
We also tried it on a bigger phone, a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, and over the course of a weekend we squeezed three and a bit charges from the Griffin Survivor Power Bank. So the bigger your phone (or rather the bigger the juice-guzzling screen), the less you'll get. It should, however, be fine for a weekend of hiking and camping.
This thing comes with a USB charging cable, features an LED battery level indicator, the aforementioned useful torch, and styling meaning it won't embarrass you when you pull it out on the train. A sound and rugged power pack.