The Powerpack 100+ comes well packaged in a recyclable box with clearly printed black imagery outlining some of the specs on the front and back. More detailed information can be found on the sticker on the side of the box.
Inside the box, you will find the Powerpack itself securely packed in dense foam, a separate box of accessories, and an instruction manual.
The cables include a mains and 12v car adaptor, both of these cables can be used to charge the Powerpack. These cables are 1.2m and 1m long respectively. The relatively short 12v car charging cable is worth keeping in mind if you do not have a rear/boot power point then you will have to have the Powerpack in the front of your car to charge it.
Taking a look around the Powerpack 100+ the front is where you will find the display screen and four operating buttons, On/Off, Light, AC Output, and UPS.
The On/Off is self-explanatory, the torch button switches the rear light between 2 power modes and off. AC Output turns the 240v socket on the side on/off and the UPS button switches the pack into UPS mode. More on these functions later.
Specs and Review
I decided to run through the specs of the Powerpack 100+ while at the same time doing my main review of how I found those specs.
First up, size and weight. This is an important one, this is of course marketed as portable, and the most portable of the range. The Powerpack 100+ comes in at just 1.5kg and measures 165x178mm by 80mm thick. Whilst it might be a bit big for a weekend backpack if you had a larger pack for a week trip then you could feasibly pack this in your backpack no trouble. Taking up the same amount of space as a 2 man Trangia you can get your walking buddy to carry the Trangia and you can carry the Powerpack.
Staying with the weight for a moment, I personally bought this Powerpack for weekend (and longer) camping trips where I take both a vehicle and 3 children, not forgetting the wife of course. Whilst we enjoy the wilder side of camping we still have a good collection of mobile phones for emergencies and navigation as well as tablets for evening entertainment for the kids. A Powerpack that was child friendly was important. The picture above shows my 10yr old son holding the Powerpack 100+, all three of my children can 6-11yrs can pick up the Powerpack to move it to where they need it and use it.
Ok, so this is the important one. The box states 40,800mAh and the spec sheet says it will charge a smart phone 10 times, is that true…
First up, the 40,800mAh might not mean much to the layman but, the iPhone 11 has a 3110mAh battery and the Samsung Galaxy S20 a 4000mAh battery, so on paper, the Powerpack will indeed charge your iPhone 11 over 15 times and an S20 10 times. My Brinyte PT28 torch has a 3100mAh battery.
It wouldn’t be a review if I didn’t push the Powerpack to its limits, so on this camping trip, I made a point of taking a Nintendo Switch as well as a Laptop. The Powerpack is specced for a 100w max AC output, this should be no problem for the Switch which is reported at 39w, but my HP laptop charger is rated at 130w. The spec sheet says a 60w laptop will last 2.1hrs on the Powerpack.
Throwing caution to the wind I put on a 2hr film for the kids on the laptop that was pre-downloaded from Netflix, with the 80% charged Powerpack connected, the laptop was fully charged at this point too. After 2hrs of the film, the laptop had remained fully charged and the Powerpack was showing 1 bar on the power meter, 20%, so it has used approximately 60% of its capacity. With over 8,000mAh of capacity remaining, I plugged in two nearly flat mobile phones and went to sleep.
By the morning the Powerpack was completely flat, as planned, and we had two fully charged mobile phones for the day.
The Powerpack 100+ can accept a 30w max solar panel. I opted for a 30w rigid panel so that I could easily lean it up against items around our campsite as well as move it easily.
With the now completely flat Powerpack I hooked it up to the solar panel first thing in the morning, say 7am ish, with I’ll be honest, low expectations. I’ve used a few little solar power banks in the past and none have really charged off of solar very well, if at all.
Returning to the campsite after a day sightseeing at around 3pm, the Powerpack would have been charging for 7+hrs and it was full. I was genuinely impressed. We were lucky with some surprisingly hot, unbroken sunny days while we were camping but it certainly impressed me that even on a cloudier day we will be able to charge the Powerpack from empty to full during the course of daylight hours.
On the back of the Powerpack is an LED light. The light consists of two LED strips, pressing the light button once turned on one strip and pressing it again turns on both strips together.
Sadly I would have to disagree with the specs that it is an ‘ultra bright’ LED panel. The light is not bright at all, and the difference between the two power levels is minimal. But, I really do like the light, while camping it was perfect for a ground level light to give more than enough visibility for children getting up in the night and avoiding scattered camping equipment with a nice warm white glow.
The Powerpack 100+ has the ability to run as a UPS. You can connect it to the mains power as well as connecting an AC device to the outlet. In UPS mode in the event of the mains power going off like a power cut the Powerpack will keep the AC device running with no interruption.
This functionality is more of a secondary one and I don’t see many people using it, however I have used it myself on my home broadband modem. I was very pleased to have my modem continue to run during recent storms which caused numerous power cuts during the day.
This little Powerpack really packs a punch for its size. At 1.5kg it is family-friendly so even the children can move it around and use it. Whilst in the real world I doubt we would run it flat in a day it is comforting to know that it can be fully charged during the day from a solar panel, plus the versatility of being able to charge it from the car means it can still be charged even on the cloudiest of days.