What was once a cost-prohibitive “nice to have” accessory for our multi-adventure outings has turned into an affordable “must have” on our packing list. Battery packs, charging stations, power packs…call them what you will, these on-the-go power options are a must-have for just about every time we pack up for anything more than a day trip. But, while the market can appear heavy with portable charging options, affordable and continuously reliable, high-capacity portable options can be few and far between.
However, this summer, BioLite – the off-grid energy innovators known for their portable power options – released their latest lineup of portable power packs. We tested out the new BaseCharge 600, a power-packed lithium-ion battery on cross-country road trips, weekend festivals and off-grid biking and camping excursions and we’re pretty damn happy with the outcome.
Why we love it
Portable and Reliable
The BaseCharge 600 is a rechargeable 622 watt-hour lotion-ion powerhouse. As a freelance outdoor writer/photographer with a full-time day job, my work tends to be split between a typical indoor workstation and anywhere I can find a flat surface while on the road (or trail, or water…). That means I need a power source that will deliver time and time again.
On the portability front of the BaseCharge, I appreciated the grip handles (which double as ventilation points) for easy transport from storage to desktop to tailgate. It’s also not a total tank! Weighing in at 13lbs, we’re not packing it in on wilderness backcountry trips, but we are taking it anywhere our vehicles can go.
On the reliability front, I was able to get the power I needed while in the field and a fast recharge (3.5 hours to 80% battery capacity when using both charge options – AC adaptor and USB-C PD) when near traditional power sources.
This power pack features 2 standard AC wall outlets as well as DC ports, USB-A, USB-C, and high-speed USB-C PD at a full 100W rating – as well as a wireless charging option. Thanks to the multitude of ports, I’ve connected my laptop, external monitors, portable cooler/refrigerator, cell phones, GPS devices, smartwatch, DSLR battery chargers, and even an electric kettle (because, why not?) nearly all at the same time.
I will be the first to admit that I am not the most tech-savvy when it comes to watt-hours and power meters and such. Thankfully, the BaseCharge has one of the most user-friendly interfaces I’ve ever experienced.
Features we loved:
Easy Read Smart LCD Dashboard provides instantaneous calculations on power in/out, battery life, and time until empty or full.
Digital Messaging Center provides users with system notifications, temperature alerts, port activations, and troubleshooting actions. This means I’m not trying to find a cell signal to search a user manual or, dare I admit it, YouTube.
Energy Odometer is a resettable measurement tool that shares energy consumption. This allows users to track habits and behaviors over specific periods of time or activity; i.e., the more you follow the odometer, the better you’ll understand what you can charge/power and for how long.
BioLite’s 12-point safety checkpoint system prevents circuit overload and keeps devices (laptops, TVs, Cell Phones) safe if you plug too many devices in.
Where to find it
BioLite offers three new products in their “high capacity portable power” lineup, including the BaseCharge 600, BaseCharge 1500 and the SolarPanel 100 and they’re all available at https://www.bioliteenergy.com.