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Review: 6 things to know about the Biolite portable charger

As a population, we’ve become incredibly attached to our cell phones. At the same time, prodded along by the pandemic, more of us have sought escapism in the outdoors.

Hiking trails have become more popular, camping has increased and people are ditching the typical office environment for remote work wherever they choose.

All of this adds up to a greater need for gadgets that allow us to use our phones in places further off the grid. Perhaps most importantly are chargers that allow us to remain connected via our smartphones, when we want or perhaps need that connection.

I received a free BioLite Charge 20 USB Power Bank from the company for a product review. While this was atypical for the running gear I typically review, these types of products are critical for runners who head out on long runs in remote places.

I tested the Biolite charger as I visited my dad’s house for what would be the final time. My tasks during this visit included doing the final clean, packing up items for Goodwill and others that constantly took me up and down the stairs.

This seemed to be a good test since I was listening to podcasts and needed my phone on me for important calls and texts. So, when needed for a charge, I connected my phone to the Biolite charger (5.8 ounces or 165 grams) in the pocket of my sweatshirt. I also took it with me for a hike I took during a much-needed break.

Since returning home, I have also used it as a charger for my phone since where I typically sit in the living room is not within reach of a wall outlet.

The Biolite charger has worked flawlessly each time I have used it. The portability is a great asset and i plan to continue to use it as a charging resource during adventures, sitting on the couch at the end of the day and elsewhere.

Here are six things I learned about the Biolite Charge 20:

  1. The number of advertised times (1.5) it can charge a cellphone with a fully charged Biolite is accurate.

  2. It is easily transportable, like in a sweatshirt pocket attached to a cellphone. Without being attached, the charger can easily fit in a jeans pocket.

  3. Its ruggedness is great for the outdoors. Its stainless steel body and silicone gasket are also waterproof and fully submersible, making it a strong option for using on long hikes or runs in the backcountry.

  4. The power supply can charge two phones, lights and other gear.

  5. Remember to check the input required for your phone and other items. The Biolite charges with a micro USB cable so you might have to bring an extra cable if you want to charge your phone or other gadgets.

  6. It also comes in handy on long-distance flights and is compliant with Federal Aviation Administration carry-on rules.

There are two other options for Biolites, a 40 and an 80. Of course, the larger the size, the longer the device can charge your electronic gear. When considering purchasing a portable charger, I would recommend looking at the Biolite. And knowing your anticipated usage would be advisable so you can get the size that fits your needs.

Happy exploring!


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