Feb 21st 2014, 16:05, by Darrell Etherington
I like backup batteries – I carry more than a few, and they all get used eventually, especially when I travel. But sometimes I worry: What will happen to my portable backup power in case of the The End of Days? Should the world be buried in a never-ending blizzard, or should a meteor impact block out the sun and bury everything in a three foot layer of ash, will my juice reserves still be operational?
With the Limefuel IP66 Rugged external battery, the answer is yes. The gadget is being crowdfunded on Kickstarter right now (and has already blown past its $30,000 goal in just a few days), offering up a maximum of 15,000 mAh in reserve power, depending on the configuration you choose. Other backup chargers out there offer up that much spare energy (including a number of low-cost options on Amazon), but none offer it in a case that’s quite so rugged.
The L150XR is waterproof, dirtproof, and crush or shock proof (not just ‘resistant,’ you’ll note), and is IP66 certified. For those who aren’t familiar with the ratings system for rugged devices, IP66 means that the pack is completely sealed against dust, and that it can with stand “powerful water jets” from any diretion, fo rup to three minutes, in addition to submersion. You’ll have to have all the flaps closed to ensure that level of protection, of course, but that’s still very impressive.
Other features of the L150XR include that massive capacity, which is good for probably around 10 charges of your smartphone, as well as two charging ports that work simultaneously, and 2A input for faster charging of the backup battery itself (though it’ll still take between 9 and 15 hours to fill it up). It even has pass-through charging (meaning you can charge it and an attached device simultaneously), which is something people missed in the Mophie Powerstation XL I recently reviewed.
Boulder-based Limefuel was founded in November 2012, and already makes charging gadgets for mobile devices, so it stands a good chance of making its projected May 2014 ship date. Pre-orders start at $50 for a lower capacity, 10,400 mAh version, but the big 15,000 mAh edition starts at $70 (still cheaper than many top-end competitors, however).
You may not need the intense environmental resistance the L150XR provides, but on the other hand, there’s not good reason not to have it, either. And if you do back this, know that the end of time, when your phone is long gone and everyone you know has succumbed to high levels of particulate matter in the air, you’ll still have power left in the bank.