Of the many external battery packs that we see here at the TUAW Labs, just about all of them are designed not for use out in the real world, but in offices and homes. Take any one of the packs that we've reviewed over the years and expose it to the conditions you'd find in the field -- rain, dust, getting banged against rocks -- and they'd fail in a heartbeat. Not so with the Limefuel Rugged L150XR battery pack (US$84.99), which packs 15,000 mAh (57 Wh) of power into a pack that can take whatever the world can dish out. Check out the review, then take a chance at winning a Rugged L150XR to take on your next adventure.
Dimensions: 5.55 x 3.27 x 1.06 inches (141 x 83 x 27 mm)
Weight: 12.8 ounces (365 grams)
Battery: 15,000 mAh (57 Wh), Lithium-Ion
Input: 5V 2.0A (max), charging time of 9 to 15 hours
Output: 5V 4.2A (max) total, per port 5V 2.4A (max)
Cycle life: over 500 uses
Connector: 2-in-1 micro-USB with Lightning-compatible power cable
The Rugged LX150XR looks like it can take a lot of abuse. It's IP66 certified, and is water, dust and shock/crush resistant. Water-resistance does NOT mean that you can take this swimming; rather, it can put up with rain, splashes, etc... A protective flap covers the outlets, ensuring that they're not exposed to the elements.
If you have a little time and want to see some of the "unofficial" testing that the Limefuel team subjected a Rugged prototype to, watch the following video:
Additional info on the Kickstarter page for this product shows the official IP Certification testing for ingress of dust and water underway. It's not recommended, but it certainly appears that the Limefuel Rugged L150XR could take a shower with you.
The exterior is a handsome smudge-proof grey rubber that's ridged to make it easy to grip. With two output ports, you can hook up a pair of iPhones or tablets for recharging simultaneously. If you happen to need to charge the Rugged LX150R and your devices, no problem -- the design allows for passthrough charging.
The power indicator on the outside of the pack is touch activated, and there's an auto-on/auto-off feature that makes sure that you keep as much of that precious power as possible until you really need it.
The Rugged LX150XR is the product of a Kickstarter campaign that pulled in a whopping 535 percent of its goal, so obviously there's a large community of people who want an external battery pack that can go almost anywhere.
I love the touch-activated battery meter. It's in a slightly dished area on the front of the device so you can find it by feel even in the dark. It lights up with a green glow when tapped, and a circular meter tells you how much charge is remaining.
Two other little details that I love: the carabiner-equipped strap that you can use to attach the Rugged LX150XR to a belt loop or backpack, and the really well-designed and lightweight flat USB cable. That cable can be used for charging the battery or your devices, and the USB end is completely flat and compact. The other end has that dual micro-USB/Lightning connector, and I was happy to see that Limefuel's planning on selling these cables separately in the near future.
While I didn't take the Rugged LX150XR on a Mt. Everest climbing expedition (I do have to give away the product, after all), one look at the case photo should tell you just how well-built this battery pack is. Limefuel is also going to be selling a 10,400 mAh version of the Rugged called the L104XR for $64.99.
I've been favorably impressed with Limefuel's previous products; in fact, the company's Blast L180X (18,000 mAh) battery pack is the one that I personally use. The Rugged LX150XR takes the Limefuel line to the next level with an external battery pack that is designed to thrive in outdoor conditions. My only complaint is that it doesn't include an LED flashlight like the Blast line; that would be very useful when taking the Rugged out camping.
Rating: 3-1/2 star rating out of 4 stars possible
It's summertime, a perfect time to take your favorite devices out to the country for a nice camping trip or hike. Limefuel and TUAW are going to give one lucky reader a Rugged LX150XR. Here are the rules for the giveaway:
Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
The entry must be made before July 15, 2014 11:59PM Eastern Daylight Time.
You may enter only once.
One winner will be selected in a random drawing and will receive a Limefuel Rugged LX150XR external battery pack valued at $84.99.