While most of the devices we use in the backcountry can be charged via USB, sometimes, you absolutely, positively need an AC outlet. Macbooks on the Mongolian steppe; emergency TV while tailgating; an oscillating fan in your wall tent. The myCharge Adventure Ultra makes this all possible.
myCharge Adventure Ultra Specs
The Adventure Ultra is myCharge’s largest battery pack and the only one with an AC outlet. The AC outlet restricts how small the case can be, but it’s still pretty compact, measuring in at 1.2″ x 5.8″ x 4.1″ and weighing .98 lbs (446g), which is less than spec. It packs a 13400mAh lithium ion battery and some battery-tending tech on the inside that myCharge says will keep the device charged for up to a year.
myCharge includes some proprietary tech they say help charge your devices and keep them safe.
- Smart-sense is supposed to check device compatibility. I guess I can see that working well on the AC outlet, making sure your device doesn’t pull too much juice.
- Hyper-charge is supposed to charge your devices up to 65% faster than competitors. Since we don’t know what competitors they’re talking about, that’s tough to test. Usually, devices control charge, so 2.1A is 2.1A no matter what.
- Pass-through charging – I like this one. You can charge devices while you charge the Adventure Ultra, so it acts almost as power strip in addition to being a battery pack.
The Adventure Ultra uses a 20v input and the included AC adapter converts down from anything between 100-240v, so you can charge internationally. On the output side, in addition to the AC outlet, you get two USB-A ports that will push up to 2.4A and a USB-C port that will put out 3.0A.
myCharge Adventure Ultra Review
For the most part, a battery pack is a battery pack. As long as it lives up to specs, you buy one based on value and features. So, the first thing you need to decide is whether an AC outlet is important for you. If you use a laptop in the backcountry, the Adventure Ultra is already a winner over almost every other pack.
I was able to charge a Suunto watch off the USB ports, but I couldn’t get it to charge my iPhone from the same port. I double checked the cable and it worked. But, I also tried to charge the phone with a battery from another company (same cable) and tried with another iPhone without success. I’m not sure what the deal is there. Perhaps the cable sucks.
Where the Adventure Ultra really falls short is not in how it charges other devices, but in how it recharges itself. While you can charge most battery packs via a USB plug, myCharge decided the Adventure Ultra can only be charged from an AC outlet. That means you can’t field-recharge it via solar panel. So, the 13100mAh is all you get on any given outing. That may work for most people, given that it means more than six iPhone 7 and four iPhone 7+ charges.
One area where the Adventure Ultra may really come in handy is for photographers. The battery charger for my mirrorless camera uses AC power, which means I can’t recharge my camera batteries from a USB battery pack. Stuffing the Adventure Ultra in my pack would give me almost ten extra battery’s-worth of photos.
myCharge Adventure Ultra Competitors
There are a few other companies out there that have started putting AC outlets on their battery packs. None quite put together the features that myCharge does.
RAVPower just released their newest version, which beats everyone with a 27000mAh battery. It has the same number and type of USB ports as the Adventure Ultra and weighs a little less than the Nature Power at 30 ounces. It’s also a bit smaller at 6.89″ x 1.38″ x 5.31″. It will push twice the wattage as the Adventure Ultra, but it costs $170. They also make a 20100mAh pack for $146. it’s 5.71″ x 2.56″ x 2.56″ and weighs 21 ounces.
RAVPower is a decent company and I’ve used their products before. From there, things get bigger, heavier, and more expensive. Unless you have a special need for a 42000mAh battery, there’s no need to look. (You can find that specific one sold by multiple companies, all around $220.)
Should You Buy a myCharge Adventure Ultra?
As far as I can tell, the myCharge Adventure Ultra is the smallest, lightest battery pack that has an AC outlet (that doesn’t come from some no-name company on Amazon). If you have a need for an AC outlet in the backcountry, and don’t want to carry more than necessary, it’s the way to go. You can pick one up from Best Buy.