Load shedding is upon us again. Yay. What do we need now? Power banks. Powerful power banks. With Power Delivery (PD) or an equivalent tech, hopefully. Power Delivery lets your ‘bank deliver more juice in a shorter amount of time, which equals super-fast charging. And that’s what we need in those times when the lights go out and all you can hear is, “Dammit, Eskom…”
Not all power banks are created equal, though. Some are started using a ripcord, others are more heavy-duty than just a lithium-ion or lithium-polymer battery in a casing. We’re talking about something that slips neatly into a backpack. Or like a brick into a rugby sock, in the case of some of our candidates here. Prepare to meet the five largest power banks you can buy in South Africa today. They’re not all a great idea (looking at you, unbranded 50,000mAh ‘bank), but they’re all here. Just like load shedding. Again.
Romoss Pulse 30 (30,000mAh) – R700
The Romoss Pulse 30 USB 5V power bank allows multiple charging of devices thanks to its dual USB output ports. There are also USB-C, Lightning, and even a microUSB port to fiddle with, if your tech still uses it. Romoss’ ‘bank includes something called Fit-charge technology. This lets it top up some devices faster than others, but you’ll be confined to the USB-C port. If you’re using something else, you’re out of luck. It’ll probably be fine. It’s dark outside and you’re probably not in a hurry to get anywhere. There’s an ergonomic design, for those rare occasions when you’re carrying it arounf. It also comes in white, for easy in-the-dark spotting.
Gotta get you one of these? Find it at Clicks.
Fonsi 30,000 mAh – R320
No, not the rapper. Not the guy from Happy Days either, but you might just say ‘Ayyyy’ after seeing this one. Or, at least, after seeing the price of this one. The capacity is the big winner here, as you’re paying around R100 per 10,000mAh. So your mileage may vary when it comes to quality control. Besides the humongous capacity, Fonsi’s effort is… relatively simple. It charges two devices at once, and both ports run at 5V-2A. Which is about standard. Charging won’t win any speed awards, but your phone should have been charged by the time the lights come back on. Sadly, it’s nowhere near good enough to keep your laptop topped up.
Need capacity on a budget? Get it at Takealot.
HyperJuice 27,000mAh – R3,350
If you have a MacBook, this USB-C power bank is a must. It features two USB-C ports, one supporting charge speeds of 100W (PD 3.0), and the other with speeds of up to 60W (PD3.0). You can definitely charge a MacBook and iPhone at the same time. It also has a USB-A port with a max output of 18W — the same as the brand’s ‘basic’ 15,000mAh power bank. This formerly successful Kickstarter product is built from aircraft-grade aluminium, but that doesn’t mean it can literally fly. No, just your charging speeds will. But there’s always a problem somewhere and the HyperJuice has a big one. It was too popular, and there aren’t enough to go around. It’s sold out just about everywhere. If you can find one, snap it up. And if there are two, drop us a message. We want one too.
Want one? Check out Shop and Ship, and then weep because there are no more
50,000 mAh Solar Wireless – R4, 550
It’s time for a lesson in online stores. Fruugo is an online store based in the UK. We know it exists, but we don’t know much about the service it provides. That’s because this site tends to price things on the high side. When it comes to unbranded power banks — even those packing six charge ports and 50,000mAh of capacity — we’d prefer a cheaper price point. There are some interesting choices with this generic bank — it’s got solar charging built-in, as well as an LED torch. That said, R5,000 (the bank, plus shipping, before Customs tells you how much you owe them) is an awfully ambitious experiment in the value of purchasing uncertain technology.
Check it out at Fruugo, if you absolutely must
Rapid Charge 60,000mAh – R1,000
This Brick of Power has three input types: USB-C, micro-USB, and a Lightning port. It has four USB outputs and two devices can charge at the same time. Its charging skills, both topping itself up and charging your devices, aren’t anything special. Rated output is a mere 5V/2.1A, while input is just 5V/2A. That’s not the headliner for this one. It’s all about capacity here. Seriously. There’s a solid 60,000mAh of power waiting in this brick, which should keep you off-grid for some time. Unfortunately, you’ll probably wait an age for it to charge back up from near-zero. You can’t have everything, apparently — not at this price. Rapid Charge’s power bank includes a torch, a lanyard, and a digital display. These won’t sell you on this literal brick if the capacity doesn’t but they’re nice to have. This one will set you back R1,000, but don’t pay much attention to the 40-minute FOMO countdown at the website you’re about to visit. It’s looked like that for at least a day.
If you must have one, Snatcher has you covered