Product Review: myCharge

What Is it: Summit 3000 rechargeable power pack from myCharge. It's a portable battery that you can use to charge phones, tablets, and other devices on the go.

Price and Where to Buy: $79.99 at mychargepower.com.

Pros: The Summit 3000 can charge up to three devices at one time, which is perfect for multi-tasking, or just to prevent squabbles with your travel companion. It's dual-voltage, so you'll only need a plug convertor if you're traveling internationally with the Summit. The device is definitely designed to be travel-friendly, as well—the Apple and Micro USB connectors are built into the Summit and click neatly inside of slots for easy, tangle-free storage, while the wall prongs fold down to make the whole thing even more compact. When fully charged, the Summit will give you (on average) enough power to charge two smartphones.

You can also activate the Summit's voice mode, which will alert you verbally when the device has completed charging, when devices are plugged in, and for other tasks. (If the computerized voice creeps you out, you can turn it on silent, or set it to play notification tones instead.)

Cons: The whole unit weighs about one pound, which can add a noticeable bit of heft to a day-bag or purse. The price tag, at $79.99, is a bit hefty as well.

How it Rates:

  • Usefulness: 10/10. Ever been camping, or just far away from an outlet, only to have your phone, camera, or iPod die at a crucial moment? The Summit 300 could be a lifesaver. It could even be good to keep in your car, in case of a cell phone battery emergency.
  • Portability: 8/10. The Summit is about the size of two iPhones stacked atop each other, and the built in cords are a great touch, to make this portable. However, the extra pound of weight is something to consider if you're going to be carrying it around on the road.
  • Value: 7/10. If you're consistently off the grid on your travels, the extra battery power could be a lifeline, but if you don't think you'll use it often, $79.99 is a lot of money.
  • Durability: 10/10.The Summit is extremely well-made, and seems able to handle any baggage-handling bumps (or accidental drops) along the road.
  • Cool Factor: 10/10. It comes in white, to keep Apple fans happy, and think of how cool you'd look saving the day by pulling the Summit out to charge a powered-down fellow travelers' dead cell phone!

Final Verdict: If you can't be without your gadgets, but go camping or off the grid a lot, then this is a great investment. If you only charge your camera and phone in your hotel room at night, then you don't need it.

Editor's Note: Reviews are based on usefulness, portability, durability, value, and "cool factor." Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product. If you have any questions or comments concerning our reviews, or would like to suggest a product for review, please email us at editor@smartertravel.com.

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