Have you ever been in a situation where you desperately need to talk to someone but your phone is dead? You’re on the road heading to a race and your phone dies? You’ve been on the trail for days now and finally you need to call your ride for a pickup at the trailhead but you can’t because your phone is dead? Whatever it may be, and whether you have been in a tight spot or not, there are ways of preventing those stressful situations.
Last year I spent over $500 on batteries alone. Although I love my Energizer Ultimate Lithiums, it was time to attempt to save money and also save time. There are so many options out there now with portable solar power, power boosters, and now hydrogen power. I figured I would put some of these technologies to the test.
A few weeks ago I attended Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Salt Lake City. If you are not familiar, it is the largest trade show for the outdoor industry. What was interesting was the amount of alternative energy/power booster brands. There were far more companies doing this than I had ever thought. A few companies stood out to me, and one of those companies was Brunton.
Brunton was founded back in 1894, by David W. Brunton. He specialized in making compasses for geologists, foresters, and surveyors. Compasses, binoculars, and GPS gear had been a focus for Brunton for some time. Although Brunton still makes navigation and optics gear, they have recently entered the solar and portable power market.
One specific product I had the pleasure to test out was the Brunton Pulse 1500. The Pulse is a the smallest power booster in Brunton’s fleet. It has a lithium ion battery built in and is powered with 1 amp. Neatly attached is a USB and mini USB plugs, so you don’t have to worry about losing your wires. To charge your device, simply remove the mini USB cable port, and plug in your USB compatible charger. The device is square in shape (2.7” X 2.7”) and weighs in at a mere 56 grams. It also comes in 4 colors.
I took the Pulse 1500 out to 24 hours in the Old Pueblo this past weekend and it was a life saver. My Garmin Edge 500 was getting low, as I knew it would, so I plugged the USB cable into the Pulse 1500 on my 50 minute break and I was back in business. When traveling a few weeks ago in Utah, I plugged the Pulse 1500 into my computer to charge, and it took just under 2 hours, popped it in my backpack and forgot about it. While in flight at 33,000 feet, I realized my iPhone was less than 10% percent battery. I took out my iPod charger, plugged it into the integrated USB port and it charged my phone. I didn’t notice a difference between the Pulse and a wall socket in terms of speed of charge. Brunton claims that the Pulse can charge an iPhone completely without having to re-charge the booster, and they definitely fulfilled their claim.
I really can’t wait to take this on a bikepacking race or trip. I already know it will be of good use as I hate waiting around towns while my phone is charging. All I need to do is plug my phone charger in to the Pulse and throw it in the frame bag. If you are a weight weenie and second counter like me, The Brunton Pulse 1500 is a perfect option for a little boost in the backcountry.