I live out of a backpack for half the year. Since room in my pack and time in civilization is scarce, I require efficient gear that travels well.
Power banks and AC adapters have been a staple in my tool chest for years. While many are packable, they don't provide the oomph my laptop, phone, or camera batteries require to stay powered up. Breaking camp to juice up batteries is a luxury I can't afford.
After years of trial and error lugging around proprietary, bulky wall chargers and anemic battery packs, I've finally found a pair of tools from AUKEY worth their bragging rights. It's not a perfect solution, but it has earned a place in my backpack and my daily life at home and on the road.
Taking AUKEY on the road
I packed up and headed out with two AUKEY products, traveling more than 3,500 miles over 10 days. My sole goal was to make as few stops as possible to recharge equipment. How did it go? Let's start with the AUKEY charger.
AUKEY Omnia 100W PD Wall Charger
Carrying the standard-issue charging block for a MacBook Pro is a literal pain. It's big, blocky, heavy, and nearly impossible to slide in and out of a pack or even a laptop sleeve. Add to that a charger for camera batteries, one for a GPS unit, an e-reader, and a tablet, and you end up with a lot of unnecessary weight and gear to keep track of when traveling. Not cool.
The first new tool in my bag this trip was the AUKEY PA-B5 Omnia 100W PD wall charger. It's a slender USB-C charger with a fold-out plug that slips in a pocket, backpack, or drawer. At less than half the size of a MacBook Pro charger and several ounces lighter in weight, the AUKEY Omnia was a welcome relief.
The AUKEY Omnia 100W PD wall charger comes with GaNFast Technology, so it's speedy as can be without suffering overheating issues that sometimes come with smaller AC adapters.
This tiny AC adapter is compatible across the board with most PD devices, making it ideal for your laptop, phone, iPad, Nintendo Switch, and other USB-C goodies.
As promised, the PA-B5 from AUKEY charged my 16" MacBook Pro in less than 1.8-hours and it fast-charged my iPhone 11 Pro up to 50-percent in about 20-minutes. It also worked flawlessly with my GPS watch, e-reader, tablet, and a bevy of USB-C devices.
The AUKEY PA-B5 is fast and efficient. You get full speed charging for your laptop, plus quick charging for everything from a Surface Pro to a Thinkpad to your smartphone. And it has an indicator light, so you can see when it's charging and when your device has been topped off.
I have two minor quibbles with the AUKEY Omnia. First, there's only a single port in this charger. The solo port combined with its folding plug keeps this charger compact and packable, but it also means you can only charge one device at a time. Second, AUKEY doesn't include a cable. If you want to take advantage of the blazing speeds, you'll also need to invest in a high-quality USB-C cable.
- Fold away plug
- Indicator light
- Fast charging
- Only one port
- No cables included
This is a tiny wall charger that works quickly and efficiently with most USB-C devices. I love the hideaway plug and indicator light, and its packability.
Adding the AUKEY PB-Y24 Universal Power Bank
The AUKEY Power Bank charges itself via USB-C, and there's a tiny cord included to get the job done. With a huge capacity, this 26800mAh battery pack can fully charge an iPhone 11 Pro Max five times over before it runs out of juice. That's a lot of power!
The AUKEY works with almost any device. You'll get a variety of output ports, including two USB-C ports and one Type-A 3.0 with Quick Charge.
In practice, the AUKEY worked with every piece of technology I threw its way. The 60W Power Delivery output charged up my 13" MacBook Air in no time. It also juiced up my GPS watch, an e-reader, headphones, an iPad, a camera battery, and a bazillion other devices. I was able to top off every tool of my trade multiple times throughout the day without this power bank losing much steam.
Since I only carry one of every device with me, safety is essential. This AUKEY power bank has safeguards built-in that protect your tech against excessive current, overheating, and even overcharging. The AUKEY power bank is a good choice for those on a roadtrip, a day at the beach, or anytime you're away from an outlet for an extended period.
While I can marvel all day over the charging capabilities of the AUKEY PB-Y24, I do have one major complaint: this thing is a beast. I don't mean that in a good way, either. The large size is to be expected, I suppose, considering its output, but it's still unwieldy.
At almost one and a half pounds, the AUKEY is a hefty unit to pack and carry from place to place. The power button and ports are all perfectly placed, yet this model feels big and clunky.
On the plus side, it comes with a mesh carry case with a pocket for a USB-C cable. When hiking, I was able to slide the entire unit in its case inside a drink pouch on the side of my pack to save room.
Combining two smart AUKEY products
Anything that gets me outside and to work faster is a good thing in my book. Combining the AUKEY 26800 Power Bank and the AUKEY Omnia 100W PD Wall Charger to my workflow has meant more time on the road and less spent charging tech. And that's a win-win.
It takes a little under three hours to fully charge the AUKEY PB-Y24 power bank with the AUKEY Omnia PA-B5 AC adapter. Once charged, I use the portable power bank to top off my phone, watch, e-reader, headphones, camera, and MacBook. I can go several days on one battery charge if I'm using the power bank off and on all day.
The AUKEY PB-Y24 is a solid unit with important safeguards in place. When combined with AUKEY's PA-B5 AC adapter, the pair serves to keep my tools powered up and does so at speeds that punch through the competition.
- Has QuickCharge 3.0
- 3 ports
- Includes mesh carry pouch
- Comes with USB-C cable
- It's heavy
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