Power packs for outdoor handheld GPS units

Batteries, Power, Powerbank, Powerpack -

Power packs for outdoor handheld GPS units

As more units are now coming with a built in battery in this article we look at the power packs for outdoor handheld GPS units.

The main considerations you need to think about is size, weight and how much each power bank will hold, this is measured in a rating called mah.

What GPS units now come with built in batteries?

- Garmin GPSMAP 66i   -
Battery size 3,100 mah, Battery life 35 hrs

- Garmin GPSMAP 66sr -
Battery size 3,100 mah, Battery life 36 hrs

- Garmin Montana 700, 700i and 750i
Battery size 3,100 mah, Battery life 18 hrs

- SatMap Active 20 -
Battery size 5,000 mah, Battery life 16 hrs

- Mobile phone -
Battery life 3100 mah, Battery life 24 hrs

Lightweight power pack option - to power a GPS unit

1. Powertraveller - Nighthalk 15 (£29.00) - 2,600 mah - 120g

This will power  -
0.85 x GPS unit or phone
0.5 x SatMap Active 20

2. Powertraveller - Sport 25 (£45.00) – 6,700 mah - 187g

This will power -

2 x GPS unit or phone
1 x SatMap Active 20

3. Powertraveller – Harrier 25 (£65.00) – 6,700 mah – 220g

Same as the Sport 25 but has wireless charging for iPhone users!

This will power -

2 x GPS unit or phone
1 x SatMap Active 20

4. Goal Zero - Venture 30 (£90.00) - 7,800 mah - 250g

More power that both of the Powertraveller products listed above.

2.5 x GPS unit or phone
1.5 x SatMap Active 20

So, a lightweight power pack could keep your GPS powered for a further 70 or 36 hours (i.e. two charges), so full charged GPS unit (GPSMAP 66sr or 66i) and ‘budget’ powerpack can keep you going 105 hours or half that for the Montana 700 range

If you walked 10.5 hours a day that’s 10 days walking for a 66sr/ 66i or 5 days for a Montana 700 series

And we have not even started to discuss bringing a solar panel into the equation! Very impressive! All this from a ‘budget’ power bank.

The thing we have not yet thrown into the equation is also keeping your mobile phone also charged. It has the same mah rating as the GPS units we have discussed so far (3,100)

Slightly heavier powerbank (540g) - Powertraveller Merlin 75sd

This has a mah rating of 20,000 so we could charge our mobile phone and GPS for a joint total of 6.5 times! 

So charge your phone every 24 hours for x 5 days (plus the one charge you started with – making 6 days in total)

And charge your GPS unit 1 ½ times, 53 hours from the power pack and then the 35 hours you could start with – 87 hours 

You could walk 14 hours a day for the 6 days

Therefore in my fag packet calculation you could keep a mobile phone up and running for 7 days with a larger powerpack if you where walking 8 hours a day and had your phone on 24 hours a day with this 20,000 mah power pack AND still no solar panel put into the equation!

Related articles on batteries you may find helpful.

1. Powertraveller - the story behind the brand - A look at the brand of Powertraveller and their trips to the Arctic and participation in Red Bull extreme events.

2. Garmin - Batteries and Satnavs - An in depth article about the technology and chemistry behind batteries.

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