Thursday, 18 December 2014

Powermonkey Explorer 2 – First look

Power – 6000mAh
Weight – 292g (my scales), 300g with ‘out’ adaptor, 307g with ‘in’ and out’ adaptor. 

This thing is built like a tank.  Press promo’s show someone driving a Land Rover over the top of it, and I can believe it!  It looks solid and it feels solid.  It does however weigh a solid 392 grams.

I currently own a few power packs, my current fave is the Lepow moonstone 6000mAh, which I used recently in the USA (I have others from Anker and TeckNet).  I use them on multiday trips, camping and festivals. 

From a first look the Explorer 2 is well made and could be thrown in the pack without any thought of protection or having to be careful.  It just feels ‘tough’.  The unit comes with 2 fixed cables (can be taken off but unit is no longer waterproof), one micro USB in and one micro USB out. 

The cables are where I begin to have issues with the design.  For most things I have the micro USB will not work, but they provide a micro to ‘normal’ USB adaptor, which is great.  However, this adaptor is a separate ‘thing’ so needs looking after.  So the ‘fixed’ cables do not eliminate the need to carry other cables or reduce the risk of losing something.

This unit would be better without the fixed cables; they just don’t seem to offer any advantage?

Pros – Solid, waterproof.
Cons – Heavy, Can carry more power in a another unit with a waterproof bag/case. Only 1 output.

Comparisons –
Anker Powerbank – 4500mAh, 117g, 1 output (£20)
Lepow Moonstone – 6000mAh, 152g, 2 outputs (£17)
PowerMonkey Explorer 2 – 6000mAh, 292g, 1 output* (£75)
TeckNet iEP387 – 7000mAh, 180g, 2 outputs (£18)
TeckNet Powerbank – 15000mAh, 305g, 2 outputs (£24)

*only the Powermonkey is waterproof on its own.

Disclaimer – I bought this with my own cash.  Well actually it was free with a magazine subscription, but the points the same!

Edited to add some prices.  Prices correct today (19/12/14) on Amazon.


  1. Interesting thoughts.

    So out of all the ones you have tried, which would you consider the single best unit weighing up such characteristics as weight, robustness, ease of charging, capacity, ease of use, versatility and (if applicable) waterproofness?

    I imagine I'd be looking for the unit to be able to be charged "on the road" (solar, crank, etc) and every few days from a mains plug socket, and to in turn charge such things as mobile phones, tablets, rechargable batteries, etc.

    I'm keen on the idea of such devices, but don't quite know where to begin? So any advice would be welcome.



  2. I use a lot of USB devices! Some of it depends on what you are doing, length of time away from a 'source', how many devices, etc.

    I think the Lepow Moonstone will remain my battery of choice for now. It can fully charge an iPhone a few times, so ideal to top up a few different devices over a few days. It's what I used on my few days on the JMT. It's 152g, plastic (but survived a drop!), capacity is good for a couple of days, very easy (they all are to be honest), and can charge 2 things at the same time. It is NOT waterproof, so needs looking after.

    None of the batteries can be plugged direct to mains, so all need a mains to USB charger. The powermonkey will apparently be getting a crank and wind adaptor soon (Your own wind farm! controversial!). All will work with third party solar panels. I have a Sunantics sCharger S5, which doesn't look as good (not as flashy looking) but is lighter with a good output. Solar limited in UK to be honest!

    The Lepow is also £17 on amazon when compared to the Powermonkey at £75.

    I might edit the review to add prices!