With the rise of smartphones as a tool in hiking (GPS, mapping apps, cameras or if you’re like me, for reading Kindle books!), the addition of a battery powerbank to recharge them is becoming a must-pack item for our backpacks.
As a bushwalker, I’ve settled with using a 10,000mAh unit. For 195 grams I can get about 4-5 x iPhone 6 charges, so that suits me for most multi-day trips that I take. For shorter trips, I’ll save on weight and take a smaller one that just gives me 1-2 charges.
However, with airlines tightening their boarding policies for batteries (which includes powerbanks!), it’s a good idea to ensure that when you buy a powerbank, it meets the guidelines set down by not only your country’s aviation regulation body (CASA in Australia), but also the individual airlines. Both Qantas and Virgin outline their policies on their sites, so always make sure you check before you start packing your bags, carry-on that is!
The policies and regulations are written in Wh (watt hours), not mAh. So to avoid fumbling around with arithmetic and formulas to convert, the simple thing is to choose a powerbank that clearly outlines what both the Wh and mAh is.
One Australian company (Laser) has woken up to this faster than anyone else and is changing all their packaging to include the watt hours.
To coincide with this announcement, I have 4 of their 10,000mAh (that’s 36Wh!) powerbanks to giveaway to four lucky LotsaFreshAir readers… that’s ‘Freshies for short! I love how this comes with a 3 in 1 cable so you can help out your mates too! Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org before Friday 6th October and answer this question:
Q: What is the maximum Wh allowable on both Qantas and Virgin airlines for Lithium batteries for hand-held, personal devices?