When it comes to off grid technology one of the most important things someone can have with them is a portable power source. These are key to having these days to ensure your phones, tablets, GPS, etc. to ensure you can keep going, or even in the event of a survival situation, make it out alive. There are so many power banks on the market how do you know what ones to choose.
First remember you always want to have enough power to charge your devices for several days in case there is no way to recharge them, this way I always recommend doubling your output. Second there is port availability, do you want to be able to not only charge your devices but also recharge the power bank as quickly as possible. Most power banks use Micro-USB for their input no matter what they have for their output, but some manufacturers are keeping their eye on trends and one of those are the folks at RAVPower. The teams at RAVPower put together a solution in a very powerful portable battery design that is feature abundant and will keep you powered all day when they designed the PD Pioneer 18W 20,000mAh power bank that we will be reviewing on the bench today here at Off Grid Technology.
The RAVPower PD Pioneer power bank features a total capacity of 20,000mAh which is more than enough power on the go for multiple charges or the ability to charge multiple devices. Converting this with the voltage of 5V using an output of 1.5A you have a total of 66Wh of usable power which is a lot for the types of devices this power bank is designed for. This is key as this means you can also take this power bank on an airplane because it is lower than TSA maximum capacity of 100Wh or 27,000mAh average. The casing of the power bank uses a slick grippy plastic design and a clear smooth portion for the LCD to shine through. On the front is the RAVPower logo and the back as the specifications that you will see more of below. Flipping to the top portion you can see the array of not only ports to charge from but also multiple ways to charge the power bank as well. This design really allows for the flexibility as you no longer need to take with you both a cable to connect to your devices and also a cable to charge the power bank, but now you can do it all from the same cable. This way if you only own say Apple devices with a Lightening connector you do not need to carry a Micro-USB as well like most other power banks on the market. As for the ports for charging the power bank there is the standard Micro-USB port, top of that is the Lightning port for Apple cables, and finally to the right is the USB-C which supports Power Delivery (PD) up to 18W. To charge your devices from the power bank you also can use the same USB-C port (You can both charge from and to with this port) as well as two USB-A ports to the right. The Green USB-A port which supports Quick Charge 3.0 (QC3.0) up to 18W (5V/2A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A) and a smart port which supports standard 12W max (5V/2.4A).
Moving along the spine of the RAVPower PD Pioneer 20,000mAh power bank there is a “Power Button” which is the status and awake button for the charger. When the button is pushed the device will wake up and start charging. There is also an auto wake feature when you plug a device it will start charging the device and momentarily display the current capacity. To see it when not charging just push the power button and it will tell you the percentage of the battery left in 1% increments. In the last photo you can see that you can use any of the cables stated above to charge the power bank from a wall socket or other method including charging via solar panels. I was able to charge the power bank from zero to full using a 21W Solar Panel (Limited to 2.1A per port) and it took about 10 hours to fully charge but even at half that you get a very good charge in an emergency. For wall charging I used a USB-C cable with a Quick Charge 3.0 brick and since the input power for USB-C is limited to 18W
Specifications & Features:
|No. of USB Charging Ports:||3|
|Max Charging Speed:||5V-3A Max|
|Max Input Speed:||PD Input 5V--2A, 9V--2A, 12V--1.5A Input (IN 1) 5V--2A, 9V--2A, 12V--1.5A Input (IN 2) 5V--2.1A|
|Recharging Time via 2A Charger:||5-6 Hours|
|Color Selection:||Black only|
|Other Features:||With a 74Wh rating, it can be packed in your carry-on luggage onboard a domestic or international flight.|
|Allowed on Planes:||Yes|
|Item Dimensions:||6.2 x 2.9 x 0.6 inches|
|Item Weight:||15.7 Ounces|
- Power for Days: Step into the upper echelon of battery capacity with a muscled 20,000mAh, fully capable of recharging your phone or tablet several times over.
- The LED indicator displays the available power level of battery pack and charging status intelligently. Know before you go.
- One for All: Compatibility at its finest, not only ready to charge almost all USB powered devices including laptops, tablets, smartphones and more, but also portable charger can charged by all the cables. Moreover, just taking one cable of the latest iPhone is enough when you traveling around.
- Stay Protected: All ports, including a dedicated iPhone input port, feature complete charging protections alongside RAVPower’s comprehensive iSmart technology. Built in UL certified battery cell and complete charging protections make you and your device safer.
- Latest Blazing Fast Recharge technology: Multiple effective ways to recharge your power bank, easy to achieve peak performance with an 18W PD charging adapter to fully recharge in 5 and a half hours.
Testing & Results:
To test the RAV Power PD Pioneer 18W 20,000mAh power bank we setup a few charging scenarios. To complete the tests, we use a DROK USB meter to capture the voltage, amps and watts being used to charge each of the test devices. We also used the same meter to test the charging of each of the cable types to the RAVPower PD power bank. We also measured the amount of time it took to charge each device in minutes (keep in mind each device has a different battery size so it will vary). Finall I wanted to test how long it would take to recharge the RAVPower PD Pioneer 18W 20,000mAh battery using each cable type. The USB-C and Micro USB can quick charge and the Lightening cable is limited to 5v/2.1A so we will see the differences.
Testing components used:
I have owned many power banks for myself over the years (I am old so trust me it’s been a lot) and I have to say WOW I really love the RAVPower PD Pioneer 18W 20,000mAh power bank. In fact, it has become my daily driver in my go bag to keep my phone, tablet and other small USB type devices charged. The ability to use a single cable for both my device and charger is amazing and while I know more vendors are adding USB-C to their chargers which support two way charging, but it would be nice to see Lightening added to devices for our Apple phones and tablets that still use them until Apple see’s the light and updates to USB-C as well like they did with the new iPad Pro’s. When it came to capacity this thing is great, while not the biggest capacity for what it charges its perfect. I was quite pleased to see quick charge support which really increases charge time, while only supporting up to 18W its very efficient. All around this is one of the best large capacity power banks that we have tested to date and if you are looking for one I would highly recommend picking up the RAVPower PD Pioneer 18W 20,000mAh power bank (RP-PB172) and just ignore the long name it’s well worth it.