Comparing power banks

Comparing power banks

Recently I have reviewed the FREELOADER Off-Grid Power bank and GoalZero Venture30 but I also personally own a Xtorm hybrid solar power bank and each offers various features for different prices and this is just three power banks. There are 10’s maybe close to 100 hundred brands which offer power banks from £1 cheap banks to fit in your power to big solar kits to keep you going for an entire week but what is best?

I compare the three power banks I have reviewed/owned in order to help you decide what is best.

Starting with the Xtorm Hybrid power bank:
10,000mAH solar power bank offers recharging option from solar power or direct from a power source, whether mains or from a computer via USB. It’s a light weight package in a thin but large design which is rain proof IP44. The bank can charge a smart phone 4x and weighs in at 250g.

The Xtorm power bank can take a full day to recharge using the solar panel built in so can be a little slow to recharge but does give you the option to as well as charging two devices at the same time. In addition to the charging and solar power recharging the power bank has a bright torch on the rear which is plentiful bright but does drain the bank rather quickly so use sparingly. A carry loop is also built in to the design on top to help fasten to rucksacks to continue charging on the go.

Retail price = £35 (Not available to purchase brand new anymore).

Up next the GoalZero Venture 30:
A 7,800mAH waterproof power bank which as standard doesn’t offer solar recharging as an option but can be purchased with a larger +7Watt panel which is rather large for on the go requirements but perfect for vans, cars or hiking long distances with a rucksack. This bank can charge a smart phone 2-3 times.

Much like the Xtorm is housed in a strong robust exterior which is not just rainproof but waterproof to IPX6 and offers dual charging and a torch light on the front. Similar to the Xtorm hybrid the torch can drain the bank rather quickly but does offer various levels of brightness for different needs. Unlike the Xtorm it comes with a built in micro USB used for charging devices or the bank itself.

As it can't not be charged with solar power built in, its restriction is once dead you have to charge via the mains or if you have the large +7 Watt panel to charge at base camp. I found charging the power bank very slow and from 10% life to 90% would take a good 7 hours using a laptop device or in the mains slightly less at 4-5 hours.

Weighing in at the same weight at 250g but slightly smaller design, the GoalZero can fit nicely in to a pocket which is just as well as it doesn’t feature a carry loop on top for strapping to rucksacks but with no solar panel why would you need to?

This bank is also the most expensive of the three at £99, with the nomad 7 watt panel = £180 and 7 plus watt £200

Finally the FREELOADER SiXer off-grid bank:
The smallest mAH of the three at 6,000mAH but offers a lighter and more compact design with more features at a lower price point in comparison.

The bank is freeze and waterproof at IPX6 much like the GoalZero and comes with built in usb and apple connection cables for dual charging and a third USB port for more devices or charging the bank. As with the Xtorm the bank as a solar charger which is quick to charge even in power weather and coupled with the larger 5W supercharger which is smaller and lighter but waterproof compared to the 7watt nomad of the GoalZero panels its a good option for adventurers and photographers looking to get off the grid with a small, lightweight package.

The bank can charge 2/3 smart phones as well as camera batteries with the photographers bundle using a universal charger. The bank as standard comes with a rubber sleeve for protection and with this weighs 260gram but can be lighter without the sleeve but not by much.

With various price points the bank on it’s own is £70 or with the supercharge is £110 and the photographers bundle is £135, all of which are supplied with USB cables for numerous devices.

Xtorm Hybrid power bank:

Built in solar panel

IP44 - rainproof


No cables provided

Built in lamp

Carry loop built in

Approx charge smart phone 4x

Cost = £30

No extras can be purchased

GoalZero Venture 30:

Solar panel bought separately

IPX6 - freeze and waterproof


Built in tangle free micro USB cable with additional USB port

Built in lamp

No loop built in

Approx charge smart phone 3x

Cost = £99

Extras can be purchased

FREELOADER SiXer off-grid bank:

Built in solar panel with larger panel purchased separately

IPX6 - freeze and waterproof


Built in tangle free Thunderbolt cable and micro USB cable with additional USB port

No lamp

External shell provided with carry loop and straps

Approx charge smart phone 2 1/2 times

Cost = £70

Extras can be purchased

Transparency Notice: Please note that I (Matthew Holland) receive free products for review from brands and manufacturers, but I only accept products for review on condition of total independence and no guarantee of endorsement.

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