I have a few things to say about external iPhone batteries, but we’ll get to that in a second. First, here’s the Jackery battery for the iPhone 5, a backup battery distinguished by being slim, having a nice sleek design, and featuring an absurdly pretentious video promo on the product page.
The Jackery is thin and orange. It comes in an aluminum enclosure, weighs 5.4 ounces, charges via USB and supplies 5600mAh of charge, or enough to juice the iPhone 5 around three times over. The price is $100.
When I’m away from Barcelona, I carry a backup battery with me always. At home it’s no big deal, and if the iPhone dies I can just get on my bike and ride back to my apartment. But when I’m traveling, my iPhone is in constant use: maps, tethering, photos.
I also like to be able to juice my Kindle and my bike lights (I travel with a Brompton). On my current trip to Leipzig in Germany, I brought a huge 14,000mAh pack, but it’s too heavy to take out for the day unless I’m planning on being on the bike the whole time. I also have smaller batteries, but these are sometimes a little lacking in capacity. The Jackery Air’s big life and small, light body seem to be the ideal balance between the two.