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LifeHack: Battery Backups to the Rescue

LifeHack: Battery Backups to the Rescue

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Have you ever arrived at the airport and realized that you forgot to pack something? It’s the worst feeling because there is no driving home to pick it up. Shoot, you can’t even get back out of security and expect to get back in without a major hassle. Well that was the situation I found myself in this past summer once the HackNow family survived airport security and found 4 seats “somewhat” near our gate. I don’t know what made me think of it, but all of a sudden I cried, maybe a little too loudly, “oh no, I forgot the backup battery!”

p1060293Does this sound like any of you? I don’t know if I’m alone here or not, but I’ve come to depend on my Anker backup battery when traveling. It’s become even more important as our family has added to our device collection. These days we each have iPhones and tablets, one daughter has an iPhone, and the other has an iTouch…not to mention a camera with a rechargeable battery as well. And get this, even though we’re headed to NYC for vacation, my boss asked me to update our weekly metrics while I’m on vacation – therefore we have my laptop as well (the sooner I get to #FIRE, the better).

So yeah, we have a lot of charging needs. And from previous vacations, I know that we’ll make use of that battery backup each and every day. Honestly, I don’t see how a family can live without one. You’re either going to ration your device usage, have to find an outlet to use while your phone charges, or you’re going to run out of battery each day. I, for one, don’t like to ration or concern myself with a phone that could go dead at any moment. This is especially true when we’re on vacation and we are using devices to take photos, view maps, look up information about the location, as well as wanting everyone to stay connected. What if one of us got lost but their phone was dead? No no no – I don’t need that stress while on vacation.

So there we are sitting at the gate and I’m like, damn! This is going to suck! We’re going to have to limit our device usage all week…in of all places New York City! I was pretty upset at the time. But here comes Mrs. HackNow to the rescue – she’s always got great ideas. Almost immediately she says, “can’t we just order another one on Amazon PrimeNow and have it delivered to the hotel? It should be there when we arrive.” Oh my, what a brilliant idea.

Now we had never used Amazon PrimeNow before, but we knew the concept and we also knew that they had 1 hour delivery in the city. So we immediately got on the PrimeNow app and found a suitable (cheap) replacement for my Anker. It was only $20 and held about half the charge as my Anker backup that was sitting safe at home. So we put the order through, set it for delivery at our hotel, and specified in the notes to leave it under my name at the front desk before returning to our regularly scheduled (stress-free) lives.

The great thing about PrimeNow is that I received a delivery confirmation during our layover – so our battery backup arrived at our hotel before we did! So cool! And when we arrived at the hotel to check in, they handed us over 4 warm chocolate chip cookies (guess what brand we were staying at?) and a brand new backup battery charger. Again, so cool!

It turns out that we don’t like the new battery nearly as well as our Anker. It served its purpose but but fell short on a few of the features that I find necessary which I’ve detailed below. But it got us through our trip and now we have a “backup” backup battery. I’m sure we’ll find a use for it, maybe keep it in the other car for emergencies.

I recommend that everyone have a battery backup available for their phones, but the one I would stand behind is this one – Anker PowerCore 13000 Portable Charger. We’ve found that this is the best model for our family. It has all the features we need and comes with Anker’s superb customer service.

The best features for us:

  • It allows 2 devices to be charged at one time, with a family of 4 this is a big deal!
  • It holds its charge for up to 6 months, meaning you don’t have to worry about it losing its charge when you need it.
  • There is no on/off switch that can 1) break or 2) be left on by accident. Therefore, it only charges when you have something plugged into it.
  • It shows you how much charge is left on the outside of the unit so you always know when to recharge.
Live Streaming World Cup Soccer
Live Streaming World Cup Soccer

When do you use your backup battery?

We use it more than you would think. And just having it nearby gives us that Linus blanket security to use our devices as much as we want without giving any consideration to battery life.

  • Once you have kids, being in contact with them is paramount. We always carry the Anker in the car with us in case we, or the kids, need it.
  • College football baby! – I don’t know where your fandom lies but with the WatchESPN app I’m never far from my favorite game. But it’ll put a crazy drain on your phone battery. I watched an entire bowl game last year while sightseeing through NYC. I couldn’t have done that on a single iPhone charge.
  • Day long family outings – Whether you’re spending a day at the zoo, the park, the beach, or anywhere you aren’t near a power outlet, the Anker comes in super handy.
  • Conference calls – Does it go without saying that it’s bad form for your battery to run out during a conference call? What’s your answer if you don’t have your charger and an outlet nearby?
  • Plus our friends and family are always singing our praises when their phones die and we have a handy battery backup they can use!

Why is the Anker better than the rest?

  • Customer service – When our first Anker stopped taking a charge over a year after we bought it on Amazon, instead of pouting and throwing it away, I contacted Anker customer service who were super helpful. They couldn’t have been easier to deal with, no problems replacing it with the same model and we didn’t have to return the broken one. We received the new replacement at no charge within days. Now that’s customer service!
  • Warranty – 30 day money back and 18 month replacement on quality!

Who would a backup battery be useful for?

  • Friends and family – I’ve bought this Anker as a gift, it’s something that most people don’t think about needing until you really need it! It’s a thoughtful gift that is always appreciated.
  • Parents – If you have small children (or any children) it’s a great peace of mind to know that your phone will never be dead when they need you most.
  • Business people – Don’t be the guy (or gal) who disappears from the conference call because their phone died.

How much does it cost?


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