Pack Essentials: GO PUCK Charger
A portable charger who’s solid build oozes with robustness and almost invites you to play rough…
I must admit at first I was sceptical of what the GO PUCK boasted. But after a friend of mine offered me the chance to have a go I was pleasantly surprised. The design of the GO PUCK is understandably puck-like with its soft rubbery texture and loosely the shape. It’s also seriously tough. For a while I kept it fastened to the outside of my pack for charging on the move that was easy to access. I even did this on a whole day on the beach with sand being blown at it from all directions.
I decided to keep it inside my pack for a while and after a few days I realised it had made its way to the very bottom of the pack. I recently (and unintentionally) kept a cookie that my son made me in the bottom of my pack which reminded me afresh the amount of beating the GO PUCK would have been subject to.
Of course it’s also been dropped a few times and generally not treated with the care I might treat an electronic gadget with due to the cavalier claims that I read. It has stood up to everything I’ve thrown at it without me being intentionally cruel.
As a sort of disclaimer, I was about to purchase my first Powerbank (this one in fact) when this opportunity landed in my lap, so my experience with other chargers is limited. That said having tried the GO PUCK I’d definitely struggle to settle for anything less.
The capacity (9000 mAh) is brilliant, it charges my iPhone 6 several times before draining completely, but I generally use it to keep my phone topped up during heavy usage, for example when using the GPS for long periods of time. I’ve also used it to keep an action camera going after a long day of use. I’ve not intentionally tested it for specific durations, but I’d be confident it would keep my phone active for a week of casual use. The key advantage is that I don’t need to charge it after each use.
The speed of charge is something I didn’t expect. When on an impromptu night-time beach BBQ my brother-in-law started to download a sizeable star gazing App as it was clear and starry night. His phone battery got painfully close to dying before the app finished downloading, so we plugged in the GO PUCK and very quickly it was charged enough to not only complete the download but use the app without keeping the GO PUCK attached.
It seems to gained roughly 1% of battery per minute of charge (ever so slightly less if running on 4G), however the speed of charging obviously varies between devices.
Using the GO PUCK is simple. You plug in your device in either of the two USB charging ports and press the only button it has to charge. The power pack is charged through the central mini USB port (charging cable and mains adapter provided). There are 4 LEDs that indicate the charging progress and they also appear briefly when the button is pressed.
The labelling of the two USB ports, Quick or Rapid, does make it confusing to know which will charge your device faster (to use yet another labelling of speed)! The one labelled Quick is “Qualcomm® Quick Charge 3.0™” compatible (something you might only recognise if you have an enabled device) while the other, Rapid, charges at up to 3.6 amps. Without a compatible device I’ve not noticed a difference, but it is something they could make clearer on their website.
It comes with a mounting unit that could be used to attach an action camera to the GO PUCK or to mount the power pack anywhere using any relevant action camera attachments. On the website it illustrates how you can use two mounts to attach it to one item, handle bars for example, and then attach your action camera above it. The extra mounts cost $19.99 which doesn’t seem astronomical, but as the pack is geared up towards action camera use, you could expect this level of functionality out of the box.
Attaching it to the outside of a pack was tricky at first. The spacing between the clips on either end is such that it doesn’t allow for both clips to be passed underneath tradition PALS webbing.
My solution was to pass the only the top clip underneath the webbing and then attach the power pack. I was concerned that having only one point of attachment would not be secure, however the fit is so snug and the clip is strong enough that it remains tightly fixed in place. Attaching to a belt would be easy enough and it has definitely earned their self given title of wearable power.
The central square of the mount is too wide for a central attachment on standard PALS webbing, but this isn’t the case on my LowePro ProTactics pack. They’ve used slightly different spacing on their webbing so I could manoeuvre the mount to be central which is definitely the most ideal fit. If GO PUCK could reduce the size of this squared area it would make it more universal.
Having looked at other power banks on the market, $99.99 sounds like a big ask. Admittedly there are power banks out their that have similar technical specs (if not better), for a lower price. Where, I feel, GO PUCK get away with this cost is by building in the kind of beat-up-able trait that most of my gear has to have to survive.
Often you can decide to pay the premium prices for something, but when it’s in your hands it feels cheap and smothers you with regret. The GO PUCK does the complete opposite. It’s solid build oozes with robustness and almost invites you to play rough. Just holding it is enough to demonstrate the build quality. By letting a few of my tech-head friends simply hold it, they agreed it was worth the cost and soon became potential customers.
The bottom line is that it delivers both on what it promises and on the price. I’ve been seriously impressed and I am already recommending it to my friends. I can honestly endorse this GO PUCK and it’s going to be something I will pack for many years to come.
The product(s) being tested and reviewed here were exchanged for the service of producing this review.
Editor: For the reason I've intentionally not stated this product as having been received for free please read my Review Process comments on our About page. All of our contributors write without the pressure to review favourably, regardless of how they've been obtained. Most often we like to write about products or brands we already love but I always make every effort to make sure our reviews are honest.