Review: Outdoor Technology Kodiak USB Power Bank
The Kodiak is a simple, straight forward product designed to store power that can later be used to recharge electronic devices while on the go. It’s large battery is capable of powering smartphones, digital cameras, GPS devices, and even small tablets, thanks to its built-in smart USB port that can automatically switch between 1.0 and 2.1 Amps of output as needed.
Of course, there are a lot of portable battery systems available to outdoor enthusiasts and travelers these days, and what sets the Kodiak apart is its rugged design. The device is totally protected against dust, and is waterproof down to 1 meter. It is also capable of surviving a fall of 2+ meters, which means that it has been built to continue providing power, even in the harshest of conditions.
A rubberized suit of armor encases the Kodiak’s battery, with a sealed lid that closes over the two USB ports – one for charging the internal battery, the other for dispensing a charge to an electronic device. A power button activates the charging process, while a series of LED lights indicate the current level of charge on the Kodiak itself. This is a handy way of letting you to know at a glance just how much power is at your disposal.
The entire package weighs in at a mere 9.4 ounces (266 grams), offering a lot power and versatility in a small package.
Design and Aesthetics ★★★★
It is difficult to make a USB battery pack stand out from the competition, but the Kodiak’s tough outer shell gives it a unique look that certainly sets it apart from similar products. Outdoor Technology’s signature Sasquatch logo is imprinted on both the front and the top , adding a whimsical touch to an otherwise serious looking product. The rubberized coating features a diamond pattern that not only makes the battery pack easy to grip, but also adds to its unique look.
Another nice touch in terms of design elements is that the Kodiak allows access to the power button on the top of the device, even when the waterproof lid is sealed tight. This gives users the ability to check the current level of power stored in the internal battery without exposing the USB ports underneath. This may seem like a minor detail, but it is a good indication that the designers at Outdoor Technology understand the needs of their customers well.
Outdoor Tech offers the Kodiak in four colors (black, red, blue, and green), as well as camouflage. Each version is very distinct, giving customers choices that fit their preferences and personality.
With its IP67 rating, tough outer shell, and ability to resist drop damage, the Kodiak has been built from the ground up to be incredibly durable. The device not only feels extremely solid in your hands, it also delivers on the promise of durability in the field. With its ability to be immersed in water down to 1 meter, and resist all dust, this is a product that can be taken into extreme environments, and still function at a high level of performance.
As with all batteries, cold temperatures can be an achilles heal, draining the power from any electronic device prematurely. If you intend to use the Kodiak in those types of conditions, be sure to keep it as warm as possible at all times. Storing it in an internal pocket of a jacket during the day, or inside a sleeping bag at night, will help it to keep the charge longer.
There is a lot of competition in the external battery pack market these days, with numerous companies offering products that are very similar to the Kodiak. In fact, it is possible to find higher capacity chargers – with more features – at a lower price. But very few of them will be able to approach the same level of durability that Outdoor Technology has delivered with this product. If you don’t need your battery pack to be able to survive in harsh conditions, perhaps a competing product will suffice. But if you want a power source that is capable of standing up to the elements, and surviving in the backcountry, the Kodiak is a great value. This is a great companion product for the outdoor enthusiast who never leaves home without his or her gadgets.
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