Multi-Purpose Rechargeable Batteries

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Multi-Purpose Rechargeable Batteries

No matter your opinion on electronics in the field, their use is becoming an inevitability. Some people will avoid products with batteries like the plague, and others are trying to find ways to hook solar panels to their packs for a little extra charge. Technology in the outdoors can offer immense amounts of comfort and convenience, but it comes with a dependence on power. That’s no big deal when you are at home surrounded by wall outlets and your junk drawer full of tangled cords you’ll probably never use again. Don’t lie to me – we all have one.

As electronics and technology advance, so do power delivery and storage devices. You may expect me to talk about power banks and big power storage units, but that’s not where I believe your purchasing should start.

A homogenous ecosystem of batteries is, in my opinion, more important than any other facet of power in the field. Enter the 18650 and 21700 batteries. These batteries combine the best of both worlds in terms of capacity and rechargeability. Other options like the CR123 offer great output and, in some cases, a very long lifespan, but no easy way to recharge them. Then, there is the old reliable rechargeable AA battery. Yes, you can recharge it, but in most cases, they don’t offer much in the capacity department.

The 18650 and 21700 are great options for anyone looking for a long-lasting battery that can be recharged easily. The batteries have three convenient options for charging. You can plug them directly into an outlet with either a USB-C or micro-USB depending on the brand of battery, you can use a recharging dock to recharge more than one battery at a time, or you can recharge it using the actual device that it is powering.

While not every single one of your favorite electronics is switching over to this battery style immediately, there are still plenty of offerings in each category that have. One great example is the new backcountry duo headlamp from Peax which uses the 18650 variants. With that addition to my pack, I now have my headlamp and flashlight covered, and as a bonus, the thermal unit I use, an iRay RH25, also runs on an 18650.

A final, very convenient feature of these batteries is that in some products, you can use two stacked CR123a batteries in place of one 18650. That added flexibility, in a pinch, can be a lifesaver.

There are many different brands on Amazon, but this is the selection I am currently using for most of my electronics.


Mark Denham

Packs. Tripods. Optics. Gear Up
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