Here's an interesting widget for touring cyclists. The Brunton Metal 4400 Electronics Charger is ideal for touring or multiday events where you might not guarantee a source of electricity, but want to charge your mobile phone, GPS computer or lights.
It's very compact and not all that heavy at 208g, with a natty carbon fibre-look back plate. It's not something you're going to carry in a jersey pocket, but it'll go in your pannier or saddle bag.
Inside the tough case is a 4400mAh lithium-polymer battery, which I found was plenty to charge my smartphone a couple of times and top up my Garmin Edge 500. An iPhone 5 has a 1,440mAh battery so that gives you some idea of the charge the Brunton stores. They claim it'll charge four smartphones, and my testing showed this to be the case.
A small LCD screen serves as a power level indicator so you know when you're running low. To charge the Brunton from empty takes about four hours from a USB port. Bruton claim the battery can be charged 1000 times.
There are two leads, a micro USB - fine for my Samsung phone - and USB 2.0 lead that can be plugged into any compatible device and also used to charge the Brunton. In the top of the unit is an integrated USB port for plugging any compatible device in, your tablet, phone, MP3 player, lights or GPS. The only change I would make would be to add a mini-USB lead so I could charge my Garmin without needing the correct USB lead with me. It would be perfect then.
The Brunton is a smart and well designed reserve battery that works well, and provides plenty of juice for keeping your gadgets topped up. That's ideal if you're planning to ride over the course of a few days and don't want to let your phone or other device run flat. I've also found it handy for travelling, and given how small it is, I've taken to always stashing it in my bag when travelling, just case I need it.
Useful & reliable backup battery for charging your cycling gadgets on multiday trips
road.cc test report
Make and model: Brunton Metal 4400 Electronics Charger
Size tested: Li Polymer 4400mAh, orange
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Whether you're sprinting the long expanse between airline gates under a tight connection, or relaxing on the train for your commute home from the daily grind, Brunton's Metal™ 4400 will keep your phone or music churning. Its sleek exterior will accompany your briefcase and business suit or skinny jeans and sneakers.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Lithium ION energy – High-grade Lithium ION cells charge faster and last longer; no memory and minimal discharge; 1000 cycles at 80% capacity
Charge Time – USB - 4 hours; ac/usb - 4 hours; Solaris® 4 USB - 5 to 6 hours
Charging Capacity- 4x smart phone charges
LITHIUM ION BATTERY 4400mAh
POWER OUTPUT – 2.1 Amp & 1 Amp
SPECS – 4.25x1.13x1", 7.25oz
INPUT – INTEGRATED USB
OUTPUT – DUAL OUTPUT – USB 2.0 + micro USB
Solid and tough.
Provides ample battery backup for all your cycling gadgets.
You can drop it and it's just fine.
It's the weight of a small camera, not one for carrying in your jersey pocket. In a pannier or rucksack it's just fine.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Being able to easily top up phones and other electronic devices when on the road or away from a source of electricity.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Could do with a mini USB lead.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 31 Height: 180 Weight: 67
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.