Low-profile, compact size

The Lander Cascade Power Bank ($34.99) is a power bank with a built-in 2600mAh lithium rechargeable battery and a 1-Amp USB output that delivers a single* charge to your portable electronic device.

*The Cascade Power Bank is also available in a 5200mAh (2x charges) and a 7800mAh (4x charges) model.

Why does the market constantly flood us with new products to charge our electronics? One single word: Evolution.

As a species we have evolved to rely almost entirely on smartphones. Sad as it is to say if we don’t take a selfie every twenty steps from trailhead to summit who will believe we bagged another Colorado 14’er?

Proof requires a steady power supply!

I used this predominately on a trip to California where I was doing a lot of dayhikes but camping at a hotel each night. I wanted to see if this charger would be appropriate for my upcoming eight-day inn-to-inn hike in Scotland this summer to carry in my daypack—so that my phone would remain charged and I can take selfies every twenty steps from Drymen to Pitlochry.

What I liked

  • Low-profile, compact size. Of all the portable re-chargers I’ve come across (and have accumulated), the Lander Cascade is the most practical for carrying in a daypack, hydration pack or dry sack. It fits in the palm of my hand and it weighs in at a svelte 70 grams.
  • IMG_20160522_133707078Easy to use even if you’re not tech-savy. All you have to do is connect and push a button.
  • For $34.99 you have a fresh “battery” that you can charge, re-charge and re-use over and over and over again. I know I smack-talk’d our inter-species dependence on keeping our smartphones charged at all times for social media selfies but there is another important reason: Safety. You can’t dial 911 from a phone with a dead battery.
  • Delivers a relatively fast charge for such a petite charger. Think of it like that single shot of espresso. During my trip to California when I tested the Cascade, it took about 30 minutes to charge my phone from 9% to 50%.

What I didn’t like

I can’t think of a single nit-pick on the Cascade.IMG_20160522_133655668

But I should remind you what the Lander Cascade 2600mAh Power Band is and what it isn’t. The 2600mAh Cascade delivers a single charge to your electronic device—and only a single charge. That means it’s not an option for an extended off-the-grid trip. When the juice is depleted, that’s it, game over until you can plug it into a USB to recharge. If you’re planning an extended stay away from electricity, you may want to consider its brawnier siblings, the 5200mAh (2x charges, $49.99) and 7800mAh (4x charges, $69.99) models.

Why does the market constantly flood us with new products to charge our electronics? One single word: Evolution.

Final thoughts

If you think you need another electronic charger like you need another hole in your head, go ahead and make another hole. (Notable Gear Gal Tip: making a hole in one’s head is called a Trepanning)

The Lander Cascade is going to Scotland, aye!