When Bill and I last went out camping we both took our charging devices to field test them. I took the Power Practical Power Pot V. Bill brought his Biolite Camp stove. We were using an iPhone 5 for testing.
I was very excited to test out the Power Pot. I liked it size of it, even though its big, i was able to fill it up with spices and other cooking gear, to keep things from floating around in my pack. I used the lid/cup all weekend to drink out of. The handles are coated in a nice heat resistant rubber coating and it just looks very cool. The problem that I did have with it was the charging. I had it over the camp fire, make sure you have it filled up with water, the light on the cable would indicate that it was ready to charge so I would start charging. My device would charge for about 2-3 minutes and then I would get an error stating that the device wasn’t recognized, and it would stop charging, i would then have to unplug the phone and plug it back in to get it charging again, repeat until you go crazy. I think the reason for the issue was that as the fire shifted and the hot spot shifted and when that happened the power level dipped and thats when the error happened. The device is nicely built, I love the idea but i really don’t like to have to babysit my device to make sure that it’s actually charging.
Then we got out the Biolite. One of the benefits of this one is that you don’t have to make a separate fire first, its all self contained. With the biolite we didn’t have any problems with the device not being recognized. I think that is because the phone is charging off the battery, not off the fire directly, so if there is a dip in the heat of the fire it doesn’t cause an error on the device. The only issue was that the charge is really slow, but at least all you have to do is feed the fire, not babysit the device as well.
I think that the power pot would work much better over a gas stove with a consistent heat. However, if that is the case and I need to carry a gas stove and fuel as well as the Power pot I think the biolite is a much lighter choice, even with the slow charge time, especially for a long hike in. But if you are day camping with a short hike, I think the power pot with a gas stove is the way to go.
I am looking forward to trying out some other charging methods, like solar. The one that i am most interested in testing is the myFC PowerTrekk, which is a hydrogen powered battery charger.