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Power on demand
Backup batteries? Got ’em. Mobile charging stations? Check. But I need a mobile battery that will keep my beer cold and charge my phone and laptop all day when I am in the field — my off-grid field that is.

River, by EcoFlow, checks all the boxes.

It’s not what you’d call practical, at least not in the sense that you can stow it in a pocket or backpack. After all, it’s about the size of a car battery and tips the scales at a whopping 11 pounds. But there’s no denying its utility. A single top-up takes about six hours via wall charger (or nine hours by car charger) and lasts a year. Once charged, River can supply a total of up to 500 watts to 11 devices simultaneously.

This mobile battery has a ridiculous number of ports. You’ll find two USB 2.0 Quick charge ports, two regular USB ports, two USB-C ports, two AC outlets, two DC outlets, and one 12V car port. The 114,000mAH battery is also smart enough to regulate voltage, giving each device precisely what it needs without going all Note 7 on us.

For the outdoorsman, there’s even a River foldable solar panel ($299) capable of fully charging the power supply in 10 to 15 hours (dependent on weather). It’s also water resistant with an IP63 certification. That’s not quite up to modern smartphone standards, but it can handle the occasional splash.

With a battery this reliable and any top quality solar panel I really can go for days without needing a Utility supply. I still need to be careful not to waste power – turn the laptop and phone off when not in use, but its a case of swings and roundabouts. The freedom is worth the extra hassle.

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