Review: Nomad Roadtrip Battery Pack

Gadgets Geek Culture Reviews

There is nothing worse than running out of juice. Portable chargers can help with that problem, but only if you remember to charge them. The new Roadtrip car charger and battery (3000 mAh) aims to make carrying portable power with you even simpler. Keep the Roadtrip plugged into your car’s 12 V power socket and you will have a fully-charged portable battery to grab wherever you go!

This past summer I took my teenage daughter on a 500-mile bike ride across the state of Kansas (Bike Across Kansas-BAK). For a week we road across Kansas on our bikes and camped in the small towns as we went. Even though we drove our own SAG (Support and Gear) vehicle, we still found it really difficult to keep all of our devices charged up using only our truck’s 12 V power socket and the portable battery charger we took with us. You see, we could either charge our portable battery or we could charge two of our devices, but not both at the same time. Not a problem with the Nomad Roadtrip.

(End of the Roadtrip has the USB Type C socket and the power indicator lights - Photo by Skip Owens)
(End of the Roadtrip has the USB Type C socket and the power indicator lights – Photo by Skip Owens)
(Top/Bottom of the Roadtrip has the USB Type A socket - Photo by Skip Owens)
(Top/Bottom of the Roadtrip has the USB Type A socket – Photo by Skip Owens)

The Roadtrip has pass-through charging, so you can charge the RoadTrip’s internal battery continuously while it’s in your car, and the instant you plug a device into the RoadTrip while it’s still in your car it switches the charging priority over to your portable device automatically. The Roadtrip has one USB Type A (the type of USB plug used by iOS devices) and the new USB Type C ( a smaller new USB plug that is being used in some newer devices like Apple’s new MacBook laptop). The Roadtrip charges quickly too, with a full 3 amps of current available (1.5 amps per USB socket). Roadtrip take about 2 hours to fully charge and the only method of charging it is through your car’s 12 V power socket (no ability to charge it from a wall outlet).

The Roadtrip has a unique design: The skinny cylindrical base fits nicely into the 12 V socket in your car and the body widens out and is flat on one side to avoid having it roll off of a flat surface. The outside surface of the Roadtrip is a rubber-like material that is soft to the touch yet grippy so you won’t accidentally drop it while carrying it around.

(Roadtrip in action - Photo by Skip Owens)
(Roadtrip in action – Photo by Skip Owens)

For some reason both my daughters and my wife are always leaving the house with their devices almost completely devoid of any power. So there is always a battle that ensues in the car about who has the greater need to charge their device. So when I heard about Nomad’s new portable battery/charger I contacted them right away and they kindly provided me a Roadtrip for this review. Between 500-mile bike rides, a car full of family members with power hungry devices and all the travel that I do I can safely say that the Roadtrip is going to come in extremely handy. I’ve been using the Roadtrip for a little over a week and it works just like you would expect. It charges while you drive and is extremely portable so you can quickly grab it and take it with you on the go. It even has the added bonus of making the USB charging socket a little more accessible. With the Nomad plugged into the car’s 12 V socket, the Nomad’s USB socket is sticking out a bit further than a normal USB car adapter. If you find yourself looking for power as often as my family does, I think you will find the Roadtrip quite useful to keep plugged into your car, ready for when you need it.

Roadtrip is available for purchase through Nomad’s website and from BestBuy also carries Nomad products, but at the time of this writing they did not yet carry the Roadtrip online.

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