Power On-the-Go: Griffin Travel Power Bank for Apple Watch

Griffin Travel Power Bank For Apple Watch
A charger that is also a keychain… I think that means its pretty portable. (Image from Griffin)

If you use your Apple Watch as much as I do, you know there is nothing worse than running out of battery. Each new iteration of the Apple Watch has brought us better and better battery life, but sometimes you need just a little extra charge. Now you can take that charge with you in a very portable way.

One of my least favorite features of the Apple Watch is the very long charging cable and puck that come with the watch. By itself there is no really good way to use the charging cable and not have it take over your desk, countertop, or night stand. There are a ton of great options out there for making the task of charging your Apple Watch at home more convenient (in fact I reviewed one of those options here on GeekDad), but I have never been happy with the ultra-portable charging options for the Apple Watch… until I came across the Griffin Travel Power Bank Backup Battery.

What Is the Griffin Travel Power Bank? 

The Griffin Travel Power Bank is a battery in a very portable keychain form factor that has an Apple Watch magnetic charging puck built right into it. That means all you need to do is carry around the Travel Power Bank and you have everything you need to charge your Apple Watch:

  • 1050 mAh rechargeable battery (2.5 full charges of the Apple Watch)
  • Certified, MFI-compliant magnetic charging surface built into the battery
  • Charges via any 5-volt USB charger or computer USB port
  • Charge status LED indicator
  • Comes with a charging stand that works with Night Stand mode
Griffin Travel Power Bank For Apple Watch
The Power Bank base attachment let you charge your watch in Night Atand mode. Yes, that is my Yoda Stitch, but my daughter has one too! (Image by Skip Owens)

Why Might You Need This?

I actually approached Griffin about doing this review. I just bought my 12-year-old a Series 3 Apple Watch and she is using it as a standalone cell phone (she doesn’t carry an iPhone with her). I’m actually writing up a future article for GeekDad about this because (contrary to popular belief) it is possible to use the Series 3 watch in this way, but it does take its toll on the Apple Watch battery. If the Apple Watch Series 3 is using cellular data all day long (no wi-fi and it is not in range of the iPhone it is paired with), then the battery life really suffers. If she leaves the house for school with a fully charged Apple Watch, then she generally gets home after school with anywhere from 30-40% charge remaining. But if she leaves the house with anything short of a full charge, she may not make it back home before her watch dies.

So I have been sending her to school with the Griffin Travel Power Bank on her backpack so she has some emergency charging capability for her Apple Watch. Now if she notices she is getting low on power, she can charge her watch while in class so she has a nice healthy charge on her watch when she leaves after school. After all, the whole reason we got her the watch was so that we could communicate with her instantly and easily before and after school (two working parents makes this extremely important).

Griffin Travel Power Bank For Apple Watch
It really is small enough to hang off a backpack! (Photo by Skip Owens)

But there are a lot of other use cases where this device would come in handy. You know, just in case you aren’t a “techie” 12-year-old:

  • You like to take long runs or bike rides that take their toll on your watch’s battery
  • You do a lot of airline travel and are constantly running out of power
  • You routinely work on your laptop away from home
  • You wear your Apple Watch while you sleep so you need every opportunity you can find to charge your watch
  • You are using the cellular connectivity feature of the Series 3 a lot and need the extra juice

Verdict

Like I mentioned earlier, I approached Griffin about getting a unit to review. There were several portable Apple Watch battery chargers out there, but there was only one company making them that I trusted, and that was Griffin. That last statement may sound a little corny and sales-pitchy, but I really do mean it. If you intend to carry around a product all day every day it needs to be able to stand up to some abuse. Being the tech geek that I am I own a lot of tech gear and there is nothing more frustrating than having to throw something away because it stops working or simply falls apart. My daughter has been taking the Griffin Travel Power Bank to school every day for several weeks (hanging off the outside of her backpack) and it has held up really well. It was designed to be used as a keychain or to hang off a carabiner so I figured it could survive my daughter, and I was right. Based on my past experience with Griffin products and my recent experience with this product in particular, I think the Griffin Travel Power Bank is an excellent accessory for any Apple Watch owner.

Disclaimer: Griffin supplied me with a review unit for the purposes of this review

A rocket-scientist, father of 3, amateur astronomer, piano/keyboard player and soon to be sci-fi author who wears his geek badge with pride.