Electronics. Love them or hate them, they have become deeply ingrained into our way of life. Even as hunters and outdoors-enthusiasts where we find solace ‘away from it all’, we still rely on our electronic devices for safety, communication, or entertainment while in the field. The new Dark Energy Poseidon Charger was designed to keep these devices going. I’m not going to lie and say that there are not times in the tree stand or ground blind when I am reading, writing, or texting friends to help the hours pass. More than once on a long tree stand sit I have run out of battery juice, needed some reserve, and didn’t have it handy. I received the Dark Energy Poseidon to review and test and right off the bat the convenience of having 10,000 mAh of reserve power gives me a new peace of mind.
Reserve sources of power for phones, cameras, iPads, and GPSs have been on the market for a while, but this is the first that has really been marketed directly to the hunter. Dark Energy launched on Kicker Starter in early 2015 and started shipping in the late summer 2015. There are a few other companies that have chargers that are made to take abuse from shock and water but from my research, the Posieden might blow these out of the water. Is this charger worth its juice?
Unboxing The Poseidon Portable Charger
As you can see, what comes with this charger is a lanyard, carabineer clip, and 20ft of paracord wrapped around a 24 inch micro USB cable, and a Dark Energy Sticker.
The Dark Energy Poseidon comes in 2 colors: Black and Camouflage / Orange. The camo one only comes in Realtree Xtra… sorry if you are a Mossy Oak guy/gal. Aesthetically, I like the orange sides with the camo because it is easier to find if you drop it in the field.
The water resistant USB cord dust covers are definitely a nice touch to protect the USB ends from getting mud in the cord, and the paracord could reduce wear and tear on the cable itself. Although, in the past the biggest problems on charging cables come from the cable ends not the mid section. In my opinion, the paracord is a cool addition, but may be more of an aesthetic touch than a rugged feature. It’s lightweight and practical to always have more paracord. If you get really bored in the stand, you could unravel it, and teach yourself have to remake a paracord bracelet. I’m joking! (or am I?) One interesting thing, the product doesn’t come with a wall adapter, so you will have to use on that you already have or purchase one when it comes time to recharge your Poseidon. If you are going to purchase one, I recommend ordering one that is more powerful than a standard 1 amp wall plug. There are plenty of options for 2.0+ amp wall adapters that will charge this Poseidon faster.
The Poseidon is also fitted with a one touch flush mounted button on the side that activates a flashlight which is a nice little addition. With a second push to the light button, the light goes into an S.O.S. mode which could be handy for emergencies. A third push turns the light off. It would be easy to accidentally leave the flashlight on with the cover closed because you can’t really tell that it’s on. Luckily, Dark Energy designed it to turn off after 3 hours just in case. Also, it has a 2 year warranty from purchase date that backs manufacturer or workmanship issues. Be sure to register your device at DarkEnergy.com to take full advantage of the warranty.
Get Charged Up
The Dark Energy Poseiden has a 10,000 mAh (milliampere hour) battery. Chargers on the market today basically range from 2,000 mAh to 30,000 mAh. Bigger battery = Bigger physical device. Why should you care about this mAh number? This number determines two things. 1) How long it will take to re-charge the charger and 2) How many times it can re-charge your device. Now, there are some variables here that must be taken into account. For example, what you will use to re-charge the charger. Typical wall chargers that you receive with most cell phones including the iPhone 6, re-charge at 5 watt & 1 amp.
Some modern devices can receive a 2 amp charge. For reference, an iPad comes with a 12 watt & 2.1 amp charger. So, if you re-charge with a standard 1 amp wall charger, it will take you longer than if you re-charge with a 2+ amp charger like one supplied with an iPad from a fast charging computer USB port.
The company advertised that the Dark Energy Poseidon charges in 5 hours depending on the charging source. With the 2.4 amp wall charger it charged fully in 6 hours 15 min at the 1.5-1.8 amp range. At 1 amp it took 10+ hours. Chargers like this have a charge limiter that controls the amperage to prevent overheating. To me, even 10 hours isn’t bad to charge a device that can re-charge a phone 4 to 5 times.
One final feature that is helpful to know about this device is that it supports charge through. What that means is, that the charger can charge a device while it is being re-charged itself.
How many times will it re-charge my device?
Numbers from Dark Energy Website:
- Smartphone (3-6x)
- Two-way Radio (4-8x)
- GPS (3-5x)
- Tablet (1-3x)
- Bluetooth Speaker (4-7x)
- Trail Cam (4-5)
- Rangefinder (6-8x)
So, how many times will it re-charge? The quick answer is: it depends. It depends on the mAh of the device you are charging. An iPhone 6 for example has an 1,810 mAh battery and a Samsung Galaxy S6 has a 2,550 mAh battery. For further reference, an iPad air pro has a 10,307 mAh battery and a Garmin Oregon 600 Series GPS rechargeable battery pack has a 2,000 mAh rating. A quick Google search should provide you with the exact battery size for your device to determine an estimate of how many times you can charge your device.
Here is a list of what I charged with it from the 2.4 amp charging outlet.
In a perfect world a 10,000 mAh battery charger like the Poseidon should charge a 2,500 mAh battery 4 times from 0% to 100%. But, due to resistance and losses this isn’t always the case. Sometimes up to 30% of energy transfer can be lost during the transfer.
The iPhone 6 charged from 0 to 100% 4.5 times.
Dark Energy claims that the charger can be charged and discharged up to 500 times and a full charge can last up to a year. No matter how much Angry Birds I played, I couldn’t get my phone to die fast enough to test that statement.
On the Dark Energy website, they have a cool promo video where they actually shoot a Poseidon charger with a birdshot shotgun shell at 30 yards and it still works afterwords with BB craters ingrained in the shell. Pretty impressive. The product is advertised as being built in compliance with MIL-STD-810G. What does this mean? This U.S. Military standard has 2 parts: design standards and testing standards. When a product claims to meet this MIL-STD, it often isn’t clear which exactly they meet without further clarification. Dark Energy claims that this product exceeds the MIL-STD-810G shock test. This test measures the device’s ability to withstand routine abuse. Also, it is rated with an IP-68 (Ingress Protection rating). The 6 indicates the highest solids proof rating. This means it is protected from the small particles like dust. The 8 is the highest liquids protection rating possible. This indicates it is protected when immersed in water or another liquid up to 1 m for a time specified by the manufacturer. Dark Energy has rated it for 1 m for 45 minutes. Below are a series of tests I performed to see how well the Poseidon would hold up.
When I put the charger in the freezer, it had about 75% charge. 3 days later, when I pulled it out, it was flashing red (less than 10%), but it charged my phone fully within normal time. After, the charger came back to room temperature a few hours later, the green LED’s came back and indicated the amount of charge that it should have had. I can’t really explain what happened there, but if you leave it in your truck for a few days in Michigan in January its good to know what could happen.
Water / Mud / Rock Smash Test. I employed my assistant (my 4 year old) to help me beat this thing up and we couldn’t do it. In the following video, you can see we chucked it in the creek, through it in the mud, threw it off a bridge onto the rocks multiple times, and ran it over with the truck.
Comparable Portable Charging Products
FosPower PowerActive 10200 mAh rugged charger, 1 USB, flashlight, compass, carabiner: $29.99
RAVpower 10050 man Outdoor external battery, 2 USB, IP66 flashlight, $29.99
Goal zero venture 30 7500 mAh phone and tablet charger, compact, 2 USB, IPX6 rating + solar: $99.00
Unifun External battery 10400 mph – 2 USB, IP66 rating, flashlight: $16.99
Final Thoughts / Summary
After having a reserve source of power in my back for the last few weeks, there is no way I will ever go without one. When I am in the stand on long sits, with a wife and kids at home, it enables me to stay connected and not run out of charge even if I get in an emergency myself. As far as durability, you really have to try to destroy this thing. As you can see, I went above and beyond normal abuse and it withstood the test. My experience with their customer service was superb. It’s a young company that is trying to make a name for itself. The price point is a little on the high end for comparable products, but with a 2 year warranty, its clear that they stand behind their products. If you are considering buying a charger that can take serious abuse and not leave you hanging, the Dark Energy Poseidon should be at the top of your list.