Mophie Juice Pack Plus (Gear of the Year 2013)
Trail Runner Gear of the Year: Best Tech Accessory | $100 (for iPhone 4s/4) | 2.8 ounces | www.mophie.com
For long backcountry and multi-day runs, especially if you employ a GPS app, iPhone battery life is the device’s Achilles heel. But the Mophie Juice Pack Plus—an external, rechargeable battery pack that also serves as your iPhone case—can boost your power by 100 percent. To charge both your phone and the battery pack, simply plug the included micro USB cable into your computer or any made-for-iPhone power source. Your phone’s charge is shown as per usual on screen, while the battery pack’s charge is indicated by button-activated flashing lights across the bottom of the unit.
At first, the Juice Pack felt somewhat bulky and I envisioned swapping between it (while in the backcountry) and my regular case; however, I quickly became accustomed to the pack (and its sleek lines) and haven’t used my regular case again. Obtain the best battery life by keeping the pack in standby mode (small switch on lower left side) until the phone battery power runs low. Then, flip the switch and the Mophie unit charges your phone battery directly, right back up to full power. Battery life, of course, depends on numerous factors, including temperature, phone use, etc, but in general, true to Mophie's promise, I was able to double my iPhone's battery life.