By Matt Hecker
The Power Bank B515 by Bastion is a simple tool that provides portable charging capabilities for any electronic mobile device that uses a USB cable to connect to its adaptor. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve needed to charge a cell phone, iPad, or iPod when I was away from a wall outlet. Whether I’m in my car on a long trip or if I’m out hunting or fishing for the day, I usually need to charge my cell phone. With this small, light power supply, I can get enough power to get to the next outlet and conveniently carry it wherever I go.
What You See
The Bastion Power Bank is a little longer than 3 5/8 inches long by 7/8 of an inch wide by a little over 7/8 of an inch tall, and it weighs in at 7.41 oz. It contains a 2600 mAh Samsung grade A lithium ion battery that is rechargeable approximately 500 times. At one end you have a 5V (800mA) Out USB female outlet along with a 5V (800mA max) IN female micro-USB outlet. The outer casing is made of aluminum with what looks to be a black anodizing or paint. On one side of the Power Bank, there is a square silver button and a thin slot of 4 LED lights. The button is used to determine the approximate remaining charge left in the battery. The 4 LED’s light up to provide this feedback. They also blink when the battery is charging.
Along with the battery itself, you get a 19.5 inch USB cable that has a regular male USB port at one end and a male micro-UBS port at the other.
How It Works
The first thing you need to do is to charge the 2600 mAh Power Bank. Take the included cable and plug the regular USB male end into a computer USB slot or a wall charging adaptor (not included). Then, plug the male micro-USB port into the 5V (800mA max) IN female Micro USB on the battery. If the battery is totally depleted, a single light will start to blink indicating the battery is charging. As the battery becomes fuller, 2 lights will blink, followed by 3, and finally all 4. When all 4 lights are lit and not blinking, the Power Bank is fully charged. I found that it takes about 3 hours to fully charge the Power Bank, and about the same time to drain it. It does depend on the device though. It is good to see that this battery does come with both surge and overcharge protection, so that should give some peace of mind.
To check the Power Bank’s charged status, you simply press the square silver power button on the side of the battery. According to the instructions, 1 light on indicates less than 25% charged, 2 lights indicate 25%-50% charged, 3 lights indicate 50%-75% charged, and 4 lights indicate 75%-100% charged.
To charge a cell phone for example, you connect the battery to your mobile device using the USB cable that comes with the cell phone.
I tested the Power Bank on my Samsung Galaxy S5, my daughter’s IPhone 5S, my wife’s standard Samsung cell phone, and my iPad. The only hiccup came with my S5. Because it utilizes a USB 3.0 cable, there are actually 2 separate connections within the same cord. While I was able to connect and get a charge indication for a second or two, the Power Bank would then shut off and refuse to charge my phone using the Samsung USB 3.0 cable. I dug up my older USB 2.0 cable that came with my Galaxy S3, and that worked fine. All other devices listed above worked fine with their native charging cables.
Please note that the Power Bank is a 2600 mAh battery, so if your device has a larger battery, you won’t be able to fully charge it. However, this very handy battery does provide enough charge to hold you over until you are back to a regular wall outlet.
While I am usually prepared with enough battery power for my devices, I frequently find that my three children are not. This small and lightweight device was really useful to get my kids charged up enough until they got back home.
What I Think
The Bastion Power Bank is a very useful device. It is light enough to carry in a pocket, a purse, or your favorite EDC bag. I just throw it in my shoulder bag, along with a regular USB charging cord, and go. I searched the web, and I found it priced at $29.99. Check out this handy tool today.