Although often overlooked by ultralight backpackers, the electronics we choose to bring on our next trip actually deserve quite a bit of contemplation and consideration.
Backpackers rely on their cell phones a ton these days — for using navigation apps such as FarOut; checking weather forecasts; updating family and friends; taking photos and videos; booking town accommodations; and/or listening to music, podcasts and audiobooks.
Along with a smartphone, the three other must-have electronics for any backpacking trip, regardless of distance, in my opinion are: a GPS tracking device (smartwatch), headlamp and portable battery charger.
When I was requested to review Nitecore’s NB10000 Power Bank and NU25 Headlamp, I was thrilled because I was actually currently researching some newer, lighter power banks and headlamps for my upcoming adventures.
Nitecore NU25 Headlamp Specs/ Info
- MSRP: $36.95
- Dimensions: 2.19" L x 1.36" W x 0.91" H
- Weight: 0.99oz (battery included)
- LED: CREE XP-G2 S3 LED
- Battery Type: Built-in 610mAh li-ion
- Peak Beam Distance: 88 yds (81 m)
- Peak Beam Intensity: 1650cd
- IP Rating: IP66
Impact Resistance: 1.5m
Nitecore NB10000 Dual Port USB Power Bank Specs/ Info
- MSRP: $59.95
- Dimensions: 4.8" L x 2.32" W x 0.42" H
- Weight: 5.3oz
- Capacity: 10000mAh 3.85V (38.5Wh)
- Input: USB-C - 5V-2.4A / 9V-2A
- Output 1: USB-C - 5V-3A / 9V-2A / 12V-1.5A
- Output 2: USB-A: 5V-3A / 9V-2A / 12V-1.5A
- Power Cap: 38.5Wh
What I Loved About the NU25 Headlamp
Light Strength/ Levels: There was a night-and-day difference in the light produced by the NU25 Nitecore headlamp compared to my previous Black Diamond headlamp. The highest setting on the NU25 emits 360 lumens, which is enough to illuminate up to 88 yards … which is A LOT!
I don’t often hike at night, but I had to test it out briefly on my most recent backpacking trip. I never thought a headlamp could produce as much light as this one, and I felt more than comfortable navigating the woods with the highest setting.
The headlamp offers three light-strength settings, plus red light mode for inside your tent or shelter.
Adjustable Angles: The angles of light can be easily adjusted to tilt higher up into the sky, or lower down closer to the ground. My last headlamp did not have adjustable angles, so this was a great new addition that I’m excited about.
USB Rechargeable Battery: My previous headlamp, like many others on the market, are AAA battery powered. I was thrilled to learn that this headlamp was USB rechargeable, and I no longer had to carry extra batteries on my trips. The headlamp charges fast, so don’t worry about it draining a ton of life out of your power bank.
Weight: Sub-1 oz for this powerful, long-lasting headlamp? Can’t beat that! The NU25 leaves few excuses for ultralight backpackers who ditch headlamps because of their weight (because you never know when you’ll find yourself searching for a campsite as the sun goes down).
What I Loved About the NB10000 Battery Pack
Weight: Most battery packs are particularly heavy, especially the Anker that I used on my Appalachian Trail thru-hike. The NB10000, weighing in at only 5.3 oz, is 40% lighter than other conventional battery packs.
Carbon Fiber Material: The main reason for the light weight is that the frames and panels are made of carbon fiber. The carbon fiber also greatly protects the power bank from any punctures, abrasions or general scratches. Lightweight and durable, how can you beat that?
Two USB Ports: This battery pack features USB ports so you can charge multiple devices at the same time, like your phone and headlamp. These ports support both USB-A and USB-C.
What I Didn’t Love About These Products
I gotta be honest here; I really struggled to find anything that I didn’t particularly love about these products. Nitecore hit the NU25 and NB10000 out of the park, at a reasonable price too for ultralight electronics.
However, I will say this. Depending on the length of your adventure and how reliant on electronics to choose to be, you may want to consider a power bank with more juice than 10,000 MaH.
On my AT thru-hike, I carried a 13,000 MaH power bank, which was enough energy for a 2-3 day stretch. When I was in the woods for, say, 5 days at a time, I really had to squeeze the life out of it.
The point being that if you are choosing an adventure like the AT, or any other 2-3 day backpacking trip, a 10,000 MaH power bank like Nitecores should suffice.
But if you plan on being out for 5, 7, or even 10 days without any town stops, you might want to consider a power bank with 20,000 MaH.
Everyone has different electronic needs and devices, so make sure to consider how much power you might need when venturing off into the backcountry.
Good to Know
- The NU25 comes with a built-in 610mAh li-ion battery that offers 30 minutes of runtime on Turbo and up to 160 hours on the lowest setting
- Features a battery power indicator letting you know the battery is running low
- Can charge a base iPhone 11 or a Samsung s10 two times
- Dual USB/USB-C dual QC output ports allow you for fast charging of up to two devices at once with maximum compatibility with all your electronic gears
- When not using the quick charging feature, the NB10000 features a one-touch low current mode for delicate devices such as bluetooth headphones and smart watches
- IPX5 rated water resistant, and comes with a slew of safeguards against short-circuit, overcharge, over discharge, or overheat
- Features a LED remaining power level indicator
- Nitecore also features a 20,000 MaH power bank if you feel the need for more, longer lasting charging, which can also be found on Garage Grown Gear.
Searching the market for a new headlamp and power bank for your next adventure? Nitecore has you covered with their NU25 Headlamp and NB10000 Power Bank. Ultralight, reliable, durable … all for a reasonable price!
Not only do I recommend these products for backpackers and thru-hikers, these products will be perfect for any and all outdoor adventures; and are even perfect just to have for emergency disaster situations.