GEAR TESTED: KICKASS LITHIUM HANDY POWER PACK

THE NEXT GENERATION IN OFFGRID ENERGY!

While the specs for this latest addition to Australian Direct’s range of KickAss Outback Proof Gear most certainly had us intrigued, we couldn’t wait to get our hands on a physical unit to see how it stacked up in the real world.

The first thing that strikes you after taking delivery of a Handy Power Pack and stripping its packaging is just how compact and lightweight these things are.

The whole unit weighs less than 5kg, which is kind of surreal when you’re more accustomed to lugging about old school deep cycles that are four times heavier!

While the next-generation lithium powercell certainly lives up to the ‘handy’ part of its moniker, it turns out there’s nothing lightweight about its performance.

There are a couple of different ways of looking at the best way that a Handy Power Pack might be incorporated into your current 12V setup.

After a solid month of testing involving two weekend camping trips and a longer five-day stint in the bush powering the cameraman’s laptop, drone and camera batteries, as well as everyone’s phones, there was no doubt that one of these would be a welcome addition to just about anyone’s camping setup.

THE WEEKEND ARMY

While the term ‘weekend warrior’ might imply condescension, don’t forget that until we retire or get sponsored to join ScoMo’s Surf Team, we’re all weekend warriors of one sort or another!

The hard truth for many is that work, family and other commitments curtail long range touring aspirations at least in the short term. If the bulk of your camping is centred around weekend getaways, with the occasional weeklong venture further afield, then listen up.

While a hardwired dual battery system is often touted as the best/only solution for powering 12V accessories, the truth is that the current crop of portable lithium power packs is plenty up to the task for many.

The KickAss Handy Power Pack is built around a 26AH lithium cell that stores ample juice to run a set of LED camping lights for a couple of nights, as well as to charge up multiple phone, camera, laptop and headlamp batteries over a weekend or more. All on a single charge!

The built-in 200W AC inverter means these things are rated to charge up your expensive smartphones and other sensitive gadgets without risk of damage.

BOOST RESERVES, GO MOBILE

Even if you’re already running a hardwired auxiliary battery, the addition of a KickAss Handy Pack to your 12V arsenal is nothing to sneeze at. Ever heard someone whinge about having too much power on hand?

The real kicker, when weighing up your 12V power options, is the convenience factor.

While your heavy hardwired system stays in the fourby, you can quickly unplug and move the lightweight Power Pack – into your tent at night, along for a lunchtime picnic or even out in the tinnie for a day on the water.

Even after copping a hammering powering accessories and charging devices all day, topping up your Handy Power Pack couldn’t be simpler.

If mains power is unavailable, these badboys come with a DC/DC charger that plugs right into your vehicle’s cigarette socket to boost power reserves while underway.

If that wasn’t enough, they’re also equipped with a solar regulator that allows for safe and simple solar charging while around camp, with a 60W solar panel maximum input.

INCREDIBLE VALUE

So, if a KickAss Handy Pack were capable of supporting your short range camping power needs… why would you choose one over the competition?

Because they’re bloody incredible value!

Priced at just $379, it’s hard to believe just how much the tech has improved in recent years. 

For just a few hundred bucks, the KickAss Lithium Power Pack is a legitimate out-of-the-box option that can cover the power needs of a family, or even a camera crew, for days at a time.

We’d recommend pairing this unit with a KickAss 50W Fold Up Microlite Panel to unleash its full potential.

For an extra 89 bucks, this nifty fold out, waterproof solar panel will keep your Handy Pack charge levels brimming, the camp lights on and everyone’s phones charged longer. Can’t argue with that!

More info on the Lithium Handy Pack, 50W Fold Up Microlite Panel and the full range of KickAss Outback Proof Gear online at www.australiandirect.com.au