Braven is bringing a couple of their products together into one handy device that looks like it’ll be the last word on external battery packs for outdoors enthusiasts. The BRV-BANK PRO LE takes (and improves) the ruggedness of the original BRV-BANK while adding the modular features of their BRV-PRO rugged speaker. And, from the sounds of it, it could save you from a lot more than a dead phone while you’re out hiking or mountain climbing.
The original BRV-BANK debuted at CES 2014 and was notable for its ruggedness and water- and dust-resistance. The new BRV-BANK PRO LE is even tougher — it’s now fully waterproof, rated IPX7, and has a case built from aircraft-grade aluminum to protect the hardware inside from damage in case of drops. While the previous version had a removable USB-powered flashlight, the BRV-BANK PRO LE has a built-in 300-lumen flashlight. Not only can that be used when you get caught out at night on hikes, it can be used in Find Me mode to flash ‘S.O.S.’ in Morse code in case of an emergency. There’s also a Bear mode — connect it over Bluetooth to your smartphone, and the battery pack will sound an alarm and turn on the flashlight if the phone is moved.
The one bummer is that it looks like there’s no 8,000 mAh option this time around — the new pack only comes with a 6,000 mAh battery, which is still good enough to fully charge most smartphones a few times over. Like last time, there are two charging ports, but only one of them is 2.4A, which is suited for tablet charging. The other one is a 1A port you’ll want to reserve for a smartphone.
The BRV-BANK PRO LE is also compatible with all of the modular accessories made for the BRV-PRO rugged speaker. That includes a solar charging panel, which is once again great for hikers who might be going on multi-day hiking/camping trips and are in need of sustainable power — especially handy when paired with the stacking plate for combining the power of multiple Braven battery packs. On top of that, there’s a multi-tool and a GoPro mount available, making this an all-around rock solid outdoors companion.
The Braven BRV-BANK PRO LE works with a companion app, which you can use to monitor battery levels and turn the charging ports on and off. Bear mode and Find Me mode can also be activated using the app. The battery pack should ship sometime in Q1 for $130 — pretty pricey for a battery pack, but not too bad considering its rugged materials, modularity, and outdoors safety features.