For anyone looking for power on the trail, there are hundreds and more options for a power bank that you can choose to bring with you including the Nitecore NB10000.
While Anker may be the bigger and most common name in travel power packs, Nitecore has built the NB10000 which is the best-performing ultralight performance option available!
I am going to explain in more detail below why the Nitecore NB10000 is the best option for thru-hiking, not just because of weight alone but because of its overall ability to efficiently recharge in town and to charge all your devices, helping you keep moving with less zero time.
I always want to cover the important details for any review that a hiker may view as important, both the good and the bad so we will cover the following in this Nitecore NB10000 review:
- I’ll start with the features and benefits of the device (the stuff you’ll find useful)
- Next, I’ll explore any drawbacks or issues you might need to know about
- Then, I’ll dive into the Nitecore company as it is always good to understand the manufacturer’s goals
- Last, I’ll help provide details and reviews from other additional actual customers along with independent reviews from others to help give you a better overview of the product
Let’s jump into the review and make sure it’s the perfect fit for you!
Key Features and Benefits of the Nitecore NB10000
The NB10000 is a near-perfect power bank for those thru-hikers who need power but also need to manage the weight in their packs along with the time they plan to spend in towns as it is small and impressively fast.
They use a carbon fiber reinforced polymer, also known as CFRP or carbon fiber composite, which is a strong and lightweight material that is used in a variety of applications.
CFRP is made by combining carbon fibers with a polymer resin, resulting in a material that is both strong and lightweight.
One of the most popular uses for CFRP is in the construction of aircraft and spacecraft, where its strength-to-weight ratio makes it an ideal choice.
Thanks to its versatility and superior strength-to-weight ratio, CFRP has become one of the most widely used composite materials in the world.
Carbon Fiber Sheets
Carbon fiber sheets make up both panels running the length of the battery pack to help bring the weight down a lot more while not sacrificing durability and material strength.
Carbon Fiber sheets are made of carbon fiber cloth impregnated with epoxy resin. They are very strong, stiff, and lightweight.
Carbon fiber has many advantages over other materials. It is very strong yet lightweight, and it does not corrode. Carbon fiber is also a good conductor of electricity and heat.
This is an amazingly tight and lightweight device, coming in around 40% less heavy than its other similar-sized competition, much of this due to the frame and sheet build mentioned above.
The power bank weighed in on average at only 150 grams, a teensy 5.29 ounces, which is a perfect match for anyone needing additional power on the trail over multiple long days of hiking.
Ultra Slim Body & Thru-Hiker Compact Size
Utilizing carbon fiber for all the main power bank frames and the carbon fiber sheets for the sides allows this device to be shrunk in all 3 dimensions which is perfect for small ultralight packs which have less pocket space in general.
This is just a fraction of everyone else on the market, this makes it essential gear for me as it takes up nearly no space in any pocket or electronics kit within my pack but keeps me powered for days on end.
Greater Energy Density
Energy density is a measure of how much energy can be stored in a given space. In terms of power banks, it refers to the amount of charge that a power bank can store in relation to its size.
A power bank with a high energy density can store more charge in a smaller space, while a power bank with a low energy density will require a larger space to store the same amount of charge.
When choosing a power bank, it is important to consider the energy density as well as the overall capacity.
A higher-capacity power bank will be able to store more charge, but if it has a low energy density, it may be larger and heavier than a lower-capacity power bank with a higher energy density.
The density of the Nitecore NB10000 is greater than 22% of conventional 18650 Li-ion batteries!!
IPX5 rating is a standard set by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) for ensuring that electronic devices are protected from water damage.
The standard is based on a series of tests that assess the device’s ability to withstand exposure to water, including jetting and dripping.
A device with an IPX5 rating can be expected to resist water damage when exposed to moderate amounts of water, making it an ideal choice for use in wet conditions.
While IPX5-rated devices are not waterproof, they are resistant enough to stand up to most common exposures to water.
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Benefits of the Nitecore NB10000
The Nitecore NB10000 has some real value adds for a thru-hiker that need to be called out, these are some key reasons why I chose to buy another for longer hikes and or more power needs:
Near Perfect for Between Towns
A single power bank will provide a phone 2-2.25 charges to full, for most people while hiking on the trail a phone charge should last 2-3 days.
This means the NB10000 will power you through 4-7 days depending on your need to run your phone, as always you should use airplane mode and low power modes to cut down consumption.
When you are carrying everything you need on your back for months at a time every ounce matters and having a power bank that weighs just over 5 ounces is a significant drop in weight that will almost always justify the cost.
Ludicrously Fast to Recharge
If you use a good charger, like the Anker USB C Charger 20W, you will get an exceptional recharge, allowing you to come into town to NERO and charge in a restaurant to high levels with 1-3 hours of charging time.
For myself this time to test and charge it came in below:
- One solid LED, second blinking ( Which is 30%+) took less than 5 minutes
- Two solid LEDs, third light blinking (Which is 70%+) took about 1 hour
- Three solid LEDs took about – 3 hours and 15 minutes
USB-C and USB-A Device Charging
I love that they provided the older USB-A and the faster and much more standard USB-C interfaces on the power bank in this small form factor, this way you have multiple ways to charge multiple devices depending on your needs and cables.
Low Current Mode Option
In addition to normal charging for high-powered devices, you also can set the charger to lower current which is perfect for many types of headphones and other gear that doesn’t need massive juice!
Potential Drawbacks to Consider
There are loads of positives to the Nitecore NB10000 but it does have some flaws that may cause some irritation versus other power bank choices.
Taller Than Many 10000mah Power Banks
Many smaller power banks in the 10000mah size will typically go with shorter but thicker overall layouts, so if you prefer this then the Nitecore may take some adjustment, personally, I like that it is similar to my phone for ease of space need.
This is probably the thing I don’t like the most, the power is indicated by only three lights which can leave you unsure of the actual power level when you don’t have a wall charger to get back to full which is daily life on the trail.
As you can see via the above this is very vague when on the trail and can leave you worried about saving power as you get further into multi-day trips.
Video Review and Demo
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About Nitecore as a Company
Nitecore is a leading manufacturer of high-performance flashlights, headlamps, and battery chargers.
Inspired by the notion to “Keep Innovating” with the industry-leading innovative power for 15 years, Nitecore has grown rapidly to become one of the most respected brands in the industry.
Known for their innovative designs and cutting-edge technology, Nitecore products are used by law enforcement, military, and outdoor enthusiasts around the world.
What Reviewers and Customers are Saying
Everyone loves to look at specs, features, and benefits but many times you can learn much more from other reviews and customer feedback as they offer more real-life details than the other things may lack.
To help provide more views I have attempted to curate reviews that reflect on the Nitecore NB10000 from independent reviewers along with thru-hikers and customers in general to give the most detailed information possible.
Independent Reviews and Recommendations
While features and benefits and drawbacks are incredibly valuable sometimes it makes much more sense to look at customers and independent reviewers to see how they actually enjoy or hate a product!
In my opinion, this is a great portable power pack. 10,000 mAh is enough to get me through a day or two depending on usage.
It’s all packaged up in a sleek carbon fiber trimmed case. The tested vs actual capacity test figures are quite impressive as well when compared to the two other units.
I think what stands out with the NB10000 is by supporting so many fast charging protocols, you are able to get usable power out of the NB10000 quickly. I feel that a 50% charge after only 30 minutes is quite impressive.Check out the Flashlight Guy
Of all the power banks I’ve used over the years, the NB10000 has the best combination of capacity, size, and weight, making it an easy addition to my everyday carry backpack. I can imagine using this battery for many years to come.Check out the Gadgeteer
The NB10000 (four zeros – every time, four zeros) is a cool little powerbank. Overall the build quality externally seems great, and I’m pleased with what seems to be a very simple design.Check out Zero Air
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Customer Reviews and Recommendations
Within the thru-hiking community these have grown in popularity once they were found, each year they produce amazing reviews from customers no matter where they have purchased them:
Someone was very happy while looking for a lightweight charger as an emergency backup power source. They remarked the product is extremely light and has a small thin profile and that it managed to charge their iPhone 3 times, but only got up until about 85% on the last charge.
This battery pack is the lightest and most compact we’ve seen at this capacity. It’s also incredibly long, but thin enough that you can tuck it away pretty much anywhere!
Works great with an iPhone or other various devices such as headlamps for hiking through dark forests without losing power on your way.
The battery is an excellent buy. I was skeptical at first, but after trying it out myself and seeing how much slimmer my old batteries were compared to the new ones plus they’re lightweight too; It’s clear this product deserves all of its five stars!
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My Conclusion: A Must-Have for Thru-Hikers
I honestly have loved this first one I have a second coming for me this week for my upcoming Ouachita Trail hike.
I will not have the same access to towns and power that I normally would so one will power me the first 3-4 days and then the other will power me the final 3-4 days if I can’t find anyplace in the last half to recharge.
While some may then wonder why I didn’t purchase the bigger 20000 version, well I want fast charging and through numerous videos and reading vast amounts online, everyone always has a way faster charge on 2 10k power banks than to get one 20k to max power.
The 10000 also grants me a lot of range in use versus a heavier version so on shorter hikes I don’t need to carry excess weight.
Hopefully, my Nitecore NB10000 power bank review helped you know that you are making the right choice for your next trial power source; let me know if you get one in the comments, as I would love to hear how it works out for you, too!