Tucked away on a small stand at CES’ Tech West venue, I found a company called GoPuck making USB power banks with a focus on an active lifestyle. Well may you jest at the thought of such a product (“a USB power bank is just a USB power bank!” I immediately thought to myself), but GoPuck (Puck, or PUCK stands for Portable USB Charging Kit, and it’s intended to work with GoPro cameras) is bringing some thought to their products and accessories – and they don’t really need to be aimed at “active” users to make them genuinely useful.
GoPuck’s main product is a 3-inch square USB power bank with rounded edges, and 0.7 thick. It’s covered in a lovely grippy soft-touch plastic finish on the body and is available in 5X (US$80) and 3X (US$60) versions carrying 6,600 mAh and 4,400 mAh and weighing 138g and 180g respectively. They charge off Micro USB and can output up to 5V/2A depending on the model to quickly charge your phone.
The smart part is the Active Mount accessory that GoPuck sells alongside the power banks (one is included when you buy from GoPuck directly). It’s a tough plastic piece that takes advantage of the GoPuck power bank’s shape to clip around the edges diagonally, allowing you to do more with the GoPuck. Thread a belt or a strap from your backpack through it and hey presto, you have a power bank you can securely attach to yourself or your bag.
The Active Mount also has a small hook moulded into the plastic that allows you to securely wrap your USB cable around it to avoid it getting caught on things.
The clever part of the Active Mount is that it’s actually designed with a tripod mount hole through the middle, allowing you to attach a GoPro camera to it. You can also mount connect two Active Mounts to one GoPuck, allowing you to connect a GoPuck in the middle of a chain of tripod mounts. It’s intended in this configuration to be used to keep a GoPro charged for longer when left out in the field unattended, but the Active Mount works just as well for individuals looking to keep their phones charged.
Besides the Active Mount, GoPuck also sells stickers for customising the look of your power bank.
GoPuck was also showing off a newer version of their power banks at CES – this one’s said to hold 10,000 mAh and has magnets(!) to help you attach it to things. No word just yet on when that version will be released, or a price.
Getting a GoPuck in Australia is doable, but you probably don’t want to order directly from GoPuck because of the shipping charges. Instead, a bit of searching around will find some smaller local vendors selling the products.
For more information about GoPuck and its products, head over to their website, GoPuck.com.