Our initial test was a first go with the PowerPot. We plan to test it more in the field, but, as noted, it immediately began charging an iPhone once flame was licking the pot base. We were impressed with the speed at which power began streaming into the device.
We left the pot on the heat source for several minutes, the phone steadily charging up probably at about the same rate as you get from plugging it into a laptop.
For backup or emergency use, this pot can be a great asset. But like most all chargers, including the BioLite and portable solar panels, it will take hours to revive a device to full power.
You need consistent fuel (either gas for a stove or sticks for a fire) to get consistent power. You need a water source — the PowerPot does not work without water inside.
In addition, a user must babysit the pot during a charge session to make sure the flame is consistent and that the water does not boil over.
Overall, the PowerPot gets a thumbs-up on our initial review. It’s a bit bulky and heavy for ultra-light backpackers, but many hikers and campers will not mind the size.
It heats water, it makes power on the side. If you run low on a phone charge or forget extra batteries for a camera or GPS, something like the PowerPot can be a reliable backup to have in your pack.
—Stephen Regenold is founder and editor of www.GearJunkie.com.