LifeProof LIFEACTÍV Power Pack (don’t do this with other portable Lithium-Ion batteries)
GIF: Corey Foster

Every time I hoist my daily-carry LifeProof power bank out of my backpack in open sight of others, I get questions, scoffs, and ridicule about it being such an absolute unit. After defensively responding with a list of its benefits on several occasions, I most recently just pushed it off of the table I was sitting at and let it slam into the floor before picking it up again and plugging my laptop into it.

I break a lot of stuff, and it’s usually because of an accident that could have been avoided if I were less cavalier and careless. I’ll kick-cram my backpack under the airline seat in front of me without thinking about the laptop or game system inside of it. I will even risk a phone or camera near water or rain because I don’t want to miss a great photograph. Instead of fighting what seems to be an affliction that I simply possess, I’ve learned to invest in good protective gear for the most costly of my electronics or to spend extra money on rugged versions of devices when they’re available.

Actual brick for scale. (Thanks, Bob!)
Photo: Corey Foster

LifeProof’s LIFEACTÍV Power Packs fall squarely in the latter bucket.

So the last couple times someone has asked me about the literal power brick I carry around, it was easiest (and more fun) to justify the roughly 7x3x1 inch, 11oz. LifeProof Power Pack by immediately dropping it on the floor or pouring water on it. Beyond being drop-proof up to 4 feet and IP68 waterproof for up to an hour at 2 meters deep, LIFEACTÍV Power Packs are dirt proof and snow proof. The 20,000mAh LIFEACTÍV 20 I carry costs $100 and has enough output via the two-way Power Delivery USB-C port to fast charge my Pixel 3 four times, charge my Nintendo Switch twice, and even 30W PD “slow charge” my Dell laptop. The LIFEACTÍV’s USB port is almost as functional as its power delivery sister, but will not charge my laptop.

LifeProof LIFEACTĂŤV Power Pack 20
Image: Corey Foster

LifeProof also sells a less expensive 10,000mAh model that’s the same size and just as ruggedized, and another 10,000mAh wireless version that integrates a Qi wireless charger. Sadly, the protective blast-case surrounding my Pixel 3 prevents me from benefiting from Qi charging. And not to be outdone by some run-of-the mill budget power pack, all of the LIFEACTÍV Power Packs double as LED flashlights with red and white light output modes. I used mine for illumination during a 4-hour power outage, and it didn’t spend a noticeable amount of power according to the four blue indication LEDs. I’d conservatively estimate you could run the flashlight for an eternity before you need to recharge it.

If you’re gentle with your gear as a rule or you prefer to stay indoors with your precious electronics, you have hundreds of power bank options that are better suited for your life of relative safety than a LIFEACTÍV Power Pack. If, however, you’re more like me and have a disposition to allow your human nature to ruin perfectly good electronics on the regular, LifeProof power bricks justify their cost by being worth their weight (and size) in peace of mind.