Justin 2,200mAh Power Travel Pack review

{ 18 comments }

Just Power Stick
For those of us old enough to have noticed, it’s amazing how quickly phones have transitioned from stationary devices to portable toys for the rich-and-famous to in-case-of-emergency gear to essential, inseparable extensions of ourselves. Along with that dependency, we’ve developed a primal fear of, running down our life-giving phone batteries. One of the many companies providing products to save us from this catastrophe is Innovative Technology, with their line of Justin Power Products. They sent me a travel pack to review that includes the means to resuscitate my phone via wall outlet, car outlet or battery backup – all in a little black zip pouch. Read on for details and my impressions. 

Note: All images can be clicked to view a larger size.

Justin Package Contents

The Justin 2,200mAh Travel Power Pack Up contains five components, all coordinated in basic black:

  • 2200mAh Power Stick
  • AC Wall Charger
  • 12V Auto Adapter
  • 3’ Micro USB Cable
  • Zip Pouch

First off, a quick note to explain that I’m not going to be consistent in what I call this product, because the package, documentation and website all have slightly different names for it. But let’s focus on the contents. The first three items in the list each have a single USB port that delivers 5V 1.0A output for charging. The star of the show is the power stick. Rated for 2200mAh capacity, it delivered 1612mAh to my Samsung Galaxy S4 before running out of juice. This efficiency of 73% is about average, or slightly higher, compared to other power banks I have tested. The Micro USB cable is used both to charge the power stick and to deliver power to attached devices.

Justin Power Stick Input Light

When charging the power stick, the standard USB plug connects to a USB power source, which can be the included wall charger or car adapter, or a laptop. When connected and charging, a red LED glows until the battery is fully charged and the LED indicator shuts off. The power stick charges at 500mA and takes 4-5 hours to charge completely.

Justin Power Stick Output Light

To charge a device, change the cable so that the USB end is plugged into the standard USB port and connect the Micro USB plug to your device. If you have an Apple device, you’ll need to provide your own legacy iPhone or Lightning cable, but they are supported. I successfully initiated charging of my Retina iPad through my Lightning cable. When charging, a blue LED indicator glows, and it shuts off when either the device is fully charged or the power stick battery is drained. Based on their battery indicators and the charging time, both my smartphone and iPad charged at about 900mA, which is close to the output specification.

The AC Wall Charger is very basic, with a fixed US-style two-prong plug rated for 100-240V AC and only a single USB port. Like the wall charger, the 12V Auto Adapter has just a single USB port.

Justin Car Adapter

The car adapter does have a red LED light to indicate when an attached device is drawing power.

Justin Car Adapter Light

Each component – power stick, wall charger, and auto adapter – delivers a maximum of 1A, so they are not designed for features or power. Rather, they are designed to be small components to carry together in the travel kit.

Justin Zip Pouch

The zip pouch is a compact 4.9” long by 3.5” wide, with a wraparound zipper that allows it to lay flat when open. The components fit easily into two mesh pockets that make it easy to find what you’re looking for. I would have preferred some elastic in the band at the top of the pouches to help keep the pieces from falling out, but it works okay and would be easy to throw in a carry case. (Ignore the dangling white threads in my picture above – there used to be a large white tag with washing instructions for the pouch. Impatient to take the picture, and not ever foreseeing a future that included laundering the zip pouch and wondering if I can use bleach to do so, I ripped off the tag. I may get around to tidying up the damage with scissors later.)

Both my smartphone and iPad will charge twice as fast with their own 2A wall chargers, so you may also see a performance compromise if you rely on this kit for regular charging duties. Also, the power stick’s capacity is limited – it will recharge my Samsung Galaxy S4 about 60% and my iPad about 10-15%. Keep in mind, then, that this travel kit may better serve as an emergency standby kit, tucked away in your car or suitcase in case you forget your regular charger at home. (Note, however, that the manufacturer recommends recharging the power stick every two months when not in use.)

The decision on whether to buy the kit comes down primarily to the power stick. I’ve reviewed larger power banks, which provide the security of two or more full phone charges. But, at 68 grams, this power stick is much lighter while still giving me a 60% charge. I carried the power stick in my pocket during a round of golf in case my GPS app drained the battery (and thus my electronic score-keeping ability) during the round. It turned out that I didn’t need it, but I felt better and didn’t even notice the extra weight. Similarly, I could see bringing this along for day hikes or kayak trips just to make sure that I can power up a dying phone in an emergency.

The Justin Power Stick Travel Pack-Up sells for $30. That’s a pretty reasonable bundled price. If you travel frequently, you may prefer to carry more premium charging accessories. For instance, I use a car adapter with two USB ports, and I’ve seen them with four ports. Similarly, I now bring my Bolse 5-port USB wall charger (with 3 x 2A ports) with me when I travel, unless I’m going ultra-light. Alternatively, you may already have accumulated more USB adapters and Micro USB cables than you know what to do with. In either case, you can still purchase the Justin 2,200mAh Power Stick by itself and save $10. However, spending ten bucks for the cable, two adapters and a carry pouch isn’t a bad deal, even if you only need a couple of those items.

If you’ve made it this far through the review (!), then the breadth of basic functionality in this convenient and compact travel kit probably interests you. If so, then I can recommend the Justin Power Travel Pack. It’s sure to keep those fears of a dead phone at bay. If you’ve already got a drawer full of these widgets, or if you have carefully assembled select components for your own custom travel kit, then there is little here to excite you.

Update 12/24/14

Of the power banks I’ve reviewed, this is the smallest, and the one I still keep handy. I no longer get out of outlet range long enough to really need the larger power banks, and I can stick this in my pocket, attached to the phone, when I’m on a hike or golf round and want to make sure my phone’s GPS doesn’t fail me. One thing I can say is that the availability of universal power banks means that I’m happily not investing in expensive, phone-specific extra batteries. And I no longer consider a phone without a removable battery quite the non-starter that I used to.

Source: The samples for this review were provided by Innovative Technology. Please visit their site for more info about this product.

 

Product Information

Price:$29.99
Manufacturer:Innovative Technology
Retailer:Staples
Requirements:
  • Device such as phone or tablet which charges via USB
  • Device-compatible USB cable if not Micro USB
Pros:
  • Supports three USB charging options: AC wall outlet, DC car outlet, external power pack
  • Compact and convenient
  • Consistent 5V/1A power delivery from each component
  • Reasonable price for complete bundle
Cons:
  • Components may be too basic for those with many or power-hungry gadgets
  • 1A power supply will charge some devices slower than their own chargers
  • The bundle may not provide value for those who already own most of the components
Posted in: Cables, Batteries and Chargers, Reviews, Travel Gear
{ 18 comments… add one }
  • craig winder December 26, 2014, 8:04 pm

    can i take the justin power stick model js-160-2200 on my carry-on on airplanes??

  • Greg Carter December 26, 2014, 11:13 pm

    @Craig Winder – As best I can tell, the regulations state that airlines may approve carrying up to two powerbanks that are clearly marked as less than 160Wh in capacity, or 32,000 mAh. At 2,200 mAh, the Justin js-190-2200 (I’m assuming your model is a typo) is less than that. I’ve seen very similar powerbanks on airplanes, so would not expect any problems.

  • Patrick McGehee February 9, 2015, 4:12 pm

    Got one for christmas and used it a very few times, got it at belk now i try to use it and nothing happens weather it be a charge or anything at all, have miss placed receipt what should i do to replace. Please email with answers.

    • Greg Carter February 9, 2015, 5:27 pm

      @Patrick, I’m sorry, but we do not support or sell products on The Gadgeteer. We are a news and review site, not a retail site. Please contact the vendor directly for support.

  • Michael February 11, 2015, 10:10 am

    When I plugged my js-160-2200 into my Samsung Galaxy S4, I couldn’t tell if it was charging or not….at least the charge indicator on the phone didn’t indicate it was charging. I tried turning the phone off and then my phone began to vibrate every few seconds. Anyway, I didn’t want to damage my phone so I unplugged it. I noticed in your report that you were using the same phone. How does your phone react when it’s recharging with this device?

    • Greg Carter February 11, 2015, 11:16 am

      @Michael, First a caveat that mine is model JS-190-2200, not JS-160-2200. Although it appears from the website that “190” simply refers to the travel pack with the “160” power stick plus the other accessories, the model number on the power stick is JS-190-2200 also. So it’s possible that my product is somehow different. That said, I just tried plugging my Samsung Galaxy S4 into my power stick again, and I got an immediate beep, with the battery icon switched to indicate that the phone is charging. All seems normal. I would contact the manufacturer to see if they can help because what you are seeing seems abnormal.

      • Michael April 4, 2015, 9:28 am

        Thanks Greg!
        I called the manufacturer and was told the product was defective and to return the product to the store from which it was purchased. After doing so, I again followed the instructions step-by-step and again the product would not work with my phone. I then tried it on my wife’s phone (she has the same model), and it still would not work. Tried it on her Asus tablet, and it worked fine. Obviously the manufacturer’s claim on the box that it, “Works with all devices” is a lie. Needless to say, I returned the product for a refund.

        • Greg Carter April 4, 2015, 5:44 pm

          That’s odd, Michael, since it works with my Samsung S4. But it makes sense to get a refund if it doesn’t work for you. There are a zillion other external battery packs that should work just fine!

          If you still have it, I might try different cables to see if that makes a difference. From my limited online reading, it seems that there is a decent chance of the cable being incompatible rather than the battery. If your next battery has an issue, definitely look at the cable.

          • Michael April 5, 2015, 8:46 am

            Tried that when I first bought the device. First with the cord that came with it…next with the one that came with my phone…then with several others I had around. Same results every time. I’m just glad Kohls would take the junk back without a hassle.

  • R Govindarajan April 4, 2015, 6:18 am

    The redlight glow shuts off about a minute after the Justin charger stick is placed to re-charge by USB charging. If the plug into the Justin is pulled off and re-inserted, the redlight glows again for some time before shutting off again.

  • Eileen June 16, 2015, 2:24 pm

    @Michael, I purchased the identical power stick (Justin JS-160-2200) from Kohl’s and am having the same issue in that it doesn’t charge my Samsung Galaxy S4. Good to know Kohl’s will take it back without a hassle.

  • Randy December 8, 2015, 3:18 am

    I bought this charger at Belk. Used it very rarely…. maybe 8 times to recharge my phone. Then it died. In my opinion it is not worth $2.

  • Topaz Ingenious December 20, 2015, 11:30 am

    So i got the Justin charger yesterday as an early Christmas present when I visited a relative’s home for a sort of celebration we do every year, and I was stoked to get it. Of course, I was confused on what to do at first and when I got home, the first thing I did was charge my phone. Little did I know, that after reading the instructions, I was supposed to charge the Justin battery for six hours before use. It did end up still charging my phone, and when I was done with that, I charged the Justin battery stick later. It might’ve been too long of a charge, I think, and since I read in the instructions that the red light will go away when it’s fully charged. I woke up this morning and wanted to charge my phone again, but it’s not registering, but it does register the charge of the battery stick. Have you run into this problem? Thanks.

    • Topaz Ingenious December 20, 2015, 11:33 am

      Also, I’m using a iPhone 4s.

      • Greg Carter December 21, 2015, 6:14 pm

        @Topaz Ingenious. As I responded to others, I haven’t experienced any issues with my Justin charger, but it seems you are not alone in having problems. I wouldn’t expect the device to have a problem just because you didn’t charge it straight out of the box – it SHOULD be okay once you recharge it. If you still have issues, I’d recommend contacting the manufacturer or place of purchase.

  • Ginny January 15, 2016, 1:29 pm

    I used this and another Intertek charger (4010027) to charge my iPhone 5S, but I see no way to recharge the charger. The small end of the cable that goes into the phone does not fit into the smaller “input” opening in either device. I have no idea how to recharge the chargers. Help! Thanks.

    • Greg Carter January 15, 2016, 2:22 pm

      @Ginny, I think the cable you are using for your iPhone has a Lightning connector specific to the phone which cannot be used to charge the power pack. The power pack should have come with a cable with USB and microUSB connectors. If not, you can get one. That’s what you need for charging the power pack. Unless your phone/device has a microUSB port, you’ll need two different cables…

  • anne davis March 11, 2016, 4:28 pm

    I got one of these for xmas. Finally decided to charge it up to use. It’s been plugged in for DAYS and the red light won’t go off, it won’t charge any of my items and am now totally frustrated. Ready to toss it.

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