A few years ago, I tested one of the very first realistically priced lithium power banks on the market. It was from Silverline Tools, and very good it was too. I’ve used it to charge my phones and tablets for days on end when I’ve been away (you’re always away– Jules), and to fire up numerous dead motors, ever since. In fact, it’s sitting in my glovebox right now, ready for action, as always. My trusty little jumper is the predecessor to this new item, which goes on sale at the end of the month. But, while this upgrade has changed the original unit for the better, the idea remains the same. Put simply, this little box of electronic wizardry could be the perfect glovebox companion…
IN THE BOX...
First up; the changes. For a start this one comes with a posh carry case and a Mini-USB/Lighting/USB-C multi-connector, extras that always give a bit more of a premium feel. The heart of the unit, technically known as the boxy bit, has been beefed up significantly. The old one was solid, but this, with its polycarbonate shell, appears to be even tougher, and more suitable for a workshop environment or bouncing around in your boot. It’ll take quite a bit to smash this one to bits, which cuts down on the worrying where you leave it. Not that I recently left the test unit on top of my Beetle engine and drove for 40-miles before I remembered, you understand. Let’s not mention that to Silverline!
Anyway, the physical dimensions (which are similar to an iPhone) are about the same as the previous model, albeit a smidge thicker, and so is the price. This, as with most Silverline kit, comes in at thoroughly entry-level money. You also get a bigger, more powerful torch/ strobe/emergency beacon, a much clearer battery life indicator and dual USB charging ports because, well, one device just isn’t enough nowadays, right?
It may be small, but inside there’s a 6000mAh battery, which is enough to serve up a whopping 400Amp jolt to start any car up to around 2.5-litres. The best bit though, is that it has the capacity to do this time and time again between charges. In other words, it won’t run out of juice when you most need it.
I’ve always been a big fan of products like this. Purely because, here in the modern world, there’s two things that we need to work properly all the time – our cars and our phones. There’s also such a thing as ‘Sod’s Law’, you’ve probably experienced it yourself, and Sod’s Law expressly states that both will go flat at the worst possible moment, leaving you right up Effluent Estuary. These sort of tools are simply your chance to make sure that you have a paddle.
The original one went down exceedingly well, over the last few years they’ve sold about a gazillion of ‘em. And, as I (probably) said back then, the key is the dual purpose. It’s not like you’re shelling out for a jump pack that you’ll only use now and again. Having the ability to utilise this as a normal power bank means you get your money’s worth… even when it’s not a lot of money in the first place.
What’s nice here though, is that they haven’t compromised on the quality to make this happen. This comes with a smart protector unit with suitably chunky 10AWG (200DegC) cables and insulated copper spring clamps. Not the silly, piddly wires that you see on many unbranded items… usually the ones without a lifetime guarantee. This means they won’t get hot and melt, and the rather clever protector unit ensures you simply can’t cock up the connection, safeguarding you and your car. It’s details like these that can make or break a product in the real world, especially when it comes to tools.
Over the last model, this is a simple case of refinement. Silverline have clearly listened to feedback and made improvements without missing the point of why we wanted one in the first place. I guess, it’s a bit like your phone upgrade every couple of years.
The old model is excellent, this update is even better. I can’t think why you wouldn’t want one.
Review by Fast Car magazine, August 2019.