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Gear Closet: 180 Watt Cup Inverter

Thursday, 22 August 2013

A few days ago I reviewed a surprising product from Energizer in the form of the Ultimate headlamp, a light that is bright, durable and very affordable. Today I have an entirely different product. One that isn't specifically meant for the outdoors but is incredibly useful while traveling. Particularly on a road trip during which you need to keep your gadgets and tech toys fully powered. It is the 180 Watt Cup Inverter , a device that any road warrior will want in their arsenal.

Designed to fit in the cup holder of just about any vehicle, this power inverter comes equipped with four USB ports and a standard AC outlet. When plugged into the DC port (cigarette lighter) of a car it can provide enough juice to power up smartphones, GPS devices, cameras – even a laptop – all at the same time. A small, almost completely silent, fan keeps the interior from overheating so that it can continue pumping out the power indefinitely, making this an essential piece of gear on any driving excursion.

As the name implies, this inverter is capable of cranking out 180 watts of continuous power. That's enough to provide each of the USB ports with up to 2.1 amps, which is sufficient juice to charge a tablet including  the notoriously power hungry iPad. All of that energy is shared across all four USB ports however, so if you plug several power-hungry devices in at the same time, they won't quite charge as rapidly as they should. Still, the inverter is efficient enough to keep multiple devices up and running for when you need them.


Energizer has built a very solid and dependable device that looks good for a device that is essentially a portable power strip for mobile devices. The clever shape allows it to slip into nearly any cup holder, which is the perfect place for a device like this one. It put it within easy reach of just about anyone in the vehicle but it also keeps it well out of the way of the driver, keeping it from becoming a distraction.

This is a simple product that works exactly as advertised, which is what you want of course. If you make frequent road trips and need to keep your gadgets charged while you're on the go, this is the perfect device to have in your vehicle. It's MSRP of $44.99 is a great price for something that can charge all your mobile devices and a laptop too. This is the kind of device that will change the way you travel and pay for itself many times over. Buy one, keep it in your car and never be without power again.

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