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Back in April, we brought you word of some new devices that mophie was bringing to the table (you can see that here). While most of their products are focused on portable electronics, the new mophie powerstation go rugged has it sights set on larger prey. We spent some time with two of the offerings, and are here to give our thoughts.

Now, as you can tell from the photos here, the mophie powerstation go rugged devices we looked at have the power to charge up your car. Or, more specifically, get it jump started. Sure, if you’ve got another car, you could jump it from the running car. Or if you have a plug-in charger, most of those have the option to get in a jump start setting. What if you’re parked in a spot you can’t reach the cables to, or don’t have electric, or simply don’t have another car available with jumper cables? That’s where these come in very, very handy.

Now, being transparent, I did not have the opportunity to jump start a car with these. There is one car in our extended family that has a tendency to run itself down, but of course once these arrived, the electrical gremlins seemed to behave themselves. Had it happened, the smaller of the two we got in, the mophie powerstation go rugged compact is the one I would have grabbed. Length and width, it’s about the size of a cell phone, and thickness-wise it’s about the size of a paperback. So, super-portable. And even thought it has “only” an 8,100 mAh battery inside, it’s got the power to jump start a car (credit to the 600 Amp output it can manage). Of course, if you’re not jumping a car, you’ve also got two USB-A ports that can do 5V at 2.4A to charge up whatever you may need. So, think of it as an external battery pack with an extra, very handy, feature.

On the other hand, I did put the mophie powerstation go rugged Air through it’s paces – well, aside from jump starting a car. However, this one has a feature I use a LOT – a built in air compressor. Over the years, I’ve gone through a few different inexpensive ones that plug into the accessory port on your dashboard (you know, the thing that used to be a cigarette lighter). They work, but winding up the cord and hose is never as precise as you like. That’s something that the mophie powerstation go rugged Air addresses very simply. Well, for one, there’s no power cord, as you charge it (via USB-C) and then the 15,000 mAh battery stores up the electrons.

When it’s time to put air into something – be it a car tire or a kids inflatable toy – it’s a matter of unhooking the air hose from it’s clips, attaching the extension, and then pushing air through, either to a preset PSI (handy for filling tires, as it shuts off once it hits that) or just until your inflatable is filled up. For the car tire, I did check it with my hand-held gauge, and it got it right to where it needed to be. For inflatables, you also get a number of adapters included in the bag, so you shouldn’t have any problems getting things going.

One other note on the mophie powerstation go rugged Air – if you are on the roadside dealing with a flat, you’ll appreciate the fact that the LED light on it can be white (to use as a flashlight) or flashing amber, so it can be used as another hazard warning light. Frankly, since this has come in, it’s been in our van for all of our camping and longer road trips. It’s just great having that peace of mind that a device like this gives you. And, should you need to top of your phone, that’s also quite possible via the two USB-A outputs, just as on the mini one.

Filling up the kids’ bouncy horse

Before wrapping this up, it’s worth noting that for the jump start features, the mophie powerstation go rugged line makes it about as foolproof as can be. First off, in the textile bag you get to store the device and cables, it’s printed with instructions on how to hook things up. Secondly, the jumper leads are keyed, so they can only plug into the mophie in one direction – the correct one. Finally, it runs itself through a safety check just to ensure you’ve got the clamps hooked up correctly – not reversed, or trying to pull a prank on your buddy or anything. In other words, it’s about as easy to use as could be, and makes the thought of jump starting a car not anything to worry about, even if you’ve never done it before.

So, yes – I am very much a fan, both of the functionality and the extreme portability you can get from these mophie powerstation go rugged devices. If you’re not caring as much about airing things up (perhaps you’ve got a compressor in your garage or built into your vehicle), then the compact version, at $99.95 is a solid route. However, if that’s not the case, and you want that extra air compressor (and the larger battery) then the $159.95 mophie powerstation go rugged Air is the one I’d recommend – and the one you’ll find in the back of the family hauler. You can check these out, as well as other options they have in this line, directly over at zagg.com

Tech Specs from mophie

powerstation go rugged compact – $99.95

  • Compatibility: full-sized vehicles; smartphones; tablets; other USB-A devices
  • Battery capacity: 8,100 mAh @ 3.7V internal battery
  • Charging ports: USB-C® input; jumper cable output; USB-A output (2)
  • Input / Output current
    • USB-C input: 5V/2A
    • Jump start output: 12V/600Amps
    • USB-A output (2): 5V/2.4A
  • Dimensions: 6.1 x 3.3 x 1.4 in (155 x 83 x 35 mm)
  • Weight: 18.4 oz (521 g)

powerstation go rugged Air – $159.95

  • Compatibility: full-sized vehicles; sports and play equipment; car and bike tires; other inflatables; smartphones; tablets; other USB-A devices
  • Battery capacity: 15,000 mAh @ 3.7V internal battery
  • Charging ports: USB-C input; jumper cable output; USB-A output (2)
  • Input / Output current
    • USB-C input: 5V/2A
    • Jump start output: 12V/600Amps
    • USB-A output (2): 5V/2.4A
  • Dimensions: 4.65 x 9.52 x 1.85 in (118 x 241 x 47 mm)
  • Weight: 40.64 oz (1,152 g)

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By Patrick Kansa

A big data developer and leader with a penchant for gadgets, books, watches and beverages. You can find my work on WristWatchReview, Knapsack.News, and Slushpile. If you're on Twitter and/or Instagram, you'll find me there as @PatrickWatches.