Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Antigravity Batteries' jump-starter saves a trip ... but with a note of caution

Our small yet powerful Antigravity Batteries XP-3 personal power pack proved to be worth many times its $100 price tag deep in a remote corner of Utah's Canyonlands National Park.

Twice in the preceding year, the battery in our Toyota 4Runner had died in the driveway. It wasn't an old battery, and the cause remained elusive. So a few weeks before leaving on a three-day, early November 4x4 journey to the Doll House -- deep in Canyonland's remote Maze District -- I purchased the little XP-3 lithium battery pack from Utah's Rocky Mountain ATV/MC.

Doll House, Canyonlands National Park
An arduous 5.5-hour low-range grind brought us to the Doll House's remote and undeveloped cluster of rock pinnacles. There, the National Park Service provides only three primitive, reservations-only campsites high above the Colorado River.

For three days and nights alone, we charged and recharged our phones and camera batteries from the truck's battery (there was data service, for better or worse; and nightfall by about 5:30 p.m. left us with little to do). While the XP-3 comes with a web of USB-type charging connectors and ports, fortunately they and the XP-3 went unused.

Foolishly, we didn't run the engine to recharge the 4Runner's battery. So on the morning of our departure, after dismantling camp and packing the truck, its battery was dead. We had good jumper cables, but there was no other vehicle from which to get a jump. So I reached for the XP-3, connected it to the dead battery and, as advertised, the truck fired up.

The XP-3's diminutive 10.5-ounce, 6″ x 3″ x 1″ size (larger models are available) makes it easily stowable. And while its triple-figure price seemed high at first, the device spared us the need for a four-figure call for help ... or a long wait till help came along.

NOTE: There have been reports of these power packs heating up badly when in being used. If you ever need to use one, keep an eye on it.

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