XTAR just came out with a new 18650 charger. That may sound like a boring statement, but it’s far better than that. The PB2 is both an 18650 battery charger and a portable power bank for all your mobile gadgetry.
Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. The product in this review was provided courtesy of XTAR.
Xtar PB2 Review
The idea is a fairly simple one: Create a mobile power pack that runs off of removable 18650 batteries. The end result is two devices in one, a compact vaping battery charger and a portable power bank that lets you bring your own batteries.
I particularly have high hopes for this charger since it should let me pack one device instead of two when I travel. It may also come in handy during some sort of apocalypse. I don’t know about you, but I have a bunch of 18650 batteries laying around the house, so I should be able to keep my phone charged for days if the power goes out for that long.
XTAR’s PB2 features a fairly simple design. On the exterior, it’s a smallish black monolith (also available in other colors). It has a magnetic cover with a logo, two USB ports (charge and output) and a 2 digit LED readout that shows the charge percentage.
Pop open the cover and it reveals a spot for two 18650 batteries. Unlike most vaping battery chargers on the market, the PB2 can use only 18650’s. But on the plus side, that means there’s no spring-loaded bracket that will end up breaking.
I can also tell that while it makes for a decent little battery charger, that wasn’t really XTAR’s primary motive for making this device. The batteries fit very snugly in the case… A bit too snugly.
It takes some effort to remove the batteries from the charger. I had to kind of pick them out using a fingernail. A little ribbon to lift the batteries like you see in some mods would be a nice addition and eliminate that issue.
The good news is that the PB2 packs in all of XTAR’s advanced battery charging technology. This includes overcharging protection and a quick charge. I can get a pair of high mAh batteries charged in about 3 hours. It can also revive nearly-dead batteries.
Another kind of neat feature built in to this charger is what they call power path management. You can charge the batteries via the included micro USB cable while at the same time charging another USB device via the USB out on the PB2 at the same time. If you’re short on ports, that may be handy. Or maybe you just want to charge a vaporizer via USB while you’re charging the batteries for another vaporizer. I won’t judge.
As a portable power pack, the XTAR is maybe not quite as interesting as it is in charger mode. It does a fine job charging up all manner of USB devices and outputs 2.1A for quick charging. Plus, when your batteries finally do give up, you can swap them out instead of having to buy a whole new power pack.
I’d also point out if you happen to have any lower amperage batteries laying around that just aren’t enough to power your crazy high wattage vaporizers, they’d still work fine to keep your phone charged.
The XTAR PB2 is an all around useful device. It is limited to 18650 batteries, and you may use it more frequently as a charger than a power pack. However, it’s a great addition if you use mostly those types of batteries. It’s especially compelling for the travelling vaper.
Also, unlike many vaping products, this one is available on Amazon so you can get your free Prime shipping on it and everything.