In the decade that I've been using iPhones, iPods and iPads, I've never broken a cable, but holy shit am I ever good at losing them. Hotel guests around North America, China, Japan and a good chunk of Europe have all benefited from my slovenly cable tracking. I've lost at least 20 of the things on my travels. When you check into a hotel and have to ask the front desk for a loaner Lightning cable, there's a very good chance that it belonged to me. I don't however, typically lose track of batteries: they're bulky enough that if one's missing from the stuff sack I keep them in when I'm on the road, I'll notice. That's why this Battery Cable from Nomad has quickly become one of my favorite accessories.
As its name suggests, the Nomad Battery Cable is an all-in-one battery and – are you ready for this – MFi-certified charging cable for iOS devices equipped with a Lightning port. Sporting a braided nylon sheath, the cable baked into the battery is tough and should stand up to all kinds of abuse. So too the battery itself: its aluminum body will stand up to the sort of casual abuse that mobile accessories often suffer while they're living their lives inside of a purse or backpack.
Because cables come out of both ends of the battery – one to plug into your iPhone and the other to plug into a USB-A port to charge the battery and provide pass-through power to your phone or tablet – its footprint is a little larger than many of the other battery packs I've used in the past. This is especially so when the battery's thick, braided cables are collected and secured with the Nomad Battery Cable's included rubber stay. That said, the cables do have a good deal of give to them, even while secured, and have yet to get tangled up in my bag.
With its 2,800mAh capacity, the Nomad Battery Cable doesn't pack quite enough juice to give my iPhone 7 Plus' 2,900mAh battery a full charge, but, the chances of my completely depleting my battery while I'm out for the day are pretty low. For anyone rocking a smaller handset, you'll have power to spare.
Given it's solid build quality, reasonable price and utility, I think this thing was a good investment. If I wind up "donating" it to a hotel or hostel in the next few years, I'll let you know.