Editor’s Note: This piece first ran on our sister site, The Loadout Room, back in March of 2022. I’ve updated it a bit for 2023, just in time for the Holiday season, and because you gearheads out there said you want to see more gear reviews on SOFREP. Your wish is our command. And yes, I’ve used all this stuff myself and give it my personal two thumbs up. — GDM
When it comes to portable chargers, I’ve always needed them, but I’ve never exactly been excited about them. After all, what could be exciting about a rectangular charging block that is utilized solely for charging my electronics? Are they necessary for me? Yes. Exciting? Not. At least, that’s what I thought…
Like some of the other items I’ve recently reviewed, I first came into contact with Dark Energy products at their booth at the 2022 SHOT Show. I first noticed a large banner behind the booth that read “WATERPROOF DROP PROOF CRUSHPROOF.” There were a couple of mannequins in the booth wearing tactical gear and some small gear items strategically placed around the booth.
I asked the rep in the booth what exactly I was looking at. He said, “We make virtually indestructible electronics chargers for use by military and other government personnel, but we also offer all of our products to anyone who wants to purchase them.” I asked him what made their product any different from the portable charger I brought to Las Vegas, and he just said, “Here, check it out.”
He handed me the charger they call the Poseidon Pro. My first thought was how light it was. Beyond that, its rugged polymer body had knobby grip pieces on it that felt great in my hand. It gave the impression that it would be secure in your hand, even if you were wearing gloves.
Later in the day, I returned to the booth and met the founder of Dark Energy, along with their General Manager. Both of them were incredibly friendly, and they agreed to send some product samples my way so I could check them out for you, our SOFREP readers and members.
About a week after returning home from SHOT Show, I was greeted with a package I was pumped to open. The Dark Energy had made it to my home…in none of the “bad energy” ways…at least I hoped!
Products, Features, and Materials
In the shipment were the following products:
- Poseidon Pro (in Camo)
- Plasma Lighter
- Carabiner Pro
- Cable Managing Strap
- Ballistic fiber-reinforced charging cable
The Poseidon Pro is Dark Energy’s flagship charger and the star of their gear lineup. The Tridyn Cable is easily one of the cooler cord setups I’ve seen. The Plasma Lighter is a weather-resistant, windproof option for lighting a fire, and the Carabiner Pro is a locking, carabiner multi-tool.
The Poseidon Pro boasts the following features:
- Armored: Made from a steel-like polymer
- Submersible: Completely submersible for 45+ minutes
- Unstoppable: Drop-Proof/Shock-Proof/Waterproof
- Nearly Immortal: They shelved a Gen-1 Poseidon for 5 years, and it came out with a 60% available charge
- Power Pulse: Through tech enhancements, Poseidon Pro now has the key to unlock its true potential. Utilizing a USB-C to USB-C cable, you can improve charge times up to 2.5x faster.
- Size: 6 in. X 3.25 in. X 0.63 in.
- Weight: 9.6oz (272.16 grams)
- Operating Temperatures: -4˚F to 140˚F
- Capacity: 10,200 MAH
- Battery Life: Provides 30+ hours of additional battery life.
Before I go any further, can we all just give Dark Energy’s marketing team a shoutout for some of the coolest, most unabashed product claims on the market? I love a company that is willing to make bold claims like “Unstoppable” and “Nearly Immortal” and then stand behind those claims and their products. Dark Energy stands behind its products with a limited two-year warranty.
Over the past two weeks, I’ve used the Poseidon Pro probably half a dozen times to recharge my phone. I have an Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max, and I averaged about 2.5 full charges from the power the charger provided. A feature I liked almost as much as the charging it provided was the fact that I felt empowered to take the case with me literally anywhere. I carried the Poseidon Pro in my front pocket, in my backpack, in my hand while it was raining, and I left it lying loose in my car. When I got to my office, I tossed it onto my desk, and when I got home, I put it on my nightstand. With the portable charger I used to use, I was constantly concerned about keeping it from getting broken or getting wet. I just don’t have that concern with this charger. I think part of my confidence in the product is from the advertising Dark Energy has done to convey its robustness, but I think an even bigger portion of my confidence has come from having the device in hand.
They are spot-on when the company says the case is made from a “steel-like” polymer. The Poseidon Pro feels like it can take a beating and still be there for you when you need it. To that point, Dark Energy’s website claims the Poseidon Pro has “taken falls from 75+ ft onto a rock, a blast from a shotgun, an explosion from one pound of Tannerite, and the crushing force of 1,000+ lb., and the list goes on. Need we say more?” I guess that’s why I’m not all that worried if I accidentally knock it off of my desk…
The Plasma Lighter
When I started testing the Plasma Lighter, I just walked around my house and property like some type of pyro trying to light everything I could on fire (for test purposes, not just to watch it burn… I’m not a psycho-ha). I mean, how else can one be expected to test the power and functionality of a lighter? The Plasma Lighter has powerful dual-arc plasma emitters, and when the lid is closed, the lighter is weather-resistant.
A cool feature on the Plasma Lighter that doesn’t involve starting fires is a built-in LED flashlight that functions when the lighter lid is closed. The light is relatively bright and is plenty powerful to help you find your wallet or find your way in the woods at night. It is a good design.
After using it for a bit, I love this little lighter, and I will no doubt use it a LOT over the next few months.
The Carabiner Pro
The Carabiner Pro is the most unique carabiner I’ve owned. The Carabiner Pro comes with the following built-in features:
- Sharp cutting edge (I’d describe it as a locking knife blade)
- Bottle Opener
- Glass Breaker
- Dual-Head Screwdriver (Phillips and flat)
- Locking Carabiner
I put each of these tools to the test, and they each worked as I would expect them to. For me, having a tool such as a locking carabiner that combines each of these additional features is an emergency kit no-brainer. Whether you are going hiking or camping or just like to be prepared, definitely pick yourself up one of these little gems.
As a bonus review, I’ll give you all some insight on something that wasn’t sent to me but was something that I purchased after using some of their other gear and having the desire to have more. One of the additional items I purchased was a USB-C wall adapter. I won’t review that, as it is a box you plug one end of the cord in to charge your device. All I’ll say about it is that it worked as advertised.
The item I’d like to alert you all, too, though, is the survivor charging cable. The Survivor Cable is a charging cable that is fully encompassed by paracord—either orange or black—and is incredibly robust. The Survivor Cable boasts the following hardening features:
- Steel Sheath and Weatherproof Cap – a full steel weave protects the cord from cuts and fraying, and the cap assists in repelling damaging dust and moisture
- Steel Heads and Strong Neck – a steel armament protects the cable’s fragile heads & reinforces the tips
- 550 certified paracord – tightly braided around the already armored cable is 20 ft (6 m) of high-grade paracord. Cutting the paracord can provide 20ft of life-saving rope in emergency scenarios.
This cord is certainly wider, heavier, and thicker than a typical charging cord, but the point of this cord isn’t weight saving; it is longevity and emergency preparedness. I’ve used this cord many times over the past two weeks and have absolutely no complaints about it.
Spectre Solar Panel
I’m still waiting for a hands-on trial with this beauty. It will be here this week. It’s a 15-watt solar panel that weighs in at 8.9 oz. Living in the heart of hurricane country in Florida, items like this can literally be lifesavers in a place where power can go out for weeks at a time. Use this to charge your Posiden Pro, then use that to charge your cell phone and you have a lifeline to the outside world.
I’ve used half a dozen different portable chargers in the last decade, but now I’m officially considering them all dead to me. I accidentally left my Poseidon Pro in my office one day, and I was thinking how lame it would be for me to use a “regular” charger if the need arose before retrieving Poseidon. After all, they are fragile, heavy, and thick. After just a couple of weeks with the Poseidon Pro, it has become my go-to device. There is no doubt that I will add a couple more of these to my collection so I can keep one in my car, one in my office, and one at home. Then, when I travel, I’ll carry all 3, so I’ll have roughly 8 iPhone recharges whether or not I have access to power.
I had no issues or areas of concern with any other products I tested. Dark Energy has my seal of approval, and I recommend that if you’re in the portable charging market, look to them first. You won’t regret it.