Knog's new PWR is the Swiss Army Knife of powerbanks

Updated: Knog halts Kickstarter campaign

Update 8/11/16: We have been informed by Knog that it has closed this Kickstarter project, despite raising over AU$ 30,000 in the first day of funding.

A spokesman told us: "It seems that after a small number of backers from Oi – unhappy that their bell was not yet delivered – encouraged other backers to avoid/cancel their pledges, this effectively stunted the momentum of the campaign. And in Kickstarter, it’s all about momentum.

"So out of respect for that community response, and rather than reach our modest goal with a shadow over what we still believe is a revolutionary product range, we have closed the campaign."

Knog adds: "You will also see us strip back the product page to ensure we limit whatever opportunity we can for copy manufacturers. We have had trouble with this issue in the past despite holding design registrations."

Our original story from 27/10/16 ran as follows:

Knog's new PWR is the Swiss Army Knife of powerbanks

Hate scrabbling for bike light batteries? Sick of losing charge on your Garmin during an epic backpacking adventure? Aussie brand Knog has created a power bank that can solve both these problems, and even pump out tunes wirelessly at the end of a hard day’s riding. Meet the Knog PWR range.

Now it’s only just launched on Kickstarter today, so you can’t actually buy these devices yet, but they do look good. Knog has considerable form when it comes to designing well-thought-out, innovative cycling accessories — its new Oi bike bell for example, which attracted over fifty times its original Kickstarter goal of AU$20,000.

“It’s such an obvious idea really — you don’t use all these products at the same time, so why not save on batteries,” says Knog’s CEO, Hugo Davidson. “If you do use these all at the same time, then you can have as many batteries as you like, giving you longer run-time. It’s win-win”.

The Knog PWR range

The Knog PWR dock can charge two PWR Banks at the same time
The Knog PWR dock can charge two PWR Banks at the same time

OK let’s look at each of these devices in turn, starting with the battery pack that powers them all, called the PWR Bank.

Like all products in the range it’s made from machined aluminium and simply slots into whichever ‘host device’ you want to use it with. The PWR Bank has a 3,200Ah capacity that’s capable of charging an iPhone 6 once and still have enough juice left for around six hours of music playback on the PWR Speaker. It weighs 95g and measures 30x92mm.

Both PWR lights can be programmed to tailor power consumption and light output for your needs
Both PWR lights can be programmed to tailor power consumption and light output for your needs

On to the PWR bike lights, and there are two versions available: the PWR 300 and the PWR 800. Both have a nice twist switch for turning them on or off with a simple flick of the wrist, and can be programmed with a free app that lets you select flash patterns from a menu and select modes. You can also manage sliders of run-time vs. brightness.

Here's a side-on view of the Knog PWR Bike 300
Here's a side-on view of the Knog PWR Bike 300

The PWR 300 is for road riding and commuting, and has one high-power LED for a focused beam and four smaller LEDs for a broad/soft beam. It can mount onto your handlebars either above or below the stem to leave more room for other gadgets, like a bike computer, and a "gimble-shim” mounting spacer lets you mount it on curved parts of your bars.

It can also be converted into a head torch with the addition of the PWR Headstrap. The PWR 300 bike light weighs 30g and measures 30x33mm without the PWR Bank.

We like the name 'ring of fire'
We like the name 'ring of fire'

Its bigger brother the PWR 800 bike light is aimed at mountain bikers and features a 800-lumen elliptical beam to provide better visibility on the trails. It also has something amusingly called the “ring of fire”, a low-power mode for riding in the city that uses a ring of smaller LEDs.

It can also be used as a head torch with the addition of the PWR Headstrap, if you prefer to light things up from a different position. The PWR 800 weighs 50g and measures 34x33mm.

The PWR Lantern — water-resistant and such cute little feet
The PWR Lantern — water-resistant and such cute little feet

However, that’s not all it can do. “We realised that cyclists are actual people who like doing things beyond cycling, like camping, hiking, mountaineering, listening to music”, says Knog co-founder Malcolm McKechnie.

So it can also be converted into a camping lantern that throws out 100 lumens of ambient light 360˚. It has cute little feet to stand up on its own, and three clever features: twist operation, water resistance to IP67 (that’s protection against water immersion up to 1m and for up to 30 minutes), and a torch mode when the lantern is collapsed. The PWR Lantern weighs 150g and measures 48x138mm.

Do you camp? You might like the wireless speaker and head torch
Do you camp? You might like the wireless speaker and head torch

Finally, the PWR Bank can be made into a Bluetooth speaker that’s compact (90x125x49mm), lightweight (290g) and water resistant. It’s got a 40mm driver for crisp trebles and a passive radiator for solid bass, and will last an impressive 22 hours on a single PWR Bank. Oh, and it can be mounted to your bike too, if that’s how you roll.

Knog PWR product pricing

So far, so good — what’s the damage? Well being a Kickstarter launch there’s a range of options and packages, check out the official page for more info. Our eye was caught by the ‘Bikepacker’ package, which costs AU$275 (international pricing TBC) and includes two PWR Banks, the Bike 300 and 800 lightheads, the head torch adapter strap, lantern, Bluetooth speaker, and dock which can charge two PWR Banks simultaneously.

If that’s stretching the budget then there’s also the ‘PWR Bike 300 & Bike 800’ package, which costs AU$131 and includes the PWR Bank, Bike 300 and 800 light heads. Or if you can stretch to a little more, the same package with two PWR Banks costs AU$168.

If you want to buy them separately then retail pricing is expected to be as follows, if and when it hits its Kickstarter goal of AU$ 75,000 (and it almost certainly will, we reckon):

  • PWR Bank: US$49.95 / AU$65
  • PWR Bike 300: US$75 / AU$99 (Kickstarter price AU$78)
  • PWR Bike 800: US$95 / AU$125 (Kickstarter price AU$99)
  • PWR Head Torch: US$110 / AU$145 (Kickstarter AU$105)
  • PWR Lantern: US$75 / AU$112 (Kickstarter price AU$79)
  • PWR Speaker US$85 / AU$112 (Kickster price AU$89)

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