The family I babysit for has taken to calling me Mary Poppins. I wish I could say that I earned the nickname because of my angelic singing voice and magical powers, but I suspect the moniker is largely derived from the bottomless bag I almost always carry. Headphones, books, Kleenex, Advil and chapstick (I could go on) aside, everyone knows that in 2016, you don’t leave home without a cellphone charger, so I was thrilled to get the chance to test out Buxton’s Power Wristlet, which solves my back breaking bag dilemma and fuels my phone addiction in one fell swoop.
Though not an original idea–iPhone wallets have been around for a while, and recently designers are adapting to the need for chargers as well–Buxton has streamlined the style, merging function with form in a package that lives up to its tagline: “be in charge.” The wristlets all have a smooth, leather exterior, so I naturally opted for black– all black everything being the official New York winter uniform– and the understated, slim and sleek look makes it an appropriate accessory for any outfit.
The wristlet itself is compact but not too small, with an L-shaped zipper that runs along two of the four sides, allowing for easy access to the central pouch and two rows of card slots inside. In fact, the wrist strap easily clasps on and off, so it could also be used as a large wallet, then pulled out of a larger bag and transformed back to a wristlet for a lighter load. The purse is RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) secure, which adds an extra incentive for using it as your go-to card carrier; if the interior lining seems cut from a strange, crackling cloth, it’s because the liner shields your personal information and prevents possible attempts at identity theft.
Arguably the key feature–the charging device–comes housed in a little black, fabric pouch attached to the inside of the purse by two snaps. The charger snaps in and out so easily, and is so compact, I occasionally found myself using it separate from the purse; unlike my other backup charger, which requires a long, cumbersome charging cord to connect between the battery and the phone, the compact black pack connects directly to Androids, and to iPhones with a little help from an adapter piece.
The package doesn’t come with the micro USB cord necessary for charging the battery, but those are fairly ubiquitous these days. Buxton also forgoes a bulky instruction manual for a few clean notecards of need-to-knows, such as what the lights on the LED display indicate (steady red means battery low, flashing blue means charging, etc).
The one issue I had with the package as a whole is that the connection between the charger and my iPhone can be tenuous. Once–phone battery run down from snapping one (or two hundred) too many photos at an outdoor concert– I attached the device and threw it in in my purse to charge, only to look several minutes later and find that it wasn’t charging, and I would have to wiggle the iPhone or even hold it in place to keep the continuous charge. But wiggle or no wiggle, it was great to have in any number of situations, and the only upkeep required is remembering to charge your charger at night alongside your phone.
This isn’t a heavy duty charger (I wouldn’t take it camping or trust it exclusively for extended stretches away from an outlet) and this isn’t a carry-all purse (you can fit plenty of cards and an id, plus your phone and some gum or other little sundries)–but that’s not the point. The Buxton Power Wristlet is a stylish, streamlined accessory, $40 peace of mind that’s perfect for a night on the town.