Battery Cases from Canvape
There are horrendous stories of batteries carried in a pocket or purse shorting out and venting. If these are in your pocket when they vent, you can end up with serious injuries – all needlessly.
The vinyl coating on a battery is nothing more than a thin layer of vinyl that is heated shrinked onto the battery casing. It can easily be damaged by keys, coins, or just about anything you have in your pocket or purse.
Look closely at the picture at the left. The blue vinyl is the shrink wrapped portion. The inner white ring is a plastic insert that protects the negative casing that is around the entire battery from the positive center (surrounded by black).
Now look at the picture at the right. Without a vinyl wrap, the battery is completely unprotected ... the negative portion is everything except for the button at the top. That also means that any vinyl that is damaged or scraped off exposes a potential connection. Just get a penny across the top and you have a short – a full connection – and only seconds away from venting.
Until recently, I had been using plastic battery cases like the one at the left. These are inexpensive protection costing less than $2. each. And, also until recently, I haven't had any problems with these. Cold weather changed all of that and the clasps that hold the top to the bottom when closed snapped off from the cold weather. The top and bottom no longer stay in place and seal the batteries within the case. I really am not concerned about the battery slipping out, they are after all in my pocket and the pressure will keep them in place. But, not enough to keep coins and a small pair of scissors that I usually carry out of the case. Get those inside the case, and the effect is the same as having them loose in my pocket.
I've recently come across the Efest Zippered Case. It looks like a small eGo style case and even has a carbiner hook that you can put on a belt loop. These are designed to hold up to three 18650 batteries.
The zipper is plastic and there is nothing that can cause a connection inside the case. Inside, there is an elastic to hold those three 18650 batteries in place.
At the right, I am showing one of those cases with three Efest 18650 batteries in place.
One thing I noticed right away is that there is a lot of room in these cases. The image at the right even shows that. The batteries under the elastic are almost flush with the top of the zipper edge.
So, I decided to try these with various combinations of batteries.
At the left, I am showing mine with a total of five batteries in it. When using it this way, I don't use the side with the elastic ... I prefer to have the elastic add some measure of pressure against the batteries (but you can use the elastic if you want, it will also help keep the batteries in the case).
In this configuration, there is minimal resistance to zipping up the case. After the first day of use, there was no resistance at all. The case was new and the zipper stretched out to its normal position and zipperd up quite nicely. It's the same with eGo cases, when you first use them the material around the zipper needs some stretching out to get it in its normal position.
I also carry around some 26650 batteries occasionally. I was only able to find plastic cases for these. The 26650 plastic cases cost a bit more, usually around the $2.50 mark. However, regardless of the temperature, the clasp that holds the top and bottom together broke off with the first use. With the size of the Efest case accommodating 5 18650 batteries, I decided to try putting two 26650 batteries in there and try it out.
The picture at the right shows two contrasting colors of batteries. I usually pair them up, there are different for the picture just to show contrast. Zipping up the Efest case was really simple and there is actually room left. The 26650 batteries fit in there nicely.
In terms of cost, the Efest battery case is $2.95. I got mine from Canvape and bought two of them – one for the 18650's and one for the 26650's.
With all the reports of batteries venting in pant pockets these days, I just won't risk carrying them any other way. I suggest you do the same too ... $2.95 for good protection is a cheap price – and peace of mind.
So, what's the verdict? Is it worth it? Oh, decidedly. $2.95 for these cases is a real deal. Not much more than the cheap plastic cases. The Efest cases are padded, protected, and zippered in non-conductive material. The carbiner is a nice touch to snap them to your belt. If you want to use these with a purse or in luggage, you might want to remove the carbiner (it's easy to take off).