Charging for solar power constantly fluctuates, which makes it hard to charge devices steadily and efficiently. Powertraveller solves the problem with its lightweight Solarmonkey Adventurer. A user-friendly, portable solar charger for people who like to play outdoors and need to power a phone, handheld GPS, or other five-volt device, the slim and compact clamshell-style Adventurer has two solar panels and a lithium ion battery. The unit is packaged in a water- and shock-resistant thermal-insulated Cordura carry case that lets you hang it or strap it to your pack or tent with the included carabiner.
Solarmonkey’s maximum power point tracker hones in on available light so that the Adventurer can juice up your electronics at very low light levels, and in changing conditions. Plug your phone, iPad, or small camera into the Adventurer, and the auto-load, self-sensing switch will get you recharged as fast as possible whether its sunny or cloudy. And it stores a charge while it’s powering your devices.
In best conditions, it takes about 12 hours to fully power the Adventurer—an indicator light turns from red to green when the internal battery is at 100 percent.
Plus: You don’t have to worry about frying your phone. The Adventurer has short circuit, overload, and low voltage protection. It works in a broad range of temps, from 14 to 194 degrees Fahrenheit thanks to the thermal insulated battery. So, while it’s not perfect for the deepest winter adventures, it’s ready for any tropical expedition. 9.3 ounces, 4" x 6.5" x 1". Available Now, $130; powertraveller.com.
Not enough power for your lifestyle? The Solargorilla-eXtreme puts out enough juice to charge and power your laptop and two five-volt USB devices—phone, GPS, small camera—at the same time. Tough, durable and waterproof, its expedition ready with a built-in support and carrying handle and the ability to be linked to five more Solargorilla-eXtreme panels when you need to power a team instead of an individual. The device lets you select your voltage, and monitor input and output. Like the Solarmonkey Adventurer, the Solargorilla maximizes charging with available light. 3.3 pounds, 21.5" x 11" x 0.8". Available fall 2013, price TBD; powertraveller.com.