Solio Classic 2 Mobile Solar Charger: $100
The Good: Solar panels with a battery pack means power anytime you need it.
The Bad: Takes eight to ten hours to fully charge the battery via the sun.
The Ugly: Direct power from the panels is finicky. Clouds or shadows really cut down on output from the panels
Whether you’re on the trail or traveling the world, powering electronic devices can be a challenge. That’s where Solio’s Classic 2 comes in handy: it saves the day by mating a battery pack with three compact robust solar panels. The entire 10.1 oz package fits into the palm of your hand, delivering mobile juice whenever the need arises.
When testing the unit, charging devices was easy and straightforward. In my car I run a mobile network off my smartphone. With a max wattage of 5 watts the Solio fully charged an iPhone battery in about an hour and a half from 30%. Most popular cell phones will get 3 full charges or a tablet will gain about a 50% boost. Solio makes charging the Classic 2 simple enough - just spread the three solar blades out to their locked positions and point directly towards the sun. A central hole lets you use the included pencil or a stick to prop it upright for the 8-10 hours required to fill the battery. During cloudy days, the unit can charge via the grid or laptop USB connection in as little as 6 hours with juice that holds up to a year.
So if you find yourself wandering away from the grid, take some mobile power along for all your high tech outdoor needs. Just remember – we’re out there to get away from it all so keep away from Netflix on the trail and enjoy the journey.