One of the issues facing us when on the road or away camping is power. Electricity to be precise. Like many modern travellers we’re packing gadgets, laptops and some kitchen appliances, all of which need electricity to keep working.
One of the most important gadgets is the mobile phone, purely from an emergency point of view and it’s something we constantly need charged.
As we have a 120w solar panel on the van with a large deep cycle battery to charge things like our laptops, run the mini food processor and run the lights in the van, I’ve subsidised that by using two small solar chargers.
They’re made by Tevion and look to have been housed in the old iPod Nano casing so they fit discretely into your pocket. Of course that defeats the object of having them but they’re neat, lightweight and extremely useful.
They’re basically a battery charged by the sun which can be connected to anything that uses USB to charge. It’s a full size USB socket on the charger so the connection options are good. There is also a smaller USB slot for receiving charge from an external power supply such as a laptop or wall socket. They come supplied with an array of different phone connectors and a useful lead to stick them on the end of.
Now, I don’t have exact numbers to hand but I can almost fully charge my Samsung Jet phone with one of them, or I can fully charge my iPod touch with electricity to spare. They take about 10 hours to charge fully, so here in Spain a full day of sun will do the trick.
I carry mine on my pack whenever I’m out and about, gathering free rays and free electricity as I go. They’re probably not the ultimate solution but as I stated earlier, they’re a good way to subsidise power requirements and at roughly 15 euros each they’re relatively inexpensive, especially when compared to the rising cost of decent batteries.
Let us know what you think of the solar phone chargers by leaving a comment or talk about them on our forums by clicking here.