After a full year of use, a two week boat journey, and dozens of photography hikes and adventures, I can say this handy book-sized solar panel and its battery recharger are a combo for anyone who ventures a few hours past a coffee shop or house outlet.

Often I forget to power up my phone, camera batteries, or anything with USB charging capabilities before a hike. I have had wonderful results with this solar panel and help of our solar system’s burning helium ball. The panel came along on a two week boat trip and I only resorted to a cafe outlet one time. It comes with two securing clips that withstood high swells and heavy winds above deck.

While packing for a short hike with a friend of mine he realized he forgot to charge his phone. I told him not to worry, and that I have trust in my solar panel. He laughed and told me those don’t work. He’d purchased a similar solar panel and had a bad experience. But he was impressed with my panel. Family members are pleased that I can supply portable power on the beach or anywhere with sun or even cloud coverage. 

Both the solar panel and the battery pack (which can charge AA or AAA batteries — 4 AA rechargeable batteries included) are sturdily built. But the solar input easily comes loose on the battery charger… a tight string looped around the battery fixed this for me.

Submitted to Cool Tools by Michael Di Maio