Just a couple of years ago I took along multiple electronic devices on the trail: my cellphone for emergencies, a point and shoot camera, and a GPS. I used a Powermonkey eXplorer to capture solar power to charge all these devices. As technology has improved, things have become a lot easier! Now, if I’m going on a quick local day hike, I now simply take along my iPhone! It is far more convenient, enables me to snap decent pictures, and track my hikes using various apps.
There’s a neat little device called the Solar iCharge that is a case, solar charger, and backup battery all in one! Do note, that if I’m out in the wilderness on a backpacking trip, I still bring along a separate camera and GPS…
The Solar iCharge collects power from the sun, incandescent lights, or via USB cable to a wall charger/PC…all work effectively. Then the power is stored and can be used to power your iPhone. The friendly folks at the company asked me to test one out. Ever since the Solar iCharge arrived in the mail, I’ve pretty much been using it daily. It is especially convenient for hiking or long days running around town when making calls and draining the iPhone battery. Charging it up via USB cable is the fastest method (it took me about 5 hours), and then it provides a full backup battery when attached to the iPhone 4. Additionally, it can be re-charged, albeit slowly, via sunlight or incandescent light when I’m away from wall outlets and USB compatible chargers.
Bottom line – the iCharge is convenient, and while it adds an extra 3.8 ounces and some girth to your iPhone 4 or 4S, it is worth the peace of mind.
- Price: MSRP $79.99
- Weight: 3.8 oz
- Dimensions: 5″ x 2 5/8″ x 7/8″
- Country of Manufacture: China
- Where to Buy: Currently only available on the Solar iCharge website.
Other Ways to Stayed Charged in the Wilderness:
Hiking Lady’s Review of the Powermonkey eXplorer