Flickr Photo Credit: Tiago Celestino
This is an area we’ve been looking into for a while now. While the technology has definitely come a long way in terms of portability, it has been a bit of a quest to filter through the information on which items can be fully charged, and which can only be trickle-charged.
Also, some devices can be run through the roll-up portable panels and others can’t. We’re still looking into this, but here’s what we’ve found out so far:
- Solar- powered backpacks – In addition to the places we found that sell them online such as Voltaic Systems, Clear Blue Hawaii ,and Eclipse Solar Gear, there is also a fly- cover option called the Mana Solar Claw.It fits over the back of any pack, so you don’t have to give up your favorite bag in order to have solar charging options on a hike or vacation. You can get the Mana Claw directly from Clear Blue Hawaii for about 230 dollars, or take the time to go to Costco.com and get one for $169.99 (at the time of this posting). Most of the options we found in this category can be used with the basic automobile cigarette lighter charging adapters included with such devices as cell phones, dvd recorders, digital cameras, etc.
- Roll – up foldable photovoltaic panels- These devices could easily fit into a pack or luggage, but need to be rolled out on a flat, stationary surface such as grass in the park, a table by a window, or the porch / deck of a remote cottage. While this is certainly a viable option, it doesn’t provide the flexibility of full day charging while on the road or trail. However, they are certainly a great back up while camping remotely, or visiting an off-the-grid vacation property. If these interest you, go to Brunton.com and search under the product name Solaris for the various models.
This is everything we’ve researched so far. We’re also interested in any tidbits you may know of. Happy trekking!