Imagine yourself getting lost in a middle of a country you don’t really know. Not a big deal! You pull out your mobile phone with a built-in GPS and offline maps, and you discover that… The battery just runned out. You could make use of your exceptional navigation skills or just charge your device if there were a socket anywhere. The solution I’ve found right for my needs is Powermonkey Extreme
– a solar charger and a battery unit.
Does it really work?
Yes, it does. Although there are a few things you should be aware of:
You will not be able to charge in a rain
It is waterproof, exactly as advertised by producer, but I wouldn’t recommend charging your iPhone or camera batteries with solar panel, battery unit and your devices attached to a backpack when it rains. That’s not how it works. You could buy Aquastrap for Powermonkey Extreme
to make it less prone to water, but even if you have your cables secured on both ends of the battery unit, you would still need a waterproof USB connection to your iPhone. So, forget about swimming and charging at the same time.
Charging with solar panel takes a lot of time
Although it does work. However, the solar panel would charge the battery in at least 15 hours, and we are speaking here of really nice sunshines coming at the panel at the right angle. What I do personally is charging the battery from AC power supply whenever possible. But again: if you experience serious trouble somewhere on your way, that solar panel could even save your life. Just treat it as a backup solution.
Shall I buy it?
Absolutely yes, you won’t regret. It’s always good to have one, just in case. As my experience shows, you may need it more often that you expect.