Powertraveller Solarmonkey Adventurer
Historic Range: $64.93-$129.95
Compact, lightweight, and robust.
- A lightweight and compact solar charger that is a self contained all-in-one unit.
- Performs well in overcast conditions.
- Will struggle with larger capacity batteries and high consumption devices such as tablets etc.
This is a discontinued model but still worthy of consideration for solo use on the trail. I found a secondhand model on eBay for a bargain of £30. The secondhand market is full of these most of the time. My model is the upgraded 3500 mAh version. Its predecessor was 2500 mAh. Be aware of this when buying as they look identical. They also improved the output power of the USB charging port and introduced a four-colour led charge/discharge light which is very useful.
In use be prepared to hang this on your rucksack all day. If you do this it will pretty much be fully charged (or not far off) at the end of a full summer's day of walking. I managed to 80% fill my Samsung S9+ in about 3-4 hours using about 60 - 70% of the charger's battery capacity. My phone matches the capacity being 3500 mAh so that's quite acceptable.
I purchased this purely to charge my phone and other small devices. I would not consider it fair to expect it to perform well on high capacity batteries with a heavy workload, such as tablets and laptops. In use its great as it's an all-in-one unit. Just simply attach it to your rucksack and forget about it. Then at the end of the day use it to charge your device overnight.
Its water resistant so you can walk through the rain knowing it's not going to be damaged. The body is very well made and rubber armoured so it will take a fair amount of punishment. I wouldn't however walk in the rain whilst solar charging your device directly as this does leave the USB port exposed to moisture.
Also one criticism is the rubber port cover which doesn't stay in place that well. It's almost like the rubber is too soft. I attached a small square of insulation tape as a precaution. Not ideal, but not a deal breaker when considering it's the only serious gripe with this charger.
All in all this is a solid and well thought out piece of equipment and one major feature is its incredible ability to work on an overcast day. This is brilliant for a solar charger being used in a climate where wall-to-wall sunshine cannot be relied on.
Well worth buying for solo use, but I wouldn't recommend it beyond that field of operation.
Previously used a Solarmonkey Explorer.
Source: bought it used
Price Paid: £30