Free yourself from the wall socket and harness the power of the sun to keep your devices charged on the go.
The solar input of the SunSaver PowerFlex combined with the SunSaver Classics's battery capacity means you'll never be lost without charge.
Solar Charging: A combined 7.5 Watts of solar power can charge your smartphone in less than 2.5 hours of direct sunlight.
Rechargeable Battery: 16,000mAh of battery capacity saves excess charge for cloudy days, with enough power to charge your smartphone up to 6 times.
Flashlight: The LED flashlight is perfect for camping and can provide you with more than a nights worth of light from just one full day of solar charging.
Light Weight: With a combined weight of less than 600 grams, you are sure not be weighed down.
Built Tough: Built from durable, water-resistant materials, these products are built to survive all of your outdoor adventures.
Free Shipping: To all our New Zealand customers!
1 year product warranty for peace of mind.
In recent years I have found myself travelling a bit more, and using my smartphone as my main camera - with modern phones, you can get some extremely high resolutions, and with the ongoing development of clip-on lenses and software packages giving far greater creative scope in a very compact format, it's just so much easier than lugging around a honking great DSLR, tripod, and bag of lenses. But using my phone this way does have a significant impact on the battery life, so portable power is essential.
I got the chance to review this kit - the Classic 16,000mAh powerbank with built-in solar panel, and the 4-panel USB solar array - and took up the mission with glee, as I had some big trips planned for the near future. Alas, one of them fell through but the other provided a unique opportunity - to use the units deep underground in a cavern and cave system in Waitomo. Dropping 100m down into an underground cave through a skylight puts you in an environment that is short on light, and when you factor in that it was overcast, I was starting to doubt the wisdom of my idea to test the limits of the solar panels' effectiveness. Still, I found a good spot that was in as much direct light as possible and set up the panels and powerbank into charge mode. To my delighted surprise, the powerbank registered incoming charge easily and immediately.
I started moving deeper into the caves in stages, getting further away from the light, and I have to say, I was almost at the point of having to switch on my helmet lamp for safety sake when the powerbank finally stopped getting any energy from the panel array. To say I was impressed would be the height of understatement... I was stunned at just how well this kit worked. Using the apparent light and a bit of guesswork, I would say that if you were to use this kit above ground, with plenty of clear light for most of the day, you could expect the panels to provide charge to whatever you have them plugged into - the powerbank or your device directly - from sunrise to sunset. These panel don't seem to need much light at all to start producing power.
Having the panels in such a compact fold is great but if I had one small issue, it was that they are not designed with enough 'give' in the folding areas to allow me to wrap them around the powerbank itself for easy travel packing. To avoid any risk at all of crushing the folded panels and breaking any wiring inside, I fabricated a small pad from recycled polystyrene sprayed with a thin coat of epoxy to stop it shedding microparticles into the environment as I travel, and wrapped the panels around that. It would be an advantage to use the powerbank itself instead though. A tiny gripe, and not a big one really, but worth mentioning for future product development perhaps.
The panels came with a nifty USB cable, with the standard Type-A plug on one end, and a microUSB Type-B plug on the other. What was clever was the inclusion of an attached microUSB to Lightning adaptor, giving you the best of both worlds. I have a microUSB Type-B to USB Type-C adaptor for my phone, which I glued to the side of the Lightning adaptor, so now I have all three options available to me instantly.
The powerbank itself performed flawlessly when needed, in the depths of the cave my phone battery hit the minimal functional limit of 12% - beyond which the camera wouldn't use flash or long-exposure options, both very much needed in a cave - so I plugged it in and watched the battery meter climb fairly quickly, all things considered. With the unit putting out 5v at 2.4A, it was about the same as USB 3 charging from a wall socket, so no faster than anticpated - it met my expectations admirably. The phone I had with me is quite new and carries a 5,000mAh battery, so I could realistically expect 3 full recharges from the powerbank, with quite a bit left over, so I also tested the LED light function while I was down there. It proved very useful with doing some of the long-exposure shots, giving me a way to illuminate deeper into the cave without becoming part of the shot myself.
Overall, this is a brilliant kit, and with a mature technology in place. Having 2 or more of these kits on any big trip will ensure your devices stay powered up for days on end if need be, great for keeping the kids quiet with a tablet or phone to listen to music or watch a movie through long road trips. For hikers, having at least one of these kits is going to be a godsend - giving you a lot of power at your fingertips when needed to capture those "OH WOW" moments for posterity. Would I buy one for myself? Quite solidly, yes indeed. I think I will be looking at my budgets to get a second kit actually, because I know the sort of situations in which one of these could make the ultimate difference - survive or be lost.
Random listing from 'Electrical Goods'...
The Freeloader Classic is the new star of the solar mobile charging world. Sleek and robust it contains the most cutting edge electronics capable of powering the world's most popular devices including the Apple iPhone and iPad.
Covered in a hard wearing and stylish aluminium skin, Freeloader Classic now has super powerful solar panels ... more...
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