When we were approached last year by the team behind the SolarPod Buddy, we thought it looked like a great little gadget. And so it's proved.
This solar-powered charger is small, lightweight and a lot more manageable than a tangle of wires and plugs. It will charge up most electronic devices with standard connections – six different connecting tips are supplied with the unit – using just daylight alone. This makes it convenient for use in a range of situations.
My first thoughts when it arrived were that it was actually smaller than I expected. It's thin and will easily slip into any bag pocket. Whilst the instructions advised leaving it out for an initial full charge, the indicator light was already at maximum – so I plugged my phone in and it started charging right away. A quick change of the connector tip and I switched it to charge my husband's phone.
The main appeal for me is this ease of charging various devices with just the one gadget. My holidays tend to be in comfortable hotels, where access to power isn't an issue. But as we usually take three different phones plus a tablet, all with different chargers, plus a power adaptor when outside of the UK, and the cables always get in such a muddle… instead of taking all this:
Now all we need to pack is this 🙂
The unit charges up in daylight (no ‘sun' required as such), then stores the charge up to be used whenever you like. So you can actually transfer the charge to your phone in the dark. On our last trip I left the unit on a windowsill whilst were were out and about, then connected my phone to charge up overnight. This easily delivered a full charge, but you can also just plug it in anytime in the day for a quick boost. I even use it at home to keep my phone topped up, whilst saving on electricity!
The SolarPod is of course portable so can be used in areas where there is no electiricty supply (or it's incompatible, or just inconvenient). Helen also tried it out on a recent trekking holiday. She did have mixed results in that she wasn't comfortable leaving it unattended in their room during the day, and when they were trekking around it was packed away so didn't get the chance to charge up. She noted that you do need to remember to expose the unit to daylight; one useful addition would be if it had a clip or strap on the unit itself so you could attach it to a bag.
However, it's definitely on Helen's packing list for a forthcoming music festival/camping trip – it's almost impossible to charge your phone at such events without queuing at power points, so it will be a perfect solution.
We're all so attached to our mobile gadgets these days, we're lost without them and non-one wants to run out of power at a crucial moment. With the SolarPod Buddy to hand, that need never happen again!