At an RRP of $200, the Solarpad isn’t the cheapest solar charger for your iPhone, but it does aim to be the best. Every detail has been tweaked to squeeze the last drop of juice from the Sun’s photons, from the battery itself (the same kind as Tesla uses in its cars apparently), through the efficient charge controller (form Maxim) to the cables themselves (fatter, to let the current flow more easily, says the blurb).
What’s more, you can pitch in early on Kickstarter and get a full setup for just $158 (right now anyway – the campaign only just launched).
In the standard kit you’ll get the panel, the Power Core battery pack, and buckle straps. There are also kits which add bike saddle bags and camping accessories. This is because the kit is aimed at outdoorsy types: touring cyclists, campers, hikers. To this end the kit is tough, weather sealed and light, but it also pumps out a proper 5-watt USB output, and can charge an iPhone fully in three hours, and do it 1.4 times from the Power Core’s 3350mAh battery. What’s more, the battery will charge itself in just three hours if you have good sun.
I’m keeping an eye on this one, and hopefully testing one out for review, in time for summer at least, when the sun finally reappears in German skies.
The Kickstarter campaign is open now.