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PocketPower is Truly the Portable Solar Charger for Any Occasion

by | Mar 10, 2017 | Lifestyle

Ever been on a hike and saw a pretty view or tried to take a selfie with a bear (not advisable) only to discover your mobile device was out of juice? It’s an agonizing feeling, right? Just how are we supposed to appreciate this ‘nature’ thing when it doesn’t even offer up remote charging stations for our gizmos and gadgets?

Fortunately, there are hardworking folks out there who recognized that there is a power source damn near anywhere we venture off the beaten path—we simply need the means of accessing it. Yep, you guessed it. I’m talking about our friendly galactic neighbor the Sun and more specifically using portable solar chargers to extract its generous daily energy contribution. 

In the past, portable solar chargers have left users wanting—predominantly because they were heavy, clunky, and not the least bit durable. Thankfully, much like their larger residential cousins, these solar chargers have evolved beyond a niche product reserved for treehuggers to the point where they’re much more commonplace in our daily lives. 

They’re lighter, more efficient, and vastly more durable than their predecessors, making them an indispensable tool in our increasingly mobile world. 

Enter Flex Solar, the folks behind the successful Powerleaf Kickstarter campaign.

Their latest portable solar charger—the aptly named PocketPower—promises to be the latest item on the “things you never leave the house without” list as it can easily be folded to fit in your pocket. The 6.4W solar charger comes with a voltage regulator and auto-restart functionality to ensure that, regardless of the occasional cloud that passes in front of the sun, your device will continue charging without you having to intervene. It also comes in three colors—black, green, and orange.

According to its recently-closed, successfully-funded Kickstarter campaign, the PocketPower is said to be waterproof, dustproof and “super durable” (not just durable—SUPER durable). When its four solar cells are folded into the device’s ‘pocket’ size, it’s comparable to an iPhone 6s with actual dimensions of 101mm x 142mm x 15mm (3.98” x 5.59” x 0.58”).

It weighs 200g or roughly the weight of an apple. 

The monocrystalline solar cells themselves are said to be more efficient as a result of “deep embossing” that essentially allows for more light absorption via different angles. As an example, the solar charger is estimated to charge a Samsung Galaxy s7 from 50% to 100% in about 1.5 to 2 hours under good sunlight conditions. Fully charging an s7 would take roughly 3 hours.

As I said before, they recently ended their Kickstarter campaign back in February (having raised an impressive $65,287 of a $10,000 goal), but you haven’t missed the boat on this handy device—yet. Almost immediately after the conclusion of the Kickstarter campaign, Flex Solar launched into an identical Indiegogo campaign with a flexible goal of $15,000. There’s only about a week left in that campaign though they are now one pledge closer thanks to yours truly (my current solar charger just isn’t cutting it). 

Each PocketPower comes standard with one micro + Lightning + Type C USB cable and two carabiners for clipping the device to bags, purses, etc. Additional perks are available for buying in bulk as well as ones with more goodies like a 4000 mAh Powerbank (Note: this is NOT waterproof), and a 35L backpack.

Orders are expected to ship sometime in April 2017.

Whether you’re on a rugged outdoor excursion or simply low on battery life in the park, the PocketPower is definitely worth looking into as means of powering all your USB devices on the go.

About The Author

Reed Crossley

A self-proclaimed 'solar evangelist,' Reed Crossley spent several years in the solar industry before embracing his inner (green)techie and starting CleanFortunes. When he isn't playing editor-in-chief and reading/writing about innovation in sustainability tech, Reed is usually out gallivanting around Austin in his Oru Kayak and/or championing global climate action. He's also definitely NOT wearing a fake mustache to impress his beloved readers.


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