I’m sure you’ve been hunting, camping, hiking or somewhere you have forgotten your charger, and chances are your phone or other small electronic device has run out of battery life. A dead phone makes it frustrating when you want to kill time playing Candy Crush. More importantly, dead electronics can turn into a safety hazard when you can’t get a hold of anyone and can’t find your way out on a backwoods excursion. To keep your electronics powered up in the field, Bushnell has introduced the PowerSync SolarWrap Mini solar charger.
At first glance the SolarWrap Mini isn’t that impressive-looking if you are used to other portable solar chargers, but don’t let looks deceive you. The Bushnell SolarWrap Mini has some great features and good performance from such a small unit.
The SolarWrap Mini acts as a portable battery charger with the on-board Li Ion battery. The on-board battery allows users to charge a device day or night. Using the included USB cable, the SolarWrap Mini can be pre-charged at home or in you car in four hours.
What helps the SolarWrap Mini stand out over other portable chargers is the flexible solar panel that rolls around the unit. Traditionally solar charges are made with rigid crystalline panels. A couple of problems with these panels are that they can easily be broken and if the solar panel isn’t in full sunlight, the panel performance diminishes.
The PowerSync line features amorphous silicon thin-film solar technology. Basically, it’s a better solar panel that allows it to be flexible and have a lot less weight. The new solar panels also have redundant wiring throughout, so each cell can collect energy on its own. This allows the SolarWrap Mini to still collect energy efficiently if the entire panel isn’t in direct sunlight.
Charging the SolarWrap Mini by just using the solar panel will take about 10 hours to fully charge the internal battery.
The Mini can power up most devices that use a USB cable to charge it. Bushnell says that on one charge the Solar Wrap Mini can charge a camera or GPS two and a half times, a MP3 player twice or a smart phone one time.
I charged up a few of my devices to check the charging ability. For my iPhone 5, I was able to charge it up fully from being dead. I also was able to charge up my iPad to about 27 percent battery life. The SolarWrap Mini Is also capable of charging my GoPro camera.
With the solar panel rolled out you can easily hang the SolarWrap mini to charge with a small clip or string. You can also hang it from your backpack and charge on the go while you are hiking.
Bushnell makes several other chargers in their PowerSync line that are much larger than the SolarWrap Mini. At first I thought the small size would be a big constraint on the charging performance. After using it I was very pleased with how it charged all of my small electronics. The small size is also an advantage because it fits easily into a pack. The SolarWrap Mini is a great product to add to any emergency preparation kit and can be stored away in your car’s glove compartment so you can always charge a device no matter where you are.
Bushnell lists this for sale on their website at $89.99. For the size of the unit and its capabilities, this is a Must Have product for anyone the needs power while off the grid.
Learn more about the SolarWrap Mini in our video review below.
Image courtesy Must Have Outdoors