Gomadic SunVolt Solar Charger: Versatile, Go-anywhere Power for Traveling Off the Grid [First Look]
by Mike Richard
Modern travelers and backpackers love their gadgets. And even if you don’t plan on Tweeting and YouTubing during your next off-the-grid outing, at the very least you’re likely to pack a digital camera, iPod/iPhone, maybe a GPS, and myriad other devices. Therein lies the perennial problem when you’re looking to travel off the grid.
Enter Gomadic’s SunVolt Solar Charger – a solar solution to your portable power woes.
In short, Gomadic bills the Sunvolt thusly:
Unlike typical solar chargers, the powerful and more efficient SunVolt, allows for charging speeds identical to that of a traditional wall charger, while still boasting a portable design. Equipped with multiple charger outputs, users can power more than one electronic device at a time.
- Intelligently designed to double as a light-weight water-resistant carrying case, users can enjoy the convenience of a zipper pouch, and inside pockets when on-the-go
- Custom design, easy “prop” system delivers a seamless means of setting up when outdoors
- Multiple charging outputs are accessible to charge more than one device at a time
- SunVolt MAX model boasts a larger, more powerful solar panel, providing 50% more charge to power up to 3 devices at once
- Lifetime warranty
The Traveler’s Take
Uber-minimalist travelers: read no further. Portable solar units obviously aren’t for everyone. But the SunVolt is ideal for adventure travelers interested in getting off the grid (possibly way off the grid). I recall three recent trips (road-tripping the backwoods of the central U.S., on safari in Africa, and kayaking in Maine) where solar power would have been the perfect solution for keeping my gear charged while away from any other reliable power source.
For space-conscious packers, the SunVolt isn’t particularly small, but it does fold almost completely flat when zipped into the including carrying case. The smaller, more portable (read: non-MAX version) SunVolt will be the attractive option for travelers. While you’ll be trading power for portability, the smaller version ensures you can toss the unit in a standard backpack without too much thought. It also ships with a single, standard USB tip capable of charging almost any device a modern traveler would pack.
Check it out in action:
Pricing & Availability
SunVolt and SunVolt MAX available now (direct from Gomadic) for $99.95 and $129.95 respectively.
Disclosure: Vagabondish.com was provided one SunVolt sample unit in advance of this review.
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About the Author
Vagabondish founding editor, Mike Richard, is a Rhode Island native, professional web designer and travel junkie with an unhealthy addiction to backpacking, hiking and seeing the world. He enjoys knit hats, small, declarative sentences and speaking in the third person. His professional credits include "Woman's World magazine contributor" and having once been interviewed by Tyra Banks (seriously).