Gear Review: Solio Classic2 Solar Charger

Stay plugged in off the grid with the Solio Classic2 solar charger.

[solar charger]

Without power, your gadgets are backcountry paperweights. And that can happen in a day when you’re navigating with a phone or a GPS. Enter the Classic2. This three-panel charger’s big battery and large solar panels allow it to collect enough juice in a day (eight hours in full sun, 10 hours for our tester in partial sun) to fully charge three smartphones. This sandwich-sized unit weighs in at just a tick over 10 ounces—it’s super packable and has the best power-to-weight ratio of the units we tested.

The device provides the same juice as a standard wall charger, while optimizing energy transfer for Apple devices and standard USB chargers (a unique feature we haven’t seen elsewhere) to enhance output efficiency. Fire up the Classic2 by clicking the single button and you’ll know exactly where it stands: The button flashes indicators of existing battery life, charging status, and output levels. For optimal charging, prop the panels with the included pencil, and rotate until they’re shadowless. $100; 10.1 oz.;

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