Solar energy isn’t just a way to save on electricity in your home — now you can harness the power of the sun when you’re traversing the great outdoors. Whether you’re on a hike, bike ride or camping trip, here are a few cool solar gadgets for exploring with the latest in portable power.
Low-tech bicycle locks are a thing of the past. With a solar-powered bike lock, you can use smart technology to unlock your bicycle remotely via smartphone and never have to worry about losing your key again. Other safety features include a crash alert and theft alert. Just one hour of charging up the built-in solar panel lasts for one week.
Water bottles packed? Check. Trail mix for refueling? Check. Now where’s that backpack? Hold on, there’s a better option for toting all your hiking necessities. On your next outing, try on a solar backpack for size. With plenty of space for your gear, a solar backpack comes with flexible, lightweight solar modules on the outside that can charge your mobile devices and cameras. It can stand up to a lot of wear and tear and won’t lose power even with damage to the solar panel.
For those who simply can’t unplug while outdoors, you can use a portable solar pack to juice up your smartphones and electronic devices when there isn’t an outlet for miles and miles. These not only come in handy on camping trips, but can also be used during a power outage or emergency. The Anker PowerPort Solar Lite is top of the line and one of the most compact, according to The Wirecutter.
The boonies just got more high-tech with the advent of the solar tent. Why would a tent need to be solar-powered, you might ask? Because it gives you the option to charge your cellphone and other electronic devices while outdoors. The Katabatic 3-Person Tent won National Geographic’s 2012 Gear of the Year award, fits up to three people (obviously) and is built to connect with one of two solar kits by Goal Zero, says WIRED.
Similar in shape and size to an iPad or other standard tablet, a solar tablet like Earl can be used as a walkie-talkie, solar-powered charger, weather station and map. A solar panel in back charges during the day, giving you a full charge in just five hours. Oh, and it’s waterproof. Thing is built for the outdoors.
If you’re more of a glamorous camper (aka glamper) than a traditional camper, gadgets that offer portable power may make roughing it less rough. Consider taking these solar gadgets on your next trip to bring a little more comfort and convenience to your adventure.