Powermonkey Extreme Portable Solar Charger

Written by  Pinstripe Writer
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Powermonkey Extreme Portable Solar Charger

Lets face it, battery technology at this time for hand held devices lacks any real ability to give you the power for the length of time you actually need it. Ever try and use a handheld GPS device? It sucks down battery life like there’s no tomorrow. Likewise, we have all experienced using internet over 3g or 4g service on your smartphone or mobile device will also drain your battery life very quickly as well. This brings on the need for extra add on battery packs which are great but what do you do when your out in the wilderness, camping, skiing, hiking, sight seeing, boating, fishing, beach, you get the picture.

Powermonkey Extreme Portable Solar Charger by Powertraveller

Powermonkey Extreme Portable Solar Charger by Powertraveller

The Powermonkey Extreme, featured in our Gadget Gift Guide for 2011, is a combination 9000mAh battery pack and portable solar panel charger.  Lightweight, compact for what it is and conveniently portable yet powerful, this wonderful device comes with its own travel bag that you can stuff into your backpack and take off. Available in 4 colors, Electric Blue, Safety Yellow and Vibrant Red from www.powertraveller.com

Power on the go when you need it, you can charge the battery pack via usb, your wall socket or by the fold-able clam-shell style solar panels. You can even charge 2 devices at once and charge up the battery pack while charging up your device.  Rugged design and built for durability and useability, the unit is shock resistant and waterproof up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes, input connection ports are well sealed by a tight fitting hinged covers.

The Powermonkey Extreme’s monster 9000mAh battery can charge:
iPad/Tablet 1-2 times
iPhone/Smartphone 4-6 times
GPS systems 4-6 times
Mobile Phone 8-12 times

Total charge time is approximately 15 hrs by solar panel, actual mileage will vary depending on your intensity of sunlight. About 3 hrs of good sunlight gets you about a 1/3 of power reserve.  It will charge any 5v device.  Tips are included for the latest BlackBerry, Garmin, HTC, LG, Motorola, Nintendo, Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson. Mini USB, Micro USB and female USB DC cable for Apple iPod, iPhone and iPad, DC4.0 for PSP, e-readers and some digital cameras. Other tips can be purchased from Powertraveller.

Powermonkey Extreme Portable Solar Charger

Powermonkey Extreme Portable Solar Charger

Pinstripe Magazine had a chance to test the unit out hands on and when charging the iPhone and iPhone 4s via the usb 750mA connection the charge time was a bit faster then charging with a 5V and 500mA car charger not quite as fast as the wall. If you’ve ever bought a car charger and wondered why your smartphone seems to charge half as quickly in the car then it does at home? It’s because your charger is more then likely a 500mA charger. As stated in the manual, utilizing the DC 2.1A port to usb adapter cable on the Powermonkey, charged the iPhone at or close to the 1A you get when plugging into your wall with your iPhone charger.  We were able to recharge from dead the iPhone approximately 5.4 times before we needed to replenish the battery pack.  Of course we played a bit while we were charging so it may be closer to 6x when all is said and done. I have to say I am very pleased with the performance of the unit and can see many scenarios where this would come in quite handy.  Skiing, Camping, end of the world :/

An LCD screen displays useful information: unit status, battery level along with a touch sensitive area to the right that allows you to control the LCD options. On, Off, Permanently On, Auto shutoff. The Powermonkey Extreme’s auto off feature allows it to shut down when it knows your device is fully charged.  The LCD will change color identifying what the unit is doing; Red for recharging, green for fully charged and blue when it is charging another device.  The 9000mAh capacity Lithium Polymer battery allows you to leave the unit untouched for an entire year and it will still retain approximately 75% of its charge. Utilizing the device is a snap and the Auto-off feature is a must have, we found it to be very practical.

Powermonkey Extreme Portable Solar Charger Folded

Powermonkey Extreme Portable Solar Charger Folded

5 years in development, make no mistake, the award-winning (OutDoor Industry Award 2011) unit performs well and surprisingly the Powermonkey Extreme is able to charge on overcast days as well as sunny days!  Typically leave it on a table, hang it from the wall, in direct sunlight or use the velcro strap which allows you to strap it to your backpack and charge on the go while hiking. For optimal results it is best to allow the unit to soak up the sun for approx 3 min before plugging into the battery pack.  State-of-the-art “Maximum Power Point Tracker” technology allows the solar cells to charge that much more efficiently in low lighting conditions.

If you like to be outdoors and can’t let go of your gadgets, the PowerMonkey Extreme portable solar charger and battery pack by Powertraveller fits the bill, one and done!

Retails for $189.95, Available through www.powertraveller.com or their US distributor www.outdoortactical.com

What’s in the box:
• powermonkey extreme battery unit
• solar panel
• Universal mains charger including interchangeable heads for UK, USA, EUROPE & AUS
• 8 mobile device tips (monkeynuts)
• Black travel pouch and durable zipped travel case

Safety Features:
• Short-circuit protection
• Overload protection
• Reverse discharge current protection
• Low voltage protection

• Input: 5V 2.5A
• Output: USB port: 5V 700MAh ad DC port 2.1A, solar panel output 3 watts
• Battery Chemical: Lithium Polymer
• Energy: 33.3 WH
• Static power waste <50 µA
• Total weight: 460g


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