After the recent Earth Day, the whole world has had a kick up the metaphorical backside to get its act together with climate change. The movement for renewable energy has finally become a reality. More and more countries are harnessing the power of the sun, wind and oceans to give them the energy they need. When Anker told me that they wanted me to review their latest Anker PowerPort Solar Lite solar panel, I gotta admit that I did get pretty excited, and although its effect towards a renewable world might be small, every little action counts.
Anker PowerPort Solar Lite
When looking at the design of the PowerPort Solar Lite you start to realise how insanely thin and light it is. At only 19mm when closed and weighing in at a crazy 355g, making it almost worth taking with you every where you go. The surface is made of this thick durable polyester canvas, and the surface of the panels themselves have this beautiful matt finish due to it being covered in industrial strength PET plastic; in other words: this is one tough ass solar panel. With the bonus of the five small accessories loops on the side, you can pretty much put this anywhere including on the back of a rucksack. This means you can charge up your stuff while you destroy that hike. My one complaint about the design is the seriously poor quality pouch which holds the USB ports, and where you’re supposed to put your phone while you’re charging it; the pouch is way too small and so I’d rather if it was made of some stretchy kinda mesh fabric, and there is also only one cheap velcro patch to hold it together, and so I found that my phone would easily slip out of there. I am actually contemplating taking the scissors to that pouch and just cutting the whole thing out because it’s just a waste of weight and space.
When looking at the technical side of things, I found it weirdly satisfying when my iPhone gave off that double buzz of happiness when I plugged it into the solar panel, with nothing but the power of that big yellow thing in the sky. Anker is pretty far ahead in the whole electrical charging game, and the PowerPort Solar Lite has PowerIQ fast charging technology (I know…sounds fancy). This discovers the optimum charging speed for the device you have plugged in so that it can give it the most powerful juice-up. The USB’s can actually give out up to 2.1 amps which is basically the same as your bloody massive iPad charger. Did I mention that there are two of them?! Yes, there are two USBs in this thing, meaning I can charge my GoPro and iPhone at the SAME TIME. This has got to be one of the most useful things on this device, and it means that you can be kind and generous by offering up the second port to a friend who hasn’t yet realised this whole solar power thing. There’s also a bit of short circuit and surge protection incase the solar panel goes a little too crazy so your device won’t frazzle. Anker also thought it might be a good idea to remind people how the sun works with a little diagram on the front with different smiley faces and weather symbols…cheers Anker.
Anyways enough of my rambling, the moral of this story is that you just gotta buy one of these things. The usefulness of being able to fold one of these out and have a power source anywhere in the world is just unreal, and it definitely has a place in my heart (*my rucksack) on future escapades. Anker, you have officially changed the way I travel. Thanks.
Buy an PowerPort Solar Lite here: http://amzn.to/2omV9gi