To listen to music while you lay awake at night in your tent or to tweet from the top of Everest, you are going to need some sort of portable power to recharge your gadgets. The answer to your backcountry power needs may be the Brunton Restore. I was sent of of these portable power packs to test out during my recent climbing trip to Red Rock Canyon.
The Brunton Restore integrates two lithium polymer batteries with twin polycrystalline solar panels, all into a compact portable power pack. The battery pack can be recharged three ways, via USB, car adaptor, or from the two solar panels. The Restore works best if you fully charge the batteries first via USB (4 hours) or car adaptor (2 hours), then use the solar panels to top up power as you go along on your outdoor adventures.
To charge your gadget of choice, simply press the power button and you will see the red “ready to charge” light illuminate. Four blue indicator lights will tell you the amount of charge left in your battery pack. The portable power pack takes about 2 hours to charge your cell phone, camera or iPod, and you can probably get two separate gadget charges off of one full battery pack.
The rubberized, water resistant case is rugged enough to withstand almost anything outdoors. Weighing 8.6 ounces, the Restore doesn’t add much weight to your load and is easy to rig up to your pack in order to capture some solar power while you are out during the day.
One of the cool features on the Brunton Restore is the Task Light. This mini integrated flash light will help you complete small tasks in the dark where you may not have a headlamp handy. The task light automatically turns off after 5 minutes to conserve power.
I actually find this portable power pack useful not just for camping and other outdoor adventures, but for long trips in the car or airplane. I can’t count the number of flights or layovers where my phone has died from too much surfing and Angry Birds play.
Bottom Line: The Brunton Restore is a super handy, compact, and ruggedized portable power solution for recharging your gadgets during your weekend adventures or travels. Keep in mind that if you are headed out on a super long backcountry trip, the solar panels require 10+ hours of direct sunlight to recharge the battery pack by themselves.
The Brunton Restore comes in three colors, blue, orange, and black, and retails for $120.