As more of us are looking to stay connected while traveling or out on the trail, much of our essential and even non-essential gear has traded in those disposable batteries for more earth friendly rechargeable ones. The latest portable solar chargers look to ensure you will never be without your beloved gadgets, whatever your adventure. Though most of these work best as a battery backup, you will appreciate the ability to recharge the packs via the sun (no matter how long it takes) if you find yourself in the middle of nowhere.
The Solio Bolt ($65) acts as a battery backup for all your rechargeable backcountry gear. With 1Amp USB output, the Bolt will charge your smartphone in around 3 hours. The sundial design lets you use the shadow cast by a pencil in order to rotate the solar panels into the most sun. You will need almost a full day of those solar rays, however, to recharge the 2000mAh Li-Poly battery or 4.5 hours by USB.
The Mobius ($80) from Eton is a rechargeable battery case with solar panel for your iPhone. The durable case acts as a protector for your phone, while the 1800mAh rechargeable Li-ion battery pack basically doubles the amount of time you can talk, surf, listen to music, or watch videos.
A standby button lets you turn off the charge dump to your iPhone, allowing the Mobius case to switch to the solar panel for recharging the battery pack. Built into the case, the USB connection lets you sync your iPhone with iTunes or even charge directly from your computer.
For those of you who can't leave home without your iPad, Brunton's new Resync ($140) is designed especially for you. The 9000mAh Li-Poly battery provides enough power to recharge not only your iPad, but your laptop as well. Like a Restore on steroids, the Resync portable solar charger will also power your smartphone and MP3 player up to nine times over.