Powertraveller designed the powermonkey-eXplorer portable power device as a back up battery and charger for your personal electronics while you are out on your adventures. I was able to borrow one for a couple of weeks and though it’s not hardcore like a GOAL ZERO system might be, the powermonkey-eXplorer is the perfect small and lightweight accessory to throw in your backpack for those times when you really need extra power.
The powermonkey-eXplorer is made up of a lithium-ion battery housed in an incredibly compact, light (83g), durable, and water-resistant rubberized casing. A small LCD display lets you know how much charging capacity you have at your disposal and when it’s time to recharge. Don’t worry if the LCD display image gets a little warped when in super hot sunlight, as the display will right itself again once it has cooled down.
The powermonkey-eXplorer comes with 10 different connector tips for everything from your range of cell phone brands and MP3 players to your PSP or DS. You can recharge your powermonkey-eXplorer battery either by the mains, USB connection or the included solar-slave. The mains charger even comes with various electrical plug adapters for all the different countries you plan to visit.
The solar-slave is a rugged, folding solar panel that can be attached to your backpack or tent via velcro strap for charging the battery unit. An LED light indicates the solar strength so you have an idea of how long the battery recharge might take under the current conditions.
On average, it took around 2 hours and pretty much the entire battery capacity to charge my iPhone 3GS. Using the solar-slave to recharge the powermonkey-eXplorer battery can take quite a bit of time, especially if you are not in direct, intense sunlight. A decent recharge time is around 6 hours of direct sunlight.
Bottom Line: I think the powermonkey-eXplorer is a perfect accessory to throw in your bag for those times where you might need an emergency recharge and aren’t anywhere close to a power source. I used it everyday at Interbike this week to charge my phone in the middle of the day and then recharged the battery from my computer via USB.
The solar-slave was not lightening fast in recharging the powermonkey-eXplorer battery but could be a great option for those sunny adventures where you can leave the solar panel hooked to your backpack or tent for the day.
The powermonkey-eXplorer retails for roughly $100 on Amazon and comes in pink, blue, yellow or grey.