Review: Solar-Powered Portable Battery for iPhone & iPad

With all of the natural disasters lately, the Solar Power Bank ($39) from Everything Tech Gear is a smart accessory to have on hand. In fact, after I reviewed this unit, I gave it to a colleague with family in Puerto Rico, where they are without power and could be for months. 

Related: Beyond Protective iPhone Cases: Rugged Gear for the Adventurous iPhone Owner

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The Solar Power Bank has a sporty, rugged, and water-resistant design. It can charge two devices at the same time thanks to two USB ports. It even has a small flashlight capability, all powered for up to 20,000 mAh. You can recharge the power bank using the included microUSB cable; but of course, the big selling point is solar power.

You can indeed charge the power bank via the sun, but it still could take 20 hours to fully recharge battery pack from solar power so that's really a supplemental power source or nice in a real pinch.

Pros

  • Rugged, waterproof design
  • Solar powered
  • Two USB ports
  • Flashlight capability
  • 10,000–20,000 mAh depending on model
  • Compass accessory
  • Available in assorted colors and power capacities

Cons

  • Still takes 20 hours or so to fully recharge battery pack from solar power

Final Verdict

If you have any concerns about losing power, due to natural or man-made disasters, consider adding the Waterproof Solar Power Bank to your gadget bag.

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Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.