WITH the recent winter weather making the lights flicker on and off, I've been playing with the Solarmonkey Adventurer to keep my mobile phone and other gadgets powered up.
Produced by Powertraveller, it is a portable solar charger featuring two panels with a battery built in behind one of the panels to provide power when out and about as well.
The clam shell arrangement ensures the panels are protected if you are on the road, but also lets you easily sit the kit in the sun to charge up the battery.
The Solarmonkey Adventurer comes with a connection cable that comes out of the panel via a standard USB, and at the other end you can attach various mobile phone tips including the very common mini USB.
There is also a Monkey Tail connector which is designed for Apple's iPhone, iPod and iPad which is for the older style connectors, while those of you with an iPhone 5 can plug the sync lead directly into the USB port of the panel.
Although I have been playing with the kit indoors, there is no doubt that Powertraveller has an eye on the outdoor adventurer as it comes with a waterproof outer jacket that zips up and netting inside that lets you carry leads and tips.
The Solarmoneky Adventurer also includes a carabiner clip so you can hang the panels from a backpack, or anywhere else really, directly in the sun to charge the battery.
On the tech side of things the 2500 mAh internal lithium-polymer battery charges to full in about eight to 12 hours, and it is possible to charge a mobile phone a couple of times, but you are not going to be able to completely charge something the size of an iPad.
Handily your can simultaneously charge the battery in the sun and run an external 5 volt USB device, letting you charge the two at once.
Alongside my d.light for lighting and a wood burning stove, with the Solarmonkey Adventurer I can now keep in touch with the outside world should a power cut hit my corner of France.
Amazon: Solarmonkey Adventurer