Yes, that happens! Geeks don’t live in the basement. We also like to go out and have fun. But we do it on our terms and we love gadgets and hacks.
I want to show you a cool product, that I spotted when researching for cool camping and outdoor activity gadgets. Today we are having a look at the Octopus Solar Power Bank for smartphones and other devices that can be charged via USB.
You might be arguing if electronic devices are really necessary when camping, but personally I like to fall back to the use of our devices, when there is the need for medical assistance or other emergencies. In order to make sure that stays an option, you need to account for sufficient power.
Why use a solar power bank?
I really like the idea of having solar powered power banks, as you can just keep them in the daylight to stay charged up. When you bring wired-powered devices with a charge from home, those might deplete over time even when not used. Some power banks have a tendency to lose charge over time when not in use. That’s perfectly normal. While this is acceptable for your everyday commute or one-day field trip, you don’t want to go powerless over the period of a couple of days or even weeks.
Capacity and charge
The Octopus Solar Power Bank is available with a power capacity of 8,000 mAh. In case that doesn’t mean anything to you, this is the capacity to charge a modern smartphone from zero to 100% for about four times. The manufacturer does not provide much info on how long the power bank would need to be placed in direct sunlight in order to fully charge.
Amazon customer reviews estimate that about 6.5 hours would be sufficient to charge a phone two times and of course that varies on how efficient sunlight can be received by the power bank. Tech specs are 5.5V 200ma / 1.2W(max) via monocrystalline solar panels. The power bank can be used for more than 1,000 charging cycles, but I expect it’s efficiency to shrink over time.
The design is really neat and I like the slightly bulky look. If you also use Spigen smartphone cases, they will perfectly match up. This solar power bank comes in four color variations. You can get them in all-black, and mixes of black-blue, black-green, and black-yellow.
If you are in for the long run I recommend you to get several ones in a different color, so you can differentiate between the ones which need to be charged and the ones that are ready to use, without putting labels on them.
Rugged and protected
The Octopus Solar Power Bank is designed to be resistant to rain, dust, snow and shock. While there are labels that declare the power bank as waterproof, I don’t think it would survive being submerged in water.
Whether you might need it or not, the power bank has a little LED lamp, that you can use, if you have no flashlight around. I would not expect too much from it but it might be sufficient to see where you’re walking in the dark or to find something in your backpack.
Currently this gadget is offered at $25 per unit with a discount of 58%. To me this seems like a fair deal, even if you are going to buy several units. There might be cheaper ones and there might be some with larger capacity, but I thought this product has the best price/value ratio.
Don’t forget that you also need signal reception to make calls or transmit data. So this might not be helping you if you go to areas without reception. Also this means the device won’t be of much use if there is a zombie apocalypse and the signal goes down.
Like camping and outdoors? Check out these useful items as well!
- Advanced Elements Solar Camping Shower
- Ivation Solar- & Dynamo-Powered Radio, Bluetooth Stereo Speaker
- Suaoki Collapsible Clover Style 18 Led Solar Camping Lantern
- Goal Zero Yeti 150 Solar Generator
If you can’t be stopped, check it out on Amazon yourself, as I could not find a manufacturer webpage. Among the many solar power banks in this price segment of around $25 I liked this one the most, but judge for yourself.
Photo credit: Octopus / David Porter