In an age where finding your nearest outlet is a necessity, solar-powered or solar power-assisted gadgets still seem to be difficult to find. That is, unless you’re talking about solar watches and calculators…which have been around for decades. So we’ve come up with a list of solar-powered gadgets that are currently available on the market for your UV ray-absorbing pleasure.
Go Urban Cargo pants by Silver Lining
You may have seen us cover it before, but these hideous pants will charge your mobile phone and Mp3 player with two separate pockets, tricked out with 6 x 8 inch, 5-volt solar panels. You can hook it up to any microUSB device of your choosing. If the drawstring, ridiculously baggy fit, and awful checkered pattern doesn’t turn you off already, the $920 price tag will. Silver Lining sells these likely UNWASHABLE pants in olive green and stone grey.
Solar Fountain Birdbath
So standalone bird baths are pretty boring, but adding a fountain can spice things up for the robins and orioles. This copper-plated birdbath would look great in your backyard and could save a few watts and minute’s time setting up a messy extension cord rig. The fountain sprays for six hours with eight hours of sun charge. No details on whether or not there is an on/off switch. As with most solar-powered gadgets, get your wallet ready. This costs $179.95.
God knows how expensive and annoying running out of AAA batteries can be for wireless gadgets. Thankfully, Logitech is looking to solve that problem with this awesome wireless, solar-powered keyboard. Seriously, this has to be the coolest thing they’ve put on the market in a while. For $80, you can have your own 2.4 Ghz wireless/battery-less keyboard of your own. Just be sure to remain in direct sunlight. We can’t speak for the lag, but reviews appear to be decent. And really, who can beat a three-year warranty?
Wireless stereos are also a giant battery killer, so Eton’s Soulra XL Sound System for iPod and iPhone is a definite fix. It will keep your trip to the beach renewable energy-friendly and your music bumpin’ for hours on end. While the system does require a rechargeable lithium ion battery pack, you have the option of charging exclusively under the sun. A full charge will take about five hours for an equal amount of playback. You can use the included AC adapter to charge at home before you head outside. Reviews are pretty outstanding, just be sure to shade your iPhone if you don’t want it to melt. $249.95 on Amazon.
Another great portable solution to charge your mobile is the ReVIVE Series Solar ReStore External Battery Pack, which is stocked with a solar panel for any device that takes micro-USB. The device can only charge up to 40-50% of your gadget’s battery, but it’s still pretty handy considering. Even better, you can stick the Solar ReStore to your windshield with suction cup accessories. In addition, you can charge the battery with an AC adapter. You can snag this one for $28.99.
It may be September, but with Global Warming in tow, heat is still going to be an issue for at least another couple months. So why not cool off with a solar handheld fan? Actually, this isn’t a fan at all; it’ s another portable charging device with a 3-in-1 charging setup. That’s right, this means you can charge the internal 4,000 mAh battery via AC adapter, solar power, and even wind power. Yes, that is friggin’ sweet. It’s also comes in green and black and costs only $79.85, discounted from $99.95. We’re not sure how useful the wind-powered option is, but if you live in hurricane-central or the heart of Chicago, give it a shot and tell us how it goes.
Dual-purpose gadgets are always a plus, and the LightCap 300 is definitely one of the more unique items we’ve come across. This full-size camping water bottle is BPA free and houses five bright LED lights (four white, one red) that are charged by a solar panel on the bottle cap. There’s a switch on top that allows you to choose between off, red, or white. We can definitely see this as a useful flashlight backup, if not something cool to show your friends, or use during spooky story time in lieu of a camp fire. Throw out your ancient BPA-leaking Nalgene and get one for yourself in red or black for just $29.95. But if you aren’t planning to bull fight with this attached to your hip, why not get red? I mean, really?