6 Solar-Powered Gadgets for Camping Festivals
Photo: Goal Zero Solar Kit via Goal Zero
At camping festivals, solar power is helpful to more than just the environment. With limited access to electricity and sometimes too much access to the sun, solar-powered gear can be just the right thing. Here's our list of the 6 coolest pieces of solar-powered gear to keep you connected and environmentally friendly this festival season.
For some off-the-grid, after-hours tunage.
These speakers charge in less than six hours, and supply over eight hours of play time once charged. Just connect a bluetooth device or an aux cable to blast your music through two full-range speakers - and don't worry about your phone losing battery while streaming, because these speakers have a USB port to charge it. Plus, they use solar and/or AC power, so you can keep using them once you get home.
For the environmentally-friendly chef
The kickstarter-funded GoSun stove, with its innovative tubular design, uses sunlight to boil, fry, and bake meals in as little as 20 minutes. The stove can reach temperatures of up to 500 degrees and retains heat to continue cooking and keeping food warm even when it gets cloudy. The mini version cooks food even quicker and at higher temperatures. If you're the type of festival camper who likes to keep it DIY gourmet rather than packing powerbars or going broke at the mercy of food carts, you can pre-order the GoSun, advertised to ship early spring 2014.
For the bold camper
Bang Bang's tents come with a solar power panel, lithium storage bank, and USB charging adapters that can charge low-voltage devices like cell phones, cameras, and speakers. The solar panel slides into a pocket on the back of the tent to charge with absolutely no effort on your part. The tents sleep 4 people, and come in a range of bold prints, from chopped wood to jellybeans, so you'll never again get lost in a sea of campsites.
For a solar-powered charge… and everything else
The Snow Lizard SLXtreme 5 iPhone case not only has a solar panel to boost your battery life, it has a backup battery to extend your charge. It's also waterproof and looks pretty much life proof, so you don't have to worry about rain, snow, or dropping your phone in a crowd and having it trampled. While it might be a little cumbersome for everyday use, its perfect for roughing the elements at an outdoor camping festival.
For emission-free, low-cost light
The Luci portable solar light is a small, inflatable, waterproof, solar-powered lamp. It charges for eight hours to give up to 12 hours of light, so you can leave it out to charge during the day and have light all through the night. At just $14.99 per lamp, you can stock up and use Luci as campsite décor, ambient light, or a lantern for late-night bathroom trips.
For the festivalgoer with multiple devices to power.
Goal Zero's motto is "power anything anywhere," and they mean it. Their products, sold in kits or separately, work with each other, so you can get a solar charging panel to power your devices directly, or you can use the panel to charge a power pack, which is essentially a backup battery to charge your devices when the sun goes down. With three different categories, Goal Zero products are designed to charge either small electronics like cell phones, mid-sized devices like laptops, or heavy-duty appliances like TVs and mini-fridges (for the glamper). Their solar panels even attach to backpacks, so you can generate and store energy while waiting for your favorite bands to play.