6 different ways to charge your gadgets on the road.
If you’re traveling around this summer, you want to make sure you can keep your gadgets charged. When you have multiple devices to charge or are taking long journeys, however, you won’t always be able to find an available outlet. Here are six alternative ways to charge your devices on the go, without having to rely on conventional power sources.
Use your vehicle
The lighter socket in vehicles is a great way to charge your device during a long car ride. You can purchase in-car chargers for most smartphones and tablets, and you don’t have to worry about using up the charger’s power as you might with a solar charger or external battery.
Solar chargers are an excellent way to give your device a boost when you’re in a sunny location. The Freeloader Pro Solar Charger provides solar charge for any portable device, including digital and SLR cameras. The device charges gadgets in less than 90 minutes and even functions in low light and poor weather. The Freeloader costs around $80.
Powertraveller’s Powermonkey Extreme opens up like a flip-top cell phone, gaining twice as much solar exposure for its size. When fully charged, it can provide full power for an iPhone up to six times, and standard cell phones up to 12 times.
The Powermonkey Extreme retails for £120 (about $186)
You can find a number of pocket-sized external batteries available for charging smartphones, tablets and other devices without an electrical outlet. Innergie’s Pocket Cell provides charge for all USB-powered devices. The charger is compatible with over 10,000 devices, including smartphones, tablets, MP3 players and even game consoles, tablet PCs and e-readers. The RRP for PocketCell is $79.99.
An alternative to the Innergie PocketCell is the PowerGen Mobile Charger. This charger carries enough power to charge an iPhone 4 twice, and takes an iPhone to full charge in 1.5 hours. The PowerGen Mobile Charger retails for $34.99.
Idapt is a portable charger that you can use to power up to four devices at one time. The charger comes with six different adaptors, including iDevice, a miniUSB, two microUSBs, a Samsung 4 and a Nokia 2, and you can order adaptors for additional devices from the Idapt website. You can charge three devices using the adaptors, and a fourth using the USB plug in the side of the charger. The Idapt is perfect for people traveling with multiple devices and retails for $59.99.
The Powerbag is a new gadget that functions both as a bag and as a charger. Available as a rucksack, messenger bag or briefcase, the battery contained within holds enough power to fully charge a smartphone twice over. The bag comes with an Apple connector, Micro- and Mini-USB connectors, a USB port, and can charge up to 4 devices at one time. The different connectors available mean the bag can charge most models of smartphone and tablet, as well as e-readers. The Powerbag itself charges using an electrical outlet.
You can purchase Powerbags online from powerbag.com, or a selection of other major retailers. Backpack prices start at around $140.
Use your laptop
If all else fails and you urgently need to charge your smartphone or tablet, sacrifice your laptop battery for a worthy cause. Most devices start charging automatically when connected to a laptop, and this can be an effective way of giving your device just enough juice to last the trip. This method of charging isn’t as efficient or quick as using an outlet, but it can give your device the extra boost it needs in an emergency.