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PowerFilm USB+AA Solar Charger Review


Aaron Zagrodnick
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Aaron Zagrodnick

PowerFilm Solar manufactures a rather wide array of solar products, but for backpackers who utilize devices that run off AA batteries or can recharge via a USB connection, their USB+AA charger stands out. The charger is listed at 4.9 ounces without batteries, but we were surprised to measure an actual weight of 4.6 ounces. Retail price is right around $75. Two Eneloop batteries are included that weigh just under an ounce each (.9 ounces) bringing the total weight to 6.4 ounces.

We take a look at this lightweight USB+AA Solar Charger from PowerFilm - Read the full review below in Issue 7:

PowerFilm USB+AA Solar Charger Review

Issue 7 Page 1

PowerFilm USB+AA Solar Charger Review

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  • 3 weeks later...
jeepingetowah

I like the idea... and after reading the review, I would probably use the device. But first I would seek a device that charged on solar alone. I would also want something that charged 1 battery at a time, or 1 full and 1 empty.

I appreciate your review, but I still find that switching to my USB Petzl Core battery has been the best thing that I have done yet. That is the only thing I use batteries for, and in that respect, I have no need for a source of battery in the field. Especially with my AT experience, I found that sun, while plentiful, is hard to isolate for charging on the "green tunnel".

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Aaron Zagrodnick

Thanks for checking out the review - Definitely agree that a little more flexibility would certainly make the PowerFilm an even better solution. Good to hear that the Core is working out well, being able to program the light depending on what you need on a trip by trip basis sounds like it could be useful.

I'm currently using the Zebralight H51w which runs off a single AA, so the PowerFilm USB+AA charger was already a good fit. However, I'm not a heavy electronics user when backpacking and pretty much only use a headlamp and camera...Sometimes carry a smartphone for a rare quick GPS fix or to try to call for a ride at the end of a trip. Spare batteries for the headlamp and camera are the lighter and perhaps more convenient solution, but if you used a GPS a lot or were going on really long trips with no opportunity to recharge a solar solution might be a good choice. Plus I'm actually using the charger to charge up AA's, phones, and cameras at home, so it works equally well on the trail or off. :D

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