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Rated5out of5bymspgrayfromEverything About This Charger is AmazingI purchased one of these chargers and had issues with it not working properly. It would not charge and turned off after only a few minutes. I contacted customer service via the Solio web page. They immediately replied with a return authorization. After a few emails back and forth, I received a replacement unit. The new charger works beautifully. It arrived fully charged, so I plugged in my iPhone 5. The phone was at 48% and after one hour it was up to a full charge. So, it took an hour to charge....Who CARES? This charger is small enough to be packed anywhere you are headed. If you're out hiking, spend that hour enjoying your activity. Come to think of it, I did this charge with the unit on "normal" mode, so I would venture to bet that it would have charged much faster in "Apple" mode. Regardless, this product is intended to be used to get you enough charge to use your device for just a little longer or in case of emergency. The customer service was beyond expectations. That alone shows me that they stand by an excellent product. If you are expecting to have something that works like your home charger, then STAY HOME! If you want to get out and enjoy the outdoors and boost the charge of your electronic devices, then get one of these little Bolts.
Date published: 2014-02-06
Rated3out of5byBirdmandgofromNice little unit, but has some 'issues'I like the compact, fold-out design. When folded up, it was easy to fit into 'corners' in my pack. It seemed durable and handled a few drops with no problems.
When it was fully charged, I got 2 full charges on my iPhone 4 before it fully discharged. Once it was fully discharged, I was able to fully recharge it during one day riding on the top of my pack. That day, the weather was clear and I was hiking primarily in open country with little canopy to block the sun. I loved that it could ride on my pack all day, then recharge devices later inside my tent.
I liked that it has an iPhone charge setting, but it is not intuitive how to switch between modes.
The biggest issue I had with it was that it turned itself on in my pack - a lot! I tried all sorts of ways to pad/protect the on/off switch, but nothing worked 100% of the time. Several times, I put it in my pack fully charged, only to find it on when I opened my pack to set up camp, with only a 25% or 50% charge level. It clearly was discharging in my pack after turning itself on, which it isn't supposed to do. The on/off switch sticks up and is easily bumped by other stuff in the pack, turning it on. This was a regular problem, no matter how well I padded or tried to protect the switch from being bumped. To me, this issue seems easy to fix with a small re-design of the switch itself.
I have now upgraded to a SunTactics sCharger-5, which is a much more powerful solar panel with no on/off switch. It does the job in 1 hour that the Solio takes 8 hours to do. The 5 oz weight of the Solio is a bit better than the 9 oz weight of the SunTactics, but I have found no comparison in terms of efficient performance.
Date published: 2013-12-24
Rated1out of5byJAMNDCfromNot worth the troubleBought the Solio Bolt as it got some good reviews and it looked like a great thing to have on backpacking trips. Took it to the beach for a camping weekend to see how it performs. Day 1: I followed the instructions by proping it up with the pencil to face directly into the sun. It spent about 8 hours in full sun that day and it would not charge my iPhone to more than 15% and only got maybe up to 40% power (2 blinks). Thought I did something wrong, so on Day 2 tried it again proping it up and also keeping it pointed at the sun on a perfectly clear day. 7 hours later it only gave me 2 blinks again. Since the phone was almost dead, plugged it in and got only 25% charge. I can't imagine how it would perform on a cloudy day, in shade, or not directly in the sun. I expected in a full sun environment, keeping it carefully pointing directly into the sun would have given me a lot more power and more quickly. I wouldn't recommend due to the hassel with trying to get enough charge to be worth the trouble of keeping it in the sun. Perhaps it could be more useful as a back-up, emergency or day trip charger, that was pre-charged to a power source, but there is probably even better options than this for those purposes.
Date published: 2013-06-02
Rated4out of5bygrizzlywolffromGreat ProductThis is the second solar charger I bought, however it is the best small solar charger I have used. Surprisingly it is very durable, I dropped it from the roof of my car and it landed panel down, picked it up and it was fine. All this being said, it is a great product, charges fast in open sky, and relatively "fast" in cloudy skies. Overall worth the money, and the fact that it charges open or closed is great addition by solio.
Date published: 2013-04-11
Rated5out of5bythewidjfromGreat little solar panelThis is a great little solar panel. It is simple to use, there isn't a bunch of parts that you have to keep track of. I really like the internal battery, so you don't have to have something plugged into it for it to charge. This allows you to clip it to you pack during the day to charge, and then you can charge you gps or other devices even after the sun goes down. I got it down to one bar of power, and it charged half of an ipods battery. The special Apple mode is nice. Overall a great buy, I can't wait to use it again.
Date published: 2013-02-22
Rated1out of5bybenepstein97fromAbsolutely HorribleThis product is horrible. As soon as I bought it, I started inspecting it. It was nice and lightweight. I first looked at the usb ports. The mini usb was fine, but then i noticed that in the regular usb port, the 5 prongs had nothing keeping them in place. If you don't understand what I mean, look at your computer's usb ports. See how you don't see the 5 little prongs I mentioned? That's because they are kept in place by that little black/blue/yellow plastic thing you see. Without that, the prongs can move freely. I was very nervous seeing this. Next I looked at the rubber covering for the ports. I open the rubber covering, and noticed that it had an insert that fit into the usb port. I tried to close it and, not supprisingly, it wouldn't fit in. I looked inside the usb covering, and noticed that 2 of the 5 prongs inside had been bent. Knowing that this means that it wouldn't charge, I was very upset. The entire thing was broken already! I tested it ofcourse and it didn't work (not supprisingly).
If for some reason that isnt enough to make you avoid this product completely, then another problem was that the bolt wouldn't stay on. It had 80% battery, and it was on, but as soon as i plugged it into something, it turned off. Never buy this product. If you are looking for a great, lightweight product, try the goal zero switch 8 charger with the nomad 3.5 solar panel . On rei's website it is just called the switch 8 charger kit.
Date published: 2013-02-09
Rated1out of5byTJ2fromdon't buyI'd hoped this product would work to charge iPhone while I did some thru hiking. No luck. 6 hours in direct sunlight charged my phone about 20% if lucky. Most of the time it wouldn't charge at all. I'm still perplexed why I pencil was included to hold the device open. Granted having a pencil is handy, but who wants a sharpened pencil rolling around in their gear leaving graphite marks?!
Date published: 2013-01-27
Rated3out of5byWalkabouttheHillsfromPower of the SunSeems to be a good solar charger however, I use an IPhone 4 and if you charge this in the direct sunlight for 8 hours it will only give you a half charge on the phone if it is at 10 percent power. Overall the item works well, the plus to this item is even if you are hiking somewhere without direct sunlight you can use the stored energy to charge your phone.
Date published: 2012-12-05
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