Rated 1out of5
fromThought it would work! I bought this for a trip to Zion a week or two ago. It charged once and then sat in the sun and didn't charge my phone or my Fitbit again. I sat it out in the sun at our campsite and in the car window (13 hour drive). I'm taking this thing back. For $150, I should get something that charges!
Date published: 2014-08-05
Rated 2out of5
fromGreat while it lasted This product worked awesome on my 11 day backpacking trip for about 6 days. After that time the battery would not hold a charge. I could still charge my devices by plugging them in while the device was in the sun. I was at 10,000 feet without a cloud in the sky and the battery simply would not hold the charge. I got by but disappointed with performance. I will likely switch to Goal Zero for my next adventure.
Date published: 2013-07-24
Rated 3out of5
by Brian Miller
fromI Really Want to Like This Thing Fairly rugged, like that I can clip to top of my pack. I had good results on one short hike where I could ensure it was in direct sunlight at my hanging destination for the afternoon and evening. On the next trip with a full charge it almost fully recharged my phone after GPS use on a four hour hike through virgin forest. On day two after being clipped to the top of my pack on a long hike to a high lake in a deep alpine valley under a clear sky, it wasn't charged enough to recharge my phone after use as a GPS to continue using it on day three, or on day four even when left in the open at camp under direct sunlight on day three. Too Bad. The myJoos app to monitor the device won't run on Win8, and despite an assurance last August that it would only be a couple of weeks there still isn't a Win8 version available, and it won't install using Windows compatibility mode. I can't recommend spending the $$$ for one of these devices with this kind of performance
Date published: 2014-03-18
Rated 3out of5
fromEffective Charger But Has Problems I purchased the Orange solar charger to take bike touring in order to charge my phone and Kindle. On the plus side, the charger is strongly built, water proof, can be positioned easily to face the sun, and charges fairly quickly (e.g. in full sun, about 8 hours). It can also be plugged into a computer or an electrical outlet to be charged. Finally, in a couple of hours, it ,can provide a good charge to my Kindle or phone. On the negative side, the Orange would benefit from having a ring or hard-point to help secure it to a backpack or bike. More of a problem, however, is the fact that the adapters used to connect to different devices are not well constructed., For example, the micro USB adapter that originally came with the Orange fell apart after only a few uses. JOOS quickly sent me new adapters, and these seem much more robust than the originals, however, the micro USB adapter doesn't connect securely to my Kindle. It takes a lot of small adjustments before an electrical connection is established, and even the smallest movement of either the Kindle or the Orange will break the connection and require more fussing to reestablish. When I'm touring or camping, I value dependable equipment; while the Orange itself seems very dependable, I always have trouble with the micro USB adapter.
Date published: 2014-06-05
Rated 4out of5
fromSimple, straightforward, and durable! So far I have enjoyed this product. It charges very easily, even when it's cloudy. The only issue I noticed is that if left in the car while hiking, during the hottest time of day while charging, it appeared to interrupt the panel getting a full charge. But it didn't ruin this gadget at all. Next time I will strap it to my hiking pack. I have had trouble syncing my panel with the online dashboard available through the JOOS website, but from what I've seen online (on other review boards), the company itself appears very responsive to any complaints and I plan to contact them about it. It is very durable!! I've dropped it several times and it still keeps going. It allows me to keep my smartphone charged throughout my camping trips so I can make emergency calls/texts, or continue using any apps for tracking stuff I like. I was able to take it right out of the box and start charging it. If I can figure this out, anyone can. I plan to use this for anytime I travel.
Date published: 2013-04-06
Rated 4out of5
fromExcellent power, poor cables Power performance is excellent. Charges iPhone from dead to 100% quickly. Need to keep it facing the strongest sun for best performance. Very rugged, including the solar cell which is sealed under acrylic so it can be tossed in a pack without scratching. Weight is quite hefty for hiking/backpacking so I recommend this for camp use. Even use it at home (why not?).
Downside: I have a problem with the USB cable that attaches to the device. It is very sensitive to movement. Has to be positioned just right or the device will not charge. This was a design mistake - they should have gone with a jack or another much more rugged connection between the cord and the device. The vinyl zip lock case that it comes with to hold the cords/fittings also cracked and became useless shortly after purchase.
Date published: 2014-03-29
Rated 4out of5
by Black Belt MT Biker
from1st unit bad but great cust service! 1st time used it charged very quickly, 2nd time used while on vacation in AZ it failed to charge, failed to power any of my electronics. Looked like a dork to my wife since I told her not to pack our travel plug in chargers. I told her I had endless power supply but it didnt workout. e-mailed Joos and they were great with trouble shooting the problem and replaced it without issues. Just pulled it out of the box and is charging nicely.....
Date published: 2012-06-20
Rated 4out of5
by Encinitas Dad
fromBulletproof (literally) The Joos Orange is a permanent companion. On plain old business trips I use it to keep gadgets charged on planes. Binge view your guilty pleasure on a long ocean flight and land with a full charge. You can re-charge the built in battery on the Joos either with the sun, or by connecting to a USB charger. It's very sturdy and waterproof. On camping trips, I leave it out during the day to charge, then connect gadgets in the evening to charge off the battery. My packing / boating / remore destinations gadget kit includes the Joos Orange, a DeLorme InReach satellite pager, a Fenix HL30 headlamp (with Montbell Crushable Lantern Shade), a handful of Eneloop XX pro rechargeable AA batteries (for the InReach and HL30), my iPhone 5 in waterproof case, and a cool and light PIXO c-USB battery charger. I keep the small bits, cables, and batteries in an Otterbox 3000 with a desiccant pack. With this kit, come h3ll, high water, typhoon, earthquake, terrorist event or military coup--I will have light, and a way to connect to the outside world for as long as it takes to find a way out.
pros: solid build, waterproof, efficient, threaded holes for reflectors (I put in plastic thumb screws to hang the panel at any angle using paracord), good support from SolarJoos, replaceable battery.
cons: Not lightweight, not waterproof with the rubber connector cover open, the charge indicator is a blinky light deal which is not intuitive and hard to see in sunlight, will discharge the battery if you leave a cable plugged in (even with nothing attached at the other end of the cable). SolarJoos also briefly offered a connector tip for Apple lightning devices (iPhone 5 and later), but it was not sanctioned by Apple, and caused a compatibility warning. Joos discontinued the tip. Now you have to use Joos' USB female adapter in series with an Apple cable--not sure if there is energy loss in the additional connection.
Date published: 2014-06-16