Bushnell PowerSync SolarWrap Review
The Bushnell PowerSync SolarWrap is making a lot of buzz in the outdoors and survival markets. The SolarWrap's roll-out design comes in three versions: the mini, the 250 and the 400. This review will use the 400.
The 10.1-ounce SolarWrap 400 comes in a case that sports handles for straps and other carrying methods. It's compact, less than the size of an average hammer.
The product also includes a cord with micro and standard USB ends, as well as an adapter for charging the SolarWrap from an outlet. Opening the case, the actual SolarWrap itself comes with USB attachments at either end that open with a flip. One is for mini USB. And one is for standard USB.
Bushnell PowerSync SolarWrap Review: Using the device
The SolarWrap must be turned on to work. Blinking lights indicate how much charge is in the internal battery.
The SolarWrap rolls out to 29.25 inches. Once deployed, it can be positioned just about anywhere. From a tree. The hood of a car. A sidewalk. A post. Anywhere there is sunlight. Just be sure to have some kind of anchor so the roll doesn't curl up, a problem flat solar panels don't have.
Hooking up a device is simple. Just plug it into the USB port. Slip the device under the roll to protect it from the sun and you're done. The SolarWrap charged this iPod in about an hour.
While in the sun, the SolarWrap simultaneously charges its internal battery. That's an innovative feature. It means the SolarWrap's battery can be used when the sun isn't shining. The SolarWrap can also be charged using a wall outlet. Setting that up requires just a couple quick steps with the included adapter.
Bushnell PowerSync SolarWrap Review: Drawbacks
All of this adds up to a portable, versatile product that works great. Still, there were some drawbacks. The USB tabs kept popping open throughout the review of this product. This could cause those USB connections to become dirty. I hope Bushnell addresses this.
Update: Bushnell informed Living Ready the tabs are being addressed.
The included accessories don't fit inside the carry case. It'd be nice if they did so they won't become lost.
The rollout feature is slick, but I'm concerned that it may become torn. If that did happen, Paul Ahnold at Bushnell informs me that a break in one solar cell will not affect the rest. I can appreciate the foresight of that design element.
Bushnell PowerSync SolarWrap Review: Right for You?
So should you buy the Bushnell PowerSync SolarWrap? It depends on how much power you actually need. For charging phones and gadgets, it's a winner.
For heavy uses, such as running lights at night or charging a car battery, you're better off with a larger panel, like this Goal Zero Guardian.
Along those same lines, the SolarWrap may not stand up to exceptionally hard, rugged use. Go with something with a tough shell instead, like the Bushnell SolarBook or this Goal Zero Escape.
Still, sportsmen, hikers, campers, preppers, and even commuters will find a lot to appreciate in the Bushnell PowerSync SolarWrap.
Bushnell PowerSync SolarWrap Review: Pair It Up
Here's a bonus tip from Living Ready.
Pair any solar charging device with the PowerPot. The PowerPot uses heat and water to produce electricity.
Between solar and heat power generation, you'll stay juiced in just about any scenario.
From rolling blackouts to hurricanes, floods to tornadoes, power can go out at a moment's notice. If the grid fails, the PowerPot will keep you charging! The PowerPot thermoelectric generator converts any heat source directly into power that charges your USB handheld devices. Get Yours Now