By Andrew Liszewski
While I like the idea of incorporating solar panels on a bag or backpack, because of their relatively small size they’re obviously not going to produce a lot of power. So when it comes to a solar charging solution that’s also portable, I would probably opt for these SolarRolls from Brunton instead.
The largest version, the SolarRoll 14, is 12 inches wide and 57 inches long when fully opened. When compared to the small panel used on a bag, this has a lot more surface area for capturing the sun’s rays. And as the name implies, the SolarRolls can be rolled up and stored in a tube when not in use thanks to their tough ‘Tefzel fluoropolymer’ construction. It also makes them waterproof if you enjoy the great outdoors, but don’t want to leave your toys at home.
The 57 inch SolarRoll 14 is available for $479 on the Brunton website and is recommended if you intend to recharge something large like a laptop. The SolarRoll 9 is a bit shorter at 40 inches in length, costs $349 and is intended for use with cellphones and digital cameras. Finally, the SolarRoll 4.5 is just 22 inches long, costs $199 and is geared towards phones and PDAs.