Take your USB devices100% off the grid...
Whether you are going into the back-country for an extended trip or simply preparing for the inevitable zombie apocalypse, you'll (eventually) be in the dark without this ultra-compact and light wieght solar panel.
Plug in any USB device (that can be charged), place in the sun, sit around for a while, and enjoy. The high-efficiency CIGS cells even function when it's overcast or when the sun is "off angle."
People are still using primary (disposable) batteries and that is just crazy in this day and age, especially for flashlights :) The smiley face means "no offense" to primary battery users. The three most frequent comments I get from primary battery advocates are:
1) "In an emergency I'd rather rely on a stockpile of disposable batteries rather than taking a gamble with rechargeables being charged or not."
The Solaris USB changes that game...completely. I'd rather rely on the sun to provide unlimited power for an indefinitely period of time rather than rely on a puny stockpile of disposable batteries. It gets dark every night, so you will need light. But guess what? The sun also comes out every day and really wants to recharge your batteries (cell phone included).
Besides, you actually have to have a stockpile when 2 rechargeables should keep you going for at least a copule of years. Imagine how long you could go on a stockpile of rechargeables? Even if you don't need to charge your light, maybe you want to finish off "Angry Birds: Space" before the zombies find your hideout a month from now.
Zombies didn't sell you? Fine. Check out this blog post about me spending 10 days in the Utah back-country with two Alphas and a Brunton Solaris USB.
2) "Rechargeable batteries are just too expensive!"
Instead of a lengthy explanation I'll just say, please consider the number of batteries (and amount of money) you are going to need over the life of the flashlight. You think $200 bucks is expensive for a light? Just try feeding a high-power LED light pocket fulls of batteries at a time.
I hope the laughing sound it makes as it gobbles them up doesn't bother you too much. For some fancy charts illustrating this point, click here to check out my blog post: "The Econmics of Purchasing."
3) "You can't buy rechargeable batteries in an emergency."
Quite right, but I think if you are concerned about being prepared for an emergency you should have a couple of spare rechargeables on hand anyway. In that case, you don't have any need to buy batteries in an emergency.
An extra bonus, you only need a few instead of a giant (heavy and cumbersome) stockpile. But wait, there is more! If it really is an emergency, you won't have people trying to beg, borrow, and steal batteries from you, because guess what, they are running on disposables.