Tested: Solio Bolt solar charger

SOLAR powered products have been around for a long time and covered various applications from powering caravans and 4WDs to whole office blocks. However, only in recent years has technology allowed these products to become smaller, portable, and best of all, more affordable than ever before. This means fishos who travel and spend time away from the creature comforts of home can now take advantage of some great new products.

I discovered the Solio Bolt after looking for a solution for charging small items such as phones and point and shoot cameras in remote areas. The Bolt is a palm sized lightweight device which acts as both a solar panel and power storage. It allows you to charge via USB cable to just about anything that uses this power source. That means phones, small cameras, tablets, e-readers, GPS, etc, can be charged with the Bolt. Unfortunately, big DSLR cameras and laptops are too much for this unit; there are more powerful products for this purpose.

The Bolt stores enough power to charge two average phones and can be topped-up via 240 volt power before you leave home. That means on an average two or three day camping trip, you’re unlikely to even need the solar function. It’s more of a portable power storage device. For that reason, I also found myself taking it away on interstate work trips. It was very useful for powering my iPhone when travelling on public transport or waiting around at airports.

If you’re camping for more than a couple of days, opening the Bolt to expose the solar panels and propping it up towards the sun with a pencil will top up the stored power in eight to 10 hours. I found placing the unit in the bow of the kayak, canoe or boat worked best. Charging it via 240 volts takes about half this time. The actual charging time of your phone or other gadget is similar to using a normal charger at home. I found my phone was topped up in about 40 or 50 minutes.

The Solio Bolt is a great idea for the travelling fisho. With a little planning there’s now no reason to have your phone or camera battery run flat on an extended trip away from home.

Visit for the full line up of Solio products and to find a stockist.


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