The paths through and around the cliffs on Nerd Beach can be strenuous but rewarding. The view is the best part; once you get to the top it really is breathtaking. As I finally trudge my way onto the precipice I plant my footing and take it all in. Pausing for a moment, I pull off the backpack and reach for the GPS to map this perfect location. I note that the GPS was dead when I left the sand down below a few hours earlier, but now I push the button and the unit comes to life, locking in a signal quite quickly. Times like this I really appreciate the solar charging backpack.
There have been numerous Solar Charging backpacks on the market, and the Helius Solar Backpack, $130 from V-Dimension Helius Solar Backpack, $130 from V-Dimension is a worthy addition to the list. The backpack contains an internal battery which can charge most devices in a couple of hours (once charged from the sun). Direct sunlight charging (without the internal battery charged) times will vary, but on average expect about 3.5 hours (more for high capacity batteries). The panel itself is a 1.8w unit, enough to charge personal devices but a laptop is definitely out of the question (for that I suggest a rollup fabric solar cell which will get the job done, if not quite so handy while traveling). As it is, the Helius appears to be very convenient for most uses of portable devices while on the trail. As an option you can consider a manual cranking charger, but the passive nature of the solar cell is certainly appreciated.
Aloha from the Beach,