Freeloader Globetrotter Solar Charger Review

[Sassy_Social_Share]

This is a combo pack that combines the Freeloader Solar Charger, Super Charger solar panel, carrying pouch and various charging tips (though curiously no new micro usb!).  The Freeloader Solar Charger is a compact battery pack (capacity) that comes complete with a pair of built in solar panels that you can use to recharge the unit if you ever see the sun. The Super Charger  is a large solar panel that you can attach to your pack or panniers in order to charge the unit more fully. There’s a velcro loop one end and a couple of strong clips that will allow it to fasten securely on the other.

The battery pack is rather disappointing though, only managing to half charge our smartphone (N97 at the time of testing). I’d have hoped for at least a full charge. There’s a comforting green/red light while it’s charging from the usb socket, but no such indication when you connect the panels. At least by attaching the large panel to the outside of your pack you’ve got a slim chance of charging the unit during the day.

However, in our tests we have been unable to find enough sun in order to fully test this device during the summer. We’d consdered scrapping the review fully but then it dawned on us that this is truly one of the disadvantages of buying solar tech in the UK. We buy into the dream that when we do go on our backpacking weekends and long summer trips that the sun will bake the paths to dust and we’ll have difficulty finding any water as the burns run dry. So buying solar tech can only help reinforce that dream.

Free8

Reality is unfortunately rather damper and duller. We’ll certainly give this gear another shot next spring, because lets face it, we can’t have a fourth crappy summer in a row any more than we’ll get three decent winters.

The most positive thing about the device is the giant solar panel. We coupled this with the PowerMonkey, whose wimpy solar panel was barely adequate, and found that it did charge. Maybe next spring, when I finally get to reach Knoydart, i’ll be sauteeing mussels in white wine outside Sourlies while my batteries recharge in the scorching heat.

Dream on. I’ve come to the conclusion that for typical UK weather what you need is spare battery capacity, and I’ll be reviewing external battery packs soon.

 

Dave Roberts

Dave Roberts founded Walk Eryri in 2004, with the aim of providing routes that are off the beaten track. Walk Eryri is now part of Mud and Routes which continues to provide more off beat routes and walks in Snowdonia and beyond. Dave has been exploring the hills of Eryri for over thirty years, and is a qualified Mountain Leader.
Dave also established Walk up Snowdon, Walk up Scafell Pike and Walk up Ben Nevis just to mention a few.

Latest posts by Dave Roberts (see all)

Please rate this

Share This: [Sassy_Social_Share]





2 thoughts on “Freeloader Globetrotter Solar Charger Review”

  1. I’ve attempted to use this setup cycle-camping across southern France for a couple of weeks and found even in lazing sunshine with both the large and two small solar panels out this was barely able to supplement the battery on an android phone using the GPS, let alone recharge it (HTC Desire HD). Very disappointed, ended up with the phone getting stolen when on charge in campsite toilets while we washed up and had a shower as we were desparate to charge it and couldn’t leave it at reception as we had at other sites. May just have been our freeloader was defective, but I was very disappointed.

Leave a Reply