The amount of gear which needs to be charged during trips just keeps growing and growing. It’s not a surprise, then, that a solution like a solar charger might seem like an ideal way to get electricity while away from the civilisation. It’s a shame, then, that the Power Traveller Extreme Tactical charger simply doesn’t really work.
The Power Traveller Extreme solar charger is made of a rubberry plactic, and has a cuboid shape with dimensions of 200mm x 114 mm x 16mm. When opened, it reveals two solar panels.
On top of the panel, there is a small hole, which makes its possible to putthrough an elastic strap provided by the manufacturer. This, in turn, allows clipping the solar panel to a backpack (or other gear) eg. while walking.
At the bottom of the Power Traveller Extreme Tactical solar panel there is an USB port, used for charging phones, other devices or the powerbank that is a part of the set. The port itself is covered with a rubber cover, which protects it from damage during transport. Above the port, the manufacturer has placed a small LED which informs the user about the amount of light the panel can collect. If the LED has a red colours, it means that Extreme Tactical solar panel is receiving insufficient amount of light, while a green colours means that the connected device should be charging.
Included in the Power Traveller Extreme Tactical set comes a 12 000mAh powerbank. At first glance it can seem well made, as the rubbery casing and the rubber cover on the ports seem reliable, while USB 5V/2A and DC 12V/1A ports make it possible to charge a wide range of equipment.
Unfortunately, after merely 6 months of use the Power Traveller Extreme Tactical simply stopped working. At first, it had some minor problems and required the cable charging a connected device to be placed at some specific angles. It didn’t matter whether you used the cables provided by the manufacturer (rather low quality) or your own. Later on, it simply became impossible to charge any device. With such a problem, it simply feels unnecessary to dive deeper into the options, functions or the materials of the Power Traveller powerbank. Especially, if it has proven less reliable than my non-tactical, non-rugged chinese powerbank that I’ve been using successfully for the last 5 years.
The Extreme Tactical solar panel itself also doesn’t seem particularly useful. Yes, it is well made and has a nice aesthetic, but it doesn’t really matter if after being set up for a whole sunny day the panel failed to generate any notable amount of charge in the powerbank. The solar chargers obviously have their limits, and in this size you can’t expect really expect a miracle. However, given the size and price of the set, you might be better off taking with you a handful of fully charged powerbanks instead of the Power Traveller Extreme Tactical set. And in case of a powerbank failure, you’d still have a few others to rely on.
The lack of real efficiency is especially important with weather conditions that you find in Central/Eastern Europe, where the entirely sunny days are rather rare, and typically you’d have some cloud cover. As a result, unless you plan on going to the desert, the Power Traveller Extreme Tactical charger will be even less effective and useful.
Power Traveller Extreme Tactical is a nicely and aesthetically made product, so it’s a shame that it simply doesn’t really work. The solar charger doesn’t produce enough charge do justify carrying it around in most situations and the powerbank simply failed and stopped working.
Special thanks goes to the manufacturer, Power Traveller, for giving us a chance to test the Extreme Tactical solar charger!