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The Renogy Phoenix is a complete solar generator built into a briefcase

Why it matters to you

For those needing plenty of juice during their outdoor excursion, it doesn't get much easier than a 12.8-pound charging station.

Thanks to advances in solar panel and lithium-ion battery technology, portable solar generators have become efficient options for keeping our devices charged, even while traveling off the grid. Gone are the days of solar chargers being ineffective and overly complicated, as today’s solar products offer clean portable power just about anywhere we want to go. Take the new Renogy Phoenix all-in-one solar kit for example. It is a lightweight and powerful solution that provides everything you need in a compact package.

At first glance, the Phoenix looks a bit like any nondescript briefcase that you might see someone carrying around on a city street. But open the case up and you’ll discover that hidden inside is a pair of 10-watt monocrystalline solar panels that store energy in the generator’s user-replaceable 16Ah lithium-ion battery. The power in that battery can then be used to recharge just about any device, thanks to the Phoenix’s onboard AC inverter, two DC ports, or four USB ports.

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In addition to being able to collect a charge via its built-in solar panels, the Phoenix can also be plugged into a standard wall outlet or the power port in your car (aka the cigarette lighter) too. Users can even elect to add additional solar panels to the mix should they require more rapid charging in the outdoors. With its battery at full capacity, the generator is capable of powering up an iPhone as many as 32 times, a GoPro camera 47 times, or a laptop up to five times. The device is fast at dispensing the juice too, with most gadgets recharging at about the same rate they would if plugged into the wall.

Tipping the scales at 12.8 pounds, the Phoenix is heavy enough that most backpackers won’t want to take it with them on their backcountry excursions. But, when you consider everything that is packed into the design of the product, that isn’t particularly heavy, depending on where you’re going and what your power needs are when you get there. For an extended trip with an established base camp, setting up this power source is quick and easy. In those situations, you would be hard-pressed to find a better solution for keeping your gear charged.

The Renogy Phoenix is priced at $589. To find out more, visit renogy.com.