BioLite's new SolarPanel and USB chargers bring portable power to campsites

Keeping our mobile devices charged in the backcountry just got a little easier. BioLite, the company behind the battery-charging CampStove, has announced a slew of new products specifically designed to power our smartphones, tablets, headlamps, cameras, and other gadgets while traveling off the grid, including a new portable solar panel and a line of USB battery packs.

Last year, BioLite introduced its first two solar panels, bringing a lightweight and efficient solution for charging electronic devices to the campsite. Those models included the SolarPanel 5 and the SolarPanel 5+, each of which are capable of generating up to 5 watts of power from the sun. The difference between the two models is that the “+” version includes a built-in battery pack with a capacity of 2,200mAh to store the energy collected. Now, the company is expanding the line to include a third option.

The new SolarPanel 10+ also comes equipped with a 3,000mAh battery pack and is capable of generating as much as 10 watts of power thanks to an additional fold-out solar cell. Like BioLite’s previous models, it has a built-in kickstand to keep it stable on a variety of surfaces, as well as a sundial to help users find the most efficient angle and positioning to collect power. The SolarPanel 10+ sells for $130 and is available now.

The SolarPanel 10+ isn’t the only new addition to the BioLite catalog. The company has also taken the wraps off its new Charge line of USB battery packs as well. Featuring a thin and lightweight — yet durable — stainless steel body, these portable chargers are built to be tough enough to take with you on your outdoor adventures, but elegant enough for use in your day-to-day life, too. The Charge 10 includes a single USB port and a 2,600mAh battery, and sells for $25. The Charge 20 offers two USB ports and a 5,200mAh battery, and is available at a $40 price point. Both will begin shipping on April 15, while a third addition to the Charge line — the Charge 40 — will ship later this summer. It is expected to have a 10,400mAh battery.

BioLite says that all of the Charge models are “dunkproof,” which essentially means they can survive getting splashed with water or exposed to some rain. But they are not fully waterproof so you should expect them to survive getting dropped in a river or lake. That said, they should be durable enough to survive most of the other abuse they’ll receive in the outdoors.

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