Brunton SolarRoll... torture tested

I know I have written about the SolarRoll by Brunton before, but I had to do a rewrite after really relying on it for over a month now. I can say without hesitation that it is my favorite techno gear I carry, and that's saying a lot.

Everything from my GPS, to cell phone is charged via the solar panel. At first, we had brought the Sustain battery pack with us to keep as a back up should we not have ample sunlight, or run into a problem. However, a couple weeks into the trek, we sent it back. I southern California we have so much sun, and are in clear areas so often, that there was simply no need. That paired up with the ultra efficient panel, we have never once run out of juice. It can charge my cell in about two hours of sitting in the sun, and when the batteries are running low I strap it on the pack of my pack and charge while hiking.

My favorite part about the solar panel is the fact that its flexible. Out here, having something delicate is not an option. Everything gets beaten, bent, and torn -- but not this guy. 10 ounces of pure flexibility and reliability, I can roll it up fairly small and clip it to the front of my pack. I do my best to keep it from getting squashed, but sometimes it's just inevitable and it does. I can say with certainty that it is super durable and pops right back if squished up.

While it is a bit long -- it wraps around the top of my back (near where my head is) and goes all the way to the bottom -- it rolls to only a few inches in diameter and is well worth the size.

One thing I did notice, was it's good to wipe it down every now and again. Being out in the desert, it gets sand and dirt on it all the time. It is much more effective when clean. That being said, I've only felt the need to wipe it down twice.

The best part it, I can charge nearly anything with one cable. Included in the box is a car charger adapter. Instead of getting a car charger for each of my devices, I got a removable USB car charger, and just taped it in. This allows me to charge anything with a USB, without switching cables and having bulky chargers.

I have been super happy with these guys so far, and am sure will have nothing bad to say (other than having a difficult to understand user manual) anytime soon! Brunton won me with this one.