Product Review: Solio – Solar Powered Charger for your Ipod and Cell Phone

So, you're hunkered down in a surf camp in some wasted desert. The "swell of the decade" hasn't yet arrived, so to pass the time you've gone on exploratory walks through the desolate landscape. You've taken your fins out, put them back in and taken them out six different times. You've sanded your dings, changed your wax and then rechanged it, balanced stones, contemplated the wilderness, fought scorpions.

You've had gallons of flat-day fun, all while generally tripping out on that ubiquitous little white appliance you can't leave home without, your iPod. Aside from the occasional outhouse stench and your buddy's stinky feet, there's really only two problems on this trip, there's no swell and, to add insult to injury, there's no power in the desert and when your iPod's dead, so is the party. Enter the Solio, a 165 gram three-panel solar charger, guaranteed to keep you rocking as long as there's a sun in the sky.The Solio is a nifty little gizmo that uses photovoltaic cells to charge it's own Lithium Ion battery, which, in turn will recharge your iPod. It showed up in my mailbox over here at SURFING, and here's what I found:

It takes 8 to 10 hours to completely charge the Solio's battery. It takes 4 to dump that juice into your iPod. It can sit in direct sunlight outside your camp or you can stick it on your dashboard while driving. Though I never tried it on a plane, I imagine it would work through the window, supposing you have a coveted window seat. Since you're probably not going to find yourself in the 110/{{{240}}}-less scenario too often, the wise-guys at Solio also include an adaptor so it can be plugged into a traditional power source. Apparently, the plastic components are made from recycled materials, which is a cool thing to tell the other bored campers (or the big dude in white robes at the pearly gates when he asks you what you did on earth besides get a couple tasty waves and some cool buds).

Saving the environment and your desert-afflicted sanity doesn't come cheap though. Out the door, the Solio will run you around ${{{100}}}. It's a bit pricey, but worth considering for long hauls. Stay tuned for further neat-o product {{{reviews}}} from

Thinking about purchasing a Solio? Enter the code “Surfingthemag” when you go to purchase on and receive a 20% discount on your purchase!