Over 21,000 of these small WakaWaka solar chargers were put to good use in the Philippines after the typhoon Yolanda struck in November of 2013. Besides providing solar power to charge their cell phones and tablet, the flashlight also aided them during the dark hours.

The solar powered charger was recently featured at the Consumer Electronics Show. Using a USB cord, It will charge most cell phones and tablets even without an electric connection! That’s a gadget most of us actually need and will definitely use.

It works on A/C when available or set it in the sun for a solar charge. For A/C you will need an additional cable. Either USB to a power attachment or USB to USB. I’ll plug mine in to my computer periodically to keep it charged. It’s extremely lightweight (about 7 oz), and very durable. Its size is only an inch or so larger than my iPhone.

These little chargers from WakaWaka have established an excellent reputation in the Philippines since the terrible typhoon. With power out, they were desperately needed so the residents could stay charged, connected and in touch. When you think how reliant we are on our smartphones to stay connected to family and friends, whether texting or calling, as well as for everything from banking to getting the latest news. It must have been such a relief to the residents without power–in some cases without a home– to reconnect with their families once they could charge their phones and tablets.

I can think of so many times this would have come in handy in the past. The world regularly faces one natural disaster or another causing extended power outages and worse. Invaluable for those emergencies.

Then we have delayed flights with long waits at airport. It’s true, and very considerate, that airports are adding outlet stations in more waiting areas for flights, but still they are often fully in use.

Think of the fun times too, when we go camping, hiking, fishing, bicycling, perhaps for extended periods. Or what about a day at the beach (perfect time to test the solar charge feature), and all the other times we overlook charging our phones to find them nearly drained. Last week when I was taking a bunch of photos, I was surprised to find my phone nearly drained. The camera and the location apps that stay on most of the time increase usage as well.

When I opened mine up my charger, I was very pleased. It’s so small, it’s very easy to manage. It would easily slip into a backpack, your car, purse or pocket if you think it might be needed. Honestly, these are going on my gift idea list for coming birthdays. I’d like all of my family to have one. It was charged when it reached me, so I charged my phone fully through the USB connection.

I tried the solar feature but this week on the Oregon Coast there is not much to be found. Checking the reviews, some say that it was hard to get the solar up to full charge (should take 12 hours).  That’s why when I’m home I will  use the USB and my computer.  It’s an amazing little invention. I’m glad to have one.

Right out of the box

Easy to use

Facing the sun for a charge

Camping is one of the most common times when a solar charge would come in handy. The flash light too! Sure, many campgrounds offer electricity, but not always when you are tenting it. Especially if you prefer to backcountry camp to get away from all the people. With more families bicycling and backpacking together on camping trips, these might be essential. For backpackers usually lighter and smaller is better, so the Waka Waka products are great choices.

Want to see it in action? Check out this YouTube video.

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Have you been caught without power and a dying cellphone? Wouldn’t this help?

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  • zigwynn Aug 11, 2014 @ 12:08 pm
    Who knew? Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Very useful for many situations.
  • adventuretravelshop Jul 09, 2014 @ 1:18 pm
    I love this. I want one too very useful for camping trips. Good lens
  • Merrci Aug 07, 2014 @ 1:47 pm
    I think that is the perfect time for one! Thanks for commenting.
  • Upon-Request Jun 26, 2014 @ 1:13 am
    Sounds like a great product to have in your backpack or trunk. pinned
  • Merrci Aug 07, 2014 @ 1:47 pm
    Definitely! Thanks so much Upon-Request.
  • yayang0405 Jun 19, 2014 @ 5:40 am
    Yes. I think this is a good product especially here in the Philippines.
  • Merrci Aug 07, 2014 @ 1:46 pm
    Thanks so much yayang!
  • Sylvestermouse Jun 06, 2014 @ 11:29 am
    Wow! This seems like the perfect gift for the men in my family! While there is no doubt we would all benefit from it, the men would love it immediately
  • Merrci Jun 06, 2014 @ 1:30 pm
    Thanks so much for stopping by Sylvestermouse! Appreiciate your comments!
  • poetvix May 14, 2014 @ 5:24 pm
    This is going at the very top of my wish list. Being so far out in the boons, when we have a power outage, it takes a long time to get a repair crew. I don't mind candle light but get really annoyed when my computer's charge is gone. This would be just the fix.
  • Merrci Jun 05, 2014 @ 6:50 pm
    Thanks for your comments!
  • dmhonz Apr 14, 2014 @ 9:25 pm
    Good review there. I have a problem in my battery of my laptop is this WakaWaka Power Pack can supply a laptop have you tried it and if it works in the laptop.
  • Merrci Jun 05, 2014 @ 6:49 pm
    Not that I know of. It plugs in through a usb port.
  • esmonaco Apr 13, 2014 @ 8:28 am
    Nice Review and product, I'll have to check it out, because my wife's phone is always drainred not mine so much because nobody calls me, they all call her!!!!
  • Merrci Jun 05, 2014 @ 6:49 pm
    It's handy to have, especially when away from power. Thanks so much esmonaco!
  • holisticwriter Apr 08, 2014 @ 1:31 pm
    Great product! I wonder how many different things it can charge? Amazon says only Smartphones and tablets. Is there a solar powered charger that would charge a small laptop? That is what I need.
  • Merrci Apr 11, 2014 @ 8:41 am
    I'll have to check! It would be great if a USB would charge it. Good question! Thanks for stopping by.
  • Ladymermaid Apr 03, 2014 @ 11:35 am
    I am really looking forward to each new solar power product that comes out. I think it truly is the way to go in environmental protection. I just wish more governments would clue in and start moving away from fossil fuels and more into solar energy research.
  • Merrci Apr 03, 2014 @ 5:27 pm
    It would be good if they do all they can with whatever they can!
  • CreativeArtist Apr 03, 2014 @ 10:53 am
    These are a great idea.
  • Merrci Apr 03, 2014 @ 5:26 pm
    Thanks for commenting. They are so handy.
  • DebMartin Apr 01, 2014 @ 9:12 pm
    Would love this little charger for camp.
  • Merrci Apr 01, 2014 @ 9:32 pm
    Definitely handy for that! Thanks so much for commenting Deb.
  • oscar1208 Apr 01, 2014 @ 3:36 pm
    Love solar-powered devices. Good review. Thank you for it.
  • Merrci Apr 01, 2014 @ 3:52 pm
    Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
  • RubyHRose Apr 01, 2014 @ 12:54 pm
    I have been looking for lights like this for a long time. It will sure help out when we head into the woods, helping out with local disasters.
  • Merrci Apr 01, 2014 @ 3:53 pm
    They are so handy! Thanks for your comments.
  • Graceonline Apr 01, 2014 @ 12:44 pm
    I love this idea, and I'm nearly sold. I like the idea of a small device I can carry with me. Living in earthquake country, I like to be prepared.

    A question: If I understood you correctly, it only charges when there is full sun? Overcast skies do not give it enough light to charge? I know some solar chargers can charge when skies are cloudy, but not all. The reason this is so important to me is that I'm looking for a portable charger for our earthquake preparedness kit. Quite often in a major disaster such as an earthquake, smoke can fill the skies for days, rendering some solar chargers ineffective.

    Otherwise, I'm sold on the idea of an easy to carry portable charger for traveling and for those times I'm out and about hours longer than I thought I would be.
  • Merrci Apr 01, 2014 @ 4:07 pm
    Thanks Graceonline! Thanks for your comments. I send an answer to you. Since my home doesn't get sunshine it can sit in, I charge it with the USB, then take it when I travel. In a forest fire type situation where smoke is thick I don't know how it would do, but in most EQ's the smoke often isn't that widespread. Hope that helps!
  • grammieo Apr 01, 2014 @ 10:53 am
    Think I might just have to give these out to grown children for Easter instead of bunnies.............okay with just a little bunny too!
  • RenaissanceWoman2010 Apr 01, 2014 @ 10:24 am
    I love solar chargers. Very useful devices. I can see myself using this while backpacking. Congrats on Review of the Day!
  • Merrci Apr 01, 2014 @ 4:11 pm
    Thank you dear RenaissanceWoman! Backpacking would be a perfect use, wouldn't it? That sounds like so much fun. And you are very familiar with solar power!
  • visit2goa Apr 01, 2014 @ 8:59 am
    i am afraid of its price.... usually these solar gadget are high priced..
  • Merrci Apr 01, 2014 @ 4:08 pm
    Thanks for your comments!
  • tonyleather Apr 01, 2014 @ 8:57 am
    I am a big fan of solar power. Great lens!
  • Merrci Apr 01, 2014 @ 4:08 pm
    Thanks so much! Glad you stopped by.
  • Susan52 Mar 31, 2014 @ 4:50 pm
    I really appreciate this review. I love "gadgets" like this one.
  • Merrci Apr 01, 2014 @ 4:06 pm
    Thanks so much Susan!
  • goldenrulecomics Mar 17, 2014 @ 2:44 pm
    These look very useful
  • Merrci Apr 01, 2014 @ 4:07 pm
    They are handy little fellows! Thanks for your comments.
  • takkhis Jan 27, 2014 @ 8:55 pm
    I think we must collect at least one of these for bad days. Thanks for sharing.
  • Merrci Apr 01, 2014 @ 4:07 pm
    Good to have! Thanks so much for commenting!

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