Kit Review – PowerBee Executive Solar Phone Charger – good for Hikers

powerbee solar charger
image via amazon site (see link below)

Score : 4.5 out of 5
(I hesitate to score higher as a range of weather and time away conditions would need to be seen).

I was looking for a solar charger to take to Rum as I wanted to take lots of photos (the camera on my HTC HD desire is pretty good) and also to have the ViewRanger app available if I needed it. The latter reason was less ‘pressing’ as there were enough experienced navigators in the group but I do like an App and Viewranger has been great even for walks round the moors where I live.

So,  I did a few scouts of eBay, Amazon and some other sites and settled on the ‘PowerBee Executive Solar Phone Charger’. That’s me, an executive.

Amazon link is here:

There’s no disclaimer needed for this post e.g I wasn’t provided the charger to test, I bought it, just wanting to share a review of a great gadget.

I charged it (wall charger supplied) before I left and that charge gave me enough juice to charge the phone fully back to 100% twice (from about 30% each time). And because we had bright (albeit a bit cold) skies over the weekend on Rum, I could leave it out on a couple of longer rest stops.. and it looked like it was powering back up. No doubt it would work even better in a sunnier country. I can’t say how it would have done after the 4 days if we had had cloudy skies – but for a long weekend up in the Cuillins it worked really well.

Very compact (about the size of my phone, just a bit thicker and it stowed in a little case it came with in the top pocket of my rucksack). A choice of charge jacks for all types of phones.. recommended.

I’ll be using it at the forthcoming Latitude festival I’m off to with Mrs K in July.

18 thoughts on “Kit Review – PowerBee Executive Solar Phone Charger – good for Hikers”

  1. Good review Mark! Just a couple of questions –

    How robust does the unit seem? (Is it up to a few wet days away in the hills?)
    I couldn’t find my phone on the list (Motorola Defy+), is there an adaptor for that model?

    If you regard it mainly as a mains-charged power-source with occasional solar top up, it seems to be a good idea.

    • I think it seems pretty robust, I haven’t tried yet but I think it would fit in an aquapac.. I have one for my phone for bad weather and the HTC hd Desire is quite a large phone and it accommodates that well.
      Definitely a good mains charge then top up solution. And it might well be good with recharging from flat in the sun , I just haven’t had opportunity to do that .. in not in the UK ‘summer’ so far 🙂

  2. Would it be possible to attach the charger to your backpack you that when your hiking all day it’s picking up the sun and charging it ?

    • Hi Paul.. the pack that it comes with is a leather wallet type of thing. Slightly padded to save knocks but not good for attaching to a rucksack. And it doesn’t let any light in of course.
      I thought about that though and I have an aquapac.. not sure if you know them but they have a clear plastic side and are waterproof, so I think looping that to the top of a bag would work. Was thinking of trying that sometime.

      • Just to add to this, you can buy from the Powerbee website an extra panel for 20 quid that has Velcro and fasteners to attach to bags/panniers. I’ve only ordered mine today so can’t comment but the reviews on Amazon and the like are very favourable and swayed me to get both the executive unit and the additional one.
        As an aside, Paul I recently got in to hiking and did the Yorkshire 3 Peaks using your book to prepare and complete them successfully. So thanks for an excellent, informative guide. I was never lost or off course and have struggled since to find books with your level of detail, so thank you!
        Just to reassure,I don’t work for Powerbee or Paul!

  3. Executive charger is an excellent one for iphones & ipods. Works also with nokia cellphones. But is NOT a charger for ANY device powered by usb as the manufacturer claims. So i suggest, instead of wasting your pounds (as i did) for a product which is not sure if it will work with your device, first ask the retailers in here for more details.

    ps: This charger does NOT work with samsung galaxy mini at all, which is usb powered…..

    • thanks for the headsup Di. It works well on an iphone and also my HTC HD Desire , with the range of adapters it came with. I used it again for a long weekend away recently (Latitude festival) and it kept my phone topped up all weekend. And also partially recharged itself on the one day of sun we had.
      So I can only praise it .. BUT I take your point that you should double check with retailers / manufacturers and not take the sales copy as comprehensive or accurate.

  4. Executive charger is an excellent one for iphones & ipods. Works also with nokia cellphones. But is NOT a charger for ANY device powered by usb as the manufacturer claims. So i suggest, instead of wasting your pounds (as i did) for a product which is not sure if it will work with your device, first ask the retailers in here for more details.

    ps: This charger does NOT work with samsung galaxy mini at all, which is usb powered…..

    • thanks for the headsup Di. It works well on an iphone and also my HTC HD Desire , with the range of adapters it came with. I used it again for a long weekend away recently (Latitude festival) and it kept my phone topped up all weekend. And also partially recharged itself on the one day of sun we had.
      So I can only praise it .. BUT I take your point that you should double check with retailers / manufacturers and not take the sales copy as comprehensive or accurate.

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