Gear Review: iLand Fly Smartphone Solar Charger


Gear and Gizmos  


Modern travel has been made much more enjoyable thanks to all of the small gadgets we can now take with us when we hit the road. Everything from smartphones, mp3 players, compact digital cameras, and tablets have had an undeniable impact on how we travel. But keeping all of those gadgets charged while on the go can sometimes be a challenge, as none of those devices are very useful when their batteries die. Thats where the iLand Fly smartphone solar charger can come in handy, helping us keep all of our tech toys powered up while we’re away from home. 

Advances in solar panel technology in recent years have made it a more viable option for recharging the batteries on our favorite gadgets. Even small solar cells, like those found on the iLand Fly, are fairly efficient at gathering energy from the sun. That energy can then be passed on to the batteries in our smartphones or just about any other small device. The Fly also has an integrated USB port that is capable of charging any gadget that can be plugged into that interface, making it extremely versatile, especially when traveling.

iLand clearly had travelers in mind when they designed the Fly solar charging system. Not only is it lightweight (165 grams/5.8 ounces), it also folds up surprisingly small and can be easily carried in an included travel pouch. The solar cells have also been built to be very durable, allowing them to survive in a variety of demanding environments. The Fly is water and dust-proof, while also being resistant to cold temperatures and ruggedized for protection against impacts. In short, it is capable of surviving just about anything we throw at it in our travels.

The Fly ships with a 2100 mAh battery pack, which is capable of collecting a charge from the solar panels and saving it for later use. This is particularly handy when you don’t want to carry the solar cells with you all day, but you still want to collect power from the sun. Later, you can plug your smartphone or other device directly into the battery pack and recharge it much more efficiently and quickly. iLand says that it takes roughly 3-4 hours to charge the battery using the solar charger alone, but that time can vary greatly depending on how much direct sunlight is available. Overcast skies will slow the charging time considerably, and while testing the system, I found it took closer to 5-6 hours to actually complete the process.

Because the battery pack has its own USB port, it is capable of charging all kinds of devices. Not only did it easily recharge my iPhone and iPod, it also worked great with a compact point and shoot camera too. Unfortunately, it doesn’t hold enough of a charge for use with something as big as an iPad or other tablet, but for small gadgets it works exceptionally well.

In addition to the solar panel, battery pack and carrying case, iLand has also included a set of standard charging cables, and a system for hanging the solar cell from a backpack or tent. The charging cables ensure that you have the right connector with you at all times, while the hanging system make it easy to spread the solar panel out to collect as much light as possible. Taken as a whole, the entire Fly package feels extremely high quality and value. Essentially, travelers get everything they could possibly need to start charging their devices using little more than the light from the sun.

The entire package runs just $99.95, which is a great deal for anyone who needs a versatile, compact and durable way to charge their gadgets while on the go. The iLand Fly system works great both while at home or while traveling abroad, giving you a method for keeping your smartphone and other devices charged without the need for voltage converters or plug adapters. It is so lightweight and simple to use, you’ll wonder how you got along without one in the past.

About the Author: Kraig Becker

Kraig Becker is a freelance outdoor and adventure travel writer who covers extreme sports, mountaineering and active travel. Based out of Austin, TX he writes about his own travels while encouraging others to seek their own opportunities for adventure where ever they go.

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