The PowerMonkey Extreme is Better Than Your Phone Charger AND Waterproof

My phone charging from the battery.
My phone charging from the battery.

A coworker recently lent me their new PowerMonkey Extreme to try out for a camping trip. This portable solar charger and battery combo from Power Traveller is both waterproof and shockproof (waterproof for 30 minutes up to about 3 feet) making it the perfect tool for both paddlers and campers to keep electronics charged.

I have used the Goal Zero Nomad in the past and had charged my phone directly from the panels. I immediately noticed some big differences between the two, the biggest of which was the battery. It didn’t take long for me to realize that this battery is a powerhouse.

It houses a 9,000 mAh capacity Lithium Polymer battery which, in charging terms, translates to 6 iPhone charges or about 8-10 charges for my basic smartphone. I plugged my phone in on the drive home from work and found it fully charged not long after without even putting a dent in the battery’s charge. I was immediately impressed.

Swipe the pad to turn it on or off.
Swipe the pad to turn it on or off.

The battery  ‘on-off’ switch is touch operated and is best described as ‘slick’. Just swipe a finger across the friction control from left to right and up pops a neat LCD display which tells you how much charge is left in the battery. You can also activate a permanent ‘on’ feature which will negate the auto-shutoff that is programmed to occur after fully charging the device that’s connected. Ya.. this thing is smart.

 

 

So how does the battery stay charged?

The solar panel charging the battery pack.
The solar panel charging the battery pack.

To tell you the truth, for the week that I used it, I never put too large of a dent in the battery’s life. Out of the four cell phone charges, I knocked it down 2 bars out of five. I was able to return it to full charge using the solar panel after a few hours in the sun while I went out paddling. It is designed to fully charge the battery within 15 hours in optimum light conditions.

The solar panel is simple and easy to use and compared to the Goal Zero Nomad is more protected and compact, although a bit thicker as a result of the protective housing.

However, this isn’t the only way to charge the battery. It can also hook into a USB port or a universal main charger which comes standard with every kit. That’s right – the solar panel is not even close to your only option!

Charging my phone directly from the solar panels.
Charging my phone directly from the solar panels.

Solar-Ability

Let’s not forget about the solar panel after all this battery talk. The two folding panels offer 3 watts max output and can operate as a power source on it’s own as well using the same cables that are compatible with the battery.

It also comes with a Velco strap accessory that is perfect for attaching it directly to a tent or backpack which makes it perfect for hiking. Texting-addicted students might also enjoy hooking it to their backpack for portable power wherever they go…just a thought.

This video from Power Traveller demonstrates how it hooks into a hiker’s pack to charge electronics during the daylight adventures:

The many input and output ports compatible with the charger.
The many input and output ports compatible with the charger.

What Else?

The panel and battery aren’t all that the PowerMonkey includes. It comes with everything you need to get charging right out of the gate with 8 mobile device tips (I used the Micro USB to charge my cell) and four interchangeable heads for universal main charger made to fit wall outlets in the United Kingdom, USA, Europe and Australia.

It also includes a hard bodied black travel pouch which has room for all of the pieces in a nice compact size that won’t take up much room in a backpack. Yep, PowerTraveller seems to have thought of everything with their Power Monkey Extreme. It is certainly my new favorite portable charger.

Here are some more photos of me playing with it on an overnight camping trip:

 

 

ACK Fishfinder Installation Package

ACK Fishfinder Installation Kit
ACK Fishfinder Installation Kit

Installing a Fishfinder on a kayak can be a daunting task to people who try it for the first time.  Trust me, I know.  The first time I tried to install a fishfinder I had wires running all over the place and parts laying all around because I didn’t know what they were, where they went or what they attached to.  I even came out of the whole experience more frustrated than relieved. I am pretty sure I even questioned if all that work was even worth it.  Let’s face it, sometimes it just helps having a more “seasoned” installation veteran show you the ropes or even install it for you.  Here at ACK, we recognized this problem and came up with a solution.  Not only did we come up with our own ACK Fishfinder Installation Package, but we created a full set of instructions including detailed photos that are extremely easy to follow.  As if that weren’t enough, we filmed a step-by-step video to help show you how the installation is supposed to go so that you’ll have a visual reference if need be.  Pretty cool, right?  I sure wish I had that when I did my first installation!  The ACK Fishfinder Installation package gives you everything you need to help get your fishfinder up and running with fairly minimal effort.  Now you don’t necessarily have to follow the rules to a “T”. If you want to tweak the installation to fit your own personal wants or needs, feel free,  the instructions in the kit will help guide you down the right path to get you to your end goal….a working fishfinder! As always if you have questions or need advice feel free to send us a email at customer@ack.com.

Here’s the video:

-Jerron @ ACK