Gadget of the Month: Powertraveller Extreme £140

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The ultimate off-grid power combo? We find out…

What is it?
The new Extreme is an updated version of the solar panel and battery that we’ve come to love over the years, keeping all of our devices charged up on multi-day adventures in the mountains. The battery is more compact than the previous version, but houses an impressive 12,000mAh Lithium battery, larger than its predecessor. It can charge both 5V and 12V devices, making it super versatile.

How does it work?
Charge up the battery before you leave the house using the USB cable which is included, and use the solar panel to charge the battery out in the field when it runs low. You can then charge your 5V devices using a USB cable or your 12V devices using the 12V female socket which comes with the kit, and an in-car charging cable which you have to buy separately. The Extreme no longer comes with a variety of wall plugs, so you’ll need to purchase one if wanting to charge it this way. They’ve also done way with the carrying case, although this isn’t a big deal, as we’ve tended to only use this for storage in the past.

What we like?
Both units feel extremely durable, as does the charging cable. We especially like the simplicity of the on/off button on the battery and feel this to be an improvement over the previous versions which required you to swipe. Pressing the on/off button briefly luminates one to four blue dots, indicating how much charge is remaining, and holding it down for a few seconds turns it on or off. The solar panel is wider than the previous model, giving a larger surface area, and the inclusion of a light which appears red when it’s sending a low charge and green in full sun helps you find the best position to maximise your charge. 

What we don’t like?
While the battery weight is impressive for what you’re getting, we’re still waiting for the weight of batteries to come down even further. With the battery weighing 274g, and the solar panel 289g, it won’t go unnoticed in your pack. We’ve found ourselves using the Extreme battery and solar panel combo more in remote areas where charging up isn’t an option; however, around the Alps, where huts are plentiful, we’ve found ourselves taking the battery and re-charging in the evenings, leaving the solar panel at home.

Where can I get it?
You can order the Extreme online at


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