LED lights are pretty much standard equipment for most backcountry excursions, as they're bright, efficient, and handy for all the things you need to do after dark, like prepare a meal, set up camp, or make a late-night bathroom run. But most of them still come with a hitch - you need to either buy disposable batteries to power them, or you need to make sure your rechargeable batteries are fully charged before leaving the house. However, a new gadget from Solio could let you light up the night using the power of the sun.
The new Solio CLIP-MINI USB/Solar Rechargeable LED Light is a pocket-sized flashlight with big potential. The device lights up the night with 4 LED bulbs, and is capable of providing you with anywhere from 3 to 33 hours of illumination on a single charge. A built-in red filter can help preserve your night vision (or let you run in stealth-mode for sneaking up on your buddies for nighttime backcountry pranks).
The CLIP-MINI has an integrated rechargeable battery, able to store power for up to a year, which is powered by a high efficiency solar panel built right in to the device. It takes 5 to 7 hours of sunlight to fully charge the device, or if you're on the grid, it can be charged in as little as an hour via a micro-USB connection.
With five illumination modes (100%, 50%, 10%, flashing and SOS mode), the MINI can come in handy in all sorts of situations, and by using low-power settings, it's possible to stretch out a single charge for long periods. The device measures just 6.3" x 2.6" and weighs in at 3.6 oz, which ensures that packing it along doesn't take a lot of space or add much to your pack weight.
This gadget might be one to consider for your adventure gear, or for adding to an emergency preparedness, but it's so new, it's not available just yet. The CLIP-MINI retails for $35, and begins shipping on April 6.