The SunVolt is a new product -- or rather a project at this point -- that promises to charge your devices using solar power. It is a foldable solar panel that comes in 10W and 15W capacities and it makes one big promise.
According to the project's creator, the SunVolt can charge multiple gadgets directly from the sun with "outlet-like speeds" -- that last part is one I'm doubtful of. There are a number of companies creating similar products that are portable and powerful, including Voltaic Systems and GoalZero. However, charging gadgets, especially multiple gadgets, with the same speed as if you plugged them into an outlet is not something most products (especially those the size of the SunVolt) can achieve. Perhaps it's possible under ideal conditions, but not every time you use the charger.
Even if it is not the case that super-fast solar charging is possible, the SunVolt design has some lovely benefits. We like how compact it becomes, and how it looks like a regular messenger bag when folded up. It makes it really easy to cart around without damaging it or without the panels sticking out like sore thumb (until you unfold them, of course). And coming in 10W and 15W sizes is a plus. That means it's actually possible to charge up cell phone batteries, e-readers, small digital camera batteries and other devices more easily than any solar-powered phone case could ever do.
Here's a little video from the Kickstarter campaign explaining the product:
So far, the project has earned about half of its fundraising goal, and it still has 23 days to go. If you're interested in getting one of these, we suggest backing the project.