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Gear review: The ReVIVE RA4 Solar ReStore

The ReVIVE RA4 Solar ReStore in its element
The ReVIVE RA4 Solar ReStore in its element
Matt Sandy

While the lure of camping often revolves around “unplugging” and “escaping,” in a gadget-heavy world the impulse to take technology into the wilderness is a natural one.

Now that you can get everything from lanterns to camping stoves with USB ports the demand for a portable power source has never been higher. Not to mention the fact that after rising at dawn, hiking a 14,000 foot peak and returning to base camp by noon, sometimes you just want to veg out in front of your tablet or smartphone.

The ReVIVE RA4 Solar ReStore offers one possible solution. The ultra-thin, easily packed ReStore folds out to just under three feet in length and features four mono-crystalline high capacity solar panes with two USB ports.

While space considerations are not necessary in car camping situations, the compactness of the ReStore makes it ideal for multi-day backpacking excursions. When in its carry position, the ReStore is smaller than a standard piece of paper.

Another cleaver feature is the ability to strap the ReStore to the back of your pack in the open position to absorb sunlight as you hike. Provided it's a clear day, your ReStore should be fully charged by the time you get to your final destination.

In instances of inclement weather, the ReStore comes with a cover to protect the device from rain, dust and dirt. An internal pocket will also keep smaller items such as a smartphone or GPS from overheating while charging.

On a recent overnight trip into the Colorado backcountry, the ReStore was left to charge in the sun at base camp for several hours. Upon returning to camp, an iPhone and iPad were connected and both were fully charged within two hours.

Whether you're using it to keep your navigational and rescue tools in working condition or to turn your tent into a theater during a storm, the convenience and effectiveness of the ReStore allows backcountry enthusiasts to keep devices charged no matter how deep into the wilderness they travel.

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