We all love enjoying the great outdoors, but let’s face it, few of us go camping or backpacking without bringing along our smartphones. Most people who take their smartphones into the backcountry typically do so for two reasons: navigation and communication. In the good old days, you might bring a dedicated handheld GPS for navigation and a CB or FRS radio for emergency communications, but in our current day and age, the smartphone is essentially the combination of both those technologies. The problem with a single do-it-all device is that typically battery life suffers. If you can keep your smartphone charged up while in the wilderness, you simultaneously lose both your ability to communicate and navigate, plus your smartphone becomes useless deadweight in your pocket.
The Waka Waka Power seeks to eliminate the above scenario by giving campers the ability to recharge any of their USB powered devices as well as providing a highly effective and variable output LED light source. Both of these features can be used simultaneously. The Waka Waka Power contains a 2200 mAh, high temperature LiPo battery. Its coolest feature is the low profile solar panel embedded into its back. The solar panel has an output of 1,050 milliwatts. The manufacturer states that the internal battery can be recharged from 0% - 100% in 12 – 24 hours of sunlight. I found this to be accurate when charging in fairly bright conditions. In my testing, I was able to charge an iPhone 110% from a full Waka Waka power before the internal battery ran out of power. If you don’t have time to wait for the sun, the Waka Waka can easily be charged via its micro USB port in roughly 6 hours as well.
The twin LED’s have 4 light level output settings with a maximum light output of 70 lumens. It also has an SOS mode for emergencies. LED burn time on full charge as follows:
• Super Bright 10 hrs > 70 lumen
• Bright 20 hrs > 35 Lumen
• Medium 40 hrs > 17 Lumen
• Energy Save 150 hrs > 5 lumen
The Waka Waka has a handy fold out foot that lets you aim the light in a variety of angles. This foot also has a hole that is used to mount the Waka Waka on top of large plastic water or soda bottle that is full to keep it from toppling over. This hole also doubles as a great place to attach a carabiner or hang the Waka Waka from a hook inside your tent or trailer or from the branch of a tree. Plus, you can easily hang the Waka Waka from the outside of your backpack with the solar panel facing outward so it can charge while you spend the day hiking.
There is also a little tiny hole where you can attach a lanyard. I think one improvement would be to allow the use of the USB port while the foot is fully collapsed. The Waka Waka would also benefit from some waterproofing, although there are many small inexpensive waterproof cases that would suffice. If I were pushed to name another improvement, I would suggest slightly raised rubberized feet on both sides of the Waka Walka. This would prevent it from sliding off smooth or slippery surfaces, as well as protect the solar panel from scratches when the solar panel is placed face down.
The Waka Waka is a great multipurpose gadget for anyone who enjoys camping in the great outdoors. For backpackers, the Waka Waka is a weight saving dream come true considering it combines the capabilities of: LED flashlight, solar panel, USB backup battery pack, and a visual SOS beacon while only weighing 200 grams and the following dimensions: 121 x 17 x 78 mm. If you are shopping for a LED camp light, solar panel, or USB battery, look no further. The Waka Waka is an amazing device that wont disappoint.
Available colors: yellow, black
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