Gear Review: Solio Xcellerator + Hub Battery Pack

"Post nubila maxima, Phoebus." ("After the greatest clouds, the sun.")
-Alan de Lille

Is there anything in your life or mine so constant as the sun? It rises everyday regardless of season, clouds, rain, cold or any number of factors in our personal lives that bring out our own inconsistencies. Lately I've been witnessing the power and consistency of the sun in small doses. While we've yet to go "full cruiser mode" and install large solar panels on our sailboat, I am impressed with a few smaller, purpose-specific solar panels that help us meet energy demands while on the hook.

One such product is the Xcellerator solar panel from Solio. This little solar panel (8.5" x 5.5" x 0.35") comes with a Hub battery pack that connects together via a USB cord (included) and stores enough energy to charge about 2 smartphones. Simply hook 'em up and set them in the sun to charge the Hub battery pack. My own experience shows that the capacity and charge claim is true for both an iPhone 4S & iPhone 5, but charging capacity for the Hub was limited to 1 device when I tried charging an iPad 2.


Solio does not recommend direct connecting of the Xcellerator solar panel to a phone or other device because many of those batteries were not designed with high-temperature charing in mind. Instead, simply charge up the Hub and use it like a back-up battery supply to charge your devices. My charge times when using the Hub with an iPhone/iPad were no different than what they are when I plug them directly into a wall receptacle for normal charging.

The Xcellerator and Hub make an excellent addition to a cruising sailboat's inventory. They're a simple, well-made product that works as advertised and allows you to carry and harvest extra energy while off the grid.
>> Don't forget to visit SFLF's Gear Review page for more sailing gear reviews/tests. <<

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3 comments:

  1. this is a great review. solar for sailors is something I always think would be a great power source. But when I visit boat supply shops I never see any solar type products like this... I have been reading other reviews on your site - thank you for the great information.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the feedback, tremont-skidoo! Alternative energy is a necessity for anyone seriously considering cruising as a way of life. Solar and wind power are convenient and affordable once you're geared up.

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  2. Very helpful. I'm researching getting one so kids hiking with dad can charge up iPods and my old 4s phone to keep in touch.then I want it back!

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