Freeloader review

The FreeLoader is a battery pack that can be charged from a computer via USB or, for the more environmentally-conscious user, from the sun via solar panels. An included set of adaptors allow the FreeLoader to give the necessary juice to PSP, Nintendo DS, mobile phones, PDAs, digital cameras, and, of course, iPods – a cable with an iPod adaptor is provided, so you can leave your sync cable back at base camp.

An initial eight-hour charge via USB is required to set up the unit – for subsequent uses we deployed the solar panels, though this method can be painfully slow in the English ‘summer’. Two LEDs illuminate when the panels are facing the sun.

OUR VERDICT

A full charge will give up to 18 hours on an iPod, or 44 hours on a phone, in ideal conditions. A great way to prolong gadget use in the great outdoors.

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