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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars200
3.7 out of 5 stars
Colour: Blue|Change
Price:£62.01+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on 6 November 2007
Well, it looks like eventually this will be a good product, when I get one that works. I got one that had been double-checked by powertraveller after getting two apparently non-functioning units.

I'd recommend one, they're very good, now that the quality control issues appear to be over. The solar recharging appears to be actually practical, in the west of England on a cloudy Autumn day, it appears to have recharged about 25% despite being behind glass (which makes a surprising difference) in a west-facing window rather than south-facing (so only gets direct sun for a few hours).

The leads that come with it are very good indeed and all use the same jack plug for input, so I've since gone back and ordered lots of extras because you can use the power monkey to recharge one device, on a sunny day you can plug the panel into another device (I charged my mobile directly from the solar panel), use the USB lead to recharge a third if you have a USB port handy, and even recharge a fourth using the mains charger. The extra leads are reasonably priced and there's a very extensive range.

I'll just quickly side-track off to talk about the leads a little more;

Once you have a few of the USB retractable leads you start realising that you can replace all your multitude of phone/PDA/ipod chargers with one USB hub, and just carry USB leads around with you because you can use ports at work, at friends houses, buy a hub in another country if travelling etc. My ipod PSU with a four-port hub can now charge my ipod, phone and PDA. I have one of the leads hanging off the back of a Nintendo Wii in standby mode which is now the downstairs recharger for an ipod, a Nokia N770, another spare mobile phone, a Nintendo Gameboy Advance, a Nintendo DS and even a 4 AA battery charger. That's six mains rechargers I no longer need to use, 8 if you include my PDA and main mobile.

I think the leads are worthy of being a product in their own right, they're easily the best I've come across so far and have the most extensive range of tips. You get a good selection with the powermonkey with many more tips available from powertraveller, it's worth thinking about the potential of the leads on their own, don't just think about using them with the powermonkey. If you travel a lot, using these leads with a car cigarette lighter to USB converter (readily available), a mains USB converter (ditto), a USB hub, or a computer, you can recharge just about anywhere you're likely to want to. One of the powermonkey USB leads and a selection of tips is all you'd need, although a few extra of the USB leads will allow simultaneous recharging of several devices from a hub. You can buy the leads separately from powertraveller, on their web page go to the powermonkey classic and select "monkey nuts" and order "extra" tips and at least one USB retractable lead.

Right, back to the powermonkey;

One gripe (other than quality control) is that the powermonkey won't charge a device while the powermonkey itself is being charged, as soon as it detects a charge coming into the charging port it shuts off the output current. This means you can't plug it into your phone/ipod/whatever and then connect it to the charger to charge them both overnight. This is a real shame and something they could easily do; charge the power monkey then once charged, pass all power through to the attached device. It doesn't do that however.

It comes with a useful velcro bag and a zippered semi-rigid box that are worth having, and the whole package seems well put together. Only the inability to recharge while attached to a charger, and of course my issues with getting a working unit, stop it from being a five-star buy. The excellent leads almost make up for the issues I've had.

I also have a freeloader. It's rubbish, total rubbish (see my review for it), so if you are thinking of spending the extra money (3x the price) then this unit is worth the extra provided you get one that works. The freeloader's leads aren't anywhere near as flexible as the powermonkey's leads so don't help to make up for the unit's weaknesses.
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on 19 July 2011
I bought this to take on a camping trip and have to say it is a fantastic piece of kit. There are a lot of adaptors in the box allowign you to plug in almost every device imaginable and its very easy to use - so easy I almost wondered if I was missing something. From a single charge on the Power Monkey I was able to charge my Blackberry twice and boosted iPod power before needing to charge it again.

If I was just reviewing the Power Monkey alone this would be a 5 star product.

What really let this down for me was the solar panel charger - the Explorer option. The solar panels are a good pocket sized device and in strong sunlight did help to keep the Power Monkey charged up. What really disappointed me was its construction - for a device to be used outdoors rather than an office environment it certainly has a rugged design and appearance, with ridged grips and rubberised feel. This is unfortunately deceptive however. The hinge joining the two parts of the solar panel is incredibly flimsy and where the hinge connects to one of the panels is two small strips of plastic. Despite being careful in using it, while moving it into sunlight I managed to snag the panels on my backpack and break the hinge with disappointing ease. My fault I realise but for a outdoor device you would expect it to take a little bit of a knock without breaking. Based on my experience I certainly wouldn't expect the panels to survive a fall onto a floor from a few feet if the panel was open.

For such an otherwise great product in which a lot of excellent design thought has gone into, this was a real let down.
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on 17 July 2009
I was a little dubious about this charger after reading some unfavourable reviews but since there were many positive ones and a UK presence for backup I went ahead. Very well made and rugged with most common adaptors supplied, with others available from Powertraveller. Charges my Nokia phone and DS Lite, no problem. Using the solar charger to recharge the powermonkey rated at 2200mAh it still charges on a sunny indoor windowsill, albeit slowly, but performs much better outside on a sunny or even a cloudy day. Manufacturers claims for charging rates are pretty much correct. If you are going where there is no power (ie moderate populated camping sites)then it will charge your phone and small gadgets ok. For going further afield into the wilds I would want something more powerful like the solar & power gorilla which approx. 5 x the price
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on 20 February 2010
A great piece of kit.
If you travel a lot and have a selection of gadgets then this is well worth getting. I took this away for 10 days skiing and was able to charge my Nokia phone, ipod and iphone effortlessly. I gave it one full charge before leaving and then recharged with the solar panel during the day to top up my gadgets as required. There is a good selection of adapters and the only thing I haven't figured out how to charge so far is my Sony camera. The travel case is great, everything packs away neatly and takes up little room in your baggage. Now I leave it sit on the window during the day and charge from the sun while I'm out working. Even in Ireland you 25% - 30% charge on a decent day.
The only real negative I have is that you don't seem to be able to re-charge the device and charge a gadget at the same time, but I can live with that.
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on 6 October 2009
A fantastic product. Just returned from 3 weeks trekking in India. It powered my Ipod up via the solar panel Fantastic!!!!!!
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on 30 August 2010
I took this gadget on a three week cycle tour to keep my iphone charged. For two weeks it worked brilliantly, even the solar charging worked well. Then one day it just stopped delivering charge to the phone. It hadn't got wet, may have got over-heated, but it was about as well protected as it could have been inside a pannier, so I was left really frustrated with a flat battery.

Additionally, while the assortment of device adapters is excellent, to build-quality is not totally robust. I plugged the Sony Ericsson adapter in to a friend's phone, and when we tried to unplug it pulled apart, rendering it useless.

I will note that I'm about to contact the manufacturer about these failings, so let's see how helpful they are...
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on 19 August 2010
Unfortunatly, when I received the item it was dead and wouldn't turn on, I tried everything. I could've got a refund and to be fair I din't even give the seller a chance to respond as I needed it resolved/fixed the same day as it was a festival tomorrow, I couldn't even get an exchange through the seller anyway by looking on Amazons website so I spoke to Powertraveller direct. I gave them the serial number and they said the unit was over 3 yrs old & out dated!! They were quiet suprised people were selling them still! But I have to say they are by far the best customer service team I have ever dealt with, they were fantastic, they offered to replace the unit free of charge with a newer model, (although they only had blue) I took a drive down to their office in Alton and met the lady I spoke to on the phone, she was so helpful and tested the unit worked ok she even gave me a newer ipod/iphone head as she said the one i'd been sold coupled with the old PowerMonkey wouldn't have worked with my iPhone 4 anyway......and then as I started to drive out of the car park she ran over and tapped on my window and gave me a another packaged USB tip and said to use that with my iPhone lead so I don't have to remove my bumper everytime! Now if only every company could work like that!

Oh, and the product works a treat! :-)

5 out of 5 for the product, a brilliant little life saver!
6 out of 5 for the customer service support from Powertraveller
1 out of 5 for the seller selling dodgy old, out dated and non-working stock.
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on 15 November 2008
I did a bit of research online before buying a solar charger and I am happy that I got a PowerMonkey. I used it while camping and it worked brilliantly. The different adaptor/connections all worked. The only disappointment was not having an adaptor for my Nintendo DS (which was listed as included - but wasn't). However this wasnt a big issue as the device itself worked really well. I would recommend it. It seems crazy to not have one - FREE power from the sun!!!
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on 15 June 2010
I got my Powermonkey Explorer the Christmas before last and have taken it twice now on gulet holidays in Turkey. Gulet (boats) have mains power available for only a few hours a day and I am able to keep my iPod and iPhone charged up with ease. I tend to leave the device plugged into the mains whenever I can so if power does come on I don't miss it. Solar power works much better in Turkey than in England - I expect there is a simple reason for this!!! The Power Monkey also makes a useful addition to my TomTom 720 for city walking since it adds so much more battery life.

My only regret about owning this device is that I now find myself obsessing about owning a Power Gorilla for my laptop - and then a Solar Gorilla. The little voice keeps telling me to buy them....
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on 18 February 2008
First of all, I'd recommend the PowerMonkey Explorer without hesitation. It's the best charger of its type that I've come across. Not only that, but PowerTraveller's customer support is excellent. I'd recommend reinforcing the little tips with some epoxy before using the powermonkey though; the snap-together construction on some of them is a bit flimsy.
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