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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Limited... but scores green points., 3 Sep 2011
By 
P. Brazier "Japan Bob" (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Solar Technology Classic Freeloader Solar Charger - Silver (Sports)
I bought this along with the supercharger for a 1000 mile cycle touring expedition. Its advantage over other such solar chargers is that it will provide power for an iPad. I had my iPad(1) on its lowest power settings but sadly once the charger had become exhausted from its initial mains charge it was unable to supply my iPad, iPod and Sony Ericcson phone with enough charge for the very limited use I made of them. This was despite the fact that I had several other solar chargers too (Solarbee Executive and an Aldi bought Tevion) and was very vigilant to conserve energy on all devices. With plenty of sunshine available the battery showed full charge within two days. When I found an available power supply I was able to charge the battery in 3 or 4 hours. It is worth noting that the battery will transfer charge to a device whilst being charged but that the battery quickly becomes exhausted and unable to act as a bridge. On reflection and having used the classic charger with the supercharger for a month 'on the road' I would regard these as providing very limited use simply when there is no mains or battery power available. It is a 'good idea' and scores green points with other travellers (it does get noticed and commented upon) but in all honesty I felt that I had wasted my money (a fool and his money are easily parted) on the solar charging setup as I simply ran out of juice on everything. I became increasingly dependant on an AA battery powered charger for my mobile phone for emergency use.
I did find the attachment of the solar panels to the battery pack a little delicate but did not break. The overal construction is fairly robust. The selection of connectors provided are fairly exhaustive although worth checking that your devices are catered for out of the box.

In conclusion then the Classic Charger once charged provides a useful emergency backup to power your mobile phone or USB powered device. It looks great and scores green points from admiring onlookers. However it is, as most solar chargers are, quite limited in terms of potential output and not to be regarded as a alternative to mains or battery charging devices on long trips.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money, 23 Sep 2012
This review is from: Solar Technology Classic Freeloader Solar Charger - Silver (Sports)
I had this charger for Xmas. It seemed like a great idea for charging my Android phone while on a long trip abroad. However, after one use it just gave up the facility to transfer the charge to my phone. It charges very nicely in the sunshine-even low sunshine, but then refuses to give up the charge! I complained to Solar Tech who sent me another very promptly-great service. But the second one has gone the same way as the first.I'm pretty fed up with it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Does recharge my iPhone. But..., 18 Jan 2014
This review is from: Solar Technology Classic Freeloader Solar Charger - Silver (Sports)
When I bought the Freeloader, due to it's size, I wasn't expecting masses of reserve battery power. But I was! expecting a power pack that would recharge quickly on mains power, fairly quickly on solar power, and hold that charge for at least a fortnight. Unfortunately, the Freeloader takes 5 hours to charge from the mains, up to 16 hours! to recharge from it's solar panels, and it's charge slowly bleeds away within 7 days.
Mine still gets used regularly, but it has been demoted to simply getting my iPhone through the day if I am using it as a mobile wifi modem. It's a shame. The Freeloader has all the accessories to make you think it's a serious travel companion. But in my experience, it just doesn't have the specs to make it anything more than an emergency weekend phone charger.
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