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Gadget Guru: Going Green with the Solio Rocsta

While I love roughing it in the great outdoors, I’m also passionate about the ways technology can enhance our travel experiences–and, even better, make them greener.

That’s why I reached out to the good folks at Solio to ask if I could use one of their nifty solar-powered phone chargers on my recent hiking/camping adventure to the Grand Canyon. Their chargers were highly rated by CNET and I was officially intrigued. Solio was kind enough to send me the Rocsta and I couldn’t wait to road test it.

I booked a cheap flight, threw my hiking gear in a bag, and was careful to pack my nifty new gadget. Would the mighty sun be able to keep me powered up all weekend?





My favorite feature of the Rocsta is that it clips directly to your pack. This worked out perfectly for me because my campsite at the Grand Canyon was pretty shady–and some of the characters walking around were a little shady too! I didn’t want to leave the charger at my tent where it could be stolen.

Instead, I clipped it to my pack and off I went into the canyon. While I did the hard work of scrambling down the canyon walls, my Rocsta kept up its end of the bargain collecting the sun’s rays. Later, back at the campsite, I plugged in my iPhone and let the sun’s power flow into my phone. It was like magic!


Thanks to this cool (and might I add cute!) gadget, I stayed powered up all weekend. And while I did try to limit my phone usage to picture taking and Kindle reading, I must confess I did peek at my email a few times.

Up next I’m planning to REALLY put my Rocsta through the paces on a four-day backcountry trip through Yosemite. Already my backpacking buddies are clamoring to borrow it. We’ll see, my friends. We’ll see.

Want your own Solio charger? Click here to buy one!


My name: Alison Presley

Nickname: Presbo, because I'm good police.

How I earn my keep: I'm the manager of Travelocity's Travel for Good program. Visit Travel for Good to learn more about our green travel and voluntourism initiatives!

What kind of traveler am I: I'm an intrepid food explorer. I usually starve myself on the plane (not that that's too hard to do) so that the moment my toes touch foreign soil I'm ready to sample new and exciting cuisine. I like to dine everywhere from hole-in-the-wall local secrets to Michelin Guide gems. Cannelés, poi, boiled peanuts, oxtail soup, poutine--there's no stopping this adventurous palate.

Greatest travel lesson I've learned: It doesn't cost a lot of money to do good. Offsetting your carbon impact only adds a few bucks to your trip, green hotels are very affordable, and volunteering locally during your vacation is a great way to give back and learn about the culture.



Took the Rocsta with – 14 days in the Bob Marshall Wilderness (Montana) – It and the iPhone were less weight than carrying the books I wanted to read. Kept me powered the whole time. I found that the Rocsta, on full charge, could get my iPhone from 2% battery to 75%. Got a couple of “This device is not compatible with iPhone” messages, but it charged it just the same!

Sam @ Gadget Buffet

Solar powered chargers are brilliant for summer festival goers. Neat idea to incorporate a clip for the backpack or belt loop


That is such a perfect device for camping and hiking. Not to mention that is so much better for the environment than bringing batteries for electronics. Thanks for sharing your experience. Is this decide compatible with all electronics or is it specifically designed for apple products?

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I agree, this is amazing for going on nature adventures like camping and hiking. It would be great for collecting energy during the day to power devices for night time activities like reading or lighting boardgames.

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