The Best Solar Battery Pack: Cobra CPP 300 SP Review
Are you looking for an easy way to charge your mobile devices that is portable, but environmentally friendly? Do you want something that will work via a USB connection in an emergency, but still be able to charge more than one device simultaneously? Cobra Electronics has created a charging device that works on dual solar panels so that you can use the power of the sun to make sure your iPhone or other mobile device has a full battery when you need it. Just open it up in daylight, plug in up to 3 devices, and you’re going to have a 2.1 amp rapid charge.
If you’re tired of having multiple cables, an electrical converter, and a charger in your vehicle at all times, then the CPP 300 SP from Cobra is exactly what you need. It eliminates the clutter and lets you go green in a simple, yet effective manner.
What Are the Key Features of the Cobra CPP 300 SP Battery Pack?
One of the challenges of going camping or taking a hike off the grid for an extended period of time is that your cell phone, tablet, and other mobile devices eventually lose their charge. Even long life batteries will last 4-5 days with normal use under these circumstances. With the CPP 300, you’ll always be able to have power because the dual solar panels generate a charge from the sun and nothing else.
It works by having a 6000 mAh Lithium Polymer battery within the device. You then charge this battery by opening up the battery pack so the solar panels are exposed to light or by connecting it via the USB or mUSB connection with an adaptor. Once the battery is charged, you can then transfer that charge to up to 3 devices simultaneously. It does so rapidly because the charge is already in existence – you won’t have to worry about a lengthy power trickle.
There’s an illuminated LCD display that helps you track the overall charge of the battery pack as well. This helps you know when you can begin charging your other devices from this battery, although you can charge them even if the pack isn’t at 100%. You’ll want to avoid doing this repetitively, however, because like other Lithium batteries, it tends to have a memory and will eventually only charge partially.
How strong is this battery pack? It’ll give you about 3-4 iPhone charges. One word of caution, however, as the solar panels are not of a commercial grade or strength. Think of them as a large version of the panels that you’d see in a solar powered calculator. It needs daylight more than it needs sunlight, so avoid having it in the direct sun. Prolonged sun exposure can actually warp the solar panels, destroying its ability to charge via the sun.
The USB charger is pretty rapid, however, but does take a minimum of a couple hours to fully recharge depending on your connection. If you connect it via a computer to charge, this time will be expanded even further.
Is There an Advantage To Using the CPP 300 SP?
Cobra Electronics has created a very lightweight charger that is highly portable. It weighs less than a pound and can slip into an oversized pocket if need be. It fits perfectly into a pack or a purse for easy carrying during a commute to work or an across campus walk. It’s primary advantage, however, is that you can get powered up without having to go onto the grid to do so.
The fact that it can also be charged with standard current is also a benefit, especially if you happen to be in a hurry. Compared to the solar charging time, there is a definite advantage with the outlet charger. Having the versatility to then take it with you and charge it again using the sun is nice. Because it’s a daylight panel, you also can charge it on an overcast day, which is a secondary advantage for this unit.
The final advantage that we can see coming from this device is the multiple connections. It has a dual USB and a mUSB connector so that you can connect virtually any device to charge it with this battery pack, either through an adaptor or directly. The CPP 300 is definitely and improvement over the older CPP 100 because the charge times are much quicker and the device charging is much more effective.
Could Cobra Improve the CPP 300 In Some Way?
The idea of being able to go green is pretty awesome. What would make this a better battery pack would be at least one small solar panel that would be more of a standard electricity producing panel. You’ve really got to be careful about exposing these panels to heat because they will warp very easily. Once that happens, it’s difficult to get a solar charge for the pack and that means you’re relying on outlet electricity to charge the battery pack – negating most of the reasons for purchasing this product in the first place!
It would also be nice to have a wider variety of connectors. This won’t work with the older smartphones that had flatter, wider charging points. You’ll need to purchase an adaptor to the standard mUSB or regular USB connection to make this battery pack work and the adaptor tends to affect the charging quality as well. For new devices or iOS devices that don’t have the 30 pin connector, you should be fine with the CPP 300.
From an overall perspective, however, Cobra Electronics has developed a really good battery pack in the Cobra CPP 300 SP that many people are going to find quite useful. You can literally take it with you anywhere and use it to create power that can be transferred to your preferred mobile device. If you are on the go a lot, travel a lot, or just have some time planned in the backcountry, you’re going to want to consider owning this battery pack because it will give you a consistent charging experience.
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