Solio Bolt Solar Charger

Priced: $65.00 - $69.99 Rated:   - 4 stars out of 5 by 17 reviews.
Solio Bolt Solar Charger
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Color: Pearl White
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Solio Bolt Solar Charger -
The Solio Bolt solar charger is the perfect solution for recharging electronics in the backcountry or having an easy and free way to power up in an emergency. Its onboard battery and rotating solar panels allow the Bolt to charge anything from a smartphone, cell phone and MP3 player to an e-reader, GPS or camera. The Bolt can be charged from the sun, USB port or the wall and in turn uses the devices charging cable to charge from its USB port. It's never been easier to plug into the sun.


  • Pocket-sized 5.3 ounce solar charger perfect for keeping electronics ready to go - whether in the backcountry or for back-up during a power outage.


  • Single LED button indicates battery strength, charging status and allows user to switch charging outputs.
  • Built-in battery will hold a charge for up to a year; at full charge the battery will provide most smartphones with at least 2 complete charges
  • Bolt utilizes a high temperature rated Li-Poly rechargeable battery which provides for efficient charging in high heat.
  • Bolt has 2 separate charge outputs: a CTIA standard charge, which most devices utilize, and an Apple charge for Apple electronics.
  • Also includes Micro-USB to USB cable for charging the Bolt via USB port/wall adapter
  • Full sun charge takes from 8-10 hours while USB charge necessitates 4 hours and 30 minutes
  • The Solio Bolt solar charger can be charged from sunlight or USB port
  • Easy to use—simply connect the charger using your device's USB charging cable
  • 1 amp output charges most devices at the same rate a normal wall charger would.
  • Solio Bolt charges popular USB-compatible gadgets including smartphones, MP3 players, e-readers, GPS units and cameras
  • Includes a pencil which once inserted into the center acts as a sundial, allowing user to most effectively position panels for charging.

The Solio Bolt solar charger keeps your electronic devices powered up on the go with an onboard battery and rotating solar panels.

Please Note: This item contains a lithium battery and cannot be shipped to APO, FPO, U.S. Territories, international destinations or Hawaii, and are only available for in-store pickup in Alaska.


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Review RatingNumber of Reviews
Battery included:Yes
Battery storage capacity (mAh):2000 mAh
Battery type:Lithium polymer
Charge time (hrs):(Sun) 8 - 10 hrs. / (USB/wall) 4.5 hrs.
Dimensions:3.5 x 3.5 x 1 inches
External charge:USB / Wall
Power output to device (mA):5V 1000mA
Solar cell output capacity:5.5V 450 mA (2.4W)
Weight:5.3 ounces
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Solio Bolt Solar Charger Reviews:

Positive Reviews:

Great little solar panel

This is a great little solar panel. It is simple to use, there isn't a bunch of parts that you have to keep track of. I really like the internal battery, so you don't have to have something plugged into it for it to charge. This allows you to clip it to you pack during the day to charge, and then you can charge you gps or other devices even after the sun goes down. I got it down to one bar of power, and it charged half of an ipods battery. The special Apple mode is nice. Overall a great buy, I can't wait to use it again.
thewidj at REI on 02/02/2013

Great little thing

This is a great little thing to have around everywhere you go. I live in Vegas so its practically always sunny out here.
With this thing on full charge i get 84% charge on my iphone until the solio goes dead (good enough for me)(on the iphone charge setting(blue light)). But for the money I paid, I wish it would at least come with some sort of case or sheath or something, but oh well, I'll live.

smart concept of the sundial thingy. While other solar chargers dont have that in mind.
spidermonkey92 at REI on 11/11/2012

Great Product

This is the second solar charger I bought, however it is the best small solar charger I have used. Surprisingly it is very durable, I dropped it from the roof of my car and it landed panel down, picked it up and it was fine. All this being said, it is a great product, charges fast in open sky, and relatively "fast" in cloudy skies. Overall worth the money, and the fact that it charges open or closed is great addition by solio.
grizzlywolf at REI on 04/04/2013

Excellent Charger for Camping!!

This device is so convenient; I can charge it from the wall and bring it with me as an extra battery pack for my phone.

It is also awesome for camping! I leave it outside at the campsite while I hike, and I come back to a full charge. Provides excellent peace of mind that my phone will have power in case of an emergency!
Steve at Campmor on 02/02/2012

Best money I've spent at Campmor

I haven't plugged my phone, MP3 players or Nook into a wall outlet since I got the Bolt!
I leave the charger in a sunny spot and plug my gear into it when needed. Recharges in about 4 hours.
Great for hiking and camping and Solio makes a USB AA battery for my gear that requires them.
Nanette at Campmor on 09/09/2012

So simple, even a caveman could use it.

I purchased this device for backcountry use and it performed well. The instructions were easy to follow and simple to perform making this solar charger a top rated item for me.
It is so lightweight that it is a no brainer. Spare batteries are no longer taking up weight and space in my pack!
cupfan at REI on 07/07/2012

Solar takes time

Great for keeping in touch during a 4-5 day hike. My days of disappearing for days are over, this product is great. It takes a while to charge by solar but it also takes a while to loose charging power. Great indicator included.
BoneMan at Campmor on 04/04/2013

got power

Haven't plugged phone or ipod into an outlet since I got this charger. I lay it on the dash of the car or on the back porch ... any sunny spot and the sun does its thing!
nanette at Campmor on 09/09/2012

Good product in a small package!

Got this to help charge GPS, cell phones while out hiking/camping. Haven't used it in the field yet (hiking/camping in winter here in Oregon is at a minimum...)but tried it at home and it worked great!
cptphilb at Campmor on 01/01/2013

Great choice for backcountry iPhone use

The charge I left with was helpful on an overnight backpacking trip. I could use my iPhone without worrying about day 2!!!
CC at Campmor on 07/07/2013

Negative Reviews:

Absolutely Horrible

This product is horrible. As soon as I bought it, I started inspecting it. It was nice and lightweight. I first looked at the usb ports. The mini usb was fine, but then i noticed that in the regular usb port, the 5 prongs had nothing keeping them in place. If you don't understand what I mean, look at your computer's usb ports. See how you don't see the 5 little prongs I mentioned? That's because they are kept in place by that little black/blue/yellow plastic thing you see. Without that, the prongs can move freely. I was very nervous seeing this. Next I looked at the rubber covering for the ports. I open the rubber covering, and noticed that it had an insert that fit into the usb port. I tried to close it and, not supprisingly, it wouldn't fit in. I looked inside the usb covering, and noticed that 2 of the 5 prongs inside had been bent. Knowing that this means that it wouldn't charge, I was very upset. The entire thing was broken already! I tested it ofcourse and it didn't work (not supprisingly).

If for some reason that isnt enough to make you avoid this product completely, then another problem was that the bolt wouldn't stay on. It had 80% battery, and it was on, but as soon as i plugged it into something, it turned off. Never buy this product. If you are looking for a great, lightweight product, try the goal zero switch 8 charger with the nomad 3.5 solar panel . On rei's website it is just called the switch 8 charger kit.
benepstein97 at REI on 02/02/2013

Not worth the trouble

Bought the Solio Bolt as it got some good reviews and it looked like a great thing to have on backpacking trips. Took it to the beach for a camping weekend to see how it performs. Day 1: I followed the instructions by proping it up with the pencil to face directly into the sun. It spent about 8 hours in full sun that day and it would not charge my iPhone to more than 15% and only got maybe up to 40% power (2 blinks). Thought I did something wrong, so on Day 2 tried it again proping it up and also keeping it pointed at the sun on a perfectly clear day. 7 hours later it only gave me 2 blinks again. Since the phone was almost dead, plugged it in and got only 25% charge. I can't imagine how it would perform on a cloudy day, in shade, or not directly in the sun. I expected in a full sun environment, keeping it carefully pointing directly into the sun would have given me a lot more power and more quickly. I wouldn't recommend due to the hassel with trying to get enough charge to be worth the trouble of keeping it in the sun. Perhaps it could be more useful as a back-up, emergency or day trip charger, that was pre-charged to a power source, but there is probably even better options than this for those purposes.
JAMNDC at REI on 06/06/2013

very dissappointed

Bought this in prep for backpacking trip to Yellowstone/Grand Tetons. Wanted to charge Droid 4 & my son's iPhone. Very dissapointed shake down. Charged via wall outlet to 100%. Ran my droid down to less than 5%, after 2 hours of charging, only at 70% of phone battery, with only 20% charger life left (one green blip). Went fishing, and after being in partial sun for over two hours, no noticable change in solio battery level. When Droid was down to 10%, attempted to charge with solio and immediately drained battery, with no improvement to droid battery. Going back tomorrow, will try a power monkey. I want light, but need function.
Jalapeno John at REI on 07/07/2012

don't buy

I'd hoped this product would work to charge iPhone while I did some thru hiking. No luck. 6 hours in direct sunlight charged my phone about 20% if lucky. Most of the time it wouldn't charge at all. I'm still perplexed why I pencil was included to hold the device open. Granted having a pencil is handy, but who wants a sharpened pencil rolling around in their gear leaving graphite marks?!
TJ2 at REI on 01/01/2013

Neutral Reviews:

Nice little unit, but has some 'issues'

I like the compact, fold-out design. When folded up, it was easy to fit into 'corners' in my pack. It seemed durable and handled a few drops with no problems.

When it was fully charged, I got 2 full charges on my iPhone 4 before it fully discharged. Once it was fully discharged, I was able to fully recharge it during one day riding on the top of my pack. That day, the weather was clear and I was hiking primarily in open country with little canopy to block the sun. I loved that it could ride on my pack all day, then recharge devices later inside my tent.

I liked that it has an iPhone charge setting, but it is not intuitive how to switch between modes.

The biggest issue I had with it was that it turned itself on in my pack - a lot! I tried all sorts of ways to pad/protect the on/off switch, but nothing worked 100% of the time. Several times, I put it in my pack fully charged, only to find it on when I opened my pack to set up camp, with only a 25% or 50% charge level. It clearly was discharging in my pack after turning itself on, which it isn't supposed to do. The on/off switch sticks up and is easily bumped by other stuff in the pack, turning it on. This was a regular problem, no matter how well I padded or tried to protect the switch from being bumped. To me, this issue seems easy to fix with a small re-design of the switch itself.

I have now upgraded to a SunTactics sCharger-5, which is a much more powerful solar panel with no on/off switch. It does the job in 1 hour that the Solio takes 8 hours to do. The 5 oz weight of the Solio is a bit better than the 9 oz weight of the SunTactics, but I have found no comparison in terms of efficient performance.
Birdmandgo at REI on 12/12/2013

Power of the Sun

Seems to be a good solar charger however, I use an IPhone 4 and if you charge this in the direct sunlight for 8 hours it will only give you a half charge on the phone if it is at 10 percent power. Overall the item works well, the plus to this item is even if you are hiking somewhere without direct sunlight you can use the stored energy to charge your phone.
WalkabouttheHills at REI on 12/12/2012

WilL Work ??

work good with a iphone
Kansas at Campmor on 01/01/2013