Travel Tech: Waka Waka Solar Charger

Waka Waka Solar Charger

As a family, the Jacobsens have been all in on technology, with gizmos and gadgets aplenty. Using gizmos during travel has been no exception and, as such, we have often been in want of convenient power sources to recharge devices.

Last year, we purchased a WakaWaka Solar Powered recharging unit after hearing it endorsed as a Christmas present. Here is our Waka Waka solar charger review.

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In other posts, we showed you How to Make Suitcases Easy to Spot, and our selections for 5 Family Travel Gadgets for charging, organizing, and helping families sleep while traveling. Use the search box in the upper right sidebar, or the menu at the top of this page to search for other travel tips, and Sleeps5 hotels worldwide with family rooms and suites for 5, 6, 7, or more people!

Purpose of Solar Charger for Family Travel:

First of all, the charger’s combined benefits of solar power, compact size, and light weight are its initial selling points. We took this mobile solar panel with us on our family trip to England and Ireland last summer. Please imagine five cell phones, each one acting simultaneously as camera and mapping device.

Click here to check prices on Amazon for the WakaWaka Power+ Solar Powered Flashlight with Phone Charger!

How to Charge and Recharge the WakaWaka – Learn From Our Mistake:

The “plan” in England and Ireland was to use the Waka Waka as we drove around, in addition to using the charger in our rental car. We assumed we could recharge the Waka Waka via the sun as we went. I’m not sure if I ever read the explanatory notes on the Waka Waka, oops. So, my knowledge came through the bumpier path  of trial and error.

In practice, we discovered that the Waka Waka has enough juice to recharge one cell phone before it has to be recharged again. If the Waka Waka was drained completely (as it usually was recharging a cell phone) then the Waka Waka could not recharge itself with solar power. Instead, it required recharging the old-fashioned way, with a universal USB port and an electrical outlet.

Once we caught on to this, we stopped charging a device before the WakaWaka was on empty and then completed a solar recharge of the Waka Waka with sunshine power through the car window.


An additional feature is the bright, long-lasting LED flashlight. This came in handy repeatedly on a trip to Ethiopia where electricity is a fickle friend but the sun is abundant. We were often in remote areas where technology was useless. But light in the dark, dark night was a gift–especially while using rustic facilities.

The WakaWaka has a loop-like feature that allows you to hang it, if necessary, and a stand for perching wherever it is convenient.

WakaWaka Foundation Donates Solar Products:

A worthy note about this product, is that the Waka Waka company donates one of these chargers whenever one is purchased! The donations go to places around the world where volatile kerosene lamps are used as a light source.

Our Overall Assessment:

We found it useful traveling and we were grateful to have it with us. It especially saved us in the airport a few times when charging stations were scarce. And we even use it at home for an environmentally-conscious use of power (we don’t have to keep buying batteries for the flashlight). Additionally, this solar-powered device may just be the best portable charger for backpacking, camping, and for including in your emergency kit. Think of it for a birthday or Christmas gift idea!

Click here to check the prices of the WakaWaka lightweight solar charger on Amazon in your area, or click the image below:

Happy Travels from Sleeps5!
~Holly Jacobsen


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Solar Charger for Travel, Camping, and Emergency Kit


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