Solar chargers have been around for a while, but not a lot of them can handle the power needs of an SLR battery, and none that we know of can charge virtually any camera battery — until now that is. The Freeloader Pro and included CamCaddy can do both.
The Freeloader Pro itself is just a high end portable solar charger. Using the built in solar panels (or USB cable if you choose to charge before you go) you can charge the Freeloader in about 7-9 hours. And, according to manufacturer Solar Technology International, once fully charged, it can bring a digital camera battery to 100% without a problem.
It’s able to do this for power-hungry devices (i.e. music players and SLR batteries) because it can crank out that power at up to 9.5v.
What’s even better is that the Freeloader Pro comes complete with another impressive product by Solar Tech called the CamCaddy: a universal charger that can charge — in Solar Tech’s words — “virtually any” camera or camcorder battery (3.2v-7.9v). It accomplishes this feat by allowing you to adjust the contact pins and slider bar to suit whatever battery you may have on you.
Buying the Freeloader Pro on Amazon will snag you both products for $60. If you’re just interested in the universal CamCaddy, however, you can get that one for only £25. You’ll need a Freeloader to use it solar powered, but it comes with wall and 12V car plugs.