Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

3 of 3
Solar power in your pocket
Solar power in your pocket
Solio Magnesium Edition


Clean, renewable power sources are hard to find when you're on the road. And the alternatives -- lugging extra batteries or fighting for wall outlets at the airport -- aren't pretty.

But here comes the sun: A small army of tech vendors is cashing in on the green gadget craze with portable solar chargers. One of our favorites, the Solio Magnesium Edition, is a pocket-size power pack that opens like a fan to reveal three solar panels, which collect energy you can use to charge handheld electronic devices such as BlackBerrys, digital cameras and iPhones. It's also a hybrid; if you don't have 10 hours to leave the Solio lying in the sun, you can cheat and charge the internal battery by plugging the device into a standard outlet.

When it comes to charging the power-hungriest gadget of all -- your laptop -- portable solar technology still has a long way to go. Brunton makes the lightweight and flexible Solaris 26 solar panel ($626), which gathers energy to store in power packs like the Brunton Solo 7.5 ($372). But with its multiple parts and tangle of cords, Brunton's system is an unwieldy -- not to mention expensive -- choice. A less pricey option is Voltaic's Generator ($399), a rigid solar-paneled briefcase. Unfortunately, it weighs more than four pounds. However, the many benefits of switching to renewable energy may justify the shoulder pain. -- Lora Kolodny

More galleries

Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
LAST UPDATE: Jun 23 2009 | 2:19 PM ET
Sponsored by
More Galleries
5 startups that are reimagining the world Bricks that grow from microorganisms, household garbage turned into art, three-wheeled bike-cars -- these startups are redefining urban living. More
Blue collar entrepreneurs These five entrepreneurs took their blue collar experience and used it to launch innovative businesses. More
7 lifehacks to eliminate your holiday hassle Whether curating the perfect gift or finding a pet-sitter, these startups offer time-saving services that might just seem like holiday magic. More