Power Traveller – Power Monkey Extreme

We’ve all been there – you open your box of goodies, so excited that you could cry. Your hands are trembling and your top lip is a-quiverin’. It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for since forever. You hear a tiny girlie scream and realise that it’s you.

The parcel tape finally snaps after drawing only a little bit of blood, the lid pops open and you eagerly delve inside, pulling those glorious goodies from within. As you triumphantly thrust your hand aloft The Prize breaks free from your enthusiastic grasp and arcs gently through the air in super slow-mo. Like Rooney you blindly kick out in the hope of deflecting it somewhere, anywhere… but it glances off your foot and impacts the stone kitchen floor with enough force to crack a tile. Not only have you broken the floor but you also suspect a broken foot.

Power Monkey Extreme and Explorer
Vs the Power Monkey Explorer. Hefty bugger.

And so it went when the Power Monkey Extreme came my way. I had held it for less than two seconds and had already recreated the bone-spinning opening of 2001. And it survived. Mrs Muz’s tile, sadly, didn’t fare so well. My foot was okay in the end though.

First of all, if you don’t know about the 2011 Gear of the Year Award-winning Power Monkey Explorer read our review here and come back. Go on, off with you.

Read it? Okay, the Extreme is a grown-up version of that. The solar panels are a bit bigger, the battery unit is bigger, stronger and heavier (stone-crackingly so) and the whole thing is water resistant. It too comes with a whole host of adaptor plugs to make sure you can charge pretty much any device.

Power Monkey Extreme
Power Monkey Explorer and the British summer

But like the Explorer and other similar solar products, the Power Monkey Extreme suffers from the sun. Stick it out on an ordinary summer day here in the UK and you’ll be lucky to charge anything at all with it, not least the trendy new tablet devices which it is designed for. There’s just not enough sun to rely on such tech here in Blighty and even if there was I’m not convinced anyone can effectively and efficiently convert it yet.

But as a power storage device this is brilliant. Plug it into your computer or the wall before you leave for your jollies and you’ll have enough juice for about seven full iPhone charges and a couple of decent iPad boosts until it needs recharging.
You could always attempt a top-up with the solar panels when you get the chance but don’t necessarily expect miracles from anything that God can throw our way. He deals in matters of global creation and leaves power-harnessing up to us apes. And I’m yet to see a solar charger which is any real use when it comes to this.
Much like the Power Monkey Explorer, the Extreme is a terrific device, packing much more power. So much, in fact, that I want to be able to charge it from the 12v socket in my car like I can the Brunton Restore. But I can’t *. This is its only let-down and loses it a hammer.

SUMMARY: If you expect to be away from a plug socket for a while this is a great, long-lasting power supply – depending on what you charge with it. The solar charging aspect is nothing to write home about though, although this problem is not unique to Power Monkey. The battery is pretty heavy but it’s kitchen floortile-proof.

  • Great review 🙂 I was lucky enough to get some sun in June and managed to charge my iPhone with the panel direct. I also charged the eXtreme in the car/caravan using a Motormonkey, and it worked really well (I understand this is extra).

  • Neil C

    I use my Powermonkey Extreme here in Saudi Arabia and I have no real complaints so far. Had a very small issue with charging using the Blackberry connector but swopped for a standard USB cable and voila! perfect charging. I travel a great deal and this is very handy. My colleagues from the US like it so much that they now have me getting them their own. I’m now going to try and run a USB AA Battery Charger off it just to see if it works.