Top 5 Solar-powered Gadgets


Woods Solar-powered EZ Tent

A solar-powered tent will save you on lantern batteries.
A solar-powered tent will save you on lantern batteries.

It's probably not for hard-core backpackers, what with the added equipment and reduced roughing-it value, but car campers rejoice: Now you can flip on the lights when you walk into your tent.

The Woods Solar-powered EZ Tent uses strings of solar-fueled LEDs for indoor tent lighting, so campers don't have to rely on battery-powered lights that eat D-cells for breakfast. A typical Coleman battery-powered lantern goes through 8 D batteries in 26 hours of use [source: Amazon]. And even assuming those are rechargeable batteries and their owners, like good little campers, won't be throwing them out, they still require recharging, which usually means plugging into polluting, grid-based power.

Instead of using batteries or coal to power the LED lights, the tent comes with a 7-inch (17-centimeter) solar panel that mounts to the roof. The system is fully charged by four to six hours of direct sunlight or eight to 10 hours of indirect sunlight, and a full charge means two to four hours of lighting in the tent. That's more than enough to show you where your shoes are when you wake up in the middle of the night and have to go.

The tent runs about $200 to $250 and also comes with a solar-powered flashlight.

Up next, a true necessity, only greener.