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Reviews > Electronic Devices > Solar Chargers > Brunton Torpedo 2800 > Test Report by Dawn LarsenTest Report
Brunton Torpedo 2800 Charger
Initial Report 12 August 2014
Field Report 23 October 2014
Long Term Report 8 January 2015
Name: Dawn Larsen
Height: 5' 4" (163 cm)
Weight: 155 lb (70 kg)
Email address: vicioushillbilly AT gmail DOT com
Florence, South Carolina USA
I used to backpack in college a zillion years ago and just in the last several years have backpacked private trails in Tennessee, Missouri and most recently South Carolina. I have been an avid car-camper and paddler in South Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri and Arkansas. I use a lot of the same equipment for both. I hike hilly/rocky trails especially in Missouri (my home state) and Arkansas. I live in South Carolina and am busy checking out the terrain here with my twenty year-old son.
12 August 2014
Manufacturer: Fenix Outdoor Group
Year of Manfacture: 2014
Listed Features: Charge time DC car socket: 2 to 3 hours; USB: 3 hours; AC/USB: 3 hours
Charging Capacity - 2x Smart Phone charges
Lithium Ion Battery: 2800 mAh
Power Output: 1 Amp
Input: Micro USB & DC Car Adapter, 5v/800mA
Output: DUAL USBs 5v/1000mA
Weight 4.75 oz (135 g)
Measured Weight 4.7 oz (133 g)
Dimensions 5 in (15.7 cm) x 1 in (2.5 cm)
Measured Dimensions: same as above
The Torpedo came in a blister pack and included the unit, a printed package, and instructions.
There are three different ports on the device, 2 USB outputs and a micro USB input. The instructions state that to charge the device I have three options: connect a micro USB cable to a computer, connect a cell phone AC charger to the wall, or connect to a 12v car outlet.
There is an indicator button that operates 3 LED lights to show how much charge is left in the device. When I pushed the button, 2 lights illuminated. According to the instructions, 3 lights indicate more than 90% charge, two less than 60%, and 1 indicates less than 30% charge.
The instructions were difficult to find. They are behind the unit in a paper envelope. They were easy to miss, but I figured there had to be instructions so ended up tearing apart the packaging. The instructions are printed in five languages. Both the packaging and instructions are very difficult to read. I have 20-15 reading vision and the tiny font makes it very difficult to see.
The packaging advertised that the Torpedo was pre-charged and it was charged up to 2 LED lights. The instructions suggest that I charge it up to full capacity before using it to charge my devices. It also suggests that I recharge it every 4-5 months if I plan to store it. It will get a much better workout than that!
The Torpedo is a great idea. It is small enough to fit in my purse, as well as my backpack, though a little heavy. I plan to use it to charge my iPhone at Burning Man. I will have access to my car and will be able to recharge, and will certainly charge it on the long drive out there. As well, I have a few day hiking trips coming up.
My reservations regard the time that it takes to recharge the device, as well as how long it will take to charge my iPhone, and if I can truly charge my phone twice in one Torpedo recharge.
What I Like
It's small and packable.
What I Don't Like
The font on the instructions is very small making it difficult to read.
This concludes my Initial Report. Stay tuned for my Field Report in a couple of months. Many thanks to Brunton and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test the Brunton Torpedo 2800 Charger.
23 October 2014
Field Conditions and Use
20 August - 3 September, Burning Man: I charged the Torpedo fully on my way to the Charlotte airport (2 hours and 20 minutes). The Torpedo stayed in the hotel with me until the 22nd when we drove to the desert. In the desert, temperatures ranged from 105 F (40.6 C) day to 40 F (4.4 C) night. The elevation is 3,907 ft (1,191 m).
19 - 21 September, Effingham, South Carolina: Backpacking trip. Temperatures ranged from 85 F (29.4 C) day to 65 F (18 C) night. Elevation is sea level.
11-12 October, Effingham, South Carolina: Overnight backpacking. Temperatures ranged from 75 F (24 C) day to 40 F (4.4 C) night.
I keep it in my purse every day and use it periodically when I need to charge my iPhone.
When I first began using the Torpedo, I charged it fully using my computer. Then drained it completely charging my iPhone 4s and iPad 2, once each. The phone was at about 25% and the iPad at 15%. It charged the phone fully, but it only charged the iPad to 65%. I put both devices on airplane mode so that they would charge more quickly.
I then wanted to see how long it would take using the car to charge the Torpedo fully. Initially, there was one half-glowing LED. After 17 minutes, there were two LEDs lit. In 14 more minutes, 2.5 (the 3rd LED was sort of half glowing). It finally lit the 3rd LED up after a combined car running time of 3 hours and 14 minutes. Wow, that's a long time. As well, that does not seem to be an even amount of time to light each LED. So I wonder if I can really trust the indicators?
I got almost two full charges to my iPhone when it was down to 5% on one fully charged Torpedo at Burning Man. My solar charger was much more useful.
It kept its charge for 2 weeks in that there were two lights lit up on it and 2 weeks later, there were still two lights lit on it.
The Torpedo is a great idea. However, I need a car to charge it and it only holds almost two full charges to my iPhone. For short overnight or weekend trips, it is fine because I don't generally use my phone for a long period of time. I can see using the Torpedo as an emergency charging device on a long backpacking trip. The time it seems to take to light up the LEDs on the Torpedo is not even. It seems to jump from 1 LED to 2 LEDs fairly quickly, but then takes much longer to light the third LED. It makes me a little suspect of trusting the indicators. It seems to be more usable in my purse for day to day charging of my phone and iPad because I drive my car almost every day or have access to a power source.
What I like
It's small and packable.
I like that I can charge it in the car.
What I don't like
The indicators don't seem to light evenly.
I have to have a car or power source so it couldn't be used on a long trip.
It seems to charge up very slowly in the car.
Long Term Report
8 January 2015
Field Conditions and Use
20 October - 2 November - Cumberland Island, Georgia - Backpacking Trip. Temperatures ranged from 55 (31 C) during the day to 35 F (19 C) at night. The weather was sunny and clear.
14-16 November - Private Land Effingham, South Carolina. Backpacking trip. Temperatures ranged from 47 F (8 C) during the day to 35 F (19 C) at night. The weather was overcast, but clear.
4-5 December - Asheville, North Carolina. Backpacking trip. Temperatures ranged from 45 F (7 C) during the day to 32 F (0 C) at night. The weather was intermittent light rain and humid.
I continued to keep it in my purse every day.
The Torpedo performed exactly like it did during the field report, no matter the weather or humidity, with one exception.
This report period, I would charge the device whenever I was in the car. Like before, I got almost 2 full charges to my iPhone with it. As well, I lost my iPhone 4s and got a used 4s in the middle of this period. The Torpedo functioned the same for the new used phone. The LEDs function the same way in that it is difficult to guess how much battery life the Torpedo holds.
As advertised, it retains its charge very well. I tested it for up to a week, which is the longest it went without being dis-charged.
The performance exception regards the Torpedo's case. I kept it in the bottom of my purse daily, which contains a leather wallet, a cloth makeup bag, papers, and anything like keys are in a side pocket. "Brunton" has rubbed off the case (see the picture below). I can't think what would have rubbed up against it to cause that.
Again, I can see using this on short backpacking trips, which is what I tend to do, to charge my phone in an emergency. However, it is not applicable for a longer trip since it only holds two charges for an iPhone.
What I liked
It is light and packable.
I like that I can charge it whenever I'm in the car.
What I didn't like
It only holds two charges for my iPhone.
The LEDs do not seem to light evenly so it is difficult to guess how much charge is in it.
This concludes my Long Term Report. Many thanks to Brunton and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test the Brunton Torpedo 2800 Charger.
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