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Reliable power is a must-have for our day-to-day lives, and you don’t have to be a camper or off-grid prepper to know the pain of your devices running cold on juice with no plugs in sight. But the anxiety of making sure you have a trustworthy power source is particularly acute for campers, van-lifers, and those wanting to be prepared in an emergency.
The BaseCharge 600 and BaseCharge 1500 are high-capacity lithium-ion power stations (or, in lay terms, they're big batteries). They're designed to pair with the also newly released Biolite SolarPanel 100. Together, the solar panel and batteries create an off-grid, on-the-go power source that will keep all your necessary electronics topped up.
There are a handful of features that set the BaseCharge apart from its competitors (of which there are a handful), so let’s start with the flashiest. On the top of the unit is a wireless charging pad that's perfect for smartphones, AirPods, and the like. The units also offer AC and DC ports, as well as USB-A, USB-C, and USB-C PD ports (the latter of which churns out power at 100W—ideal for camera batteries and laptops). These features are enough to keep your office or creative workflow going, no matter where you are.
On the less flashy side is perhaps the BaseCharge’s most unique feature. Built into the unit is a resettable “energy odometer” that lets you keep track of your energy usage and learn about your usage habits. That way, you can better prepare for your energy needs whether you’re camping or setting up a remote photo shoot that requires power-hungry lights.
Lastly, the BaseCharge has an LCD dashboard which gives you real-time data on your battery life and how long you have until full or empty. It also houses the “Digital Messaging Center,” which offers alerts on temperature, port activations, and guidance on troubleshooting should you find yourself in a pickle.
As for the 100W solar panels, you can daisy chain up to four of them together to deliver 400W of power to the BaseCharge. Biolite claims that such a setup can fill up a BaseCharge 1500 in direct sunlight in as little as four hours. The panels can also charge your devices directly through USB-C and USB-A ports, which is a nice touch, and provides functionality if you want the panel but not the big battery.
If you’re looking to get your paws on a unit, they'll be available for pre-order starting September 7th, 2022. The smaller BaseCharge 600 will cost $699 while the higher capacity BaseCharge 1500 will go for $1,699. The SolarPanel 100 will cost $400.