Biolite’s new solar panel is a tech-adverse person’s dream

biolite solarpanel 5+

Setting up the Biolite SolarPanel 5+ is easier than, well, almost anything. Photo: Courtesy of Brandon Scherzberg

When I see an instruction booklet, my hands start to sweat (let's just say I don't do well in Ikea).

So when the telltale white pages slipped out of the box for my new Biolite SolarPanel 5+, I died a little inside — just another gadget I'll never use. I reluctantly pulled the panel out of the packaging, did a double take and checked the box again. Where were all the parts I had to fit together?

Turns out, the newest innovation from BioLite is easier to use than a pack of hot chocolate (and nearly as enjoyable).

biolite solarpanel 5+

An included USB cord can be stored in your pocket for quick charges on the go. Photo: Courtesy of Brandon Scherzberg

The SolarPanel 5+ debuted this week as part of the company's spring 2016 Energy Ecosystem collection, a three-piece toolkit that includes the five-watt solar panel, a mini solar light and a simplified version of their woodburning stove.

RELATED: Four portable battery chargers to take on the go

The SolarPanel 5+ was designed specifically to capture energy from the sun using a high-efficiency monocrystalline panel and onboard 220mAh battery.

All that is fancy talk for what is essentially one of the easiest gadgets we've used in a long time: Just line up the sundial reader, clip the panel to a backpack or the 360-degree kickstand to set it up on uneven terrain, check the battery indicator to measure how much time you have left to hit full capacity, then plug in your gadgets for a charge or store the energy for later. That's it.

biolite solarpanel 5+

Getting away doesn’t always mean turning off your phone. When you need a quick charge in the backcountry, Biolite’s SolarPanel 5+ has the juice to get you up and running. Photo: Courtesy of Brandon Scherzberg

The best part? If a cloud passes over or you want to slip the panel away for a minute, it will automatically reconnect and start charging again — you don't have to do a thing. If only all systems were so easy (I'm looking at you, NORSBORG desk).

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