Showing posts with label review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label review. Show all posts

Free Energy, the power of solar

I was lent a solar light/charger. And also given a couple of solar lights to review by The Solar Light Co.

After a few festivals over the summer (some of which had very few 'sunny' days!) I am ready to report back!

Little Sun Solar Light from the Solar Light Co
The first test was the cute and frankly adorable 'Little Sun'. A cute yellow sunflower shaped solar light, complete with lanyard. Perfect for children to wear during the day and use at night. Having the solar panel on one side meant ensuring it hung with that side on display in the daytime! And at night it's super bright LED light (there are 2 settings but the lower one was always bright enough for us!) was great for walking back to our tent and then had loads of light for getting ready for bead and even reading, and the best thing was you didn't have to worry about falling asleep and wasting the battery because you could charge it again as soon as it was light! The light worked brilliantly (quite literally) at every festival. I would give the Little Sun 10/10 and say it's perfect for kids.

Nokero Start solar light from The Solar Light Co
The second like was the wittily shaped (it looks like an old fashioned light bulb) Nokero Start. Suitable for outdoor use as it has a screw tight seal, it can be set to come on at dusk and then switch off and recharge at dawn. It's a great light. Enough light to see by, including to read. It hangs up nicely in the tent and gives a 'proper light' not a torch beam, so it's good for sharing. The handle can be used to rest it on a surface and angle it too - so it's pretty flexible. I don't love it as much as the Little Sun, but it's a nice light. 9/10

Last is the more expensive but excellent Sun Bell. It is a light and a charger. At home in the sunny conservatory it charged up fully in a day - used at a campsite it didn't fully charge in a day - but then I wasn't around to ensure it's solar panel was in full sun all day. The Sun Bell is fab though. The light is amazingly flexible, can be used on 3 brightness settings and can be used as a torch with a fine beam or when used in the 'bell' it creates a really bright ambient light. We didn't test the 'using the bell as an ipod speaker' but that looked like a fun (if slightly 'neighbour annoying') idea. Because the solar panel is attached by a long lead it's perfect for charging on the outside of the tent while the main light is inside. You can even hang the panel up
Sun Bell solar light from the Solar Light Co
outside if you have a bungee etc. As the panel spent half of each day in the shade it didn't fully charge, but I did manage to get about a 50% charge from it each day for my phone which meant I could tweet and check emails for the full 4 days of each festival. Even on a dull day I had some charge, and you all know I tweet for England!

I'm sure I've missed telling you some vital specification so do check it out on the website. I'll give this product 10/10 too and I have already been told by my camping parents that they want one for Christmas after they saw it in action. They were especially impressed with the quality and the bright light. There are three colours to choose from too - red, green and yellow.

Sun Bell solar light and charger from The Solar Light Co
I'm a sucker for free energy and really love solar when travelling/camping/festivalling. Up until now I've been using a few strings of solar fairy lights and a solar nightlight from the 99p stores! Reviewing these better quality products has made me see the light! (sorry) and I really think you do get what you pay for.

The Solar Light company has a great range of really nice products. The service is excellent, they even send you some seeds to plant to offset the carbon used in delivering the lights! How lovely and green!

Thanks to the Solar Light Company for the loan of the Sun Bell, and for the Nokero Start and the Little Sun.

If you choose to buy any of the products on the site - do say hello to Alan from me :-) 

Update - The Solar light Comapny no longer stock the Sun Bell - they have other new and exciting things though. So take a look

A quick "pre- review" - Solar power, lights, charger, action!

This is a very short review based on a weekend away, a fuller review will appear after I've tested these lights and charger at festivals over the summer,

I was lent a SunBell light/charger by the rather lovely Solar Light Company. They are superbly green and sent me  (as they send all customers) a little tin of seeds to plant to offset the carbon used in delivery of the product! Which was a rather nice touch.

The SunBell sounded so good on the write up I was sceptical...but it is as amazing as it sounds! A full charge on 3 hours of bright sunlight (we've had plenty of that) and it had power to light my tent and recharge my phone!

The ability to pop the solar array outside the tent and leave the battery etc inside due to the 3m cable was excellent.
I might be a bit in love, and I heartily recommend it. My parents. who camped with me were also impressed, enough to add it to the'Christmas wants' list! So that's one Christmas gift sorted. They fancy a yellow one. Did I say it came in various colours? It does, I'm testing a red one.

I am also testing the adorably cute Little Sun (perfect for kids and no danger of them wasting the battery!) and the Nokero Start (rather wittily shaped like a lightbulb, the old fashioned sort)

More news as it happens! Stay tuned...


It's been one of the warmest days of the year so far so what better time to talk about....thermal underwear!

Once when DD and I went camping in the summer we didn't bother to put the tent inner (including the ground sheet) in the tent. It was so so hot, we had camp beds that would keep us off of the ground, and we imagined a lovely night of cool fresh breezes, but still ultimately warm.

How naive we were, how foolish. How COLD! By midnight we had realised what a dreadful mistake we had made, the cold from the ground had chilled everything, the air temperature had dropped rapidly once the sun had gone down and with only a single skin to the tent the warmth in that had gone too. How we shivered and griped. How we wished we had more on than a T shirt and pants!

So when the eCornerShop asked me to review some thermal underwear I was keen, despite the arrival of spring. When you are a camper thermals should be an all round item! The best thing about this thermal set (consisting of a long sleeve vest, and long pants) is that they are so soft and so sleek! You can wear them under other clothes with hardly a wrinkle, but also as they are black they don't look bad on their own. None of the look of the cowboy long johns! More a slinky black cat woman effect (that's how I''m seeing myself so you can all shut up)

I'm going to be pitching the tent in the garden this weekend, the first pitch of the season, to check for moth damage (yikes) mould (yikes again) and anything else that may have happened while it's been snuggling in its bag in the loft.

And I might need to sleep in it, as a proper test, and when I do, I shall be snuggly too!

The Ladies Thermal underwear set is available from the eCornerShop

They don't only sell ladies under wear, they have thermals for men too (and a rather fit model! go and look!) and thermals for kids (perfect for sleep wear or when away at festivals) and they have some rather good onesies too if you like that sort of thing! Do take a peek.

Disclaimer - I was sent the thermals in exchange for this review but the opinions in this post are all mine (as is the embarrassing naive camping experience)

You Dirty, Dirty girl...

Keeping clean at a festival. Ah to wash or not to wash, that is the question...

Many people queue for the showers at a festival. The shower queue starts early and grows as the day goes on. Many people don't mind queueing it seems, especially if they have nothing to go and see during the day, many young festival goers are clubbers in the real world and therefore quite nocturnal! But if you are a parent is it worth the long (and often boring) wait with you kids? Is it essential to shower at all - or even wash, after all most festivals are only a few days. Shower before you leave and shower when you return should suffice surely?

Oxford Playhouse at Wilderness Festival - Bath Time
 Ah but the smell, the joyous aroma of unwashed bodies that have been sweating in a field and staggering through vomit, clinging to a grimy portable chemical toilet in the fading twilight...

Camp Bestival
 Yes maybe you have a point maybe you will need a wash at a festival. But queueing for 2 hours? I really don't want to waste that sort of time! I have in the past washed body and hair in a large bucket of cold water by the tent, and that's OK if you are a) not shy and b) not cold (ie it only really works at a summer festival) So I was happy to try another tactic...The waterless body wash!

I received a free bottle to review from FilthyFox (what a fine brand name!) and the product is cheerfully called Pits & Bits so I think the clue is that it's designed for your, ahem, smellier parts rather than a total head to foot wash. I also had the use of some 'expandable wipes' which look ominously like enormous tablets - don't be tempted to put them in your mouth! (and keep them away for children) as they swell on contact with liquid to epic proportions, much larger than a baby wipe for example.

So on with the review. The liquid was squirted onto the expandable wipe by DD and we waited expectantly, gradually the wipe became the size of a large marshmallow and then Dd carefully unwound it, commenting as she did that the wash smelled nice and fresh.

Washing with the newly moistened wipe created a fine lather and then we dried off. Initially I was concerned that we felt a bit sticky, despite the 'no residue' promise, but as we warmed up and our hands dried properly it actually made our skin feel quite soft as if we had been using hand cream.

Would I buy it? I'm not sure, it smells lovely and works well but is it better that a pack of wet wipes? Maybe I need to get really filthy and stinky at a festival for a true test! It did have a better scent than baby wipes. I think kids would be encouraged to wash with it too as it is fun to watch the expandable wipes grow larger!

The Filthy Fox website has wipes, and also some truly excellent festival survival stuff! They even have a festival kit, with tent,bed and sleeping bag for under £30 Brilliant!

They have a 99p section too for all those silly little essentials. But my favourite item for festival and non-festival camping alike has to be this
This handy pocket sized survival tool is the perfect size for popping in your pocket or bag, with a range of useful tools to get you through festivals! The festival survival tool features a compass, bottle opener, can opener, serrated knife and more. A handy little gadget to keep with you at festivals!

as my husband said "Perfect for the drunk camper that gets lost a lot" Who could ask for more!

If you are off to a festival do Check out Filthy Fox first

Some 'Filthy' Foxes at Wilderness

Disclaimer - I was sent a bottle of Pits&Bits no water body wash for review, but all thoughts etc in this post are my own.

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