As members of our fast paced society, the technologies that were once possessed for pleasures and conveniences, have become an essential. Most, more than some of us, couldn’t imagine life without them. Communicating, person to person, is becoming a thing of the past. And gaming and social media has become addictive. I, myself, am guilty. So, I will speak for most of us, when I describe that horror-struck feeling that we all experience, when the display of our personal device flashes a brilliant red battery warning, accompanied by a single digit number. The panic sets in, especially if we are without an avenue to re-JOOS. Most of us have sheltered ourselves by carrying alternative chargers. (Now it’s time for the big “but.”) BUT, what happens during those occasions when having the charger isn’t enough? Such as camping, hiking, a power-outage or even a doomsday scenario. Communication, during such times, can turn from convenient to critical.
The awareness of the importance of off-grid power, for communication, is what inspired Advanced Survivor to explore the variety of portable solar chargers, offered on the market. With little effort, it was obvious that the JOOS Orange innovations were far ahead of its competitors. The internet is flooded with articles, reviews, and comparison tests. All raving about the JOOS’s charging speed, rugged design, versatility and reliability. All qualities I would expect from a solar charger, that I would depend on in times of crisis. So, my journey into the solar world began with the JOOS Orange.
JOOS was generous to offer Advanced Survivor a unit to perform a product review. Upon opening the Orange, the red LED power indicator immediately began flashing, demonstrating that charge was already in progress. Considering the room lighting was low, the JOOS displayed its ability to charge in less than optimal conditions. According to the User Guide, charging occurs in sunny, clouding and overcast settings. Although compact, the dense quality of its construction was undeniable. Multiple charging adaptors were included with a convenient carry pouch. I immediately was convinced of the charging speed and versatility raved about on-line. But, the ruggedness and reliability of the JOOS Orange were to be proven, for this product to hold a position in my go-bag and in my inventory.
Claims, by JOOS, that the Orange unit is waterproof, shockproof and crushproof are listed on the front cover. The cover also quotes a statement that the Orange is “Tough enough to survive a trip to Mars.” Wow, those are impressive claims. But, terms like waterproof, shockproof and crushproof just may have different meanings at Advanced Survivor. So, we decided to put the JOOS Orange to an extreme field test. We calculated that if the Orange could survive a 500 ft. drop from an airplane, into a local lake, then we would consider it waterproof, shockproof and crushproof. Prior to the drop, we tested the unit’s ability to float. Diving to the bottom of the lake, to retrieve our test unit, was not part of the plan. The thought paid off, since the density of the Orange that we boasted about earlier, pulled the unit straight to the bottom of the lake’s edge. So, with buoy attached, Advanced Survivor and the JOOS Orange, took to the air. We made up a few mock units, of the same size and weight as the actual JOOS, since some mathematics come into play on where this thing will land. After our pilot and bombardier made several runs, we had the right approach and the JOOS Orange was dropped. The lake was 870 ft above sea level so we set our altimeter to 1370 ft. When the JOOS was released we were right at 1390 ft, which puts our drop test a touch over 500 ft. Our air speed was 90 knots. When the unit hit the water, it did what I refer to as “pan-caked.” It landed in the worst possible position, parallel with the water, generating maximum force onto the unit. Upon retrieving the unit from the water, I was actually shocked to see it still intact. Waterproof? Shockproof? Crushproof? Rugged? Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Now, reliability was the only question not answered. The unit was not just intact, but it was charging! Amazingly, the little red LED light was blinking! Reliable? Yes! What a tough little unit! One that more than earned its position in my go-bag and my store.
Advanced Survivor highly recommends the JOOS Orange, as a cost-effective form of solar power, for daily and emergency use. No go bag is complete without one.
View for yourself the actual footage of Advanced Survivor and the JOOS Orange going airborne: