Travel can be a risky business for your gadgets, particularly if you’re the adventurous type.

RokPak is a new rugged dry box that keeps fragile objects like your smartphone, watch or wallet free from dust and water. While doing that, it offers additional functionality, such as USB ports, a solar panel and a 12,000 mAh battery pack so you could keep your gizmos fully charged even when you’re out in the wilds.

The container — currently at the funding stage on Kickstarter — has other outdoorsy features as well. These include an LED flashlight, which blinks when you receive a text message or alert on your phone, and a water-activated SOS beacon, should you run into trouble out at sea.

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The US-based company’s COO Timothy Svitak Jr. explains how RokPak keeps you and your possessions safe and sound even in the most extreme conditions.  

How did you come up with the idea to create a solar battery pack?

We are a family of avid outdoor enthusiasts and travelers that were looking for a solution to our phones dying, overheating and getting destroyed by water, dirt or mud. We started with the four products that every outdoor enthusiast needs — waterproof storage, solar power, battery power and a flashlight. Then, we analyzed all the products on the market.

We saw so many options for each individual item, but nothing that created an all-in-one solution. This was a major problem that we wanted to solve. Being outdoors is about enjoying activities, family, friends and, of course, nature, so we wanted our solution to be something convenient that would enhance the experience for all outdoor enthusiasts.

What are you planning to achieve with this gadget?

We created this patent-pending gadget to solve problems people encounter when experiencing the outdoors. The Pioneer Series is the world’s first and only product to combine solar charging, battery charging and rugged waterproof storage into an all-in-one lightweight solution. Built for the toughest conditions, passing military standard 810G drop testing and IP67 waterproof certification, RokPak gives you the freedom to go anywhere in the world with power. It allows us to explore without limitations because of power or damage from water and other elements.

How does the RokPak work?

RokPak has integrated both solar and battery power into a rugged and waterproof storage solution. The charging ports are on the inside of the RokPak. You can plug in your devices inside and close the RokPak, so everything inside is waterproof and safe from drops. The solar panel is connected directly to the battery so while you are outdoors all day, the RokPak is recharging the internal battery via the solar panel integrated on the outside of the Pioneer Series.

For the LED SOS safety feature, there are two pins located on the outside of the RokPak. Once those pins make contact with water, it forms a connection and it automatically turns on the LED SOS beacon. If someone falls off a boat or drops the RokPak, it can easily be spotted because the RokPak Pioneer Series floats.

What are the main features of this battery pack?

The main features include an integrated solar panel, battery charger, waterproof rugged storage, two USB ports, a water-activated SOS beacon and a four-function flashlight. All of which floats, so if you are around water or on a boat and it falls in, these items will not sink to the bottom. The water-activated SOS beacon will start to flash and you can easily find the RokPak or persons who have gone overboard.

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Is this product aimed at adventurous types?

There are dry boxes, solar panels, flashlights and battery chargers, but you want to bring as little as possible when outdoors. RokPak has combined all the things into one patent-pending rugged solution, allowing you to save space and travel lighter. If you have a smartphone, GoPro, GPS, camera, or any other portable electronics, RokPak can charge them through its two USB ports. It can even charge two iPads at the same time with an output for each port. So, RokPak is for everyone.

Can RokPak only be charged via its solar panels?

No, the RokPak can also be charged by the micro USB cable, which is included. Simply plug the micro USB into an outlet, car charger or computer and you can recharge the internal battery. You can also connect additional solar panels through the micro USB port to shorten solar charging times to as little as four hours. 

Does this device have an ecological purpose?

Yes, the RokPak Pioneer Series will help reduce waste being left in the outdoors. Instead of things falling into the water and sinking, only to never be seen again, a RokPak will keep its contents dry and floating, so they will not be left behind. With a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can be charged by solar energy, you can keep your electronics charged instead of using single-use batteries. Also, the waterproof enclosure that not only charges everything but protects them from drops will eliminate the need for plastic and disposable storage to keep your electronics and other belongings dry.

- By Daniel Casillas