If you don’t buy your cables (yes, some of us still use cables) from Monoprice, you disappoint me. But while the online retailer got its start with cables and components (and component cables), it’s been expanding for years into dozens of electronics categories — and the latest is gear for your trips to the great outdoors.
Specifically, Monoprice’s “Pure Outdoor” line takes aim at the likes of GoalZero and Anker. In fact, the Monoprice foldable solar panel is a dead ringer for Anker’s well-reviewed PowerPort Solar Lite, though the former will, naturally, be slightly cheaper — $40 versus the Anker’s $50 or so.
There’s also a larger “power cache” with a much more capacious battery. It’s more in competition with GoalZero’s Yeti series: full-on grounded plugs and enough juice to charge your laptop a few times. Expect to pay $180 for the privilege — this might be more of an emergency kit/go bag option.
In addition to the solar gear and camping accessories, Monoprice is looking to get into the cycling market — but, strange as it may seem, they’re aiming at the high end.
There are lightweight carbon components — seat posts, handlebars, and wheels — that Monoprice makes, and e-bike conversion kits from third parties will be sold until the company starts making its own.
With electronics brick and mortar stores as rare as hen’s teeth, are outdoor emporiums like Cabela’s and REI as endangered as the big cats and other alpine fauna sought by their very customers? Well, they’ll probably stick around for a while.