HydraCell uses a common-place product to provide a crucial element to any camping trip. That’s right, the HydraCell Utility Lantern uses water to provide illumination and DC power. Through proprietary technology, each HydraCell battery will produce power for 100 hours or more, requiring a replacement only after 300+ hours of use. Using HydraCell is simple, and the technology works with multiple products.

Nomad Base Station

Use water to light the way

If you’ve ever been camping, you know how terrible it is to get to the campsite and find out that your flashlight is dead. No illumination besides your smartphone, and then once your battery on that dies, utter darkness…Ok, maybe not complete darkness, but it’s not that easy to see without proper lighting. That’s where HydraCell’s Utility Lantern comes in. It offers three bright LEDs that provide area lighting. Plus, a DC output for accessory lights. It’s powered by water, and that’s what really makes it special.

What is HydraCell

HydraCell was born out of a desire to help avoid disposing of “more than three billion batteries each year.” This new type of battery is completely powered by nothing but water. That’s right, this is a water-powered battery. The instructions on how to use this technology is pretty straight forward:

How to use HydraCell

  1. Dip HydraCell in any water for 10-15 seconds
  2. Shake excess water out
  3. Power compatible products

It’s seriously that simple. The company claims that each fuel cell will produce power for 100 hours or more, only needing to be re-hydrated every now and then. After approximately 300 hours of use,the cells themselves need to be replaced, but the cost is minimal there.

Each cell can be stored for up to 25 (or sometimes more) years before its first use. This means that you can store several unused HydraCells in your emergency preparedness kit, offering up to thousands of hours of illumination before first use.

How To Use HydraCell

An expandable platform

HydraCell fuel cells, as the batteries are called, can be used with a few different products. Plus, the Utility Lantern can be used to power other lights through its built-in DC output.

One of the more expensive, but very capable products from HydraCell is the SuperCell Hybrid Lantern and Charger. This is $150, compared to the $40 of the Utility Lantern. But, the Super Cell uses three HydraCells to provide illumination but also features a Lithium-Ion battery and solar panel for increased recharging capability. No sun available? The Li-Ion battery is trickle charged by the HydraCells.

9to5Toys’ take

We’re no strangers to going green at 9to5Toys. HydraCell technology is another way to help the environment out some and seems like a fantastic option for the outdoor adventurer who wants the ability to light their way without using traditional batteries. Instead of bringing several replacement batteries with you on a trip, just bring HydraCell, and use your water source, like a stream, to keep the light going. I’m excited to see what else the company comes to market with because the possibilities here really are endless.


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Patrick Campanale's favorite gear