Emergency Kit Picks Under $150

September 10, 2019
Filed Under: gear orientation

Okay, how do I build an emergency kit?

The answer – it can be a little bit different for everyone. On medication? Make sure you’ve got a backup supply. Got pets? Make sure you include their meds (and foods), too. Got kids? Make sure you’ve got a deck of cards for go-to entertainment. The list goes on, but the key is understanding you and your family’s typical routine and identifying the small but powerful items that are critical to making that routine run smoothly.

One of the most universal elements of daily routine is our reliance on on-grid energy: from the phones we carry to the lights we flip on when we walk in the door, power flows through our activities almost invisibly – that is, until the grid goes down.

Here at BioLite, we can offer some useful advice on how to build your emergency kit with energy solutions that keep you safe and connected. Whether it’s building your earthquake kit or your hurricane go-bag, the following is a list of easy to use emergency items that, clocking in under $150, won’t break the bank:

Disaster Kit Picks: Under $150


    SolarHome 620 I $149.95 

    This solar micro-grid packs down to the size of a shoebox and sets up fast for multi-room lighting, charging, and FM radio. The system requires minimal installation, working easily with existing structures (for example your Control Box can hang off of a coat hook or nail in the wall). A crossover product from BioLite, the SolarHome 620 is already in use across hundreds of thousands of homes across east Africa, in use daily to bring off-grid energy to everyday life. We’ll let the 60 second overview take it from here:


    SunLight I $24.95

    What is it?

    A 100 lumen solar-rechargeable lantern. The SunLight features up to 50 hours runtime, white lantern mode, select-your-hue mode, and Party Mode (a smooth sequence through all colors).

    Why it's good for Emergency Preparedness:

    • With self-recharging from the sun, they won’t run out like wax, gas, or batteries.
    • Kid-friendly alternative to candles; won’t melt or burn anything, plus Party Mode is a favorite.
    • Plastic housing won’t pop or deflate like other solar lanterns.
    • Kickstand lets you prop it up on tables or hang for overhead room lighting.
    • Flat, square design packs easily without taking up a lot of space in your kit - no awkward or bulky shapes to work around.
    Stuff to Consider:
    • If you know you’ll be in grey skies, consider charging your SunLights via micro-USB with alternative power-generating options like the CampStove or a wall port.

    HeadLamp 330 I $49.95

    What is it?

    A USB rechargeable 330-lumen headlamp that features spot, flood, full, red, and strobe settings.

    Why it's good for Emergency Preparedness:

    • It gets out of the way: 3D SlimFit construction creates a front housing that’s only 9mm thick and sits flush on forehead. As GeekDad puts it “if you are trying to get close to something you don’t have to worry about accidentally poking it, and if you’re walking or running you don’t get [a] bounce effect.”
    • It fits both kids and adults.
    • Tilts down in four different settings so you can direct your light where you need it.
    • It frees up your hands to carry items (or kids) while walking in the dark, or take on a variety of everyday tasks we take for granted with overhead lighting (cooking, reading, resetting your circuit breaker, or even unpacking and utilizing the rest of your emergency kit).
    • USB-rechargeable means you don’t have to worry about carrying around extra batteries.

    Stuff to Consider:

    • Throwing it in a pack? Use lock mode to prevent the light from accidentally turning on in your pack (press and hold the button for 8 seconds until it flashes red twice).
    • Need a mix of hands-free and overhead light? Pick up the HeadLamp Light-Diffusing StuffSack and transform your headlamp into a hangable lantern.
    • Make sure you’ve got a means to recharge it (solar panel, power bank, generator, etc). 
    • If you're looking for another hands-free lighting option, check out the HeadLamp 200

    SolarPanel 10+ I $139.95










    What is it?

    An ultra-thin 10 watt solar panel with an on-board 3000mAh battery. It features a 360 degree kickstand and a built-in sundial to help you get the most power by orienting to direct sun quickly and clearly.

    Why it's good for Emergency Preparedness:

    • When outlets and batteries are gone – the sun still rises.
    • 10W is enough to keep your phone, light, tablet, and power bank on a steady rotation of being charged and usable.
    • On the go? Store it outside of your pack and let the on-board battery soak up the power you’re generating – it’s enough for a phone charge.
    Stuff to Consider:
    • Remember your connectors: In your emergency kit, make sure to stash charging cords with the right USB inputs for your phone, light, etc.
    • The sun still rises – but clouds and extreme weather can get in the way. If you know you’ll be in grey skies, consider supplementing your kit with alternative power-generating options like the thermoelectric CampStove.
    • If you hit some temporary clouds, not to worry: SolarPanel 10+ features auto-reconnect which automatically re-engages charging when sunny skies come back.

      WATCH: Everyday Carry Meets Emergency Ready

      Erica packs up her backpack with pocket-friendly picks that offer useful light and power while taking up minimal space.


      Looking for the full lineup of BioLite Emergency Kits & Gear? Visit the shop here.

      Shop Products From This Article