Solar 15 charger. Best Overall

Field test: PV Modules

A real world comparison between Mono, Poly, PERC and Dual PV Modules.

This is a field test and the results are specific for this installation on this location please research which is the best solution for your own situation as the results can be different based on environmental influences.

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Total solar yield as of 27/03/2023 when the results were reset: Mono: 9158 kWh Split-cell: 9511 kWh Poly: 9113 kWh Perc: 9471 kWh Perc-east: 1970 kWh Perc-west: 1730 kWh

SmartSolar MPPT 75/10, 75/15, 100/15 100/20

A solar charger gathers energy from your solar panels, and stores it in your batteries. Using the latest, fastest technology, SmartSolar maximises this energy-harvest, driving it intelligently to achieve full charge in the shortest possible time. SmartSolar maintains battery health, extending its life.

The SmartSolar charge controller will even recharge a severely depleted battery. It can operate with a battery voltage as low as 0 Volts, provided the cells are not permanently sulphated or otherwise damaged.

MPPT: Ultra Fast Maximum Power Point Tracking

By constantly monitoring the voltage and current output of your solar (PV) panels, MPPT technology ensures that every drop of available power is rinsed out of your panels, and harvested for storage. The advantage of this is most noticeable when the sky is partially clouded, and light intensity is constantly changing.

Remote Monitoring and Control

Remotely control and monitor the extensive features of your SmartSolar MPPT charger with built-in Bluetooth by pairing it with your smartphone or other device via VictronConnect. If your installation is connected to the internet with a GX device, the Victron Remote Management Portal (VRM) provides access to the full power of your MPPT, anytime, anywhere; both VictronConnect and VRM are free to use. For remote installations. even when there is no internet connection nearby. you may be able to monitor your MPPT by connecting the GlobalLink 520.

Load output

The intelligent Load output function prevents damage caused by running batteries ‘flat’. You can configure the voltage at which SmartSolar disconnects a load. thereby preventing excessive drain on your batteries. And here’s the clever bit: SmartSolar will attempt a 100% recharge every day. If it can’t. during periods of poor weather. it raises the disconnect voltage, daily, until it achieves success. We call this feature BatteryLife because it maintains the health, and extends the life of your battery.

VictronConnect lets you get live status information and configure any Victron products which either have Bluetooth built-in, or are connected to a VE.Direct Bluetooth Smart Dongle.

Just the Basics Please

Let me start with the most basic of technical details.

The RAVPower is a 3 panel system that folds up into a lightweight, compact, folio that is small enough and light enough to carry in your pack. The actual folded dimensions are 7.5” x 10”.

Inside the folio itself is a pouch with a Velcro tab that contains two USB ports. Now here is the nifty part; the two ports output a total of 5V and 3 amps. Using what they call iSmart technology, these ports figure out how much juice is needed for each device and delivers just what is needed to charge them in the least amount of time.

solar, charger, best, overall

So, for example, if you have a tablet and a smartphone, each with a different charging requirement, the RAVPower will figure it out. I tested this myself by mixing and matching connections, moving things around to ensure that I was getting a charge. It worked.

Testing the RAVPower 15W Solar

The day I chose for my test was partly cloudy but not quite overcast. This was not optimal full sun conditions but heck, the reality is that when we need to use emergency power, we need to use emergency power. We do not get to pick the time or the date.

With the three panels fully extended, I was able to get a charge on all of my devices, including an iPad, iPad mini, Kindle, iPhone, and a Goal Zero Guide10 USB battery pack. As I mentioned, I switched things around, making up different combinations of gizmos but in all cases, was able to see the lightening bolt, indicating a charge. (The Goal Zero has a flashing red light.)

Next, I moved the RAVPower to my shaded porch where only two of the three panels were exposed to the sun, and even then, it was the partial sun. There was not enough juice to charge the iPad or the Goal Zero, but the phone and Kindle did just fine.

One thing I should point out is that you do not want your electronics to bake in the direct sun. Smaller devices can be tucked into the while charging whereas a larger tablet can be shaded by setting up the panels in an accordion fashion. Just be wary of what you do need to exercise some discretion, especially with the iPad which will shut itself down if it gets too hot.

Other Options

A come-with option is a set of four carbineers that can attach to metal grommets in the folio.

As you can see, I attached the RAVPower to my pack so that my devices could charge while on the move. You could also use the carbineers to attach the solar array to branches, or some fencing or practically anything else as long as you had some cordage on board. (And you do have paracord in your pack, right?)

RAVPower makes an optional USB battery pack. I have tested similar packs in the past and they are very convenient to use for both powering and charging your devices at night or when you are indoors or in your vehicle. I can not tell you how many times I have been on the ferry traveling to the mainland, and have needed to use the stored juice in my battery pack to power my iPad.

If you are considering a RAVPower solar charger, definitely take a look at this option.

The Giveaway

To enter the giveaway, you need to utilize the Rafflecopter form below. Select one or more of the options after signing I using your email account or. the choice is yours. The best way to start is by clicking on “Free Entry for Everyone”. After that, each option you select represents an additional entry. There are a number of different options so pick and choose or select them all.

The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific next Tuesday with the winner notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article. Please note that the winner must claim their prize within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.

SunJack Portable Solar Charger Review

If you want to see a quick look at my conclusions. have a peek at this table. My review goes into more detail below.

Lightweight

Unlike many competing models, the SunJack Solar Charger is super-light, made from quality material, and doesn’t require any prior knowledge to use. Whether you’re living off the land, or going on a camping trip, it can help you charge your electronic devices and make your time in the wild much more pleasant. It can also save your life if you’re stranded in the wild with a dead cell phone or satellite phone battery. Overall, it’s a highly recommended portable solar charger.

Overview – What’s it Good For?

In the wild, there are no outlets (if you find one, send me an email), so it’s impossible to charge electronic devices. With the SunJack Solar Charger, you’ll be able to power your GPS devices, emergency radios, flashlights, and even a cell phone. Again, I’m not a huge fan of relying on technology for survival, but having a portable solar charger is a nice backup in my opinion. Even if you’re not in a survival situation, it can be a great addition to a camping adventure or off grid living scenario.

Like I said, I’ve tested dozens of portable solar chargers and backup power devices. Here’s the biggest problem I have with most of them: they take forever to charge stuff (most of the time, I could never get my devices fully charged, which is obviously a huge issue. That’s when I decided to give the SunJack Portable Solar Charger a try. Upon using it, I knew immediately that I had a winner.

At just 6.75” x 9.25” x 1.75” when folded, it’s the epitome of what a “portable” solar charger should be. You can easily slip it into any bug out bag without worry that it’s going to take up a lot of space. It doesn’t weigh much (about 2 pounds), so I consider it the perfect battery backup for when you’re on-the-go. Here are some helpful specs to know:

  • Battery Charge Cycles: 1,000
  • Battery Backup: 8000mAh Lithium-Polymer Battery
  • Max Output Voltage/Current: Two 5V/2A USB Ports
  • Solar Panels: 14 Watts of High-Efficiency Mono-Crystalline

What I love most about the SunJack is that it doesn’t require any experience to use. Even if you’re totally new to alternative energy, you’ll be able to setup your portable charger in a matter of minutes. The simplicity worth is worth its price tag in my opinion. Also, the build quality of this device is very solid- much more solid than what you’ll find in competing models. In short, it doesn’t feel “cheap”. Whether you’re in a survival situation, or on a casual camping trip, there’s no doubt that this charger can come in handy.

What Do You Get?

When you buy the SunJack Portable Solar Charger, here’s what you’ll get:

  • Portable Solar Charger
  • Fast-Charge Battery Pack
  • Carabiners
  • Fast-Charge Cable
  • Quick Start Guide1-Year Manufacturer’s Warranty

I recommend taking advantage of this product while the 1-year manufacturer’s warranty is still on the table. If anything happens to your device within that time, you’ll be able to replace it absolutely free (you might need to pay shipping, but I’m not 100% sure).

Best for RVing

Patriot Power Sidekick

Specializing in emergency equipment such as water filters and ready-to-eat survival meals, the outdoor company 4 Patriots also makes must-have solar devices. The Power Sidekick is a reliable and efficient solar charger that’s designed for sudden power-outages, and is also a good addition to camping or RV gear.

Although it’s lightweight, the Sidekick can charge phones, laptops, medical devices, Wi-Fi routers, radios, and more with a capacity of 300 watts. The four foldable solar panels (connected) provide total 40 watts of power to recharge the Sidekick and can also directly charge any device that has a USB port. There’s a light on the back that’s useful in a tent or on the picnic table, and the clear digital display shows the charging levels and how many watts the laptop being charged is using.

The company supports active-duty military and veterans’ charities.

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Price at time of publish: 497

Solar Panel Capacity: 40 watts | Battery Capacity: 300 watt hours | Weight: 8 pounds | Output Ports: Two USB, USB Type C, two pure sine wave AC output

Best Backpack Charger

Voltaic Systems Array Rapid Solar Backpack Charger for Laptops

A solar-charging backpack allows you to charge a laptop on the go, and the redesigned Array Rapid Solar Backpack Charger by Voltaic Systems is lightweight (5.4 pounds), durable, and powerful. UV and water resistant, the backpack is made from 33 recycled plastic soda bottles (recycled PET fabric). Inside is 25 liters of storage, a dedicated padded 15-inch laptop sleeve for added protection, and plenty of interior s.

The new larger capacity, 88-watt hour battery comes with USB-C to charge the latest devices. The battery can be recharged with the AC adapter or with the 10-watt solar panel that’s built into the rear of the backpack. It takes about six hours to fully charge a laptop.

Price at time of publish: 249

Solar Panel Capacity: 9 watts | Battery Capacity: 88.8 watt hours | Weight: 5.4 pounds | Output Ports: USB, USB Type C, and Hi-Voltage Laptop Output

Best Budget

SunJack 25W Portable Solar Charger Panel 2 Powerbanks

This portable solar panel and battery kit is designed for phones, tablets, and other smaller devices, but if your laptop uses a USB-C power cable, you can also connect it. The kit includes a folding, three-panel portable solar charger, and two 10,000mAh batteries, plus two fast-charging cables and carabiners.

This setup might not be ideal for powering work on your laptop for an extended period of time, but it can supplement your laptop’s internal battery enough to get it to boot up and check or send messages in the case of an emergency. At under 200, it’s a great value and considerably less expensive than setups with higher capacities.

Sunjack is a trusted name is solar panels, and its durable design is back by a one year warranty.

Price at time of publish: 120

Solar Panel Capacity: 25 watts | Battery Capacity: 90 watt hours each | Weight: 3 pounds total | Output Ports: One USB-A, one USB-C

Our top pick for a portable solar laptop charger is the Jackery Power Outdoors unit for its reasonable price and high functionality, but if you’re looking for a cost-friendly option, the SunJack Solar Panel and Power Bank set is an affordable, lightweight choice for charging laptops and cell phones in emergency situations.

What to Consider When Shopping for a Solar Laptop Charger

Battery

While some portable solar panel manufacturers claim they can charge laptops by connecting directly to the panel, it’s not a good idea. Voltage fluctuations can potentially damage devices, and portable solar panels are slower to charge devices than battery power packs. Not to mention, solar panels can only be utilized during daylight hours, while a combination of both (battery and panel) allows you to maximize power generation by using the battery in the evenings and recharging it on the panel during the day.

Weight

Although solar panels and batteries have both gotten way lighter in recent years, a battery system that’s large enough to keep a laptop charged for a meaningful amount of time is not going to fit in your Generally speaking, bigger, heavier batteries are going to charge a laptop for longer. These steps tend to be best suited for off-grid homes, car camping, or RVing. If you need a super lightweight system, you may want to consider if tablet and smaller battery pack can suit your needs.

Output Ports

Make sure the battery has output ports that you can plug your laptop’s power cable into. Many newer laptops, like the MacBook Pro, use a power cable with a USB-C connector. Older laptops will need an AC output port, the kind you find on a wall outlet.

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