It’s a holiday weekend and your friends or family have decided it’s time to get away from it all. Wrangling you into their plans, they’ve chosen to go camping, where there’s no running water, let alone power outlets. But having devices charged is essential, especially for emergency situations, navigation, and keeping the good times rolling. And if you’re planning on going for longer than a few days, being able to recharge power banks and batteries is even more important. The solution to all this is a portable solar panel!
Staying Connected with the Sun and a Portable Solar Panel!
When we think of solar panels, we normally have an image in our heads of vast fields of shiny rectangles that aren’t particularly useful for a weekend of camping. But innovators have taken all that technology and squeezed it down into an incredibly small size, using a foldable design, energy efficient panels, and hardy materials. A portable solar panel works pretty much the same way: it collects energy from sunlight and converts it into electricity, which is either stored in a power bank attached to the panel or transferred directly to a connected device.
When on the lookout for a portable solar panel to bring camping, you should keep in mind a few things.
- First is energy conversion, which determines how much energy is converted into electricity. This ultimately affects the time it takes to complete a recharge. Leading portable solar panels have incredible efficiency ratings at 21.5% to 23.5%, meaning devices are charged in a flash.
- If it includes software that allows for optimization of charging. That technology allows voltage to be regulated, so as to ensure your device gets the optimal charge at just the right time.
- If it includes no-tear hooks. This allows them to hang from packs, tents, or trees, so you can perfectly position them in the direction of the sun at any time of the day.
- Finally, a portable solar panel has to be robust and durable; not only should it be able to take plenty of bumps in the road, but it must be fully waterproof!
Help The Environment with a Portable Solar Panel
As lovers of nature, we campers and hikers just can’t get enough of it. Pristine wilderness is one of the great wonders of our planet. But more and more, we arrive at campsites only to find litter, trash, and discarded items like single-use batteries. Not only do these leech chemicals into the ground, but they can be a severe health hazard to wildlife! If we want to keep nature as a place of escape from the city for generations to come, we as a society need to do better in managing how much we leave behind when camping.
Part of that can come from using a portable solar panel, combined with rechargeable batteries. Power up your devices from anywhere, anytime, without the muss and fuss of searching out a new battery from the depths of your enormous pack. Not only is a portable solar panel more efficient and less irritating than non-rechargeable options, but you’re doing the planet a favor at the same time. Little habit changes like this matter. They compound and build until everyone is doing the same. Choose to make that difference and use a portable solar panel or solar power bank.
RAVPower has listened to campers and hikers to design what we believe to be a series of solar charging tools chock full of all the must-have features for use in the outdoors. All of our 16W foldout solar panels and our 24W foldout solar panels charge with exceptional efficiency through the use of iSmart technology. This makes them the perfect technology companion when exploring national parks, the backwoods, and everything in between.
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54 Replies to “Survive Off The Grid with a Portable Solar Panel”
I always travel light, I charged full for smartphone and let the battery finished utilize while the battery for my camera, I have an extra one on standby. I use it purposefully and take photo selectively.
I tried to purchase this with the promo code to get 20% off, the code worked, but it only gave about a 2.5% discount (from 45.99 to 44.79). Very disappointed.
Apologies for this issue. The item was recently restocked and the price was reduced from $55.99 to $45.99, which negated the 20% discount. I’ve spoken to the sales team and they’ve issued a new code with a new discount. Please enter SOLAR16W to purchase the solar panel for $36.80.
I find this set invaluable. Having a solar panel charge up my RAVPower 26800mAh Power Bank during the day by my tent, and also having a smaller combined solar charger and power bank with me as I explore/hike keeps me going. Using the GPS on my phone to track 20 mile hikes eats the battery in no time. The Ravpower customer service is also excellent when I’ve used them.
We’re happy that you’re satisfied. Enjoy!
I would have purchased this solar panel, but Amazon is only applying a discount of $1.20 .. far from the 20% offered ..
This has been an issue for a few people and we’ve done our best to fix it. If you enter the code SOLAR16W, you can purchase the solar panel for $36.80. What happened is that the item was recently restocked and repriced which negated the 20% discount originally offered on the blog. Sorry for an inconvenience.
I think the burning question on the minds of many backpackers is “how much does it weigh”
how long would I have to be out before it became more efficient (weight wise) to carry a solar panel rather than a power bank. Especially considering that you really want to carry at least a small power bank either way because in low light the power bank will accept a weak charge that your phone wouldn’t.
That’s actually a great question and something we may explore in a future blog post. Right now, I really cannot answer that. I suppose it depends on where you are going and your experience. As for how much it weighs, the 16W portable solar charger weighs a cool 15.9 oz / 450 grams.
I used your 24W Panel at Burning Man this year to recharge all my small electronics (and RAVPower batteries). I was off the grid for 9 days, without issues. The panel worked like a charm, and was silent, unlike all the generators going on around me. To boot, was much more effective than your competitor’s panel that I was previously using. Love your products!
That’s super cool! We’re stoked to hear that it lasted throughout the whole festival. Sign us up to go next year!
Is there any way to charge NiMh batteries with your panels?
Our solar panels technically can charge NiMh batteries but only if the NiMh battery charger has a 5V input. I hope that helps!
Do you know of any chargers like that?
Unfortunately RAVPower doesn’t sell a charger like that. You can search “NiHm Charger” on Amazon.com to find you are looking for. I know AmazonBasics produces model.
Goal zero, I have been using their panels and Nimh batteries for years when I go to the Brazilian outback.
Hi All. Great product. I posted a review on my blog if you care to see it.
Thanks for the review! Would you mind if we posted your video on our Facebook page?
I have an S8 and a HP Envy, both with USB-C. Are your solar chargers compatible with either of these?
Our solar charger is compatible with 5V devices, so please confirm if the voltage for either devices is 5V. From memory, the solar charger is compatible with an S8 but not the HP Envy.
What do you have to mount on a popup camper to keep the deep cell battery charged?
We don’t really have anything to charge a deep cell battery. We do have this car battery charger which may work. Read the description and see if it matches what you need. Hope that helps.
the est solar chargers are from tough tested
Going to buy, is the code for 20% going to work? It would be perfect for when I’m snowed it w/out power. I can use my phone and tablet at least. Have big picture window on south side. Thanks for developing. Think you have helped out this senior keeping phone charged.
We’re happy to help you out!
So, what’s the charge time with these? A 3300 or 4700mah battery, what kind of time frame are we talking about?
I hope this helps you.
• 3350mah = 3.35 A
charging time = 3.35 /（input (1A) x conversion rate （0.75））= 4.47 hours
• 6700mah = 6.7A
charging time = 6.7 /（input (1A) x conversion rate （0.75））= 8.9 hours
charging time = 6.7 /（input (2A) x conversion rate （0.75））= 4.47 hours
Your FB post on the solar charger for $36.80 just popped-up on my iPad (10/07/17) but when I got down to the bottom to order one it said the special ended Sept 30. Are you planning on offering it at/around that price point in 6he near future? Thanks.
We have had a few people contact us about this so we’ve decided to extend the discount until October 30. We hope this helps!
It’s unfortunate that I have just seen this ad, even though I’m on FB daily. I would have liked to have gotten the product at the discounted price. (sigh)
We’re continuing the sale price. You can get it now until October 30th.
I got mine at discount price from Amazon. But I have a question. you can only charge phones while panels are in sun
But doesn’t sav e any charge, Correct?
That is correct. It does not have a built-in battery so it cannot save power. We do have a a solar charger with a 15000mAh battery. It can be powered with sunlight or a DC input. Find it here.
We have a laptop case with one on the inside. Would this be enough? How could we use it to charge phones, etc?
Is it a RAVPower portable solar panel? It would depend on how big it is and what the output is.
Great piece. But while even I, I’m a solar energy protagonist, I have to wonder if having it for off the grid applications like this isn’t counterproductive, in the light of why you are going off the grid in the first place. (if you know what I mean). Otherwise, this is a great application – for when its absolutely necessary; not when you’re trying to fuel the same technology you are seeking escape from
We understand that one of the reasons to get off the grid is to get away from technology, however, sometimes being able to have power for emergencies is vital. That’s where we hope RAVPower can help the most people 😀
I Suppose you have a point – and emergencies are often out of our power to control. Great piece overall.
Thank you for your post. This is excellent information. It is amazing and wonderful to visit your site. It really gives me an insight on this topic.
The solar energy burst into our lives with a stormy current. Earlier it was a rather expensive pleasure and preferred to use the solar panels only the hardened “green” ones. However, progress did not stand still and “solar” electricity became available to many. In many countries, even make roofs from solar panels. And it brings a tangible profit, since minus the cost of equipment and the necessary minimum maintenance such energy is absolutely free. Of course in such regions where the sun is not a frequent guest – solar panels, you will not meet but in the rest of the world …
In occasion of small charging devices on a solar power. I myself use a similar power bank that can charge itself and it’s important to note that I really like the efficiency.
To sum it up – an interesting article.
Author, continue in the same way!
Can you provide the specification of portable Solar PV Panel?
Hi Christian, which solar panel in particular? We typically have the information available on our Amazon store.
Could you send the link? Thanks.
Click here for our 24W solar charger. Scroll down for the details you are after. Enjoy.
I agree! The portable solar panel is a must have specially to travellers!
Thanks for sharing this information.
I got a valuable insight!
Hi Team RAVPower,
We make a camera which helps beekeepers remotely monitor their bees, automatically measuring the hive activity (you can read more if interested at keltronixinc.com).
We’re trying to build a solar power system to help researchers better understand bee health in remote locations (like almond orchards), and we’d love to use your battery (and panel) in the solution, rather than lead acid AGM batteries.
Our needs are for the battery to
1. Power our device continuously (approximately 2W – 0.4A, 5V )
2. Charge when solar power input is available (e.g. 5V 0.5-3A)
3. Pass through power (charge and simultaneously output)
4. Always on (when any power available in battery, power device)
I have purchased and been testing the following RAVPower battery models
Right now we seem to be having problems with the battery staying always on.
– when I plug the device in, it powers on without issue but seems to shut down eventually.
– when the battery is fully discharged, and charges back up, it does not automatically output power (note – pass through does work in this case, but output ceases when power stops).
Do you have any batteries which may meet our needs off the shelf?
Thanks so much for your time!
We are sorry for that we don’t have an external battery that will meet your needs.
Maybe you could try to connect the power banks with a solar panel with higher power conversion to see if you could keep the balance between output and input to ensure that the battery stays charged.
Thanks for your reply! A bigger solar panel and less chance of hitting the margins isn’t a bad idea.
Because we really need this to work remotely, I’d rather know that if we do run a few days without sun, and then we do get sun back, that the system would just power back up.
What’s strange is that the RP-PB043-1 in the first round of testing was powering the device from the regular USB port. Last night I put out the battery with near 0 charge, plugged in the device to the Quick Charge port, saw the whole thing power off, then come back on around midday, for the rest of the day, and well into the night (after pass through would have stopped). So there does seem to be different behavior on the QC circuit than the other one. Going to let it play out again tomorrow to see if that unit actually can meet the need!
Keep us updated :). If you have any technical questions, our technical support team can definitely help troubleshoot any issues (if there are any). You can reach them via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Torn between the 16w and the 24w I would like to be able to charge four 18650s in a day to run a Fenix CL30r lantern if possible and was wondering if you could tell me the average charge time between the two solar panels for a bank of 4 – 18650s thank you.
Actually its pretty technical question and we’re not 100% sure. I suppose it would depend on a few factors. I would suggest emailing email@example.com to let our product team have a crack at answering your question.
Nicely described the working of portable Solar panel and how one can survive even there is no power outlet. I must I’m intrigued by reading this article as it is very informative and easy to understand. This was an interesting read thank you for posting this blog.
very nice product i love it
Nicely described the working of portable Solar panel and how one can survive even there is no power outlet. I must I’m intrigued by reading this article as it is very informative and easy to understand