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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    tree OH TREE!!!!!
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    2,491

    Best portable solar charger?

    did a search, nothing good came up.

    got thoughts on portable solar charge for iphones, androids, ipods, etc... while out and about away from any power source?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Maine Coast
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    2,320
    I am interested in this too. Amazon has some pretty good reviews on chargers. One problem I am guessing is that the industry is changing so fast that what was best 6 months ago may no longer apply.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Not Brooklyn
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    One or two have been tested on Wildsnow.

  4. #4
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    Oct 2011
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    aspen xtreme/hakuba
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    435
    Not solar,but I have seen extra external 3000ma batteries for phones etc down to $30 for 2 at costco
    “THE EDGE, there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.” HST

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Central OR
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    3,561
    Just got this thing off eBay:

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	168502

    It has a battery that holds two full iPhone charges; when it runs low, just put it in the sun and it recharges itself. Going backpacking next week and will report back on how well it works.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Central OR
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    more details:

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	168503

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    7
    OutdoorGearLab has reviewed both solar chargers and external battery packs. I'd link, but as a new user I'm prevented from putting links in posts (le sigh).

    Based on their recommendation, I bought the Poweradd Apollo 2 and took it to Alaska this May for a month. It worked great and now travels with me basically everywhere -- traveling, car camping, actual camping, even long bike-rides where running google-maps/map-my-ride all day might drain the battery of my older smartphone. As an external battery it holds about 3-4 phones worth of juice and will recharge via the solar panel in direct sun on the dashboard of your car or clipped to your tent. You can also charge it via a USB cable. I've been pleasantly surprised by how useful it is. Apparently the manufacturer says that it will take 50 hours to fully recharge in the sun, or 12 hrs when plugged in, but honestly it seems quicker than that to me.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    E >>> W
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    4,178
    Beyond charging a small usb block that can top off your phone a few times, anything small enough that you would want to backpack(?) with doesn't really gather enough juice - that being said, mine are a few years old and I am sure they make bigger and lighter versions - you really need the surface area of a roof sized panel and great sun alignment to get into any more serious power. I have a couple of small ones kicking around if you want to demo for awhile to see what they can do.
    Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Natures peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn. - John Muir

    "How long can it last? For fuck sake this isn't heroin -
    suck it up princess" - XXX on getting off mj

    “This is infinity here,” he said. “It could be infinity. We don’t really don’t know. But it could be. It has to be something — but it could be infinity, right?” - Trump, on the vastness of space, man

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
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    SLC
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    3,076
    Quote Originally Posted by Flyoverland Captive View Post
    Just got this thing off eBay:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	ImageUploadedByTGR Forums1438303294.672755.jpg 
Views:	129 
Size:	100.4 KB 
ID:	168502

    It has a battery that holds two full iPhone charges; when it runs low, just put it in the sun and it recharges itself. Going backpacking next week and will report back on how well it works.
    I have a very similar thing I got on amazon for around $35 or so. I took it on a hut trip in CO. It can't charge your phone while it's gathering a charge itself, and it didn't seem to hold more than about 30% of my iPhone 6 battery life, but that 30% can be pretty useful when you need the device. I'm usually in airplane mode in the backcountry anyway and the phone is a camera / emergency device...

    I wasn't thrilled with it, but I probably got what I paid for. I still bring it along if I want the almost-guarantee of not entirely losing a charge.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    E >>> W
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    These are the two set ups I have taken BC - now I just use a bigger USB block pre charged that can charge my phone 3-4 times. Would prob take a better fold up panel if planning on being away from power for more than 4 days




    Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Natures peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn. - John Muir

    "How long can it last? For fuck sake this isn't heroin -
    suck it up princess" - XXX on getting off mj

    “This is infinity here,” he said. “It could be infinity. We don’t really don’t know. But it could be. It has to be something — but it could be infinity, right?” - Trump, on the vastness of space, man

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Central OR
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    3,561
    Quote Originally Posted by Flyoverland Captive View Post
    Just got this thing off eBay:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	ImageUploadedByTGR Forums1438303294.672755.jpg 
Views:	129 
Size:	100.4 KB 
ID:	168502

    It has a battery that holds two full iPhone charges; when it runs low, just put it in the sun and it recharges itself. Going backpacking next week and will report back on how well it works.
    Very pleased with this. It really does hold two full iPhone 5s charges. It does recharge in the sun, but pretty slowly; but if I'm camping, I just clip it to my tent and go have fun. Recommended.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    644
    Bumping this to see if/whats changed in 2 years. Also interested in whether someone has a solar charging solution for camera batterys.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    mouth of BCC
    Posts
    1,264
    Goal Zero Nomad 7 or Nomad 7+

    http://www.goalzero.com/
    POWDER SKIER
    COLD RAIN and SNOW

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
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    SLC
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    I switched to something like this https://smile.amazon.com/Upgraded-Po...battery+ismart

    my specific one is apparently no longer sold, but it's awesome. fully charges my iphone ~5x, holds its own charge great. unless I was going for a week+ and needed regular phone use, I'd just take this thing instead of dicking around w/solar.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Central OR
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyoverland Captive View Post
    Very pleased with this. It really does hold two full iPhone 5s charges. It does recharge in the sun, but pretty slowly; but if I'm camping, I just clip it to my tent and go have fun. Recommended.
    Update: This thing worked great for a few months, then shit the bed. Avoid Upow.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Moose, Iowa
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    4,993
    Quote Originally Posted by mbillie1 View Post
    I switched to something like this https://smile.amazon.com/Upgraded-Po...battery+ismart

    my specific one is apparently no longer sold, but it's awesome. fully charges my iphone ~5x, holds its own charge great. unless I was going for a week+ and needed regular phone use, I'd just take this thing instead of dicking around w/solar.
    Yep. I did a bunch of research on this earlier this year and the consensus seems to be that solar isn't really there yet with small portable chargers. Weight to power ratio is better with a simple Rav battery or something like it.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Posts
    23
    How much solar charger is required to charge plain jane Dewalt batteries? Is that easy?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Minnetonka
    Posts
    212
    I have a BLKBOX foldable charger which works well in full sun but slow. I use a large battery pack and rarely need to recharge it with the solar charger, but will use it to top off my phone on occasion.
    Check the wirecutter website for reviews.

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