Our Top Solar & Gifts
I update this list constantly, because there’s always something new & interesting. Either it’s new efficiencies, or it’s new formats.
I want you to avoid giving, or receiving, solar charging equipment that doesn’t do the job. We outfit remote work camps, expeditions, and professionals who need to have the most reliable equipment when they are hundreds of Kilometers from nowhere.
Because, after all, what does Amazon know about solar? Nothing beyond how much margin they can make to cover their free shipping.
So, without further introduction, here are the solar gadgets that actually work well.
Sensitive 3W solar panel, plus built-in 12Wh battery bank. Thin film solar is your best option for effective charging in the widest range of light conditions. Supports all your USB devices. Smartphones, tablets, GPS, cameras, GoPro, and more.
A new addition to the Modern Outpost catalogue in 2019, but from a company that has been doing stellar work in Europe for years. This package includes a rugged clamshell solar panel that delivers 5W of power in full sun. Enough to offset 1-2 full iPhones in a summer day. Paired with the solar is a ruggedized 12,000mAHr solar battery pack – enough reserve for 3 smartphones. Lightweight, rugged, reliability.
It’s small, it’s light, and its got all the handy bits you could want on hand when away from home. Fan, flashlight, solar energy supply, and compact power reserve. Great for family camping, tropical expeditions, or as a phone & personal electronics charging station in RVs, cabins, & boats.
This nifty little solar charger case packs a solar panel & solar storage battery in a rugged zippered case that can attach to any backpack or bike panier rack. It has room to store your iPod, iPhone, GPS, or other small USB device safely inside. Best of all, Voltaic didn’t skip on performance… this package has 10-times the power of typical pocket solar chargers.
Looking for a lightweight solar option that someone can plug their phone directly to for charge? This is one of the best. The Arc 8W provides USB devices with the power they need. Regulated, and Apple-compatible. Simple plug-n-play solar with plenty of power to get the job done quickly.
The latest edition of the popular Nomad series of personal solar chargers is lighter, and smarter than the original. Plug any USB device directly to the panel to begin charging. Connect direct to USB devices!
It’s been in our catalogue for over a decade, and has always been a reliable bit of home emergency kit. The multi-band radio is a must for any home, and the ability to charge from solar, dynamo, wall, or USB makes it always ready to use.
When you want a reliable emergency charger for your personal electronics like phones, radios, and lights, look no further. Keep it on a window sill, and ordinary daylight will keep the battery charged 24/7/365. During a blackout, if you manage to drain the 6000mAh battery, fold out the handle and crank it for a few minutes.
So, why these products?
Simple… they work great. That’s the point, isn’t it?
I’ve seen the solar chargers & battery packs in big box stores, and I’ve read the reviews. They simply aren’t at this level.
How to Read Amazon & Box Store Ads…
A common device like a smart phone will take approx 12 Watt-Hours (3800mAHr with losses included) to fully charge from dead (try not to ever fully drain your batteries by the way… not good for them). So a 2Watt solar panel in summer months might only get you 40-50% of your charge (if you drain your smartphone daily). This is workable, but you’ll get only 5-10% in the shoulder seasons, and if you have other devices to charge, you will find such a small charger just won’t keep up.
Look for devices with at least 3 watts of solar, and at least 15 Watt-Hours (4,000mAHr) of on-board solar power storage.
That’s it for this edition.
There are a lot of ‘deals’ on the web that don’t turn out to be deals in the end. I’d like to help you if I can.