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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best small solar panel you can buy!
I have tried a several portable solar panels in the past, some good & some rubbish. I already had Portapow's excellent 5 watt panel which a family member took a shine to (no pun intended) and permanently borrowed from me. So I was in the process of ordering another Portapow 5 watt panel when I noticed they had released a 7 watt version. This panel is simply fantastic...
Published on 3 May 2013 by Derek Allen

versus
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars works well in bright sunlight
the portapow website talks about it being able to charge in slightly cloudy conditions, but this clearly means cloudy with the sun still shining between the clouds onto the panel .. not cloudy per se...

However in bright sunshiny conditions .... it charges straight away ... even cold wintry sunshine gets a charge through a large glass patio door .... im sure...
Published 15 months ago by Mr. B. T. Wilson


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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best small solar panel you can buy!, 3 May 2013
By 
Derek Allen (Isle of Man) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: PortaPow 7W USB Solar Charger for Portable Electronics (Accessory)
I have tried a several portable solar panels in the past, some good & some rubbish. I already had Portapow's excellent 5 watt panel which a family member took a shine to (no pun intended) and permanently borrowed from me. So I was in the process of ordering another Portapow 5 watt panel when I noticed they had released a 7 watt version. This panel is simply fantastic. Small and compact it folds in half for extra compactness. It has a handy stand for positioning it into sunshine, a velcro pocket for storing small items and devices but where it really shone (no pun...) was when I hooked up a device and pointed it at a weak sun in a partly cloudy sky in The Isle of Man. The device was a Samsung Tab 2 (7) connected directly via the inbuilt usb connection cable. The samsung was showing 75% battery remaining when I connected it. I checked back in 20 minutes and it was 100% fully charged.....that is much faster charging than even plugged into the mains. Brilliant. This is the best, honestly, and I have tried a few!!
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good powered solar panel, 19 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: PortaPow 7W USB Solar Charger for Portable Electronics (Accessory)
This solar panel is a great,
I took it backpacking with me for 4 days it held up well. it managed to charge up mine and my partners phones. i shall mention their name but i am sure they will be removed because of advertising these are HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy. Anyway they require around 700-1000mA to sufficiently charge. this item did it effectively well even in so poor Welsh weather (excluding rain obviously).

I would suggest to purchase a battery pack in combination for more of a effective package so when you in poor weather i.e. rain or at night, which is the time everyone's phone tends to run out you can use the pack. This also works well as you can charge your battery pack during the day whilst your away. If in the unlikely event you loose this solar panel and battery pack to theft its better that combination than the panel and your phone.....

Oh before I forget I shall give you the rough dimensions as they are not listed:

L x H x D
folded 167 x 240 x [12 (+-12 pouch)] mm
unfolded 335 x 240 x [6 (+-12 pouch)] mm
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It works!, 7 Oct. 2014
By 
G. Ward (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The PortaPow 3 watt panel is the first solar panel (in conjunction with a Nokia DC-19 battery) that I have found to be totally effective and fit for it's intended purpose of charging small electronic devices on the move.

I've had a couple of small solar chargers before, those around the size of a mobile phone but they have never been up to the job and have always been a let down.

I strapped the PortaPow to the top of my rucksack while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, with the DC-19 in the little pocket on the back of the panel. The battery was always fully charged at the end of the climbing day and in turn kept my mobile phone (for GPS) and camera fully charged.

The PoertaPow 3W has a good decent solid feel to it, suitable for use in outdoor environments and not so delicate you're scared of it taking a knock or two. The front face of the panel is covered with some kind of hard plastic material it's not glass and is quite scratch resistant. The rest of the outer case is rugged nylon including the velcro closed back pocket.

My only criticism is that the loose usb connecting lead is not very securely fixed to the circuit board at the back inside the pocket. The two thin wires that consitute the usb lead are just soldered in with nothing else to secure them. That could be a weak link in terms of durability. I carefully placed a dollop of epoxy over the connection to beef it up a bit
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic investment. Good quality, fast delivery, good communication., 30 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: PortaPow 7W USB Solar Charger for Portable Electronics (Accessory)
Received the portapow 7w today unexpectedly fast. The solar panels are made with a brilliant craftmanship. Good quality, and looks robust. The panels fit perfectly on the lid of my Vaude rucksack who is designed for this porpose. Tested with my daughter's IPhone and started charging even when aproached to a indoor lamp. This model has a good rating and it deserve it. Happy with the delivery and the communication from Amazon that updated me every day with the state of the delivery. I'm expecting it to work briliant as it is looking. Fantastic deal. Strongly recomended. Stay safe, Pablo G
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Field tested in Nepal, 15 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: PortaPow 7W USB Solar Charger for Portable Electronics (Accessory)
Excellent gadget. I used mine trekking around Nepal. During the day, I attached it to the back of my daysack and allowed it to charge my usb battery (a must buy to accompany this panel). the battery was fully charged by day's end allowing me to charge my phone over night. Works well in lower light conditions, but as always, expectations shouldn't be so high. The only negative was the connectors/adapters that were supplied; some were a loose fit meaning the transfer of power was intermittent.

This is perfect for someone requiring a compact but efficient energy solution.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best solar panels on the market today (the 11W version is even better 'though), 23 Jun. 2014
This review is from: PortaPow 7W USB Solar Charger for Portable Electronics (Accessory)
I have had this panel now for one year, and it is quite simply remarkable; lightweight, well-built, quite powerful and extremely easy to set up and use due to the built-in kickstand. Usefully, the position of the panel when the stand is used nearly always gives an optimal angle (i.e., most power output). The small pouch at the back can be helpful, but I must admit I do not use it. The panel is sturdy and yet elegant, and the fabric it is housed in is very good quality, showing no signs of wear or tear even after a year of heavy use. I also have their USB power monitor, which I really recommend you get as well. This way, you can see the power output live, allowing you to estimate charging times and even allowing you to reposition or re-angle the panel to get the most juice out of the sun (yet as said, the position provided by the built-in stand is hard to beat). Even if you already have another solar panel, you should at least get one of these small and wonderful power monitors!
I use the panel to charge just about anything: my Sony Android mobile, my Garmin ForeRunner watch, my Sony MP3 player, my digital SLR's (Sony A77) battery (through a third party USB powered charger), my Sony and Kindle eBook readers, and even AA and AAA batteries via a third-party USB charger. I did buy two small Li-Ion batteries 'though, that can take simultaneous input and output, so I can use these as buffers. The panel feeds into the battery, the battery feeds into the device. This way, the device sees a constant current, and the battery gets charged by the panel, even if intermittently (think drifting clouds). Having said that, the panel works just fine via direct connection, so the battery as intermediate step is a luxury thing.
The only (and it really is the only) issue with this panel is that PortaPow have now released the only slightly bigger sibling, their 11W High Efficiency panel (select it from the drop-down box on the purchasing page), which is even better. It has more overall output, much better output in overcast weather (literally double the 7W's output, exactly as they advertise - I had the 7W and 11W in use side by side on several occasions), and two USB charging connectors. So the only product beating this one, is the bigger brother. I'd therefore recommend the 11W over this one, unless you're very short on cash, but don't get me wrong: this panel is excellent; it's just not the top of the bill anymore.
Final remark: my 7W panel failed unexpectedly after one year of very heavy use, but PortaPow replaced it for free and without any hassle. Everything was even arranged via email during the weekend. Turns out their customer service rivals the quality of their panel! Another great reason to stop doubting and simply buy one of their products!

UPDATE 1:
The 11W High Efficiency panel is now replaced by a 15W three-section panel, which I also purchased. While the 15W panel packs even more power than the 11W HE panel (it even manages to deliver a whopping 1.5A on a sunny September evening), it is slightly less convenient in everyday use. The lack of a kickstand on the three-section 15W version means the panel must be supported by something else, or lie flat on the ground (which reduces efficiency by 10 to 15%). The 15W panel also has two USB connectors, which is useful as the panel can deliver 2A on a nice and sunny summer day, but most devices can only accept 1.5A; the remaining 0.5A can then be shunted into another device or a battery with the second USB port. Interestingly, the two USB ports are no longer equivalent. One is labeled 'universal' and behaves very much like you'd expect, the other is labeled 'Apple and universal' and is specifically optimized to charge Apple devices well, at the price of being slightly less efficient for anything else. I don't own any Apple devices, so I plug the most hungry device in the 'universal' port, and the least hungry device in the 'Apple and universal' port. The 15W panel also relies on magnets to keep it closed when folded. These work nicely, but can be ever so slightly fiddly (I'm really nitpicking here), so I slightly prefer the velcro that is on the other panels.

UPDATE 2:
I've been using the 15W three-section PortaPow panel a lot lately, and I must admit that I am simply stunned by its performance. On December 14, it was a sunny but chilly Sunday, and I decided to put the 15W panel out in the sunshine and see what it could deliver in this wintery setting. As usual, I attached one of PortaPow's USB monitors to track the output of the panel. Imagine my surprise when I saw that it was delivering a neat 1.44 Amp without hiccup (the Li-Ion battery I was charging only accepts up to 1.44 Amps, so the panel may have been capable of even more). The only downside is that the sun was obviously low on the horizon, and dropped behind the trees again after an hour or two. Yet in two hours of charging on this sunny but partially cloudy winter day, I was able to harvest a total of 1800 mAh for my Li-Ion battery! This kind of performance was completely above and beyond my expectations, and shows what this panel is capable of! I remain slightly annoyed by the need to prop up the 15W panel, but when it comes to generating power from sunlight, it is simply incredibly useful and powerful!

In summary, the PortaPow panels (apart from the weakest one, I have one of each) are all extremely good; without exception, they deliver exactly what they promise. You need only choose the amount of power, the size and the price that suits your needs, and then go ahead and order one! Oh, and don't forget one of the PortaPow USB power monitors; they really are excellent tools to monitor the performance of your solar panel!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars nice bit of kit, 16 Jun. 2014
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I took this trekking in the Indian Himalayas, sun was not an issue here. I recharged my external battery pack from about 2/3 full in about 3 hours one day. at the end of the trek a local hotel did not manage this overnight from the rooms mains supply. Nice bit of kit it survived being in my holdall on a mule and being dropped off the mule on a daily basis. I found it a good balance between size and efficiency
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Works better in direct sun but over the day (9hrs) in ..., 20 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: PortaPow 7W USB Solar Charger for Portable Electronics (Accessory)
Works better in direct sun but over the day (9hrs) in just daylight it charged my Samsung tablet to 90% but in direct sun it took just 5hrs so its a good product for the cost in my opinion.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Backpacking Essential, 4 July 2014
By 
Dr. Teifi James "EyeBagMan" (Halifax, Yorkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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So much better than alternative products like power monkey etc as this powers directly to the product instead of to a separate battery pack. The fact that it charges via USB is super helpful as almost everything does nowadays!
Great product that charges even in English springtime- PERFECT FOR BACKPACKING WITH LITTLE SUPPLIES IN A HOT COUNTRY. (In my case Mexico)
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very nice panel., 28 Feb. 2014
By 
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I've never liked portapow's way of having pockets on the device with a trailing lead in them... mainly because putting it in a backpack will compress the device and I worry about damaging the panels if it gets squashed...

BUT, this works fantastically if there is direct sunlight, even if it's very cold... I'm not convinced by it's ability in overcast conditions, but outside in direct light it's extremely good, I can imagine strapping it to a backpack or bicycle panniers to great effect for long outings...

I have some pictures, and a review on Google Plus..
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