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44 Reviews
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29 of 31 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 14 months ago by Derek Allen

versus
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Faulty
Arrived with obvious damage on one of the panels. Contacted manufacturer and was told this was acceptable, had passed quality control, and would only have minimal impact on power output. But minimal drop in power outage is not desirable when depending on the panel in remote regions.
Published 6 months ago by Paul M


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29 of 31 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)   
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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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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good powered solar panel, 19 Aug 2013
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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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good direct charger for your gizmos., 1 Jun 2014
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I tested this as follows:

Samsung S4 - actual test:
1st June 2014 - Sun with occasional cloud - Morning - flight mode OFF
8:54am ---- 60%
11:05am ---- 100%
= 2 hours 10 mins to charge 40%

Equates to:
5 hours 25 mins to charge from 0% to 100% approx in morning sun with occasional cloud.

iPhone - actual test:
1st June 2014 Spells of strong Sun and spells of heavy Cloud (50:50) - airplane mode ON
11:25am ---- 49%
1:45 pm ---- 100%
= 2 hours 20 mins to charge 50%

Equates to:
4 hours 40 mins to charge from 0% to 100% approx with lots of cloud & spells of strong midday sun, with flight mode ON.

Charging very well in strong sun - charging slower with the sun behind the cloud but still charging. (Sun was not even casting a shadow as the cloud obscured it, yet it's still charging)
Had to unplug it and plug it back in three times due to heavy cloud causing iPhone to show 'this accessory may not be supported'. This is typical for an apple product as they don't accept anything less than a perfect charge. (Samsung S4 just keeps charging) The solar battery would no doubt iron out the bumps in supply if this bothers you. For me it's perfect - I just check the iPhone when it's a little bit too cloudy. If I get a chance I will test two phones at once & test an ipad and post results.

PLEASE NOTE: This test shows typical English sunny days with lots of cloud about, if the sun was constant the charging times would probably be half. And yes as fast as a mains charger. Overall I'm pleased to be able to charge when camping without any mains for over a week & I would recommend this solar charger.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant - motorcycle tour, 10 July 2014
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This is brilliant.
I created a homemade attachment solution for my kriega r25 using the hooks on the charger and a single piece of strong fabric to loop them though. (see my uploaded pictures)

Rode though Spain and France and this charged my phone for free using the intense sunlight beating down on my back. It's more than water resistant - it's storm proof. I road though some horrible weather in Spain and France over my 2 week trip and was soaked to the bone 5 times. The charger still works - intense moisture doesn't seem to have upset the internals inside.

Seems to charge quickly, I don't have any exact figures and times for you but real world experience shows - I can be using the maps app on my iPhone which makes use of the GPS chip on the device at 17% battery. With my back to the sun (remember the panels are fixed to my backpack), I am seeing an increase in battery percentage while under heavy use. (fading sunlight at about 6:30)

Kept my phone charged, charged quickly and didn't fail during adverse conditions. More than happy - this thing paid for itself with 2 weeks.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 11W Solar charger, 20 Jun 2014
By 
Rod (Cheshire UK) - See all my reviews
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With the nice weather lately this has been a good product while in the garden.

The ability to charge 2 devices directly (and pockets at the back to store them in), all without the need to first charge an in-built battery, has been a great garden accessory and a welcome one. I often sit out the back with internet radio on my phone (the Wi-Fi range just makes it to the back of my garden), and while doing this the battery can drain fairly sharp, so being able to charge the phone while it plays music has been very welcome.

This is not like other lesser chargers where a battery first needs to be charged in the solar panel then this in turn charges your device(s), this one will charge 2 devices of mobile, camera, tablet size directly from the sunlight.

I have owned many other solar chargers and this is by far the best one yet.

I was toying with the idea of getting the 7W one, but I am glad I went with the slightly larger one, as you never know when a 2nd device might need charging, and this alone is a welcome.

I have not yet tested this on the move or while camping, but the idea would be to tie this (using the straps) to a backpack when walking or on a bike and still be able to charge my mobile.

I would like to see (and know) if both USB ports could be used together in any way to charge larger devices such as laptops.

The output on this is also very good, while in direct sunlight I am able to charge my Nokia Lumia 1020 quicker with this that I am with a USB2 cable from my PC.

I would recommend this device, no problems here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great product!!!!, 17 Jun 2014
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Bought this and the EasyAcc12000 power bank and has performed brilliantly. It will charge your phone and the battery bank at the same time!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars nice bit of kit, 16 Jun 2014
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This review is from: PortaPow 3 Watt USB Solar Charger Panel for Smartphones, Satnavs, GoPro, etc (Accessory)
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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So far so good!, 3 Jun 2014
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FIRST: I would recommend buying the portapow USB power Monitor with this device otherwise you will not know exactly how much power you are generating.

This solar panel is smaller than I thought. Not too small, but smaller than I imagined. Each panel is about the size of A4 paper. Folded up they take up very little space indeed and it is quite light as well.

Each panel has a pocket at the back with a usb cable for connecting. I plugged my Nexus 4 into one of the USBs to charge and the phone began to charge ok. However, the phone began to bleep straight away as it appeared to be on/off charging... not getting a full current.

Luckily I had bought the PortaPow USB Power monitor and found that the panels were only processing 4.8volts. The phone needs 5.15volts to give it a proper charge - I'm not sure if the phone would still charge without damaging the phones battery but I thought best not to risk it.

The weather was over cast and raining and I was surprised i was getting as much power as I was.

The next day was full of sunshine (June 1st 2014 - UK) and I tried again. This time the panels were throwing out 5.28volts, more than enough to charge the phone properly. It took no longer than normal to charge the phone.

Great for sunny days but just misses on cloudy days... by a fraction! Overall this is great and i will report back to see if it can charge a phone safely on cloudy days without full power.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not as good as they say, 2 Aug 2013
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This review is from: PortaPow 3 Watt USB Solar Charger Panel for Smartphones, Satnavs, GoPro, etc (Accessory)
Charges at a reasonable rate once the panel heats up.

I got two, so I'm unlikely to have got two sub-standard panels, but I cant get 600mA out of these, more like 400mA. I took measurements with in-line ammeters (also from PortaPow) and even in June, outside on a sheltered terrace, properly angled, with a clear sky, midday GMT, in southern Spain and 35C they wouldn't get much over 400mA. Out of the sun, nothing.
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3 of 4 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
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!
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