Customer Reviews


 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It works!
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...
Published 9 months ago by G. Ward

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 16 months ago by Mr. B. T. Wilson


‹ Previous | 1 212 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

11 of 11 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
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


48 of 50 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?)
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!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


37 of 39 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 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
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exceeded expectations, 1 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: PortaPow Solar USB Battery Pack for Smartphones, GoPro, SatNavs, Other Portable Electronics (Accessory)
Doesn't quite charge up as fast as we expected, however it does exactly what it says on the tin. My husband's older Nokia phone will not charge with the adaptor provided, but other than that we have charged a blackberry, kindle, ipad, sony xperia and ipod with the various adaptors. Great for a recent holiday where there was no power where we were staying
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars nice bit of kit, 16 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for keeping things charged when you have access to the sun., 5 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Like many other reviewers, I've tried a few different solar solutions, and opted for this based on reviews. In short, it's brilliant - well worth spending a few quid extra over the competition.

I hooked it up to an inline USB Volts / Amps meter to see what it was outputting, and even in the relatively weak spring sun we had in March 2015, it was throwing out 5v at 0.5amp - as good as plugging it into your computer USB socket. Obviously that would still take a while to charge a tablet, but it's far better than any other panels I have tried (and of course, it's completely free energy).

Roll on summer, and I'm expecting this to really chuck out some power. I've taken to using this panel to charge a battery pack and then keeping my phone topped up from that during the day rather than constantly having it tethered to a computer or wall socket.

One thing to note about this (and any solar panel, to be fair) is that you do need to have it sat outside, in direct sunshine, for it to be effective. It sounds obvious, but you will get some power from it behind a window, or even when it's not in direct sunshine, and then you'll get annoyed that it's not working. It is, just not nearly as effectively.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


24 of 27 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!

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!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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?)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent solar panels even in low light, 10 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These seem to be good solar panels. I have some experience of solar panels and received the Portapow 11W when the weather was completely overcast and I was not expecting to be able to charge my mobile phone whatsoever. My rule of thumb with mono-crystalline panels was if you could see the sun, even through cloud, you would get power but none when cloudy. However, even leaving the solar panels behind a single-pane window, the phone charged by 5% over about two hours. When the sun came out though I was able to completely charge the phone and another phone (it has two USB outputs and comes with one lead and tips) that I am using to calculate scientific calculations (BOINC) - the real reason I bought this device. Therefore I am very happy with this product to date. The panels are not too large and can be placed behind a single-pane window (don't know about double-glazed but I would expect this to be OK). The design could be slightly better if the pouches at the rear which are used as a stand could be fixed so that the panels could be set at different angles throughout the year but the panels are good enough, it seems, that they work at deep angles. I won't give this panel 5 stars to keep Portapow on their toes so that they create even better products. 50W panels at this size anyone?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 212 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Only search this product's reviews