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Best Portable Solar Chargers of 2023. Survival frog solar charger

Best Portable Solar Chargers of 2023. Survival frog solar charger

    Top Solar Panels for Camping, Basecamping, and Outdoor Adventures

    Electronics are a part of the adventurer’s quiver of tools more than ever before. Thanks to efficiency advances and cost decreases in solar cells, portable solar chargers are finally proving to be a viable means of providing electricity outdoors. A backcountry user might carry a smartphone, GoPros, headlamp, tablet, camera, headphones, and PLB or GPS devices. A family on an extended weekend trip will likely bring multiple smartphones, tablets, speakers, laptops, electric lanterns, and more. Rafters, climbers, bikepackers, and mountain bikers on a weekend mission might haul out even more high-powered lights and GoPros, radios, and other electronic equipment.

    By harnessing the energy of the sun, anyone can charge their legion of devices rather than carrying physical batteries or draining the battery in their vehicle or camper. From portable solar chargers that can accommodate multiple devices during a family camping trip, to power banks that hold the biggest charge, to lightweight options for backcountry users that weigh under a pound, we reviewed top models to find the best portable solar chargers for most outdoor uses. Plus, we’ve got tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your portable solar panels, power banks and chargers.

    We create reader-supported, objective gear reviews that are independently selected by our editors. This story may contain affiliate links, which help fund our website. When you click on the links to purchase gear, we may get a commission, without costing you an extra cent. Thank you for supporting our work and mission of outdoor coverage for every body! Learn more.

    The Best Portable Solar Chargers

    We had three clones to evaluate, all of which performed similarly well, so it was hard to determine which of those to award. However, one did surpass the others, as various sites have mentioned. We also considered different use cases in making our final judgments. As such, some of our winners are in unique categories.

    Overall Winner: Big Blue 28W USB Solar Charger

    Weight: 1 pound, 5 ounces

    Solar Cell Output Capacity: 10 watts

    Power Output to Device: USB, 5V up to 2A (28W max)

    Foldable: Yes

    Integrated battery: No

    Ports: 2, 2.4 Amp USB-A Ports

    What we liked: simple, lightweight, provides more power than similar models, can charge multiple small devices, includes anmeter

    What we didn’t like:

    We concur with many review sites and consumer reviews that the 1 pound, 5 ounce Big Blue 28W USB Solar Charger was the best for most outdoor use. It’s a simple, lightweight, and powerful solar power charger that seems to provide a little more power than its competition. It will also provide enough power in direct sunlight to charge multiple small devices for one or two people.

    The Big Blue unit we tested also included an ammeter, which displays the amount of electrical current the solar panel is generating, setting it apart from the competition. That allowed us to see that the device was working and how much energy it was producing.

    COMPARE OF THE BIG BLUE SOLAR CHARGER

    Other than that, we found that it was remarkably, if not eerily, similar to two other top-rated solar chargers we evaluated. All three (the Anker 21 Watt PowerPort Solar charger, the Nekteck 28 Watt solar charger, and the BigBlue 28W USB Solar Charger) use the same basic design with two USB-ports and a light to indicate that they’re getting a charge; the Big Blue’s light indicator is the ammeter.

    The solar cells in these foldable units are encased in PET polymer and surrounded by polyester canvas. Each offers moderate IPX4 water resistance — although you don’t really want to use these devices in the rain anyhow. They’re so similar they even use the same solar cells — SunPower’s Maxeon solar cells — which are among the most efficient commercially available solar cells and can convert up to 25 percent of the sun’s energy.

    Each of these solar chargers had metal grommets in the casing, which allows you to attach them to a rock, backpack, tent, or camp chair. Each has a pouch where you can store the devices being charged and cords for charging your devices. None had kickstands or means to orient them to the sun properly, so you’ll have to get a little more creative, like propping them up on a rock, attaching them to your tent, or attaching them to your backpack to orient them properly to get the most power out of them in camp.

    The Big Blue did better than the competition in tests, producing just under 950 milliamp-hours (mAh) of energy in an hour. In relatively similar conditions, the Anker produced 733 mAh, and the Nekteck produced 834 mAh. Without a dedicated test facility and control environment, it is hard to offer a complete scientific evaluation of the differences between these three since clouds could have obscured the sun for part of the testing periods.

    In our experience, the Big Blue (or other similar solar panels) will integrate best into your outdoor lifestyle with the help of an external battery, like the Anker. The solar panel charges the battery, and then the battery provides a steady charge to reliably and safely charge your phone. See our section below on batteries for more details.

    The Big Blue offered the highest power output among these three, and its cost is essentially the same as the Nekteck, so The Big Blue edged out the Nekteck as the best solar charger. It’s easy to use, well-priced, and offers enough portable power to charge a backup battery. Best yet, it is rugged enough to last for years.

    Interested in backpacking gear? See our Backpacking section for our most popular stories.

    The Best Solar Charger for Basecamping: Goal Zero Nomad 50

    Weight: 6 pounds

    Solar Cell Output Capacity: 50 watts

    Power Output to Device: USB: 5V up to 2.4A (12W max)/8mm: 14-22V, up to 3.5A (50W Max)

    Foldable: Yes

    Integrated battery: Goal Zero Sherpa 100 AC sold separetely

    Ports: 1 2.4 Amp USB-A Port, 1, 3.3 Amp Solar Port in 8mm, 1, 3.3 Amp Solar Port out 8mm

    What we liked: can be linked with other solar panels for even greater charging, kickstands to properly orient to sun, can almost fully charge 2 laptops

    What we didn’t like: size and weight make best suited for camping, not backpacking

    The Goal Zero Nomad 50 is a larger solar charger that also wins our award for Best Solar Charger for Car Camping and Best Solar Charger for Basecamping and our Best Upgrade Solar Charger award. At 50 watts, it’s the biggest and heaviest solar charger we tried. But if we were doing a couple of weeks in a high mountain cirque with fellow adventurers and we wanted to cut battery weight while keeping our electronics charged, this is the charger we’d choose.

    Likewise, if we’re powering all the devices a family needs on a week-long camping trip and they don’t want to drain a car or RV battery, we’d turn to the Goal Zero as our solar charger of choice. Similarly, it’s a good choice for road tripping or overlanding off-grid. It could also be used to work a remote aid station during an ultramarathon or adventure race.

    COMPARE OF THE GOAL ZERO NOMAD 50

    The Goal Zero is an obvious choice for camping and basecamping for other reasons as well. It’s the only solar charger we evaluated that can be linked to other solar panels and the only one that can be attached in a series to provide even greater charging power to a battery power bank.

    With solar cells covered in a polymer and the whole unit encased in a durable polyester, the Nomad is like the larger sibling of the three clones (Big Blue, Anker, and Nektek).

    Instead of two cells per foldable solar panel, each of its four panels has 12 cells. It has one USB connector that can provide up to 12 watts of charging power, but it also has a Goal Zero solar port connector that allows it to provide up to 50 watts of charging power or connect to other Goal Zero panels. Like the BioLite solar charger, the Nomad also has kickstands to help ensure it’s properly oriented to the sun.

    All of those extra features and solar cells add weight and size. Unlike the clones, the Nomad 50 would take up a significant portion of a backpack. Folded up, it’s almost a foot wide and nearly 1 foot and a half tall. That’s roughly the size of an average male’s torso, and it weighs 6 pounds, 14 ounces. Even if it were attached to the front of Frankenstein’s backpack, it would likely drag on the ground like an oddly stiff cape.

    But once unfurled and set up in camp, it can provide enough energy to power a laptop and charge a significantly larger battery than the smaller chargers can power. When combined with a Goal Zero’s Sherpa 100AC power bank, it can charge in 6 or fewer hours in good sun. That 94.7 watt/hour battery includes an inverter allowing it to charge AC devices, like those that plug into a wall outlet. It can almost fully charge two 13” MacBook Pros on a single charge, and since it can deliver at higher wattages and voltages, it can provide higher charging speeds.

    Interested in camping gear? See our Camping section for our most popular stories.

    The Best Solar Charger with Integrated Battery: BioLite SolarPanel 10

    Weight: 1 pound, 3.4 ounces

    Solar Cell Output Capacity: 10 W

    Battery Storage Capacity (mAH): 3,200 milliamp hours

    Power Output to Device: 10 W via USB charge out

    Foldable: Yes

    Integrated battery: Yes, Battery Storage Capacity (mAH): 3,200 milliamp hours

    Ports: 1 Micro USB in 1 2.4 Amp USB-A out

    What we liked: includes integrated battery that works as power bank, can pre-charge included powerbank, easy to align with sun to get the most efficient charge, designed to reduce overheating (that impacts efficiency)

    What we didn’t like: would be more useful if it were 21W and had storage 10,000 mAH

    Though the BioLite SolarPanel 10 is the smallest solar charger we tested at just 10 watts, it’s the most fully featured and the only solar charger we tested that came with an integrated battery that works as a power bank. The 3,200 mAh battery is slightly larger than the iPhone 11’s 3100 mAh battery and could provide an iPhone with a full charge. You can also charge the integrated battery power bank via micro-USB. So users can pre-charge it for adventures so they can charge devices at camp even if the sun’s obscured or down when they get there. Indeed, starting every adventure with fully charged devices and auxiliary batteries is key to getting the most out of your electronic charging system in the backcountry.

    COMPARE OF THE BIOLITE SOLARPANEL 10

    The SolarPanel 10 also has a radically different design than every other portable panel we tested and most others available. All of its solar cells are encased in a ruggedized, dimpled plastic. BioLite says its solar panel design helps dissipate excess heat, which can cause a solar panel to produce less power than it otherwise would.

    Like the other small solar chargers we evaluated, the corners feature holes allowing users to attach them to a backpack or tent. But its analog Optimal Sun System, consisting of an analog sundial, as well as its rotating kickstand, play an important part in making sure you get the most from the charger at any given time.

    By aligning the shadow of the dot in the middle of the window, you ensure that the device sends as much solar power to connected devices and the battery as possible. The kickstand clicks into place throughout its rotation, making it easy to adjust the pitch of the portable solar panel to get the optimal placement at any given time.

    While we found all these features very useful, we found that when first deploying the solar panel, it didn’t want to stay open until after it warmed in the sun a bit. Also, if its ability to absorb sunlight was larger — even in the 21 watt range — and its energy storage capacity was larger, even around 10,000 mAh, it could have been the Overall Winner.

    Honorable Mentions

    Both the Anker portable charger and Nekteck portable charger fell a little short of the Big Blue, our overall winner (see review above). Either offer a great value, but we think the Big Blue has the most to offer for the money.

    Anker 21 Watt PowerPort Solar Charger

    Weight: 14.7 ounces

    Solar Cell Output Capacity: 21W

    Power Output to Device: 21W to device via USB

    Foldable: Yes

    Integrated battery: No

    Ports: 2, 2.4 Amp USB-A Ports

    The now discontinued Anker 21 Watt PowerPort Solar Charger may no longer be available, but we think it’s worth putting on your radar for a few reasons. First, it’s a near-clone of the Big Blue (see review above), our overall winner, so it’s a good example of the similarities between solar panels on the market. Second, it is still widely available on sites such as ebay for folks interested in buying a used solar panel.

    One difference is that it was slightly smaller and lighter (15 ounces) than the Big Blue. The Anker produced a little less power in a given time in similar conditions, as expected. Its charging pouch also had a hook-and-loop closure rather than a zippered closure like the other clones. It didn’t include an ammeter. Ultimately, even when the Anker was available, we found the Big Blue to be a better choice given the amount of power it generated.

    Nekteck 28 Watt Solar Charger

    Weight: 1.44 pounds

    Solar Cell Output Capacity: 28W

    Power Output to Device: 28W via USB

    Foldable: Yes

    Integrated battery: No

    Ports: 2, 2.4 Amp USB-A Ports

    Without the branding, from the outside, the Nekteck 28 Watt solar charger is essentially indistinguishable from the Big Blue. our overall winner (see review above). The specs are similar. Opened up, and without the ammeter, they look essentially identical, too.

    However, in the end, it didn’t perform quite as well as the Big Blue — even though it uses the same solar cells and design. In relatively similar conditions, the Anker produced 733 mAh, and the Nekteck produced 834 mAh. It also has a claimed weight of 1 pound, 7 ounces — two ounces heavier than the Big Blue.

    Understanding solar chargers

    There’s a lot to understand about solar power chargers, but at their heart, a small solar panel consists of several photovoltaic cells grouped together to absorb some of the sun’s energy and convert it into an electric charge that you can use to charge electronics.

    Modern, commercially available solar cells can harness nearly 25 percent of the sun’s energy that hits them into electricity. You’ll find this in the most efficient foldable chargers. When these cells are combined together into small solar panels, the solar cells can provide enough energy to recharge the batteries in USB devices and they can weigh under a pound, making them a lightweight option for backcountry adventures across the world.

    Why choose a solar generator over other choices?

    A portable solar charger is a lightweight and more compact means of electricity generation compared with other means of mobile energy generation. This is advantageous when on the trail and in remote locations because carrying multiple batteries and other means of electricity generation quickly becomes cumbersome as you add more energy storage to your pack. After all, no one wants to carry a gas generator — and gas — on their backs into the woods to provide power for all of their electronic devices. And while we’ve seen some portable wind and micro-hydro turbine generators, like the WaterLily Turbine. they’re also cumbersome, if not heavy. Solar panels are among eco-friendly gear swaps to reduce your environmental impact. especially if your base camp would otherwise run on a gas generator.

    Solar chargers, combined with a power bank or backup battery pack — particularly those that can accommodate through charging (i.e., charging itself while charging devices) — are the best, lightest way to charge your electronic equipment.

    While most adventurers are looking primarily for a portable phone charger, solar chargers can power:

    • cameras and camera batteries
    • GPS hiking and backpacking watches
    • GoPros and other vlogging or podcasting equipment
    • two-way satellite messengers and Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs)
    • ebooks
    • tablets
    • GPS units
    • headlamps
    • laptops
    • bluetooth speakers
    • wireless headphones
    • SteriPens
    • mountain bike lights
    • sonar devices

    Anytime you’re out for multiple days or weeks in the backcountry, you’ll likely have electronics that need charging. Solar panels work for camping, boating, climbing, bikepacking, mountaineering, and other activities.

    Most mobile solar charging units have at least one USB port, making it easy to charge most devices and batteries people take into the wild. Still, many smaller solar chargers will struggle to provide enough power to charge multiple devices simultaneously.

    Yes, Watson, Watts matter (or why watts matter)

    The most important thing about a solar panel charger is its wattage. The more watts, the more sunlight the solar panel can absorb and the more electricity it can generate. If you only need to power your own devices and don’t plan on using them continually while on the trail, you may only need to charge them once every few days or even once a week. In that case, a smaller unit like the BioLite SolarPanel 10 with an integrated battery pack is an excellent choice, but the 10 watt foldable solar panel only has one USB port and wouldn’t be powerful enough to charge a family’s devices on a five-day trip.

    On the other hand, our Best for Camping winner, the 50 Watt Goal Zero Nomad 50 Solar Panel. along with the Sherpa 100 AC battery. could handle the needs of a family on a week-long trip or a group of mountaineers exploring a range out for an extended period. The Goal Zero system is significantly larger, heavier, and much more expensive. But this system with this power bank battery has an AC plug and is the only one we considered that charges devices such as large laptops.

    We don’t normally advocate getting rid of gear before its end of life, but in this case, if you have a backup battery or power bank that isn’t chargeable via USB, consider recycling it and replacing it with one that is. Similarly, consider USB chargeable devices like headlamps.

    While you can use rechargeable AA and AAA powered headlamps, using one device or cable to charge most of your equipment can simplify your carry. When Intel’s Chief Systems Technologist Ajay Bhatt led the development of USB standards in 1996 and companies started using it, he essentially began a process of universalizing charging and connectivity for all devices. Now, USB technology allows us to easily recharge cameras and GoPros as well as smaller electronics like wireless earbuds.

    How we Researched and tested

    Research

    When researching the best camping solar chargers, we explored websites in the outdoor media sphere, and the tech and science spheres as geeks and gear heads are the most likely to use portable solar chargers to power their electronics.

    We chose the models we tested based on reviews and articles we read and analyzed from other reliable sources, including Lifewire, Gear Institute, Backpacker, Wirecutter, The Adventure Junkies, Popular Mechanics, Outdoor GearLab, and others (see Sources). We also looked at verified customer reviews to gather data from professional reviewers and actual users.

    How We Tested

    We tested these foldable solar panels on multiple days in the field, at campsites, and at home, sometimes even hanging them out of a south-facing window on sunny days of full Colorado summer sunshine. Despite multiple uses and attempts, none of the solar chargers we tested reached the manufacturer’s claimed fully-rated wattages for maximum power output during our tests.

    We attached each solar panel to a USB digital tester and various battery packs and other electronic devices we use in the backcountry, including GPS units, Bluetooth headphones, bike lights, headlamps, and more. We attempted to charge our iPhones and iPads directly but found they wouldn’t accept the charge since the power varied too much with the sun and clouds — even on some bluebird days. We found it was better to use them to charge a backup battery or power bank with through charging capabilities and then use that battery to charge our devices while it was charging via the solar panel.

    We attempted to test some of the chargers while hiking but found that even though companies place attachment points on the solar chargers to attach them to backpacks, they didn’t perform well in real-world testing that way. We’ll explain why in another section.

    We found that the digital USB tester wasn’t as applicable to the Goal Zero and BioLite contenders. This is because we couldn’t connect the digital USB tester to the higher wattage power cord of the Goal Zero, and the BioLite’s solar charge controller and portable battery power bank can provide a more conditioned stream of power from the battery.

    buying advice

    When looking for a good solar charger, there are many things to consider. First and foremost, you’ll want to determine what you’ll use it for as well as how many devices it will power. Secondly, consider how long you’ll be in the backcountry and how much energy storage and battery capacity you want to carry.

    We looked at a wide range of solar chargers and, in some cases, energy storage units (aka batteries). We also came up with some different conclusions than other review sites based on our knowledge and our anticipation of how you’ll actually be able to use a solar charger in the field.

    For instance, unlike many other reviews and ‘best of’ lists we evaluated, we firmly recommend using solar chargers with backup batteries. Many high-end electronics like smartphones and tablets require a steady, regulated, or conditioned stream of electricity to charge. It helps limit the amount of damage that a surge or dip in solar power can do to the sensitive electronics inside the device.

    Efficiency and power output

    Efficiency and power output are two separate, but related, things. Efficiency refers to the efficiency of the solar cells in a panel and also the panel itself. The solar cells in the panel have a higher efficiency than the overall panel as some of the energy they capture is lost in transmitting energy through the wires and electronics of the solar panel. The most efficient commercial solar cells are around 24 percent efficient. A solar panel or charger, however will likely be in the range of 18 to 21 percent efficient.

    Power output is measured in terms of wattage or how many watts of energy a solar panel can output. The more efficient a solar panel is means it can output more watts and amps from a smaller area. For charging devices you’ll want a solar panel that’s capable of producing at least 5 watts, however many highly portable solar panels produce up to 28 watts of charging power in ideal conditions. Higher wattages do equal more charging power—however, since most of these solar panels still use USB-A style plugs, they can only produce 2.4 amps of current through those plugs.

    Portability and size

    The smallest outdoor solar panels we evaluated are 5 watts. These are about the size of a medium tablet, like the BioLite SolarPanel 5. and weigh less than a can of beer. They can produce enough power to slowly charge a smartphone or other device. At 8 inches by 9.75 inches, they’re easy to slip into a day pack.

    The largest portable solar panel we tested was the 6 pound Goal Zero Nomad 50. which folds down to just over 17 inches long by 11 inches wide and is well over an inch thick at its thickest parts, making it hard to fit in most backpacks. When set up it folds out to 53 inches wide. It was also the most powerful solar panel we tested and is capable of charging a battery that can charge laptops.

    Durability and weather resistance

    While these panels will last for years and even decades with proper care, they’re not designed to be left out in the elements like a permanent installation. They are encased in abrasion-resistant fabrics and plastics and are foldable.

    The solar cells are encased in impact-resistant plastic and the units usually have an IPX4 water-resistant rating, meaning they can handle water splashes but not much more than that. That shouldn’t be a surprise since the majority of portable solar panels have standard USB-A ports with no waterproof cover.

    Battery capacity

    The majority of the solar panels tested don’t have batteries. The BioLite SolarPanel 5 and BioLite SolarPanel 10 have 3,200 mAh batteries. That’s enough to charge an iPhone 13 or 14 one time. You can also pre-charge these batteries before you leave and use them to charge a device while it’s in your pack or at night and recharge the battery with the sun.

    Direct solar charging speed

    If the solar panel is optimally placed in full sun it should be able to produce its maximum wattage rating. In these cases, a panel like the Anker 21 Watt PowerPort Solar Charger should be able to provide enough energy to charge 2 USB devices simultaneously at 2.4 amps, the same as many 12-Volt USB adapters used in cars.

    Multiple device solar charging speed

    In ideal, full-sun conditions a 20 or more watt solar charger with two (or more) USB ports should be able to charge multiple devices at up to 2.4 amps like most 12-Volt USB adapters used in cars. A more powerful panel should be able to charge more, but the device has to be able to handle higher charging amperages like those that use USB-C connections.

    best, portable, solar, chargers

    Additional features and accessories

    The majority of portable solar panels for camping are pretty minimal in terms of features. Most consist primarily of the panel and USB ports. Additional features include a for cables, grommets or loops to attach the panels to a pack or tent, and on some, stands to help keep the panel upright and at the right angle. A few, like the BioLite panels, have integrated batteries and they also have a little sundial that helps users properly orient the panel so that optimum sun hits the solar cells.

    When it comes to accessories, there are two main accessories you can use with the solar panels, cords and batteries.

    We highly recommend using these with a backup battery rather than plugging a Smart device directly to them. Some Smart devices limit the speed at which the devices can charge when dealing with a variable power source, like a solar panel. Backup batteries, however, can better harvest the variable currents flowing from a solar panel.

    Price and value for money

    The price of basic solar panels isn’t very high, about 67 for our Best Overall pick, the Big Blue 28W USB Solar Charger. If you have an existing backup battery and know you’ll be camping out for days and need extra power for your electronics when camp is set up, it’s a decent investment. If you’re hoping it’ll power your devices while strapped to the outside of your pack and hiking, you’ll be displeased. Despite advertising photos, even in sunny Colorado where we tested all the devices, these panels weren’t great at delivering power consistent enough to charge devices while hiking with them on a pack.

    Integrated Battery or Power Bank

    Unlike many other reviews and ‘best of’ lists we evaluated, we firmly recommend using solar chargers with backup batteries. Many high-end electronics like smartphones and tablets require a steady, regulated, or conditioned stream of electricity to charge. It helps limit the amount of damage that a surge or dip in solar power can do to the sensitive electronics inside the device.

    In addition, carrying a pre-charged backup battery or power bank and a way to easily charge all your devices when you’re in town or your vehicle can reduce the amount of charging you’ll need to do on the trail. Pre-charging or recharging a backup battery or power bank via the wall or your vehicle will almost always be faster than charging via a solar panel.

    The other two models we evaluated cost more. The BioLite, which is only a 10 watt solar panel, retails for 150. However, it’s also the only solar charger we tested with an integrated battery (sometimes called a portable solar power bank). It also has a kickstand, and a unique but simple mechanism called the Optimal Sun System, which helps orient the charger to get the maximum amount of sunlight available. It’s also unique in that it’s encased entirely in plastic.

    The Goal Zero Nomad 50 Solar Panel. our winner for Best Solar Charger for camping (see review above) had the highest wattage of any unit we tested at 50 watts and was the most expensive unit we tested at 250. It was also the largest and heaviest, but it is the only one that can provide a charge at a higher wattage and voltage.

    With panels this small, when the skies are gray, don’t expect much power output. The 50 watt, Goal Zero Nomad 50 should still produce enough energy to trickle-charge a smartphone but smaller panels will slow down to producing very small amounts of power, suitable only for trickle charging a backup battery.

    Introduction: Frog Phone Charger and Glasses Holder

    About: Visit myminifactory: https://www.myminifactory.com/users/andrewgoldberg About apgoldberg »

    Since quarantine started, my dad has had to work from home. He often leaves his phone and glasses on the desk in our office, and because we share the office they often end up buried under a pile of someone else’s papers. In order to help him out I gave him a frog phone and glasses holder for fathers’ day! When he goes back to work and doesn’t need to worry about his glasses being buried, he can use it as a business card holder! In this Instructable I’m going to show you how to make the frog for yourself in Tinkercad as well as how to customize it to work with your phone and glasses. If you’d like to build from a new design start with step 1. Or, make a copy of my frog design on Tinkercad and skip to step 5 to learn how to customize it for yourself.

    Step 1: Frog Head

    The first step is to construct the frog head! The head is made up of 7 Shapes. All measurements are in millimetres.

    Shape 1: Paraboloid, rotate 90 degrees, scale height-50, width 86.25, depth 50.

    Shape 2: Box, scale height-24, width 51.2, depth 22.09, center on the back of shape 1.

    Shape 3: Sphere, diameter 25.5, align as seen in the image using the box as a reference. It should slightly hang off the back of shape 1.

    Shape 4: Sphere, diameter 19.25, align as seen in the image (this is the second part of the eye).

    Shapes 5 and 6: Select Shapes 3 and 4 and Duplicate (ctrld) then move them symmetrically onto the other side of the head.

    Shape 7: Wedge, choose the Hole option, Rotate.90 degrees keeping the vertical face perpendicular to the plane, scale height 10.5,width 60, depth 51.25, center align and move so that it barely peeks through the back as seen in the image.

    Step 2: Frog Body

    Shape 8: The frog body is only one Shape, but it’s a bit complicated. Because of how Tinkercad works when scaling rotated Shapes it’s important to scale the Shape before rotating it. Add a Paraboloid and scale it height 66.67, width 83.25, and depth 47.5. Now rotate the Shape.112.5 degrees. Then align it as seen in the image. It should be.2 mm down and center aligned with the head.

    Step 3: Frog Legs

    The frog legs use the Bent Pipe and Scribble Shapes, the Bent Pipe Shape can be found under Featured Shape Generators. To make the Scribble use the image as a reference, you probably can’t make it exactly the same, but as long as it looks froggy, it’s good!

    Shape 9: Bent Pipe, set to 30 (any large number works this is to get rid of the pipe hole), set the Arc Diameter to 1, rotate 90 degrees so the flat side is down, scale height 27.34, width 25.1, depth 40.75, rotate 22.5 degrees so the flat parts are no longer parallel to the ground, then on the final axis rotate 15 degrees, move it to where it is seen in the images.

    Shape 10: Move Shape nine symmetrically to the other side of the body.

    Shape 11: Scribble, this Scribble is just 3 lines, because the exact scribbles will vary the necessary scale may vary too, my back foot is scaled height 11.92, width 22.44, and depth 33.26. It’s not necessary to use this exact scale, it’s likely best to size it yourself. Align as seen in the image.

    Shape 12: Move Shape eleven onto the opposite side of the body.

    Shape 13: Bent pipe, set the lead in length to 10 and the lead out to 0, set the outer pipe width to 5, rotate 90 degrees level to the plane, scale height 17.5, width 24.4, and depth 70.61. Orient as seen in the image.

    Shape 14: Move Shape thirteen onto the opposite side of the body.

    Shape 15: Scribble, use the same Scribble from Shapes 11 and 12, I scaled it to height 15, width 16.25, depth 13.62. Rotate inward 30 degrees.

    Shape 16: Move Shape fifteen onto the opposite side of the body.

    Step 4: Platform Hole

    Shape 17: Place a Hole Box with the top of the Box level to the plane. Stretch the Box over the entire frog. This is to make the bottom of the frog flat so the frog will print and rest nicely.

    Step 5: Phone Charger

    This section describes how to make the phone holder and the channel for the phone charging cable.

    Shape 18: Box, Hole, scale height 10, width 7.5, depth 55, center with the body, level with the ground.

    Shape 19: Duplicate shape 18 and rotate it 22.5 degrees, then move it down 2.

    best, portable, solar, chargers

    Shape 20: add a new Box Hole, scale height 35, width 15, depth 10, center with the body, move where seen in the image.

    Shape 21:To make the phone holder you’ll first need to get the dimensions of your phone or phone case. You can find the dimensions of the case by measuring or by looking if a seller provides the product dimensions. If your dimensions are in inches you need to convert the measurements to millimetres, or click edit grid in the bottom right and change your units to inches. Create a Box that is 1-2 mm wider than your phone or case, and around 1-2 mm longer and 26 mm high. As an example the S20s dimensions are 151.7 x 69.1 x 7.9 mm so the box could be 26 x 71 x 10.

    Place the Box centered and overlapping with the vertical channel (Shape 3) by a small amount (1-3 mm is good).

    Congrats! You can print and paint!

    The 5 Best Plasma Lighters You Can Get Now

    I’m a bit of a lighter addict and like to have at least two of each type of lighter.

    While they have their downsides, I love plasma lighters because they can be recharged with a portable solar panel or solar power bank, so they are a good option should you ever run out of fuel.

    best, portable, solar, chargers

    There are many cheap, poorly-made plasma lighters, though, so you’ve got to be careful about which one you get.

    Below are the best plasma lighters which you can rely on.

    This rugged lighter from Survival Frog ticks all the boxes. It is durable, reliable and easy to use with a decent capacity battery. Highly Recommended.

    How We Chose the Best Plasma Lighters

    We analyzed all the plasma lighters on the market and picked the best ones based on these factors:

    • Battery capacity
    • Design
    • Durability
    • Battery life indicator
    • Extra features like waterproof cases or built-in flashlights

    Some of these plasma lighters I tried myself and others were recommended by survivalists.

    If you don’t know much about lighters, I recommend reading this guide to the Types of Lighters. Also, see our picks for the All-Around Best Survival Lighters.

    And, in case you ever find yourself without a lighter, see this guide about how to start a fire without a lighter.

    Quick Picks:

    • Best Overall:Tough Tesla 2.0 double arc plasma lighter
    • Best Flashlight Plasma Lighter:Waterproof 2-in-1
    • Best for Smokers or Frequent Use:iLever double arc plasma lighter
    • Best candle plasma lighter:Vehhe candle lighter

    Best Plasma Lighters

    Tough Tesla 2.0

    • Arcs: Double
    • Recharge time: 2 hours
    • Lights per charge: 100-300
    • Battery capacity: 220mAh
    • Indicator light: No
    • Other: Waterproof case, 100-lumen flashlight with 3 brightness modes, whistle on a para-tinder lanyard

    The Tough Tesla repeatedly comes out as the best plasma lighter and is well-regarded by preppers.

    I like that the double arcs are set outside the lighter, so it’s easy to light tinder and not just cigarettes. The 220mAh capacity battery will last for about 100-300 lights and can be recharged many times without dying (so long as you take care not to overcharge it).

    The Survival Frog company offers a very good guarantee, which is a sign that you can trust the lighter.

    While some “survival lighters” have gimmicky products added to them, the flashlight on the Tough Tesla 2.0 is useful. At 100 lumens, it is bright enough to do most small tasks.

    There is also a lower power mode, so you don’t drain the lighter battery as quickly, and a strobe mode. There is a whistle on a lanyard, which can be torn apart to create tinder.

    The best thing about the Tough Tesla is its waterproof case. I still wouldn’t dunk it in water, as shown in the product pictures, but it will keep it safe against most water damage.

    The only downside of the Tough Tesla 2.0 is that there isn’t a battery life indicator. You’ll have to guess how much juice is left in the battery. A blue light turns off when the battery is fully charged, though.

    Explorer Waterproof Plasma Lighter

    • Arcs: Double
    • Recharge time: 2 hours
    • Lights per charge: 100-300
    • Battery capacity: 220mAh
    • Indicator light: No
    • Other: Waterproof case, whistle on para-tinder lanyard

    This plasma lighter is pretty similar to the Tough Tesla 2.0 reviewed above. It also has a 220mAh battery and comes in a waterproof case with a whistle on a para-tinder lanyard. However, it does not have a built-in flashlight.

    There is no battery life indicator. A light turns blue when charging and turns off when fully charged.

    Despite this, the Explorer is still a practical, durable plasma lighter. There are several color/style options for it. You can also choose whether you want the plasma lighter with the casing or outwards.

    Waterproof 2-in-1 Arc Lighter Flashlight

    • Arcs: Double
    • Recharge time: 2 hours
    • Lights per charge: N/G
    • Battery capacity: 350mAh
    • Indicator Light: No
    • Other: Flashlight with 3 modes, overcharge protection

    The 2-in-1 function of this lighter/flashlight makes it perfect for EDC (everyday carry).

    The LED flashlight has 3 modes: high, low, and strobe. They don’t list how many lumens the flashlight is, but it is pretty bright on high mode.

    The battery capacity is 350mAh, much larger than you’d find with other lighters, so it can be used as a flashlight.

    The plasma lighter function is also well-designed. There is a flip lid with a safety lock.

    The double arcs are set out from the metal casing, so it’s easy to light tinder.

    They don’t say how many lights per charge, but I’m guessing it’s around 300-400 max because of the larger battery capacity. There is no battery indicator, but the blue light does turn off when fully charged.

    I also love that the lighter is waterproof and only weighs 1.8oz, so it isn’t too bulky to carry daily.

    iLever Dual Arc Plasma Lighter

    The standout feature of the iLever plasma lighter is that it has a battery indicator light. The blue light on the side of the lighter shows you how full the battery is, so you don’t have to guess.

    This is why we picked it as the best plasma lighter for people who use lighters frequently, such as smokers.

    I also love that the lighter has a sleek, lightweight design. The battery capacity is 280mAh, which is larger than most. Despite the larger battery capacity, iLever only claims you’ll get 120-200 lights per charge.

    This is probably an accurate estimate of the number of lights; other plasma lighters with smaller batteries are probably overestimating.

    There aren’t any extras about the iLever plasma lighter, though. It isn’t waterproof, doesn’t have a flashlight, and doesn’t even have a safety lock. So, don’t plan on taking this camping or putting it in a survival kit.

    Vehhe Plasma Candle Lighter

    There are a lot of cheap plasma candle lighters for sale. This one stands out from the rest because of a few great features.

    They claim it will get 600 sparks per charge, which seems accurate since it’s only a single arc (which uses less energy than a double arc).

    The case has a battery life indicator, so you know when to recharge. They claim that the battery can be recharged 600 times, and they have a 1-year guarantee on the product.

    The only annoying thing about this candle lighter is that there is no cover for the plasma arcs. You should keep it in its case so the ignition beam area doesn’t get dirty. It then becomes too bulky to carry with you, so this is a plasma lighter best suited for home use.

    Lytown Two Pack of Candle Plasma Lighters

    This is a good option if you want a cheap plasma lighter, just in case. It is of better quality than most cheap plasma lighters. The slim design makes it practical, from lighting candles and grills to starting fires outdoors.

    To use this plasma lighter, you must first push the child safety button and then hit the “on” button. The ignition beam area pops up inside the case, which is cool since the beams aren’t exposed when not in use, so you can keep it in a purse without worry. This beats covering the beams with a little plastic cover that you will inevitably lose.

    While the design of the plasma lighter is excellent, it is still a cheap lighter. Some people had issues with the battery dying out quickly and not recharging. And it lacks some basic features that anyone who uses a lighter regularly would want.

    So, I’d only recommend this if you want to try out plasma lighters, but I will probably stick to fuel-based lighters.

    Notes about Choosing a Plasma Lighter

    Lights per charge:

    The number of lights you’ll get from a fully-charged plasma lighter varies drastically depending on factors like:

    • Number of arcs
    • Operating temperature (lithium-ion batteries perform poorly in hot and cold temperatures)
    • How long you hold the ignition button

    Don’t expect to get the total number of charges listed by the manufacturer. Battery capacity is a better indicator of how many lights you’ll get per charge.

    Battery life:

    Plasma lighters use lithium-ion batteries. These batteries are susceptible to overheating and overcharging.

    Be careful not to let the battery charge too long, or it might permanently lose some of its capacity.

    This is why some say their plasma lighter worked fine at first but stopped charging. For more on this, please read our post about types of batteries.

    Beam Position Design:

    Pay attention to how the beams are positioned on the plasma light. The beams can be set outside the case (shown on the left with the Tough Tesla 2.0 lighter) or inside the case (right).

    In general, it’s easier to light wide objects or tinder when the beams are set outside. Plasma lighters that set the beams inside are better for lighting cigarettes. They aren’t great for lighting candles or starting fires.

    Do you use a plasma lighter? Let us know what you love or hate about it in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев below.

    Printable Disaster Preparedness Cheat Sheets

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    Are you ready to take control during times of crisis?

    A printable guide covering the information you need to know to get you through power outages and other disasters where your best option is staying put.

    The 6 Best Rechargeable Hand Warmers of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

    Our testers loved the Go Warmer Cordless Rechargeable Hand Heater’s efficiency and feel.

    Kaitlyn McInnis is a freelance travel and lifestyle writer with bylines in Travel Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler, Tatler Asia, CNN, The Points Guy, and more. Born and raised in Canada, she specializes in writing Canadian and international travel guides.

    Rich Scherr is a seasoned journalist and editor who has traveled across the U.S., Canada, and Europe, and spent more than a decade reviewing hotel room.

    In This Article

    Hand warmers are the unsung heros of winter recreation and travel; the convenient little packages are easy to slip into s or mittens for a dose of warmth, whether you’re on the ski slope, snowshoeing, or exploring a new city in sub-zero temperatures.

    If you’ve been reluctant to invest in hand warmers or still use single-use disposables, it’s time to consider efficient, game-changing rechargeable options you can use all season and year after year. We had our expert testers try out 15 leading rechargeable hand warmers to help you narrow down the best options for your particular needs. They evaluated the ease of use, effectiveness, battery life, design, and durability of each rechargeable hand warmer to find the very best.

    When the warmers were put to the test out in the cold, the Go Warmer Cordless Rechargeable Hand Heater stood out the most, thanks to its comfortable shape and fast heat time. The multi-purpose functionality also helped it snag our top spot: Not only can it be used as a reliable hand warmer, but it also boasts a powerful flashlight and can even double as a power bank for your devices. Our list also includes rechargeable hand warmers that beat the competition in specific categories like durability, battery life, and more.

    Best Overall

    Go Warmer Cordless Rechargeable Hand Heater with Flashlight

    • This multi-purpose option also functions as a flashlight and portable charger for your mobile devices.

    Winter sports and outdoor activities often require a fair bit of gear and equipment — which is why opting for multi-functional items like the Go Warmer Cordless Rechargeable Hand Heater is such a major advantage. This set of two stood out to our testers, thanks to its ability to operate not just as hand warmers but also as a powerful flashlight for the long nights of winter and an emergency portable power bank for your devices. Despite the fact that this option comes with a handful of additional features, our testers confirmed that the hand-warming capabilities don’t take a hit. “I was shocked how quickly these heated up. Just a few seconds after toggling on, you could feel the heat, and it quickly heats up or cools down as you move between the settings,” our tester raved.

    Our testers particularly liked the ergonomic shape that feels comfortable in your palm, and dual-sided heating that provides all-over coverage for optimal warmth. “The design hits nicely in your hand and is sleek enough for coat s too,” they said. It’s also worth noting that this set features three different heat settings to best suit your comfort level and needs while also offering a generous eight hours of battery life between charges. The set of two comes with a USB charging cable and a convenient carrying case that allows you to store both hand warmers in one spot when they’re not in use.

    Price at time of publish: 17

    The Details: 8-hour battery life

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