Skip to content
Best Solar Panel for Dump Trailers. Compact solar charger

Best Solar Panel for Dump Trailers. Compact solar charger

    Design Note 491: Tiny 2-Cell Solar Panel Charges Batteries in Compact, Off-Grid Devices

    Advances in low power electronics now allow placement of battery-powered sensors and other devices in locations far from the power grid. Ideally, for true grid independence, the batteries should not need replacement, but instead be recharged using locally available renewable energy, such as solar power. This Design Note shows how to produce a compact battery charger that operates from a small 2-cell solar panel. A unique feature of this design is that the DC/DC converter uses power point control to extract maximum power from the solar panel.

    The Importance of Maximum Power Point Control

    Although solar cells or solar panels are rated by power output, a panel’s available power is hardly constant. Its output power depends heavily on illumination, temperature and on the load current drawn from the panel. To illustrate this, Figure 1 shows the V-I characteristic of a 2-cell solar panel at a constant illumination. The I-vs-V curve features a relatively constant-current characteristic from short-circuit (at the far left) to around 550mA load current, at which point it bends to a constant-voltage characteristic at lower currents, approaching maximum voltage at open circuit (far right). The panel’s power output curve shows a clear peak in power output around 750mV/530mA, at the knee of the I-vs-V curve. If the load current increases beyond the power peak, the power curve quickly drops to zero (far left). Likewise, light loads push power toward zero (far right), but this tends to be less of an issue.

    Of course, panel illumination affects available power— less light means lower power output; more light, more power. Although illumination directly affects the value of peak power output, it does not do much to affect the peak’s location on the voltage scale. That is, regardless of illumination, the panel output voltage at which peak power occurs remains relatively constant. Thus, it makes sense to moderate the output current so that the solar panel voltage remains at or above this peak power voltage, in this case 750mV. Doing so is called maximum power point control (MPPC).

    Figure 2 shows the effects of varying sunlight on the charge current, with maximum power point control and without. The simulated sunlight is varied from 100% down to approximately 20%, then back up to 100%. Note that as the sunlight intensity drops about 20%, the solar panel’s output voltage and current also drop, but the LTC3105 maximum power point control prevents the panel’s output voltage from dropping below the programmed 750mV. It accomplishes this by reducing the LTC3105 output charge current to prevent the solar panel from collapsing to near zero volts, as is shown in the plot on the right side of Figure 2. Without power point control, a small reduction in sunlight can completely stop charge current from flowing.

    LTC3105 Boost Converter with Input Power Control

    The LTC3105 is a synchronous step-up DC/DC converter designed primarily to convert power from ambient energy sources, such as low voltage solar cells and thermoelectric generators, to battery charging power. The LTC3105 uses MPPC to deliver maximum available power from the source. It accomplishes this by reducing the LTC3105 output current to prevent the solar panel from collapsing to near zero volts. The LTC3105 is capable of starting up with an input as low as 250mV, allowing it to be powered by a single solar cell or up to nine or ten series-connected cells.

    Output disconnect eliminates the isolation diode often required with other solar powered DC/DC converters and allows the output voltage to be above or below the input voltage. The 400mA switch current limit is reduced during start-up to allow operation from relatively high impedance power sources, but still provides sufficient power for many low power solar applications once the converter is in normal operation. Also included are a 6mA adjustable output low dropout linear regulator, open-drain power good output, shutdown input and Burst Mode ® operation to improve efficiency in low power applications.

    Solar-Powered Li-Ion Battery Charger

    Figure 3 shows a compact solar-powered battery charger using a LTC3105 as a boost converter and a LTC4071 as a Li-Ion shunt charger. A 2-cell 400mW solar panel provides the input power to the LTC3105 to produce over 60mA of charge current in full sunlight. Maximum power point control prevents the solar panel voltage from dropping below the 750mV maximum power point, as shown in Figure 1. The converter’s output voltage is programmed for 4.35V, slightly above the 4.2V float voltage of the Li-Ion battery. The LTC4071 shunt charger limits the voltage across the battery to 4.2V. Grounding the FBLDO pin programs the low dropout regulator to 2.2V, which powers the “charging” LED. This LED is on when charging and off when the battery voltage is within 40mV of the float voltage, indicating near full charge. An NTC thermistor senses battery temperature and lowers the LTC4071 float voltage at high ambient temperatures for increased battery safety. To prevent battery damage from over-discharge, the low battery disconnect feature disconnects the battery from the load if the battery drops below 2.7V.

    Conclusion

    Although the circuit described here produces only a few hundred milliwatts, it can provide enough power to keep a 400mAhr Li-Ion battery fully charged under most weather conditions. The low input voltage, combined with input power control, makes the LTC3105 ideal for low power solar applications. In addition, the LTC4071 shunt charging system complements the LTC3105 by providing the precision float voltage, charge status and temperature safety features to assure long battery life in outdoor environments.

    Best Solar Panel for Dump Trailers

    Owning a dump trailer is a great way to make your work/life easier, but why does it seem like the battery is flat every time you try to start it? Keeping the battery charged can be challenging if it’s constantly in use without a charge or sitting for too long.

    Fortunately, solar panels are a great way to keep your dump trailer battery from going dead – and they’re getting more affordable every day!

    This article will look at the best solar panel for dump trailer batteries on the market today. We’ll also highlight some essential accessories, discuss some important factors to consider when choosing a solar panel for your needs, how to install them, and some helpful tips for keeping your battery charged while on the go.

    So, let’s dive in and take a look at the best solar panels for dump trailers!

    Top 5 Solar Panels for Dump Trailer Installation

    Product NameReviewLinkPriceAmazon Reviews

    The Benefits of Using a Solar Panel Charger For Your Dump Trailer

    One of the primary benefits of using a solar panel charger is that it will help you extend the life of your dump trailer battery.

    See our article on the best battery for dump trailers if you are also interested in a new battery.

    Solar panels can provide a steady supply of energy that helps keep your battery topped off, meaning it won’t have to work as hard and will last much longer, especially when not being used for long periods.

    Solar chargers are also incredibly convenient, as they don’t require any maintenance. They can just be set up and left alone to do their job – no need for complicated wiring or a power source.

    Finally, solar chargers are also very eco-friendly. Using renewable energy sources like the sun’s rays, you’ll be helping protect the planet while keeping your trailer battery charged.

    How to Choose the Right Solar Panel for Your Needs

    There are some essential factors to consider when choosing the best solar panel for your needs. Here are some of the main things to check for:

    Power Rating – Solar panels come in a wide variety of power ratings, so it’s essential to choose one that can supply enough energy for your trailer’s needs.

    Size and Shape – Solar panels come in all shapes and sizes, so make sure you choose one that fits your trailer’s available space. It should be big enough to provide the necessary power but small enough to fit the space.

    Accessory Compatibility – Some solar panels may require additional accessories, such as batteries or charge controllers, so it’s crucial to ensure the panel you choose is compatible with your trailer’s existing setup.

    Price – Solar panels can be expensive, so make sure to factor in the cost when deciding. Look for something that fits your budget but gives you enough energy output to meet your needs.

    Durability – Check the solar panel’s construction and look for signs that it is well-built and designed to last. Using a dump trailer in various conditions means you’ll need something that can handle whatever comes it’s way.

    Best Solar Panels for Dump Trailers

    Best Solar Panel for Dump Trailer Battery Life – OYMSAE 30 Watt 12 Volt Solar Panel

    Maximum Power: 30 W Optimum Operating Voltage (Vmp): 18 V Open-Circuit Voltage (Voc): 21.6 V Optimum Operating Current (Imp): 1.66 A Short-Circuit Current (Isc): 1.82A Weight: 2 lbs Dimensions: 21.2x 13.6 x0.79 inch

    Setup and Install Experience:The OYMSAE 30 Watt solar panel charger makes it simple and easy to set up and install with its plug-and-play setup.

    Weighing in at just 2 lbs, the panel is lightweight enough to be mounted easily on most dump trailers.

    The built-in charging microprocessor technology prevents overcharging during the day and reverse-discharging at night.

    The ETFE coating and light transmittance of up to 95% make this solar panel perfect for low-cost maintenance and trickle charge for your 12V dump trailer battery.

    Pros

    • Lightweight, easy to install and set up
    • Built-in charging microprocessor technology
    • Durable weatherproof construction
    • High-efficiency 95% light transmittance

    PWR Solar Panel 10W

    PWR Solar 10W allows you to explore the great outdoors with an endless supply of clean renewable energy. You can charge all USB-A connected devices directly or charge an external power bank to store energy for later use (PWR Solar does not have an internal battery).

    PWR Solar 10W allows you to explore the great outdoors with an endless supply of clean renewable energy. You can charge all USB-A connected devices directly or charge an external power bank to store energy for later use (PWR Solar does not have an internal battery).

    No Ordinary Power Source

    With its compact, lightweight, and sturdy design the PWR Solar 10W is the perfect choice for rugged outdoor exploration, whether it be on bike or foot.

    • Charge devices power banks directly via USB-A output
    • Sunpower Maxeon GEN 5 solar panels (feature monocrystaline cells)
    • Outputs a regulated 5V
    • Lightweight at just 450 grams
    • Extremely compact durable
    • Handy D-Ring attachment point
    • Water resistant when USB cover sealed (IP65)
    • EFTE coating for unparalleled protection against the elements
    • Snap magnet closure
    • Unites the PWR Modular System range

    Shipping Returns

    Please note your order is sent from Melbourne, Australia. And orders cannot be amended once they’ve been shipped.

    AustraliaFree standard shipping over A100Standard A8 | Express A12

    New ZealandFree standard shipping over A150 Standard International A20 | Express International A30

    EuropeFree standard shipping over € 100 Standard International €15 | Express International €25

    Asia CanadaFree standard shipping over US100 Standard International US15 | Express International US25

    United StatesShop at Knog’s US store for free and fast delivery.

    United KingdomWe don’t send direct, but you can order from our UK distributor Freewheel or search for a local retailer.

    International orders may be subject to additional customs and duty charges to be paid by the receiver. Knog has no control or liability here.

    Returns Exchanges

    We stand behind everything we make and want you to be happy. If for any reason you’re not satisfied with your purchase, return it within 30-days for a full refund. For more information, please see our Returns Warranty page.

    Customer Reviews

    This solar panel is the best I could find for backpacking after considering the various criteria that go into my gear choices: weight, durability, functionality, and compactness. The materials and build are very solid, it charges efficiently, and it’s very compact. The weight is a bit higher than I would like for long-distance hikes, but then again this product was probably optimized for biking. The rubber material is likely the issue, though going with a lighter material could compromise the durability. I would also like to see the USB-A port replaced with USB-C as most of my gadgets use that standard now. I bring along a Lever Gear cable kit, which includes any adapters I need, as a nice lightweight complement to the PWR Solar Panel. My primary mode of use is to charge an Anker Powercore 5000, which I then use to charge my other electronics. To summarize, I think the PWR is a best-in-class product for a portable and robust solar charger, and I would highly recommend it to any hiker, cyclist, or anyone else recreating in the outdoors.

    The PWR Solar Panel is the compliment I needed for my PWR System Accessories and Batteries. The backcountry places I like to go have plenty of Sun and this is the perfect way to use that resource. Even in the far part of the middle of nowhere you can keep your flashlight, lantern, GPS and Phone charged and usable with the Solar Panel. Compact enough to always have with you it is well designed and built, as you would expect from Knog.

    I received the solar panel and I am extremely happy with the size as it will be used during my bike ride on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route this summer and space is limited. I bought this after reading the great review of the product via the Adventure Cycling Association. I am positive it will give me the power needed for my devices during this epic adventure. Thanks!

    Very good quality definitely expensive but it gives you back with its performance. The only problem I faced is that I paid customs tax about 60 euros. I didn’t expect that. I have ordered other times from countries outside of Europe and for the first time I paid tax for purchases of this value. otherwise it’s light ,small and charges fast ideal for cycling trip.

    Impressively innovative, portable functional.

    With PWR Solar, there are no more flat batteries.

    Compact Lightweight

    The Smart concertina design of the PWR Solar 10W means that when not in use it folds into a small compact unit that is not much larger than a smartphone.

    Durable Rugged

    The PWR Solar 10W is coated with ETFE which is considered the leading industrial coating offering unparalleled protection from heat, water, salt, oil, and dirt.

    Dual Function LEDs

    4 conveniently located LEDs on the top of the unit perform dual display functions.

    Premium Solar Cells Intelligent Chip Technology

    Through Knog’s use of advanced integrated chip technology, the PWR Solar 10W panels can detect improving solar conditions and automatically re-start the charging process.

    Features

    Compact Lightweight

    The Smart concertina design of the PWR Solar 10W means that when not in use it folds into a small compact unit that is not much larger than a smartphone. Weighing in at 450g this small compact unit can fit easily into pannier bags or secure jacket s. With smartly placed magnets this solar unit packs up easily when not in use, these same magnets can also be used to add positioning of the panels on a metal object.

    best, solar, panel, dump

    Durable Rugged

    Every aspect of PWR Solar 10W has been designed with adventure in mind. As such, the entire unit is coated with ETFE which is considered the leading industrial coating offering unparalleled protection from heat, water, salt, oil, and dirt. The charger also has a handy D-ring attachment which allows for convenient and secure storage or premium placement for maximum sun absorption.

    Dual function LEDs

    4 conveniently located LEDs on the top of the unit perform dual display functions. When the LEDs display on steady they are measuring the quality of the available sunlight which allows for placement to ensure optimum sunlight capture. When the LED’s are flashing they are indicating the rate at which your device is charging, with the unit only delivering the level of charge that a device requires.

    Premium Solar Cells Intelligent Chip Technology

    Not all solar cells give an equal performance, with a huge difference in various cells efficiencies. Knog’s decision to use Sunpower Maxeon Gen 5 panels featuring Monocrystalline cells allows for high module efficiency, these are the same cells that are used by Nasa. Through Knog’s use of advanced integrated chip technology, the PWR Solar 10W panels can detect improving solar conditions and automatically re-start the charging process to allow the device that is being charged to draw the optimum charging current, creating the most efficient charging in any given conditions.

    Technical Specifications

    DIMENSIONS. FOLDED 17.5 cm (L) x 10.4 cm (W) x 3.5 cm (D) / 6.9 in (L) x 4.1 in (W) x 1.4 in (D)
    DIMENSIONS. DEPLOYED 54.1 cm (L) x 17.5 cm (W) x 1.8 cm (D) / 21.3 in (L) x 6.9 in (W) x 0.7 in (D)
    WEIGHT 450 gm / 15.9 oz
    CHARGE INDICATORS (BASED ON AVAILABLE LIGHT) Yes
    CHARGING INDICATORS Yes
    REGULATED OUTPUT Yes, 5V
    MONOCRYSTALINE CELLS Yes, Sunpower Maxeon GEN 5 panels (which feature Monocrystaline cells)
    MOUNTING OPTIONS D-ring attachment
    WATER RESISTANT Yes, IP65 rating when rubber access flap sealed. Keep dry when charging.
    PROTECTIVE COATING Yes, ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene)
    OPERATING TEMPURATURE 0 to 50 °C / 32 to 122°F

    Top Ultralight Solar Chargers Reviewed (From 3.6oz)

    Need an ultralight solar charger for backpacking or a thru-hiking trip? Here’s a thorough review of the best options based on overall weight, power-to-weight ratio, and features.

    Most of the backpacking solar panels here are under 1lb. Honestly, it’s hard to find a charger lighter than 1lb but which will still reliably charge your devices (if it doesn’t work, it’s just dead weight!). I’ve also included some solar chargers which are heavier but more powerful. These could still be considered ultralight if you are backpacking in group and will share the weight between members.

    Quick Picks:

    Comparison

    You want more watts per ounce with backpacking solar chargers.

    ProductWattsOverall WeightWatts Per OzPorts

    Best Ultralight Solar Chargers for Backpacking

    Anker PowerPort Solar Lite

    Best For: Fantastic power-to-weight ratio plus great features

    In pretty much every list of the top portable solar chargers, the Anker PowerPort takes the #1 spot. There is good reason for this. The solar charger is very reliable, durable, and is lightweight for its wattage. It’s easy to use on the trail because there are elastic loops for attaching the solar charger to your pack and a for holding your devices.

    best, solar, panel, dump

    There are two versions of the charger which are good for backpacking: 15W and 21W. Of the two, the 21W is definitely superior. It only weighs a tiny bit more but will actually charge two devices at the same time. At 2.4A per port, it’s fairly fast – though note you’ll only get a max of 3A when charging two devices at once. Unfortunately, it is often unavailable.

    If you have perfect sunlight and angle it well, then you maybe could charge two devices at once with the 15W. But it’s a lot faster with the 21W charger.

    Unfortunately, the 21W solar charger is often out of stock — which is why the Anker 15W gets the #1 position.

    The charging ports are locating inside a canvas pouch, which means the solar charger is (mostly) water resistant.

    One slight annoying thing is that the Anker PowerPort charger closes with Velcro (which gets debris stuck in it). I’d rather have a magnetic closure instead.

    Lixada 10W Solar Charger

    Best For: Insanely cheap and lightweight solution for backpackers who understand solar

    I first heard about Lixada in discussions about solar panels on Reddit and backpacking forums. Lixada doesn’t have the name recognition as brands like Anker or Goal Zero, but they are starting to develop a huge fan base with ultralight backpackers. Part of the reason is because the Lixada solar panels are stupidly cheap and amazingly lightweight.

    Starting with weight: At 3.56oz, the 10W Lixada solar charger gives you the most power per weight of any of the backpacking solar chargers reviewed here.

    Not surprisingly, the Lixada is lacking in a lot of features. Most noteably, it doesn’t have an auto-reset feature – which means it will stop charging if a Cloud passes over it. You’ll have to unplug the device and replug to get it to start charging again.

    It also doesn’t have a blocking diode, so it could actually draw power from your device in low-light situations. I wouldn’t ‘use the Lixada to directly charge devices. It’s more reliable for charging a power bank and then using that to power your devices.

    As one user pointed out though, the Lixada is great if you are willing to put the effort into understanding solar. Get yourself a multi-meter and test the solar panel under different scenarios (weather, light, cables, device…). Once you understand this info, you will be able to get away with using such a cheap and lightweight solar panel for backpacking trips.

    Goal Zero Nomad Solar Chargers

    Best For: Backpackers who don’t mind a higher weight-per-ounce in exchange for more reliability.

    • Watts: 5w/10W/20W
    • Weight: 12.7oz/17.6oz/33.6oz
    • Size: 9.5 x 7. X 1.1 inches (5w)
    • Auto Reset: Yes
    • Ports: 1x1A/1×1.5A/1×2.1A 8mm 1.3A solar port
    • Cost: – See price here at Amazon and here at REI.

    The Goal Zero Nomad used to be considered the best backpacking solar chargers. Now there are many other better options when it comes to weight. When you look at the amount of watts per ounce, the Goal Zero chargers are actually really heavy. The 5W and 10W chargers are also very slow.

    There is some good though. Goal Zero Nomad chargers are very reliable. The tech does a good job of matching charge output to device. You won’t have to worry about the auto-reset not workingn or the charger draining your device if you let it sit too long. It’s also waterproof to IPX6.

    If you are set on getting a Goal Zero Nomad charger, than I’d get the 10W or 20W. They aren’t lightweight enough for most backpackers but deliver more power and are chainable.

    Get it Amazon or REI

    ECEEN 13w Solar Charger

    Best For: Hikers who want a very cheap solar charger that works well enough in good weather

    The ECEEN is one of the cheapest solar chargers you can get which is still lightweight enough for backpacking.

    Considering how cheap this backpacking solar charger is, it surprisingly has a (mostly) reliable auto-reset feature. It’s also waterproof, durable, and easily straps to your pack.

    Now for the bad. The ECEEN does charge in full sun but won’t charge at all – not even a trickle – in low light. It’s also unrealistic to expect to charge two devices at once. The 2amps is only for ideal conditions and even then it won’t charge at a full 1amp per connection. Don’t bother with this solar panel for backpacking trips in fall, spring, or which will take you through shady forests.

    Voltaic Arc 10W Solar Charger

    Best For: Another budget solar charge for charging in sunny weather

    The Voltaic Arc 10W solar charger seems fantastic at first glance. 10W is perfect if you only need to occasionally charge small devices when backpacking. The watts-per-ounce is good and it’s a nice compact size.

    In clear skies and bright sun, the charging is actually very good. But, as soon as the weather gets a bit cloudy, the performance on the Arc 10W charger gets VERY slow.

    I also don’t like that the charging port is completely exposed. You’ll need to be careful that it doesn’t get wet or dirty. There’s also no for holding your device while charging.

    BigBlue 28W Solar Charger

    Best For: Backpackers with high energy demands or traveling in a group

    At 28W, the Big Blue solar charger is probably too large for most backpackers. But, if you have high power needs or there are multiple people in your group to share the weight, this is one of the best solar chargers you can get.

    It has a lot of nice tech features like overcharge protection and the auto-reset features works. The solar panels are actually efficient. And, while you will never get 100% of the advertised charging amount, it performs better than most other solar chargers.

    Do note that there doesn’t seem to be a blocking diode on the charger. If you leave a device attached to the charger in low-light conditions, it will drain your battery instead of charging it. You’ll need to unplug it in overcast weather, especially if multiple devices are attached.

    Note: This charger is not compatible with the iPod Pro.

    NekTeck 28W Solar Charger

    Best For: If you don’t mind taking a risk with a generic brand

    If this solar charger seems too good to be true, you are right. It doesn’t perform as well as some of its more well-known competitors and a lot of people were sent faulty chargers. Don’t expect to get a full 28W worth of charging power. The auto-reset feature can be finnicky and you might need to unplug/replug to get it to charge in cloudy conditions. The pouch is tiny and can barely fit many devices. And a lot of those 5-star reviews on Amazon seem to be fakes.

    Still, there are a lot of people who like this solar charger. It’s rugged enough to withstand abuse and the price is pretty cheap. So, if you don’t mind taking a risk on a generic brand, go for it — but please test it to make sure it’s working before you take it backpacking! The brand is pretty good about issuing refunds if yours is faulty.

    SunJack 15W Solar Charger

    Best For: Overall great solution for charging two devices at once

    While they don’t get as much attention as Anker or Goal Zero, SunJack is a very reputable brand of solar chargers. The weight is pretty good, especially considering how durable the solar charger is. It is (mostly) waterproof.

    There’s a mesh for protecting your devices and the charging port. The elastic Band for holding your device in place is a nice touch. I also like that they use a magnetic closure instead of annoying Velcro.

    The technology behind the solar charger also seems to deliver as promised. It will actually charge two devices at 2A each in good sunlight. There is Smart overcharge protection too. I would have listed this higher in my picks but it is often out of stock.

    Tips for Choosing Lightweight and Ultralight Solar Chargers for Backpacking

    Do You Even Need a Solar Charger?

    Backpacking solar chargers are cool devices but, for most short trips, you really don’t need one – especially if you aren’t using many devices. As David Roberts of Solargenerator.guide says, “If you aren’t going to be in a place where you can count on at least a few hours of direct sunlight each day, then don’t waste your money. Opt for a less-expensive power bank, instead.”

    For example, on a 7-day backpacking trip, I might need to recharge my headlamp batteries, camera battery, and/or Kindle. A lightweight 10,000mAh powerbank is more than enough to do this. Further, a powerbank is a lot more reliable than a solar panel when it comes to charging.

    2: Inadequate Wattage = Dead Weight

    Want a backpacking solar charger which weighs under 12oz? You’ll be hard pressed to find a setup which offers more than 5 watts of power.

    As a general rule, you will need at least 10 watts in order to reliably charge phones and other small devices while backpacking. Anything less than 10 watts means it will take forever to charge a device – even in ideal conditions!

    Also note that some devices won’t charge at low power. Nokia phones, for example, require 120mAh to start charging. If the low-watt solar panel can’t produce this amount, then the phone won’t charge at all.

    An ultralight solar panel might not meet your power needs. It’s better to carry a few more ounces for gear which actually works than lug around dead weight.

    Look At Watts Per Ounce

    Don’t make the mistake of just looking at the overall weight of a solar charger. Instead, you need to look at the watts per ounce. The more watts per ounce, the lighter the solar charger really is.

    best, solar, panel, dump

    For example, the Anker PowerPort is 13.7oz but has 21 watts. The Goal Zero Nomad 5 is lighter at 12.7oz, but only is 5 watts. As talked about above, it’s usually better to carry a few extra ounces and have a charger capable of doing the job.

    best, solar, panel, dump

    Don’t Forget the Weight of Extras

    It’s worth noting that most manufacturers only list the weight for their solar panels. This weight does NOT include accessories like cables, 12volt-to-USB adapters, or charge controllers. These can add a few ounces to the setup.

    Likewise, you’ll probably also want a powerbank to use with your solar charger – which means anywhere from 2.5oz to 10oz more weight. This will allow you to store power for later and many solar chargers simply perform better when used to charge power banks.

    Reduce Your Power Needs

    The best way to reduce your solar charger weight is to reduce your power needs.

    The less you use your devices, the smaller of a solar panel you can get away with. Normally you shouldn’t get less than a 10 watt solar panel, and that’s in ideal conditions. To get away with a low watt solar panel, you’ll need to:

    • Keep your phone turned off or in flight mode (if you are using it for photos)
    • Download LUX to control screen background
    • Use Greenify app to turn off background apps without having to uninstall
    • Keep phone GPS off until you need it
    • If you listen to music on your phone, use earbuds instead of the speakers
    • Keep devices at “room temperature” Sleep with them on cold nights if you must.
    • Be stingy about taking photos and videos.
    • Set up camp on time so you don’t have to rely on headlamps at night.

    Be Realistic About What Ultralight Solar Chargers Can Do

    Don’t get me wrong: backpacking solar chargers are awesome and have come a long way. They’ve gotten smaller, more durable, and much more reliable.

    But they still aren’t perfect.

    You aren’t going to be able to strap a small charger to your backpacking, hike through a shady forest, and expect your devices to get fully charged.

    Want to really cut weight from your pack? Check out my eBook!

    Oftne, the most effective way to cut weight from your pack is to start with your food. My eBook has over 50 dehydrator backpacking recipes — most which have over 130 calories per ounce! Plus there’s tons of info on planning backpacking meals. I’ll even give it to you for half off.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *