W Solar Panel – Isatphone / Iridium Charger
28 Watt Isatphone / Iridium Solar Charger. Water-proof, Foldable, Solar Powered Battery Charger for the Isatphone Pro, Iridium 9505A, 9555 and 9575. When using with an Iridium 9505A or 9555 phone, the Iridium solar adapter is required. The Iridium 9575 uses the USB-mini cable that is supplied with the phone, so the charging adapter is not needed.
Features: Lightweight and foldable – this solar panel is easy to take with you.
Updated Triple USB Ports.3 USB charging ports（Each is 5V/2.4A Max)
Specifications: compact size (11.1 × 6.3× 1.3in folded) and lightweight (20.6 oz) design
Please Note: The approximate charge time (in direct sunlight) is 3 hours.
Note: The Iridium charge adapter is required for use with with the Iridium 9505A and Iridium 9555 Satellite Phone.
Enclosed is the satellite phone I rented for John. Thank you for your assistance with this rental, we were very happy with the service you have provided.
Sincerely, Susan The Pepsi Bottling Group
To Whom it May Concern:
Enclosed please find the returned international satellite phone. He informed me that it worked perfectly in Argentina. Thank you for your assistance.
Sincerely Katy Roger Engemann Company
Just flip up the antenna and talk…from anywhere! As an experienced user of satellite telephone services, I can say one thing about GlobalStar. It is not a satellite phone, it’s cellular on steroids! The new “GStar” works just like my cellular phone. No setup required! Just flip up the antenna and talk…from anywhere! Also, the service provides clear connections without the onerous delay associated with most satellite services and no echoes. Just like cellular. The price is reasonable, too!
There was no paging or cellular service, so I used the Globalstar phone to call the marina and lake patrol to ask if there were any reported incidents. My Globalstar phone came in handy last weekend while on a houseboat on Lake Mojave, NV. First, my friend’s wife was debating whether or not to go on the trip because she would be leaving their 15 month old daughter with her parents for three days and they would have no way to contact each other should their be a problem. I reminded them that I would have my Globalstar phone with me and they could use it to check in with her parents whenever they wanted to. She agreed to go and used the phone several times (she now wants one). The second incident came when a friend, who took a jet ski to the marina for “provisions,” was an hour overdue. Many of the 16 people on the houseboat became worried and debated whether or not we should pack up and go on a search and rescue. There was no paging or cellular service, so I used the Globalstar phone to call the marina and lake patrol to ask if there were any reported incidents. There were none, but they notified the patrol to be on the lookout for our wayward friend. Fifteen minutes later, he showed up and all was well. Just a couple of “real world” situations where Globalstar service proved its worth.
A word about the missing battery. Presently it is at the bottom of the Little Current Lake north of Nabina Ontario, Canada. Above it, in the log-pile is my pinned canoe. While making the call with your satellite phone to arrange for helicopter pick-up, the water-proof phone box started to roll off the log-pile, dumping some of its contents which included the spare battery. Without the satellite phone I would still be in the bush in Ontario.
This is T. Herndon and I wanted to let you know how your phone worked for me and my hunting trip.The phone was used marginally during the first part of our trip to Alaska but when the bush pilot company didn’t pick us up it was used a lot more. Imagine being us, out there 300 miles from civilization and not knowing if we were going to be picked up! Well, without the sat phone that is exactly where we would have been. The pilot finally got us on Monday afternoon (we were supposed to be picked up on the Saturday before at 11 am and we were picked up on Mon. at 2 pm!)With your phone we kept in contact with all four of our more than upset wives, and children. Summer, tell all of your people thanks for a job well done!
T. Herndon Arizona Outfitter
The captain has decades of experience in Alaskan waters and can navigate even the most remote areas. And that’s exactly where we headed– remote, remote, remote. We set off for Alaska, the Juneau area, boarded an 85′ charter boat. We brought our Globalstar phone and from anywhere, at anytime, the phone was used for a variety of purposes (mostly for daily business decisions, family contact, etc). The clarity of the phone was outstanding. We have ZERO complaints. Absolutely a wonderful service. Regardless of movement or speed, there was no hesitation in the service, nor did we (at any time) say “Hello! Hello! Can you hear me?” as is commonplace with cell phones. But the most immediately rewarding benefit of the phone was provided by life’s circumstances. It happened that we anchored in a “no one will ever find it” cove for the night. The captain lowered the anchor via remote switches we set our sights on harvesting shrimp. Yes, we pulled up shrimp the next day… but what wouldn’t come up was the anchor. Somehow, it had wrenched itself in the depths below no amount of strain, backing up, or re-positioning, could loosen the grip. The tremendous force placed upon the pulley strained the heavy chain… so strained that it busted and snapped the pulley at the bow… also damaged the bow. The only solution was to saw the chain, place a bouy on it, hope for recovery on the next trip out. Enter: Globalstar phone. The tooling of a new pulley, housing, and bow re-enforcement would take approximately four days, which was two days beyond our re-docking and the entry of a new group which had chartered the boat. That is a situation no Captain or boarding guest takes pleasure in greeting. Several calls were made (to fro) to tool replacements… sizing questions… measurements…a trek in finding the right man, with the right talent (with the time on his hands) to fix the problem. The task, however, was accomplished. The unit was overnighted by air from California to Alaska… it awaited the Captain as we pulled into harbor. Granted, it took some sweat to switch out the units do the repairs, but the oncoming new guests were never the wiser. There was no lost time, no lost income, no alternate accommodation costs. In general conversation, it was decided that the phone would clearly have paid for itself resolving just that one instance. Additionally, the business use of the phone (owner-to-business site) reaped substantial rewards. And for the ladies? Constant contact with house children sitters was an absolute comfort. I will never fret over a dropped call. Just a story about life, and about how Globalstar made it better. The benefits of remote communication cannot be undervalued. It certainly has proved its value to me.
Portable Solar Chargers Comparison Table
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)
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.
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
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
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)
- GPS units
- bluetooth speakers
- wireless headphones
- 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.
How we Researched and tested
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.
SunJack Portable Solar Charger Review
If you want to see a quick look at my conclusions. have a peek at this table. My review goes into more detail below.
Unlike many competing models, the SunJack Solar Charger is super-light, made from quality material, and doesn’t require any prior knowledge to use. Whether you’re living off the land, or going on a camping trip, it can help you charge your electronic devices and make your time in the wild much more pleasant. It can also save your life if you’re stranded in the wild with a dead cell phone or satellite phone battery. Overall, it’s a highly recommended portable solar charger.
Overview – What’s it Good For?
In the wild, there are no outlets (if you find one, send me an email), so it’s impossible to charge electronic devices. With the SunJack Solar Charger, you’ll be able to power your GPS devices, emergency radios, flashlights, and even a cell phone. Again, I’m not a huge fan of relying on technology for survival, but having a portable solar charger is a nice backup in my opinion. Even if you’re not in a survival situation, it can be a great addition to a camping adventure or off grid living scenario.
Like I said, I’ve tested dozens of portable solar chargers and backup power devices. Here’s the biggest problem I have with most of them: they take forever to charge stuff (most of the time, I could never get my devices fully charged, which is obviously a huge issue. That’s when I decided to give the SunJack Portable Solar Charger a try. Upon using it, I knew immediately that I had a winner.
At just 6.75” x 9.25” x 1.75” when folded, it’s the epitome of what a “portable” solar charger should be. You can easily slip it into any bug out bag without worry that it’s going to take up a lot of space. It doesn’t weigh much (about 2 pounds), so I consider it the perfect battery backup for when you’re on-the-go. Here are some helpful specs to know:
- Battery Charge Cycles: 1,000
- Battery Backup: 8000mAh Lithium-Polymer Battery
- Max Output Voltage/Current: Two 5V/2A USB Ports
- Solar Panels: 14 Watts of High-Efficiency Mono-Crystalline
What I love most about the SunJack is that it doesn’t require any experience to use. Even if you’re totally new to alternative energy, you’ll be able to setup your portable charger in a matter of minutes. The simplicity worth is worth its price tag in my opinion. Also, the build quality of this device is very solid- much more solid than what you’ll find in competing models. In short, it doesn’t feel “cheap”. Whether you’re in a survival situation, or on a casual camping trip, there’s no doubt that this charger can come in handy.
What Do You Get?
When you buy the SunJack Portable Solar Charger, here’s what you’ll get:
- Portable Solar Charger
- Fast-Charge Battery Pack
- Fast-Charge Cable
- Quick Start Guide1-Year Manufacturer’s Warranty
I recommend taking advantage of this product while the 1-year manufacturer’s warranty is still on the table. If anything happens to your device within that time, you’ll be able to replace it absolutely free (you might need to pay shipping, but I’m not 100% sure).
Best Backpack Charger
Voltaic Systems Array Rapid Solar Backpack Charger for Laptops
A solar-charging backpack allows you to charge a laptop on the go, and the redesigned Array Rapid Solar Backpack Charger by Voltaic Systems is lightweight (5.4 pounds), durable, and powerful. UV and water resistant, the backpack is made from 33 recycled plastic soda bottles (recycled PET fabric). Inside is 25 liters of storage, a dedicated padded 15-inch laptop sleeve for added protection, and plenty of interior s.
The new larger capacity, 88-watt hour battery comes with USB-C to charge the latest devices. The battery can be recharged with the AC adapter or with the 10-watt solar panel that’s built into the rear of the backpack. It takes about six hours to fully charge a laptop.
Price at time of publish: 249
Solar Panel Capacity: 9 watts | Battery Capacity: 88.8 watt hours | Weight: 5.4 pounds | Output Ports: USB, USB Type C, and Hi-Voltage Laptop Output
SunJack 25W Portable Solar Charger Panel 2 Powerbanks
This portable solar panel and battery kit is designed for phones, tablets, and other smaller devices, but if your laptop uses a USB-C power cable, you can also connect it. The kit includes a folding, three-panel portable solar charger, and two 10,000mAh batteries, plus two fast-charging cables and carabiners.
This setup might not be ideal for powering work on your laptop for an extended period of time, but it can supplement your laptop’s internal battery enough to get it to boot up and check or send messages in the case of an emergency. At under 200, it’s a great value and considerably less expensive than setups with higher capacities.
Sunjack is a trusted name is solar panels, and its durable design is back by a one year warranty.
Price at time of publish: 120
Solar Panel Capacity: 25 watts | Battery Capacity: 90 watt hours each | Weight: 3 pounds total | Output Ports: One USB-A, one USB-C
Our top pick for a portable solar laptop charger is the Jackery Power Outdoors unit for its reasonable price and high functionality, but if you’re looking for a cost-friendly option, the SunJack Solar Panel and Power Bank set is an affordable, lightweight choice for charging laptops and cell phones in emergency situations.
What to Consider When Shopping for a Solar Laptop Charger
While some portable solar panel manufacturers claim they can charge laptops by connecting directly to the panel, it’s not a good idea. Voltage fluctuations can potentially damage devices, and portable solar panels are slower to charge devices than battery power packs. Not to mention, solar panels can only be utilized during daylight hours, while a combination of both (battery and panel) allows you to maximize power generation by using the battery in the evenings and recharging it on the panel during the day.
Although solar panels and batteries have both gotten way lighter in recent years, a battery system that’s large enough to keep a laptop charged for a meaningful amount of time is not going to fit in your Generally speaking, bigger, heavier batteries are going to charge a laptop for longer. These steps tend to be best suited for off-grid homes, car camping, or RVing. If you need a super lightweight system, you may want to consider if tablet and smaller battery pack can suit your needs.
Make sure the battery has output ports that you can plug your laptop’s power cable into. Many newer laptops, like the MacBook Pro, use a power cable with a USB-C connector. Older laptops will need an AC output port, the kind you find on a wall outlet.