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RAVPower 15W Foldable Solar Charger Review
      #47662 - 02/05/15 04:24 PM

The RAVPower Solar Charger generates 15W of power in strong sunlight, which is enough to charge two devices simultaneously. If you intend to take your devices off the grid in sunny weather, this will likely meet all your power requirements.



Size

The RAVPower Solar Charger is 32" by 10" when open, and 8.5" x 10" x 0.75" (thickness) when closed.

Features and Quality

For some reason, I have an undying fascination for solar chargers. It's not that I spend an inordinate amount of time outdoors, it's just that I'm a chronic battery watcher, and draw a great deal of satisfaction from being self-sufficient. Over the last few years, I've owned a fair number of solar capable devices in my unending search for the perfect balance of power/durability/portability. A few were great; most were not so great. As luck would have it, the RavPower arrived just in time for a planned fishing trip; a trip for which I had previously purchased another solar panel with similar specs, features, and dimensions. On the first day, as I set out to catch my lunch, I hung the RavPower and the other panel in direct sunlight, and snaked the charge cables through the window into the trailer where I plugged in my iPhone and my iPad. I smiled smugly to myself as I turned to leave, only to hear the device that was plugged into the unnamed panel repeatedly chirp, as if it were being repeatedly plugged, and unplugged. Meanwhile, the RavPower Solar Charger was hard at work, charging my tablet without even breaking a sweat. Apparently, some solar panels output pulses of electrons, rather than a continuous, regulated stream like the RavPower. This, of course, rendered that other panel unusable. So, I simply plugged my second device into the Ravpower's second charge port. Further, the RavPower is intelligent enough to divide its 3A of current between an iPhone 6 Plus and an iPad so that both charged at a reasonable rate.



The RAVPower Solar Charger is weather resistant, durable, efficient, and idiot-proof. Face the panels toward the sun, plug in your device, and you're good to go. Although I didn't test this, it seems to me that if a hiker were to hang this panel on the back of their pack, they could charge their devices while they walked. Or, if you're not particularly outdoorsy, you may enjoy being able to charge your device while waiting at the airport, or at school, or any other place where outlets are difficult to find, yet sunlight is plentiful. One important note, however, is that it does not include a battery pack of its own. While this may be missed by some, its important to note that the RavPower is priced quite low, and is extremely lightweight. Both of these virtues would be severely impacted by the inclusion of a battery. Lastly, a built-in battery pack would eventually fail as all batteries do. It is much better to supply your own, which could be easily replaced/upgraded as-needed.



Style

The RavPower Solar Charger comes in black ripstop nylon. It's not particularly stylish, but it has a professional look to it.

Summary

The RAVPower Solar Charger is the best solar panel I've ever used. While it lacks the convenience of a panel with a built-in battery, It's more versatile as a result. The RavPower is powerful, durable, lightweight, and inexpensive. Just remember to BYOB (Bring Your Own Battery).


Editor's Ratings (1-5): 5
What's Hot: Unbelievable 15W of power (5V 3A output). Weather resistant. Regulated output. Lightweight and compact. Great price.
What's Not: No built-in battery.
Price: $56.99
Web site: RAVPower

Reviewed by: Tom Slayton







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Buy it from Amazon 15W Panel

Buy it from Amazon 9W Panel

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