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Thread: Solar Chargers????

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    481

    Solar Chargers????

    Ok, so someone swiped my battery chargers and now looking at new ones. Never really trusted the solar chargers but with the speed tech evolves nowadays... who knows? Does anyone have any recent experiences they can share? I use them mainly for long backpack huunts, so weight and size is a clear factor to consider. The only "system" I would consider is one where the solar panel charges the battery pack which then charges the phone, GPS, etc...

    Any use them?
    Which one?
    Do they work?

    Thanks for any feedback

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    region 2
    Posts
    105

    Re: Solar Chargers????

    I have one of the goal zero solar panels and the battery pack that goes with it. The battery pack is definitely temp sensitive and when it gets cold it doesn’t last that long unless I only use it when it’s warm. I usually plug stuff in and put it in my sleeping bag and it charges while I sleep. When it’s warm it’s great, gives me about 4 Full phone charges. The solar panel works but is slow. On a bright sunny day up north in August (14+ hours of sun) it will give the battery pack about 25% or one phone charge. It’s light enough to pack around but I find myself leaving it in the boat, truck or in the tote of spare gear we leave where the plane dropped us. It’s great to have if you need it. You can just bring one battery pack for 2-3 guys as well and the solar charger keeps you going. 4 days of bad weather and you’re f%#$ed though.

    in short, a good battery pack is great. As for the solar pannel…it works, but it’s extra weight.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    593

    Re: Solar Chargers????

    I have used the goal zero solar charger and found it to be very fussy and only worked in direct sunlight. I picked up a “big blue” unit off Amazon, and it’s awesome. They aren’t light but they will charge in clouds, rain, sun, etc.
    WSS BC Life Member
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  5. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    reality
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    2,328

    Re: Solar Chargers????

    I have a couple of flexible panels 25w that charges my battery pack pretty quick in good sunlight. I have 12v baofeng radios that use a special usb cord to charge the radios also from the battery pack or direct from the solar panel. Bought everything from aliexpress. Way cheaper than Amazon. I wish i could post pics.
    Hunting the promised land

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    53

    Re: Solar Chargers????

    Quote Originally Posted by dino View Post
    I have a couple of flexible panels 25w that charges my battery pack pretty quick in good sunlight. I have 12v baofeng radios that use a special usb cord to charge the radios also from the battery pack or direct from the solar panel. Bought everything from aliexpress. Way cheaper than Amazon. I wish i could post pics.

    i should be getting my waterlily in March, it use moving water to generate power, no comment using this but there is youtube videos out there, I paid for mine in June of 21 just received a email after sending them a email, they said March lets hope

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    1,057

    Re: Solar Chargers????

    VW shipped cars with solar chargers to keep the battery maintained. I have one. It is 12 v and on a hot sunny day, You do not want to use your tongue on there to measure electricity. Don't ask how I know. I'd say it's 6 x 12 inches.

  8. #7
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    Re: Solar Chargers????

    Quote Originally Posted by alberta hunter View Post
    i should be getting my waterlily in March, it use moving water to generate power, no comment using this but there is youtube videos out there, I paid for mine in June of 21 just received a email after sending them a email, they said March lets hope
    Ya im tempted on the lilly because a cloudy day means no charging. There is always a creek near by in the bush .
    Hunting the promised land

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    3,953

    Re: Solar Chargers????

    I thought the same thing you did about solar. I want to be able to recharge my phone and inreach mini when I go on my fly in hunt this fall so I picked up one of these a couple months back and field tested it.

    https://www.amazon.ca/26800mAh-Capac...s%2C235&sr=8-7

    It worked ok at it's best and not great most the time. Seemed to take forever for the solar to charge the onboard battery. Might be an ok unit if you could leave it in one place all day and could guranteed it had good sun. If you are moving and not coming back to the same location, it's not great as it can be tough to keep it in good sunlight (if that even exists). When I was able to leave it out sitting in one spot, had very overcast skies and it just didn't charge well. So it just didn't seem to be a reliable power source for a backpack/fly in hunt.

    I ended up sending it back and picking up a fixed 10000mAH power supply. Much smaller and lighter then the previous unit.

    https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B01...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Pre-charged it and I was able to charge my phone twice ( charge once its at 35%) and my inreach twice. I was running around with the phone and inreach on all the time to burn battery life (something I never really do on a hunt) In reality, I only use my inreach/cell in the morning and evening to send an ok text to my wife and when I'm moving areas, I sometimes have the inreach trackmode on. In any case more than enough backup power for a 2 week hunt.
    Last edited by Ron.C; 01-13-2022 at 08:37 PM.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    447

    Re: Solar Chargers????

    Suntactics S8 dual usb outlet solar panel with two 4000mAh battery packs. Charges 2 phones and inreach easily.
    Even works well in cloudy situations too.
    CCFR member

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    755

    Re: Solar Chargers????

    I think an external battery is the way to go. You can get some really light batteries that’s will charge a phone up to 10x. I use them for field work. Nice to have a guaranteed backup.

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