Favorite Lightweight Solar Charger?

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Bernard
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Favorite Lightweight Solar Charger?

Post by Bernard » Mon Sep 28, 2020 7:47 am

I would love insights from the HST community with regards to solar chargers (for iPhone, GoPro etc.). I am focusing on weight not output and, ideally, would like to keep the cost down. Much of my intended activities this year have been broadsided by the fires, air quality as well as Covid. Something tells me that I am not alone with that. Hoping to find some locations for late summer and fall overnighters.
Thanks a bunch!
Bernard








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Wandering Daisy
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Re: Favorite Lightweight Solar Charger?

Post by Wandering Daisy » Tue Sep 29, 2020 10:19 am

This is just information from a friend who is a big-time UL thru hiker. Evidently, many thru-hikers are converting from solar chargers to compact battery chargers as they become better and lighter. Sorry, but I do not know specific brands, but you may want to look into this and compare performance and weight with solar chargers.

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Bernard
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Re: Favorite Lightweight Solar Charger?

Post by Bernard » Thu Oct 01, 2020 7:53 am

Wandering Daisy wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 10:19 am
This is just information from a friend who is a big-time UL thru hiker. Evidently, many thru-hikers are converting from solar chargers to compact battery chargers as they become better and lighter. Sorry, but I do not know specific brands, but you may want to look into this and compare performance and weight with solar chargers.
This helps me keep an open mind. I should not rule out the newer and lighter battery chargers.
Thanks!
Bernard :thumbsup:

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robow8
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Re: Favorite Lightweight Solar Charger?

Post by robow8 » Thu Oct 01, 2020 8:15 am

Figure out what you need to charge, how many times you need to charge, and how big the batteries you need to charge are. Then you can make a decision on how big of a power bank you need.

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mschnaidt
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Re: Favorite Lightweight Solar Charger?

Post by mschnaidt » Thu Oct 01, 2020 8:27 am

I use the Suntactics S5 and love it. Made in the USA, light, rugged and efficient.

https://www.amazon.com/Suntactics-Ultra ... op?ie=UTF8

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TurboHike
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Re: Favorite Lightweight Solar Charger?

Post by TurboHike » Thu Oct 01, 2020 9:19 am

You can also buy a power bank with a built in solar panel, so it will trickle charge while you hike.

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Re: Favorite Lightweight Solar Charger?

Post by maverick » Thu Oct 01, 2020 11:36 am

Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org

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Re: Favorite Lightweight Solar Charger?

Post by ironmike » Thu Oct 01, 2020 6:26 pm

I’ll second the preference to use a lightweight power brick. The problem with solar chargers is that you need to constantly futz with them to optimize efficiency. Too much time and effort to save a few ounces.

My fav brand is Anker.

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Re: Favorite Lightweight Solar Charger?

Post by bobby49 » Thu Oct 01, 2020 7:21 pm

This problem is a bit more complex, and there is no single answer.

First, you need to assess your demand for power. What devices are you powering? For simple devices such as a headlamp, the solution is that you don't need any solar charger at all unless you are going to be out without resupply for a very long time. A slide-in replacement battery is the lightest weight solution. If your device needs more complex power, then a stand-alone power brick can be very efficient. Some of those will accept slide-in batteries as well, so they can produce +5V or whatever using an 18650-type battery. If you are going to be out for a long time and you will be trail-hiking, then a solar charger may not be the best solution. For example, how are you going to keep it oriented toward the sun if you are going southbound and going through shade? If you intend to be stationary in camp, then a solar charger can begin to be effective. This is increasingly true if you are sitting there to re-orient the solar charger as the sun shifts.

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Re: Favorite Lightweight Solar Charger?

Post by mschnaidt » Thu Oct 01, 2020 8:19 pm

ironmike wrote:
Thu Oct 01, 2020 6:26 pm
I’ll second the preference to use a lightweight power brick. The problem with solar chargers is that you need to constantly futz with them to optimize efficiency. Too much time and effort to save a few ounces.

My fav brand is Anker.
Agreed. I often use an Anker charger. This is the one I use.

https://www.amazon.com/Anker-PowerCore- ... 532&sr=8-3

I backpack with a couple of friends. We usually bring one solar panel and a couple of Anker chargers. A good solar panel can keep the chargers topped up on a longer trip. On shorter trips solar is nice but just a luxury. It all depends on how much you use your electronics. I use my phone for pics, reading and mapping. I have an Inreach also that I like to keep above a 50% charge. On a 3 day trip the charger is all I need.

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