View Full Version : Solar Charger Advice

07-14-2014, 18:46
Thinking of purchasing a Solar Charger and battery pack, and am looking for suggestions or 1st hand feedback. I was originally looking at the Goal Zero Nomad 7 solar panel with with there guide 10 re charger. The battery pack looks to have good reviews but most of the reviews I have seen on the solar panel say that it does not auto switch back on if the charge in interrupted and does not charge very well when it is overcast. So now I am thinking of getting a different solar panel from Suntactics because the reviews say it performs better in lower light conditions. Thanks

07-14-2014, 18:52
whats it charging?

Most people here will tell you that solar chargers in general suck. Especially on the A.T. where theres too much shade.

If its for cameras, or phones with removable batteries, I would just buy a bunch of cheap batteries from ebay/amazon and charge them at home and then take them with you.

But if you are like me and want it for something like an iPhone where the battery is not removable, then I have not found anything thats too reliable to charge.

(But if you buy it from amazon etc, make sure you use it right away so you know within your 30 day return period if its worth keeping to taking back)

07-14-2014, 18:53
also, if you see a charger/battery pack that you are interested in, search that model on youtbe and look at a video review/demonstration.

07-14-2014, 20:03
The solar charger I'm using currently on the PCT is the Suntactics S5 and it's really great - as fast as a wall outlet in direct sunlight. I'd recommend it.

On the AT where you can hit power frequently an external battery would be a better choice IMO.

07-20-2014, 09:10
I have had the Joos Orange and you can precharge it from a USB on your computer and then I put it outside my pack and it does well - charges my Iphone quickly.

The proprietary connector was loose and didn't stay connected and I emailed them and they sent me a new one - no questions asked.

08-14-2014, 16:24
In my experience, the only solar chargers that are worth a damn are the ones that are big enough to fit in your windshield and those barely work. If your on the PCT with full expsure to the sun at relatively high altitude, it might work, but for the AT don't bother. Think about getting a external battery. The only problem is that they take awhile to fully charge, so if your like me and don't stay in hotels, charging it in town could be tedious. I typically end up hanging out in subway or taco bell/kfc for so long that the staff starts looking at me weird. It's even worse if the only business is a diner that doesn't have outlets and is miserly about letting you charge your phone. Believe me, I hate asking people for things and would love to charge my own phone on the trail, but I haven't found anything worthwhile on this front. If you do, post because I would like to know as well.