That's a plus, Krantz said, but what's really advanced are the electronics coupled to the panel and the tools that help consumers use it. GoalZero's Nomad 7 ($100) has a detachable kickstand and power-flow indicator to help you charge at the fastest rate possible. For example, Goal Zero's Nomad chargers have an indicator that gives an estimate of the sun's strength so you can adjust the panel's angle and placement to maximize performance. Similarly, BioLite has a sundial built into its SolarPanel 5+ and SolarPanel 10+ products that helps you maximize the amount of energy you're collecting. (Several other brands of solar chargers integrate some form of a solar strength gauge.).
"The sundial casts a shadow to help aim the panel perfectly, increasing power outputs by up to 30 percent," said Jonathan Cedar, BioLite's co-founder and CEO, Both BioLite products have an integrated kickstand that doubles as a loop for hanging the panel from a nail or tree branch, Don't get too obsessed with the size of your charger's solar panel: Bigger isn't necessarily better, It's not that panel size doesn't matter, but having the right solar conditions is more crucial, iphone case online After all, if the sun isn't out, even the biggest panel in the world will have trouble charging your device..
Also, phones, tablets, cameras and other small mobile devices have restrictions on how much power they can take in at one time, Goal Zero's Krantz explained. So, a 100-watt panel won't charge your phone 10 times faster than a smaller, 10-watt panel. In fact, it won't charge it any faster at all. What the larger panel can do is charge multiple small devices at the same time. The BioLite Solar10 ($130) integrates a rechargeable battery and has a second fold-out panel to achieve 10-watt charging. For most of us, that's more than we'll need. But for a smaller gadget, a 5-watt panel will suffice. Typically around the size of a sheet of paper, a 5-watt panel can charge a phone in 3 to 6 hours. Larger 10-watt panels, usually about the size of two sheets of paper when folded out, can power your phone or tablet in about 2 hours in sunny conditions. Just remember that if you're going with a higher-wattage panel, pick up one that's relatively compact and not too heavy.
Waka Waka's Base 10 is a full solar charging package that also includes a set of rechargeable LED lights you can string up, The other big change to solar charging is the addition of integrated batteries, or "onboard storage." Instead of tethering your phone to the panel and leaving it in the sun to charge, iphone case online you can power the panel's integrated battery first and then transfer the charge to your phone later, "Thanks to the power storage battery, when you get to camp in the evening, you can quickly transfer the stored energy to your devices at wall-plug speeds," Cedar said..
You'll find a lot of generic panels for sale online that can charge separate external batteries. Though rechargeable batteries do degrade over time, and you can't replace them if they're integrated into a panel's design, personally I prefer chargers with built-in batteries for the convenience. Anker makes affordable portable solar-charging panels that cost around $50. The final things to consider in a portable solar charger are how durable it is and if it's easy to clip onto a backpack for on-the-go charging. If you're backpacking, for instance, you'll want a charger that can at least put up with some rain and won't weigh you down.