StongVolt Solar Chargers work with your phones, tablets, GPS or any USB chargeable devices wherever you go. You can keep your phone or USB device fully charged anywhere there is sun. StrongVolt Solar Chargers are a must for emergencies, natural disasters, or on any outdoor adventure. For hikers like us, keeping your phone charged in case of emergencies is essential to survival these days.
Disclosure: The StrongVolt Social Media Manager contacted me to try their portable solar charger products at no cost to me. My only responsibility was an agreement to complete this review after trying the items. I was not pressured in any way to make a positive endorsement.
Each solar panel has 1 USB output which can be connected to any USB powered devices. Some of these include Android & Apple Devices, other Smart Phones, Tablets, PS Vita, GoPro, and many more. If you’re uncertain if your device is compatible, you may contact StrongVolt at [email protected]
The StrongVolt 7W Portable Solar Charger will charge a smartphone or iPhone in about 2.5 hours and a tablet or e-reader in about 5.5 hours. The chargers are lightweight and foldable with convenient grommet holes to hang from backpacks, chairs, tents, trees and more. The 7W device has a MSRP of US$59.99. In addition to the 7-watt device, StrongVolt also offers 3, 5, and 10-watt chargers.
Weight- 11.5 ounces (326g)
Dimensions (folded)- 7.3×4.7×1 inches (185x120x25mm)
Dimensions (unfolded)- 19×7.2x.2 inches (485x183x5mm)
Output- 7Watts 1X USB 5.5V, 1000mA
Solar technology- monocrystalline 17% efficiency
StrongVolt PowerMini USB Battery Packs have best-in-class performance and power output. They work to keep your phones, tablets, GPS or any USB chargeable devices fully charged wherever you go. StrongVolt PowerMini USB Battery Packs are a must have for any serious outdoor enthusiasts, or any critical emergency kit.
This 4400 PowerBank Mini will recharge an iPhone or other smart phone in 1.5 hours and has the capacity to recharge an iPhone 5 more than two times. This battery is lightweight and portable with a built in LED light making this PowerMini a useful travel companion. MSRP is US$44.99.
Weight- 4 ounces (112g)
Capacity – 4400 mAh
Output- 1X USB 5.5V, 1000 mAh
Battery – Lithium Ion
StrongVolt sent me one of their 7W Solar Chargers in exchange for this review. I was quite excited about this, because I have had an interest in solar power technology for some time. Once I received the product, it took me a few days to test it because the weather was really poor. The sky was overcast, there was hardly any sun at all. Darn!
Finally, a sunny day arrived and the solar charger worked like a champ. It had my iPhone recharged in less than two hours. Yay! This is a pretty nice device, right?
Well, while I was waiting for a sunny day, what I came to realize is that the 7W doesn’t have any power storage. It is simply a charging device. Gee, I thought, that wouldn’t necessarily be helpful out on the hiking trails. The reason? The green tunnel. I don’t know about where you hike, but here in Western North Carolina probably 75% of the trails wind through the forest. They are in the shade. In other words, very limited sun to hit the solar charger. Bummer!
Don’t get me wrong, this solar charger has some excellent applications. I think it would be particularly useful at the beach, or the pool. No shortage of sun there. If you use your smartphone or MP3 player to listen to tunes while working on your tan, the solar charger will keep your music playing until the sun goes down. At the tennis courts, on the golf course, fly fishing your favorite trout stream; there are plenty of places where the solar charger can be helpful with keeping power to your electronic devices.
Hiking? Not so much. It seems it would be most useful for thru hikers who are going to be on the trail for days and days at a time. When your smartphone or GPS runs out of power, simply attach the solar charger to your pack with the handy grommet holes, build up a charge and then recharge your phone while you sleep at night. Sounds easy. Only one problem though. It doesn’t store energy for later use. It has to pass the energy directly into the electronic device. You also have to be above tree line or in an open meadow to get any sun to it.
The more I thought about this, the more I realized how this solar charger desperately needs an on-board battery pack. So I went to the StrongVolt website and started looking around. What I discovered was just what the doctor ordered. The PowerBank Mini Portable Battery Pack is the perfect complement to the solar charger.
So I asked StrongVolt if they would mind sending me one of the battery packs to test as well. They were very agreeable. The battery is compact and lightweight (4 oz.), ideal for a backpack without being a burden. When fully charged, it holds enough power to recharge my iPhone 2.5 times. It can either be charged at home beforehand through the USB connector, or it attaches nicely to the solar charger for recharging on the go while hiking.
Great for the long distance hikers. Simply keep the battery pack always attached to the solar charger so that when the trail leaves the woods, and gets into the sun, you’re putting power into the battery. Now you can accomplish the goal of recharging your phone or GPS at night while you sleep, or if it’s raining. The combined weight of the two devices is less than a pound. The battery even has a handy LED light built in that becomes a very bright emergency flashlight.
As you can see, my initial disappointment in the solar charger was short-lived. When combining the two devices, this becomes a very useful and versatile power management source for hikers.
If you’re a day-hiker or section-hiker, I would highly recommend the PowerBank Mini Portable Battery Pack as an extra safety device. If you get lost on the trail and your smartphone battery goes dead, simply recharge it with the pre-charged PowerBank so that search and rescue can coordinate your location through your GPS pings.
If you’re a long-distance thru hiker, I suggest combining both the solar charger and the battery pack. This would enable you to keep a charge in your smartphone for days and days, weeks even.
I suspect the smart R&D folks at StrongVolt are probably working on a device that combines the two. If a small battery pack was embedded in the solar charger then they have a stand alone solution.
Regardless, I am quite happy with the StrongVolt products and recommend them to you. StrongVolt offers free shipping and 100% money back guarantee, and they have provided me with the opportunity to give you 10% off your purchase of a StrongVolt 7W Solar Charger. Use promo code STRVLT10 when you check out.
Disclosure: The Strongvolt Social Media Manager contacted me to try their portable solar charger products at no cost to me. My only responsibility was an agreement to complete this review after trying the items. I was not pressured in any way to make a positive endorsement.