My new solar phone charger

My new solar phone charger

As I mentioned in a recent post, I’m a planner. One of the things I like to plan for is an emergency. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not a hardcore prepper who has a year’s worth of dehydrated food. But I do like to have in my possession the things I might need if a hurricane came or there were an unexpected power outage, etc. Because everything in our world feels so convenient, I don’t think most people plan for emergencies anymore because they feel they can just grab a gallon of water on the way home from work and be ready.

I like to feel a little more secure than that. On the plus side, everything I’ve bought for emergency preparedness would work great on a cross-country road trip.

One of the things I thought would be essential during an emergency is a solar phone charger. I’ve looked at them online throughout the years but never saw one that clicked with me. A few months ago, however, I found the RAVPower 15W Solar Charger on Amazon.com. It was reasonably priced and had good ratings, so I decided to give it a try.

There are several things about this charger that make it better than any I’ve seen. First, it can charge two things at once. So, you could share your charge with someone else or you could charge a phone and tablet at the same time.

The other nice feature is that the charge ends are USB. You don’t need a special adapter, but plug the USB end of your phone cord into the charger.

Solar cell phone charger

The charger consists of three solar panels and folds into a small package. When unfolded, you can use the included caribiners to hang it off something so that it faces the sun.

I tested the charger out recently while I was lounging on a downtown bench facing a lovely lake. I simply placed the unfolded panels on my bike bag and plugged in my phone.

Brompton and phone charger

Charging took place much faster than I imagined, even when one of the panels was partially shaded by the bench. Because the charge rate was not the same as when plugged into the wall, the charging time listed was not accurate. But I calculated that it charged about 1% each 2 minutes. I needed 19% charge and got that in around 40 minutes. This was around 2:00 in the afternoon with the sun at a slight angle.

Starting charge  Charge time left Fully charged

Clearly this is a fantastic resource to have in case of emergency or even while I am traveling. At $50, this is a very reasonably priced item. I highly recommend it for your camping, traveling and emergency needs.

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