From charging smartphones to cameras, powering up battery packs and beyond, Sunsoaker’s 5 and 10-watt solar panels offer electricity anywhere you go in the great outdoors.
For a while now, I’ve been wanting some type of solar panel to put on the rear of my backpack and to keep around for emergency uses.
When out camping, hiking, etc. about the only power source I’m ever able to find is the one back at my car.
Unfortunately, batteries like the ones in my iPhone, flashlight, Garmin InReach, etc. don’t last forever, which means neither can my adventures outdoors.
Luckily, I came across this really cool company called “Sunsoaker” at Outdoor Retailer this year. Their new 5 and 10 watt flexible solar panels offered everything I had been looking for. They were made extremely durable, delivered plenty of power in an instant, and were super lightweight.
With that said, go ahead and explore my Sunsoaker review below alongside my impressions of owning both kits.
– Convert natural sunlight into energy.
– 5 and 10 Watt thin film solar panel options.
– Built in custom USB port with rubber cover.
– Charge smartphones, tablets, powerpacks, Bluetooth speakers, etc.
– 4 carabiners and suction cups included.
– Zero waste packaging.
– Extremely lightweight and durable construction.
– 7 oz 5 watt weight and 12 oz 10 watt weight.
– 2 year limited product warranty.
– Solar panels are roll-able and weather resistant.
Sunsoaker Review 5 Watt And 10 Watt Flexible Solar Panel Kits
Sunsoaker Field Test
I have to say, I’m really surprised by just how well these solar panel kits work. It almost in a sense feels like magic. To be out in the middle of nowhere outdoors, while having zero connectivity to any power grid and still being able to power all my devices. The future is finally here, and it’s powered by SunSoaker.
When laid on the ground and at an angle, I had no problems getting my phone to charge with both the 5 and 10-watt solar panels. The moment I plugged my phone’s USB charging cable the power was instant and the green battery icon appeared on my iPhone.
Then I decided to give mounting the 5-watt solar panel to the back of my CamelBak BFM backpack. How cool would it be to be hiking while charging my iPhone I thought! Or perhaps, simply charge a power pack while on the go. (This may not have been Sunsoaker’s intent, but I gave it a shot nonetheless.) Luckily, the idea worked thanks to the 4 included carabineers. The 5-watt solar panel was short enough to fit the backpack like a dream and charged my iPhone right up. The 10 watt was longer than the backpack itself, so I wouldn’t recommend allowing it to hang off and bounce around. But the good news at least is that you can set the 10-watt solar panel down virtually anywhere and charge your gear.
In addition to my iPhone, I decided to give charging my Garmin InReach a try. While its 50 hours per battery is impressive, there are situations where 2 days of power just isn’t going to cut. Say a full week expedition for example. I’m happy to report that I was able to charge my Garmin all the way up to a 100% battery. While I can’t always expect every day to be sunny, it’s still nice knowing that I have a way to provide backup power to a device that is literally my lifeline if I get injured while alone and outdoors.
While I liked the compact nature of the 5-watt and its ability to charge smartphones, Bluetooth speakers, power packs, cameras etc. the 10-watt’s ability to deliver more power and charge tablets was a nice upgrade. Given the 3.2 oz. and 5.5 oz. weight difference between the two, I have no problems at all taking the longer version (10-watt) with me. In terms of portability, unlike other panels which require you to fold them, you simply roll up both the 5 watt and 10-watt panels. It takes on a second to store them away and there’s literally no hassle about it.
For durability, these aren’t flimsy at all! In fact, I feel like I would really have a hard time even trying to rip these apart with my hands. I’m glad Sunsoaker went with a thick, but not too thick construction that’s virtually bulletproof in my mind. While the construction impressed me greatly, I know that electronics and water do not mix. When you’re out in the wild rain is simply a reality. Luckily, Sunsoaker has made their solar panels weather resistant.
I also went to mention that each solar panel kit comes with 4 suction cups in addition to the carabineers mentioned earlier. If you need to mount the panel to a window, you can quite easily.
Overall, I’m surprised by just how well these Sunsoaker panels worked. The durability left me super impressed and the lightweight construction means carrying these along in my pack is going to be a breeze!