If you go camping often and you have a phone that drains its battery fast like me, then check out my real life BigBlue 28W Solar Phone Charger Review below.
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When I go dry camping (no hook ups for water, sewer and electricity), I rely on my gasoline generator to provide power for our needs. We only turn the generator on for a couple of hours in the morning and at night so we can use the hair dryer, television and other appliances that require current from the 110 volt receptacles. Our trailer batteries don’t power the 110 volt receptacles, only the water pump, water heater, furnace, etc.
So, my wife and I always have to remember to plug in our phones during those windows of time when the generator is running to charge our phones. Sometimes our phones don’t get completely charged, which is an issue if the phone batteries don’t last all day. So, I decided to buy a portable solar panel to power my phone and other electronics when camping.
I did a lot of research online and landed on the BigBlue 28W Solar Phone Charger with Digital Ammeter. The reviews were overall good for this solar panel and that the manufacturer provides a 2 year warranty.
BigBlue 28W Solar Phone Charger appears to be sturdy and is very easy to use. I tested it on one of my phones as soon as I unboxed it. It was easy to use, I just removed the packaging, plugged the solar panel into my phone, then placed the panels (not my phone) on the ground in direct sunlight. I would recommend covering your phone to protect it from direct sunlight while charging.
Below are charging results. I wanted to leave the solar panel out until my phone was fully charged, but some clouds moved over my house and it appeared it was going to rain so I stopped testing it.
Start Time: 10:35 am – Phone battery was at 17%
End Time: 11:40 am – Phone battery was at 51%
So, the panels charged my phone 34% in 65 minutes in full sunlight. As a result, I assume that to charge my phone from 0% (which I don’t believe you should ever let your phone battery level go that low before charging) to 100% it would take probably around 3 hours in direct sunlight. Not too bad. If you have two devices plugged into the solar panel, then it make take longer to charge. Results may vary depending on where the sun is in the sky and if there are any clouds and how you lay out the panels.
So, I could leave the solar panel on my car’s dash board during lunch time to charge up my phone. Or, I could hang the panels on my backpack while I’m hiking.
I also tested the solar panel with a small battery bank. Note, the sun was not full direct sunlight, there were clouds in the sky so the full direct sunlight was intermittent.
Start Time: 9:15 am – Battery bank had one light (0-25% charged)
End Time: 1:57 pm – Battery bank had four lights (100% charged)
So, the solar panel charged my battery bank in about 4 hours and 45 minutes with intermittent full direct sun. Note, the battery bank is a 10,000 mAh battery, whereas my phone has a 5,000 mAh battery.
I like the small portable size and the fast charging speed. I’ve seen reviews on other brands of solar panels where the solar panel takes all day to charge a phone, so I was pleasantly surprised how fast the panel charged my phone. As always, I’ll provide an update here if I run into any issues or quirks. Happy camping!
BigBlue 28W Solar Phone Charger with Digital Ammeter – https://amzn.to/2WK0sXG