Voltaic Systems 10W Solar Charger
River trips area great time to get away from your busy day to day life, get away from screens, and enjoy the outdoors. However, it sure is nice to be able to keep your camera, headlamp, camp lights, or even small speaker charged to enhance you outdoor experience.
Solar chargers have become a cost affective way to keep some of your electronic needs going. There are a handful of different companies out, but I have heard some excellent reviews about Voltaic Systems and their wide change of solar panels and battery packs. I decided to try out their 10W USB solar panel to keep a few things changed on a recent 20-day Grand Canyon trip.
I have found that charging a battery pack from a solar panel be the most affective and efficient way charge small electronics while outdoors. Charing a specific device seemed to be a little more finicky and require some precise panel placement. I decided to try the V75 USB battery pack to start off with a good amount of charging capacity. Right away I charged my phone and a small bluetooth speaker so I would need to hook up the panel and see how it worked.
I had pretty much zero trouble getting the 10W panel to put a charge into this battery. While others were struggling to get other brand panels to work, mine was putting power into the battery even in some shade. Keep in mind, solar panels need a good amount of direct sunlight and should be checked on to make sure they are working.
From past experience trying to charge my iPhone from a solar panel I had low expectations. However, like charging the battery pack this thing pumped power into my iPhone XR. While I wasn't timing how long it took to charge it was fast and got the job done.
Most electronics these days recharge via USB. My older Fuji Film X-T1 uses your typical 2-prong wall charger. I had an older battery pack with a build in inverted to keep it charged on previous long trips. However, Voltaic makes a handful of camera battery cradles that charge via USB. I got one that works for my X-T1 and will add the old 2-prong charger to the collection of random cords pile. Again this panel preformed and powered up the batter with what seemed like little effort. The V75 battery pack also charged the batter quickly.
While I try to keep my electronic use to a minimum it is fun to play around with technology. I had a great time "farming" the sun while in camp and even on the river. I have zero hesitation about recommending any of Voltaic Systems products to people. Simple, easy to use, and fun.