RAVPower Solar Charger – 24W Foldable Panels with 3 USB Outputs

A review of the new RAVPower 24W solar panel portable charger

The RP-PC005 RAVPower Solar Charger featuring four foldable solar panels and three USB outputs. A highly efficient solar charging solution with 24W and a 4.8A max output.

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RP-PC005 RAVPower Solar Charger Amazon Marketplace £135.00 £49.99* view

Price updated on the 10th January 2017 at 09:40 GMT
*Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change.
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Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

When tested, the RAVPower RP-PC005 solar charged an Amazon Fire Tablet at the same speed as its mains power adapter.

Intro

I take pride in the effort I make to use my own photography on product reviews. On this occasion, however, I simply have to share RAVPower’s absolutely fantastic shot. It’s got everything! Glorious scenery, sun-scorched rocks, lens flares and a sun-worshipping hiker wearing flip-flops.

The last time I crested a hill, this was the shot I took…….Not quite as appealing as RAVPower’s picture, I’m sure you’ll agree.

The RAVPower Solar charger in all its glory

Unfortunately, I didn’t have an attractive hiking buddy and a stunning location to test the RAVPower solar charger. Instead, I opted for a long weekend in the garden with my six-year-old son and a large selection of power hungry mobile device.

Testing the performance of the RAVPower Solar Charger As a tech reviewer, I have no shortage of gadgets to power. The challenge was to see if I could get by using the RAVPower solar charger as the only power source.

The devices included and iPad, Amazon Tablet, Smartphone, Bluetooth Speaker, Portable Projector, LED light and a Portable Power Bank.

Even with blazing hot sunshine on its side, this was certainly going to be a challenge.

Mobile devices charged with the 24W RAVPower solar charger

1Design and Build Quality

The RP-PC005 is made from five folding sections. Four of them have stitched-on premium quality SUNPOWER® solar charging cells. The bottom section has a carry pouch that also contains the USB charging ports.

Folded Size Unfolded Size Solar Panels Weight
300x170x20mm 300x860x5mm 4 745g (26.2oz)

The rugged construction of this item is without question. It’s made from thick waterproof canvas material with four riveted eyelets to attach the included carabiners. The stitching is tidy and the Velcro is seriously strong. The general build quality is as good as I’ve seen from this type of portable solar charger.

A view of the RAVPower Solar Charger storage pocketMy one dislike regarding the design is the pouch at the base. Firstly it’s got Velcro as its closing method, which for some reason doesn’t span the entire width of the pocket. If you were to store smaller items inside, there would be a real chance of them falling out. Secondly, the pocket opens at the bottom, so you’ll always have gravity acting against you. This isn’t a huge drama if you’re using it in a stationary position. If I were hiking with it attached to my backpack, I’d be reluctant to store my phone inside.

There is a bit of a workaround, which also serves an additional purpose. While charging devices, I felt a little concerned about the pouch being in the direct sunlight. I ended up folding it behind the bottom panel to shade it. By doing this, the pocket opening is no long downward facing. This worked well, but I’m sure an integrated zipped pocket on the back of the panel would be a far more practical solution.

Orientating the RAVPower solar panels with the pouch folded up

2Features and Spec

The RAVPower Solar Charger has three independent iSmart USB ports. Each has the capacity to output a maximum of 2.4A. The iSmart technology is designed to automatically detect the optimal current to ensure the fastest charge possible. With a max output of 4.8A, the RAVPower solar charger has the potential to charge a tablet and two Smartphones at the same time.

USB Ports Port Output Max Output Max power
3 (iSmart) 2.4A 4.8A 24W

As with most portable solar panels, there is no internal battery to store any charge. Although the most efficient method is to connect your mobile devices directly, it’s also wise to make use of an external power bank. This will allow you to continue charging devices during the evening.

3How it performed

The weather over the weekend was extremely hot with unbroken sunshine. Optimal conditions to get the most out of the device. For my initial test, I solar charged my youngest son’s Amazon Tablet. At the very same time, I had my eldest boy’s tablet charging from a wall adapter. To my amazement, there was absolutely no difference between the two. They both took just over three hours to fully charge.

During the weekend I used my phone to stream music to a small portable Bluetooth speaker for at least 5-6 hours. In the evening we watched two full-length movies. The first night we used my iPad, but the second night we did something extra special.

We pegged a white pillow cover to the roof of my tent to act as the cinema screen. I then used a portable projector with a Bluetooth speaker connected for audio.  The movie was streamed wirelessly from my Smartphone.

All three portable devices had been charged and topped up by good old fashioned sunlight, thanks to the RAVPower 24W Solar charger.

Using a portable projector to watch films inside a tent while camping out

Overall, I was extremely impressed at how well the RP-PC005 performed. Other than the occasional need to reposition the panels for optimal performance, the RAVPower 24W solar charger provided a consistent stream of power. It was more than enough for my needs and even managed to place a 50% charge on a 10400mAh power bank.

4Verdict

Other than the design or the storage pocket, I really cannot fault this product. It’s extremely rugged and it performs exceptionally well. I’d highly recommend it to campers or hikers that plan to be off the grid for an extended period of time. For short hiking trips, I’d probably favour a high capacity power bank based on a size and weight comparison.  Anything over a week, especially in good weather, the RAVPower RP-PC005 is a perfect and sustainable charging solution for mobile devices.

Product Buy From Latest Price
RP-PC005 RAVPower Solar Charger Amazon Marketplace £135.00 £49.99* view
Price information last updated on the 10th January 2017 at 09:40 GMT
details »

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Hi I read all the reviews…where can I buy one please.

    I’m in New Zealand ..I would love to purchase at the 49 pound rate but amazon wont send to NZ

  2. I’ve just returned a 21W Anker solar charger to Amazon, having been really disappointed with it. I bought it on the strength of the Anker 15W panel which is superb. The 21W panel was a good 15% to 20% less powerful ( on back to back tests using identical power banks, and dummy loads ) than the 15W even in cloudy conditions and behind glass where I would have expected a lot better results. Perhaps I had a poor example, They are however very well made and beautifully light.

  3. I’ve been trying to decide on either the 21W Anker Solar Charger or this 24W Ravpower unit, this one looks better but it seems to weigh a fair bit more than the Anker one, I’m guessing its more rugged, have you handles the Anker one and can you compare the two? – Cheers

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