Mar
04

Power Anywhere with the Anker Portable Solar Panel

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In today’s word it’s hard to imagine going without power, cellphones, tablets and flash lights are things I use almost daily. Nearly all of these devices use the same charging cable and charge by USB power which is great, but the last time I checked trees and rocks did not come with power ports which brings me to my topic how to have power anywhere.

Something I believe in is to have the ability to create power from wind, water, heat or solar. The fact of the matter is you are not guaranteed to have sun , wind, fire or water available at all times so it’s nice to have at least two ways to create power. I choose fire and sun, because using a devices like the Biolite stove (see our review here) and portable solar panels you should be able to generate power most of the day and enough to charge up those electronic devices. You might think you can survive without them, but imagine never having them ever again because you could not charge them. Nights could get pretty dark, all those awesome survival apps and books you have stored on your phone would be useless and if you have kids they might get pretty board without being able to past some time with games on the tablet.

Enter my favorite solution to personal solar power, the Anker 14watt portable solar panel. There are numerous panels on the market from no name companies to big names like Goal Zero and I tried many of them. Hands down the Anker panel provides the best bang for the buck bar none!

Anker 14watt Solar PanelAs you can tell from the picture above, the Anker is a 4 Panel solution
whereas the more expensive Goal Zero Nomad 10
is a 3 panel solution costing much more than the Anker.

 

14 watts might not sound like a lot, but it’s enough to charge a portable power pack, cells phones and rechargeable flash lights on a long sunny day. It’s made out of durable materials, light weight and just plain works.

The panel folds up to a size of paper for easy storage, weights less than 2 pounds and has but in metal o-rings so you can attach it to things such as tents and your backpack. So as you walk/hike you can be charging your phone, gps or personal power pack.

Anker 14 watt panel oringsThe Anker Panel showing 2 of the 4 metal O-rings so you can attach it to anything with a rope or S-Binders like I am using in the picture above. The S Binders I picked up from Home Depot for about $4 each, they are light weight and will hold the panel forever. You can also grab a pair of them
from Amazon for around $3 each Amazon S-Binders

 

While I like the Goal Zero Nomad 13 watt model , it costs on average $70 more than the Anker 14watt panel which can be found under $60! Couple the Anker with a portable battery pack like the Jackery Giant and you have a killer combination for powering personal electronic devices off grid.

Remember the power is output from the Anker by means of two USB ports that you plug your devices in to (see the image below). If the sun’s brightness isn’t optimal some devices like iPads and other tablets will not charge at all, that’s why it pays to have a portable batty pack like the Jackery. The Jackery will start charging on a much lower power output and store it in the battery pack in which you can plug the iPad in later on to charge from.

Anker 14 watt panel USB portsThe USB ports are tucked away inside the Anker’s pouch,
where you can store a few small items.

 

I haven’t charged an iPhone from zero battery power yet, but I did charge one from about 80% and it took 2 about hours to charge to 100% in perfect sunlight. I have tried charging an iPad directly in poorer sunlight and it wouldn’t work so I charged my Jackery and then charged the iPad via the Jackery, it worked perfectly. Granted it took 6 hours to charge the Jackery that day from about 60% to full due to poor sunlight, but I got power just the same!

Even with a small battery bank like the Jackery that will fit in your pocket, you can power low power LED lights all night long from charge created by the Anker’s output. It’s like having your own personal power plant, which with high quality battery packs you can do this for a very long time. If your Anker panels are taken care of there is no reason why it won’t last you 13+ years.

While larger units by other companies are available costing hundreds of dollars more, I consider the Anker 14watt solar panel one of the best Bug Out/Back packing solar solutions out for the money. I would add some S-Binders, a battery pack and 2 three foot USB extension cables to have an all around charging solution.
 

Click here to grab your own Anker 14 Watt Portable Solar Panel

and always be prepared!

 

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  1. […] : this is where you plug in a power source such as a USB charger or solar device such as the Anker Solar Panel that we reviewed to charge it anywhere there is […]

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