My Solar Charging Set Up

Charging setup laid out before going hiking in Spain.

  • Gopro Hero Black Edition
  • Portapow AA charger
  • Portapow Solar Panel 11W
  • iPhone 5 Life Edge Rugged case
  • Sansa Mp3 player
  • Portapow battery / solar panel

I used the solar panel to charge up the back up battery.

 Advantages of the folding solar panel

  • Good portability
  • Rugged, surface doesn't damage as easily
  • Can be strapped to backpack
  • 2 usb charging ports

Advantages of AA charger

  • Can be used to charge batteries
  • Can be used as a battery itself (provide power of 4 AAs to another device via USB)

It is good to have a back up energy source

Disadvantages of set up from experience in use

  • Solar panel was quite heavy
  • Solar panel didn't charge well if moving along
  • Back up battery / solar panel combo lost it's charge capacity quickly (in about 1 year of use)
  • A lot of cables to carry around

The Portapow gear is well made


  • This setup is a bit old now (from 2014), now 2019
  • In my experience, this setup was more than I needed
  • In 2019, phones (and other gadgets) can often have quick charging so would be more efficient
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