Author Topic: roll up solar panel  (Read 6835 times)

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Offline recumbentgerry

roll up solar panel
« on: July 16, 2012, 05:49:44 pm »
  Can anyone recommend a good roll up solar panel that i can attach to the back of my bike while traveling.

Offline officerdare

Re: roll up solar panel
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2012, 10:55:58 am »
Goal Zero.   Not a rollup but a folder, which also has a AA battery case which can then be plugged into your equipment for a recharge.  Picked mine at Costco and Cabela's now carries the whole series. 
Saepius Exertus, Semper Fidelis, Frater Infinitas, Fortitudine Vincimus
Often Tested, Always Faithful, Brothers Forever, By Endurance We Conquer


  • Guest
Re: roll up solar panel
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2012, 12:15:09 pm »
You'll find many more recommendations and a few negatives as well with a search for solar at the Gear Talk forum.


Offline rayed

Re: roll up solar panel
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2023, 04:04:16 pm »
Solar panels are not efficient

Offline Alessa3322

Re: roll up solar panel
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2023, 05:23:59 am »
Solar panels are not efficient
I can't agree with you. I have a thin-film rv solar panel that I use for various purposes (RVing, boating, camping, etc.). It is designed to flex and adjust to any surface and it works great. Moreover, it is very convenient that you can take it everywhere and it takes less place.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2023, 01:50:12 am by Alessa3322 »

Offline canalligators

Re: roll up solar panel
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2023, 10:33:43 pm »
Solar panels are not efficient

Depends on how much you need to charge.  As a general rule, solar panels can be made to work for low power devices like a phone or GPS (but maybe not both).  If you're taking a laptop or many devices, a solar panel might not do the job.  Compare the charge requirements of your device(s) with the output of solar panels.  And test it before you go.

Many other threads have come to the conclusion that a dynamo hub or solar panel may not be worth the trouble.  If you're road touring, you can recharge off line power most nights.  Many of us now carry a battery pack, the price of these is very reasonable and you can get several days charge from one for a phone.

Offline froze

Re: roll up solar panel
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2023, 07:59:11 pm »
I have never seen a roll-up solar panel, but I have a folding one.

You have to weigh out how many panels you want, the more panels the faster it can charge, but the more panels the heavier and bulkier it is.  Those real small single-panel devices are worthless, it could take several days of full sun to charge up a cell phone with one of those.

I settled on a 3-panel unit, the one that I have is no longer being made, which seems to be typical of these things, but the best one for the money, and looks exactly like mine, is the Anker 21W Solar Charger, these 3-panel jobs will charge a small iPhone X in about 3 hours in full sunlight while charging a rear tail light at the same time, but I don't think this one is made anymore either. 

So, you need to find a 3-panel solar charger panel that has between 20 to 24 watts of power; that has 2 USB ports, so you have the option of charging 2 things at the same time; and it needs to be compatible with charging iPhones, even if you don't have one, because someday you might have one.

The 20 to 24-watt panels will give you roughly 3 hours to charge a phone, 2 panels could take 6 hours, a single panel could take all day, and those small ones attached to power banks could take several days, 4 panels will be the fastest but as I said, the weight and bulkiness become an issue with backpacking or bike camping.

You cannot rely on the panel by itself, you need a backup power bank in case it's cloudy and you can't use the solar panel.  Again, weight and size determine how large of a power bank to get, I got the Anker Slim, and while it only puts out 10,000 mAh so far between it and the solar panel I've had no problems with getting power.

My panels have grommets so I charge something while riding, it simply sets on top of my back rack, held down by bungee cords in the open position.

One last thing, you can buy inflatable tent lanterns from Luci, these have a small solar panel so you recharge the light, but don't get the more expensive one that says you can charge up a phone, sure you can, if you don't mind not using your phone for 7 days in a row!!
« Last Edit: January 09, 2024, 07:54:18 pm by froze »