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1 Customer Review

by Deni T. on 10/23/2014
"If you read around the web, the reviews are mixed with this product, with 2 things in particular. 1 - the lack of a micro USB adapter, and 2,- the proprietary connecter on the battery pack that comes with this panel. I can address those 2 things and add my own .02.

First, as of 10/2014 there IS now a micro USB adapter included in the package. The only other useful adapter is the mini USB adapter. The old 30pin Apple connector is out of date, and the other few adapters I have no idea who would still use a phone that accepts one of them. If you have one of those phones, my guess is you'd appreciate any charger that will fit it, because everything is now micro USB, except the Apple iPhone/iPad using their lightning cable.

The battery pack that comes in the package is 1000 mah. Not very much capacity at all, and looks very cheaply made. It does have a proprietary adapter to plug in from the solar panel, but it also will charge from any mini UBS cable as well. The plus side to this is that you ONLY have to use the proprietary adapter input if you are charging both this battery AND an additional device. If you are only charging the battery alone, you can use the mini USB input.

The little instruction booklet says that you can charge your device straight from the panel, and not use the battery pack, with the iPhone being an exception as it requires a specific voltage in order to charge. It would be really really nice if the folks at Rothco would put out a lightning adapter for this product, but in the meantime, you can use your own. Especially helpful is a micro USB to Lightning adapter, but that is an additional purchase from Apple unless you happen to have one already. (I do, but not everyone does.)

BUT...the good news is that you can charge OTHER external battery packs as well as the crappy one included. It will do a pass-through charge as well, so it will charge both your battery pack AND your phone at the same time. I successfully charged several different external batteries with this solar panel, so that ticks a huge box off on my prepping list.

The lighting conditions are just from my office window, so it gets stronger light after noon until the sun goes down. My office window is also only a few feet from the next building, so it may not be the exact ideal positioning for maximum possible charging, but it does still work.

The panel has a reasonable stand built in, and includes 2 clips on the bottom and snaps at the top for you to mount this panel on the back of your vest, or to a backpack to keep you mobile.

Unlike several other models out there, the panel itself does NOT have any internal battery capacity, so if you do not have a battery pack attached, there is no point to keeping the panel in the sun when not in use. Most other competing products I've seen has at least some internal battery capacity, but they are more expensive than this product is, while this product seems geared to being able to use while you are on the move.

Overall, I'm satisfied with the product, and WOULD RECOMMEND this to others. There are some improvements that can be made to it that would make it more useful, but for the price it does what it says it will do, and is easier than other products to attach to a bag or person to keep it in the sun while you are on the move.