View from Oban Bothy

View from Oban Bothy

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Solar Charger, Wednesday 2nd May 2018

A new bit of kit

Having *just* taken the decision to get back into doing more backpacking & wild camping this year (any excuse to get away) I took the plunge and bought a Solar Battery Charger for the princely sum of £33.90 including shipping, from

My choice was influenced by my mate Rob (photographer extraordinaire, box player, dance caller, drinker of beer and all-round good egg). Rob used the lower power version of this charger on our recent Via De La Plata trundle in Spain. The sunlight levels in Sunny Spain (the clue is in the name) are significantly higher than in UK and his charger performed well.



I’m quite realistic, the UK isn’t known for high levels of sunlight so I don’t expect this to be a cure-all for charging problems. This bit of kit has an advertised 3watts of (solar) charging rate, allowing for UK conditions I’d expect something like 1 – 1.5watts, maybe a little more in very strong sunshine.

From the website:


My initial impression is that it’s fairly robust and will probably stand a bit of knocking about. It’s not waterproof although I expect it will stand a bit of spray for a short time, and at 270gms it’s not horribly heavy.

Time will tell, I’m off on the TGO Challenge next week…we’ll see.

Details here.


  1. Anonymous21:13

    I'll be interested to see how you get on with that, JJ. I decided to get the 6W solar panel, and top up either my phone or external battery pack, rather than a combined solar panel and battery.
    I set my expectations very low and have been reasonably happy with results when the sun is bright. Even overcast conditions do provide a very very slow charge. We can compare results in Montrose. The sun, of course, will be cracking the flags for the next couple of weeks!

  2. I wish you better luck than I had with a Solarmonkey Adventurer. 460gm of unwanted weight that I carted across the Pyrenees in 2015. Cost £80 but I only got £20 for it on ebay. Despite being hot and sunny, it gave very little extra power and I'd have managed quite happily just with two spare batteries for the phone.
    "Leave it behind!"
    Anyway, good luck on the TGO, and I hope to see you in Montrose. (Still awaiting a date for the op.)

    1. That doesn't sound like a good experience. I don't expect miracles from this charger, the solar panels are too small to generate a lot of power - but we'll see.
      See you in Montrose!


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