Camping essentials used to comprise of a tent, camping stove a sleeping bag and a bed roll. Now you have to keep in mind all the tech that has become essentials too – especially if camping at festivals!
That’s not the only time where packing a solar charger is of use though. Renewable energy is getting to be more and more important too. What better way than using the sun to charge your tech? It’s free, clean and, thanks to the Aukey PB-P5, pretty efficient.
Aukey PB-P5 solar charger design
Unpacking the Aukey portable solar charger it struck me how well built it seemed. It is also quite compact.
Folded up, it measures 31cm wide, by 18cm deep, by around 3.5cm high. It weighs just over a kilo.
Unfasten the sturdy velcro and unfurl this pack and you get a four-panel charging device that measures 93 x 31 x 1.5 cm. That’s four banks of solar panels. Each section actually appears to be comprised of two connected panels.
The PB-P5 comes bundled with a USB to microUSB cable and four aluminium carabiners. The latter are so you can utilise the four metal grommets punched in to the heavyweight canvas of the charger and hang this thing up. I guess you could also attach it to your backpack for charging as you hike.
As this is designed to stand facing the sun it also has a pair of stands folded away. Just unfasten the nylon strips and refasten them to the base of the stands and point the panels towards the sun. Sorted.
It’s all very neat and feels rugged enough for a life outdoors, although one of the panels on my review device was scratched when I recieved it. However, this did not appear to effect its performance at all.
Aukey PB-P5 charger performance
Fitted with four solar panels made of PET laminated high resistance PVC makes the product waterproof. Granted, the USB ports are not, but a plastic bag could prove a handy, yet inelegant solution to this.
Aukey says that the solar unit has a power conversion efficiency rate of 23.5% which is quite impressive.
Plug and charge
To use the PB-P5 solar charger you need sun and to have your phone and/or tablet plugged in. The charger has no means of storing the power of Ra itself.
What I did realise, however, is that if I plugged in my powerbank to the charger, problem solved.
Other than that, you can plug in your phone and stow it away in that velcroed pocket whilst it charges.
Over the last few days in London we have been spoilt by blazing sunshine.
I was really impressed by that. However, moving it in to more shaded areas, performance dropped – as you would expect.
I liked having the option to sit it up on its flip out feet or hanging it from branches using the carabiners. You can even fold it in to a pyramid-shape. I am not sure if that will impress Ra enough to send more sun your way though.
I also tested it by leaving it hanging from my car window with the charging port inside.
Aukey PB-P5 solar charger review conclusion
If you regularly head out away from civilisation, enjoy music festivals, or just want a cleaner way of charging your gadgets, then the Aukey solar charger will certainly suit you.
Yes, you do need sunshine, but I have been leaving it in the office window hooked up to a powerbank for free energy and it has worked fine.
I find that the Aukey PB-P5 does exactly as it promises and at a reasonable price. Add in that the panels are waterproof (great for the British weather and all) and it packs up small enough to fit in a backpack, then the PB-P5 solar charger should become another one of your festival/camping essentials.
Aukey PB-P5 solar charger price and availability
If you still have some festival dates to cover, or planning a camping holiday, then grab an Aukey solar charger now from Amazon for just £36!