Say goodbye to dead phones, dead GPS, dead cameras. Today I’m reviewing a seriously exciting bit of kit: the Floureon 28W Solar Panel. I’ve been on the hunt for a solar panel for a while, but with the technology moving so fast recently I kept my powder dry in case a better, lighter version came along the day after I bought one. Finally, I couldn’t take it any longer! The Floureon offered everything I was looking for in a solar panel, at a ridiculously low price. So I decided to take the plunge on your behalf, readers. That’s right – I’m basically a philanthropist. Let’s get into it.
Overview / Specs
Size And Weight
When folded up, the panel is 18 x 29 cm. Fully unfurled, it measures 90 x 29cm – pretty long, but you can easily hang it from a backpack still. The unit weighs 956 grams. Although some may baulk at this weight, it really depends on what your needs are. If you’re going somewhere remote, chances are you’ll be glad to make sure your phone or GPS will have power in a tight spot.
In The Box
Not much to this one really. Along with the Floureon itself I got an instruction booklet, and 4 unexpected Karabiner clips. The instructions don’t really come to much, and basically only tell you what’s included with the panel. The Karabiner clips are aluminium as far as I can tell, and look to be of reasonable quality.
I knew when I was looking for a solar panel that I wanted some serious wattage. That was probably due to anxiety over whether a lesser panel could charge the tablet I use to write the blog (we’ll get into that). Previously, the highest wattage I’d seen on any other panel was 24. Then I saw the Floureon, with it’s magnificent 28w – a full 4 watts more than the competition, and at a lower price too. Beautiful.
In order to channel that 28w there are 3 USB outputs in a side pouch on the panel. All of these are fairly standard 5V / 2A. There are indicator lights on each of the USB outputs, which should tell you how much juice they are pumping out. 1 LED = 0.15-0.6A, 2 LEDs = 0.6-1A, 3 LEDs = 1-1.5A and 4 LEDs = 1.5-2.6A
Floureon 28W Solar Panel Review
So, I took this thing outside on a moderately sunny day to see what up. It was around 15 degrees C, with patches of sun but a lot of cloud too. I was starting to worry whether I’d just bought a very sleek paperweight…
Luckily, my fears were unfounded. First, I hooked up my Anker PowerCore Battery. Sure enough, it lights up and starts charging. So far so good. Next, I decided to try something bigger – my tablet. For anyone interested, I’m rocking this Surface-esque little number (which, as an aside, is frikking amazing). This is what I write on when I’m away camping, so to have it charge from the panel directly would be a massive plus for me. And sure enough… it worked! I was expecting to have to use the Floureon to charge the power pack, then use that to power the tablet, but nope – Floureon had me covered!
Next, I tried charging both the tablet and the Anker at once. Then, the panel did start to struggle a little. It could manage fine with either one even when there was a lot of cloud, but when I introduced two gadgets into the mix it really only charged during sunny patches. Oh well, can’t have it all. It certainly performed better than I was expecting in fairly standard UK spring / summer weather!
So, what’s the verdict on the Floureon 28w Solar Panel? Essentially, I like it. I’m a fan. Double plus good. This solar charger really is the best in its class as far as I’m concerned. A higher output than any of the competition, at a lower price point, and it provides outputs for up to 3 devices on sunny days. You definitely won’t be caught short of juice if you’re taking one of these on your next adventure!
That’s all for now folks, hope you enjoyed the review. Know a solar panel that’s even more badass than the Floureon 28w? Let us know in the comments! And until then, don’t forget you can check out the rest of our blog for more money saving tips, tricks and reviews from the trail. See y’all next time.