Field Review: BioLite SolarPanel 10+ and Charge 40 Battery Bank
Location - Mt Antero, Colorado. Elevation - 9,231 ft. Average Temp: 37F daytime/9F nighttime.
I’ve been working with BioLite for about a year and have found their energy harvesting products to be very useful for my off-grid endeavors. I collect energy three ways - via solar, heat, and my car engine. This works well while driving but what should I do for energy when I’m camped in one location for more than a day or two? If I’m not running my car engine and subsequent 400W inverter, how am I to keep smaller electronic devices charged up?
The electronics I use daily are my iPhone 6, Garmin inReach GPS, MacBook Pro, USB headlamp, and a bluetooth stereo speaker. The speaker is charged via a built-in solar panel so that doesn’t count into my overall charging needs. However, the remaining items all need daily power so figuring out a minimalist power supply/solution was necessary for full-time winter camping this winter.
BioLite recently shipped me two items, the SolarPanel 10+ and Charge 40, which I’ve found to be extremely useful and efficient for powering up devices when I’m stationary at camp. The SolarPanel 10+, a small but mighty foldable solar panel, allows you to use energy in real-time charging items via a convenient USB port or top off the onboard 3000 mAh battery to use during the evening (roughly a 75 minute charge time). The Charge 40 is a 10400mAh power supply battery bank housed in a sleek stainless steel case. The silicone gasket makes this battery bank essentially waterproof so you won’t have to worry about spills or moisture ruining your power supply. The Charge 40 features 2 USB outputs offering dual charging capabilities. The battery bank has enough power to recharge your smartphone 4X, an action camera 4-6X, and a tablet 1X. The past few evenings at camp I’ve plugged the USB Flexlight into the Charge 40 making an impromptu desk lamp while I write in my journal or clean dishes after dinner. Works great!!
Grade: 9 out of 10 stars
Provided there’s ample sunlight, the SolarPanel 10+ and Charge 40 provide a tremendous amount of charging capabilities for my electronic needs. If I plan my day accordingly, I can power up my devices using the SolarPanel 10+ via USB with the 10W usable power flow and then dip into the Charge 40 battery bank during the evening if I need an extra battery boost to drained electronics. It’s also worth mentioning the Charge 40 didn’t lose any battery power in extremely cold temps, a common problem among portable battery banks. I’ve found the pricing for these two components to be on par with other industry leaders who offer similar solar and battery bank solutions. In my opinion, the SolarPanel 10+ and Charge 40 are worth the investment and would recommend them to anyone looking for power needs during camping and off-grid endeavors.