Solar charged power banks


Can anybody advise on a portable solar and mains power bank small and compact that will be suitable for charging up a cell phone,GPS and camera ?


Hi Chris

If you are looking at Solar then the best product on the market is GoalZero and Powertraveller. Unfortunately with the best solar technology the price is quite steep. My suggestion would be the Powertraveller Extreme Solar which can be used to directly charge your units from the solar charger but that is only the solar charger which costs about R1299. You would then also still need a powerbank to store the energy and that comes as the Powertraveller Extreme package which retails for about R2499. The downside to solar is that it is not yet as lightweight and small as the powerbanks where you just charge it and then use it and it runs out.

On the GoalZero side you will be looking at the Nomad 7 Plus which can also be used to charge directly from the sun into a USB device. To be able to charge your phone and GPS etc you will look at the Guide 10 plus solar for about R2199.

Otherwise you can look at any other regular powerbank like Red-E, Romoss or GoalZero on the market.

Hope this helps.


I bought the Red-E for Tsitsikamma Trail, didn’t recharge properly, very very, slow. Walked whole day with it exposed to the sun - no luck. Took it back and it was replaced. Had the same problem on Whale Trail.
Afrikaans Saying: “Goedkoop koop, is duur koop”. Spend the money if you have to use a solar charger.


Hi Chris,
I’ve been the happy owner of a Powertraveller Powermonkey Extreme battery and solar pack for three years. It’s very robust and I find that if your requirements are just cell phone, GPS and camera (all must be 5V or 12V devices) and you spread your charging wisely, then your devices can be charged sufficiently to function for a number of days(depends on the amount of sunlight) The solar panel daisy chains with the battery unit so you can recharge it while the devices are charging from the battery. Charging up an iPhone6 from ‘low’ battery to full does draw about 50% of the battery but it’s relatively fast, it takes a few hours using the solar panel directly. I tend to use the solar to charge the battery and the battery to charge my devices. The solar panel also straps neatly to the outside of a back pack so it’s useful to charge the battery while hiking during daylight hours. So aim to keep the battery pack charged using the solar panel where possible. Overall, I’m very impressed with this product. It’s well worth spending the extra money for good technical gear.