/ Best Solar panel - Goal Zero 30 kit or Anker 21W?

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L rideforever 03:07 Fri

Hi everyone,

I'm off on a 5 week climb of Ama Dablum this month and looking for some advice on solar panels. I've not had much experience with solar panels, so I'd like to ask for some advice.

The Goal Zero Venture 30 Solar Kit seems equally loved and hated. It holds up well in extreme conditions. However, there seems to be an issue with the micro-USB connector head coming apart from its cable for many. This is worrying in an extreme environment. The charging time doesn't bother me as it will take a long time to charge anyway with limited sunny November weather.

On the other hand, the Anker 21W appears to give good performance, but comes without a rugged battery attachment.

Q1. Which model do you think comes out on top based on your experience?
Q2. Has anyone had success using plain solar panels with a regular battery pack?
Q3. Any other brands that members swear by?

I'm waiting for Goal Zero to get back to me regarding the micro-USB issue. In the meantime, any practical comments based on field experience would be highly appreciated.

Thanks,
Steve

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planetmarshall 05:52 Fri
In reply to rideforever:

I haven't used either of those products but the solar panels are tiny and I would not even consider them for expedition use.

I use an Anker powerport folding panel together with a separate battery pack, which when unfolded is around 15x the surface area of the products you mention.

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malk 13:02 Fri
In reply to planetmarshall:

your Anker powerpoint folding panel is 21W?

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planetmarshall 13:14 Fri
In reply to malk:

> your Anker powerpoint folding panel is 21W?

Ah, I see the OP is referring to the same thing. My mistake. I thought they were referring to some Anker product similar to the Goal Zero, hence the reference to "Plain Solar Panels with a regular battery pack" - which is exactly what the Anker product is. The Goal Zero panels look way too small to me, but I assume people have had success with them.

In that case, I would recommend the Anker 21W and s suitable battery pack (I use an Anker PowerCore 20100). 

You will find the sun at AD Base Camp to be quite strong, and ample to fully charge one of those battery packs in less than a day.

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bruxist 20:07 Fri
In reply to rideforever:

Can't comment on the Goal Zero, but I used the Anker 21 earlier this year doing the Pennine Way. I used it both for charging my main powerbank, a Xiaomi, and for direct charging. It got knocked about a fair bit, scratched panels, rained and hailed on, but still gave me a reliable full charge after a day even in bad weather.

I know the conditions aren't likely to be all that similar but it might help to know at least that the Anker's robust and works well with anything you want to charge.

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L rideforever 15:45 Sat
In reply to bruxist:

Thanks for the info.  I see Goal Zero is used widely for small scale electronic charging like phones and camera batteries, though you may have a point about its size.  I guess it depends how much capacity you need.  

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monkey man 17:49 Sat
In reply to rideforever:

another vote for the folding anker and power pack

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