Anker Solar Panel 21w – PowerPort Review
Product: Anker Portable Solar Panel 21w PowerPort
Best Place to Buy: Amazon
Dimensions Folded: 11.1 x 6.3 inch
Dimensions Unfolded: 26.4 x11inch
Warranty: 18 month
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The Anker Solar Panel 21w PowerPort Review
Founded by Steven Yang a former Google software engineer in 2011 in Shenzhen. Anker have become one of the leading USB charging technologies in the world. With subsidiaries in the U.S, UK, Germany and Japan.
Their innovative USB charging solutions have led them into the solar charging niche. Portable solar power for charging small electronic devices has become a specialty.
Anker has a reputation for producing good quality, reliable and hardwearing products at a reasonable price. The 21w PowerPort is no exception !!!
What Is The Anker Portable PowerPort
The Anker 21w PowerPort is fantastic for charging your phone or tablet. A relatively new innovation this portable solar panel will provide you with sun power. The suns’ rays will charge your phone or tablet when hiking, cycling or backpacking.
I mean could you imagine strapping a gasoline power generator to your pack or bike? This would make your hike or ride most uncomfortable. Enter solar power, the ideal way to charge your phone and all for free !!!!
Anker Promotional Video
How Does The 21w Solar Panel Charge My Electronic Devices
The three Anker PowerPort 21 watt solar panels are sewn into a polyester canvas. They collect the suns’ energy and transfer it to the charger. Which you, plug your electronic device into via a USB port. This means the panels directly charge your tablet or phone.
The PowerPort does not charge a power bank to store electricity for later use. You would need to buy one separately like the Anker PowerCore 20100. In case you didn’t know a power bank is a rechargeable battery.
The 21w solar panels are coated with industrial strength PET polymer (source: Wikipedia). In case, you didn’t know, that is Polyethylene terephthalate. I am not an expert in polymers by the way. This makes the panels very durable and weather-resistant.
The PowerPort 21w SunPower solar array has an efficiency of between 21.5 to 23%. Which is very comparable with BigBlue’s 21w solar panel at 20% to 21.5%. The Giaride 21w panel has an efficiency of 23.5 to 25% but is nearly twice as heavy.
- 2 x USB Ports. Charging speed up to 2.4 amps per port in direct sunlight.
- Short circuit and surge protection fitted to keep you and your electronics safe.
- The solar panel can charge two devices at once.
How Portable Is The Anker Solar Panel?
The 21w Anker solar panel kit is one of the most portable in its class. Whether you are hiking, backpacking, cycling, rock climbing or mountaineering.
The PowerPort will easily fit into your pack, 11.1 x 6.3 inch when folded. That’s about the same size as a table matt and ultra-thin. Because its so small, you will have few problems with space. It will fit in quite well next to your lunch and emergency waterproofing.
When unfolded, it is 26.4 x11inch. To charge your phone you can lay it out in direct sunlight and let it do its work. But, because the unit has stainless-steel eye-holes on each corner. You can attach it to your pack and charge as you go. This is brilliant if your are on a longer hike or bike ride.
If you, are packing a tent the Anker 21w will attach to it via the eye-holes. Leaving you to enjoy the camp whilst your phone charges.
Weight in packs can be a problem especially when backpacking. The target base weight of 15lbs for comfort can be hard to achieve. With the pack itself, tent, sleeping bag and other items. You might feel the extra weight of a solar panel might be too much. But fear not, the Anker PowerPort 21w only weighs 1.01lbs.
The Anker PowerCore 20100 Portable Power Bank
When out hiking, trekking, backpacking or cycling for extended periods of time. It is best to extend the 21w PowerPorts capabilities by adding a power bank. This is a battery that stores the energy the solar panels have collected.
The benefit of adding power bank
The stored energy can then be used at a later time to charge electronic devices. For instance, you can charge the power bank during the day and charge your phone at night.
It also has the added benefit that, if conditions become very cloudy and the panels stop charging. You will not experience battery drain to your phone or tablet. You will also be able to safely charge more types of devices like a camera or watch.
I always feel that you should add to products by using the same manufacturers brand. This is because you know with 99.9% certainty they will be compatible with each other.
The Anker PowerCore 20100 is a 20000mAH ultra-high capacity power bank. It is black, long, sleek, thin and will fit into your pocket or solar panel pouch.
*If you don’t know what mAH is. It is the battery capacity expressed as a milliampere of an ampere hour. In terms of watt hours that equates to 72.37wh
- Battery chemistry: Lithium Ion.
- Weight: 12.5oz/354g.
- Dimensions: 6.6 x 2.3 x .09inch/16.76 x 5.84 x 2.29.
- 2 x USB-A 5V/2A output ports.
- 1 x Micro USB 5V/2A input port.
- Anker say that the total output is 4.8 Amps.
- And each individual port is capable of up to 2.4A
- Charging time 10 hours.
What will it charge?
The iPhone 7/6s/SE, iPad and Samsung Galaxy S8/S7 and More
*It is not compatible with the iPod nano, iPod Classic, HP TouchPad, Dell Venue 11 Pro, Asus tablets and some GPS and Bluetooth devices.
- Led power indicator.
- Over heating protection
- Short circuit and surge protection.
- The power bank comes with a protective pouch and charging cable.
The Anker 20100 power bank is well-built, reliable, with a high capacity at a reasonable price. And it will pair up perfectly with the Anker 21w solar panel. I think you will find the power bank dependable and useful.
What’s Good About the Anker 21w
The performance and efficiency of the Anker Solar panel is good for its size. It will take 4-5 hours to fully recharge a phone from zero. This is in full sunlight, it will take longer in cloudy conditions. It will deliver charge to 2 devices at the same time.
There is no doubting the Anker 21w solar panel’s portability. It’s lightweight and compact design makes it ideal to fit into any pack. It is about as thin as a good quality magazine and you will not find it a burden at all.
This is a well-made durable product because it is made from industrial strength polymer. Able to withstand harsh outdoor conditions and the odd “I’ve dropped it mishap.
And because Anker are a reputable, reliable manufacturer they have a 30 Day return policy. They also offer a full refund if you have any issues with the product within the 30 days. And backed by an 18 month guarantee.
What’s Not So Good About the Anker 21w
This may result in a lack of output from the solar panel. This means it is possible the Anker 21w may drain your electronic devices battery. Only charge in direct sunlight. If you have it attached to your pack make sure you use it when the sun is behind you. Or, buy a separate power bank and charge that instead.
Not completely weather proof:
Whilst the 21w solar panel is weather-resistant. It isn’t completely waterproof. If water or moisture seeps into the electrical components. The unit might stop working altogether. The best advice is to keep it as dry as possible.
Doesn’t charge some electronic devices:
These include the iPod nano, iPod Classic, iPod Shuffle, HP TouchPad and Asus tablets. This is not unusual for these types of incompatibilities in this class of product.
I would however, make sure that you have the correct cables for your device. If you don’t use the manufacturers supplied charging cable it may not work. For longer trips buy a separate power bank to accommodate more varied electronic devices
Solar Power Has Some Limitations
Solar power is fantastic, because it provides an environmentally friendly energy source. Lets be honest. Without solar panels the world would be relying on smelly, noisy gasoline generators. You just need to be aware of a few things.
- When it is overcast, the PV cells will receive less light. Reducing the rate of charge, meaning it will take longer to charge the Anker 21w PowerPort. This isn’t a major problem, if you remember not to directly charge your phone with the solar panel during these periods.
- Shade will stop charging altogether. Keep an eye out for this now and again and move the solar panels into the sunlight if necessary. This is important if you are near an overhang or obstruction such as in and around a forest. You will need to check for shade more often.
Is the Anker PowerPort 21w Any Good?
Overall, I think the Anker 21w PowerPort solar panel represents good value for money. It charges electronic devices through the USB ports in direct sunlight. And reasonably well in overcast conditions.
Remember this is a small unit that will provide a charging capability when off-grid. It does the job very well for this specific purpose. Great for use day hiking and cycling as a charging backup. For longer trips, I would recommend use with a power bank. This will not only give you peace of mind, it will also extend the capabilities of the PowerPort. Allowing you to charge the power bank during the day and top your devices charge up at night.
The PowerPort 21w solar charger is a good useful product and it is worth Anker’s asking price.
I hope you enjoyed this review and have found it useful. If you have any questions about The Anker 21w PowerPort portable solar panel. Or want to leave your own personal review, please leave a comment below