Solar-powered battery chargers

10:38 p.m. on August 3, 2012 (EDT)
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I am looking for a solar-powered AA/AAA battery charger that will fit on top of a backpack.  The available space is 12" x 6" (300mm x 150mm).

I am NOT looking for one that recharges electronic devices such as phones, MP3 players etc.

Many thanks in advance for your advice, thoughts and responses.

9:30 a.m. on August 16, 2012 (EDT)
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Got a goal zero charger that I am fairly happy with. I rarely use it though as you have to carry a lot of batteries before the charger is lighter and it is much easier to charge at home.

1:06 p.m. on August 19, 2012 (EDT)
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If you must:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Portable-Solar-Charger-6-5-Watt-POWERKIT-POWER-TO-GO-/280840602128?pt=Battery_Chargers&hash=item4163678210

There are others on Ebay that run in the $100 range.

All will be degraded by weather and trees and even the larger portable ones take 2-4 hours for 4 AA's.  1/2 square foot on top of your pack doesn't give you a lot of charging landscape.

And they are not especially 'ruggedized' so your mileage may vary.

8:40 a.m. on August 20, 2012 (EDT)
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Another option to consider would be to get a battery pack and a battery charger that can connect to it via a USB cable etc. I have and am really happy with my new Trent 9900mah battery pack. I charge it up at home and it is very suitable for my week long trips for charging my phone, headlamp and other items I might have with me. I do not use a seperate battery charger for aa/aaa but there is no reason you could not use it this way. This would probably be cheaper than a good solar panel. This also allows you to charge at night/periods of no or little sun. You can also charge in your pack and don't have to worry about babying a solar panel(despite some claims they are not very durable). IMO solar panels are only suited to base camps etc, hiking under tree cover makes them almost useless.

New Trent sells many sizes of the battery packs as do other companies but I like new Trent the best.

11:27 p.m. on August 23, 2012 (EDT)
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I agree. I have a 6000 mah battery pack that I use for most trips. There is more of a cool factor with the solar pannel but the battery pack is more practical unless you are somewhere rativelvely treeless and with reliable sunlight.

I Did 8 days of climbing in Joshua tree. The solar pannel was very useful since I was using a guidebook I downloaded on my phone. In addition we mostly climbed out of a base camp in the backcountry and being desert sunlight was reliable.

December 28, 2014
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