Brunton Explorer

1 review
5-star:   0
4-star:   0
3-star:   1
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

Specs

Weight 14.8 oz
Dimensions 4.5 in x 9 in x 1 in
Panel Type Polycrystalline
Output USB / 5V / 800mA

Reviews

3

Not ready for prime time. This is coming from a guy…

Rating: rated 3 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $65

Summary

Not ready for prime time. This is coming from a guy who makes silicon for a living.

Pros

  • Folds up
  • Uses high quality panels
  • USB port
  • Carges some items
  • Durable codura case
  • Charges iPod and All Clear

Cons

  • Carges certian items but not my phone
  • Heavy, 14.8 oz !!!
  • Doesn't charge my Samsung Galaxy

If anyone would be an advocate of this panel it would be me. I work at a plant that makes the very same silicon that these panels are made from. I like solar energy and have a vested interest in seeing solar work and thrive. 

At the same time I have a problem, I have this honest streak in me that I can't shake no matter how I try and I must say that this panel disappoints me. 

I had high hopes that this panel would make my longer trips more fun by keeping my phone, GPS and MP3 player charged, reducing my reliance on disposable or finicky batteries. 

I live in a very sunny area with 300 or so sunny days a year.  I have no problem getting direct sunlight to fall on these panels.  Even on a sunny day, in direct light, I can't get this panel to add one bar to the battery on my Galaxy phone. It will, after an hour or so, add one bar to the charge on my Camelback All Clear UV purifier and it eventually adds a bar to an iPod. I have owned this device for two years and used, or attempted to use, it on several very sunny days.

Let me give you a little background in solar: The panels on this unit are made from polycrystalline silicon; the highest output type of silicon panels made today.  Thin film, flexible and mono-crystalline panels do not give the output of poly panels and poly-panels have a longer lifespan.   You can ID a poly panel b/c it looks like pieces of blue flakes pressed together, they are beautiful.  Mono- panels, which appear as one solid color, work well in filtered light or on cloudy days but don't equal the output of poly nor do they last as long.  Unfortunately, poly is also heavier.

So, you can see why I hoped for more from this unit. 

If you need to charge a modern smartphone, forget it.  An MP3 player or UV purifier, yes, but it's slow.  I'm going to wait a few years for this technology to improve.

Patman

Any chance your unit is defective?


12 months ago
FromSagetoSnow

A good possibility my friend. I have read some reviews that give it glowing praise so I should look into that.


12 months ago
Ryan Bastien

I have one and read that doesn't have enough juice in sunlight to charge an IPhone. My workaround would be to hook up a USB adapter battery pack and just charge the battery pack with the solar panel.


12 months ago
Felton

I own the 13 volt solar panel from Goal Zero. It does allow charging of the Samsung S3. Have you looked into this one yet? I opted for the 13 volt so I could use either the usb port or a 12 volt adapter to charge my accessories and also to trickle charge my scooter's battery as well. I have the older version and I think that the newer one has a smaller footprint.


12 months ago

Manufacturer's Description

From the pioneers of portable solar power comes one of the most efficient and compact integrated solar charger available, the new SolarPort Flash. A whopping 90% power capture means charging portable devices like iPods, smartphones and more is fast and easy with this power-packed solar charger.

Features:
* USB output charges handheld electronics
* Thin, lightweight and flexible
* Compact design
* Panel type: Polycrystalline
* Independent panels to maximize performance
* Integrates with Brunton battery systems for off-the-grid power

Visit Brunton's Explorer page.

Retailers' Descriptions

Here's what other sites are saying:

Brunton Explorer Foldable Solar PanelGet the Brunton Explorer Foldable Solar Panel for a thin, lightweight, and compact device to charge your devices. With folded dimensions of only 4.5 in. x 9 in. x 1 in., this convenient workhorse can fit even in the most crowded of backpacks and saddle bags. This product comes with independent polycrystalline solar panels to maximize its charging performance. It can store a full 1000mA under the sun and it can recharge your handheld devices (smartphones, digital cameras, digital players, etc.) by simply utilizing its USB connectivity. No need to bring your bulky adapter wherever you go because you can simply take this solar panel. For a thin, compact solution to charge your devices, take the Brunton Explorer Foldable Solar Panel.

- SunnySports

The Brunton Explorer Foldable Solar Panel can add extra security to your trek or wilderness escape by quickly charging your cell phone, GPS, or other small, USB-compatible electronics. With these four compact solar panels, one hour of good sun can provide enough battery power in your cell phone for eight hours of talking. During long treks or true wilderness missions, this 14.8-ounce solar won't weigh you down, yet it offers a great deal of convenience as well as an extra layer of safety.

- Backcountry.com

From the pioneers of portable solar power comes one of the most efficient and compact integrated solar charger available, the new Explorer Solar Panel from Brunton. A whopping 90% power capture means charging portable devices like iPods, smartphones and more is fast and easy with this power-packed solar charger.

- Altrec Outdoors

CLOSEOUTS . Brunton's Explorer Portable Solar Panel keeps your iPodand#174; GPS and smartphone charged in the wilderness and also when traveling overseas, with fast-charging panels that capture 90% solar power, even in low light. Available Colors: SEE PHOTO.

- Sierra Trading Post

Brunton Explorer

MSRP:
$94.00

The Brunton Explorer is not available from the stores we monitor. It was last seen April 18, 2014 at SunnySports.

If you're looking for a new solar charger, check out the best reviewed current models.