Specs

Weight 11.2 oz

Reviews

It is so lightweight and very compact. Since receiving…

The author of this review received the product from the brand or its representatives in exchange for a review.

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: tested or reviewed it for the manufacturer (I kept the product after testing.)

Summary

It is so lightweight and very compact. Since receiving it I’ve had it in my overnight bag, my hiking bag, and an emergency bag in my Jeep and it still looks brand new while being a super useful tool around camp. I’d strongly suggest you get one (or two) of these if you want a little added security for an emergency pack or if you plan to be in the woods for a few days and would rather not risk killing your car battery charging your portable electronics.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Slim
  • Ease of Use

Cons

  • USB port is bulky

As a member of another website, I sometimes get the opportunity to try out different products in exchange for a review. On this trip I tested the Renogy E.FLEX10 Portable Solar Panel with USB Port. I do want to make mention that they have updated the design just slightly since I received these but I was told by support the functional specifics are the same but the new panel dimensions are a bit smaller than the ones I have.

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This panel has quickly become one of my favorite camping accessories. The panel itself is not much larger than a piece of letter paper when open and then it folds in half and is not much wider than a piece of cardboard except the USB port. The panels are rigid except for the hinges that are actually fairly stiff but slightly flexible (like a reinforced fabric).

The panels charge just as well as a charging block plugged into a wall unit when in full sunlight. When the panel is in indirect sunlight it will still charge, just not as quickly. I had a bit of fun testing this with my cell phone and seeing the “estimated time until fully charged” change within a few seconds as I would change the amount of sunlight the panel was exposed to.

Each panel comes with four removable suction cups so that you can mount it inside a window on your car (or outside the window when you are parked) as well as two carabiners so that you can hang it from a tent or on a backpack while hiking. There are small cutouts on each corner of the panel that you can place the suction cups or caribiners through.

I’ve been using the panels primarily around camp. I’ll hook one up to my cell phone and the other up to a battery pack (that can then charge the small electronics when there is no sunlight). I’ve also used it in the dashboard of the car when traveling to the campsite. If you do this, I suggest you get a non-slip type grip pad so you don’t have it sliding across the dash when driving around corners.

Overall, I’m really happy with the E.FLEX10. It is so lightweight and very compact. Since receiving it I’ve had it in my overnight bag, my hiking bag, and an emergency bag in my Jeep and it still looks brand new while being a super useful tool around camp. I’d strongly suggest you get one (or two) of these if you want a little added security for an emergency pack or if you plan to be in the woods for a few days and would rather not risk killing your car battery charging your portable electronics.

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Disclosure: The reviewer received a sample of this product from the brand or its representatives in exchange for a review.

Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Welcome to Trailspace, Krista. Do you have any pictures of this charger in use, so others can see the setup?


1 year ago
Krista Z INCENTIVIZED REVIEWER

@Alicia Yes! I have pictures but didn't see an image section to upload them. I didn't realize it was in the body of the review. I've added them now! I will learn I swear ;)


1 year ago
Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Thanks, Krista! I'm glad you found the option.


1 year ago

The Renogy E.Flex 10 Folding Solar Panel with USB…

The author of this review received the product from the brand or its representatives in exchange for a review.

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: tested or reviewed it for the manufacturer (I kept the product after testing.)

Summary

The Renogy E.Flex 10 Folding Solar Panel with USB offers affordable, lightweight, packable, solar to economically power electronic devises at home, on the go, or in the backcountry.

Pros

  • Simplicity
  • Ease of use
  • Folds relatively compact
  • Charges quickly
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Non-weatherproof USB
  • Fabric on hinge delaminating

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The Renogy E-Flex 10 arrived in a small but smartly packaged box. The panels were folded and couched in foam cutouts. Beneath the panels were two small 1.85-inch carabiners, four 1.25-inch suction cups, and a bifold instruction pamphlet.
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The technical information can be easily acquired from Renogy’s website.

For purposes of this review refer to the E.Flex 10 information in the right column.

IMG_2027.jpgBy way of comparison, my only other solar panel experience is with a major competitor, Goal Zero. So this review will neither be technical nor exhaustive.
Renogy-E-4-.jpgAs a member of another website I am honored to receive products for testing and evaluation at substantial discounts or no cost at all...and such is the case with this Renogy E.Flex 10 Solar panel.

When handling the E.Flex 10, it feels sturdy and appears durable. There is no flex in the panels themselves, but rather in the binder-style fabric covered plastic between the two panels, so it can be folded book-like. The four cutout corner tabs have some flexibility in the material, as well.

The exterior fabric on the solar side has a rubbery texture, whereas the opposite or outside has an Oxford fabric.
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I found the solar panel grid side to repel water with it beading up and dripping off. The obvious weak link in weatherproofing is the USB port. Keeping that in mind, if attaching to the exterior of your pack...keep USB port side facing downward...to minimize water collection should you get caught in an unexpected cloudburst.
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Attaching the Renogy E.Flex 10 to my kayak worked sufficiently well with the included carabiners. If my bow deck was wider I would have experimented with the suction cups. Remember, surfaces must be smooth and clean to adhere securely. Caked on salt brine residue is a negative.

In bright sunlight, the E.Flex 10 performed excellently, keeping my phone and sonar charged.In addition to attaching the Renogy E.Flex 10 to my backpack and my kayak deck, I experimented by attaching it to the interior house window, tinted vehicle window and through my lanai screening, which has a claimed 50 SPF.
IMG_2033.jpgIn my unscientific, non-technical testing I used a 4,000 mAh lithium ion battery power stick. In sustained direct sunlight, the E.Flex took 3.5 hours to fully charge the power stick. Which relates to roughly two full smartphone charges.

My house windows are not tinted so charge times were uneffected. The lanai screen SPF claims must be inaccurate as similar charge times were observed. Only heavily tinted auto glass substantially increased charge times. When stationary and connecting the E.Flex 10 directly to my smartphone, using search engines and keeping three windows open, my phone continued to slowly charge.

(Note: With cloud coverage or shade when a smartphone is directly connected,  a screen prompt pops up (“This accessory might not be supported” with a “dismiss” tab). This is part of the Smart Auto-Optimization charging...which initially reduces charging (with shade) but permits the charger to return to the full solar power flow without the necessity to unplug and plug in the device. Apparently, this is a feature some solar panels do not offer. So charging remains seamless.

In comparison, I found no differences in charge times between the Renogy E.Flex 10 and my GZ. It should be noted that the dimensions of the E.Flex 10 were fractionally larger...which would potentially impact that finding.
2A97FA6B-EA37-4F83-B9EB-8D7F06CDCFAF.jpgDurability? Uncertain. I’ve only used the E.Flex 10 for a month. However, I have observed a small pucker in the fabric on the binding, where the Oxford cloth has separated from the plastic. Cause for concern? Nothing that a dab of contact cement can’t remedy.
67A5B20A-6B83-4E28-888A-D6B2260049FD.jpg I fully anticipate the Renogy E.Flex 10 to last as long as its competitors.

What I believe would add greater value to this package: Four (4) Nite-Ize “S” carabiners instead of budget aluminum carabiners; a weather resistant USB port or connector; and an optional USB daisy chain to connect two E.Flex 10’s together so I could use a laptop or iPad in the backcountry

Parting Thoughts:

Did I like it? Yes. It’s simple to use and effective.

Would I purchase one? Yes.

For $59.99 factory direct, it is a bargain! Cheaper than a week's worth of fast-food lunches.

 

Disclosure: The reviewer received a sample of this product from the brand or its representatives in exchange for a review.

Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Thanks for the review and pictures, CY.


2 years ago

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