One of the biggest issues you’ll face when heading out on a backpacking trip, multi-day hike or on a camping holiday is keeping all of your tech charged. While the heavyweight options in our best solar charger guide will keep all your gadgets juiced up, from your action camera to your camping lantern, what if you need something a little more streamlined?
Don’t assume that you’ll always have access to shared power points at campsites, either. These can get very busy with other campers all wanting to charge their kit, and it feels like a massive waste of your time if you have to sit next to a wall socket waiting for your camping gear to charge up again.
On remote trails, of course, you have zero chance of plugging your phone in for a quick top-up… Unless you have a rugged, wireless power bank at your disposal.
Adventure brand OutXE, a company that’s been pushing out super-tough, clever and reliable power banks and camping lanterns for some time, recently launched via Kickstarter a new wireless solar power bank: the OutXE W20 Waterproof Wireless Solar Power Bank.
The W20 is bursting with features that could make or break your big outdoors adventure. The solar power bank’s capacity is considerable at 20,000mAh/74Wh, but you’ll still be able to fly with it in your hand luggage if you’re heading off on an adventure holiday somewhere exotic.
The W20 Solar Power Bank will charge an iPhone XS seven times over, or a Samsung S10 five times from scratch. Not only that, it’ll charge three devices simultaneously, so you can get more of your tech up and running again en mass.
Dual charging inputs enable you to fully charge the power bank within 6.5 hours at home before you leave for your trip, and an integrated solar panel means you can sit it out in direct sunlight to get a fresh injection of power on the trail (it takes 70 hours of solar power to get a full charge of this 20,000mAh power bank). But really, you’ll only be using that solar panel in an emergency.
Those dual outputs (USB-C and micro-USB) are further augmented by a wireless charging pad on one side, so all you need to do is sit your wireless charging-compatible gadget on top of the power bank to juice it up, wire-free.
The OutXE W20 Waterproof Wireless Solar Power Bank comes in Black/Red as well as in a Camo finish. The wireless charger boasts an IP67 rating and is dust-proof, shock-proof and crush-proof, and able to withstand full immersion in up to a metre of water. So it’ll be fine if you accidentally drop it in a puddle or leave it out in the rain.
Finally, the W20 has three LED lighting modes: Weak, Strong and SOS (strobe), providing a handy torch or emergency beacon for up to 70 hours, and one that also works underwater. In short, the W20 is the Swiss Army multi-tool of solar power banks.
OutXE has already surpassed its fundraising target for the W20 Waterproof Wireless Solar Power Bank, and we have already received a review unit here at T3. If you fancy jumping on the bandwagon too, the W20 is currently available on Kickstarter (opens in new tab) for an early bird price of €53 (approx £48), with an estimated delivery of November 2019.
Want an OutXE power bank for an upcoming camping or backpacking trip that’s happening before November? Here are two super-tough OutXE power banks available to buy right now…
OutXE QC 24,000mAh Solar Power Bank
Built like a tank and designed to withstand impact, this shock-proof crush-proof and waterproof power bank won’t let you down on a camping trip. It has a lot of features that are similar to the forthcoming OutXE W20, but takes a little longer to reach a full charge via solar power alone.
The power bank takes around six-seven hours to charge fully, and can boost QC-supported phones up to 80% battery in 30 minutes. Just like with the W20, dual ports enable you to charge two devices simultaneously.
OutXE 20,000mAh Power Bank with Flashlight
The added bonus with this 24,000mAh power bank is that it has a built-in flashlight, which is handy for searching around in your backpack or tent for other gear at night. Like the other power banks featured above, this one is crush-proof and dirt-proof.
It’s also waterproof, supports Quick Charge and has Micro USB and Type C outputs, plus a built-in 2W solar panel to keep the power bank topped up in emergency situations. Obviously it’ll take a while for a power bank of this size to recharge fully via solar power alone, but plug it into the mains and it’ll juice fully within six hours.