Anker’s A1277 bank has dual input microUSB to USB. Anker’s 21W solar panel has dual output USB. I believe using both of the panel’s outputs allows the panel to output more energy than a single output can do. If this is correct the solar panel would be getting an appreciative increase in its ability to charge the A1277. I also believe the A1277 is the only Anker bank with double microUSB inputs? If all of this is correct then is it not correct to say that this specific panel (which I believe is the lightest effective panel for hikers and therefore the best) combined with this specific bank [which I believe is the only dual input bank by Anker(and Anker being the best bank manufacturer will be an assumed fact in this equation)] and therefore this particular panel and this particular bank do make the best solar solution for hikers (assuming the hiker needs a decent amount of power in this equation and that carrying this 17.5oz bank makes sense to that hiker). And if any of this information or assumptions is wrong such as other banks also having dual inputs or etc please chime in. Thank you.
The issue is that in good conditions the 21W panel gives off about 14W which exceeds the 5V 2A input of all Powercore which take 5V.
So you either have to plug in two things, another something to use all the power (phone, etc) or go with dual-input Powercore 5V, or waste some solar power in good conditions.
Anker only made two dual-input, both years ago, there is also the Powercore II 20000
It’s not particularly sold now, or shall I say I have doubt stock is new and batteries age so I’m less confident in recommending if you find one to buy.
Most of what Anker has done in the last couple of years is increase the voltage input of Powercore to drive down recharge times, first with IQ2 / QC2 9V then with PD / IQ3 with 12V 15V 20V inputs. But the solar panels have not done the same, still 5V.
So that’s likely your options:
- plug something else to soak up power (phone, etc) in parallel to any single-input Powercore. This is the lightest option as you’re charging the gadgets which need power.
- get the 26800 dual-input. This is quite a weight to carry.
- get two Powercore. e.g. two 10000. This has advantage of diversity, it is harder to break both 10000 than one 26800. The larger Powercore do fail more often anecdotally. There are more parts to fail. It would be sad if you assembled all of this technology, to rely on it, to then have an accident or damp or heat or cold ruins a part. Two 10000 you can store separate so they don’t suffer the same fate.
- potentially in good conditions not be using all the available solar power. Note that if you’re topping-up a nearly full anything e.g. 26800, they don’t take full power input anyway, usually less than half quoted once 85% full, but then you’re nearly full anyway so kind of don’t need to recharge much.
I’d not recommend focusing too much on their quoted weight, Anker’s quoted weights have always been unreliable, I’d go with a reviewer’s weight, someone owns and they have good scales. I don’t think 2 10000 weigh more than one 20000 or a 26800 as weight comes from the cells and cells dominate weight.
I have the 26800, 10000 and the 21W solar, and various chargers but don’t have reliable scales, look for reviewer’s measured weights on digital scales to be sure.
For the non-solar part of using available wall sockets, it is a different emphasis. The sockets tend to be in inaccessible / exposed spots, usually intended for cleaning appliances to plug in and often not ideal for plugging in Powercore. For these a totally different emphasis has to be factored of a single wire, so the IQ2 / 3 higher voltage cable. Most newer Powercore are like this, single USB-C cable typically 9V.
Cables should be about 3ft. Lithium cells don’t like heat / cold / damp so you’d place solar panels in sun and the Powercore in shade off from damp, so effectively needs 3ft cables. Wall sockets are usually within 3 feet of somewhere to prop the Powercore (e.g. on floor).
My own view you won’t like. Given the unreliability of availability of good sunshine where I live now, solar panels are dead weight, I tried solar and eventually concluded I’d rather carry more Powercore instead, my last camping trip I went with 20000 PD 18W input and a 18W single port Nano charger. 20000 is days of power and I’d just use wall sockets every opportunity to top-up and that worked fine. If you’re in sunnier place then decisions obviously can be different.
Hey thanks for the reply. I wrote that I would be actually using the dual input 26800. I’m glad for all the additional thoughts you provided though about the travel and cord requirements etc very helpful thank you. I actually got into this on my other thread called “check this out” and resolved everything there after I had already began this thread which I thought I needed to start. And it was concluded there that ultimately the dual input 26800 is surely the best for me. By the way I’m only using an iphone5se which I won’t be using too much and a couple of chargeable AA batteries also not used much so the bits of sun I can get will all add up I think as I won’t be draining the bank too much and also plugging when I can (and also happy to know I don’t have to rely on plugging only). Regarding the weight, I can tell you I’ll be using an Aarn “body pack” (as opposed to backpack) and the bank will be on my front and not my back, which makes its weight less important and arguably irrelevant or even beneficial as I need some weight on my front to offset the back weight. The panel however, as it is too wide for the front packs I’ll be wearing, might get a shave but I haven’t decided on making it ugly yet or not or decided how much weight I could actually save by trimming it up. I think it could only be an ounce or so. I guess I will surely trim it all up though for what will be a much slimmer profile I think.
Think about ditching solar panel.
The weight of solar and 26800 means you’ve got both weight.
Do the math on 26800, how long required between recharges, time spent with access to wall sockets, and if you need solar anyway.
If you have solar, and its a sunny location, do you then need also the 26800 as sunshine most days is enough to keep a phone charged all by itself.
To be weight focused, and solar, and powerbank, are in opposition.
26800 for most uses is a week’s power. If you expect 6 hours near a wall socket in a week, then you don’t need solar.
Or if you expect sun every day, 26800 is then overkill and say a 10000 to connect in parallel to phone to handle the odd dull days.
Both is a weight.
Having both is nice…solar comes in handy if SHTF.
SHTF on a sunny day, you’ve got it covered.
I own two of them right now.
Neither used for 2 years after testing.
SHTF often at night or winter…
2m57s shows experience of a small solar panel, and she concludes same as I did it’s best to carry more Powercore and make use wall sockets when available.