With the growth of bikepacking and the desire to cover vast and distant terrain on mountain bikes, a typical travel kit includes many possible electronic accessories to assist travellers on their way. In 2016, an adventurer can get by on a range of excellent apps on the modern-day cell phone. With the large batteries that accompany these products, the ability to maintain battery life on the trail has become an important factor to consider and advances in solar power ability have risen up to fill the demand. With the SP6000, you have all of the watts, amps and rugged durability needed to conquer the trail and stay charged along the way.
With modern cell phones really coming into their own in terms of GPS tracking, mapping and communications, its imperative to consider what it would take to keep your mobile companion functioning at full capacity. Since the Galaxy S7 is currently the most popular phone on the market and also has the largest battery of phones its type I will reference its battery requirements.
The SP600 contains 2 x 6 watt folding panels that pack into a 6” x 10.5” package and sports a water proof pouch on the front that also contains the 10,000 mAh lithium battery with dual USB ports. The pouch is just big enough to fit the typical smart phone inside with plenty of room to spare. With my Galaxy S7 I had no problem fitting the phone inside and was pleased to find that the waterproof claims were indeed up to the task. Once the batteries were charged up, my phone could be stowed safely in the pouch and charge while safe from water.
The back of the panel is equipped with an easel back which I found completely necessary to chase down the appropriate angle of the sun. Using a drawstring, the angle of the panel to the ground can be widened or narrowed depending on the time of day. With a required time to charge the battery of 7-8 hours you will be chasing the sun and I found myself having to check on the position as the hours passed and move the angle to guarantee a full charge at the end of the day.
At a weight of 20.4 oz. the addition of the SP6000 to my daypack was barely noticeable. The light and compact features of the SP6000 by no means take away from its durability and this product is just fine for outdoor abuse and is built to protect your devices stored inside its waterproof pouch.
The SP6000 has a 10,000 mAh lithium battery that is charged with the 2 x 6 Watt panels and takes approximately 7 – 8 hours of direct sunlight to charge. Personally, I found it hard to get that much sunlight directly and was often chasing down the right angle to keep the charging process going. Also, I was never sure that the battery was fully charged to capacity because there is no accurate battery level display. The battery has 4 tiny lights indicating the amount of charge in the battery but even when all 4 lights were blinking I found that I didn’t get quite as much charge as expected.
The battery has 2 USB ports with a claimed output of 2400 mA. With a full battery I was able to charge my Galaxy S7’s 3600 mAh battery 2 times from ~15% battery. Each charge from that range took approximately 3 hours to complete and I did not charge the SP6000 battery between cell phone charges. This tells me that the 2.4 amps advertised is the total output from both ports combined and that each port is 1.2 amps. The time was not dramatically longer than the fast charging adapters that are coming with the Galaxy S7 now (~3hours vs. 1.5 hours) This is due to the fact that the Galaxy S7 charger actually chargers at 15 W between 0 and 60% and reduces the power requirement after that range. So with a limited capacity of 12 W there just isn’t enough power to replicate the fast charging abilities of the standard Galaxy S7 charger adapter.
Ultimately, the Secur Ultimate Solar Charger: SP6000 lived up to its claims and is indeed a powerful object in small package. Using the sun to charge your electronics is so useful on the trail you will never regret adding this piece of equipment to your kit, nor will you have to think about with such a lightweight and compact product.
The ability to charge the battery on sunny days and charge your electronics later is invaluable. Charge up on those sunny days and don’t fear the clouds when the rain rolls in because your phone can charge off the battery, inside of the waterproof case.
The Secur Ultimate Solar Charger: SP6000 can be purchased at a reasonable price $125.00, which puts the $/watt price at $10.42/watt which is a reasonable rate. Pick up your Secur Ultimate Solar Charger: SP6000 at their website and check out some of their other solar powered gear while you’re there.
Check it out HERE.
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