Biolite Solar Panel 5 Plus Charger | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Biolite Solar Panel 5 Plus Charger | Review

Harness the power of the sun when you’re out on your adventures

Why We Chose The Biolite Solar Panel 5 Plus Charger: sustainable energy, portable,

Worship of the sun can be dated back thousands of years. These days, however, more of us tend to religiously follow the new gods of technology rather than that big burning ball of fire in the sky. iPhones, iPads, Kindles; even when we’re out and about in nature, plenty of outdoor enthusiasts still like to have an electronic screen about their person. This essential truth, right here, is why the Biolite Solar Panel 5 Plus Charger is so useful in modern times and why it’s been included in this year’s Outdoor 100.

Who Is The Biolite Solar Panel 5 Plus Charger For?

If the thought of going completely off-grid when out and about in the big outdoors fills you with a creeping, existential dread you’re definitely going to want a Biolite Solar Panel 5 Plus Charger in your pack.

Maybe you’re a gnarly explorer, maybe you’re a blogger with an impressively-sized Instagram following that needs to be updated on your whereabouts, maybe you prefer the simplicity of digital maps compared to paper ones, maybe you want to make sure your phone is fully charged in case of emergencies; whatever your reason, this thing will keep you topped up.

“It means you can spend longer periods of time on the trail”

By using this method to charge your electronics, rather than regular old straight-from-the-wall electricity, you’re actually being much more friendly to the environment.

The fact that you won’t need to pop back to a plug socket when you’re running low on power across the board is obviously another big plus point, as it means you can spend longer periods of time on the trail. Great if you’re doing an extra long, multi-day, trek. Pacific Crest Trail anyone?

This item is ideal for technophiles, gadget-carriers, and environmentally-conscious people. If it’s your scene, it’s also a perfect accessory for when the music festivals return.

The built-in sundial that aligns you to the sun for optimum light capture. Photo: Mike Brindley
The Biolite Solar Panel 5 features standard and micro-USB connections. Photo: Mike Brindley
A 2200 mAh battery supplies enough energy to keep a phone topped up when the sun goes down. Photo: Mike Brindley


First things first, let’s talk tech. The Biolite Solar Panel 5 Plus serves up five watts of power through a USB connection. This new version also has a 2200mAh battery which will store up some of the sun’s energetic goodness ready for you pass it on to your electronics when required.

The fact you can fold this product down easily for travelling purposes means it scores well on the portability front and it’s actually a convenient enough shape to fix onto the front of your backpack so you can get solar charge while you walk. Other key features we like include the versatile 360° stand, which allows it to be easily positioned on uneven ground, and the built-in sundial that aligns you to the sun for optimum light capture.

Thanks to its micro USB port, you’ll be able to use this to provide power to anything from tablets, phones, smartwatches and speakers, to head torches, lanterns and GPS devices. A simple button lets you flick between charging the built-in battery or charging a connected device and a nifty little flashing light let’s you know when the sun is working its magic for you.

Green Credentials

The Biolite Solar Panel 5 Plus Charger obviously isn’t going to solve the climate emergency on its own but it’s ability to keep your tech juiced up over long periods outdoors means it’s a step in the right direction for adventurers keen to do their part; adventurers like you, reading this now.


Priced as it is at £79.99 means there are definitely cheaper ways to keep all your tech charged outdoors than the Biolite Solar Panel 5 Plus Charger. That being said its renewable and environmental credentials, and entire solar energy concept, means you could theoretically hit a trail and not return to civilisation for a long period of time (basically until you ran out of food). In this year of global pandemic, and everything else that’s gone wrong with the world, that factor’s a massive win in our book and probably as good a reason as any to fork out and treat yourself.

Tester’s Verdict

Jordan Tiernan, Outdoors Magic Staff Writer

“While this isn’t going to be charging up the more power hungry devices sitting in my pack (I’m talking drones, GoPros and DSLRs), the Biolite Solar Panel 5 has worked great as the power source for emergency equipment, such as my mobile (Samsung Galaxy), or Garmin inReach Mini during a five-day wild camping trip around the Lakes. I was able to use it to fully charge both devices, even despite the mainly cloudy conditions I had.

The Outdoors Magic team found the Biolite Solar Panel 5 to be an ideal wild camping companion. Credit: Jordan Tiernan

“The triangular design makes it really easy to pop up once your camp is set up, or even during a quick lunchtime pit stop. The single metal leg also allowed me to slot it down a compartment in my pack, while leaving the solar panel exposed to the sun, which let me keep this thing topped up as I hiked. I had some pretty rough weather on my trip and was happy to keep this out in light rain (and it was fine) but I’d be a little hesitant to expose this to full on downpours.

“You can’t really complain with this nifty little charger, given its low weight and slim design. I guess the only limiting factor is the price, but then again, you can’t really beat unlimited power, can you?”

Biolite Solar Charger 5+

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