Olympia Outdoors SB5500 Solar Battery (Review)
Sometimes when you’re away from the power grid, such as on hiking or camping trips, you still want (or need?) to power your electronic devices. From my own experience, there is no better way to do that than by utilizing a solar panel coupled with a large capacity battery bank. Normally, that means hauling both items in your pack separately, unless you can find a way of combining them. Luckily for myself, I have found a company called Olympia Outdoors who has done just that! They have combined a small dual solar panel array with a 5500mAh battery bank into one compact and rugged unit called the SB5500 Solar Battery. It’s perfect for weekend camping trips or short fishing day trips!
For my birthday this past weekend, my family and I went on a very last minute camping trip to Oscar Scherer State Park in Osprey, Florida. This Solar Battery kept my phone topped off when I was around our campsite and taking short walks around the trails. The best part is that I could charge my Solar Battery during the day, and then completely charge my phone up in the evenings after the sun had set. This small solar device allowed me to leave my larger solar panel and hefty battery banks at home.
Apart from charging my cell phone, I found other uses for my Solar Battery. Using the dual USB port, I was able to run my small USB LED light to brighten up our tent in the evenings, all while still charging my cell phone. When we finally returned home, I also used my Solar Battery to charge my external battery pack for my ThorFire BL02 Bike Headlight.
This handy product has prompted me to try and find more USB powered items that I can use with it, since I can produce power even if our power grid goes down. This won’t power a fridge, much less a laptop; but this item is there to give power to all of your small electronic devices when they need it the most.
The Olympia Outdoors Solar Battery SB5500 is moderately priced at about $52 on Amazon. That’s pretty good if you consider that purchasing a separate solar panel and battery bank will likely push you over the $100 mark. With this Solar Battery, you’ll be able to combine both features into an awesome compact unit!
Dual Solar Panels
– “Two is One and One is None”; Dual solar panels pair the best of both worlds by giving you the ability to charge the internal battery bank during the daylight hours utilizing two solar panel arrays.
Internal Battery Bank
– This solar panel features an internal 5500mAh battery bank – almost enough to charge the 3000mAh battery in my Galaxy Note 5 twice (2-3 hours per charge) when it’s at full capacity!
Dual External Charging
– You can charge two external devices at one time via the 1A output port and the other 2.1A output port.
– There are 4 blue battery power indicator lights on the back of the unit; 4 lights indicating 100% and 1 light indicating 25%
– On the front of the unit, there is a small orange light at the bottom that indicates when the solar panels are receiving enough sunlight to charge the battery.
3 Methods of Charging
– This unit has the ability to charge the battery bank via Solar, USB, and Micro USB.
3 of 4 Ports are 1A Output
– With more and more devices (such as my phone) having the ability to charge at a higher rate from a 2amp+ output, having one 2.1A port is the only downside that I have experienced with this device.
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***I received this item from the company for review purposes. This is my honest & unbiased review based on my personal experience using this particular product.***