The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

RAVPower 16W Review

Receives average scores in almost all metrics; it's relatively efficient and comes at a reasonable price.
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Price:  $66 List | Check Price at Amazon
Pros:  Lightweight, durable, reasonably priced
Cons:  Failed to charge multiple devices at once, lacks efficiency
Manufacturer:   RAVPower
By Jane Jackson ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 11, 2019
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64
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 14
  • Charging Speed - 30% 7
  • Charge Interruption Recovery - 20% 6
  • Multiple Device Charging Speed - 20% 4
  • Weight & Portability - 20% 8
  • Durability - 10% 7

Our Verdict

Out of the four mid-range panels we tested, the RAVPower 16W is on the lower end of the scale when it comes to overall performance. It was relatively slow to charge our battery packs and iPhones during testing and struggled to charge two devices at once due to the loss of efficiency with the small size of the panel. It is lightweight and easy to use, making it a good option for those who don't want to invest too much into their purchase. For a decent panel that is inexpensive or for someone who probably won't be relying entirely on solar for power, the RAVPower is a good option.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
RAVPower 16W
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award   
Price $66 List
Check Price at Amazon
$59.99 at Amazon$39.99 at Amazon$29.99 at Amazon$39.99 at Amazon
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Pros Lightweight, durable, reasonably pricedInexpensive, efficient, user-friendly, excels in partly cloudy conditionsInexpensive, lightweight, portable, charges quicklyRelatively lightweight for panel type, inexpensive, charges devices efficientlyLarge storage pocket, comes in multiple colors, durable
Cons Failed to charge multiple devices at once, lacks efficiencyBulky, heaviest weightLow output power, cannot charge multiple devices at onceIneffective if relying only on solar for power, less durable than other battery packsHeavy, bulky
Bottom Line Receives average scores in almost all metrics; it's relatively efficient and comes at a reasonable price.We were impressed by its ability to charge our gadgets quickly and reliably; its reasonable price is the cherry on top.This panel impressed us with its fast charging speeds and its lightweight, portable design.An efficient, compact battery pack with a 2W solar charger on it; a top performer.Well designed, comes in multiple colors, and is durable - but also bulky.
Rating Categories RAVPower 16W BigBlue 28W ECEEN 13W Renogy 15,000mAh PowerGreen 21W
Charging Speed (30%)
10
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7
10
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9
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8
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7
Charge Interruption Recovery (20%)
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6
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9
10
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6
10
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5
10
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7
Multiple Device Charging Speed (20%)
10
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4
10
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9
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4
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7
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6
Weight & Portability (20%)
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8
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7
Durability (10%)
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6
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Specs RAVPower 16W BigBlue 28W ECEEN 13W Renogy 15,000mAh PowerGreen 21W
Panel Size (watts) 16W 28W 13W 2W 21W
Weight (measured) 15 oz 23.5 oz 12 oz 9.5 oz 20.3 oz
# of USB outlets 2 2 2 2 2
Max USB Output Current (amps per port) 2 amp 2 amp 2 amp 2 amps 2 amp
Battery kit? No No No Yes No
Size folded 6" x 9.8" x 0.5" 11.1" x 6.3" x 1.3" 11.4" x 6.1" x 0.6" 6.3" x 3.1" x 0.7" 11.4" x 6.8" x 1.3"
Battery? No No No Yes No
Charge tablet? Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Charge laptop? No Yes No Npo No
Panel Type Mono-crystalline PET Polymer Mono-crystalline Mono-crystalline Mono-crystalline
Size opened 24.5" x 9.8" x 0.2" 33.1" x 11.1" x 0.2" 11.4" x 14.3 x .15" 6.3" x 3.1" 0.7" 27.6" x 11.4" x 0.2"
Battery input (Volts / Amps) n/a n/a n/a 5V 2A n/a
Charge capacity (mAh) n/a n/a n/a 15,000mAh n/a
Charge iPhone/smartphone Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Direct USB Plug? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Daisy Chain? No No No No No
12-Volt connection No No No No No
Warranty 18 months 2 years 30 day return 1 year 1 year

Our Analysis and Test Results

The RAVPower received average scores in our performance comparisons. There were no categories where the panel truly failed, yet none where the model visibly excelled. This lands the RAVPower right in the middle of the road when it comes to performance and efficiency.

Performance Comparison



Charge Interruption Recovery


The 16W from RAVPower struggled to provide a steady charge to our battery packs after multiple interruptions. It did not perform well in cloudy conditions and continued to disconnect when shaded. With an iPhone 6, the panel would disconnect and then have trouble reconnecting to the phone once interrupted. We found we had to manually reconnect the phone to the panel, which is an issue.

The RAVPower panel on the left shows how much more surface area it has compared to the iClever on the right. In most cases  this improves efficiency  but the RAVPower was not outstanding in this regard.
The RAVPower panel on the left shows how much more surface area it has compared to the iClever on the right. In most cases, this improves efficiency, but the RAVPower was not outstanding in this regard.

Charging Speed


To test charging speed side by side, we plugged in dead batteries to the panels and charged them to full while timing the process. The RAVPower performed moderately well in this metric, charging our battery pack from 0% to 38% in three hours. This is less impressive than the Anker PowerPort 15W, which charged a full 10% more in the same time.

The RAVPower 16W is an average sized panel with a slightly below average score in terms of overall performance.
The RAVPower 16W is an average sized panel with a slightly below average score in terms of overall performance.

Multiple Device Charging Speed


In the category of mid-range panels, the RAVPower performed similarly to the Instapark Mercury 10W as it attempted to charge multiple devices at once. Since so much power is lost due to inefficiencies in the panels, the amount of wattage that makes it to each USB port is relatively minimal, reducing the charging speed significantly. The RAVPower struggled to sustain a charge to two of our batteries at once.

Durability


The RAVPower 16W got a bit of a lower score when it came to durability, as the solar cells themselves seem a bit less durable than the majority of other panels of similar design. Though we did not see any damage during our testing period, the cells were not well-integrated into the panel. This is a small detail, and overall the design is quite similar to all the other fold-out panels in this review. The eyelets are reinforced, making the panel easy to hang up to gain full solar rays or to suspend from a pack when hiking.

A side profile of the RAVPower 16W shows its fairly slim shape. This charger has three panels of solar cells - the more the merrier!
A side profile of the RAVPower 16W shows its fairly slim shape. This charger has three panels of solar cells - the more the merrier!

Weight & Portability


Weighing only 15 ounces, the RAVPower 16W is lightweight for having a three-panel design. There is a wide range of weights and sizes among mid-range portable panels, and it's up to you to figure out which design best suits your needs.

Like the Goal Zero Nomad 7 Plus  the RAVPower 16W has external USB ports that make it easier to plug into  rather than fishing around inside the pocket for the port.
Like the Goal Zero Nomad 7 Plus, the RAVPower 16W has external USB ports that make it easier to plug into, rather than fishing around inside the pocket for the port.

Value


The RAVPower is a reasonably priced panel. It is half the price of most of the 20W panels in this review, though it is less powerful and less efficient than our Editors' Choice winner.

The durability of these solar cells seemed questionable to us  especially in comparison to more heavy-duty panels like the Instapark Mercury 10W.
The durability of these solar cells seemed questionable to us, especially in comparison to more heavy-duty panels like the Instapark Mercury 10W.

Conclusion


The RAVPower is a decent panel for the price. For an inexpensive, fairly reliable panel, this one does the job. However, it failed to perform at the level of our top-ranking panels in our performance comparisons.


Jane Jackson