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.
RAVPower 16W Review
Cons: Failed to charge multiple devices at once, lacks efficiency
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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