With average scores in most of our rating metrics, plus a significant number on the scale and a hefty price tag, the RavPower 24W was not one of our favorite panels. While this model performed well and offered up reliability, there were many similar options out there that were better in some way, shape, or form. Simply put, in most cases, we found ourselves moving toward other options before pulling out the RavPower.
RAVPower 24W Review
Cons: Heavy, costly, struggled to charge multiple devices at once despite having 3 USB-ports
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Our Analysis and Test Results
This panel lands in the middle of the pack in our metric comparisons. It is slightly more expensive than most, yet does not stack up when compared to most of its competition - namely, our award winners.
Charge Interruption Recovery
The RavPower 24 received similar scores to other models in this capacity range (20-28 watts). We tested this panel in the intermittent sun on a late summer day in Wyoming, where wind brings frequent, passing clouds; the 24 was able to maintain a connection to our device (a 20,000mAh battery pack) during this time. The Sokoo 22W showed similar results, as did the RavPower 16W. When we measured the panel's ability to charge a battery in these conditions, we found that the panel was only able to charge our battery pack 1% over the course of 30 minutes, when placed in the intermittent sun. This is on par with the majority of the panels of this size.
When plugged into our large test battery in full sun for 30 minutes, the RavPower 24W charged the battery pack 2%. This seems fairly unimpressive at first glance, but remember, these batteries are large and take a decent chunk of time to charge fully. For comparison, the Wildtek 21W also charged the battery pack 2% during this time, while the Suntactics 14W only managed a 1% increase on the same battery. Our winner in this comparison was the BigBlue 28W, which charged the battery 4% over 30 minutes. The RavPower and the Wildtek have a very similar capacity (only a three-watt difference) and charged at the same rate, while the BigBlue panel had four watts of power on the RavPower panel. This small difference vastly improved the efficiency of the BigBlue, which was the overall winner of our Editors' Choice award.
Multiple Device Charging Speed
It seems that more and more companies are offering three USB ports on their larger capacity models. We are still skeptical of this feature as we have found after testing dozens of different panels that nearly all of them struggle to charge multiple devices simultaneously (at least with any reasonable level of efficiency).
The RavPower 24W is no different. This panel could not effectively charge three devices at once, showing no increase in the percentage on our battery packs over the course of 30 minutes. In addition, if a shadow happens to fall across the panel while charging multiple devices, the RavPower runs the risk of being unable to re-establish a connection. That is why we suggest models like the BigBlue 28W for this purpose, due to its built-in regulator, which helps reestablish a charge. Another option is a panel like the X-Dragon 40W, which has a large enough capacity to deliver the power needed to charge two electronics at once.
With a design almost identical to most contenders in this review, the RavPower 24W is comparable when it comes to durability. There were also no red flags during our testing period that pointed to this panel falling short in the durability metric. The panel closely resembles the Sokoo 22, the PowerGreen 21W, and the Wildtek 21W and all three panels were able to weather the elements quite nicely.
Weight & Portability
Weighing in at 26.5 ounces, or 1.64 pounds, the RavPower 24 is not exactly the lightest panel in the fleet. The Wildtek 21W also weighed in at 26.5 ounces, making these two some of the heaviest models we tested. The only panel that exceeded this weight is the X-Dragon 40W, which has double the capacity and thus double the number of panels. We are not sure why these panels are so heavy, considering their foldable, canvas design is ubiquitous among the portable panels on the market these days. This was a major downside during our testing, as we were reluctant to carry the RavPower 24 into the backcountry, where these products are incredibly useful.
For a reasonably priced, easy to use panel, the RavPower is a fine option. We were neither disappointed nor blown out of the water by its performance. Slightly more effective than the RavPower 16W, but still not a top performer when it comes to efficiency, the 24 is a good option for someone looking for a reasonably priced, large capacity panel.
The RavPower 24W sells for $80 online. For comparison, the Goal Zero Nomad 7, which has a third of the charging capacity, sells for $80 also, while the BigBlue 28W is only $60. The price range for portable solar panels is all over the place, and the RavPower is in the middle of the road. This panel performs well, but is not outstanding, and costs more than our award winners. For a more economical choice, try the BigBlue 28W, which is our Editors' Choice winner - and costs less!
Overall, the RavPower 24 left a similar impression on us as its smaller sibling, the RavPower 16W. Both of these panels functioned well, but were not entirely impressive, to be frank. There are better options out there that are more efficient, less expensive, lighter weight, or all three of the above!
— Jane Jackson