One of our favorite solar battery packs we tested, the Renogy 15,000mAh is a simple, capable battery pack that efficiently charged our devices. The battery pack is compact, lightweight, and simple in its design. The top of the battery is covered in solar cells, with more surface area of solar cells than the other small battery packs in this review. This minor feature means that the Renogy charges a little bit faster when placed in the sun (compared to its other 2W competitors). That said, this panel takes its time while charging in the sun, and the solar function performs best as a back-up to the battery. It's easy to leave this small panel on the dashboard or in a window to trickle charge the battery over a long period, but don't expect the Renogy to refill quickly relying solely on solar power.
Renogy 15,000mAh Review
Cons: Ineffective if relying only on solar for power, less durable than other battery packs
Compare to Similar Products
|Price||$35 List||$59.99 at Amazon||$229.00 at Amazon||$114.99 at Amazon||$160 List|
|Pros||Relatively lightweight for panel type, inexpensive, charges devices efficiently||Inexpensive, efficient, user-friendly, excels in partly cloudy conditions||Durable design, thoughtful concept, works well with Mac products, panel is effective||Powerful, works well in partial sun, cheaper than other laptop compatible options||Efficient for its size, durable, rigid design makes it easy to prop up, designed and built in the US|
|Cons||Ineffective if relying only on solar for power, less durable than other battery packs||Bulky, heaviest weight||Expensive, time consuming||Bulky, heavy, hard to set up, complicated adapters for laptop charge||Expensive, large, hard to transport, lacks storage pocket|
|Bottom Line||An efficient, compact battery pack with a 2W solar charger on it; out of the panels of this style, the Renogy is a top performer.||We were impressed by the BigBlue's ability to charge our gadgets quickly and reliably; its reasonable price is the cherry on top.||The Arc 20 is a 20-watt solar panel paired with a 24,000mAh external battery designed specifically to charge large electronics, like laptops, on the go.||The X-Dragon 40W is the largest panel we tested and works relatively well for charging a laptop, though it is cumbersome and heavy.||For a rigid, efficient panel that is well-made and reliable, look no further than the 14W from Suntactics.|
|Rating Categories||Renogy 15,000mAh||BigBlue 28W||Voltaic Systems Arc 20W||X-Dragon 40W||Suntactics S-Charger 14|
|Charging Speed (30%)|
|Charge Interruption Recovery (20%)|
|Multiple Device Charging Speed (20%)|
|Weight & Portability (20%)|
|Specs||Renogy 15,000mAh||BigBlue 28W||Voltaic Systems...||X-Dragon 40W||Suntactics...|
|Panel Size (watts)||2W||28W||20W||40W||14W|
|Weight (measured)||9.5 oz||23.5 oz||26 oz||37 oz||20.5 oz|
|# of USB outlets||2||2||0||1||2|
|Max USB Output Current (amps per port)||2 amps||2 amp||1.1 amp||2.8 amps||2 amp|
|Size folded (inches)||6.3" x 3.1" 0.7"||11.1" x 6.3" x 1.3"||7.5" x 10" x .5"||10.43" x 6.3" x 2.76"||11.6" x 7.25" x 0.25"|
|Panel Type||Mono-crystalline||PET Polymer||Mono-crystalline||PET-Polymer||Mono-crystalline|
|Size opened (inches)||6.3" x 3.1" 0.7"||33.1" x 11.1" x 0.2"||34" x 10"x . .06"||35.2" x 18.1" x 0.04"||11.6" x 14.5" x 0.125"|
|Battery input (Volts / Amps)||5V 2A||n/a||5V 2A||n/a||n/a|
|Charge capacity (mAh)||15,000mAh||n/a||24,000mAh||n/a||2800mAh|
|Direct USB Plug?||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Warranty||1 year||2 years||2 years||2 year||5 years|
Our Analysis and Test Results
With relatively fast charging speeds, the Renogy 15,000mAh is a capable, compact panel that can keep devices going over a long weekend or when traveling.
Charge Interruption Recovery
This rating metric is a bit challenging to apply to small battery packs with integrated panels, like the 15,000. To attempt to use this battery pack as you would a traditional solar charger would result in frustration, as a 2W panel doesn't have the same charging capabilities as the X-Dragon 40W. We found it best to trickle charge the 15,000 via the power of the sun, when we were able to leave it out for hours. When taking this approach, charge interruption isn't an issue because your device will always be getting power from the battery itself, which is, in turn, getting refilled from the sun. The same can holds for the Qi 10,000mAh and the RavPower 25,000mAh.
The manufacturer recommends over 75 hours of sun exposure to charge this 15,000mAh battery. This information is good to keep in mind when considering the Renogy, as solar is more of a back-up method of charging. We found it best to fully charge the battery at home and then rely on solar power to trickle charge our devices when out and about. That said, the Renogy does charge quite fast, and it charged up our Google Pixel 3 phone from 0% to 23% in 30 minutes; we also got five full charges out of the Renogy before draining the battery. Compared to the Qi 10,000, which charged the same phone only 18% in the same amount of time, the Renogy performed better in this metric.
Multiple Device Charging Speed
With 15,000mAh of power, the 15,000 from Renogy has no trouble charging two devices at once, as long as the battery is mostly full. We were able to charge our Pixel 3 and a Kindle a decent amount (the phone 5% and the Kindle 9%) over a half-hour period. The RavPower 25,000 boasts a significantly larger battery, so it was able to charge multiple devices a quicker pace.
We were impressed with the durability and construction of the Renogy. The hard plastics used in the construction of this battery seem to be a little bit less durable than the soft silicone that encases the Qi and the RavPower battery packs. That said, we had no issues when it came to the durability of this panel, even when leaving it in the sun for hours.
Weight and Portability
It is in this metric that the 15,000 stands out against its competitors. Weighing in at 9.5 ounces, the Renogy is the lightest of the three battery pack/solar chargers in this review. The Qi weighs 10.6 ounces and the RavPower weighs a whopping 19 ounces. Though the RavPower is a more powerful battery, we found it to be too clunky and heavy to want to carry with us. The Renogy combines excellent output power with a lightweight, sleek profile. These facts make it our go-to for a battery pack with an integrated solar panel.
We loved this panel for traveling, as it fits in our carry-on luggage easily and kept our phone charged when we were away from power outlets in the airport or train station. We also found it handy to use the Renogy when traveling abroad, since it eliminated the need to find a converter for a power outlet.
Sold online for $35, the 15,000 is a reasonable investment if you are looking for a battery pack. We would recommend buying this product if you plan on fully charging it indoors and using the solar panel as a trickle-charge function. Don't buy this panel expecting it to charge your devices in the sun at a rapid rate.
Its simple design, charging ability, and low overall weight makes the Renogy 15,000 our go-to for a small, portable battery/panel combination. The Renogy kept our devices charged on train rides and in the airport. Like the other battery pack/panels in this review, it takes a significant amount of time (over 5 hours) to see any increase in battery level using only the solar panels, but it is effective to trickle charge devices with the panel in the sun. It is also reasonably priced and durable, making it a good purchase overall.
— Jane Jackson