Hands-on Gear Review

SOKOO 22W 5V Review

Price:  $50 List
Pros:  Inexpensive, works well for small devices, decent performance in cloudy conditions
Cons:  Heavy, slow to charge
Bottom line:  The Sokoo 22W is a reasonably priced panel that can charge devices with relative speed, but lacks the efficiency of other large-capacity panels we reviewed.
Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Battery kit?:  No
Weight (measured):  18.7oz
Panel Size (watts):  22W
Manufacturer:   SOKOO

Our Verdict

We were excited to compare the popular Sokoo 22W to our other top-ranking large capacity panels. As it turns out, the Sokoo was quite similar to panels like the Anker 21 and the X-Dragon 20 but did not outshine our previous favorites for a number of reasons. It is slightly heavier and slightly less powerful than similar panels from other brands. The panel is reasonably priced, though, and makes for a good option for those on a budget looking for a 20W panel.



RELATED REVIEW: The Best Portable Solar Panels and Chargers of 2018


Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Jane Jackson

Last Updated:
Thursday
May 3, 2018

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This folding, three-panel solar charger is efficient, durable, and quite similar in design to the majority of the other panels we have reviewed. The downside to the Sokoo is its weight, as it weighs in as the second heaviest panel in this review. On the plus side, the Sokoo performs decently well in intermittently sunny conditions, and can charge small gadgets relatively quickly and efficiently.

This small tab is meant to attach a carabiner to for hanging. We could not find any use for this.
This small tab is meant to attach a carabiner to for hanging. We could not find any use for this.

Performance Comparison


Charge Interruption Recovery


The variable conditions found in the Southwestern desert in the springtime made great opportunities to test these panels' ability to charge in less-than-ideal weather. We placed the Sokoo 22W in the sun on a partly cloudy day and monitored it as it charged our small test battery. In this weather, the Sokoo charged on and did not disconnect from the battery, even after brief periods of shade. The Anker 21W performed similarly in partly cloudy conditions.

To further test the Sokoos performance in this metric, we plugged it into a battery pack and intermittently covered it over a 30-minute period. Most panels could hardly hold a charge during this test, but the Sokoo managed to charge our battery pack from 24% to 26%. Other high scoring panels in this category were the Anker 21W, the Instapark Mercury 10W, and the X-Dragon 40W.

The Sokoo struggles to charge our small battery in cloudy conditions.
The Sokoo struggles to charge our small battery in cloudy conditions.

Charging Speed


Overall, the Sokoo 22W charged our small electronics with ease. From iPhones to external batteries of varying sizes, the Sokoo had very few problems regarding efficient charging. Over a 30-minute period, the Sokoo charged an iPhone 6 from 22% to 51%, or 29%. Compare this to our Editor's Choice award winner, the Anker 21W, which was able to charge the same phone 33% in the same amount of time. This is a fairly small difference, but because these panels are all so similar, the small details add up! We also plugged the Sokoo into our external test battery and timed it as it charged from 0% to 9% over the course of the 30-minute period. This performance was a bit underwhelming compared to the other 20W panels we tested, like the PowerGreen 21, which had charged the same battery to 13%, or the Anker 21W which had charged our battery 21% in 30 minutes.

Similar in overall size to the majority of the 20W panels we tested  the Sokoo weighs significantly more than most other options.
Similar in overall size to the majority of the 20W panels we tested, the Sokoo weighs significantly more than most other options.

Multiple Device Charging Speed


Once we plugged two battery packs into the Sokoo 22W, we noticed that the panel slowed down significantly. With one battery, it delivered a steady charge when placed in full sun, but with two batteries it hardly charged either over the course of an afternoon. This was unsurprising, as we noticed similar trends among all the other 20W panels we tested. Even our powerhouse panel, the X-Dragon 20W was unable to successfully charge two batteries at once. If this is an essential feature for you, check out the X-Dragon 40W, which is large enough to be able to charge multiple devices at once with relative ease.

The storage pocket keeps you cords organized and protects the dual USB ports on the Sokoo 22W.
The storage pocket keeps you cords organized and protects the dual USB ports on the Sokoo 22W.

Durability


Like almost every other panel in this review, the Sokoo 22W is designed to be relatively weather-proof and durable. The outside of the panel is covered in a canvas covering and the panels themselves were able to endure our 3-month test period. The panel does get hot when exposed to the sun for a long time, but the USB ports are protected by a pocket, which adds to the overall durability of the panel. This is similar to the design of the Anker 15W, the Instapark Mercury 10W, and the Anker 21W panels.

A close-up of the Sokoo solar cells shows the plastic coating that protects the cells themselves.
A close-up of the Sokoo solar cells shows the plastic coating that protects the cells themselves.

Weight & Portability


This metric is one where the Sokoo did not impress. There are very few visible details that set apart the majority of these portable panels, so weight is a way to separate the best panels from the mediocre options. The Sokoo 22W was the third-heaviest panel we tested, following the X-Dragon 40W and the iClever BoostCel 12W (which has a built-in battery). The X-Dragon is triple the size and thus much heavier. We were surprised to see that the Sokoo weighed around 5 ounces more than all the other 3-paneled chargers we tested. Compared to the Editor's Choice award winner, the Sokoo weighed 3 ounces more.

A close-up of the Sokoo solar cells shows the plastic coating that protects the cells themselves.
A close-up of the Sokoo solar cells shows the plastic coating that protects the cells themselves.


Best Application


The Sokoo is a good option for folks looking for a large-capacity panel that is reasonably priced. Though it is heavy and not the most efficient of the 20W panels we tested, it is inexpensive and performs decently well. For car camping trips and other outdoor use where ounces are not a huge concern, the Sookoo is a good option.

The Sokoo is both slightly larger and slightly heavier than the other 20W panels we reviewed in the past.
The Sokoo is both slightly larger and slightly heavier than the other 20W panels we reviewed in the past.

Value


Sold online for $50, the Sokoo is the least expensive 20W panel we tested. Compared to the X-Dragon 20, the Sokoo is half the cost. In comparison to our favorite, the Anker 21, the Sokoo is $15 cheaper. If cost is a concern, but you are still looking for a panel that will charge your gadgets quickly, or in marginal conditions, the Sokoo makes a good choice.

Conclusion


To wrap it up, the Sokoo was a decent panel, neither our top pick nor the worst panel we tested. Its positive attributes are its efficiency and cost, while its downsides are its weight and its inability to charge multiple devices at once. The panel is durable and well made but did not perform well enough to win any awards.

Jane Jackson

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Most recent review: May 3, 2018
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
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  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 100%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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