We were excited to compare the popular Sokoo 22W to our other top-ranking large capacity panels. As it turns out, it's similar to others we've tested in the past but did not outshine our previous favorites for several reasons. Though it is heavy and not the most efficient of the 20W panels we tested, it is inexpensive and performs well. For car camping trips and other outdoor use where ounces are not a huge concern, it's a great option.
SOKOO 22W 5V Review
Cons: Heavy, slow to charge
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Our Analysis and Test Results
This folding, three-panel solar charger is efficient, durable, and similar in design to the majority of the other panels we've reviewed. The downside to the Sokoo is its weight, as it weighs in as one of the heaviest in the fleet. On the plus side, it performs decently well in intermittently sunny conditions and can charge small gadgets relatively quickly and efficiently.
Charge Interruption Recovery
The variable conditions found in the Southwestern desert in the springtime made great opportunities to test these its 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.
To further test the Sokoo's performance in this metric, we plugged it into a battery pack and intermittently covered it for 30 minutes. Most panels could hardly hold a charge during this test, but the Sokoo managed to charge our battery pack from 24% to 26%.
The Sokoo 22W charged our small electronics with ease. From iPhones to external batteries of varying sizes, it had very few problems when it came to efficient charging. Over a 30-minute period, it charged an iPhone 6 from 22% to 51%. 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.
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.
Like almost every other panel in this review, the Sokoo 22W is designed to be relatively weatherproof and durable. The outside of the panel is covered in a canvas covering, and the panels themselves were able to endure multiple testing periods. The panel does get hot when exposed to the sun for longer periods of time, but the USB ports are protected by a pocket, which adds to the overall durability of the panel.
Weight & Portability
This metric is one where the Sokoo did not impress. Very few visible details set apart the majority of these portable panels, so weight is a way to separate the best panels from the mediocre options. The Sokoo is one of the heavier panels in our fleet, weighing around five ounces more than most of the three-paneled chargers we tested.
The Sokoo is one of the least expensive 20W panels we tested. If cost is a concern, but you're looking for a panel that will charge your gadgets quickly, or in marginal conditions, the Sokoo is a good choice.
The Sokoo is a decent panel; it was neither our top pick nor the worst panel in the fleet. Its positive attributes are its efficiency and cost, while its downsides are its weight and inability to charge multiple devices at once. The panel is durable and well made but did not perform well enough to top any charts.
— Jane Jackson