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Lifewire / Yoona Wagener
Effective solar power conversion
Not very lightweight
Overheats easily in direct sun
The WBPINE 24000mAh Solar Power Bank Review is an all-around superstar when it comes to battery life, solar charging ability, and portability all rolled into one relatively small package.
If you’re in the market for a portable solar power bank, then you want to find a device that maximizes power and efficiency. The two main factors are the battery size and the number and wattage of the solar panels. There are single-panel solar power banks with large batteries or even power banks with up to five solar panels that focus on solar energy conversion.
The WBPINE 24000mAh offers an attractive blend of battery and solar power. You get a massive battery, three capable solar panels, and a portable and durable design that makes this device great for extended outdoor use.
Weighing in at one pound, this solar power bank is definitely a little hefty. But that’s not a surprise given the massive 24000mAh lithium polymer battery. It resembles a smartphone in shape and dimensions, but because of the large battery and the two solar panels that fold out, the size is more comparable to three smartphones stacked on top of each other.
Stowing the panels for travel is easy. Simply fold them in and secure them with the convenient snap closure, sort of like a wallet. The manufacturer also supplies a carabiner that you can hook to the leather loop attached to the clasping mechanism. (With the carabiner attached, clasping the device together is a little more difficult.) Also, because of the weight of the product, we did find that the snap can easily come undone or get twisted up with motion.
The WBPINE 24000mAh offers an attractive blend of battery and solar power.
We did not carry it around with the solar panels unfolded, but if you have a larger pack, we think this is definitely a comfortable option. And because of the heavy-duty plastic and faux-leather materials, it definitely stands up to some jostling. We knocked it around a bit on rocks and grass and found it to be quite durable.
There’s a great built-in LED flashlight on the back of the device with three light modes: steady, SOS, and strobe. Operating this light is not as straightforward as pressing the button, which is another design hiccup we noticed—instead, you have to press and hold the power button for a second or two and then press it again to cycle through the other modes.
At the same end as the flashlight, you’ll find two USB 2.0 ports and one micro-USB port. They’re all protected by a cover that locks into place to keep out water and debris.
The power indicator panel is located around the corner from the USB ports. The green light means it’s picking up a charge, and the other four indicators (each representing 25% battery capacity) flash blue when charging or in need of a charge, or solid blue when powered. Because this panel is small and on the side of the device, it’s not as easy to read the charge level—but that’s probably not a huge concern when in motion.
The WBPINE 24000mAh features an Intelligent Protection System to keep the device safe from short-circuiting, but there’s no waterproof rating. We found light rain didn’t impact it too much, but the manufacturer also recommends avoiding submerging the device in water. Based on our experience with the power bank in a few seconds of heavy rain, we recommend keeping it dry as much as you can, and would caution against exposure to water other than light rain.
Out of the box, this solar power bank was about half charged. Though it’s possible to reach a full battery with a day or two of powerful sun, the manufacturer recommends plugging it in the first time for maximum charge capacity and for the best charging performance.
We followed the directions and plugged the device in to charge via the included micro-USB cord. The initial charge took seven hours.
After some use, we did test the WBPINE’s solar charging capacity. Stating with 0% charge, four hours in direct sun on a sunny day brought the device up to 25% (it did get very hot to the touch, however.)
Four hours in partial sun resulted in the same gain of about 25% charge. The manufacturer claims that it can fully charge over a 20- to 26-hour period. We experienced too much rainy weather to really be able to test that, but judging from just the more short-term tests we conducted, the solar charging function is one of the best aspects of this device.
After initially charging it on a power source, we maxed out the WBPINE solar power bank by testing out a few different devices including an iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone X, Kindle Fire, and Google Nexus 5X.
First, we gauged whether or not the charging speed was accurate. We took a reading of the device against each of these smartphones and tablets using a USB multimeter, which captured the voltage and amperage measurements. The manufacturer claims a charging speed of 5.V/2.1A, and that seemed to be pretty accurate.
The iPhone 6S Plus read at 5.04V/.89A and so did the Google Nexus 5X. The iPhone X came to 5.04V/.97A and the Kindle Fire’s charging speed read 5.02V/.96A.
Short bursts of sun can still do a lot to boost the battery.
In terms of actual charging time by device, the iPhone 6S Plus and iPhone X took about two hours, the Google Nexus 5X took just shy of three hours, and the Kindle Fire charged in four hours.
We also found the charging speed to be quite fast. In 30 minutes, the Kindle Fire went from 0% to 7% and the Google Nexus 5X reached 29%.
As for the average charging time of the WBPINE, we recharged it a total of three times and found the average complete charging time to be nine hours. That’s relatively slow, but the payoff is worth it since the battery will last for an impressive amount of time.
WBPINE claims that you could rely on this solar power bank for two weeks to charge cell phones. With adequate daily sun, this could probably very well be the case. Even our mix of sunny and cloudy weather over a week in the city showed that short bursts of sun can still do a lot to boost the battery.
On a single charge, we found that we could fully charge two phones, an Android tablet, and simultaneously bring up a phone from 0%-90% while also streaming media for three hours.
We also tested the battery capacity by attaching a drained Kindle Fire to the WBPINE and streaming YouTube videos until the charger ran out of juice. We found that we could easily rely on this power bank for nearly 11 hours of continuous use.
The WBPINE 24000mAh Solar Power Bank retails for $44.99, which isn’t bad considering the enormous battery. But there are options that offer a slightly larger battery for less, although with fewer solar panels. Others come with additional features like Qi wireless charging and a slightly larger battery for just a few dollars more. But if you want the battery and solar conversion power the WBPINE 24000mAh offers, we’d say this power bank is worth the price.
The Hiluckey 25000mAh Solar Charger is nearly a carbon copy of the WBPINE 24000mAH, except for a couple of big differences. The Hiluckey offers 1000mAh more in battery power and an extra solar panel for a few dollars more than the WBPINE. While this option does offer more solar power wattage, it also adds on more weight, which can be a drawback if you’re trying to keep your pack as light as possible.
Then there’s the Elzle 20000mAh Wireless Solar Charger, which offers a Qi Wireless charging bank in addition to three solar panels and a 20000mAh battery. For about the same price as the WBPINE, the Elzle offers two USB inputs plus wireless charging capabilities, which would allow you to charge a Qi-enabled smartphone and two other devices. It does have a smaller battery capacity, though, so if you don’t need the wireless charging ability, the WBPINE is the better option.
If you’re curious about other options, take a look at our guide on the best solar power chargers.
Provides stellar battery power and effective supplementary solar charging—a great charger for a trip off the grid.
Its durability leaves something to be desired (don’t leave it outside in any heavy rain), but for the average adventurer, the WBPINE 24000mAh will likely fit the bill as a charging source for smartphones and tablets on your next adventure off the beaten path.