Renogy E.Flex 5W Portable Solar Panel Review

Categories: Review and Solar PV Panels.

The Renogy E.Flex 5W Portable Solar Panel  is a robust, waterproof and dust proof USB portable solar panel for emergency use, outdoor camping and travelling. 

Renogy E.Flex 5W Portable Solar

Renogy E.Flex 5W

The Renogy E.Flex 5W Plus is the perfect companion to the off-grid traveler.

With a water-resistant & durable exterior, this panel can go anywhere you want to go!

Product Description Of Renogy E.Flex 5W

Renogy E.Flex 5W Plus uses automatic charge optimization to recover from reduced power that is caused by shade.

When you're back in the sun your Renogy E.Flex 5W Plus will automatically determine your charging requirements.

Also, the Renogy E.Flex 5W Plus comes with two carabineers & four suction cups for mounting.

You can charge any portable USB device with this portable solar power source!


Features

  • Product Dimensions              10.3 x 6.3 x 0.2 inches
  • Item Weight                              5.6 ounces
  • Shipping Weight                      1.06 pounds

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • This panel could work very well for use in a car when camping
  • On a sunny day the Renogy E.Flex 5W Plus can charge a 3000mAH external battery from 0 to 100% in about 6 hours
  • On a sunny day, if angled towards the sun, this panel would charge a Nexus 5 as quickly as a wall charger
  • It is stiff and robust so no worries putting it in a backpack
  • After 5hr hiking on a sunny day with the 5W attached to a backpack the charge of a phone with 3000mAh battery is about 20% 
  • This panel would charge to 100% for the same battery in a stationary position. Use a strategy of charging a USB battery at the camp from the stationary cell while the sun shines, and charging your electronics from the battery at night

Cons:

  • The port on the back of the panel is not water proof. If you are using this device outside in the elements then the dusty, wet, muddy or salty environment will get onto the panel and into the USB port, so be prepared to clean them
  • No pocket for your gadget being charged
  • E.Flex 5W Plus is magazine size panel but only has one USB port
  • t’s difficult to get a charge on the go, or moving about, even when attached to the top of a backpack

Customer Questions

Question: What is the difference between the Renogy E.Flex 5W and 5W Plus models?

  • The 5W uses regular monocrystalline cells (18% efficient) while the 5W Plus uses premium monocrystalline cells (22% efficient)

Question: Are the panels rigid, or are they flexible?

  • The panels are rigid with very little flex between the folding panels

Question: Can this be used to power a 5w wireless camera? Is this charger water resistant? Can it be placed outdoors?

  • The 5W solar panel will produce peak amperage of 0.96 Amps.  This would not be enough to power your camera. The panel does not have a battery or a way to store power.

Question: How much does the 5W model weigh? 

  • Renogy E.Flex5W Plus weight is 5.6 oz.

Customer Feedback

Most customers gave the device a good rating. 

Here are some of the comments:

  • "I've been pretty happy with this charger so far. It's done a good job of charging iPads, phones and the external power pack battery. It travels well. The loops for tying the panel down work well. When folded up, I believe the case will protect it from rough handling."
  • "I've used Renogy E.Flex 5W Plus in light rain and on a kayak. The panel can get wet but not the charge port to keep performance."
  • My complaint is about delamination occurring in the top layer of the PV laminate. Some bubbles have appeared under the plastic. The cable for the USB plug should be more robust.
  • I've taken this charger on camping and backpacking trips. My phone screen lights up every time the charger panel moves from sun to shade or back again when hiking. This makes my phone discharge faster than if the screen stayed off. With a battery bank this is not a problem. When I get to camp I normally plug my phone directly to the panel, provided that the sun is still out and there is no tree cover.


Recommendation

The Renogy E.Flex 5W Plus is a portable Solar Charger panel giving a solar backup capacity for small devices and battery.

However, if you want something more robust you might consider buying an external battery pack to keep you charged when the sun isn't shining. 

Some customers say it’s a great unit and highly recommend it.

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