We checked – Xtorm Solar Booster 21 Watts solar mat
We often feel like getting away for a trip to the mountains or the woods to forget about everyday life and the electronic devices that constantly accompany us. However, there are situations when we use not only a cell phone, but also a camera, a camcorder or a headlamp during a few days’ outing. When we don’t have access to electricity during our trip, power banks and solar panels come to the rescue. Here are some insights from using the Xtorm Solar Booster, a handy panel that can meet our basic electricity needs.
Xtorm Solarbooster 21 Watt solar mat
Construction and size
The Solar Booster 21 mat by Xtorm looks very positive from the start. It is handy – when folded it takes up the dimensions – 320×155 mm; thickness is only 35 mm. Consists of 3 panels – the whole takes up 630×320 mm when unfolded. The weight of the mat is 425 g. The materials from which it is made look decent, and the whole thing is very aesthetically pleasing.
A cube is attached to one of the panels, equipped with 2 USB sockets (1x USB-C 5V/3A, 1x USB-A 5V/2.4A). Also located here is a display where we can check the amperage (in Amps) that the mat generates.
As the manufacturer assures, the mat uses high-end solar panels made with SunPower technology (encased in a 600D nylon shell). For the performance of the mat and the safety of the charged devices – in terms of overcharging or/and overheating – is responsible for the A PM – chip. The chip also provides charging power balancing when 2 devices are connected.
Xtorm Solarbooster 21 Watt solar mat
I had the pleasure of using the mat for several summer weeks. The summer sun, of course, makes the task easier and ensures greater performance of the device. I tested the mat both at home and during a vacation trip. I tested charging on a Samsung A70 smartphone (4500 mAh), a Samsung TabS2 tablet (5870 mAh), and a Sony RX10 II digital camera (1080 mAh battery). In addition, I used a power bank also Xtorm Power Bank Rugged 10.000 (which, by the way, also performed very well – not only charging devices, but making evening camping life easier with a built-in flashlight).
The right angle of the sun and its „power” affects the performance of the mat – test Xtorm Solar Booster 21 Watt (photo. outdoormagazine.pl)
As I mentioned you can directly connect 2 devices to the mat. Charging time as well as the current obtained by the mat depends on the prevailing solar conditions. In Croatia, of course, blue skies and strong sun is not difficult, nevertheless, during the 2-3 hours needed to charge, you need to carefully choose the right place where you set the mat – simply predict whether the mat will not be in the shade during the coming hours. The highest efficiency of the mat is obtained when it is placed at an angle of approx. 45 degrees to the sun. This makes it necessary to change its position from time to time – of course, if you want the charging to be as fast and efficient as possible.
The right angle of the sun’s rays and their „power” affects the performance of the mat. We can control the current intensity on the display. According to the manufacturer, the maximum value is 3.4 A. I have never managed to get more than 2.4 A. The best performance – in strong sunlight – oscillated in the range of 1.8 – 2.0 A. In September, in „Polish” sunshine it was approx. 1.1 – 1.4 A.
You can directly connect 2 devices to the mat – test Xtorm Solar Booster 21 Watt (photo. outdoormagazine.pl)
In my experience, laying the mat at the right angle without a dedicated rack (the manufacturer does not supply one and, as far as I know, does not provide one) is not at all that easy. The mat is collapsible, so when we put it on a backpack, stands etc. it quickly loses its proper shape, not to mention that the rotation of the Earth… and after several minutes you have to move it again and rearrange it again.
An additional note on usage is related to the pocket on the back of one of the panels – you can slip into it, for example, a. charged phone. In my experience, this should be avoided. On a hot day, the phone tucked into this pocket while charging got very hot – better to put the charged device next to it in an airy, sheltered from the sun (as far as the length of the cable allows).
The mat I tested was supposed to charge the aforementioned devices, and I must admit that this test passed very well – test Xtorm Solar Booster 21 Watt (fot. outdoormagazine.pl)
The mat I tested was to charge the mentioned devices, and I must say that this test passed very well. After 2-4 hours (depending on the conditions) the batteries of your phone, camera or power bank were charged. Small size, weight and good quality materials are other pluses of the Xtorm product. The mat provided me with a kind of independence „energy independence”, well, and to some extent – which is not insignificant – reduced the holiday carbon footprint. I recommend!