Foldable Multi-Voltage Solar Panel Charges Two Devices at Once
Review by Erik Vlietinck
Powertraveller International Ltd. has released its new line of solar panel chargers, the Falcon series, with three models: the Falcon 7, Falcon 21, and Falcon 40. Of these, only the Falcon 7 lacks some features, such as the ability to charge multiple devices at once. The company sent me its Falcon 21 panel for this review.
The Falcon 21 is foldable, has SunPower cells, is splash proof (IPX4), and is made of polyester fabric. It comes in a nicely designed box that includes: a 2m DC cable; a 1m USB-C to USB cable; a female USB-C to male Micro USB adapter; a set of laptop tips; a female 12V in-car charging socket; and two carabiners (used to attach the Falcon from its metal eyeholes to backpacks, etc.).
The Falcon 21 charges two devices simultaneously, one of which has to be a 5V/3-amp maximum while the other can be a 20V/1-amp device. It can charge notebooks that draw up to 40W. The top-of-the-line Falcon 40 ($259) will charge three devices simultaneously. Neither the Falcon 21 nor the 40 charges the 80W MacBook Pro.
What immediately struck me when I opened the box was the attention to detail and quality of build. You can even store your tips and some cables inside the unit. The folded Falcon is small and lightweight at barely 30 cm length, weighing only 500g.
The SunPower cells allegedly produce 25–35% more power than conventional cells, although the large surface also has something to do with it. Even on a mildly overcast morning, my industrial multimeter measured a voltage output of well over 5V on the USB port.
I also set up an mAh output test and found the Falcon 21 to manage a continuous, almost non-fluctuating output, so you can also power—not just charge—devices that remain within its specs, including GoPros, iOS devices, car chargeable battery chargers, and more. ■