GADGETS | Reliable Power for Camping from The HUBi 10k Solar Power Hub – Long Term Test

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HUBi 10K Solar Power Kit

What is it?

HUBi 10k Solar Hub lighting & power system
RRP £215

Stockists

Technical specification

  • 20w Solar Panel
  • Solar Panel Stand
  • 2 x LUMi 12v lights and mounting hooks
  • Main HUBi 10A unit
  • All connecting cables
  • Two year worldwide warranty
  • We tested the HUBi 10k priced at around £200

HUBi 10k solar power camping

The Lowdown

First impressions on unboxing, is that the HUBi 10k is a serious bit of kit, but It’s intuitive and easy to set up and use; just plug the hub into the large sturdy solar panel, position the solar panel in the best location to catch the sun and you’re ready to go.

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I’ve long been a fan of solar power as we never camp with an electric hook up, so I have a plethora of solar fairy lights and lanterns, and I also have a Freeloader iSiS solar power charger. The HUBi however is in a completely different league.

Unlike my existing charger which will provide approximately 2 full charges of my phone and 1 full charge of my iPod, the HUBi promises to deliver 15 full smartphone charges and up to 8 full charges of a tablet. Pretty impressive stuff.

HUBI solar panel for campingThe Hubi solar panel outside of the tent

One of the two LUMi lights that came with our HUBi

There are a number of different power output sockets on the front of the hub, including a 12v and 2 USB sockets, all of which we found incredibly useful as the vast majority of our devices are powered by USB.

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The hub itself, which contains the battery, can be linked to up to 2 more hubs, providing potentially triple the power, though with the ability to charge a smartphone up to 15 times on a full charge (it takes between 7 and 10 hours to charge in normal weather conditions), for our needs, the HUBi 10k delivered plenty of power.

HUBI in our bell tentThe Hubi outside our bell tent

hubi-solar-charger-02LUMi light hung up inside our tent

We initially tested the HUBi over 5 days camping at the end of April in the UK. We have since used it on every single camping trip we’ve taken since getting it in 2015, and our verdict remains the same. It’s a super bit of kit if you like to stay connected and want reliable light for your tent and power for your smartphone and tablet.

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Using my HUBiThe solar panel outside my tent on a recent camping trip (April 2018)

Pros

  • We love the fact that you can add expansions to increase the capacity further by daisy-chaining hubs to each other.
  • Great range of accessories, we particularly like the bright, LUMi lights that come with it, it was very novel having such good lighting in the tent and not feeling like we needed to hurry along our evening reading in order to save power.
  • There are two different kits to choose from, depending on your budget and requirements, the HUBi 2k at £99 and the HUBi 10k at £179.
  • The solar panel comes with an adjustable stand so it’s easy to angle the panel to make the most of available sunlight.
  • 2 USB sockets and a 12v socket make the HUBi versatile, and perfect for charging all of our appliances (iPod, phone, tablet and speakers).
  • We didn’t have to worry about using our electrical devices as we usually do, and could spend as much time as we wanted using our phones, tablet and iPod.
  • The power never dipped below 3 bars, and it very quickly went back up to 4 (full power).
  • Charges relatively quickly from flat in about a day and even charges well on bright but cloudy days.

Cons

  • A carry case would make life much easier for campers needing to regularly transport it and I think it’s crazy that 3 years on, it still doesn’t come with or even have an optional carry case.
  • We were disappointed that our existing 12v air pump wouldn’t run off the HUBi.
  • The sockets that connect the LUMi lights into the hub are quite flimsy, and can fall out with ease if you happen to brush past it.
  • Having had my HUBi 10k since 2015, I’ve recently found out that the battery typically lasts around 3 years, though in some cases it can last longer. Replacing the battery costs £60.

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The verdict

We can’t recommend the HUBi 10k enough, for longer camping trips it’s incredibly practical and delivers dependable power, which was more than sufficient for our moderate usage needs. It’s easy to use, sturdy and delivers.

Due to me not reading the instructions properly, I made the unit cut out. It confused me and I didn’t know what I’d done until I actually read the instructions (ahem), so once I’d stopped trying to plug in a 12v pump that was too powerful for the HUBi 10k to cope with, it worked like a dream and meant we didn’t have to worry at all about using any of our devices whilst we were away.

HUBi 10k solar power kit for campingAfter 3 years of use, my battery takes a little longer to charge, but is still in full working order

It’s a superb bit of kit with some minor niggles but for the past 3 years we’ve used ours on every single camping trip and it’s been invaluable. We have a lot of friends who camp and several have since purchased the HUBi 10k and have reported back at how happy they are with their purchase.

Even when considering the average battery life of 3 years, we still think this is the ultimate camping gadget and we simply wouldn’t be without ours.

We love this!Where to buy the HUBi 10k

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Thank you to solartechnology.co.uk who supplied the HUBi for us to review.

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