Our lives currently revolve around modern communication technologies and we have to spend a lot of time tethered to stationary outlets charging various devices. This can be a hindrance to our other favorite activities like camping, backpacking, hiking or just sitting out in the backyard.
To help set you free, or just give you a way to charge a device in the great outdoors, we’ve pulled together a list of the best solar chargers out there.
If you are wondering whether a portable solar charger works or want to know how it actually works, we have put together this article to detail all you need to know about portable solar chargers.
How long do Portable Solar Chargers last?
Most portable solar chargers on the market have about 300 to 400 charges before they “die.” If you plan to use your charger every day for a year, it will take about one to one and a half years to be obsolete.
Armed with the above details, you must ask yourself which portable solar is the best. Nonetheless, we must emphasize that chargers using solar power are more of a novelty item in the home (more useful in camping and emergency situations as mentioned at the beginning of this article) than real long-term utility in saving energy and money.
Are they worth it?
Solar charging wins us over with the promise of freedom-free from wall outlets and power bills, juicing batteries and smartphones by soaking up the rays of the sun.
These portable solar chargers tend to fall into three styles: Power banks that have a solar panel attached, stand-alone solar panels for charging outdoors, and a few options that combine these two, pairing larger fold-out panels with a power bank.
Smaller power banks may be more convenient for on-the-go use, but any solar capacity provided by placing a single panel on a portable battery’s face will be reduced. Solar power banks can recharge entirely by sunshine, but that can take up to a week of sunny days to do so. Such power backups are instead intended to be used like any other power bank, but exposing the charged bank to regular sunlight will help keep the battery topped off.
Best Portable Solar Chargers 2022:
You will be better served by one of many solar charging panels, which provide more surface area and more efficient power generation, for serious charging when in nature. In a matter of hours, these portable panels can charge a phone or tablet, and most are built to stick to the outside of a backpack, so you can charge phones or cameras while hiking.
Whether you want to keep your phone battery full or charge up your tablet, these are the top solar chargers on the market in 2022.
- Dizual Portable Solar Phone Charger.
- Anker 15W Dual USB Solar Phone Charger.
- RAV Power 24W Solar Phone Charger.
- X-DRAGON 40W Sunpower Solar Panel Charger
- SunJack 20W Solar Charger Power Bank.
- Jetsun Solar Power Bank LED Torch Light.
- CXLLY Portable Solar Power Bank w/ Flashlight.
- GoalZero Nomad 7 Plus Solar Panel
- BigBlue 5V 28W Solar Charger
- BioLite SolarPanel 5+
Reviews of the Best Portable Solar Chargers in 2022:
The Dizaul 5000mAh portable solar power bank is the perfect solution to keep your smartphone charged with an ultra-portable build. With double USB ports, sharing with a partner and charging two devices at the same time is simple enough. Luckily, the water-resistant construction and shock-proof packaging make it easy to fly and add to a carry-on bag outside (there is a hook included).
An emergency flashlight helps you find any lost items quickly, and the smart LED indicators alert you when charging the battery or requiring a recharge. Charging a smartphone takes about two hours, and the Dizaul’s AC charging time is about six to seven hours (it takes about two days of sunlight to recharge completely due to the smaller solar panel surface).. It measures 2.76 x 5.59 x .55 inches.
Other noteworthy features include:
- It is made from eco-friendly silicone rubber and ABS + PC material as well as rubber surface paint operation
- Its football grain design has an anti-skid protective effect. This water-resistant design ensures that the device works efficiently when it rains
- It has a shock-proof feature that ensures that the device works properly even when it falls or drops
- With the free anchor included, you can hang it on your backpack for long flights, road trips, biking, fishing, or something that’s easy to carry and solar charging.
- The USB ports are well protected by rubber caps, to further keep them away from water and safe to charge smartphones, tablets, or any other 5V USB-charged devices.
2. Anker 15 W Dual USB Solar Phone Charger.
The Anker 15 W Dual USB is an excellent device that is able to maximize on its charging potential. It delivers exceptional results that will give you one of the best experiences out there. Anker 15 W device has a very versatile and flexible design that makes it ideal for many users. More importantly, the Anker designers went out of their way to make sure that the device is especially useful when it comes to outdoor activity and adventure.
Your needs as an outdoor adventurer are ‘in-built’ in the design and this delivers a device that can easily be used to make any camping, hiking, or exploration session more enjoyable. One of the most noticeable features of the Anker 15 W Dual USB tool is its ability to convert a significant amount of solar energy into useable power. It is able to convert up to 21.5 to 23.5 percent efficiency, which means that you can charge up to two different devices from its USB plug-ins.
Furthermore, it is also very light in weight. At only 12.5 ounces, it will barely make a difference when it comes to travel weight and won’t take up much more space than a sheet of paper when it isn’t in use. However, while these benefits are impressive, they are not the only ones that the Anker 15 W Dual USB tool has to offer.
If you spend a considerable amount of time outdoors, you will be happy to know that Anker designers made sure that their design was able to withstand rough conditions and you are in good shape should you be caught in an unexpected rainstorm. You take great comfort in the fact that the device is weatherproofed and water-resistant.
3. RAV Power 24W Solar Phone Charger.
You are in good company if you choose this other best quality portable device, the Solar RAVPower 24W Panel. For sure, you are in for a hassle-free experience in your adventures as this device leads the industry in innovation and convenient technology. This device will serve anyone who needs a portable device that they can rely on. However, because of its unique design and impressive features, it is especially beneficial for those who participate in outdoor activities and adventures. If you often find yourself backpacking, hiking, or camping, this is the best portable solar energy device for you. The Solar RAVPower 24W Panel works to take all the needs of an outdoor adventurer into consideration and works to provide an experience that is unparalleled by similar devices.
This foldable waterproof travel charger is designed to provide power for your phones and tablets in the city or out at the campsite.
The RAVPower’s folding design provides a compact way to carry four high-efficiency solar cells, offering more power output and faster solar charging then the vast majority of simple solar-power banks. The device folds up into a tidy package that weighs 21 ounces, and the charger’s built-in trio of USB outputs will let you charge multiple devices at once. And for more convenience, there’s an integrated zippered pocket that lets you stow charging cables.
4. X-DRAGON 40W Sunpower Solar Panel Charger
The X-Dragon offers ample power at 2.8A (Amps) capable of re-charging smartphones, tablets and even some smaller laptops. Built-in to the X-Dragon is a 5V/2A charging port for a 5V gadget and a 18V DC output (18V/2A) for charging a laptop or other 18V powered devices.
Even with all that extra juice, it doesn’t mean the device is huge; the X-Dragon maintains a slim and foldable profile that’s easy to carry around. It can go in or on a backpack with the included carabiner that hooks directly to a bag. The 10-in-1 connector cables enable it to charge just about any type of device, while the incorporation of SolarIQ technology helps achieve the appropriate current and voltage to deliver max power. Ultimately, the X-Dragon is an ideal combination of portability and power that can keep you going for days.
5. SunJack 20W Solar Charger Power Bank
If you are looking for a great portable energy solution for car camping trips and stationary campsites, the SunJack 20 Watt Solar Panel Charger which comes with 2 x 8000 mAh fast-charging batteries is one great choice. You can get a full charge in just 6 hours, which is a viable solution for many camper’s needs.
The SunJack 20 Watt product includes four solar panels (each the size of a Kindle), two fast charging batteries, two USB cords, and a power splitter so you can charge two batteries at once. The batteries are capable of powering 5V devices including iPads, smartphones, and Kindles, but not a laptop. Each battery also has two USB output jacks and one input jack so you can recharge two devices simultaneously while recharging the battery, which is awesome when we’re in camp.
The lithium-ion batteries and cables provided with the SunJack 20W are also faster changing than the other USB batteries I own because they’re rated for 2 amps instead of 1 amp. I’ve tried switching in different USB batteries and different USB cords I own, but they take over twice as long to charge.
The benefit of having the pair of batteries hooked up to the solar panel is that you can store twice as much power without having to switch in a new battery. This is very handy when we’re away from camp all day. The two batteries stow away in a pocket on the back of the panel for easy storage when the unit is hung outside or folded up for storage. However, if you travel with other USB cords, you do need to be careful not to switch them with the fast-charging SunJack power cords because they are indistinguishable.
6. Jetsun Solar Power Bank LED Torch Light
If you are an avid outdoor camper, Jetsun Solar Power Bank LED Torch Light is designed with you in mind. Jetsun’s portable solar charger is ready to help you out with all your power needs, thanks to a 16,750mAh battery and compact solar panel. With dual USB output ports, it’s easy enough to charge a smartphone and other portable devices that might come in handy during nights in the woods. A built-in LED light helps it serve dual purposes as a nightlight and shows you the amount of charge left in the power bank. The shell consists of wear-resistant plastic and is waterproof, shockproof and dustproof. Taking around 8 to 10 hours to fully charge, the Jetsun can charge a smartphone from 0 to 100 percent in around two hours. Overall it’s portable, durable and can hang on a backpack and charge while you’re on the move.
- It has a high energy capacity: It comes with a 16750 mAh power bank equipped with a compact solar panel. The solar charging function will bring you a slim chance of survival once in power shortage
- It comes with a dual solar charger USB port. These USB Ports are enabled to transmit power to 2 devices simultaneously, portable cell phone charger, a great travel backup battery
- Possesses a bright LED light : These 2 built-in LED torches can lighten your night when going for an outdoor camping as well as 4 LED indicator lights that show at any time the control power
- It is specifically designed for outdoor camping. The portable solar charger’s shell is made outdoor wear-resistant plastic, shockproof, dustproof and metal hook for hands-free or hang it on backpack wherever you go
- It has a lifetime warranty for features such as Overcharge protection and Rain-splash resistance.
7. CXLLY Portable Solar Power Bank w/ Flashlight.
CXLLY Portable Solar charger’s easy to use USB ports 3 Outputs which could be share to your companions and additionally two Inputs that can be charged by either Android Port or IPhone Port. Great, Portable Charger Solar Power Bank 25000Mah and Waterproof Batter Pack For iPad, iPhone and Samsung Galaxy
LED light can be utilized for brightening and SOS light. The 2 Color lights with quick frequency can be utilized for Emergency lights likewise, the blue lights can disclose to you left power naturally.
- It has a large capacity power bank. The 25000mAh large capacity could charge your smartphone about 5 times and iPad air about 3 times. Its 3 outputs could also charge 3 devices at the same time.
- Comes with Solar Charger For Outside Emergency. The solar panel could absorb light and transfer it into electricity, but it is an auxiliary function that is only for emergencies when you are in outdoor activities. Normally, we suggest you charge it via outlet.
- It has Multiple Flashlights Of Battery Pack. The Bright LED flashlight will be very helpful outside at night. SOS lights (blue and red) will give you some help while meeting an emergency. Long press the switch and the LED flashlight will turn on. If you want to turn on the SOS color light, please double-click the switch, then double-click the switch to turn off the light.
- Has 3 Output and 2 Input Ports Backup Battery. The power bank has 3 output ports, 5V/2A, 5V/1A, 5V/2A, and 2 input ports, one apple phone input, one micro-USB input. You could use either input port to charge the power bank. No worry about your phone dead.
8. GoalZero Nomad 7 Plus Solar Panel
The GoalZero Nomad 7 Plus is a portable solar panel designed to go anywhere you want to go. With a rugged design that’s made for attaching to a backpack or hanging outside a tent, the Nomad 7 Plus is as popular for on-the-go charging of phones and tablets as it is for backpackers needing power for headlamps and GPS units.
The rugged design is made of sturdy plastic and features an optional kickstand that lets you prop it up for optimal sunlight exposure, whether you’re using it in the park, on a mountain, or just in your office window sill. The Nomad 7 Plus features several convenient features, such as an automatic shut-off that stops charging when the device is fully charged, an LED indicator that displays solar strength to get the best placement for capturing rays, and power output up to 7 watts through USB.
- Charge phones and USB devices directly from the sun, featuring a dynamic auto-restart and intelligent electronics that optimize output to match the device. Best used to direct charge phones, Small devices, and 10-30 watt rechargers
- An Easy-to-read LED indicator displays the strength of solar conditions. Receive immediate feedback on panel-to-sun placement to improve solar charging experience
- A detachable kickstand provides optimum angle placement, natural shade for charging devices and a vented pocket for temperature regulation. Weatherproof layering easily sloughs rain and snow
- The Nomad 7 Plus features an auto restart that s smarter than anything else on the market. With the ability to track power flow history, The Nomad 7 Plus knows the difference between a device that has reached a fully charged state and one that disconnects due to environmental causes, I. E. Lack of sunlight, shadow, etc
- Works with switch 10 charge time is 4 to 6 hours, flip 10 charge time is 2. 5 to 5 hours, guide 10 charge time is 3 to 6 hours, flip 20 charge time is 5 to 10 hours and Venture 30 charge time is 8 to 16 hours
9. BigBlue 5V 28W Solar Charger
With the BigBlue Solar Charger, you’ll always be powered and can never find yourself caught off-guard by low battery levels on your computer or smartphone, no matter if you’re tackling adventures or just navigating the demands of the day-to-day. Small and light (it measures just over a pound and can be folded to the size of a magazine), it’s easy to pack, but its size doesn’t stop it from producing a great deal of power, offering a 21.5 to 23.5 percent solar efficiency. Thanks to two 2.4 A ports and one 1A port, you can charge three devices at the same time, and all the ports are covered by a cloth flap and rubber cover to protect them from dust or water damage. It is compatible with a variety of Apple and Android devices, and the polymer surface protects the entire charger from occasional rain and fog. When hiking under trees or when you encounter cloudy conditions, the device will automatically stop, restarting once it’s back in the sun.
- Easy To Carry: With compact size (11.1 × 6.3× 1.3in folded or 33.1 × 11.1× 0.2in opened) and lightweight (20.6 oz) design, BigBlue foldable solar charger panel bag is small and light enough to fit into any camping backpack, hiking daypack, or emergency kit.
- Triple USB Ports Power: 2 USB charging ports( Each is 5V/2.4A Max) with smart technology which can recognize your device smartly then provide optimal charging speed varying with different devices. The 3 USB ports can offer the total current at 5V/3.4A Max. CE/ FCC/ RoHS certificated, BigBlue ensures 100% safe charging with overcharging, overheating, and short circuit protection.
- High Energy Conversion: Highly efficient SunPower panels convert up to 21.5-23.5% of solar power into free energy in enough sunlight. This special PET polymer surface protects it from occasional rain or wet Fog and all the ports are covered by a cloth flap and rubber cover to protect them from dust or water damage.
- Wide Compatibility: Attached Micro USB cable for almost all Android devices & some DSLRs, or Apple devices (needs extra original cable). Note: our solar charger isn’t fit the laptops, It needs to know the related Parameters of your devices before be charged.
10. BioLite SolarPanel 5+
Though there are several portable solar panels on the market, the BioLite SolarPanel 5+ is one of the few to come with its own built-in battery, letting you soak up the sun during the day, and save some of that power for charging at night.
The clever design incorporates a 2200mAh integrated rechargeable battery and 360-degree kickstand. But the Biolite solar panel also has a handy sundial on the front to help you find the best position for the free-standing panel. The charging panel is also weather-resistant, with a tough protective layer on the panel and covers to keep moisture out of the unit’s USB output and micro USB charging port.
- High-efficiency monocrystalline solar-panel with 5 watt USB output to power phones, tablets, cameras, as well as BioLite gear
- Optimal Sun System: Integrated sundial aligns your panel to capture direct rays for maximum charge and 360 degree kickstand provides easy positioning on uneven terrain or hanging from trees and tents
- 2200mAh integrated rechargeable battery so your power is available even when the sun goes down, and micro USB Charge Input allows you to get a head start on your power by filling up the battery at home
- Ultra-slim Weather Resistant Design: Minimalist materials keeps it super thin and increases efficiency through heat dissipation
- Battery and Charge Strength Indicator plus Battery Status Button, so you see the strength of the sun to measure your panel capacity, and how much juice you have
The short answer is yes. The technology is definitely a viable one for charging your mobile devices, but some definitely work better than others, and not all are designed to handle every situation. See below to learn what you should be looking for when it comes to a solar charger for your phone.
Most solar-powered chargers present about 300 to 400 charges before they “die.” If you plan to use your charger every day for a year, then your charger life will be about one to one and a half years.
Power: Make sure you get a charger that is powerful enough to charge the device you want in an adequate amount of time. That means you should look for a charger with at least 7 watts to charge a smartphone, and closer to 15 watts or higher for charging multiple devices or more power-intense ones like an iPad. Skimping on watts also may mean a slower charge rate, so if you can afford to go a bit higher, go for it!
Portability: If you don’t mind added bulk, a folded solar panel can likely result in a larger surface area and more power than a single panel charger, though you’ll likely have to trade some power output for portability. Another plus for larger chargers is that they usually charge the devices more quickly (though wattage is a better indicator by far).
Connections: Make sure the solar charger is capable of charging the device you own, and that it has enough ports to charge multiple devices if that is desired (and the power to be able to do so! Smaller electronic devices, like those you can usually charge with a USB, need roughly 5V output rating. Larger electronics may require 12V-24V.
Backup battery: If you don’t know if you’ll have exposure to the sun (i.e. at night or when it’s super cloudy), make sure your solar charger is able store your charge by juicing up a rechargeable battery that in turn charges your mobile later when you’ll need it, as opposed to one that directly charges your phone.
With the growing expansion of solar technology, more and more things are becoming possible that were once a mere dream to the majority of people. One of these things is the ability to charge electronic devices – like your phone by using solar energy. Though many people are familiar with this technology, very few of them understand how it actually works. This leaves many people to wonder, do portable solar chargers actually work?
Or are their capabilities overestimated by the majority of people? The good news is that these solar chargers are actually capable of producing a charge for your phones. However, the time it will take to do this is still a work in progress. Solar chargers are able to absorb light from the sun into their photovoltaic cells and create electricity. However, it can take quite some time to fully charge a battery cell.
Some of the faster models can complete the process in as little as 4.5 hours. However, other models that are made with cheaper materials take much longer – some up to 11 hours just to charge the device’s battery. If you invest in a portable solar charger, you’re going to want to make sure that you don’t choose a cheap device to charge your phone.
While it is possible to charge your phone with cheaper devices, it will take quite some time to do so and you’ll likely lose much of the energy that has been obtained when you try to transfer the charge. Instead, it is better to invest in a portable solar charger that you know will work and last for quite some time. This will be more worthwhile in the long run and will help you achieve more clean energy for your phone and other devices.
Though there are many different types of portable solar chargers on the market, the majority of these chargers have one thing in common: a charge status marker. This feature will look different on every solar charger, but the main thing to keep in mind is that you won’t have to worry about determining when your solar charger has reached a full charge because the charge status will let you know.
Though there may be a few models that don’t have this feature, you should be able to determine how full their battery cells are by following the instructions manual that comes with the device.
Many people are familiar with solar panels, but solar banks are an unfamiliar term. However, you shouldn’t worry about being unfamiliar with this term. It isn’t something new and confusing – in fact, if you use the solar energy it’s probably something you’ve already come into contact with. Solar banks are no different than battery banks – they are storage cells that hold power until a device is plugged in to charge. The only difference between the two is that solar banks rely on sunlight to charge and battery cells rely on electrical outlets to fill their space.
While people are beginning to accept the many benefits and uses of solar energy and integrate it into their lifestyles, many people are still uncertain as to what benefits – if any – portable chargers have. It’s an important question, especially when you take the time to consider all of the different charging options out there. Solar chargers are actually very effective charging devices despite what many people have heard.
The key to using a solar charger effectively is to understand what time schedule will work best for you to complete the charging phase so you can take advantage of the clean energy it generates. You’ll likely want to set your charger out early in the day so it can soak up enough energy to charge your devices by the time your work day is over. As long as you make effective use of your device’s charge time, a portable solar charger will serve you well. Also, you will need to look into how many devices you want to charge at the same time and all of these 10 Solar Chargers we have reviewed have a different number of USB ports to choose from.
What are portable solar chargers?
Portable solar chargers is a form of distributed energy solution that is very useful in several situations & locations. These devices use solar modules to generate solar energy to power certain devices that use electrical power. Portable solar chargers can be used to power your electronics such as phone and laptops when you have no access to a traditional grid. For example:
- Day long family outings and picnicks
- Disasters and emergency situations e.g. floods
- Remote work sites
How portable solar charger works
Basically, portable solar chargers are mini-solar panels that directly charge electronic devices and rechargeable batteries. Most solar-powered chargers are not as effective at harnessing the sun’s power as larger solar panels, but do well enough on sunny days to charge your electronic items in about 10 hours’ time. The average solar-powered charger takes between 6 and 10 hours to charge an electronic device, such as a cell phone. Unfortunately, most of these chargers only work in directly sunlight, which makes them ineffective on overcast days. Unlike solar roof panels, smaller chargers do not store extra energy on sunny days to make up for the lack of sun on cloudy days.