Modern outdoor enthusiasts are very different from traditional campers and hikers since they like carrying all their cool gadgets on their adventures. The only problem is that your phone battery is bound to die and a power bank can only do so much. Fortunately, outdoor adventurists can now invest in a solar charger.
As the name indicates, solar chargers power devices using the sun's powerful rays. These portable chargers are now becoming widely available because of its portability and functionality.
However, purchasing the best solar charger can be a difficult task, especially if you're not very tech-savvy. Rest assured, this detailed guide contains all the information you will need to know about making the right purchase.
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Best Solar Charger
Best Solar Backpack
Reasons You Should Invest In A Solar Charger
Here are some important reasons why you should invest in a solar charger:
Solar chargers are available in many portable options. This means can charge your phone wherever you are, as long as it's a bright sunny day outside.
Using solar powered chargers is an excellent option if you're all about conserving energy and about preserving the environment. Nothing is more environmentally friendly and effective as a solar charger for powering up your phones.
You’re bound to find some sunlight everywhere you go. Solar chargers are incredibly convenient to use. Plus you don’t have to carry any additional accessories or consumables for the device.
While most portable solar charges are not powerful enough to charge car batteries, it can still help you out with cell phones, laptops, and other USB devices.
Solar powered products are high tech and feature a futuristic design that practically everybody will love.
Best Solar Charger
Are you in search of some of the best solar chargers? Here are some of our favorite picks:
Winner: Anker PowerPort Solar Charger
The high-power Anker's panels are known for their reliability and high-quality manufacturing. While this is a slightly more expensive product, it is comparatively lightweight and is among the best solar chargers in the market. Some notable features of the product include:
The Anker 21W supplies over 21 watts of power, however, if we're realistic, the power may vary depending on sunlight. On the bright side, the solar charger is powerful enough to charge your smartphone or tablet on a sunny day fully.
It also comes with a small pouch that can hold your phone while it's charging. However, the pouch isn't big enough to hold a tablet or too many additional cables.
It features stainless steel eye holes which makes it possible for you to attach the pouch practically anywhere you want. The PowerPort is an excellent product and durable enough thanks to its sturdy, industrial strength PET faced solar panels.
For maximum performance, the solar charger uses a fast-charging technology called Power IQ. You can also adjust the amperage to suit your device, ensuring fast charging technology in just a matter of minutes. The charger is designed to maintain fast speed despite interruptions such as brief shade.
The PowerPort offers 2.4A per point and about 3A under direct sunlight, delivering unmatched performance. Because of its incredibly lightweight, the Anker 21W makes a great backpacking solar charger.
Industrial-strength materials that are incredibly durable with solar panels attached to the polyester canvas
Runner-Up: Suntactics S5 Solar Charger
The Suntactics S5 Solar Charger incorporates powerful industry grade solar cells. This feature will allow you to completely charge your phone from 0 to 100% in less than 2 hours. Unlike other chargers, did one does not use an internal battery to transfer change from your battery to the smartphone. This model is one of the only few panels that offer direct charging.
The internal part of the charger features two highly efficient solar panels on either side. The surface features light transmission quality while the frames are lightweight and durable. Its well-constructed hinges are rigid and stable for added durability. Some notable features of the product include:
The backside of the charger features a standard USB charging point along with an LED indicator for optimized circuitry. Its USB can provide over 1000mA. All you have to do is connect the solar charger and forget about it.
The charger incorporates a smart “Auto-Retry” technology that allows the device to resume charging in case the panels are under shade. You can connect the device and carry on with whatever you are doing. This technology is best suited for campers and hikers who are always on the go.
This durable solar cell features complete encapsulation. The product is high compression and impact resistant which prevents stress failure. This model unlike other solar charges that uses flexible cloth encasements which may impact performance.
Alternative: Suaoki Solar Panel
The Suaoki Solar Panel is among the best solar chargers in the market that delivers DC 18V and USB 5V. This feature means that is can easily charge smartphones, tablets and other 5-18V devices. Some notable features of the product include:
It also includes a dual port for added convenience so that you charge two devices at the same time. It is also a versatile solar panel since you can charge both your mobile and laptop devices as well as car batteries thanks to the DC port.
The Solar panel uses an intelligent TIR-C technology that includes a built-in smart technology for the USB port charger. This intelligent technology automatically identifies what type of equipment is charging, so that you can speed up the device's performance. The panel is designed to charge the battery without overheating or overloading the system using the clamp.
Thanks to the waterproof layer on the panel, you can conveniently use it near the swimming pool or at the beach without worrying about it getting ruined. This feature makes the charger a prime choice for people who like to go on outdoor activities such as hiking, boating or traveling.
Suaoki’s solar panel is an easy-to-use device that works with 25% efficiency and eliminates the risks of complicated situations. Your purchase will also include a car charger, solar charger bag, and required cables.
2nd Alternative: X-DRAGON Solar Panel Charger
The X-DRAGON 40W SunPower Solar Panel Charger offers a 40 wattage capacity. The product is powerful enough to power most five voltage devices that offer a capacity of 22% to 25%. This feature makes the solar panel charger perfect for charging larger devices as well as other portable battery powered devices. Some notable features of the product include:
This charger is great regarding versatility since it offers ten different laptop connectors along with an additional carabiner which you can carry along with you.
It also has a foldable design that'll make it easy for you to carry around practically anywhere you want, whether you are heading out on a short trip or a weekend trip to the great outdoors. If exposed to direct sunlight, the solar panel can deliver almost 2.8 amps.
For its relatively low price, the Solar Charger, X-DRAGON 40W is a pretty good deal. Because of its versatility, you can use the solar charger for both indoor and outdoor use. It’s also great for hiking and camping trips in sunny areas.
The Solar charger is both water resistant and offers safety protection. It features a durable high-wear Oxford fabric that is great for all kinds of outdoor activities and environments. The product also offers protection against short circuit and other safety protection features that guarantee the safety of your device.
Best Solar Backpack
Let's take a look on our top recommendation for the best solar backpack:
ECEEN Solar Backpack
The ECEEN Solar Backpack is available in various designs. You can choose from a regular day pack or a hydration pack. The bags are available in some sizes and colors. All of the backpacks use a 6.5-watt solar panel and include a 10,000 mAh USB battery. A backpack is a good option if you only plan on charging USB devices. Some notable features of the product include:
The overall structure of the backpack is pretty sturdy since the frame is constructed using Manganese steel. Since the bag is abrasion resistant, you don't have to worry about taking it out for outdoor trips.
The backpack incorporates Ripstop Nylon, which is also waterproof. This feature ensures that you don't have to worry about getting your belongings damaged when you're out on an adventure.
You can charge many devices using this charger. You can either charge it via a 5V USB port or use the removable solar charger. It also includes a Voltage Stability Controller for Bluetooth speakers, mp3 players and GPS systems and much more.
Whether you are an occasional traveler or are in need of a day to day bag, this backpack is great for various purposes. It is constructed using water and rip-resistant fabric that offers excellent strength and long-lasting performance. Additionally, a bar enforces the stress points.
Why Should You Choose Your Solar Charger Carefully
Are you wondering why you should put in all this effort to invest in a solar charger? Well here are a couple of reasons why:
If you're a hiker or an avid backpacker, you'll benefit from a portable device that does not weight too much. Lightweight and portable devices will ease the burden off your shoulders when you are traveling. Such solar chargers are not only easy to carry around but will also take up less storage space. This design is something a backpacker would appreciate.
When you're out in the wilderness and can't find your way around, your phone could be your only savior! But what will you do if the battery's running down and your solar charger aren't working anymore?
Laptops, mobile phones, and tablets aren't mere accessories anymore. Investing in a quality solar charger means that you will always have access to backup power regardless of wherever you are, as long as you have sunlight.
A good quality solar charger won't be complicated to use and will offer maximum efficiency. This feature will ensure that you can charge your phones and other portable devices within a few hours. Some chargers also feature advanced technology that can detect what type of device you are charging, so that it can alter the speed accordingly.
Good quality products require less maintenance which means you won’t have to worry about replacing the solar charger anytime soon. Opt for a brand that offers an excellent warranty along with good customer service. This feature will ensure that you get the best value for your money.
Factors To Pay Attention When Choosing Your Solar Charger
Here are a couple of factors you should consider when purchasing a solar charger:
Power Storage (Battery Pack)
Here’s where you need to understand that a solar energy producer is typically used to charge the storage battery instead of the electronic device. Thus, these power sources don’t contain any electrical system to control the flow of electricity to the electronic device, which can lead to potential damage.
It’s crucial you check the manufacturer’s recommendations. Some panels include a regulated USB output for directly charging electronic devices. The different types of batteries include:
Integrated storage battery provides added convenience since it offers the all-in-one convenience of power generators. The battery stores power, which you can use later.
On the other hand, you can remove an independent storage battery from the solar panel for added convenience. This feature is great for outdoor use where you might not have plenty of room for extra supplies. Consider what type of battery is accompanied by the solar charger.
It's worth noting that each device works differently, while most solar chargers need direct charging from the battery. This reason is why you need to pay attention to the overall output of every device.
Solar Panel Details
It is crucial you pay attention to how efficient the solar panels are. Most solar mobile charges are made using first-generation crystalline silicon. This material is particularly great for generating electricity even during low-sunlight conditions.
One of the most important factors to consider when purchase a solar battery charger is the portability of the device. There are many brands out there who claim to be selling portable devices when really, the chargers weigh more than 5.lb.
Ideally, and it's a good idea if the charger is not much larger than your phone. Be wary of cheap knock-offs and inexpensive products that don't offer good quality.
Where do you plan on using the charger? Note that most regions experience rain spells. This feature means that you might have to take maximum advantage of rare sunny moments for maximum efficiency.
Additionally, when investing in a solar charger, ensure you know what the output power is. Reading the specs is also important since some manufacturers only state the maximum amperage of one port instead of all of them.
Additionally, check all the connections to inspect how versatile the solar charger is. Most solar panels include a USB panel that makes it easier for you to charge multiple devices. However, some devices cannot be connected without special adaptors so be on the lookout for those.
It is worth thinking over what devices you need to charge so that you can purchase a solar charger accordingly.
It's worth investing in a solar charger that can work on multiple devices. However, you'll have to make sure it includes the right adapters and connections. Additionally, you must pay attention to the wattage readings since this will determine which devices you can charge.
After all, a small handheld charger may not be powerful enough to charge a laptop. If you are charging larger devices, you may require more surface area.
Consider investing in a solar charger that is waterproof. This way, you can use the charger beside the pool or when you are hiking outdoors. By nature, most solar panels are already waterproof, so you'll have to look into the batteries and outer casing.
Number Of Connections
If you only require one connection for your charger then purchasing on shouldn’t be a difficult task. However, things might get complicated when you require more than one connection port. It’s also worth noting that most brands list the total amperage for all connections instead of splitting it between connections and listing down the amps separately.
Note the amps of each connection as the device won't start charging unless it offers the required amperage. This reason is why having multiple connections can backfire if you don't read the specifications carefully.
However, some reputable brands list down the amp for each connection. Some chargers may also feature connections that have a high amperage compared to other connections, which means you will have to charge devices according to priority.
So, there you have it! Pay attention to all of these details the next time you are making a purchase. Good luck!