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Best Solar Chargers for Backpacking in 2023. Solar phone charges

Best Solar Chargers for Backpacking in 2023. Solar phone charges

    Best Solar Chargers for Backpacking in 2023

    A solar charger is a very useful gadget for long backpacking trips because it allows you to easily recharge your electronic devices such as a handheld GPS device, hiking watch or a smartphone. Since many backpackers rely on these devices for navigation along the trails, solar chargers have become very popular. Especially those who use smartphones for navigation on trails (check out our test of the best hiking apps) appreciate solar chargers, because no smartphone with GPS turned on constantly runs for more than a day without being recharged.

    Solar chargers absorb sunlight and convert it to electricity which charges your devices or the battery pack. Unlike regular power banks which get drained sooner or later, solar chargers are suitable for very long trips because they allow you to recharge your devices as long as you have sunlight available.

    In the following we listed the best solar chargers currently available to make your buying decision a little easier. We only listed high-quality solar chargers that come for a good price and provide good durability.

    We regularly update our reviews and selections to always recommend you the best products on the market.

    We only list top-tier products. Read how our selections of best hiking products differ from others here.

    We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases at no extra cost to you.

    Our Picks of Solar Chargers for Backpacking

    Best Solar Chargers for Backpacking

    The Selection

    Goal Zero Nomad 10

    Suitable for:

    The Goal Zero Nomad 10 solar panel features built-in kickstand which clicks into place at multiple angles and allows you to position the solar panel perfectly towards the sun. It is made of rugged and durable materials, and can be strapped to your backpack, tent or other gear. The solar panel has an output of 10 watts and works perfectly with power banks from Goal Zero. The Goal Zero Nomad 10 solar panel is often combined with the Goal Zero Venture 30 power bank which has a capacity of 7800 mAh. The solar panel recharges this power bank in 4.5 to 9 hours. Nevertheless, the solar panel can also charge various devices such as cell phones, cameras etc. directly. The Goal Zero Nomad 10 is a powerful solar panel that is perfect for backpacking and other lengthy activities in the outdoors.

    Where to buy?

    BigBlue SolarPowa 28

    Suitable for:

    The BigBlue SolarPowa 28 is a panels-only solar charger and thus it is a good option if you already have a battery pack/power bank. However, it is also suitable for charging electronic devices such as smartphones, headlamps etc. directly. The Big Blue SolarPowa 28 solar charger features advanced technology which discovers and replicates your device’s original charging protocol to provide the fastest possible charging speed via 3 USB ports. However, be aware that the solar panels will not generate enough electricity to match the device’s original charging protocol in case of cloudy or rainy weather. This BigBlue solar charger has attachment points, so you can easily attach it on a backpack. It is also water and dust resistant for good performance on hiking trails.

    Where to buy?

    The 4 best solar phone chargers of 2023

    The struggle to keep your phone charged while out and about is real, especially while on the road, during camping trips, backpacking, at festivals, or spending the day in the park. The good news is that there is now an easy charging solution. solar phone chargers.

    These portable chargers allow us to take advantage of free and abundant solar power to ensure that we’ll never be without a backup for charging all of our phones, no matter where we are.

    There are virtually thousands of options for solar phone chargers available online. But don’t worry, we did the hard work for you and scoured the internet for the best solar phone chargers in 2023.

    Note: This is an unbiased review: we have no financial ties with any of the companies mentioned, nor do we earn money from affiliate advertising. The content of this blog is based on research and information available at the time of writing.

    Why you can trust SolarReviews:

    SolarReviews is the leading American website for consumer reviews and ratings of residential solar panels and solar panel installation companies. Our industry experts have over two decades of solar experience combined and maintain editorial independence for their reviews. No company can pay to alter the reviews or review scores shown on our site. Learn more about SolarReviews and how we make money.

    The best solar phone chargers of 2023

    Here are our picks for the best solar phone chargers on the market.

    Best overall solar charger: BigBlue 28W USB solar charger

    Our top pick, the BigBlue 3, with its four solar panels and a compact design. Image source: BigBlue

    Price: 68.96 Buy Now

    Pros: The BigBlue 28W USB Solar Charger is our pick for the Best Overall solar charger. With four highly efficient foldable SunPower solar panels that fit into a compact bag, they can be easily stored in your backpack. It has two charging USB output ports, so it can charge up to three devices while still delivering decent power. Reviews consistently claim that the charger provides decent output in cloudy conditions, as well.

    Cons: This charger’s on the heavier side for solar panel chargers, weighing in at 1.3 pounds, even though it doesn’t come with an external battery bank. Although it will fit nicely in your backpack, it might weigh you down. If you want to store power for later, you have to purchase a battery bank separately.

    Compatibility: Most 5 volt USB rechargeable devices, including iPhones and Androids. Not compatible with the iPad Pro.

    Best budget charger: BLAVOR Qi Solar Power Bank Portable Charger

    The BLAVOR QI portable charger is a great option for avid hikers who need a durable portable charging option. Image source: Amazon

    Price: 26.99 Buy Now

    Pros: Because the BLAVOR Qi Portable Solar Charger is durable, shockproof, and weighs only 10 ounces. it is the best solar charger in terms of portability and is ideal for hiking and camping. It has over 25,000 reviews, with an overall 4.4-star rating on Amazon. This solar charger power bank adds virtually no weight to your backpack and is wireless. That’s right. you don’t have to worry about having a cord to charge your phone. Simply place it on the charger and you’re good to go. It also acts as a flashlight and comes with a compass.

    Cons: The BLAVOR Qi is so lightweight because it has only one small solar panel. This means it can take a very long time to charge using the sun. Most users will charge the battery as much as they can at home and then let it sit in the sun to top it off.

    Compatibility: iPhone, Samsung, Android, Windows, GoPro, GPS, tablets, and most USB charging devices.

    Best travel charger: Hiluckey Outdoor USB-C Portable charger

    Hilucky’s Outdoor solar phone charger has great reviews and is one of Amazon’s Choice picks for portable solar panels. Image source: Amazon

    Price: 46.99 Buy Now

    Pros: Hilucky’s Solar Phone Charger comes equipped with four fold-out solar panels that charge its battery bank. The included rechargeable battery can fully charge a smartphone over 7 times. It comes with LED light settings, making it perfect for outdoor use. It has enough USB ports to charge three devices.

    Cons: Having four solar panels makes it a little bulky, even if it does increase the surface area of the charger in order to collect sunlight. It will also add an extra 1.3 pounds to your backpack.

    Compatibility: Almost all 5V devices such as iPhones, iPads, tablets, and other smartphones.

    QiSa 38,800mAh Solar Power Bank

    The QiSa charger has a compact, foldable design that provides you power you can easily take with you. Image source: Amazon

    Price: 89.98 Buy Now

    Pros: QiSa’s charger is compact but doesn’t sacrifice on power. This makes it a great option to put in your backpack on a hiking trip or even take it with you on your commute, just in case. It can charge three devices at once and has a wireless charging function, so you don’t even have to fuss with cords. The device itself is waterproof and drop-proof. It also has a built-in flashlight!

    Cons: Although it has overwhelmingly positive reviews, some commeters report that the QiSa’s charging speed is a bit slow, especially when on the wireless charger. The wireless charger also has an auto-off function that can make be frustrating if you’re trying to juice up a dead phone. Plus, this is a more expensive option than some others on our list.

    Compatibility: most USB-C devices

    What features to look for in a solar phone charger

    When you’re shopping for a solar phone charger, there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure you get the right one for your needs, including:

    How much Solar Power do I need to Charge a Phone? Quick Guide

    With all the distractions around us, sometimes we need a break from our daily lives and head out into nature. It doesn’t matter if you’re hiking or camping under the stars; getting away will do wonders for your mental state.

    What happens when you’re miles from civilization and your cell phone goes dead? You can’t call for help if you don’t have a way to charge your device! That’s where solar power comes in handy.

    But how much solar power do I need to charge a phone?

    In this blog post we’ll go over everything you need to know about harnessing energy from the sun so your phone never runs out of juice.

    How much Solar Power do I need to Charge a Phone?

    A smartphone uses 2 to 3 watts from its battery when in use. The battery holds a charge of 1,440 mAh, or about 5.45 watt hours. A solar panel will need to provide a minimum of 5 watts when charging. Ideally 10 to 15 watts of charging power is recommended.

    A lower wattage means that you will need more time to charge your phone.

    In order to fully charge the phone battery, the solar panel charger voltage must at least match the voltage of a fully charged phone battery. A fully charged phone battery is 4.15 V (540 watts).

    As an example, let’s compare the voltage in a phone battery to the air pressure in a bike tire. If you want to fill the tire to 20 psi then you must have an air source that is at least 20 psi to move the air into the tire. It’s the same concept as applying voltage to charge a phone battery.

    Types of Solar Chargers

    There are two types of solar phone chargers; direct and battery bank.

    Direct solar chargers send power directly from the sun’s rays to your device.

    A battery bank solar charger collects energy in an external battery pack that can be charged by either sunlight or plugging into a wall outlet when needed.

    How does a Solar Charger Work?

    The solar panel converts sunlight into usable charging power for your phone. The speed at which this happens depends on the efficiency of how much light is received by nature. By using sunlight to make the electrons in solar cells flow in a circuit, this creates current and thus charges your phone battery.

    The amount of solar exposure however is affected by many factors such as weather patterns. Portable solar photovoltaic systems require direct sunlight on every single cell before they can produce electricity.

    So it’s important to keep this in mind when out in nature and needing to charge your phone.

    How long does a Solar Charger take to Charge a Phone?

    The time it takes for a solar device to charge your phone will depend on many factors.

    Portable solar panels are designed to be small. The batteries that they are charging generally have a very large capacity. So charging them completely takes a significant amount of power.

    As an estimate, a fully charged portable solar panel will recharge a phone with 5% battery life to full battery life in about two to three hours.

    It’s nearly impossible to calculate exactly how long it will take for a solar-powered device to charge a phone. That is because of the environmental factors.

    Keep in mind a portable solar charger is not designed with the idea of charging from zero. Instead they are designed to be a maintenance of charge. Maintenance charges always take much less time and energy.

    Is Charging Phone with Solar Bad?

    No, charging your phone with a solar charger will not damage your device. The two most important factors to be aware of are the voltage of the solar panel output and of the phone battery you’re connecting to.

    When you use a solar charger to recharge your phone, it’s important that the device be used minimally. Try not to use any apps or checking social media for awhile when charging with one of these devices in order maximize its efficiency.


    So, if you’ve been looking for a way to ensure that your phone never runs out of juice again when you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, a solar charger might just be the answer for you.

    Hopefully this blog post has helped answer how much solar power do I need to charge a phone.


    Brian has spent over 30 years as a general contractor, and in that time seen and faced many challenges. He brings all his knowledge of portable generators, battery powered tools, and outdoor equipment to every post he writes through real life experience. Learn more about us.

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    The best solar phone charger. our top 5 list

    The sun is an incredibly powerful source of energy that is readily available to us for free. On a clear and sunny day, the energy from the sun can generate up to 1000 watts of power per square meter. While modern photovoltaic panels are not 100% efficient, they can still produce around 200 watts of power per square meter. This means that even a small installation of solar panels can generate a significant amount of energy.

    To put this into perspective, a typical smartphone charger can output anywhere between 5 watts and 25 watts of power, with some of the more advanced super-fast chargers capable of pushing the limit up to 100 watts. With solar panels producing up to 200 watts per square meter, the potential for harnessing solar energy is enormous. Is this the case, though? Read on to find out!

    Can a solar charger charge my smartphone?

    If you’re someone who enjoys spending time outdoors, particularly in the mountains, getting a solar mobile charger is a practical option. But picking the best solar phone charger can be hard because there are so many brands and hidden factors.

    A general guideline to keep in mind is that you’ll need a minimum of around 7 watts of power to charge your phone using a solar phone charger, but the more power, the better. It’s also essential to check if the solar charger has a built-in battery, particularly if you’re using it overnight when there’s no sunlight available. Without a battery, the solar charger would be as useful as a piece of paper when your phone dies at night.

    Portability is also a crucial factor when selecting a solar phone charger since you’ll likely use it on the go, far from any wall sockets or other luxuries of modern society. For frequent travelers who don’t want to add any extra weight or bulk to the backpack, lightweight and foldable solar phone chargers are the best option. However, it’s worth noting that if you want more power, you’ll need a bigger solar panel to capture more light, which may mean a bulkier device.

    Without further delay, here’s a list of the top solar phone chargers that you can get in 2023. These chargers have been carefully selected for their power output, portability, durability, and overall value, and they will ensure that you can keep your phone charged even when you’re off the grid.

    The best solar phone chargers at a glance:

    • BigBlue 28W. best solar phone charger overall
    • Anker PowerPort 21W. best bang for your buck
    • Hiluckey Solar Charger 25000mAh. biggest battery
    • BioLite 5. most stylish solar charger
    • Goal Zero Nomad 10. best lightweight charger

    BigBlue 28W

    The best solar phone charger is called BigBlue and can harness 28W of power in ideal conditions. This is plenty of juice for your phone or tablet, and you can charge up to three devices simultaneously via the 3 USB ports.

    This solar charger uses high-efficiency SunPower monocrystalline photovoltaic cells that convert up to 21.5-23.5% of solar power into free energy. These numbers are pretty impressive for a consumer product, especially at this price point.

    There’s a special PET polymer coating that protects the panel from the occasional rain or water spatter, and all the ports have rubber flaps to ensure the IPX4 rating. There are two main downsides to the BigBlue solar charger.

    First, it doesn’t include a battery or a power bank of any sort. If it’s nighttime or there are heavy clouds, you’re not gonna get much electricity out of it. Second, the device comes with a single micro USB cable, so you need to use/buy your own USB-C or USB-to-Lightning cable.

    Other than that, this solar phone charger actually works (unlike many other bogus products out there), and it works pretty well. It’s not too heavy and you can fold it and carry it in your backpack. The price is also pretty reasonable, considering the power.

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