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Best Solar Chargers for Backpacking. Solar energy charger

Best Solar Chargers for Backpacking. Solar energy charger

    Best Solar Chargers for Backpacking

    A solar charger is essential for lengthy backpacking journeys since it allows you to readily recharge electronic items such as a handheld GPS device, light. or smartphone. Solar chargers have become popular since many trekkers rely on these gadgets for trail guidance.

    Solar chargers capture sunlight and convert it to electricity, which is then used to power your electronics or the battery pack. Unlike ordinary power banks, solar chargers are appropriate for very long excursions because they allow you to recharge your gadgets if sunshine is available.

    This page defines a backpacking solar charger and explains how to select the finest solar chargers for you. We have highlighted the top solar chargers available to help you decide to purchase. We propose Jackery solar generators as your backpacking power guard, specifically the Jackery Solar Generator 300, which is perfect for backpacking due to its lightweight and portability.

    Jackery Solar Generator 300

    What is A Solar Charger for Backpacking

    A backpacking solar charger is a gadget that collects and uses the sun’s electricity. It can be connected to a light or a phone to provide hours of electricity at night. Solar chargers are incredibly light and portable, making them ideal for traveling and hiking.

    A solar charger can come in various designs, sizes, and lighting options. They are also not usually pricey. A solar charger typically includes a small battery and panels. Before use, the batteries can be charged using a carport or a wall. We recommend purchasing one of these goods if you intend to go on long camping trips.

    Solar chargers are beneficial since they absorb energy from the sun during the day and progressively deliver it to your device at night. Many backpacking solar chargers include a power storage option that allows users to save energy for later use. Connecting numerous panels to charge more oversized items like laptops and tablets is also possible, making them ideal for group travel or camping with friends or family.

    How Does A Backpacking Solar Charger Work

    Backpacking solar chargers gather direct sunlight, turn it into electricity, and then store it in an attached battery. The panel is activated by the sun’s rays, which turn into energy that fuels your device, such as your phone or tablet.

    These chargers are ideal for outdoor activities because they use renewable energy instead of being plugged into an outlet at home or at work all day. Solar chargers are helpful when stranded somewhere without power, such as while trekking outdoors.

    Types of Solar Chargers for Backpacking

    There are numerous types of solar chargers available nowadays. They can, however, be divided into two categories: foldable and stiff. Foldable solar chargers are lightweight and flexible, allowing them to be folded and carried like a map while hiking. climbing, or backpacking.

    best, solar, chargers, backpacking, energy

    A. Solar Panels

    If you own a power bank, purchasing a solar panel to charge your small electronics is the most practical alternative. This is especially critical if you will be away from a power source for a week or more. You can charge your devices via USB, a solar panel is an excellent alternative because they’re cheaply priced and can charge various devices.

    B. Solar Charger with Battery Pack

    Consider obtaining a portable solar charger with an integrated battery to avoid carrying a solar panel and a power bank. These devices are fantastic because they are self-contained and simple to operate. Unfold the panel to reveal the solar cells and let it charge the internal battery in the sun. Once set, you may use it to power your gadgets in the same way that you would a power bank.

    C. Solar Charger with External Battery Pack

    Solar charger bundles with a solar panel and an external battery pack are also available. This is great if you have a power bank that you want to utilize to store power and need a way to keep it charged while on your trips. It would help if you found the proper wire to connect the solar panels to an external battery.

    D. Solar Backpack

    Solar backpacks are also available for individuals looking for an all-in-one solution. These backpacks have integrated solar panels, allowing you to charge your electronics while on the go. They’re ideal for hikers, cyclists. and anyone who spends much time outside.

    The Best Solar Chargers for Backpacking with Jackery

    For this purpose, solar chargers are becoming more popular. Choosing the best solar charger for backpacking might take much work. Whether you’re a backpacking newbie or a seasoned pro, this is a beautiful place to start when deciding which portable solar charger is best for you.

    Now that you’ve determined that a solar charger is an absolute must for investigating the land that was previously out of reach, it’s time to figure out which solar charger is most suited to your needs. Jackery manufactures some of the most excellent portable solar chargers available today. All Jackery solar generators are exceptionally light and compact, making them ideal for transport. They employ SolarSaga solar panels with Explorer power stations to convert solar energy into electricity and store it for later use, allowing you to use them whenever and wherever you want, even at night.

    Electronics are now more than ever a component of the adventurer’s toolkit. Jackery portable solar generators are now proving to be a practical means of supplying electricity outdoors, thanks to advancements in solar cell efficiency. Anyone can charge their devices by harnessing the sun’s energy rather than carrying physical batteries or exhausting the battery in their vehicle or camper.

    Jackery Solar Generator for Ultralight Backpacking

    Some backpacking trips require you to carry only the lightest and smallest gear. As a result, ultralight backpacking makes big power banks obsolete, necessitating only the most lightweight solutions.

    We recommend the Jackery Solar Generator 240. which weighs only 6.6 pounds and is ideal for ultralight backpacking. This generator comprises SolarSaga 100W solar panels and an Explorer 240 power station that can be fully charged in 4.5 hours. It provides on-the-go power in a compact, lightweight design with several ports to charge your mainstream gadgets. Solar electricity is used to charge this solar generator. You are not chained by a wire or a plug anywhere, and you can easily stay charged while on the go and enjoying the great outdoors.

    Recharge Time

    Jackery Solar Generator 240

    AC Output: 110V, 60Hz, 200W (400W Peak)

    2USB-A Output: 5V, 2.4A

    Car Port: 12V, 10A

    Phone(iPhone) 24Charges

    Camera(10W) 11Charges

    Laptop(Mac) 3.5Charges

    Drone(60W) 4Charges

    Light(5W) 40H

    Fan(15W) 15H

    Nothing beats the agony of having your solar charger destroyed by a few water drips when camping. Water damage has frequently forced tourists to put their trekking trips on hold. Jackery solar generators prioritize water resistance, safety, and dependability; they feature a weatherproof ETFE external covering that gives them a robust appearance to boost performance and longevity, and you should never be concerned about an accident occurring.

    Jackery Lightweight Solar Generator for Backpacking

    When backpacking, most travelers consider the weight of their entire luggage for various reasons, including convenience. Nobody wants to be fatigued by a large backpack that consists mainly of a bulky charger that hardly holds any charge.

    Jackery solar generators are portable and convenient, thanks to small panels that fold to fit in a bag. In addition to the Solar Generator 240, the Jackery Solar Generator 300 is the lightest solar charger, combining SolarSaga 100W solar panels with the Explorer 300 power station. The included MPPT controller allows the solar generator to run at its maximum power point. It speeds up battery recharge and makes them excellent portable power kits for trekking, hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities.

    Recharge Time

    Jackery Explorer 300

    2AC Output: 110V, 60Hz, 300W (500W Peak)

    USB-A Output: 5V, 2.4A

    USB-C Output: Quick Charge 3.0, 5V, 3A

    Car Port: 12V, 10A

    Phone(iPhone) 30Charges

    Camera(10W) 23Charges

    Laptop(Mac) 4Charges

    Drone(60W) 5.5Charges

    Light(5W) 27H

    Fan(15W) 18H

    Another feature distinguishing the Jackery solar generator as the finest backpacking solar charger is its adaptability. We are all aware that the outdoors offers a variety of emergencies that can become life-threatening during a power outage. There was a time when you needed a different solar charger for each activity. This solar generator will be a constant necessity and literal savior no matter where you travel on your outdoor adventures.

    Jackery High-Capacity Solar Generator for Backpacking

    If your solar charger can barely charge your devices many times, it’s time to replace it. A high-capacity solar generator can meet all of your off-grid demands. As previously stated, Solar Generators 240 and 300 are the most compact solar chargers. At the same time, the Solar Generator 1000 Pro is a high-capacity solar generator with a capacity of 1002Wh that is ideal for long hiking trips.

    The folding handle is intended to facilitate transit and storage. With a 1000-charge cycle lifespan and a lighter design, this compact power allows you to carry on any outdoor excursion. A pure sine wave inverter provides reliable electricity to protect your electronics. This ultra-quiet (46dB) product includes an integrated battery management system (BMS) to monitor and safeguard battery life. The LED light has three brightness settings and can assist you in meeting your outdoor needs.

    Recharge Time

    Jackery Explorer 1000 Pro

    AC Output: 120V, 60Hz, 1000W (2000W Peak)

    USB-A Output: Quick Charge 3.0, 18W Max

    USB-C Output: 12V, 10A

    Car Port: 120V, 60Hz, 15A Max

    Phone(18W) 47H

    Camera(10W) 85H

    Laptop(65W) 13H

    Drone(60W) 14H

    Light(5W) 170H

    Fan(15W) 57H

    Indeed, more than nine types of Jackery solar generators are available to you for any power demand, whether on an outdoor trip or needing power during a blackout. Choose one of our solar generators based on your needs.

    How to Choose The Best Solar Charger for Backpacking

    Because a backpacking solar charger is powered by the sun, you should be able to charge while on the go with the solar panels out in the sun. However, there are a handful of factors to consider when deciding on the type of solar charger you desire.

    A. Charging Speed

    There are numerous alternatives available, but not all of them are potent. You want something that will charge your electronics quickly so that you can relax on your journey. Furthermore, these chargers require sunlight to function. All of these chargers will operate when it is foggy, just not as efficiently. And any of the ones in our review will work well as a backpacking solar charger. Jackery solar generators are the fastest solar charging equipment on the market, charging in 1.8 hours.

    B. Weight

    Compared to gas or fuel generators, all the portable solar chargers discussed above are relatively lightweight, portable, and suited for hiking trips. Most are better suited to backpacking in groups or couples when it is a good idea to share the weight carried so that the overall load per person is lighter.

    C. Charging Ports

    You must select how many devices you will use and how many will require charging during your trip. This will help determine how many USB charging ports you’ll need. All Jackery solar generators have more than three outlets. and thanks to the pass-through charging function, you can charge both the devices and the solar power station at the same time.

    Solar Charger for Backpacking FAQs

    The following shows the frequently asked questions about the solar charger for backpacking:

    How can I charge my solar charger without the sun?

    You may charge your solar power bank with a battery by connecting it to a wall outlet or another power source. Connect one end of the USB connector to your power bank and the other to the power source. For example, the Jackery solar generators support solar panels, a wall outlet, and a carport to recharge, eliminating the need to work at night or indoors.

    How long it takes to power my electronics via solar charger?

    The time required to power a solar charger’s appliance is primarily determined by its battery capacity and sunlight conversion efficiency. Here is the method for calculating how long it takes to charge your electronics with the Jackery solar generator:

    Working time = solar generator capacity 0.85 / your device’s operating wattage

    For example, if you charge your phone (18 Watts) with a Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro (1002Wh capacity), the working time is 47H (1002Wh0.85/18W).

    Is a solar charger for backpacking worth it?

    Yes. Solar chargers, particularly Jackery solar generators, are worthwhile for outdoor enthusiasts who frequently deal with the unpredictability of power and power sources. They are more portable, adaptable, and convenient, allowing backpackers and other nature enthusiasts to use their electronic devices without anxiety.

    Final Thoughts

    To summarise, you may select the best solar charger for backpacking that meets your needs from the many products available. Some considerations should be made when choosing a solar charger. First, consider how much time you will rely on it to charge your devices, and then consider how many outlets or ports it contains. Finally, examine the power capacity and speed. With their compact size, high capacity, and clean energy, Jackery solar generators are the ideal backpacking power masters.

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    What are the best solar battery chargers on the market in 2023?

    If you have access to the sun and a solar battery charger, you can rest easy when it comes to keeping electronics charged and ready for use.

    In 2023, photovoltaic solar panels can do more than power your home. they can keep your electronics charged and power up your car battery, too! Solar power can be utilized from almost anywhere and can charge basically any device with the right charger.

    best, solar, chargers, backpacking, energy

    The number and wide variety of solar battery chargers on the market can be a bit daunting, so we’ll make it easy for you. Whether you need a solar charger kit for charging your phone battery, car battery, boat battery, or supplying power to your RV, our favorite products on the market are covered below.

    Editorial 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.

    Best solar batteries and solar panel kits to buy

    We picked these options based on their performance, ease of use, and practicality. Some chargers are built only for one use, such as charging a phone, and others use an adapter that can work to charge anything from car batteries to boat batteries.

    Best overall

    SUNER POWER 12V Solar Panel Car Battery Charger Maintainer

    • Comes with a 1-year warranty
    • Can be used for 12v batteries in cars and boats
    • Does not include a solar charge controller, which acts as a regulator for potential overcharging

    Best for RV/ATV use

    Renogy 400 Watt 12 Volt Solar Premium Kit

    List price: 819.99 (often on sale for less) Buy Now

    • 400 Watts of power to keep your RV lights on and running
    • Solar panel, charger, and brackets are all included in the kit
    • Renogy is a well-known, trusted brand

    Best for small appliances

    BigBlue 3 Portable Charger

    List price: 79.99 (often on sale for less) Buy Now

    • Very reliable, works in cloudy conditions
    • Charges electronics, like iphones and ipads, safely
    • Lightweight, foldable and easily portable

    Best for boats

    Topsolar Flexible 100W Solar Panel

    • Thin, flexible monocrystalline 100-watt solar panel
    • Sealed to be waterproof, wear-resistant panel
    • Includes connector cable to attach to a charge controller

    Best for cars

    Sunway Solar Car Battery Mppt and Trickle Charger and Maintainer

    List price: 59.99 (nearly always on sale for under 40) Buy Now

    • Designed for daily use, diminishing risk of overcharging the battery
    • Includes LED light to monitor charging
    • Options available from 1.5kW. 8 kW, includes alligator clips

    How do solar battery chargers work?

    Similar to how solar panels power your home, a solar battery charger powers a device’s battery. Portable solar chargers use their solar cells to absorb and then transfer solar energy in order to supply electricity to devices or to charge lithium-ion batteries within devices.

    Solar battery chargers range in price, depending on which type you need, but many can be found for under 100.

    Despite their relative ease of use, some people think they are not as powerful as traditional chargers. But, as the technology becomes more sophisticated, you won’t have to worry so much about their power. or lack thereof.

    Do solar battery chargers really work? What type do you need?

    Yes! Solar battery chargers can fully charge your devices. The only thing is, if the battery has reached the end of its lifetime and needs to be replaced, a simple recharge won’t cut it.

    They do take a longer time than gas powered or wall powered chargers but they are a great option for traveling or off-grid living.

    Determine which one will work for your needs by answering the questions below:

    What do I want to charge, something as big as a car or as small as a phone?

    If you are looking for a charger for a specific purpose, like charging your car battery, then you can look strictly at solar car battery chargers. Typical 12V car batteries aren’t always the most reliable, especially if there is an accidental light in the car left on overnight or a car sits idle for months.

    Once you determine the category of chargers you are looking at, i.e., automotive chargers, then you can pick between the chargers available. The size and type of the battery you need to charge will determine the size and amp power of the charger you need.

    Solar powered battery chargers are a great way to add a charge to your 12-volt battery and act as a battery maintainer to expand their lifetime and practical use. Many of these batteries are known as ‘trickle charge batteries’ because they produce a low current of electricity to charge batteries’ power banks.

    How portable do I need the solar battery charger to be?

    Portability is important, especially if you are planning to use your solar battery charger while camping or on the go.

    But if you need the charger as a backup for your car battery, it doesn’t need to be portable and can sit in a garage for use only when it is needed. or be stowed in your car for emergency use!

    Do I want individual solar battery chargers for each prospective use or one that serves multiple purposes?

    You might be thinking to yourself that you don’t want a few different chargers for each device, that only one solar battery charger is necessary for you.

    Luckily, there are charger options that can serve many purposes! So if you don’t particularly care about portability but more about practical uses, buying a general charger makes sense.

    Other things to consider are making sure it’s waterproof if it is used for a boat or dust-proof if it is needed for camping and hiking. You can narrow down your search by getting specific about what role your solar battery charger is going to play.

    Increase your solar savings with a solar powered home

    Relying on solar power makes your life easier. all you have to do is set up the solar panels and let them be.

    With portable solar battery chargers, you can improve and maintain the charge for your car, boat, and RV battery packs. from anywhere. If the concept of using the sun’s energy to power your appliances appeals to you, a solar powered home might also make sense.

    Learn how much it can cost you to power all of your electricity usage with solar panels alone.

    Assemble your solar charging system in four simple steps:


    For a more detailed explanation on Solar Charging System design, read our instructions here.

    Select the appropriate Complete Solar Charger

    Design chose the kit corresponding to the total wattage you think you may eventually want. This could include roof-mounted panels as well as portable panels.15A 230W, 20A 300W, 30A 450W, 50A 700W, 85A 1200W, 100A 1400W

    Click into the product for more information and to purchase your system.

    Communicates battery voltage and solar charge rate to a Smart phone or tablet via Bluetooth, Expandable up to 230W, Advanced MPPT charge controller delivers approximately 20% more energy than PWM, Combiner box covers roof penetration and allows for easy upgrades, Panel(s) can be tilted

    Communicates battery voltage and solar charge rate to a Smart phone or tablet via Bluetooth, Expandable up to 300W, Advanced MPPT charge controller delivers approximately 20% more energy than PWM, Combiner box covers roof penetration and allows for easy upgrades, Panel(s) can be tilted

    Communicates battery voltage and solar charge rate to a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth, Expandable up to 450W, Advanced MPPT charge controller delivers approximately 20% more energy than PWM, Combiner box covers roof penetration and allows for easy upgrades.

    Communicates battery voltage and solar charge rate to a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth, Expandable up to 700W, Advanced MPPT charge controller delivers approximately 20% more energy than PWM, Combiner box covers roof penetration and allows for easy upgrades, Panel(s) can be tilted

    Communicates battery voltage and solar charge rate to a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth, Expandable up to 1200W, Advanced MPPT charge controller delivers approximately 20% more energy than PWM, Combiner box covers roof penetration and allows for easy upgrades, Panel(s) can be tilted

    Communicates battery voltage and solar charge rate to a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth, Expandable up to 1400W, Advanced MPPT charge controller delivers approximately 20% more energy than PWM, Combiner box covers roof penetration and allows for easy upgrades, Panel(s) can be tilted

    Add Solar Panels

    Make sure you get the variant that matches what you want to connect your panel to. For example, kits that use the new Zamp combiner box (15A and 20A kits) work with panels that kits that end in Cable or ATP connectors. Our larger kits use the AM Solar combiner box which is compatible with panel kits ending in Cable. If you want to add a series panel to a panel going to a combiner box, select a panel kit ending in “S”. If you want to connect to a standard Zamp combiner box, get the panel kits ending in SAE. If you already have mounts and a wire harness, and just want a panel by itself, get a Raw panel.

    Custom designed by Grape Solar for mobile applications, this 100W panel is ideal for Airstreams trailers, vans, truck campers, and any application where roof space is limited.

    Wattage: 100WType: MonocrystallineOperating Voltage (Vmp): 19.1VOpen Circuit Voltage (Voc): 23.1VOperating Current (Imp): 5.23AShort Circuit Current (Isc): 5.59ASize: 41 x 22 x 1.38 15.4lbsFrame: Black Anodized Aluminum

    Custom designed by Grape Solar for mobile applications, this 110W panel is ideal for Airstreams trailers and vans.

    Wattage: 110WType: MonocrystallineOperating Voltage (Vmp): 21.3VOpen Circuit Voltage (Voc): 25.7VOperating Current (Imp): 5.18AShort Circuit Current (Isc): 5.60ASize: 68 x 15.4 x 1.38 17.9lbsFrame: Black Anodized Aluminum

    Designed for narrow spaces using 6 cells, this panel is ideal for small systems. Made in Bend, Oregon, United States.

    Wattage: 90WType: MonocrystallineOperating Voltage (Vmp): 18.0VOpen Circuit Voltage (Voc): 23.8VOperating Current (Imp): 5.0AShort Circuit Current (Isc): 5.4ASize: 39.6 x 19.9 x 1.38 14.3lbsFrame: Black Anodized Aluminum

    Designed for narrow spaces using 6 cells, this panel is ideal for small systems. Made in Bend, Oregon, United States.

    Wattage: 90WType: MonocrystallineOperating Voltage (Vmp): 18.0VOpen Circuit Voltage (Voc): 23.6VOperating Current (Imp): 5.0AShort Circuit Current (Isc): 5.2ASize: 58.3 x 13.6 x 1.38 14.3lbsFrame: Silver Anodized Aluminum

    best, solar, chargers, backpacking, energy

    Designed for narrow spaces using 6 cells, this panel is ideal for small systems. Made in Bend, Oregon, United States.

    Wattage: 115WType: MonocrystallineOperating Voltage (Vmp): 18.0VOpen Circuit Voltage (Voc): 23.8VOperating Current (Imp): 6.3AShort Circuit Current (Isc): 6.8ASize: 39.6 x 26.6 x 1.38 17.6lbsFrame: Silver Anodized Aluminum

    Using 6 monocrystalline cells, this panel is ideal for large systems where there is ample roof space. Made in Bend, Oregon, United States Flash tested at 184W /- 3%

    Wattage: 170WType: MonocrystallineOperating Voltage (Vmpp): 18.0VOpen Circuit Voltage (Voc): 23.8VOperating Current (Impp): 9.30AShort Circuit Current (Isc): 9.4ASize: 58.3 x 26.4 x 1.38 26.5lbsFrame: Silver Anodized Aluminum

    NOTE: Spring Sale on 190W DJ modules is for HQ (Springfield, Oregon) pick-up only. If you are interested in shipping, please reach out to for a shipping quote.

    Sale includes Mix stock of A and B modules.

    These panels use cut 6 monocrystalline cells. Made in Bend, Oregon, United States.

    Wattage: 190W Type: Monocrystalline Operating Voltage (Vmpp): 20.4V / 40.9V Open Circuit Voltage (Voc): 24.2V / 48.4V Operating Current (Impp): 9.3A / 4.65A Short Circuit Current (Isc): 10.02A / 5.01A Size: 58.3 x 26.4 x 1.38 26.0lbs Frame: Silver Anodized Aluminum

    High wattage, using 6 cells, this panel is ideal for large systems where there is ample roof space.

    These modules come in a standard and higher-voltage version. Please be sure to match your kit and/or module(s) to similar voltage profile modules. Please reach out to AMS support with any clarifying questions @

    When maxing out a larger charge controller (70A) using higher voltage modules can be preferred as it allows you to more incrementally approach the input current max while still adding wattage to the system.

    Wattage: 200WType: MonocrystallineOperating Voltage (Vmpp): 20.4V / 37.6VOpen Circuit Voltage (Voc): 24.3V / 45.4VOperating Current (Impp): 9.80A / 5.32AShort Circuit Current (Isc): 10.2A / 5.83ASize: 58.7 x 26.8 x 1.38 26.5lbsFrame: Silver Anodized Aluminum

    This panel has it all, a low-profile, a narrow footprint, and high output. It is ideal for van conversions, Airstreams, or anyone wanting the latest in mobile solar panel technology. Custom-engineered by Zamp Solar and made in Bend, Oregon.

    Wattage: 100WType: MonocrystallineOperating Voltage (Vmp): 21.9VOpen Circuit Voltage (Voc): 25.62VOperating Current (Imp): 4.83AShort Circuit Current (Isc): 4.58ASize: 20.7 x 43.6 x 0.67 10.78lbsFrame: Obsidian Black Anodized Aluminum

    This panel has it all, a low-profile, a narrow footprint, and high output. It is ideal for van conversions, Airstreams, or anyone wanting the latest in mobile solar panel technology. Custom-engineered by Zamp Solar and made in Bend, Oregon.

    Wattage: 90WType: MonocrystallineOperating Voltage (Vmp): 18.0VOpen Circuit Voltage (Voc): 23.8VOperating Current (Imp): 5.0AShort Circuit Current (Isc): 5.2ASize: 59.2 x 14.4 x 0.67 10.3lbsFrame: Obsidian Black Anodized Aluminum

    Add Sealant

    Your first tube of sealant will come with your charge controller kit. This will be sufficient for the combiner box and your first two panels. Beyond that, you will want one tube for every three panels. If you have an airstream, van, skoolie, or metal roof, use SikaFlex. If you have a fiberglass, or TPO roof, use Dicor. You can use Dicor on metal, but don’t use SikaFlex on TPO. Dicor sealant is used to seal the inside of the combiner box.

    Ideal for Airstream roofs, Teroson protects the VHB tape from the elements and is UV rated. Use it to seal around mount feet, cable management hardware, and combiner boxes attached to roofs. Do not use Teroson on TPO roofs.

    The 5 Best Portable Solar Laptop Chargers

    Amber Nolan is a freelance writer for Treehugger who is passionate about sustainable living, nature, and outdoor adventure.

    Working remotely using a laptop is becoming more and more common, and with it comes the challenge of keeping a computer powered up when electric outlets are scarce. Whether camping in the wilderness, on a road trip, living off-grid, or in a sudden power-outage situation, a portable solar laptop charger is a handy device to have.

    Most portable solar laptop chargers function as mini power stations capable of charging other electronics like cell phones, cameras, drones, and tablets—to name a few. Now, with more options than ever to choose from, we’ve sorted through the latest solar devices to find our favorites.

    Here are the best portable solar laptop chargers.

    Best Overall

    Jackery 1000W Peak Solar Generator SG550 with 100W Solar Panel

    Founded by a former Apple battery engineer in Silicon Valley, Jackery Power Outdoors is one of the most well-recognized names in off-grid power supplies. The Solar Generator SG290 comes with a whopping 90-watt panel that folds shut and can easily be toted away using the carry handle. The 400-watt output can charge a MacBook four times before the power station requires a recharge, making it our top overall choice.

    Another stand-out feature is the built in MPPT module that monitors voltage and output of the solar panel, adding up to 23% more solar recharging efficiency. There’s also an automatic power-saving setting to power down when not in use. The Jackery can charge up to four devices at one time.

    Price at time of publish: 679

    Solar Panel Capacity: 400 watts | Battery Capacity: 290 watt hours | Weight: 7.5 pounds | Output Ports: AC Output, Car Port Output, USB Outputs

    Best Portable

    Goal Zero Sherpa 100AC Nomad 20 Solar Kit

    For an ultraportable laptop charger than can easily pack up and fit into luggage or a hiking pack, the Sherpa 100AC by Goal Zero weighs just over four pounds – for both the charger and the 20-watt solar panel. The Sherpa is ideal for charging laptops, cameras, tablets, and phones, plus it even has a wireless charging option.

    The Nomad 20 panel can fold shut and comes with a kickstand to get the proper angle in the sun. It takes about 7.5 to 15 hours to recharge (so a full day in the sun), however, it can also recharge from another USB source (in eight to 10 hours) or from the car adapter or wall charger in about three hours.

    Price at time of publish: 450

    Solar Panel Capacity: 20 watts | Battery Capacity: 94.7 watt hours | Weight: Power bank 2 pounds, solar panel 2.28 pounds | Output Ports: Wireless Qi, USB-C PD ports, USB-A, AC inverter

    Best for RVing

    Patriot Power Sidekick

    Specializing in emergency equipment such as water filters and ready-to-eat survival meals, the outdoor company 4 Patriots also makes must-have solar devices. The Power Sidekick is a reliable and efficient solar charger that’s designed for sudden power-outages, and is also a good addition to camping or RV gear.

    Although it’s lightweight, the Sidekick can charge phones, laptops, medical devices, Wi-Fi routers, radios, and more with a capacity of 300 watts. The four foldable solar panels (connected) provide total 40 watts of power to recharge the Sidekick and can also directly charge any device that has a USB port. There’s a light on the back that’s useful in a tent or on the picnic table, and the clear digital display shows the charging levels and how many watts the laptop being charged is using.

    The company supports active-duty military and veterans’ charities.

    Price at time of publish: 497

    Solar Panel Capacity: 40 watts | Battery Capacity: 300 watt hours | Weight: 8 pounds | Output Ports: Two USB, USB Type C, two pure sine wave AC output

    Best Backpack Charger

    Voltaic Systems Array Rapid Solar Backpack Charger for Laptops

    A solar-charging backpack allows you to charge a laptop on the go, and the redesigned Array Rapid Solar Backpack Charger by Voltaic Systems is lightweight (5.4 pounds), durable, and powerful. UV and water resistant, the backpack is made from 33 recycled plastic soda bottles (recycled PET fabric). Inside is 25 liters of storage, a dedicated padded 15-inch laptop sleeve for added protection, and plenty of interior s.

    The new larger capacity, 88-watt hour battery comes with USB-C to charge the latest devices. The battery can be recharged with the AC adapter or with the 10-watt solar panel that’s built into the rear of the backpack. It takes about six hours to fully charge a laptop.

    Price at time of publish: 249

    Solar Panel Capacity: 9 watts | Battery Capacity: 88.8 watt hours | Weight: 5.4 pounds | Output Ports: USB, USB Type C, and Hi-Voltage Laptop Output

    Best Budget

    SunJack 25W Portable Solar Charger Panel 2 Powerbanks

    This portable solar panel and battery kit is designed for phones, tablets, and other smaller devices, but if your laptop uses a USB-C power cable, you can also connect it. The kit includes a folding, three-panel portable solar charger, and two 10,000mAh batteries, plus two fast-charging cables and carabiners.

    This setup might not be ideal for powering work on your laptop for an extended period of time, but it can supplement your laptop’s internal battery enough to get it to boot up and check or send messages in the case of an emergency. At under 200, it’s a great value and considerably less expensive than setups with higher capacities.

    Sunjack is a trusted name is solar panels, and its durable design is back by a one year warranty.

    Price at time of publish: 120

    Solar Panel Capacity: 25 watts | Battery Capacity: 90 watt hours each | Weight: 3 pounds total | Output Ports: One USB-A, one USB-C

    Our top pick for a portable solar laptop charger is the Jackery Power Outdoors unit for its reasonable price and high functionality, but if you’re looking for a cost-friendly option, the SunJack Solar Panel and Power Bank set is an affordable, lightweight choice for charging laptops and cell phones in emergency situations.

    What to Consider When Shopping for a Solar Laptop Charger


    While some portable solar panel manufacturers claim they can charge laptops by connecting directly to the panel, it’s not a good idea. Voltage fluctuations can potentially damage devices, and portable solar panels are slower to charge devices than battery power packs. Not to mention, solar panels can only be utilized during daylight hours, while a combination of both (battery and panel) allows you to maximize power generation by using the battery in the evenings and recharging it on the panel during the day.


    Although solar panels and batteries have both gotten way lighter in recent years, a battery system that’s large enough to keep a laptop charged for a meaningful amount of time is not going to fit in your Generally speaking, bigger, heavier batteries are going to charge a laptop for longer. These steps tend to be best suited for off-grid homes, car camping, or RVing. If you need a super lightweight system, you may want to consider if tablet and smaller battery pack can suit your needs.

    Output Ports

    Make sure the battery has output ports that you can plug your laptop’s power cable into. Many newer laptops, like the MacBook Pro, use a power cable with a USB-C connector. Older laptops will need an AC output port, the kind you find on a wall outlet.

    Why Trust Treehugger?

    The author, Amber Nolan, lives off-grid (most of the year) on a houseboat using almost entirely solar power, but she also relies on the Jackery portable solar generator when she’s traveling.

    What are the Solar Battery Charging Stages?

    Home » FAQ » What are the Solar Battery Charging Stages?

    Solar charge controllers put batteries through 4 charging stages:

    What are the 4 Solar Battery Charging Stages?

    Bulk Charging Voltage

    For lead-acid batteries, the initial bulk charging stage delivers the maximum allowable current into the solar battery to bring it up to a state of charge of approximately 80 to 90%. During bulk charging for solar, the battery’s voltage increases to about 14.5 volts for a nominal 12-volt battery.

    Absorption Charging

    When Bulk Charging is complete and the battery is about 80% to 90% charged, absorption charging is applied. During Absorption Charging, constant-voltage regulation is applied but the current is reduced as the solar batteries approach a full state of charge. This prevents heating and excessive battery gassing. At the end of Absorption Charging, the battery is typically at a 98% state of charge or greater.

    Float Charging

    Float charging, sometimes referred to as “trickle” charging occurs after Absorption Charging when the battery has about 98% state of charge. Then, the charging current is reduced further so the battery voltage drops down to the Float voltage.

    The Float charge of a battery keeps the battery at maximum capacity throughout the day.

    Equalization Charging

    For flooded open vent batteries, an Equalization charge is applied once every 2 to 4 weeks to maintain consistent specific gravities among individual battery cells. The more deeply a battery is discharged on a daily basis, the more often equalization charging is required. Solar Charge Controller Equalization is for flooded, not for sealed, GEL, or valve-regulated batteries which can be damaged by equalization.

    Figure 3: Multi-Stage Battery Charging Diagram

    Although lead-acid batteries are the most common type of battery regulated by solar charge controllers, lithium batteries are starting to gain traction. Morningstar launched an Energy Storage Partner program that involves working with many lithium iron phosphate battery manufacturers to maintain the highest state of charge for their batteries and to help maximize battery life.

    The integration guides you can download provide custom solar charge controller voltage and time settings for absorption and float charging, and other information that you will need to charge your batteries safely and to increase their longevity. In addition to lead-acid and lithium, Morningstar solar charge controllers can also charge nickel, aqueous hybrid ion, and flow or redox flow batteries.

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