What is the Best Solar Power Bank Charger? Top 10 Reviewed
Is the power in your hands? With a solar power bank, it really is. Technology has finally found a way to capture the power of the sun, it’s energy, and store it in a small and neat compact device. We have the means to convert that raw wattage into a usable source to replenish the charge our devices require to function – mobile devices like phones, tablets, and even laptops.
These devices still leave most people believing they’re too good to be true. Is it possible to keep your electronics charged and functional using nothing but the daylight nature has given us? Absolutely.
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If you’ve heard mixed reviews about power banks, it’s not an accurate reflection of the technology that’s available today. The best solar power banks are manufactured to be pretty powerful contraptions, capable of charging mobile devices like phones many times over before needing a recharge themselves. They’re generally designed to be compact enough to fit into a day pack without adding to your pack’s weight.
Each power bank comes complete with it’s own unique set of traits. Finding the best power bank for your needs requires some comparison and analysis. If you are looking for a solar power bank that can recharge a larger and more power consumptive device, like a laptop, a higher mAh capacity is recommended. If you value portability and durability, look for something that’s designed with shatter-proof casings.
Our 10 favorite solar power banks serve a range of purposes. From affordability to sleekness and even water-resistance, there’s something for every purpose here;
Top solar power bank charger comparison
|Hiluckey Portable Solar Power Bank||Best solar charger overall||Check Amazon price|
|Goal Zero Venture 30 7800mAh Waterproof Power Bank||Best waterproof solar power bank||Check Amazon price|
|Qi Portable Charger||Best portable solar power bank charger||Check Amazon price|
|Solar Charger 20000mAh Portable Outdoor Waterproof Mobile Power Bank||Best cheap solar power bank||Check Amazon price|
|Green Maui 20000mAh Large Capacity Fast Charge External Waterproof Portable Phone Charger||Best brand solar power bank||Check Amazon price|
|ToughTested Solar Charger – 24000mAh Portable Solar Powerbank||Best high capacity solar power bank||Check Amazon price|
|Portable Solar Charger, BEARTWO 10000mAh||Best lightweight solar power bank||Check Amazon price|
|MXX Wireless Portable Solar Charger||Best solar power bank for laptops||Check Amazon price|
|Solar Charger 24000mAh, FEELLE Solar Power Bank||Best travel solar power bank||Check Amazon price|
|ADDTOP Portable Solar Power Bank||Best USB solar power bank||Check Amazon price|
Best solar power bank charger: Here are the top 10 choices compared
Hiluckey portable solar power bank (Best solar charger overall)
The Hiluckey portable solar power bank is considered the best solar charger overall because of its high capacity (25000 mAh) combined with its intuitive functions, it’s durability (it’s great for use outdoors) and its high-speed charging. This Hiluckey power bank is also super practical with its dual USB ports.
- 25000 mAh lithium polymer battery pack
- 2.1A high-speed charging
- Charges by solar with 5W power and 1A input current
- Dual USB ports
The foldable solar panels also add to the overall experience of owning one of these Hiluckey portable solar power banks. The entire contraption opens out with 4 panels absorbing the sunlight and folding away into one lightweight and neat little package when you want to pack it up.
With a capacity of 25000 mAh, you can expect high-speed charging, both when you are recharging your devices and when you are replenishing your solar power bank’s charge. The solar power bank recharges faster when you use a USB cable and an electrical power source, but solar charging is also a great option.
It’s tough enough for outdoor use and lightweight enough to use on camping trips or business trips. Rated 4.5 stars on Amazon, this product has received predominantly raving feedback from reviewers – so if you were wondering how well they deliver on their claims, that should set your mind at ease.
Hiluckey Portable Solar Power Bank pros and cons
- Intelligently detects and matches the output current to protect it
- Waterproof, shock and dust resistant
- Includes a micro USB cable
Goal Zero Venture 30 7800 mAh Waterproof Power Bank (Best waterproof solar power bank)
The Goal Zero Venture’s IPX6 weather-proof rating makes it a popular option for those seeking the best waterproof solar power bank. The manufacturer’s popular phrase, “Dunk it, spray it, use it in the rain,” gives testament to its great design – ideal for use in extreme weather conditions and outdoors.
- Built-in Micro USB
- Certified cables for efficient charging
- 30 Wh, 7800 mAh Power Pack
Just the same as all the reputable power banks, the Goal Zero Venture is able to charge two devices at once thanks to its dual USB port. To gain a full charge in the power, it needs to have sun exposure for at least 9 hours. Charging it via a power source gives you a full charge within 4 hours.
Another of its key features that makes this device noteworthy is that despite being rated the best waterproof power bank, it is not submersible. It gains this rating because of the overall engineering and durability, combined with the ease of use and portability. It’s the best all-round power bank with well-rated water-resistance.
Goal Zero is considered one of the top solar power bank recharging manufacturers. They have a solid reputation in the industry and there are many review articles that feature their products. This particular solar power bank is a worthwhile purchase; you can expect a lightweight and practical device that will keep your devices charged when you are on-the-go. On the down-low, this is also the best value solar power bank.
Best Solar Power Banks You Can Buy Right Now
Most of us have a dependency on the grid. Plugging our cellphones, digital cameras, ebook readers, and tablets into a wall-mounted charger every day. We could all do with the occasional break from the grid and you should use the power of the sun.
Solar power is a convenient, environmentally-friendly way of ensuring that your devices remain charged as you enjoy the outside.
- Brand: Riapow
- Connector Type: USB, USB Type C
- Voltage:5 Volts
- Brand: Hiluckey
- Connector Type: USB, USB Type C, USB Type A
- Battery Capacity: 26800 Milliamp Hours
- Brand: Qisa
- Total USB Ports: 2
- Wattage:15 watts
- Brand: aonidi
- Connector Type:USB, Micro USB
- Battery Capacity:26800 Milliamp Hours
- Connector Type: USB
- Voltage: 5 Volts
- Connector Type:USB, USB Type C
- Output Voltage:5 Volts
Living off the grid can be a bit terrifying. Especially when you need to keep in touch with friends and family. That can be difficult when you are hundreds of miles away from a power outlet. The panic soon sets in that you have forgotten to charge your devices.
How are you going to show off the sights when your cell phone and digital camera need a charge? And what if you get lost and need to call the emergency services?
With a solar power bank you can charge your devices as you go. Wilderness campers, world travelers (and their mothers) all attest that a way to charge your devices is one less worry. You would barely notice the solar panels hanging from your backpack but you would appreciate them in an emergency.
ADDTOP 25000mAh Solar Power Bank
Most solar power banks should be judged on their charging ability, and ADDTOP provides a sizable 25000mAh with theirs. That solar panel performance should set it apart, but the design is even more impressive.
A plastic and synthetic leather case provides durable protection, which it hardly needs with an IP65 rating. Totally dustproof, you can leave it out in the rain and it should be fine. Just try not to submerge it.
Both USB ports are covered for even solid protection from water and dust. The 25000mAh is the main star of the show. Once fully charged, it should charge an iPhone around seven times.
That capacity should mean confidence in the great outdoors that you can keep all your devices charged while out for days. Four solar panels make it happen and you can easily attach them to your backpack.
- Huge Charging Capacity – 25,000 mAh is huge charging capacity and should charge a smartphone three to four times
- Short Charging Time – Only requires around 25-30 hours of sunlight to fully charge
- Four Solar Panels – Four foldable solar panels with up to 1A input from direct sunlight
- Power Output Compatibility – Should charge most 5V devices as long as they have USB ports such as smartphones, ebook readers, digital cameras, and tablets
- Reliable When Outdoors – Built for the outdoors with dust and shock construction as well as waterproofing
Raipow Solar Power Bank 26800mAh
If you wanted a little more juice, then how does 26800mAh sound? How about inductive, wireless charging for QI-enabled phones too? With three USB ports, you can charge four devices simultaneously at full speed.
It can fully charge an iPhone 11 in just 1.3 hours and get a smartphone to 50% charge in half an hour. That is quick, it is also Smart by auto-detecting each of your devices’ current to provide the fullest, fastest charging speed possible.
This solar power bank is also designed to be used outdoors. Of course, you can hang it on your backpack but an LED Flashlight with three modes, including SOS, could make the difference in an emergency. Visibility is key yet so is a durable, sturdy waterproof design which means it can take a hit too.
- Inductive Charging – Cable-free charging with wireless output which supports all QI-enabled phones
- Rapid Device Charging – Should charge four devices at the same time at full speed
- Current Auto-Detecting – The clever design will auto-detect a device’s current to match it to the fastest charging speed to a maximum of 3A
- Quick Recharging – The solar power bank will recharge in only seven hours with a USB-C charger
- No USB-C Charger – It is recommended to charge the solar power bank with a USB-C which is not included
Hiluckey Solar Power Bank
- Connector Type: USB, USB Type C, USB Type A Battery Capacity: 26800 Milliamp Hours Item Dimensions LxWxH: 6.26 x 3.11 x 0.39 inches
During most flights, you are supposed to have your smartphone off. With the Hiluckey Solar Power Bank you can use up to 10W to get your QI-enabled phone fully charged wirelessly.
You can also use the more conventional method of a cable to attach your tablet, your digital camera, maybe even another power bank for a charge. That versatility also means a USB-C port that can be used as an input or output port. Great if you only have so many cables.
While this solar power bank is incredibly versatile, a 10W wireless charging speed is more powerful than most. Then there is dependable durability from an IPX7 rating and anti-impact protection on each corner. Submerge it, drop it, the Hiluckey Solar Power Bank is ready for your trip to the great outdoors.
- Great Device Compatibility – Will charge a huge range of smartphones, tablets, cameras, and other digital devices including different power banks
- LED Flashlight – Three modes are included with the LED Flashlight including steady, flashing, and SOS
- Dual USB-C Port – The USB-C port can be used as an input or output port
- Anti-Impact Protection – Each corner of the solar power bank has been made for impact so do not worry about dropping it
- Totally Waterproof – Submersible up to around three feet from a rating of IPX7
- Slow Wall Charging – May be slower to charge via a wall-mounted charger than a lot of other solar power banks
Qi 35800mAh Solar Power Bank
- Compatible Devices: Tablets, Cameras, Cellular Phones, Smartwatches Compatible Phone Models: iPhone Samsung phone and all USB device Connectivity Technology: USB
There is great charging capacity and there is 35800mAh. That’s pretty much leading the way for a solar power bank but that is what you get from the Qi Solar Power Bank. For being off-grid, that charging capacity is ideal for having a reliable energy source to keep several devices going over and over again.
Multi-protection comes with that huge capacity as it will keep your devices from short-circuiting and overcharging. The solar power bank will automatically alter the output to save from overcurrent and overvoltage too.
As well as that long-lasting battery capacity, this is also the solar power bank to come to the rescue should an emergency arise. A flashlight with capacity for 280 lumens is ideal for the outdoors and could lead you through the pitch dark with a 3.3W light output.
Do not fret about dropping this solar power bank either due to a shockproof shell, even if it should fall from 3.6 meters.
- Huge Charging Capacity – 35600mAh is pretty much unparalleled charging capacity for a solar power bank
- Bright Flashlight – A 280 lumens flashlight that comes with a 3.3W light output
- Drop-Proof – Ideal for taking on long hikes
- Smart Chip – Capable of auto-identifying different devices then stabilizing the voltage for safe charging using a Smart chip
- Slow Solar Charging – With such a huge charging capacity it takes a while to charge
Aonidi 26800mAh Solar Power Bank
- Brand: aonidi Connector Type: USB, Micro USB Battery Capacity: 26800 Milliamp Hours
Walking in the outdoor wilderness means getting prepared for whatever the elements can throw at you. Wind, rain, even fire. The Aonidi 26800mAh Solar Power Bank can withstand most temperamental conditions, and still provide great charging capacity.
Formed from fireproof materials just in case, the solar bank can produce a powerful flashlight when darkness falls. Lasting 50 hours with a brightness up to 360 lumens should be enough to light your path.
All that durability means easy charging with the included hanging rope and anti-slip material. Hand-hold it while you walk and watch your devices quickly charge up with a maximum output of 15W. That is enough wattage to charge an iPhone 12 in a single hour. Plenty of battery power to have that extra reassurance.
- Fireproof Materials – The power bank is formed from materials than can withstand fire
- Anti-Slip – Easily hand-held to grip and charge along a walk
- Hanging Rope – Easily attachable to your backpack for hours of charging while enjoying the sun
- 15W Maximum Output – Charge your devices quickly with an ample 15W
- Long-Lasting Flashlight – The flashlight can last for 50 hours and is bright up to 360 lumens
- Large Weight – Several users have commented that the solar bank can be heavy to hand-hold
Yelomin 20000 mAh Solar Power Bank
Some hikers and travelers like to pack light. Only carrying the bare essentials means taking a solar power bank that offers a backup for your devices. The more desirable options will charge your smartphone, your tablet, and even another solar power bank if you need it to.
You may only need a bit of juice to ensure you can get through a long hike and still have a charge for when you really need it. The durability in this solid power bank also means you should be able to use it for over 900 recharges.
Charging capacity can run into the 30,000’s yet you may only need a backup and the Yelomin 20000 mAh Solar Power Bank will provide that. You will also know when the solar power bank is charging thanks to pilot indicators.
The green light will indicate that the sunlight is boosting the battery and a blue light is for USB charging. LED lighting and a compass that is graciously included truly makes this an ideal outdoor companion. Ready for when you need it.
- Compass Kit Included – In case of emergency, a compass kit is included to direct you back to the right path
- Battery Status Indicators – Five pilot indicators can show you the status of the battery charging
- Durability – You should be able to recharge the battery over 900 times
- High Temperature Sensitive – The ideal operating temperature range is 14F to 140°F and prolonged exposure in high temperatures will damage the solar power bank
BLAVOR PN21 Solar Power Bank
- Brand: BLAVOR Connector Type: USB, USB Type C Output Voltage: 5 Volts
Sometimes you just want a simple design that works. That reassurance where you know that whatever happens you can rely on a piece of kit. The BLAVOR PN21 Solar Power Bank has three foldable solar panels that can unfold at the click of a button.
With a neat, easy-to-use design and an LCD display, you will instantly know how much charge you currently have. That display will also show you how much power it can get from direct exposure to sunlight. It should be a lot with 594 optical lines in total which is key to a higher conversion efficiency than a lot of rival solar power banks.
Talking of current, 960mAh is available when the three solar panels are unfolded. That is a sizable amount of capacity to ensure your devices are charged up. You would not even have to unfurl cables to wirelessly charge your QI-enabled smartphone.
- 15W Charging – Fast, powerful 15W charging at an affordable price
- Three Foldable Solar Panels – The solar panels unfold with a single click
- LCD Display – A real-time display shows you how much charge is available
- Wireless Device Charging – Wirelessly charge your QI-enabled smartphones
- Solar Charging Current – With 960mAh available from the three solar panels, you can keep your devices charged
- Undersized Solar Panels – On a long hike under Cloud cover, three solar panels may not be able to charge all of your devices
The primary feature you need to check is the charging capacity. Should you have several devices that you know will need to be charged, you need to consider this feature of the solar power bank first and foremost.
Charging capacity is usually measured in mAh (milliamp Hour) which is the number of milliamperes a battery can provide per hour. Obviously, the bigger the mAh, the more charging capacity. For instance, if the battery has a mAh specification of 25,000mAh, it can provide 25,000 milliamperes for an hour.
Most solar power banks come with a rating of 20,000 and upwards of 30,000 mAh. Estimating how much mAh you are likely to need could make a big difference in how much you need to pay too.
In order to best use the charging capacity of your solar power bank you should consider prioritizing your devices. Try to think about which device you are more likely to use in the near future. Your smartphone, the tablet, the ebook reader?
Each device will have a different sized battery; the battery for a tablet is likely to be bigger than that of a smartphone. If you can estimate the required mAh of your solar power bank you can narrow down your choices.
The number of ports the solar power bank has will also impact on the charging capacity. Ideally, you will want to charge multiple devices at once which will provide a significant drain on the battery. However, some solar power banks can hold their charge for a number of weeks yet may only be relied upon for a few charges at a time.
To reach that charging capacity you may have to rely on the weather, specifically whether the sun comes out beyond the clouds. There are some solar power banks that only take a matter of hours to fully charge.
However, others may take multiple days to charge from sunlight alone. That is largely why a lot of manufacturers suggest ensuring that your solar power bank is fully charged from a wall socket before you set off.
Several manufacturers do design their solar power banks specifically for emergency purposes. This is so the solar charging is classed as a secondary feature with the main intention that the charge is held in case you need it.
Being able to charge your devices while you are out exploring is an ideal way of ensuring you can still use your devices when you need them. If you can rely on exposure to sunlight then you can be assured that your cellphone will be charged, as well as your tablet or ebook reader if you need it. That means you can simply concentrate on your off the grid experience.
Ideally, you should only need a solar power bank when you truly require it, though it does act as a great accessory to take with you. If you know you are going to take a long trip or need an alternative energy source for a new life off the grid, a solar power bank is a super option.
However, to fully make use of it you may need to find one with the most solar charging capacity. This is how much the solar power bank will be charged from direct sunlight. You may also need to make sure your solar power bank can withstand the elements if you want to use it as you want it.
For that you should check the IP rating (more information is included on that below). Those solar power banks with several solar panels attached are usually a bit more fragile so should be considered primarily for use in summer.
A lot depends on the weather, especially for your solar power bank. Having said that, most solar power banks can take a bit of rain. While most will not be completely waterproof, they can typically handle a few spills. They are designed to be exposed to the elements after all.
If you do need to compare how waterproof a solar power bank is then you need to check the IP rating. This will also indicate how dustproof it is too.
An IP rating consists of two numbers. The first number indicates how dustproof the solar power bank is with six being the highest value available. The second number refers to how waterproof it is and a 7 would mean that the solar power bank can be submerged in three feet of water for up to half an hour.
An X for either value would mean that the solar power bank has not been tested for that resistance. For instance, an IPX5 rating would mean that the solar power bank has not been tested for dustproofing but the five means it should comfortably resist a sustained water jet spray at low pressure.
Maximum Output/Time To Charge
While the charging capacity should take precedence in your decision-making, how long the solar power bank takes to charge a device is also important. For that feature, you will need to check the maximum output rating.
Just like the charging capacity, the bigger the value the better. The maximum output will typically be measured in watts and an 18-watt solar power bank will provide much faster-charging speeds than one with ten watts.
A solar power bank that is worth the investment will likely come with large solar panels. The bigger the coverage, the higher the charging capacity, and the maximum output.
This is really important for backpackers as some solar power banks can be foldable. You can even attach them to your back and charge them up as you hike.
For Travelers On Short Trips
If you are embarking on a short trip, you may need to ask yourself how many charges you need. For a daytrip you may only need to make sure that you use your cellphone all day and still have some charge just in case.
A few extra photos perhaps, maybe listen to a podcast or record a video to capture that special moment. If you do just need a boost of juice then simply make sure that the solar power bank is fully charged after each trip.
That will likely mean you do not need to consider the solar charging capability, especially if you cannot rely on sunshine.
Should you be going on a multi-day trip to somewhere remote you can rely on a solar power bank for a few charges. This should cover your devices for a few days and it will likely prove more reliable than a regular power bank as you have extra functionality.
You should not even worry about staying out for a couple more days. As long as there is some sunlight for a few hours, that should be enough for a full charge to cover your devices.
For The Forgettable
There is always someone in a traveling party that completely forgets to charge their devices. For most, the prospect of setting off without a fully charged device is enough for a panic attack before the day has truly begun.
Should you be the one liable to forget to charge your devices then having a fully charged solar power bank is a superb idea. Maybe keep one in your vehicle or your luggage so you know that if you do forget, there is still another power source ready to go when you need it.
This is especially important if you are going on a trip and want to remain contactable for family and friends. You may also need to be contactable for work, in which case having a solar power bank in your vehicle or office desk is a really Smart thing to do.
It would be far easier to carry a solar power bank than take your charger and wonder where to find a power outlet.
For Life Off The Grid
Living off the grid should mean relying on nature. That can mean filtering your own water, hunting your own dinner and having a stocked up cellar. A solar power bank should be a crucial part of your emergency kit.
Especially as it can hold charge which could be crucial in a disaster. Being able to charge your devices without relying on the infrastructure is also incredibly liberating.
While life off the grid should be emancipating you should still be able to rely on some modern technology. That includes your solar power bank so try to find one that can hold its charge well. Having an alternative power source that you know is readily available is a welcome comfort.
For The Environmentally Conscious
Those who want to make a difference on their energy consumption may want to consider a solar power bank. Solar panels are already well known as a great energy source and solar is certainly considered to be the energy of the future. Maybe even right now.
Solar power is accessible and it only requires a small investment to have your own convenient energy source with a solar power bank. Even a small solar power bank can make a huge difference if you can attach it to your bag every day.
The weight of your solar power bank is really important to consider. An experienced backpacker will know that every ounce counts. While you will have your essentials packed there are other items which are ‘nice to haves’. An extra t-shirt or a different hat. Your solar power bank should be an essential item to take with you but the weight all adds up.
There is a bit of weighing up to do with a solar power bank. The bigger and heavier ones will typically provide more battery charging capacity as the solar panels, and the battery itself, will be bigger and bulkier.
However, you will have to carry it. If you are an experienced backpacker who can spend a few days out on a hike you likely want a bit more charging capacity. Especially if the weather may not bring so much direct sunlight. However, if you are only going for a day hike you may be able to get away with a smaller, light solar power bank.
If you only have a large solar power bank that is ideal for longer hikes, then it may be more convenient not to take it. The likelihood is if you use your devices wisely you probably will not need to charge them. But if you have a smaller solar power bank that you can top up during the day then that may suit the job. Just don’t forget to charge it before you begin your hike.
Being able to charge all your devices at once is a massive boon to have which comes with a lot of solar power banks. Yet that also takes into account the number of devices you will be carrying. If you only need to pack your smartphone and a tablet then you only need two ports.
However, should you go on a longer trip and want to take an ebook reader perhaps you will want three ports. Almost all solar power banks will use full-size USB Type-A ports for output which means they will be compatible with a cable of your choice. However, for input they will either use micro-USB or USB Type C so take that into consideration.
As a general rule, look out for solar power banks that have two output ports and two input ports as these provide great versatility.
For solar power banks that can offer a higher solar charging current, you are likely looking at multiple, folding solar panels. These tend to come with a clickable action so that they can be unfolded easily then clipped to the back of your backpack.
Charging on the move is a great option to have to keep the power bank ticking over. You can also expect a set of three or even four solar panels on offer. The more solar panels, the higher the coverage and the higher the solar charging current.
A handy feature to look out for is an LCD display. These will give you a real-time countdown of how much charge you have left. Some even tell you how much of that charge is available from current exposure to sunlight.
Can solar power banks be charged without exposure to sunlight?
Yes, they can be charged without direct exposure to sunlight. A lot of solar power banks will have battery banks, these work without being solar charged. You can plug them into another power source, or simply use a traditional wall outlet depending on the accessories and cables you have. If the solar power bank does not have one of these battery banks it will require exposure to sunlight and a direct connection to the solar power bank to charge.
What’s the difference between a solar power bank and a solar charger?
There is one subtle and telling difference between a solar power bank and a solar charger. A solar power bank has a battery, a solar charger does not. That one detail can determine which device you go for. If you know you will be going on a long trip and the weather may be temperamental, opt for a solar power bank. That way you can fully charge your device and even if the sun goes behind the clouds, you still have some charge reserved in the battery. That ‘just in case’ aspect can make a crucial difference so you are not depending on the weather and sunlight exposure. Having power stored away is a comforting notion and saves you the worry of checking the weather. However, a solar charger is ideal for long backpacking trips when you know you will be out in the sun for hours. They are also comparably lighter and if you can rely on the sun they are more efficient and will provide a faster charge.
Why You Should Invest In A Solar Power Bank?
Simply having a solar power bank is a great item to take on your next trip. Being less dependent on the grid is a wonderful freedom to have. The freedom to know you can charge your devices in the sunshine even though you may be spending a few days in a rainforest. Or the desert, or at sea.
If you only have a solar charger there is not so much a dependency on the grid but the sun. With a solar power bank you can reserve the charge for when you need it the most.
Knowing that you can still charge your cellphone when the sun goes down is a comforting thought when you are so far away from a power outlet. Convenient and environmentally-friendly, a solar power bank could also be the most important thing you pack should an emergency arise.
Jenny Kim is the Solar Director at Green Building Elements where she is responsible with helping make solar power more accessible and affordable to anyone that wants to take advantage of the many benefits of solar energy. Jenny holds a Master of Science in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech where she paid her way through college as a top-performing inside sales representative for SolarCity. You can connect with Jenny on LinkedIn.
Review: Innoo Tech 10,000mAh Solar Portable Charger
Solar power banks are your plain old power banks, and the only difference is that they have a solar panel installed within them, so you charge the power bank via solar panels.
That’s it. Most people don’t understand that a solar panel doesn’t charge that quickly with its solar recharging power, and you’re most likely going to be recharging it through the Micro-USB Input port that you use with most other portable chargers.
With that said, solar charging isn’t the only valuable asset that Solar power banks take advantage of, and they can be handy in many ways that more conventional chargers can’t be. This is the Innoo Tech solar charger; read on in this Charger Harbor Review to learn more about it.
Similar Solar Power Banks:
Starting with the power capacity, it does pretty well.
You’re starting with an initial power capacity of 10,000mAh and with conversion during charging that’s knocked down to about 8,000mAh.
The solar power bank doesn’t take advantage of particular hardware like Pansonic battery cells or any other tech that can improve conversion during charging.
With that said, we have to say that the conversion rate is pretty good, primarily because of its charging speed having a Max Output of only 2.1A.
With a power capacity of 8,000mAh, the power bank does a great job of charging most smartphones four times or more.
Although if you’re charging something like the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, then it’s going to fair a bit lower and be able to give about 2.5 total charges.
As for tablets, this charger can do well, but only if you’re charging a tablet alone. This is because power capacity won’t be split, and all the power capacity will be focused only on a single device.
It doesn’t have the highest power capacity, but it will be able to last you for a few days, and we think that it’s a perfect amount of power capacity for hiking, camping, or a simple outdoor venturing for either a few hours or days. So long as you’re charging devices that are within the portable charger’s capabilities of charging.
Innoo Tech 10,000mAh Solar Portable Charger (Output Power Capacity = 8,000mAh)Phone Capacity Innoo Tech 10,000mAh Solar Portable Charger Left Over Capacity after One Charge
Output Charging: Max Output: 2.1 Amps Per Port: 5V/1.0A
The charging speed could use some work. There are 2 Output charging ports, and each of them is only capable of charging at 1 Amp.
You’re not going to be getting very fast charging for most of the devices you plan to charge. This goes for most smartphones and tablets like iPads with a max charging rate of 2.4 Amps.
However, the charging speed is quite good in a way when you’re charging a device alone. This is because the charging speed is shared through the charging ports.
So if you’re charging only a single device at any one time, then that device can potentially receive a max charging rate of 2.1 Amps. This is great for higher Amperage charging devices like tablets and smartphones since they can charge beyond a 1 Amp rate.
So if you’re using both Output ports, then charging speeds can be quite limiting as the power bank is splitting source of power that is only 2.1 Amps.
Input Charging: Solar Charging: 5.5V/250mAh Micro-USB: 5V/1.0A
The main attraction for this power bank is the solar recharging aspect and as we said before at the beginning of this review, recharging with solar isn’t anything special. The same stands here.
We mean that the recharging speed through the solar panel is only 5.5V/250mA. So if you’re recharging it through ONLY the solar panels, then it can take up to 40 hours for the power bank to fully recharge.
Although that’s not happening unless you’re constantly keeping it under solar rays, also, Innoo Tech recommends that you do not leave it under sunlight for very long periods because it can overheat and get damaged.
So if you think that you’re going to be able to recharge it at a respectable charging speed through solar power, then you’re wrong.
Then there’s the traditional way of recharging the power bank through a Micro-USB input port. If you’re using the Micro-USB Input to recharge the solar power bank, it will take about 6-7 hours to recharge fully.
It doesn’t matter what wall charger you use since the Input recharge is only 5V/1.0A.
Size and Weight
It’s quite a large power bank; Innoo Tech states that you can place it into your. and although that might slightly be possible, we don’t feel like it’s a comfortable possibility.
The length is 6.1 inches; it has a width of 3.1 inches and a 1.6 inch in thickness. It also has a heavyweight of 10.4 ounces. So now we hope you know what we mean when we say that we don’t think it’s possible to place it into a comfortably.
With that said, though, we do think that it’s possible to either carry it around, but even then, the weight of it can weigh you down. So it’s best to use a carabiner on the power bank’s latch and connect it to a backpack. This way, you can hopefully get some recharge done if you’re walking outside on a sunny day.
Since the power bank has an IPX5 waterproof rating, the charging ports are covered by a flap and under the flap is where you can see the 2 USB Output ports and the Micro-USB Input port.
On the side of the charger is where you find the power button and on top is where there are 5 LED Power capacity indicators.
Charging automatically begins once you get a device to the charger, and this leaves the power button to either check the power capacity that’s gone or to turn on the flashlight.
Also, one bizarre thing we just mentioned is that there are 5 Power capacity indicators, and here’s why.
1st Indicator: Green: The charger is being charged by sunlight / Blue: 20% Power
2nd Indicator: Blue: 40% Power
3rd Indicator: Blue: 60% Power
4th Indicator: Blue: 80% Power
5th Indicator: Blue: 100% Power
This isn’t to say that solar charging stops when you reach a power capacity of 20%, it’s just that the LED light displays Blue when it reaches 20% of power capacity and Green when it’s recharging to 20%.
One portable side that we mentioned of how portable it is. There’s a latch on the bag where you can hook a carabiner and place it in a backpack. If you want to hold onto the power bank, it does have some grooves and indentations that make it comfortable to hold.
Structure and Material
This can consider a rugged power bank, mainly because it’s waterproof and because the build is excellent.
On the outside, it’s mostly made of plastic and has rubber in various places, and this is mainly so that it withstands shock damage in the event of a fall.
Another thing is that the siding that you see aren’t exactly parts of the charger because most or at least all the circuitry is in the center and safe from the environmental effects.
Then there’s the waterproof part. Okay, so the first thing you should know is that the power bank is only waterproof when the Output ports are covered with the flap.
When the charging ports are covered, it has an IPX5 water-resistant rating. This means that it can withstand water jets in any direction, and it also means it can withstand rain. However, it CAN NOT withstand immersion into water.
There’s nothing out of the ordinary on the tech side as the power bank has the essential safety tech to keep you and your devices safe during charging.
With that said, it can still overheat and get damaged if you leave it in the sun for too long. Also, don’t charge your devices while it’s being charged from the sun, as that will increase heat.
For the most part, this solar power bank is reliable.
With that said, the solar part makes it not so reliable for the main feature it was made for.
We think that charging electronic companies should develop a solar power bank that can charge just as fast through its solar panels as it does with its Input ports.
This is because the recharging speed done through the solar panels is not very fast or realistic to even use because of how slow the charging speed is.
Another thing about this power bank is the Output charging speed. It does well if you’re only charging one device, but if you’re charging two devices at once, then the 2.1 Amps of power being split up isn’t going to provide a fast charging speed at all.
The power capacity is the only impressive thing regarding its powering capabilities. The Max Output of only 2.1 Amps isn’t very versatile.
The recharging that is done through the solar panel is VERY slow, and most of the time, you’ll find yourself using the Micro-USB Input port.
It’s quite a large power bank and a heavy one at that too. It’s fairly easy to use and can even use a carabiner with it so that you can latch it onto a backpack.
The build quality is good if we’re talking about the structure and material with it being IPX5 water-resistant and can survive falls. Other than that, the tech side could use some improvements with faster charging.
It’s a reliable enough power bank that does well when you’re using it like just any other portable charger. When it comes to using the solar part of it, it is very unreliable.
Specs of the Innoo Tech 10,000mAh Solar Charger:
Max Output: 2.1 Amps
Per Port: 5V/1.0A
- Input:Solar Charging: 5.5V/250mAh Micro-USB: 5V/1.0A
- LED Power Indicators: 5 LED Power Capacity Indicators
- Size: 6.1 x 3.1 x 1.6 inches
- Weight: 10.4 Ounces
Solar power banks, we feel, aren’t there yet. Or at least this one isn’t. It does a pretty good job at being a base power bank, but when you consider what the solar part has to offer, it doesn’t deliver a robust package.
Give your devices a boost in energy and portability with these sun-loving chargers.
By Tom Scalisi | Updated May 3, 2022 1:25 PM
We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.
Solar chargers are becoming more portable, lightweight, and undeniably handy. Perfect for camping, they’re also useful for emergency preparedness or just taking advantage of the Windows on the sunny side of a house. These sunlight-sipping devices can charge a phone’s battery, power a small radio, or keep an emergency flashlight illuminated when the need arises.
The best solar chargers are easy to pack away, providing ample power when necessary. Some can even charge a few devices at a time. This guide will shed some light on how to choose the best solar charger for anyone’s lifestyle and needs. And to help simplify the shopping process, we embarked on an extensive product research and comparison process that led us to some of the best products on the market.
- BEST OVERALL:Riapow Solar Charger 26800mAh Solar Power Bank
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK:Blavor Solar Charger Power Bank, Qi Wireless Charger
- UPGRADE PICK:BigBlue 3 USB Ports 28W Solar Charger
- BEST FOR CAMPING:X-Dragon 20W Foldable Solar Panel Charger
- BEST COMBINATION:Hiluckey Outdoor Portable Power Bank
- BEST FAST-CHARGING:Superallure Solar Charger Power Bank Portable Charger
- BEST SOLAR CHARGING KIT:Blavor Solar Charger Five Panels Detachable
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Solar Charger
Finding the best solar battery bank or panels for a particular set of needs depends on a few factors, such as style, size, and number of charging ports, as well as wattage and milliamp ratings. For those new to the world of solar charging, don’t fret. This guide will plug in to the must-have features worth considering.
Solar Banks vs. Solar Panels
There are two main types of solar chargers on the market for filling rechargeable batteries: solar power banks and solar panels.
- Solar banks operate by absorbing sunlight and storing the energy in a built-in battery. When full, they can continue to charge devices regardless of the sky’s conditions or time of day. They also typically feature a small LED flashlight, and some have built-in charge level indicators.
- Solar panels will only charge devices while they’re in direct sunlight (although cloudy conditions can work as well). While this seems less convenient, solar panels are typically lighter to carry than solar banks. They’re also available in kits with battery banks, essentially operating as a solar-powered battery pack.
Wattage ratings quantify a solar panel’s potential output in ideal conditions, namely during bluebird skies in the middle of the day with no obstructions. The higher the wattage, the more efficiently the panel will use the available sunlight to power any plugged-in devices.
Diving further into this might require an electrical engineering degree, but shoppers should understand that the higher the rating, the higher the panel’s efficiency. The best portable solar charger options often exceed 16 or 20 watts.
Milliamp ratings, represented as “mAh,” describe a power bank’s capacity. For example, if a phone requires 100mAh to charge from zero to 100 percent, and a power bank has a battery capacity of 1,000mAh, then theoretically, that power bank could charge the phone 10 times.
Those are simple round numbers to make the point easy to digest. Still, the idea is that the higher the mAh rating, the larger the battery’s capacity, and the best portable battery charger options have ratings north of 20,000mAh.
The amount of time a solar-powered charger will take to charge from solar energy depends on several factors. The size of the solar panel will determine how much energy the device will be able to absorb at one time. Also, the amount of light energy available (such as sunny days vs. cloudy days) plays a major role.
Obviously, determining charging time can get a little complicated. However, many of the best portable phone charger options are able to charge in around 3 to 4 hours in ideal conditions. In cases where additional panels are an option, they might charge even faster.
Size is a significant consideration when choosing a mobile solar power device, and this is particularly true when selecting a panel charger. The larger the surface area of the solar panel, the more solar energy can be absorbed.
A bigger size means faster battery charging, whether for the onboard battery in a power bank or the device plugged into the panels. Choose the panel size based on what’s most convenient for the intended use.
Multiple Charging Ports
The ability to charge a few devices at the same time can be a lifesaver and a feature that many of the best solar power bank options offer. Charging both a phone and a flashlight simultaneously can mean the difference between getting home safely and disaster during an adventure gone sideways.
Also, the sheer convenience of having one solar charger for laptop and cell phone use means users can bring their office anywhere. Plug both devices into the charger, flip on the phone’s hot spot, and get to work.
Our Top Picks
That’s a lot of light shed on the best solar battery banks and panels, but shopping for one of these devices might still feel a bit intimidating. To help, reference the following selection of products, as it contains a solar charger for almost any scenario.
Riapow Solar Charger 26800mAh Solar Power Bank
When it comes to blending convenience, capability, and innovation into one solar charging device, Riapow’s Solar Power Bank might check all the boxes. This charger has a high-capacity 26,800mAh battery that can charge an iPhone 11 completely in 1 hour 20 minutes and is able to recharge via USB-C wall power (wire not included) in 7 hours. Should an outlet not be available, it has a built-in photovoltaic panel on one side to take advantage of the sun’s rays.
The Riapow is water- and drop-resistant and features four convenient ways to charge a device: two USBs, one USB-C, and a wireless charging feature. It charges at full speed regardless of how many devices are plugged in. The wireless feature allows the user to place their phone on top of the charger for convenience. However, this may be a drawback as well, as the charger won’t be able to absorb the sun’s rays at the same time.
- Type: Solar bank
- Milliamp/wattage rating: 26,800mAh
- Outputs: (2) USB, (1) USB-C, (1) wireless
Get the Riapow solar power bank on Amazon.
Blavor Solar Charger Power Bank, Qi Wireless Charger
Anyone looking for a solar power bank that will fill up their phone or tablet without draining their bank account might consider the Solar Charger Power Bank from Blavor. This compact model features a 10,000mAh battery that will charge most iPhones about 2.2 times and charges in 6 hours via power from an electrical outlet.
This affordable solar charger features three ways to charge a device: a USB-C port, a USB port, and wireless charging. It also has two built-in LEDs that function as flashlights, as well as a compass for navigation. While it does have a built-in photovoltaic cell, the device won’t charge with a phone on top during wireless charging.
- Type: Solar bank
- Milliamp/wattage rating: 10,000mAh
- Outputs: USB, USB-C, and wireless
- Affordable price point
- 3 ways to charge devices
- Built-in flashlight and compass
Get the Blavor solar power bank on Amazon and Walmart.
BigBlue 3 USB Ports 28W Solar Charger
The BigBlue 28W Solar Charger might be a solid option for quickly charging multiple devices on a sunny day. This charger includes four large panels (approximately 11 inches tall by 6 inches wide) that fold out to absorb a lot of sunlight. BigBlue claims these highly efficient panels will convert 21 to 23 percent of solar energy into battery life, which explains how it can charge up to three devices at a time. This unit is also protected against occasional rain, fog, dirt, and dust thanks to rubber covers over the charging ports.
All four panels fold up into a compact, lightweight package that users can toss into a backpack. While the folding design is convenient, users should be careful folding and unfolding these panels to prevent possible wire damage between the panels.
- 3 USB outputs to charge multiple devices
- Large folding panels can absorb a lot of sunlight
- Converts 21 to 23 percent of solar energy into usable power
Get the BigBlue solar charger on Amazon and Walmart.
X-Dragon 20W Foldable Solar Panel Charger
The X-Dragon 20W Folding Solar Panel Charger is ideal for those heading out into the wilderness for a few days. The three-panel model quickly unfolds to hang from a backpack using its many included loops, charging the user’s devices as they go. X-Dragon states that its panels are 22 to 25 percent efficient, so charging two devices at a time shouldn’t be a problem. Finally, it automatically adjusts the current and voltage to achieve maximum power at all times.
At 20 watts, this won’t be the fastest-charging set of panels on the list. Also, this is a basic unit, so there are no protections against overheating or overcharging, which is definitely something to consider before purchasing.
Get the X-Dragon solar panel charger on Amazon.
Hiluckey Outdoor Portable Power Bank
This portable solar charger by Hiluckey is a Smart blend of the panel and bank styles. This charger has a higher-capacity (25,000mAh) onboard battery but also features four folding solar panels. Hiluckey states that this solar panel and bank combination charges itself in the sunlight four to six times faster than other power banks on the market. Considering the built-in LED flashlight, the fact that the device holds a charge for up to 9 days, and the fact that it charges two devices at once, and it’s easy to recognize this charger’s convenience. It can also operate through a USB adapter.
The Hiluckey can be hung from a backpack for hiking trips, but it doesn’t come with a way to attach it to a bag. There is a loop intended for this use, but it doesn’t include a clip to attach it to anything. Keep that in mind when purchasing it for backpacking use.
Get the Hiluckey power bank on Amazon and Sears.
Superallure Solar Charger Power Bank Portable Charger
For folks looking to take advantage of a lunch break on the trail, Superallure’s solar charger and power bank combination kit might be worth the purchase. This kit features a photovoltaic cell built into the bank, as well as four additional solar panels to charge the massive 43,800mAh battery.
This kit features a lightning charging mode that can charge a phone up to 75 percent in under an hour. The 16-watt solar panels also help fill the battery, allowing it to keep up on sunny days. The built-in solar panel won’t be able to absorb sunlight in wireless charging mode (it’ll be hidden under the phone), but the additional panels can keep things going.
- Type: Combination kit
- Milliamp rating: 43,800mAh
- Outputs: Lightning output, USB-C, USB, and wireless
- Massive battery for fast charging (up to 75 percent in 55 minutes)
- Built-in lightning output
- 16W solar panel output
Get the Superallure solar charger on Amazon.
Blavor Solar Charger Five Panels Detachable
Those looking for a reliable combination solar bank and panel kit should give this solar charge five-panel kit some consideration. This kit comes with a 20,000mAh solar bank for storing energy, as well as a folding four-panel kit of solar panels. The additional kits easily attach and detach, allowing users to employ the whole kit or just take the bank on the go.
While this kit’s 20,000mAh battery might not be the largest on the market, it is capable of charging up to four devices at once (two USBs, wireless, and a USB-C port). One downside to this kit is the solar panels don’t have a loop to hang from a backpack, however.
- Type: Combination kit
- Milliamp rating: 20,000mAh
- Outputs: (2) USB, (1) USB-C, wireless charging
- 5 panels in total
- Wireless charging, USB, and USB-C ports
- Panels attach and detach for flexibility
Get the Blavor solar charger on Amazon and Walmart.
Anyone hunting for a high-output solar charger with plenty of frills and ports should consider the Riapow solar charger, with its four charging methods and 26,800mAh battery. But for folks who’d prefer to save a little money, the Blavor solar charger power bank offers 10,000mAh of battery life without running up the bill.
How We Chose the Best Solar Chargers
Putting together a list of the best solar chargers is tough work, but we took the task seriously. We wanted to make sure that the products we recommended had the features and capabilities that shoppers are looking for.
Once we knew which features to look for, we performed extensive product research to compile a list of products we felt hit the mark. Then, we compared their prices, battery sizes, and extra features to determine how much value they offered. This allowed us to cast some aside while narrowing in on the best products.
Finally, when we had our group of the best products, we assigned them each an award based on their strengths. With that, we had our completed list of the best solar chargers.
The Advantages of Owning a Solar Charger
Solar chargers aren’t just for trips into the woods. Like an old-school AM radio, they can be a literal lifesaver in emergency situations. Whether it’s a car broken down on the side of the road, bad weather, or even getting lost in a new city, having a solar charger that can easily juice up a dying phone can make all the difference.
Many solar chargers have built-in features like flashlights or permanently attached wires. These features can be a big boost of convenience or even help keep things light while traveling, as one item can do the job of several essential travel items.
Folks who’d prefer to rely on renewable energy might prefer solar chargers for the environmental benefit alone. Many of these devices are capable of taking a phone or computer entirely off the power grid, allowing users to scale back their dependency on electricity from the power grid.
- Solar chargers are helpful in emergency situations.
- Built-in features like a flashlight and charging wires help keep things light when traveling.
- Solar chargers can lessen one’s reliance on the power grid.
Tips for Using Your New Solar Charger
Most manufacturers recommend charging a solar power bank via a power outlet for the first few charges. In these cases, it’s believed that the battery will perform better moving forward, holding a larger charge for longer periods of time.
When on a backpacking trip, it’s a wise idea to charge the solar bank whenever possible. Weather can change from day to day, and a cloudy day may prevent the user from charging their device completely.
Heat can be the enemy of a battery, but it’s also tough to sidestep it altogether when dealing with solar devices. In general, don’t put a solar bank on a hot rock or pavement surface. Instead, place the bank on cooler rocks, grass, or other spaces that haven’t had the chance to heat up yet, and move it as necessary while charging.
- Charge the device via a wall outlet for the first few charges.
- Charge the solar bank whenever possible to ensure it’s ready in cloudy weather.
- Place the solar bank on cooler surfaces for efficient charging.
That might seem like an overwhelming amount of information on the best solar chargers, but some additional questions might still be hanging around. The following is a collection of some of the most frequently asked questions about solar chargers, so be sure to check for an answer to your question listed below.
Q: Are solar chargers waterproof?
Many solar chargers feature water-resistant designs. In general, these chargers have silicone cases or plugs that block water from seeping into the device. While they’re rarely totally waterproof, they’re typically suitable for rugged outdoor environments.
Q: Do solar chargers work on cloudy days?
Solar chargers do operate on cloudy days, but the clouds will block the majority of the energy coming from the sun. For that reason, they typically charge slower on cloudy days.
Q: How long do solar power banks last?
It depends on the size of the battery, but many solar power banks can refill the average phone from zero to 100 percent between two and three times.
Q: What are the disadvantages of solar chargers?
Solar chargers are at the mercy of the weather. Cloudy days will impede the device’s ability to charge. Also, they rarely charge devices as fast as a wall charger.
Q: How long does it take to charge a 50,000mAh solar power bank?
It depends on the device charging it. For example, a 5-amp charger would be able to charge a 50,000mAh battery in 10 hours. However, in solar terms, it can take much, much longer—particularly in cloudy weather.