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    The 4 best solar phone chargers of 2023

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

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

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

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

    Why you can trust SolarReviews:

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

    The best solar phone chargers of 2023

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

    Best overall solar charger: BigBlue 28W USB solar charger

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

    Price: 68.96 Buy Now

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

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

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

    Best budget charger: BLAVOR Qi Solar Power Bank Portable Charger

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

    compare, reviews, solar, online, powered, smartphone

    Price: 26.99 Buy Now

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

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

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

    Best travel charger: Hiluckey Outdoor USB-C Portable charger

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

    Price: 46.99 Buy Now

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

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

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

    QiSa 38,800mAh Solar Power Bank

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

    Price: 89.98 Buy Now

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

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

    Compatibility: most USB-C devices

    What features to look for in a solar phone charger

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Types of Solar Chargers

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

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

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

    How does a Solar Charger Work?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Is Charging Phone with Solar Bad?

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

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

    Conclusion

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

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

    Brian

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

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    The 5 Best Solar Powered Chargers for Your Phone or Tablet

    We all know the sudden drama that happens during our outside pursuits when we see a “low battery” warning on our phone, tablet, digital camera or other device. Outdoors you’ll find yourself many times far from any power outlet to recharge your devices.

    What will you do then? Have you ever considered carrying with you a solar powered cell phone charger?

    Whether you’re on a camping trip, mountain biking, traveling the world or just walking around town a portable solar charger can help keep your devices powered up anywhere under the sun.

    The idea of portable solar gear that uses free off-grid solar energy to power up our mobile lifestyle is pretty amazing. It’s surely one of the best inventions of this century.

    Solar battery chargers come in many different shapes, sizes and efficiency ratings. We’ve done the hard work already and picked the top five solar powered chargers available right now for sale on Amazon that have the latest photovoltaic (PV) technology and the best charging performance.

    We have also included a buyer’s guide at the end of the article where you’ll find everything you need to know about choosing the best solar charger, so make sure to check that out as well.

    Best Overall: BigBlue 24W Solar Powered Charger

    The BigBlue 3 USB ports 24 Watts solar charger is our top pick for the best solar phone battery charger to buy in 2022 because it offers a remarkable combination of manufacturing quality, price, portability, and charging speed.

    It features highly efficient energy conversion SUNPOWER solar cells (up to 23 percent efficiency) and SmartIC technology, which means that this charger will automatically recognize the charging protocol of your devices so that it can deliver the most suitable and fastest charge possible. Three USB ports allow you to plug in and split the current between 3 devices at once.

    What makes BigBlue the best portable solar charger for almost any kind of environment is also its charging performance in diverse weather conditions. This charger delivers a steady energy flow even on cloudy days so you can confidently plan your outdoor activities without having to worry about low battery devices.

    The BigBlue solar panels delivers 24 Watts under direct sunlight and it charged our iPhone 11 from zero to full in about two hours. During cloudy days the charging capacity varies according to the Cloud exposure, but it should be able to charge anywhere from 20 percent and above which will be very useful especially in emergency situations.

    This solar charger is made of four SunPower solar panels sewn into a durable canvas and a fifth section that’s more like a small pouch for storing your iPhone or Android phone while charging and thus protecting them from the direct sun exposure and overheating – however, if you have a cable long enough, it’s always better to move your devices into the shade. You can also easily store all the cables in this department.

    Inside the pouch there are three USB ports that deliver up to 2.4A per port or 5V/4A overall (depending on how much direct sunlight hits the solar panels), and a small LED that indicates when there is power flowing from the panels.

    What about portability? The BigBlue solar powered charger weighs 754 grams or 26.6 ounces and the entire solar charger folds up to about 14 millimeters or 0.55 inches thick. This makes it perfect to carry around when traveling, backpacking, going to work, or school.

    To get the most out of your portable solar gear, we highly recommend pairing the BigBlue charger with a USB battery pack. For example, the Anker PowerCore Elite 20,000 mAh power bank is fully compatible with the BigBlue 24W solar charger and it can store enough energy to charge an iPhone 11 from zero to full six times. A portable battery pack like this one is a must-have since the solar chargers themselves cannot store energy and provide it during night time when the sun is not around. With a charged power bank, you are powered up 24/7.

    What we like:

    • Great value for the price
    • The SmartIC technology
    • Amazing charging speed
    • Three USB ports
    • High quality material
    • Very compacted when folded

    What we don’t like:

    • Removable USB hub would make packing better
    • A charging cable for iOS devices could be included

    The Lightest and Most Flexible: Portable Solar Panel Sunslice Fusion Flex 12

    Sunslice Fusion Flex 12 Watts with two USB ports (5V) each with max output of 2.4A is a perfect option for those who like to FOCUS on their outdoor experience without worrying about maintenance of the devices they bring along.

    Two portable solar panels are extremely lightweight (just 270 grams/9.5 ounces) and easy to fold into a thin A4 like shape. That’s it, you can head out now! Then you just open the pack for solar cells to face the sun and use right away on the go by plugging in your USB devices like a smartphone and/or tablet. Additional plus are two elastic fasteners and two carabiners you receive with the product to easily attach the charger to your backpack.

    The solar panel is made off CIGS thin film solar cells, which are a versatile option when it comes to application and practical use of photovoltaic technology. The thin film is flexible, you do not have to worry about bending the panels to fit better in your backpack. According to the manufacturer, the solar cells reach up to 16.5% efficiency in the perfect sunny conditions. Thin film solar cells perform better than crystalline solar cells when exposed to the strong summer sun, they maintain better power production when their surface heats up – this happens quickly on hot days. On the other hand, in colder weather, their performance drops compared to monocrystalline cells.

    When it comes to performance under cloudy conditions or during the days when clouds come and go, you may need to carry a power bank with you rather than relying solely on this solar charger. The current drops pretty fast when shaded and takes couple minutes to restart once again. This means it may not provide enough power to charge your phone on cloudy days.

    The manufacturer thought of the practical use for adventurers by designing the product with the protective and light transmitting EFTE coating – therefore, it doesn’t affect the efficiency of solar cells. The coating feels to the touch pretty much the same as a material of your backpack, yet it is scratch proof and has somewhat self-cleaning properties. Additional advantage is water resistance.

    Sunslice Fusion Flex 12 is a practical and durable solution for spontaneous, short trips when you don’t know where and through which terrain your steps will lead you. On a sunny day, all you have to care about is your experience, meanwhile, this solar charger will be there to give you a bit of extra power to use your devices when they are running low of battery.

    What we like:

    • Lightweight
    • Scratchproof CIGS solar cells
    • Great charging speed
    • Waterproof
    • Flexible
    • Easy to attach

    What we don’t like:

    Best for Price: Hiluckey 25,000 mAh Outdoor Portable Solar Power Bank

    The Hiluckey 25,000 mAh had the best performance in the solar power bank category. If you’re looking for a solar power bank, look no further than this one.

    It features 4 small solar panels that deliver in total 4.8W under direct sun. That’s the most wattage output you can get out of a solar power bank at this moment. While the solar panels on the BigBlue perform four to five times better than the Hiluckey, the PowerPort doesn’t have its own power storage. When there is no sun, there is no power flowing, so an additional external battery is needed to keep devices charged up when the sun is not around.

    The Hiluckey Outdoor Power Bank on the other hand, has a built-in battery pack with a capacity of 25,000 mAh which can store enough energy to charge an iPhone 7 about three times and has two USB ports to charge your friend’s smartphone in the same time.

    The built-in battery can be recharged by sunlight, but also by wall outlet. It comes with a built-in flashlight and four LEDs that indicate battery life. The casing is shock-proof, dust-proof and water resistant. Great for outdoors

    The only drawback of this solar power bank is the charging speed from the small solar panels. In full sun, the Hiluckey built-in battery could reach just 15 percent battery after three hours. However, the charging speed from the built-in battery to our iPhone 7 was very similar to the BigBlue.

    We recommend to always charge the power bank by wall outlet before heading outdoors. This way you’ll have enough power to recharge your devices several times, regardless of weather or time of the day. The solar panels on the Hiluckey are not designed as the primary source of charging, but they are a very good alternative to add extra power to the power bank anytime you’re under the sun.

    What we like:

    • Great value for the price
    • High-capacity 25,000 mAh battery
    • Overcharge protection
    • Two USB ports
    • High quality material
    • Very compacted when folded
    • 12-month warranty

    What we don’t like:

    Versatile Solar Phone Charger: Neckteck 21W

    No matter what environment you’re dealing with, the Neckteck 21W is the Range Rover of solar power chargers. With an ultra-portable design, this solar charger with two USB ports is IPX4 waterproof, dust-proof and shock-resistant. The whole pack weights a little over 17 ounces (approx. 480 grams) and is super easy to use without any worries about your devices.

    This charger features a solid construction and three monocrystalline solar panels based on innovative SunPower Maxeon technology that reach the maximum efficiency of up to 23 percent. The solar panels provide 2.0A per port or 3.0A max in total to charge your devices on the go. As other good quality solar chargers, it protects your devices from over current and overcharge, which could damage them if this feature were absent.

    A great advantage of this handy solar charger is its compatibility with the most USB devices. It charges great variety of smartphones, which is not always the case with portable chargers. The package doesn’t come with cables. Do not forget to bring your own.

    We would recommend it for charging your phone on a sunny day. An impressive feature unique to this solar charger is quite nice charging speed it provides when in the direct sun. In good sunny conditions it works flawlessly and can charge your phone as needed.

    However, to get the best outcome when the weather is not perfect or when hiking through shady areas like in a forest, you should consider using this solar charger to charge a portable power bank and use the power bank to charge your phone later. The results are better this way, as the charge interruption recovery is on a slower side.

    What we like:

    • Great value for the price
    • Monocrystalline solar cells
    • Two USB ports
    • High quality material
    • Great for charging variety of smartphones, tablets power banks

    What we don’t like:

    Best Solar Panel to Charge a Power Station: Goal Zero Nomad 20

    This amazing device boasts an impressive charging speed that performs very similar to the BigBlue Solar Charger.

    Goal Zero Nomad 20W uses industry leading monocrystalline photovoltaic solar cells to offer a Rapid and steady charge during unobstructed sunny conditions and can bring a smartphone to full battery in less than two hours. This 20 watt solar charger is compatible with most small and medium devices, but can even charge a laptop in approximately 6.5 hours when under direct sunlight (the time is dependent upon the conditions).

    The three solar panels are waterproof, UV protected, and scratch-resistant, offering you a durable and reliable portable power anywhere you go. The set comes even with a kickstand, allowing you to position the panels to reach their best potential when you need them to. Although the Goal Zero solar chargers are a bit on the pricier side, they do well when you need to charge smaller portable stations for storing extra power. It is compatible with a reliable Goal Zero 200x power station, which will safely charge your laptop, camera and other latest USB-C devices.

    Weighing 2.26 pounds (1,000 grams), the Goal Zero Nomad is not as lightweight as other solar chargers we mentioned earlier, but it’s still a compact charger that can fit just about anywhere. When folded, it occupies pretty much the same space like a small laptop. Because of its reliability and power, this portable solar charger is frequently used by mountaineers in their expeditions.

    What we like:

    • Amazing charging speed
    • Overcharge protection
    • Compatible with laptops
    • High quality material
    • Very compacted when folded
    • 12-month warranty

    What we don’t like:

    Most common uses of solar chargers

    In the hectic world of today most of us cannot imagine our lives without gadgets. And the more advanced they get, the more power-hungry they become. That’s when a portable solar charger comes handy. Think of it like having your personal power supply, anywhere you go.

    Complete freedom from power outlets!

    Solar chargers are lightweight, foldable and easy to carry around. All you have to do is position the solar charger under the sun and it will immediately start recharging your devices. You can even strap it on your backpack and power up on the go. This way you can enjoy your daily activities without rushing to look for a power outlet somewhere inside.

    Considering the fact that solar powered phone chargers are now so much more affordable and efficient, they can be a life-saver in many situations.

    Solar energy brings light to our unsustainable developing world and by going solar, be it portable or not, is a great way to join the climate change battle by reducing your carbon footprint.

    Important solar charger considerations

    The most important features you should look for when choosing a portable solar charger are:

    #1 Charge Interruption Recovery

    Chances are you won’t be able to use your portable solar charger in full sun all the time. Especially if you live in a place like the United Kingdom. Areas with shade or clouds will affect the performance of your solar phone charger to a certain extent. We measured the output power of each model in full sun, and then in fairly cloudy conditions for one hour each in order to see which solar charger recovers the fastest and gets back on track after being shaded.

    The best performing models in this category were the chargers with the most wattage power like the BigBlue. The Neckteck 21W scored the lowest in this test because of the small wattage power.

    Larger solar chargers have more solar cells exposed to the sun simultaneously and this makes it easier to recover to maximum output after an interruption.

    #2 Charging Speed

    Most of the time, portable solar chargers are being used to charge devices such as smartphones, tablets, camera batteries, etc. when source of electricity is not available. This is the reason why we decided to test the charging speed of our solar chargers with an iPhone 7 and see how much it can charge from zero of full in direct sun.

    To our surprise we found that the charging speed performance of our models was very different. This significant variability is clearly because of the wattage output power, but also due to type and quality of solar cells.

    The winner in this category, the Goal Zero Nomad 20, outperformed the competition with an impressive charging speed.

    Our advice: If you are looking for the fastest charging speed, choose a solar charger with at least 15 watts. While smaller panels are more lightweight, the charging speed of a 5W solar charger for example, is around three to four times slower than a 15 watts charger.

    #3 Weight and Portability

    The ideal portable solar charger would be light, small and easy to carry around. The most lightweight model in our competition is the Hiluckey 25,000 mAh Outdoor Portable Solar Power Bank, weighing just 11.8 oz. This is the only model to get a 10 out of 10 in this category.

    However, keep in mind that small wattage chargers are less powerful, so if weight is not extremely important to you, we highly recommend choosing a charger with a higher wattage than the Hiluckey model.

    #4 Durability

    Since they are used mainly outdoors, solar chargers are constantly exposed to the elements, so durability is a very important factor. All the models we tested had more or less the same quality of material and stitching and all panels were weatherproof.

    Solar technology is advancing very fast and companies have already integrated the most advanced features found in residential solar systems into portable solar panels as well.

    Watts, Amps, and Milliamp Hours (mAhs)

    These are the three most common terms and features that are worth considering when when looking to buy a solar powered phone charger.

    mAh – Milliamp hours is the easiest way to measure the strength or capacity of a power bank. This term is not used for the panels themselves, but just for batteries. The higher the mAh, the more power it can store and therefore the longer the power bank will last.

    Amps – Amps on a solar charger will determine how fast the electric current flows in order to charge up your devices. The current drawn is different from device to device but in the case of portable solar chargers, you’ll get between one and three amps. The solar chargers we picked in our review test feature the highest amp power available on the market right now.

    Watts – Watts are a measure of how much energy is being released to charge your devices. It’s the result of multiplying voltage by amps and they are the most frequently mentioned unit of power. Since USB ports operate at approximately 5 volts, a single 2 amp USB charger port (for comparison: a laptop usually has 1.5 amps in a single USB port) for example, would have a wattage rating of 10W (5 x 2) and therefore would require a 10W panel to charge at 2 amps. But in reality, a 10W solar charger won’t produce exactly 2 amps USB charge because of imperfect weather conditions (Cloud cover) and type of solar cells.

    Types of portable solar panels

    Solar chargers can either feature monocrystalline, polycrystalline or the super lightweight CIGS panels.

    Monocrystalline PanelsMonocrystalline technology is the one that started the photovoltaic revolution and it’s still the most efficient even today when it comes to converting solar energy into electricity. As the name suggests, monocrystalline panels are made from a single crystal of pure silicon. They have an efficiency rating of up to 22 percent and can be easily recognized by their black uniform cells.

    Polycrystalline PanelsUnlike monocrystalline panels, the polycrystalline modules are made up of multiple crystals but still deliver a great efficiency of up to 17 percent. Polycrystalline panels have a blue color and they usually cost less than monocrystalline panels.CIGS PanelsCIGS panels consist of Copper, Indium, Gallium, and Selenide solar cells. They are very different than mono- and polycrystalline panels. These panels are the most flexible and lightweight, but also the less efficient out of the three types in converting sunlight into usable power. It’s a good option for backpackers or trekkers who want to travel ultra-light. These are not as durable as the monocrystalline modules but they still do a pretty good job in case of emergency.

    Do you need an external battery, or is a solar charger sufficient?

    Portable solar chargers can recharge your devices – but only in direct sun. If you want to recharge your smartphone during night time, or on a rainy day, the solar panels will not be of any help.

    On the other hand, a battery pack like the Anker PowerCore Elite 20,000 mAh, can store energy and provide continuous and steady power to recharge the same devices you would charge with solar chargers.

    Thanks to modern technology battery packs nowadays are very light and can be recharged by solar panels or wall outlet and they can store a lot of energy, enough to recharge a smartphone up to seven times in one go.

    Since battery packs can be charged from solar panels as well, adding one to your solar kit means you can have power for your electronic devices available at any time – even when the sun is not there.

    How to get the most from your solar charger

    Simplicity makes solar power truly remarkable. The only care and maintenance most solar chargers require is making sure they’re clean and dust free. A moist cloth should get the job done most of the time.

    To get the highest charging efficiency, it’s important to position your solar panels correctly. A good rule of thumb is that the angle, relative to flat ground, must be approximately the same as your latitude, with a few small adjustments according to the seasons (shallower in the summer and steeper in the winter time).

    What’s the Best Solar Phone Charger in 2023?

    Each product and or company featured here has been independently selected by the writer. You can learn more about our review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

    Written by Christian Yonkers

    Christian Yonkers is a writer, photographer, filmmaker, and outdoor junkie obsessed with the intersectionality between people and planet. He partners with brands and organizations with social and environmental impact at their core, assisting them in telling stories and spreading verifiable information that change the world for the better. Christian aims to have a sizable impact on the world helping foster a sustainable relationship between humans and the planet. Learn About This Person

    Reviewed by Irma Omerhodzic

    Irma joined the EcoWatch team in August 2015. She holds a Master’s degree and Bachelor’s degree from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. She is a member of Kappa Tau Alpha – a national honor society of journalism. Learn About This Person

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    Find the best price from solar installers in your area.

    Solar phone chargers are a great way to keep your phone juiced on the go. But many solar phone chargers don’t stop there: Units with larger panels and higher-capacity batteries are capable of charging cameras, GPS units, tablets and even computers, too.

    Most solar-powered phone chargers incorporate integrated batteries and small solar panels with one or more ports for charging your gear. They’re hardy, portable and affordable. And best of all, you can feel good about the eco-friendly mobility they’ll give you on your next adventure.

    In this article, we’ll break down the top 5 best solar phone chargers available in 2023

    Best Solar Phone Chargers in 2023

    We narrowed down the best solar phone chargers on the market based on criteria including durability, power output, portability, design, functionality, extra features and cost.

    Each of the products listed below provided good value for the price and would be a great choice for powering up your iPhone or Android using solar energy.

    The Renogy E.POWER Portable Solar Charger boasts a powerful 10000mAh battery to keep your gear going longer. Its water-resistant exterior and built-in flashlight give you peace of mind in any conditions, anywhere.

    • IPX4-rated weather and dust sealing
    • Efficient solar panel
    • Multi-mode built-in flashlight
    • Carabiner
    • 2 USB outputs
    • Battery level indicator
    • Quality build
    • A bit heavy for backpacking
    • Solar panel only powerful enough for trickle charging battery
    • Long solar charging time
    • Not best-in-class battery capacity

    Why Buy: The Renogy E.POWER Portable Solar Charger is the perfect companion for off-grid, on-the-go applications where you need rugged and reliable power. With effective weather-sealing, dual USB charging ports and a carabiner, you’ll have enough juice to power your small electronics on a backcountry camping trip or wherever your adventures take you.

    Runner Up: FEELLE Portable Solar Power Bank

    The FEELLE Portable Solar Power Bank has a powerful 25000mAh battery powered by four solar panels, nearly the equivalent of a 5-watt wall charger. The panels fold neatly over the battery for compact storage, and the water-resistant cover gives you peace-of-mind when encountering adverse weather.

    • High-capacity solar battery
    • Multiple panels allow simultaneous device charging when in direct sunlight
    • Dual USB outputs
    • Weather-resistant cover
    • Built-in flashlight
    • Battery level indicator
    • Solar charge indicator
    • A bit heavy and bulky for backpacking
    • Large footprint when unfolded
    • Long solar charging time
    • Build quality lacking

    Why Buy: The FEELLE Portable Solar Power Bank is a great option for those needing more battery capacity with simultaneous solar charging. Like most solar panel chargers of this size, it takes a while to get a full charge from the panels and it’s a bit on the heavy side. But for the price and features, the FEELLE Portable Solar Power Bank is well-deserved as our pick for runner-up.

    Best Low-Profile Panel: Renogy E.FLEX 21 Portable Solar Panel

    The highly efficient Renogy E.FLEX 21 Portable Solar Panel provides best-in-class charging speeds. Three large solar panels provide an impressive 22% to 25% energy conversion rate and clock out at 21 watts. Two USB outputs allow charging to multiple batteries or devices at once. While not intended for strapping to a backpack for mobile charging, it’s light enough to pack in a backpack or camera bag or strap to a kayak or use as an RV solar panel.

    • than enough capacity to quickly charge phones and small electronic devices
    • Generous wattage
    • Foldable
    • Good build quality
    • iSolar Technology provides fast charging and prevents overheating
    • Water-resistant
    • Relatively fast charge rate
    • Large
    • A bit heavy
    • Large footprint
    • Batteries and charge controllers not included
    • A bit pricey

    Why Buy: If you need a foldable solar panel to charge your devices at basecamp, the Renogy E.FLEX 21 Portable Solar Panel is tough to beat. It’s the perfect portable solution for quickly charging devices, cameras, and even laptops in off-grid situations.

    Best Solar Charger for Hiking: Goal Zero Nomad 10 Foldable Solar Panel

    The Goal Zero Nomad 10 Foldable Solar Panel provides low-profile, intuitive solar charging. Featuring two solar panels with a combined 10W of power, it provides ample capacity to charge cell phones, GPS units, camera batteries and more. A built-in kickstand allows optimal positioning, and its efficient design makes it small enough to strap to a bag for charging on-the-go. An integrated USB port charges phones, external battery banks, and other small devices.

    • Built-in kickstand for multiple angles and optimal exposure
    • Low-profile
    • Easily straps to backpack or tent
    • Integrated USB ports
    • Foldable
    • Rugged and well-built
    • Water-resistant
    • Slower charging rate than other panels
    • Batteries and charge controllers not included
    • Expensive
    compare, reviews, solar, online, powered, smartphone

    Why Buy: Goal Zero has established itself as a leader in portable solar solutions. While it’s not the largest portable solar panel out there, the Goal Zero Nomad 10 Foldable Solar Panel hits the sweet spot between portability, versatility and capacity. If you need relatively fast charging for small electronics on your next outdoor adventure, this is the panel for you.

    Best Charger Under : Blavor Solar Power Bank

    For a budget option, we’ve placed the Blavor 10000mAh Solar Power Bank as our top pick. The generous battery capacity is enough for multiple cell phone charges, and the solar panel offers trickle charging when the sun is shining. A useful dual LED flashlight, compass and Qi wireless charging make the Blavor 10000mAh Solar Power Bank an attractive solar phone charger.

    • Generous battery capacity
    • IPX4 rated weather and dust sealing
    • Built-in dual flashlights
    • Dual USB outputs
    • Battery level indicator
    • Compass strap
    • Qi wireless charging
    • Great customer service

    Why Buy: While not the fastest solar charger out there, the Blavor 10000mAh Solar Power Bank is a steady performer nonetheless. Whether charging from a wall or trickle charging with the solar panel, the Blavor 10000mAh Solar Power Bank is loaded with impressive features you might not expect at this price point.

    How Do Solar Phone Chargers Work?

    For those looking for a sun-powered adventure, the heart of a solar phone charger is the solar panel itself, which works exactly the same way as a larger rooftop panel does.

    Solar panels convert the energy of photons (light particles) into electricity, a process called the photovoltaic effect. When a photon hits a solar panel, its energy causes electrons to flow throughout the solar cells, producing an electric current to charge devices or batteries.

    All solar panels produce direct current (DC) energy, which can be used to charge small battery-powered devices like cell phones and computers. Solar panels for homes and businesses must be converted to alternating current (AC), which requires an inverter.

    Lack of inverters and small panel sizes make solar phone chargers a compact and efficient way to charge DC electronics.

    Types of Solar Phone Chargers

    Just like there are different types of solar panels for homes, there are different types of solar phone chargers.

    Standalone panels: These solar phone chargers consist of one or more panels with built-in charge ports (usually USB ports). They’re great if you need a large amount of energy for quick charging or powering larger devices. The downside to standalone panels is that they lack integrated batteries, so you can only charge your devices when the panels are in direct sunlight. They also tend to be on the large side. But if you need more power than a smaller charger can provide, standalone panels are the best option.

    Solar battery banks: Solar chargers with a built-in battery are handy for carrying a reliable, portable charge wherever you go. The most common variants include a small solar panel atop a battery, but some options include fold-out panels for better capacity and faster charging. Aside from some notable exceptions, most solar battery banks take days to fully charge via sunshine alone, and almost none of them will charge your cell phone and the internal battery simultaneously. If you prioritize a rechargeable battery with solar backup, solar battery banks are a good option.

    How Much Do Solar Phone Chargers Cost?

    Solar phone charger costs vary depending on type, capacity, quality and features. The best solar phone chargers balance quality, performance and price, ranging from 30 for basic solar battery bank chargers to 150 for standalone solar phone charger kits.

    Choosing the Best Solar Phone Charger for Your Needs and Budget

    Now that you know how solar panels work to charge your phone and some of the best solar phone charger models available, you may be wondering how to narrow down the right product for you. Here are some things to consider when making your purchase:

    Design and Size

    You’ll probably want to take your solar phone charger on the go, so think about the following:

    In addition, look for other features that might come in handy, such as:

    Keep in mind that the greater the number of features, the larger (and sometimes more expensive) the unit will be.

    Power Output

    How much power a unit can produce and store may be the most important factor to consider when buying a solar cell phone charger. A high-amperage battery will provide more charges for your devices but will take more solar input to charge. If you’re going to rely on the sun to provide all of your power, prioritize high-output solar panels capable of quickly charging your electronics. If you just need a high-capacity battery with the option for solar trickle charging, a smaller solar battery bank could be a good fit.

    Durability

    Because they’re portable, choose a durable solar-powered phone charger to stand up to the wear-and-tear of travelling and outdoor activity. The best solar phone chargers are rugged and dependable, featuring weather-sealing and robust construction.

    Portability

    All solar phone chargers are portable, at least in the technical sense. But there are degrees of portability depending on your needs. Ranging from somewhat heavy multi-panels requiring stationary placement to simple units you can strap to your pack, there’s a unit for everyone, from trail runners to off-grid nomads. Just remember that with greater portability often comes sacrifice in other features, especially panel output.

    Extra Features

    Many solar chargers for phones feature more than just charging, with integrated LED flashlights, backup batteries, charge indicators, carabiners, compass straps and more. While these can be nice, don’t let extra features distract from what really matters: Staying powered when you need it most.

    Cost

    Finally, there’s cost. While none of our top picks will break the bank, some are undoubtedly pricier than others. It’s best to save up for a costlier unit if you absolutely need its functions, but if you only need a battery with solar backup, there are plenty of budget-friendly options out there.

    FAQ’s:Solar Phone Charger

    Are solar chargers for phones any good?

    Solar phone chargers are great for powering devices in off-grid situations. They can be used over and over again without having to be plugged into an outlet to recharge like standard battery banks.

    How long does it take to charge a phone with a solar charger?

    The time it takes to charge a phone with a solar charger will depend on the output of the battery and the amperage of your phone’s battery. Some battery chargers can fully charge a phone in as little as 90 minutes, but others may take up to four hours.

    What are the best solar power chargers?

    We rated the Renogy E.POWER Portable Solar Charger and FEELLE Portable Solar Power Bank as our top two picks for the best solar power chargers. These models are rugged and dependable enough to charge your devices anywhere you go.

    How do I choose a solar cell phone charger?

    Key factors to consider when choosing a solar cell phone charger include design features like number of charge ports, size/weight, power output, durability, portability, extra features, and cost.

    Christian Yonkers is a writer, photographer, filmmaker, and outdoor junkie obsessed with the intersectionality between people and planet. He partners with brands and organizations with social and environmental impact at their core, assisting them in telling stories and spreading verifiable information that change the world for the better. Christian aims to have a sizable impact on the world helping foster a sustainable relationship between humans and the planet.

    Irma joined the EcoWatch team in August 2015. She holds a Master’s degree and Bachelor’s degree from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. She is a member of Kappa Tau Alpha – a national honor society of journalism.

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