Power Bank Solar Charger Instructions, Tips, and Troubleshooting
If your power bank solar charger did not come with instructions, or you simply misplaced them, then you’ve come to the right place. Although they are designed to be relatively simple devices, new electronics with inputs, outputs, lights, noises, and more can be a bit overwhelming without the proper guidance.
What to Expect From This Guide
This guide is designed to provide instructions, tips, and troubleshooting for small, handheld solar charging devices.
At Shop Solar Kits, we completely understand the value of having a little extra power on the go and are passionate about electricity independence with free solar energy. For a look at the possibilities of larger solar chargers, please read our best solar battery bank guide.
Although there are hundreds of brands and thousands of models of power bank solar chargers on the market today, we’ve assembled this information to serve as a comprehensive resource for simple instructions and frequently asked questions.
Below, we will outline the features and specs of typical solar chargers, showcase practical uses, provide operating instructions, and offer plenty of purchasing tips and tricks for picking the right product.
Features and Specs of a Power Bank Solar Charger
Although solar energy generation and storage may seem complicated, portable power banks are actually very simple products. As they are meant to be laid out in the sun, they are also typically very durable, weather-resistant, and long-lasting. Of course, the actual product lifespan will always depend on both the quality of the product and the frequency of use.
Almost all power bank solar chargers come with the following:
- An onboard solar panel
- Built-in battery storage
- Input port for AC, DC, or USB charging
- One or more outputs (typically USB)
- And a hard, durable outer casing
How much battery does a solar charger have?
The majority of small solar chargers have a battery bank between 8,000 mAh and 14,000 mAh. For modern smartphones, this is roughly enough electricity to charge a cell phone 3 to 5 times, with varied amounts of battery capacity.
Depending on the manufacturer, the battery of a solar charger will be rated in either amp-hours or watt-hours. In most instances, products will be advertised with their approximate runtime for normal electrical uses.
Besides finding the battery capacity of a potential solar charger, it is also important to look for the product’s expected lifetime. This may be expressed as “life cycles” on a product spec sheet, which refers to how many times the bank can be charged and discharged effectively. Of course, checking online reviews is a great way to see whether or not a solar charger is likely to live out its expected lifespan.
Best Uses for Solar Power Bank Chargers
By using a solar charger, you are unlocking access to electricity anywhere you go, at no additional cost to you or the environment. With the free and abundant energy of the sun, it is possible to charge your phones and other devices anywhere the sun shines.
Most commonly, solar power bank chargers are used for:
- Travel of all kinds
- Camping trips and off-grid adventures
- Sports games, tailgates, and parties
- Emergency preparedness
- RVs, vans, campers, skoolies, and other mobile homes
If you really think about it, an extra few phone charges in your or backpack is always a handy thing to have around both for yourself and those around you. In larger solar-powered generators, it is even possible to charge many devices at one time. For instance, in our Ego battery review. we showcase a solar charging generator with 4 USB outlets and 3 AC (wall) plugs.
How to Use a Power Bank Solar Charger
Aptly named, a power bank solar charger is used to charge devices with solar power. Technically, however, the power bank charges its own battery capacity and then discharges the energy to your phone. With this, these devices should actually be called “solar chargers and dischargers.”
Although that name is not very catchy, it truly shows how easy it is to use a power bank solar charger. In this sense, the process of using a solar power bank can be broken down into two simple steps:
#1: Charge the battery
#2: And discharge the power
Yes, it really is that easy. Some call it magic, others call it science. And actually, the science behind a small solar power charger is very simple to understand.
How Stored Solar Power Works
In between steps one and two, you are free to keep your power stored away for as long as you’d like. However, it is important to know that a battery will start to slowly lose its charge as it approaches its rated shelf life.
For small chargers, we recommend recharging your bank every 2-3 months if you always want to have a bit of extra power on hand. Some premium devices have rated shelf lives of up to 1 year, which makes them some of the easiest to use devices for reliable access to small amounts of power.
Of course, you should always remember to “top off” your battery if you are able to before using your charger. Even a few weeks without use can cause an idle battery to slowly lose its charge, which would not be a pleasant surprise when attempting to use it in a real-life situation.
Charging Your Solar Power Bank
For most small solar power banks, there is more than one way to charge the internal battery. Charging time will vary depending on both the electricity source and the amount of electrical input. Below, we will outline some of the most common methods used to power up a small solar battery bank.
Charging a Power Bank with Solar Power
As the name obviously implies, power bank solar chargers can be charged with solar power. Today, many small and handheld products have the solar panel directly mounted onto the device for a small, all-in-one solar generator.
For instance, you may have heard of the Patriot Power Cell. which is a popular all-in-one solar phone charger. Although we would not personally recommend this product, there are many similar devices that incorporate a solar panel directly on top of the battery.
Alternatively, some power banks can be charged with independent solar panels hooked up to the battery reserve. Although this is not very practical for small solar chargers, if you are looking for a large solar battery bank, then high-efficiency PV solar panels are an absolute must.
For instance, if you are charging an ego battery with the help of a small solar generator, then you will need to purchase solar panels separately. Although this is not as convenient, small all-in-one solar chargers are generally very limited by small or inefficient solar panels.
Using Other Electricity to Charge Your Power Bank
Alternatively, most power bank solar devices can be recharged with other sources of electricity. Most commonly, this is accomplished with a USB or USB-C port and cord. Occasionally, it may also be possible to charge a solar power bank with AC (wall outlet) or DC (carport) electricity using the right-sized device and equipment.
If you are considering a small solar charger that cannot be recharged with alternative electricity, then we highly recommend you reconsider. Whenever you are packing for your next trip, it will be incredibly convenient to simply plug in your solar charger to the wall or a USB outlet to ensure you will be able to bring some extra electricity along for the ride.
Discharging Your Solar Battery (Using the Power)
Of course, once our solar power bank is fully charged, then you will be able to use the power to charge your devices. Most commonly, power bank solar chargers are designed specifically to charge your phone, camera, drone, or other USB-powered devices.
With higher capacity models, it may be possible to charge larger devices or even provide continuous electricity for appliances, electronics, and more.
How to Charge a Phone with a Power Bank
We will be the first to say that charging a phone with a solar power bank is not rocket science, and can typically be figured out in a matter of seconds. Once you are sure that your battery bank has been charged (usually indicated by a series of lights), then you can simply plug your phone directly into the device’s USB outlets.
If your phone does not have the same outlet type that your charger provides, then you will need to purchase an adapter. Although this is still an effective solution, we encourage you to take a bit of time to find a power bank that directly matches your electrical needs, if possible.
Simply insert the right cord, and wallah, your phone should begin to charge. If your device is not indicating a charge is present, then you must ensure everything is connected properly and that the bank still has battery life remaining to discharge.
Powering Other Devices with a Solar Charger
Secondly, solar chargers with enough battery onboard are also fully capable of charging many other small electronics besides personal cell phones. For tablets, computers, cameras, drones, handheld video games, and more, solar chargers can help provide you with the extra battery life you need for staying online.
Using a high-powered solar charger, devices with AC and DC ports (in addition to the USB plug-ins), make it possible to energize any household item with portable solar power. Although running time will be limited by the size of the battery, chargers with enough power can help run CPAP machines and other medical devices with silent, clean electricity.
Before you plug anything other than a phone into a solar charger, be sure to identify your devices charging capacity. If the wattage or amperage of your large electronic item exceeds the continuous capacity of your solar charger, it can lead to permanent system damage.
The performance of a power bank solar charger will depend on a number of factors to ultimately determine how effective it is for both charging and discharging. These variables can be divided into product and usage factors, some of which can be improved with the proper adjustments.
If your solar charger seems to be underperforming, it may be because of one of the following common issues:
- Panels are not in direct sunlight (required for efficient charging)
- The charger is or has been, in temperatures outside of the recommended operating range
- The solar panel is covered in dust or has been scratched
- The device has overheated while charging on a metal (or other heat-capturing) surface
- Or the charger has been used beyond recommended discharge power capacity
To test your solar charger, simply stick it out in the sun for a few hours and let it do its thing. Whenever it comes time to check the charge, be careful when picking up your power bank as it may be very hot to the touch after hours in the sun. Once safe to use, simply plug in your electronics and begin to power your life with solar energy.
Power Bank Solar Charger Purchasing Tips and Tricks
To close things out, we’d like to take a moment to outline three of the most important tips and tricks to keep in mind when shopping for a power bank solar charger. With a high-quality product, hopefully, you will never have to seek out additional instructions on how to properly operate your device.
Always Get A Little Extra Battery
First and foremost, a little extra power never hurts. Unless you’re planning an ultralight backpacking trip, you will barely notice a difference between a 7 oz or a 2 pound (32 oz) solar charger. In fact, a heavier unit may even be the sign of a higher quality item, with both internal and external premium components.
When you are using your device, you will be thankful to pack a little extra power for both ordinary and emergency use. Imagine yourself on your next vacation, charging your phone with solar energy. We are sure that your friends and family will find a way to ask whether or not they could use a bit of power as well.
Beware of Fake Solar Chargers
Second, be on the lookout for fake solar chargers when shopping around for the right bargain item. Because many solar chargers can also be powered with USB electricity, there have been many products created with fake solar panels by shady companies.
The best way to evade a fake solar charger is by properly checking the manufacturers’ product reviews. If you are unable to find any information whatsoever online about a solar charger manufacturer, then that is a red flag indicating a possible decoy panel.
If you have a gut feeling that your power bank solar charger includes a fake panel, closely inspect the unit to see if it’s the real deal. Look to ensure that the solar cells are aligned and the electrical components seem to be working properly. After hours of unsuccessful charging, it also may be possible that a part may have malfunctioned. This brings us to our last tip.
Pay Close Attention to Warranties, Terms, and Conditions
Last but not least, it is important to always pay close attention to power bank solar charger warranties, terms, and conditions before making a purchase. If you’re currently searching for instructions on how to find your product’s warranty, then unfortunately it may be too late.
In general, solar chargers are designed to be affordable which means some low-priced items may come in cheaper quality builds. Although you do not need a multi-year warranty to ensure your cell phone has a bit of extra battery, we strongly suggest staying away from solar chargers with no or minimal warranty information.
With the wide array of products on the market today, power bank solar charger instructions will always vary between models. However, we hope that this resource has provided answers to some of the most commonly sought-after information regarding these handy devices.
To continue your green energy decisions, we recommend that you seek out the exact end-of-life instructions for your specific solar charger to verify whether or not it can be recycled. Hopefully, however, you will not need to think about recycling your high-quality battery bank for a very long time.
If you’re looking to learn more about how to store larger loads of renewable energy, feel free to check out our solar bank instructions for generators and DIY systems. Using the same technology that powers small solar chargers, large power banks, or “power walls” can electrify an entire home with endless solar energy.
Do Solar Powered Phone Chargers Work at Night?
A solar powered phone charger is a device that uses sunlight to generate electrical power. This power, which is stored in the charger’s battery, can then be used to charge a second device’s battery. Since our lives revolve around cell phones, having an accessory like this is no less than a blessing. We can keep our phone batteries juiced up at all hours without ever having to plug any cables in. In this article, we’ll explain how these chargers work and whether their operations extend to nighttime.
How Do Solar Powered Phone Chargers Work?
There are a variety of solar charger designs available on the market, but most utilize photovoltaic (PV) cells to generate the necessary power. PV cells are made from semiconductor materials like silicon and they create an electrical current when exposed to sunlight.
This current is then stored in a battery pack or directly routed to the device being charged. Solar chargers typically have a built-in regulator to ensure the correct amount of power is delivered to the device. Many also come with USB ports for charging multiple devices at once.
How Long Does It Take To Charge a Phone With a Solar Charger?
Before you can charge your phone with a solar powered charger, you need to power up the charger. On average, a good-quality solar charger takes about 25 to 50 hours to charge completely in unobstructed sunlight. This duration may vary, however, depending on the type of charger you have. If your charger has a single solar panel, it may take longer to power up.
After your charger is fueled up, you can use it to charge your phone. A phone can be charged by connecting the charger’s USB end to the solar charging device and the other end to your phone. The charging duration of your phone varies depending on its battery size.
Will a Solar Phone Charger Work at Night?
Solar phone chargers will work at night as long as they have built-in batteries that store the energy generated by the sun. Without this feature, these chargers will only work during the day when there is sunlight to generate power.
So, getting a charger with built-in batteries is better if you want to use it during the night, too. To get the most out of your solar charger, it’s essential to place it in a location where it will receive direct sunlight for most of the day. Additionally, you can increase the charging speed by using a device with a higher power rating.
Besides not working at night without built-in batteries, they may not work well in cloudy or shady conditions, and they can take longer to charge a device than a traditional charger. But despite these minor disadvantages, solar chargers offer excellent charging during daytime and even nighttime with a built-in battery reservoir.
Solar phone chargers offer an eco-friendly way to charge multiple devices. While their average charging time is longer than traditional chargers, you can improve this timing by keeping the device under direct sunlight.
These chargers will not work at night unless they have built-in batteries. In other words, they will not charge your phones if they don’t have enough charging stored. So, if you’re interested in using these chargers at night, make sure you get ones with built-in batteries.
The 10 Best Solar Power Banks To Buy in 2023
A Solar power bank employs solar energy to produce electricity. This electricity can be used for different electrical devices and to charge batteries. Most are generally portable and can supply up to 48 volts and 4000-ampere hours. This is an article about solar power banks, how they work, their benefits, and the various types.
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The Best Solar Power Banks
Riapow: 26800mAh Wireless Solar Charger
Take your wireless charger anywhere, hanging it on the backpack allows you to get recharged by sunlight, with no hassle with cables at all. It can charge 4 devices simultaneously at full speed and is equipped with a solar panel for charging outside in the sun and a built-in LED flashlight (Steady-Flashing-SOS) 3 modes.
a highly sturdy and durable design, it’s perfect for outdoor activities including hiking, camping, and more!
Specs And Key Features:
|Battery:||26800 mAh Li-polymer Battery.|
|Solar Panel Wattages:||1.9W.|
|Dimensions:||6.89 x 3.54 x 1.18 Inches|
|Key Features:||2.5X Faster Charging.|
QiSa: 35800mAh Solar Power Bank with Dual 3.1A Outputs
QiSa 35800mAh Solar Power Bank with Dual 3.1A Outputs – It’s a power bank and solar power charge in one! Its total storage capacity is as high as 35800 mAh, and it can provide up to three full-charged devices at the same time.
The solar power bank takes advantage of its large battery capacity and allows you to get rid of anxiety over the battery at any time and anywhere. With built-in wireless charging capabilities, Qi-enabled devices are compatible with wireless charging so that you don’t have to mess around with your phone while charging it anymore. You can even charge three devices simultaneously!
There is a Smart chip inside the solar charge that automatically recognizes and compiles with different devices, converting fluctuating voltage into stable voltage and stabilizing devices during use.
Specs And Key Features:
|Battery:||38800mAh Lithium Polymer Battery.|
|Solar panel Input:||5V/3.1A|
|Solar Panel Wattages:||12W.|
|Dimensions:||7.2 x 4.33 x 1.81 Inches|
|Key Features:||Fast Charging.|
Suscell: 20000mAh Solar Phone Charger
Get the power you need where and when you need it. Suscell’s portable solar charger is the perfect companion for any adventure! This portable solar charger has all the bells and whistles, including multiple battery charging ports and a high power output that can charge up to five phones, an iPad or other tablet twice, or a speaker fivefold.
The Suscell has a solid battery capacity of 20,000mAh so there’s enough juice to last most outings. Take this solar charger with you on your next trip for peace of mind knowing that you’ll never find yourself stranded without a charged phone or camera again.
The Suscell charger is waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof.
Specs And Key Features:
|Battery:||20,000mAh Lithium Polymer Battery.|
|Dimensions:||5.5 x 2.9 x 0.7 Inches.|
|Key Features:||Charging up to 5 Devices simultaneously.|
BLAVOR: Portable Solar Power Bank
Whether it’s an extended hiking trip and camping or a daily commute, BLAVOR portable solar power bank can be your best friend. The charger is made of premium ABS materials and a lithium polymer battery, highly sturdy and durable.
It is equipped with two USBs, type C, dual flashlights, and a compass kit. Its lightweight and compact size have made it handy for outdoor activities like camping and hiking etc. As long as there’s sunlight,
The BLAVOR charger can charge any smartphone up to 2-3 times in just 10mins charging times.
Specs And Key Features:
|Battery:||10,000mAh Lithium Metal battery.|
|Dimensions:||5.9 x 3.1 x 0.8 Inches.|
ADDTOP: 25000mAh Portable Solar Charger
The ADDTOP 25000mAh Portable Solar Charger is the perfect power bank to ensure that your devices are always ready when you are. Equipped with four high-performance panels and dual USB ports,
The multiple ports reduce charging time and it is convenient to hang this solar charger on your backpack when traveling. With a bright flashlight and Standard-SOS-Strobe functions, it’s also a handy tool for camping, cycling, and more.
The ADDTOP solar charger has 4 times faster-charging speed than a single panel.
Specs And Key Features:
|Solar Panel Wattage:||6W.|
|Dimensions:||21.3 x 8.7 x 15.4 Inches.|
|Key Features:||4 Foldable Solar Panels.|
POWOBEST: Solar Charger Power Bank
Reliable and efficient, the POWOBEST Wireless Solar Power Bank is ideal for long trips. Equipped with 3 foldable highly efficient solar panels, up to 600ma/h input current under the sunlight, this wireless power bank is 3-5 times faster than ordinary chargers.
Supporting Qi wireless charging, compatible with iPhone Samsung and other Qi-enabled devices, cable-free, and tangle-free. Built-in grade A Li-Polymer battery, 20000mAh solar portable charger is more than enough for your long time travel with multiple circuit protection prevents short circuits, overheating, over-discharging, and over-charging.
The POWOBEST wireless power bank is 3-5 times faster than ordinary chargers.
Specs And Key Features:
|Key Features:||Fast Charging.|
FEELLE: 25000mAh Outdoor Waterproof Solar Phone Charger
Feelle is your choice for a compact and powerful solar phone charger, suitable for camping and other outdoor activities. With its foldable design, you can easily carry it anywhere by simply tucking it into your or backpack.
The waterproof silicone cover protects the USB ports from damage while the built-in bright LED light has 3 modes with a strobe to enhance visibility when you need it most. Original Feelle design ensures stability and efficient energy consumption.
It’s perfect for charging smartphones and tablets in any situation.
Specs And Key Features:
|Battery:||25000mAh Lithium Polymer Battery.|
|Dimensions:||6.1 x 3.35 x 1.37 Inches.|
Coolezx: 33800mAh Portable Solar Power Bank
Coolezx’s solar power bank is designed for the modern person who likes to travel and explore, not someone tied down by traditional charging cables.
It is equipped with a super-large capacity that can fully charge iPhone 12 to 50% in 30 minutes and recharge the power bank to full in about 6 hours. Not only does this cable-free portable solar charger support 15W MAX wireless charging, but it also has four built-in cables including a 5V/2A micro cable output port, an iOS cable output port, a type-c cable output port, and a USB cable input port allowing you to quickly charge any type smartphone and
The solar charger can charge multiple devices at the same time.
Specs And Key Features:
|USB A Output:||22.5W.|
|Built-in Cable In/Output:||5V/2A.|
|Solar Panel Wattage:||2W.|
|Dimensions:||6.7 x 3.15 x 1.3 Inches.|
|Key Features:||Super Fast-Charging.|
LATIMERIA: 36000mAh Solar Power Bank
LATIMERIA portable solar phone charger power bank has been designed with the latest technology and is perfect for those living a fast-paced lifestyle. It is convenient for you to carry it when you are doing outdoor activities or traveling.Simply place it under sunlight or put it on any surface to start charging.
With a built-in high capacity 36000mAh lithium polymer battery, 3 USB ports, and a LED light indicator, this device charges 3 devices simultaneously and also has an emergency LED flashlight function.
The solar charger can be placed in your backpack or purse and easily carried around, wherever you go!
Specs And Key Features:
|Dimensions:||78 x 34.8 x 10.8 Inches|
|Key Features:||Fast Charging.|
Survival Frog: Solar Charger Power Bank
This solar charger power bank combines durability, functionality, and portability into one powerful device. Ultra-bright LED flashlight is a perfect and must-have outdoor companion that provides strong light for camping or other activities where you are far from home. The leather wallet coated with waterproof material can protect your power bank from water damage.
Whether you’re fishing or camping, staying in remote areas, or walking the dog, this is the easiest way to ensure that you never run out of power! With 4 high-powered 5.5W panels that fold open for increased efficiency when catching even more light from the sun,
it will charge faster than ever before! Get yours today so you can start enjoying its many benefits later!
Specs And Key Features:
|Battery:||6,500 mAh Battery.|
|Solar Panel Wattage:||5.5W|
How Does Solar Power Bank Work?
In Brief, Solar energy is the electrical power that is derived from sunlight. The conversion of this power can either be directly using photovoltaics or indirectly through a concentrated solar panel system. These solar panel systems make use of lenses or mirrors to FOCUS sunlight on a small beam.
When we talk of solar power chargers, the name says it all; it is a battery storage unit of power that derives its energy directly from sunlight. They can be very useful during trips or when there are power shortages. They are becoming popular as each day goes by as more Smart devices are being invented and they need more power to work and last for a day. Generally, the power banks act as a backup.
Most people who own a solar charger power bank, do not know how they work and it is very rare to find a seller explaining to a customer how these gadgets work. Solar power banks have special lenses that concentrate the sunlight on a small beam in order to charge the batteries inside. The battery has a circuit that controls the power flow obtained from the sunlight. These batteries store the electrical energy converted from the sun, which is later used to charge various electrical devices like mobile phones.
What Are The Advantages Of Solar Power Banks?
You can use them anywhere! As you know, there are no wires needed with a solar-powered device. You only need to find enough sunlight and place your charger in direct sunlight to charge it up. No matter where you are in the world, you can find some sunshine if you wish to charge your phone or laptop.
They’re environmentally friendly! Another advantage of using solar-powered devices is that they’re environmentally friendly; there’s no pollution from them whatsoever since they don’t release any carbon dioxide into the air like other batteries do when they’re depleted and thrown away after use (because there’s no way for them to be recycled).
They’re durable! Solar-powered devices are also very durable compared with other types of chargers because there are no moving parts inside them (unlike with regular batteries). Therefore, there’s no chance of them breaking down quickly.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Solar Power Banks?
Solar panels take a long time to charge up. If you’re planning on using your solar power bank for emergency purposes, you might be disappointed by how much time it takes for the device to fully charge. In fact, most solar panels can only generate about 2-3 watts per hour — meaning that it could take up to 10 hours for the device to reach full capacity when exposed to direct sunlight.
Another disadvantage of solar power banks is that they are generally quite bulky and heavy compared to regular power banks which don’t rely on solar energy. This means that they’re not always ideal for carrying around in your all day long!
Benefits of Using a Solar-Powered Battery Charger
Solar battery packs are the most energy-efficient and economical devices that someone can have. They no doubt make life so much easier. There are numerous benefits that they bring to our lives. They include;
They can charge without any electrical input. This means that they have no associated costs that they bring along.
They can be used anywhere, You just need to have access to sunlight.
They are very versatile and can charge any basic gadget. You will never have to worry about any electrical shortages as the sunlight will always be present even for a little while.
What are the Types of Solar Energy Chargers?
There are very many manufacturers, and all of them have different concepts and designs. As a result, there are various different models and types in the market. These are the most popular types:
Small, portable models which are designed to charge a wide range of small devices, including cell phones, mobile phones, iPods,s or any other small portable gadget.
The fold-out models are designed for automobiles. They sit on the dashboard and are plugged into the cigar lighter socket to charge the vehicle battery when it is not in use.
Public chargers are installed in public places for people to use for free.
Next, we will discuss and feature the 10 best solar power chargers of the first type which is Small portable models.
Solar power is the best alternative power source that can help us take care of the environment. It can help reduce the reliance on fossil fuels.
When you think about it, it is also very cheap considering the lifetime of benefits that one is going to get. There are even smaller systems that can supplement household power needs. This can be an important step in establishing a sustainable power grid.
The article may contain links to affiliate websites, and we receive an affiliate commission for any purchases made by you on the affiliate website using such links.
The Best Solar Phone Chargers
Zachary McCarthy Writer
Zachary McCarthy is a freelance contributor to LifeSavvy. He has a bachelor’s degree in English from James Madison University and experience in blogging, copywriting, and WordPress design and development. In his free time, he can be found frying up Tangsuyuk or watching Korean films and MMA events. Read more.
Ellie Miller Reviews Editor Ellie Miller is a full-time copy editor and occasional writer for LifeSavvy’s reviews articles. With years of experience in substantive and copy editing, proofreading, and publishing, she has edited thousands of online articles, as well as memoirs, scientific essays, book chapters, and workplace training documents. She hopes you’ll find some new favorite products here on LifeSavvy like she has. Read more. About LifeSavvy
Keeping your devices charged while off the grid can be a challenge. If you want to prevent your phone from dying while hiking, camping, or exploring the great outdoors, check out these next-level solar phone chargers.
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The Best Solar Phone Chargers
Unlike most portable chargers, solar phone chargers use the power of the sun to top off their built-in battery so that you can charge your phone without the use of an AC outlet. As such, they are a handy option for those who enjoy spending time outdoors and away from a reliable source of electricity.
Buying Guide for Solar Phone Chargers
Why buy a solar phone charger?
- Battery: Most solar phone chargers sport a built-in battery so you can charge your phone even after the sun goes down. If you’re going on a multi-day outing, invest in a product with a large battery capacity that can be charged via AC power before you leave. Compare the battery capacity of your phone (measured in mAh) to that of your solar phone charger in order to estimate how many charges you will get out of a full battery.
- Weight: If you’re buying a solar phone charger to take on long back-country hikes or similarly rugged activities, the product’s weight should be a primary consideration. While multi-panel designs and a high-capacity internal battery may be convenient, these features are sure to add extra bulk and weight. Every extra pound you carry feels that much heavier after a 15-mile hike, so opting for a lighter unit might make sense.
- Durability: Most solar phone chargers are designed for rugged applications. However, not every model is able to withstand the elements. Make sure the solar phone charger you choose is water-resistant, dustproof, and able to survive a tumble or two.
What extra features should you look for in a solar phone charger?
Some solar phone chargers come with handy features that are hard to pass up. For instance, a built-in LED light with an emergency strobe function can be incredibly helpful in an emergency situation. Also, be sure to check out how many devices a solar phone charger can charge at one time, especially if you tend to travel with several devices. Finally, take note of the charger’s battery indicator since an intuitive display will help prevent confusion and give you peace of mind that your device is functioning correctly.
Our Picks for the Best Solar Phone Chargers
BLAVOR Solar Power Bank
This solar phone charger stands out for its rugged design and budget-friendly price tag.
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Pros: The BLAVOR Solar Power Bank may be one of the most affordable solar phone chargers on the market, but it’s hard to knock this product in terms of quality. Featuring a 10,000-mAh battery and a durable, IPX4 waterproof design, this lightweight charger can fully charge most phones multiple times before needing to be recharged. Its single solar panel also works well for gradually charging your device without sacrificing its internal battery.
Cons: This solar phone charger’s built-in battery has a lower capacity than some similarly-priced models on the market. Also, its solar charging functionality is somewhat limited due to the small size of its single solar panel.
Bottom Line: Given this charger’s rugged design and reliable charging, it’s hard to pass up at its current price. Its limited battery capacity makes it less ideal for multi-day trips; however, this product is hard to beat for day trips or emergency use.
Anker PowerCore Solar 20000
This rugged solar phone charger can quickly charge two phones at once.
Pros: Sporting a built-in 20,000-mAh battery and an impressive build quality that is to be expected of an Anker product, the PowerCore Solar 20000 stands out for its fast charging time and nifty features. It includes both USB-A and USB-C charging options for lightning-fast charging and can even charge low-power accessories (such as your smartwatch or earbuds) via its handy trickle-charging mode. In fact, this charger is even speedy when charging two phones at once, making it a stellar choice for those who don’t mind spending a little extra for a premium product.
Cons: This solar phone charger is notably more expensive than comparable products with a similar battery capacity and design. However, it’s worth noting that few products can hold a candle to this one in terms of build quality or charge speed, so the elevated price tag is somewhat understandable. It’s also advisable to read the instruction manual before setting off on your first hike.
Bottom Line: While this probably isn’t the most intuitive product out there, it’s one of the best single-panel solar phone chargers on the market in terms of build quality and charging speed. Just be sure to invest in the correct USB cables so that you can take advantage of this charger’s extra-fast charging.
Suscell Solar Charger
This efficient solar phone charger sports a waterproof design and incredibly bright LED light.
19.16 23.99 Save 20%
Pros: Featuring a budget-friendly price tag and efficient self-charging via its small solar panel, the Suscell Solar Charger is an excellent option for those seeking a solar phone charger perfect for day trips. This solar phone charger also holds a charge incredibly well and is rugged enough to wear on your backpack while trekking in the sun without worrying about dust or moisture slipping through the cracks.
Cons: This solar phone charger only has a Micro USB port (or its small solar panel) to recharge its battery, so once it’s out of juice, it will take considerably longer to achieve a full charge versus most similar products. For this reason, it might not be the best option for multi-day excursions.
Bottom Line: Although this isn’t the most cutting-edge solar phone charger on the market, it offers a ton of value for the asking price. It also outperforms more expensive single-panel solar chargers in terms of efficiency, making it an excellent choice for those on a tight budget.
Hiluckey Solar Charger
This four-panel solar phone charger impresses thanks to its efficient solar charging and durable build quality.