Best Solar Chargers

Review & Comparison, Last Update January 29, 2020
Whether you are a high-tech geek or an environmentalist, a solar charger is a must-have for you. Enjoy the cutting-edge technology and protect the nature! We have selected the best solar chargers for this review. Now, it is your move! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2020
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Number of Panels
Peak Power
Charging Mode
Charging Ports
Package Includes
Design
Size & Weight
Warranty
 
PROS

The unique solar cells of the panel increase the efficiency of charging by up to 21.5% - 23.5%, which is a bit more compared to other models. This way, in full sun, the RAVPower panel can charge your phone just as quickly as a normal outlet.

CONS

No built-in battery.

OUR VERDICT

If you are an active hiker looking for a foldable solar charger, the RAVPower panel is easily the best option you can find on offer. It's well-built, powerful, fast, and completely travelable. 

detailed parameters
Number of Panels

4

Peak Power

24 W, Transformation efficiency: 21.5 - 23.5%

Charging Mode

Directly from the panels, no battery is available

Charging Ports

3 x USB-charging ports

Package Includes

4 x stainless steel hooks, 

2 x micro USB cables

Design

Foldable design with a velcro lock, Special storage pocket for devices, Attachment holes for backpacks, Built-in stand 

Size & Weight

~11.8" x 6.5" x 1" (folded)

1.65 lbs

Warranty

1 year

PROS

Featured with built-in 25000mAh Li-polymer battery, it can re-charge your phones 8-10 times or tablets 3-4 times on average. That equals about 9 days of use after a full charge.

CONS

The hanging hook could be stronger. 

OUR VERDICT

The Hiluckey solar panel is a stoutly-built charger that can double as a flashlight in an emergency. It will not only power a couple of gadgets but also make your outdoor adventures safer and easier.

detailed parameters
Number of Panels

4

Peak Power

5 W, Transformation efficiency: 18 - 20%

Charging Mode

25000 mAh battery

Charging Ports

2 x USB-charging ports, 

1 x Micro-USB port for charging built-in battery

Package Includes

1 x micro USB cable

Design

Foldable design, Shock- and dust-proof housing, Built-in flashlight with 3 modes, Battery status LED-indicators

Size & Weight

6.1" x 3.3" x 1.4" (folded)

1.18 lbs

Warranty

1 year

PROS

Thanks to high-quality silicone rubber and ABS + PC material, the solar charger is very tough and durable enough for outdoor use. With rubbery inserts on both sides, it ensures a reliable grip.

CONS

As a flashlight, it's not very bright.

OUR VERDICT

The Hobest Solar Phone Charger is a compact option for daily use. Also, it's a good option to take with you on weekends in the wild from time to time.

detailed parameters
Number of Panels

1

Peak Power

~2.5 W, Transformation efficiency: 16 - 18%

Charging Mode

10000 mAh battery

Charging Ports

2 x USB-charging ports, 

1 x Micro-USB port for charging built-in battery

Package Includes

1 x micro USB cable, 

1 x carabiner

Design

Shock- and dust-proof housing, Built-in flashlight with 3 modes, Battery status LED-indicators

Size & Weight

5.5" x 2.5" x 0.8"

0.48 lb

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The main perk of this model is that it supports the Qi wireless charging standard. This means that you can simply put your device on the Blavor charger to power it up.

CONS

Only one USB port for charging devices.

OUR VERDICT

The BLAVOR solar power bank can not only get energy wirelessly but also juice up your gadgets without cables. So, if cable-free and tangle-free experience is the thing you really cherish, it may be the best fit for you. 

detailed parameters
Number of Panels

1

Peak Power

~2.5 W, Transformation efficiency: 16 - 18%

Charging Mode

10000 mAh battery

Charging Ports

1 x USB-charging port, 

1 x Micro-USB port,

1 x USB Type-C port for charging built-in battery

Package Includes

1 x micro USB cable

Design

Wireless charging area with indicator, Shock- and dust-proof housing, Built-in dual flashlight with 3 modes, Compass, Battery status LED-indicators

Size & Weight

5.9" x 3.1" x 0.8"

0.77 lb

Warranty

1 year

PROS

It has 2 USB ports for charging mobile devices, one of which supports the Quick-charge feature. As stated by the manufacturer, the built-in 15,000mAh battery withstands up to 500 recharging cycles.

CONS

Input/output ports have no cover.

OUR VERDICT

The Elzle solar panel a solid option for heavy-duty use. It has a rugged construction and huge-capacity battery to charge various electronic devices including cameras and game consoles.

detailed parameters
Number of Panels

1

Peak Power

~2.5 W, Transformation efficiency: 16 - 18%

Charging Mode

15000 mAh battery

Charging Ports

2 x USB-charging ports, 

1 x Micro-USB port for charging built-in battery

Package Includes

1 x micro USB cable, 1 x carabiner

Design

Shock- and dust-proof housing, Built-in flashlight with 3 modes, Battery status LED-indicators

Size & Weight

6.3" x 3" x 0.7"

0.55 lb

Warranty

1.5 years

RAVPower RP-PC005

Less Weight, More Power

When it comes to long hiking trips, every avid traveler knows that every ounce and inch matter. With this in mind, the folks behind RAVPower have come up with a revolutionary solar charging panel which is much lighter and smaller than most other products with similar characteristics. More precisely, it's almost half the weight and size of comparable solar chargers. However, not less efficient.

With the proprietary 24W solar charging technology, the panel far outperforms conventional solar chargers. The unique solar cells of the panel increase the efficiency of charging by up to 21.5% - 23.5%, which is a bit more compared to the standard 16% - 18%. This way, in full sun, the RAVPower panel can charge your mobile phone just as quickly as a normal outlet. And it will still charge under partial sun/shade, but not in the dark.

Take note that it has no built-in battery and loses charge if not exposed to the sun. Yet, we can't consider this as a con, since it has as many as three USB ports, allowing you to charge a pair of cell phones and a backup battery (power bank) to keep your phones charged all night.

Review of RAVPower RP-PC005 24W 3-Port Solar Panel Charger

Completely Safe

Thanks to the other exclusive technology, the iSmart technology, each USB port receives the right information about your devices. That is to say, the panel automatically detects and delivers the optimal charging current for connected gadgets (up to 2.4A per port). And Smart IC frequency technology evenly distributes current to all three USB ports to make sure every device is evenly charged.

Last but not least, the battery is made with a waterproof outer layer, so it's highly durable and weather resistant. When not in use, all four panels fold into a neat, flat rectangle which can be further packed into your hiking backpack.

Summing up, if you are an active hiker looking for a light foldable solar charger, the RAVPower panel is easily the best option you can find on offer. It's well-built, powerful, fast, and completely travelable. With it, all your gadgets will always be ready to use.

RAVPower RP-PC005 24W 3-Port Solar Panel Charger in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Hiluckey HI-S025

For Multiple Charges

The Hiluckey solar charger is another strong performer on our shortlist. Completed with four large solar panels, it provides the transformation of solar energy with 18% - 20% efficiency rate under direct sunlight. And with 1A input current, it's 4 - 6 times faster compared to mini solar chargers.

The charger is featured with a built-in 25000mAh Li-polymer battery that can use solar energy or be charged by any micro USB cable. Once full, the large-capacity battery can re-charge your phones 8-10 times or tablets 3-4 times on average. That equals about 9 days of use per charge.

The panel has two USB ports and charges your gadgets from the said built-in battery or directly from the panels. Dual USB ports can charge both devices simultaneously with 2.1A speed.

To make the process safe for your gadgets, the solar charger employs overheated, overcurrent, overvoltage, and short circuit protection. It intelligently detects the current of the ports to provide optimal charging output.

Review of Hiluckey HI-S025 25000mAh Solar Charger

Doubles as a Flashlight

The charger itself is made of industrial-strength materials so that it won't get damaged. Also, it has a rugged polyester canvas that makes it waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof, meaning it's well-suitable for camping, hiking, and other similar activities.

Yet, there's one more ace up its sleeve. The panel is equipped with 9 LED lights and supports three modes - Normal, SOS, and Strobe. So, it can be used as a flashlight too, which is handy when you need to illuminate your way.

Overall, if you need a stoutly-built charger that can double as a flashlight in an emergency, the Hiluckey solar panel is a solid choice. It will make all your outdoor adventures safer and easier.

Hiluckey HI-S025 25000mAh Solar Charger in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

HOBEST H186

Mini Charger

The Hobest solar phone charger is a super-compact device you can always take with you. While it's mainly intended for use as a simple power bank, it has a backup source of getting energy - the sun. Made with a 10000mAh battery, it can recharge your cellphone several times over the course of a week. To help you understand how capacious it is, the manufacturer says it supports about 2 full charges for Galaxy S6. The same goes for iPhone X or Xs.

The power bank features sophisticated smart ICs with multiple circuit protection that prevents short circuits, overheating, overdischarging and overcharging. Also, the device is safe from the outside as well. Thanks to high-quality silicone rubber and ABS + PC material, the solar charger is very tough and durable enough for outdoor use. And for convenient carrying on your backpack, it's fitted with the extra hook.

Like many other models designed for occasional outdoor adventures, it doubles as a flashlight if need be. With a push of a button, you can switch between three modes (Normal /SOS /Strobe).
Review of HOBEST H186 10000mAh Solar Charger

Auxilary Energy Source

You should keep in mind that the transformation efficiency of this mini solar charger is relatively low. This is easily justified by the fact that the device is ultra compact and its built-in solar panel is rather small consequently. Plus, the charging speed might be limited to sunlight intensity. Therefore, the manufacturer doesn't recommend you to rely on a solar panel as the main charging source.

You'd better recharge this power bank from the mains in advance - the solar panel will help you keep up the optimal charge level afterward.

All things considered, the Hobest portable charger is a compact option for daily use. Also, it's a go-to option in case you need a versatile charger to take with you on the weekend getaways from time to time.

HOBEST H186 10000mAh Solar Charger in the use

 

BLAVOR PN-W05

Nice Addition

BLAVOR offers a good wireless power bank that can be charged either by the mains or the direct sun. Primarily, it should be charged via power outlet (has both micro USB and type-C input port). This way of charging is much quicker and reliable. Just in a few hours, the 10000mAh battery gets full and ready to charge your smartphone for several times.

The blue light is flashing when it's plugged in and green light is on when solar power is absorbed. Additionally, the unit has two powerful LEDs at the front that work in the flashlight mode.

Another extra you'll probably like is a compass. The charger comes with the cute little compass that works correctly and can be neatly attached to the casing of the solar charger. A nice addition during outdoor adventurers.

The unit itself is manufactured from the premium ABS fireproof materials that are sturdy and durable. They also make the charger IPX4 splashproof, dustproof, and shockproof. The company is really confident in the highest quality of the product, so it kindly offers a 100% money-back guarantee.

Review of BLAVOR PN-W05 10000mAh Solar Charger with Qi Wireless

Wireless Charging

What really makes this model a standout is that it supports the Qi wireless charging standard. This means that you can simply rest your device on the Blavor charger to power it up.

This way, you won’t have to fuss with disconnecting the cables when you want to use your phone. Moreover, the wireless way of charging frees up the USB-C port so that you can use wired headphones during charging.

The charger is compatible with the iPhones XR/ XR MAX/ XS/ X/ 8/ 8plus, Samsung Galaxy S9/S9plus or S8/S8plus and all other Qi-enabled devices. So, if cable-free and tangle-free experience is the thing you really cherish, the BLAVOR solar power bank may be the best fit for you. It can not only get energy wirelessly but also juice up your gadgets without cables.

BLAVOR PN-W05 10000mAh Solar Charger with Qi Wireless in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

elzle TS-888

Extra Capacious

In case you're in the market for an extra-capacious power bank, the Elzle Portable Solar panel may be a good offering for you. It's a heavy-duty power bank with the increased 15000mAh battery, which means it's more long-lasting than most similar solar power banks in its price range.

The huge-capacity unit can charge a battery-dead iPhone 5S for 4.7 times, iPhone 7 for 3.8 times, and Galaxy S6 for 2.8 times. It has 5V/1A and 5V/2.1A USB outputs allowing you to charge two devices simultaneously. The ports are compatible with Apple, Sony, Sharp, Xiaomi, Samsung, HTC, and other Android phones. Also, it can charge iPads, tablets, cameras, game consoles, Bluetooth audio, and some other electronic devices. Four LED lights under the ports show the charge remained.

As soon as the pack is exposed to light, it starts charging. Of course, it takes quite a bit time to charge from scratch to full on solar alone, yet the solar energy is great for keeping the unit topped off on the trail. Also, it has six LED lights on the front panel that operate in Light-on, SOS, and flash modes.

Review of elzle TS-888 15000mAh Solar Charger

Waterproof Solar Phone Charger

The USB charger is manufactured from durable ABS + PC material that makes it waterproof, dustproof, and shock-resistant. That said, it's still recommended to keep this pack away from water, as most solar chargers, including this one, can withstand only splashes of water.

The Elzle portable solar phone charger is easy to hold in hand and carry. It has a durable carabiner allowing you to hang it onto your backpack. It's really a good fit for fishing, hunting, sighting, and other outdoor activities.

As an added benefit, there's a built-in cigarette lighter that may come in handy in a pinch. Agree, it's never a bad thing to be prepared.

All this makes the Elzle solar panel a solid option for heavy-duty use. It has a rugged construction and huge-capacity battery to charge various electronic devices including cameras and game consoles.
elzle TS-888 15000mAh Solar Charger in the use

 

Infographics

Comparison of Solar Chargers

What Is a Solar Charger?

A solar charger has one or multiple solar panels combined in a single device which can accumulate the power and transfer it to devices that need to be recharged. The charger can even power laptops along with mobile phones, players or tablets. You will never get lost because your GPS battery has run out of power. You can recharge the GPS with your mobile solar battery. Many solar chargers are flexible and can be folded to a very compact size. You definitely need this high-tech assistant for your hikes and traveling. And to make your choice less tricky, we have rounded up the best solar chargers for you.

Do you want to save your strongest impressions while traveling? One of the best action cameras will help you do it.

What Features to Compare

Functionality

The main features of any solar powered charger are, probably, its operation mode and available functions. Before making a choice of a charging gadget, you should take into account some important criteria that will help you choose a particular model satisfying your needs and compatible with your mobile devices. Individual chargers may be incompatible with certain models of smartphones or tablets. Other devices might be incapable of charging laptops or might have only USB or micro-USB ports. You should study the input and output ports every gadget has. A charger can be powered directly from solar panels or via a built-in rechargeable battery which can be charged from the mains or solar panels in its turn. The peak power determines how fast your devices will be recharged, whereas the transformation efficiency defines which share of solar energy is converted into the electricity. The more efficient the charger is, the better and faster it will make the batteries of other devices full.

Design

Design is another important criterion affecting the choice of a solar powered charger. The exterior is sometimes the priority for some users. You always look at the appearance first and only after that start assessing specifications and functions. If a device looks good and features versatile functions at the same time, you may buy it without hesitation. Some chargers have several solar panels assembled into a single foldable construction. If it is sufficiently compact when folded, you should pay particular attention to this device. You can't carry a large solar panel when you go hiking, for example. But, if you select a foldable one, you will be able to store it in a pocket of a backpack and take it out and unfold whenever you want.

Accessories

An independent power source will always be useful for a hike or travel. However, it might be not that convenient to stop, unfold the solar panels, and wait for the charger’s power bank or a device to get full. That is why producers provide their chargers with such accessories as carabiners, clamps, and so on to attach panels to backpacks, tents, trees or other surfaces. The charging will take place while you are walking, riding or doing anything else you want. The manual with detailed instructions will inform you about all the features of your gadget and the best way to use it. Extra connection cables included in the package will save your money and time.

Sources:

1. Lyra Pierotti How to Choose the Best Solar Charger, OutdoorGearLab. January 30, 2016.

2. How to Select a Solar Charger, wikiHow.

3. John Higgincs Solar Chargers and Portable Power, REI. July 27, 2016.

4. Solar Power, Camping and Caravanning Club.

5. How do I Choose the Best Solar Battery Charger?, wiseGEEK.

6. Traveller's guide to Solar chargers, Wanderlust. September 2014.

7. Mark Smirniotis The Best Portable Solar Battery Charger, The Wirecutter. July 20, 2016.

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