Best Solar Chargers

Review & Comparison, Last Update September 1, 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
Charging Mode
Charging Ports
Package Includes
Design
Size & Weight
Warranty
 
PROS

The charger is made with three solar Monocrystalline panels at once, which, in combination with SunPower Maxeon technology, provide up to 24% of conversion efficiency.

CONS

No back-up battery.

OUR VERDICT

The Nekteck SM-B3122 is a solid solar panel that can become a great addition to the arsenal of avid hikers. Packed with the latest technologies, it provides extra-fast charging for up to two gadgets at once. 

detailed parameters
Number of Panels

3

Charging Mode

Directly from the panels, No battery is available

Charging Ports

2 x USB-charging ports

Package Includes

1 x micro USB cable, 2 x carabiners

Design

Advanced Smart IC chip technology, Foldable design, Special storage pocket for devices, Attachment holes for backpacks, Weather-resistant housing (IPx4 protection class)

Size & Weight

6.3" x 11.1" x 1.1" (folded)

~1.1 lbs

Warranty

1 year

PROS

Unlike single-panel solar chargers, this one has four of them and, accordingly, absorbs 4x more energy. That's why it can replenish the energy quicker. The solar power of this charger makes 5 Watts and the input current is 1A.

CONS

The USB cable included in the set is lacking in quality.

OUR VERDICT

The ADDTOP HI-S025 is a good choice for those who use a lot of electronics out on the trail and need to replenish the power quite often. It's quick to recharge via sunlight and has 2 USB ports for your gadgets. 

detailed parameters
Number of Panels

4

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, Built-in flashlight with 3 modes, Battery status LED-indicators

Size & Weight

3.4" x 6.1" x 1.4"

1.2 lbs

Warranty

1 year

PROS

It boasts an increased capacity of 26800 mAh, which is enough to charge a smartphone for 6-8 times and a tablet for 3-4 times. The battery has a long lifespan (over 500 loading and unloading cycles).

CONS

Becomes hot with prolonged use. 

OUR VERDICT

The Xiyihoo i26s is a super-capacious power pack that can charge gadgets within the shortest time possible. In just 1.5 hours, it's able to power up a smartphone with a 5000 mAh battery due to the output current of 3.1 Amps.

detailed parameters
Number of Panels

1

Charging Mode

26800 mAh battery

Charging Ports

3 x USB-charging ports (including Type-C), 

1 x micro-USB port,

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

Package Includes

1 x micro USB cable, 1 x Carabiner

Design

Built-in flashlight with 4 modes, Battery status LED-indicators, Weather-proof housing (IP66 protection class)

Size & Weight

3.7" x 6.9" x 1.1"

1.2 lbs

Warranty

2 years

PROS

Besides the IPX6 waterproof performance, the product is high-temperature resistant and drop resistant (up to 5 feet). So, even if the battery falls out of your backpack, it won't get damaged.

CONS

The flashlight could be brighter. 

OUR VERDICT

Equipped with 3 charging ports and wireless output, the Riapow battery pack is able to charge up to 4 devices at the same time. So, even if you go camping with your family, everyone will be able to charge their smartphones when needed.

detailed parameters
Number of Panels

1

Charging Mode

26800 mAh battery

Charging Ports

3 x USB-charging ports (including Type-C), 

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

Package Includes

1 x USB-C cable

Design

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

Size & Weight

3.3" x 6.9" x 1.1"

~1 lb

Warranty

1.5 years

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

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

Nekteck SM-B3122

For Serious Adventures

If you're an avid traveler who often goes on long hikes and needs to carry a couple of different devices, you should definitely take a closer look at the Nekteck 21W Portable charger. It's a revolutionary solar panel that boasts a very lightweight construction and, accordingly, is much more portable than most other ones with similar specs. The unit weighs just 18 oz and makes 6.3x 11.1x 1.06 inches when folded which allows you to easily fit it into your backpack without adding heft to it. At the same time, despite being that compact and small, it is able to keep two different gadgets at the top battery level.

Owing to the SunPower Maxeon charging technology, the Nekteck panel far outperforms the majority of conventional solar chargers. The unique Monocrystalline cells of the panels increase the efficiency of charging by up to 21% - 24% compared to the standard 16% - 18%. As a result, the Nekteck 21W charger can juice up your mobile devices just as quickly as a normal power outlet.

Yet, you should bear in mind that because the Nekteck solar charger does not have a built-in battery, it won't store power for a long time. That's why you should not leave it in the shadow if you do not want it to lose charge. However, if you wish to store some power bulk, it is a wise idea to invest in a good backup battery (power bank) that can be charged during the day and then transfer the power to your phones at night.

Review of Nekteck SM-B3122 21W Portable Solar Panel Charger

Fast Charging

As mentioned before, this solar panel is equipped with two USB ports and can charge two phones simultaneously. However, the best part is that each port receives the right information about your devices, and smartly distributes the optimal charging current for each connected gadget.

Understanding that not all devices are created equal, the manufacturer has made this solar panel with the advanced SmartIC Fast charging technology that has its own microchip and intelligently identifies your mobile device. As a result, it maximizes the output up to 2.0 A per port and ensures the fastest charging speed for your phone or tablet. So, if you need an extra-quick charge, the Nekteck 21W Portable Solar Panel will hit the spot. Being extra light, extra powerful, and extra smart, it can become a great addition to the camping gear of avid hikers who need a reliable power supply during their trips.

Nekteck SM-B3122 21W Portable Solar Panel Charger in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

ADDTOP HI-S025

Four is Better than One

If you're using a lot of electronics out on the trail and looking for a powerful battery pack that can be quickly recharged on-the-go via solar energy, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better offering than the ADDTOP Solar Charger. Unlike many other similar models with one solar panel, this one has four of them. And since the unit has an increased number of panels, it absorbs 4x more energy when unfolded.

The solar power of this charger makes 5 Watts and the input current is 1 A. With that, the conversion rate via solar charging reaches as much as 88%. On average, it takes somewhere from 30 to 40 hours to recharge it completely from empty (or 6-8 hours via a 5V/2A adapter). The solar charging speed will be largely affected by the weather and the environment. Since the intensity of sunlight changes at all times, the charging power won't always reach the maximum value. Theoretically, the most optimal solar charging time is considered to be between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm.

Once fully charged, you can fold all the panels, making the whole thing as small as iPhone X. The unit is rugged enough to use it out in the elements since it has a sturdy polyester canvas that makes it waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof. As a nice touch, it's made with a flashlight that offers three modes - Normal, SOS, and Strobe.

Review of ADDTOP HI-S025 25000mAh Portable Solar Charger / Power Bank

For Heavy-duty Use

If you're an aspiring YouTuber or just a video junkie who loves shooting videos and photos out in nature, you probably need a lot of power to keep all your electronic devices charged. Luckily, the ADDTOP Solar Charger has a 25000mAh capacity and can charge iPhone 6 around 10 times, Samsung S6 over 7 times, and iPad Air about 3 times. To our surprise, it charges the gadgets for more than 30% in about 20 minutes.

The only thing you should note is that this power bank can charge 5V devices with a USB port (smartphones, iPods, cameras, etc.) but it can't power up a laptop. Even so, it's still a very solid power bank with two outputs, high speed, and an emergency flashlight that includes SOS and Strobe modes. Perfect for use in the wild.

ADDTOP HI-S025 25000mAh Portable Solar Charger / Power Bank in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Xiyihoo i26s

Super Capacity

The Xiyihoo Solar Charger is a high-quality model that boasts an incredible 26800 mAh capacity and can recharge your gadgets many times. To understand how big of a deal this is, just consider the fact that the latest phones that boast advanced batteries need only around 5000 mAh, meaning this thing will be able to charge them from zero to full over 5 times.

To be more exact, the Xiyihoo power bank can juice up iPhone7 up to 13 times, Galaxy S10 up to 9 times, and Huawei P30 Pro up to 6 times. Best of all, it can also charge tablets and even netbooks - it needs about 24 hours to charge the newest 15" Macbook Pro from scratch. Although the process is much slower than charging from the wall, it's still doable.

To let you charge a few gadgets simultaneously, the unit is equipped with three ports - two fast-output USB ports and Type-C output. The charging speed won't be affected by juicing up multiple devices at the same time.

When it comes to the charging of the panel itself, it can be charged either by the sunlight or by micro USB (cable is included). Using a 5V/2A adapter, you'll be able to fully recharge it in around 6 hours. A solar indicator and 4 blue LED status lights will show the actual power. In order to fully activate the battery after delivery, it's recommended to charge it via a power outlet for 10 hours within the first 2-3 uses.

Review of Xiyihoo i26s 26800mAh Solar Power Bank / Portable Solar Panel Charger

Risk-Free Purchase

If you think that prolonged charging time may lead to overloading, you can rest assured knowing that the battery will stay safe and sound owing to the few advanced technologies implemented here. That is to say, this solar battery bank boasts a reliable IC protection for overload, over-voltage, over-current, over-discharge, and short-circuit. Also, it's certified with CE / FCC / RoHS and claimed to withstand 500 times of loading/unloading cycle.

Build and style are on point as well. The panel has a thickened construction and good level of waterproofness to survive through rain, dirt, and shocks. The manufacturer is really confident in this solar charger and backs it with a 90-day money-back guarantee. So, it's a risk-free purchase, which is worth a try.

Xiyihoo i26s 26800mAh Solar Power Bank / Portable Solar Panel Charger in the use

 

Riapow T11W

Sturdy Design

If you're in the market for an ultra-rugged, powerful portable battery that can stand up to all your adventures, you may like the Riapow Wireless Solar Charger. At 16.5 oz, it's a very solid unit that looks sturdy and well-built. It offers IPX6 waterproof performance, meaning that wet weather and light rains won't affect its functionality. The inner layer here is made of durable ABS material, while the outer one is of waterproof silicone that covers USB ports and prevents the water or dust from entering.

In addition, the product is high-temperature resistant and drop resistant. The manufacturer has conducted many professional height drop tests (from 3 to 5 feet) and states that even if the product falls out of your pocket or backpack, it won't get damaged. What also makes it an ideal power bank for your backpacking experience is the addition of a strong LED flashlight with 3 modes (flashlight, Strobe, SOS).

In case you're planning an overseas trip, you may like the fact that the Riapow battery bank is 99Wh which is lower than the restricted 100Wh for carry-on luggage. That's why you can safely take this portable solar charger in the cabin and enjoy watching movies on your tablet when on the plane. With it, you'll never run out of charge.

Review of Riapow T11W 26800mAh Wireless Solar Charger

Very Quick

Speaking of capacity, the Riapow charger has 26800mAh of power and lets you juice up your phone for numerous times. Best of all, it can charge as many as four devices simultaneously at full speed. Thanks to a built-in smart chip, it auto-detects your gadgets' current and delivers the fastest possible charging speed (3A max). To understand how fast it is, just take into account that the Riapow pack can fully charge iPhone 11 in just 1.3 hours. And despite such a powerful current output, it doesn't even get hot.

All that being said, you should keep in mind that the transformation efficiency of this unit is relatively low, so we wouldn't recommend you to rely on a solar panel as the main charging source. You'd better charge this battery pack in advance via the mains and then just replenish the power via sunlight.

All in all, the Riapow solar panel has the power and durability you may need for every situation. The soft yet rugged design makes this on-the-go charger practical and aesthetic.

Riapow T11W 26800mAh Wireless 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 complimentary compass kit. The charger comes with the cute little compass that works correctly and can be neatly attached to the casing of the solar charger. This shows that the manufacturer has really put thought into it and included something that would add comfort and safety to your 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 only thing to note is that the wireless charging may not work with a particularly heavy and thick phone case. So, it's better to remove it before charging. 

Overall, the Riapow solar panel 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


 

Infographics

Comparison of Solar Chargers

What Is a Solar Charger?

If you often go hiking or traveling, you definitely need a back-up source of energy to power up your electronics since it's not always possible to get access to the mains when in the wild. That's where a portable solar charger comes in handy. A solar charger has one or multiple solar panels combined in a single device that can accumulate solar power and transfer it to gadgets that need to be recharged. Some solar chargers can even power up laptops along with mobile phones, players, or tablets.

Lots of solar battery packs are flexible and can be folded to a very compact size, being no larger than a smartphone case. Usually, they are water-resistant, dustproof, shockproof, and drop resistant to endure harsh weather conditions and bumps. So, you can safely clip them on your backpack and head for new adventures that life throws at you.

To make your choice less tricky, we have rounded up the best solar chargers that are available for sale. In case you want to save your strongest impressions while traveling, we also offer you to check our selection of the best action cameras.

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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