A solar power charger is an extremely useful gadget for backpacking trips as it allows the user to recharge their electronic devices such as handheld GPS system, mobile phones, hiking watches easily. These devices are up utmost importance for most backpackers on their trailers and thus the solar chargers have become very popular. No smartphone can run continuously for more than a day when continuously used for GPS navigation and thus backpackers need to carry a solar charger with them.
The solar chargers consist of a solar panel and a battery pack. The solar panels absorb all the sunlight and convert them into electricity to charge the battery pack. When the battery pack is full, it comes to use in charging other devices such as smartphones.
Unlike regular power banks that gets drained sooner, solar chargers are ideal for long trips. It allows recharging the battery pack as long as there is sunlight. We have listed some of the best solar chargers to make the decision of our readers a bit easier. Read through for our list of the best and the high-quality solar chargers here.
The 6 Best Solar Chargers – 
- Anker 21W Dual USB Solar Charger
- Nekteck 21W Solar Charger
- RAVPower Solar Charger 24W Solar Panel
- Foxelli Dual USB Solar Charger 21W
- X-DRAGON Solar Charger
- SUAOKI Solar Charger 60W Portable Solar Panel
Best Solar Chargers
Best Solar Chargers Reviews
Features At a Glance :
- Panel dimensions: 1 x 1.1 x 6.3 inches
- Weight: 14.7 pounds
- Faster and safer charging
- Has the power to charge two devices simultaneously
- Industrial strength PET polymer solar panels
- Weather-resistant durability
- Highly portable
- Elastic loops for easy attachment with backpacks
- Lightweight and ultra-thin design
The Anker dual USB solar charger features the best technology for fast charging of devices. Its power IQ technology delivers the fastest possible charge up to 2.1 amps under direct sunlight. Its 15W solar array is more than 23% efficient offering enough power to charge about two devices simultaneously. The charger is extremely durable as it is of industrial strength PET polymer panels that are sewn with polyester canvas for weather-resistant outdoor utility.
It has amazing dimensions and is easily portable. There are elastic loops on each corner of the panel to attach the panel to tents, backpacks and even trees. It is of an extremely lightweight and ultra-thin design making is the best companions for long distance treks. Along with the solar power charger, the users get a 21 w two-port USB solar charger, three feet micro USB cable, and 18-month warranty for the product along with a friendly customer service support.
Features At a Glance :
- Dimensions: 3 x 1.1 x 11.1 inches
- Weight: 1.13 pounds
- Smart IC technology for fast charging
- Simultaneously charges two devices
- Portable solar charger with attachment hooks
- PET polymer cover
- Waterproof and dustproof
- 18 months’ warranty
The Nekteck 21W solar charger is highly efficient and features three solar monocrystalline cell panels. They work under the Sun Power Maxeon technology that allows them to reach 24% efficiency in power conversion, the charger offers ample power up to 2.0A maximum per port.
The solar charger features advance smart IC chip technology with microchip support to detect devices that are plugged on to the USB ports. These USB ports help with complete charging of the two devices simultaneously under safe conditions and prevent overheating as well.
The solar charger is completely portable and has a 17.3-ounce design that easily squeezes into the backpack and offers extreme portability and simplicity. There is an attachment hook on to the solar charger which makes it easy for the charger to connect with the backpack while on the trail or while talking around the town.
The charger has a durable design and its canvas surface and precise stitching makes it ideal for outdoor use. Its PET polymer cover guarantees waterproofing and protection which will make the panels resistant to dust and water. The package offers 21W solar charging panel, 80cm micro USB cable, and 18 months’ risk-free warranty.
Features At a Glance :
- Dimensions: 8 x 6.5 x 0.2 inches
- Weight: 1.65 pounds
- 24W solar charging technology
- Easy to carry and is extremely lightweight
- iSmart technology
- triple ports rendering equal power
The RAV power solar charger with the 24W solar panel is the best outdoor backpacking charger with an efficiency rate of 21.5% to 23.5%. The solar charger is easy to carry and is only half of the weight of other solar chargers available in the market. There are three USB ports in the charger that is equipped with iSmart technology.
This technology helps in detecting and delivering the optimal charging current for all the connected devices. The USB ports render 2.4A or 4.8A power when the charger is used under the direct sunlight.
The smart IC frequency technology and the triple port power of this solar chargers detect and distributed the output current evenly to all of the three USB ports ensuring that all the devices get equal charge.
It is important not to lay the solar panel directly on sand, concrete or rock or over any heat conducting surfaces as it will result in the solar panel getting overheated. Overheating will also decrease the output wattage and the conversion rates of this solar chargers.
Features At a Glance :
- Dimensions: 13 x 6.9 x 1.7 inches
- Weight: 1.5 pounds
- Portable power for all backpacking trips
- Two USB ports and wide compatibility
- Smart technology for fast charging
- Durable dependability
- Includes two carabiners
- Durable and extremely weatherproof
The Foxelli Dual USB solar charger with 21 Watt capacity ensures fast and efficient charging for all smart devices during outdoor trips. The sun power cells offer up to 24% conversion rate and thus this charger is good enough to charge two devices simultaneously at the same time. Its smart charging technology recognizes the input that each connected device deserves and distributes the output current accordingly.
The charger delivers up to 3.5A in total and thus cuts down the total charging time. Its built-in ammeter indicates the power of the current generated by the solar charger allowing the user to choose the best angle for the sun rays.
The solar phone battery charger helps in charging 5V DC input voltage devices. It is compatible with all gadgets and electronic devices including power banks of heavy capacity. The gadget is portable and lightweight and is ultra-thin as well.
It is ideal for all outdoor backpacking trips and has eleven built-in loops and two carabiners and they can easily attach with the backpack, tent and even trees. It also has a convenient pocket for the device to get charged. The charger is durable and is weatherproof, their solar panels are a shield with industrial strength PET polymer and are thus resistant to dust and water.
Features At a Glance :
- Dimensions: 10.4 x 6.3 x 2.8 inches
- Weight: 3.1 pounds
- Solar IQ technology
- Ultra-high efficiency
- Dual-port output
- Water resistance and safety protection
- PET solar panels
- Weather-resistant durability
- Protection against short circuits
- 18-months warranty
The X-Dragon Solar charger features the best Solar IQ technology that adjusts automatically to the current and voltage so as to achieve maximum power. The solar charger delivers ideal current up to 2.8 A under direct sunlight.
It is also ultra-efficient and is built with US sun power solar cell with an output efficiency of up to 25%. The USB port for charging is ideal to charge 5V powered gadgets and its 18V DC output is good to charge the laptop and other 18V powered devices.
Dragon solar charger is embedded with PET solar panels and its rugged high wear oxford fabric offers weather-resistant durability for all the outdoor environment and activities. Another credibility of the solar charger is short circuit protection, surge protection and a number of advanced safety protections that keeps the backpack and the device safe. Shipment includes laptop connectors, folding solar chargers, USB cables, and carabiners.
Features At a Glance :
- Dimensions: 11.5 x 2.9 x 7.1 inches
- Weight: 4.54 pounds
- Excellent conversion efficiency
- Portable power source
- Folds up into a compact size
- 60W output with 20% conversion efficiency
- Includes 10 in 1 connector
This solar features high conversion efficiency and charges gadgets with the power of the sun. This solar charger generates 60W output with 20% conversion efficiency. The charger is capable of charging two devices simultaneously.
This portable power source has 5V USB port and 18V DC dual output keeps the USB/DC devices full of power without having to rely on a power bank. It folds back into a compact size and is thus easy to transport. It can easily hang on the tent or backpack to render instant charge from the sunlight.
The TIR- C technology of the solar charger is built with smart IC for the USB charging port. The charger is thus capable of identifying the current needs of the equipment quickly and automatically enhancing the speed of the charging process. The product comes with a 10-in-1 connector to connect the leading laptop models in the market.
Points To Consider While Choosing Solar Chargers
Solar charges come in a range of sizes, types, and prices and are highly efficient camping companions. Simple things such as the material and efficiently of the solar panels can have a great impact on the results and the benefits of the solar powered chargers. The place of use of the solar charger, the terrain, and the charging needs will also influence the purchase decision of the buyer. The following are some of the key factors that will help the user in choosing the best solar charger for them.
- The devices that will be required to get charged
- Where and how to charge the devices
- Need for an internal battery with the charger
- Integrated battery
- Type of solar panel used in solar charger
- The efficiency of the panel
- Watts and Amperage
- USB connectors
- Ease of use
- Size and weight of the solar charger
The devices that will be required to get charged:
The devices that one brings along depends on the type of solar charger they would require. For small phones or GPS, a charger with a low specification is sufficient. But for charging power-hungry electronics, a charger of a higher specification is desired. While choosing the charger pay attention to the connectors as well as most of the charges will offer a USB port that works well for most modern electronics, but few devices might demand an adapter.
Where and how to charge the devices:
Solar charges can best attach with the backpack, motorbike or even the bicycle so as to collect some sunshine while on the move. They should not weight heavily nor slow down the user. It is important to compare the pack size and consider the surface area over which the solar panels can spread for charging.
For those looking for charging devices within their camp, a larger solar charger is the best. But for those who are charging on the go, compact ones are ideal. A more rugged model is required for those who use the charger during ice climbing or during water rafting.
Need for an internal battery with the charger:
Some solar chargers come with an internal battery giving the user the options to charge their device from that. Such a set up gives excellent ease of use and is also ideal in situations when the device is of need during sunshine hours. It is possible to power up the battery during the day and charges the electronics devices during the night.
Some of the solar chargers feature an integrated battery rendering more charging options. A solar charger without a battery can get paired with an additional power bank. But the downside of such batteries is their bulk and weight but it can free up the device during the sunshine hours when there is an option for charging the battery instead.
Type of solar panel used in solar charger:
There are three different types of solar panels that are used in solar chargers. The CIGS panels are more flexible as they are of a thin film of copper, gallium, indium, and selenide. They are also lightweight and are cheap to manufacture. There are chances that they degrade quickly and have a low rate of efficiently.
The other two forms of solar panels are poly-crystalline and mono-crystalline panels. The former makes use of multiple crystal ingots whereas the latter is of a single crystal ingot. Mono-crystalline panels have less energy loss and better efficiency.
The efficiency of the panel:
The percentage of panel efficiency specified the effectiveness of the solar panels to convert sunlight into electricity. Higher the efficiency value, better is the results. At present solar chargers with mono-crystalline panels have an efficiency rate of up to 25% whereas poly-crystalline panels have an efficiency rate of below 20%.
Watts and Amperage:
Before packing the solar chargers for charging gadgets on the campsite, it is important to learn the technical terms that are associated with them. Amperage and wattage are two important values that one needs to pay attention to when looking at the performance of the solar chargers. An electric current or the flow rate of the solar charger is measured in terms of watts. Solar panels that are 3W and 5Watts are sufficient to charge small devices and also older smartphones and even their batteries.
With a 5W panel, it could be possible to charge the device for 3 to 6 hours. Charging two devices simultaneously is only possible with chargers that are 10W and beyond. Amperage is the efficiency of the charger to charge the device. Dual port chargers have different manufacturer specifications. Chargers that can offer 2A or 2.5A at their individual ports are ideal for camping.
USB ports are the ultimate functional units of the solar chargers as they help in charging a smartphone and other similar devices. Backpackers should learn thoroughly which if their devices would require an adaptor and which can get charged from the battery that packs with the solar charger.
Ease of use:
Solar charges are pretty simple to set up and use. The camper should only have to hook up their device, expose the charger to the sun and harness free power. Panels are easy to clean by simply wiping them off the dust and moisture with a cloth.
Most of the solar chargers of modern days hold a smart charging technology and its microchip will adjust to the charging automatically to the connected device for both efficiency and safety. The chip can also restart the charging after an interruption. For easy charging, the panel needs to be facing the sun at an appropriate angle.
Size and weight of the solar charger:
Ideally, the solar power charger should be small and light but for more power and to charge more device, panels of the bigger surface area is mandatory. Foldable chargers with efficient panels also come handy to charge more electronic gadgets. Panels with integrated battery add to the weight significantly but a battery pack with small and compact panels render less powerful charging.
Solar panels help in charging devices and are ideal to keep in touch with friends and family back home. They also help with GPS navigation during the backpacking trips. There are a number of different solar chargers available with different specifications, making it an intimidating task to pick up the right one.
Therefore, it is important only to bring essential devices for backpacking trips. Backpackers should also match the capacity of their solar chargers with the devices they bring along with them. Solar chargers with lesser watts are cheaper and are less powerful. An expensive model may not be always appealing; careful consideration is required while choosing the solar charger. And we hope our guide will help you in making a wise choice.