Best Solar Chargers: A Buying Guide

For all the mobility that this world has been promising us, solar-powered chargers are top favorites of all times. Who would have thought that after the introduction of wireless chargers we would be looking at solar chargers for our mobile phones and tablets, and even laptops? Solar chargers are the best thing gifted to us by technology. 

Firstly, instead of being based upon the energy that is depleting gradually, solar power chargers help you go green for the sake of the environment as they utilize renewable energy. Secondly, they make life tons easier for traveling. Now, you can hit the road any time without having to worry about all the electric chargers and wires to be taken along. Also, you can stop worrying about finding the power sockets. 

Increased Mobility and Connectivity  

It is the best option for hikers and all the adventure-loving souls out there. Whether you plan a long road trip or go hiking on that aspiring trail you wanted to go since ages; with solar power chargers, you can never run out of your phone’s battery. Soak up all the sun you can while you fulfill your adventure thirst and get ready to recharge your phone or tablet with the stored solar energy. 

How Does It Work?

Previously, planning a picnic or a hiking trip necessarily involved a constant worry about finding electricity somewhere nearby to have the phones charged. The groundbreaking technology of building photovoltaic cells has made it possible to absorb one of nature’s most abundant energy sources – solar energy. 

The solar power chargers are made up of these photovoltaic cells that take in the solar energy from the sunlight and store it. The stored energy then powers up the rechargeable battery to charge your phone like any other regular charger would do.

What to Keep in Mind When Buying Solar Chargers?

Weight 

As solar chargers are the epitome of portability, considering their weight should be your first priority. We recommend you to go for a solar charger that is lightweight and easy to carry. Heavier solar chargers might appear lucrative because of the high wattage promise, but they can be very inconvenient to carry. Imagine going hiking and carrying a massively heavy solar charger – sounds inconvenient, right?

So, always consider how heavy or light the solar charger is with respect to where you intend to take it. An easy to carry and lightweight solar charger offers convenience that is the primary purpose of such chargers. 

Connectivity 

Although all the solar chargers come with a standard USB port that connects with almost all the mobile phones, tablets, and laptops; cameras might require another adapter for charging. Therefore, make a purchase decision about solar chargers according to your device’s requirement. 

Output Power 

This particular specification of the solar charger tells you how fast it can charge your phone. It is obvious that the higher the output power, the faster will it charge your phone. However, some solar chargers have the capacity to charge two devices at the same time. Therefore, consider solar chargers that have higher output power. 

Nevertheless, some phones, such as the iPhone can only draw 1 ampere of output, no matter how much is available. It protects the phone from overcharging that can result in damage. Larger devices like iPads or laptops draw higher output power. So, research thoroughly about your choice of the solar charger before finalizing the deal. 

Wattage 

Now, this might be the most important consideration after convenience. The wattage capacity of a solar charger relays the number and strength of devices it can charge. For power-hungry devices, like the iPhone, iPad or tablet, you need to buy a solar charger that is more than 10 watts – as the Apple products are heavy. 

Also, the more the wattage a solar charger has to offer, the more devices it can charge for you. So, if you are an enthusiastic traveler who cannot go anywhere without a laptop, phone or tablet, a solar charger with high wattage is the most suitable. To start charging your laptops, you might also need a battery and an inverter. And, if you have AC devices, the game will get pretty challenging for you as you will need a heavy-duty panel consisting of 25+ watts of power, a battery, and a DC-to-AC inverter.

Now that you know what you have to keep in mind while shopping for solar chargers, it is time that you know some available options as well. 

Our Top Picks

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
SUAOKI Solar Charger Portable Solar Panel Foldable (60W)
Renogy Portable E.Flex Monocrystalline 10W Solar Panel with USB Port for Charging, Hiking and Biking
ECEEN Portable Solar Charger Panel with 10W High-Efficiency Sunpower Cells & Smart USB Output
Nekteck 21W Portable Solar Panel Charger, Waterproof Camping Gear Solar Powered Charger
BigBlue 5V 28W Solar Charger with Digital Ammeter
Goal Zero Nomad 7 Plus Solar Panel Recharger
Portable 26800mAh Water-Resistant Solar Power Bank with LED Flashlight

SUAOKI Solar Charger Portable Solar Panel Foldable (60W)

If you are looking to buy a power hub that is convenient and stylish, then SUAOKI solar charger is your best option. With its 60 watts capacity, it can easily charge any phone, tablet, as well as, laptop. What makes the SUAOKI solar charger the topmost amongst all is its convenience. It looks like a small briefcase when folded (11.5 x 6.3 inches) which you can carry anywhere you want. 

If you have had any doubts about overheating your phone, then SUAOKI solar charger is here to challenge them. It features a smart IC that maximizes the charging speed as well as protects the devices from overcharging. This 60-watt portable solar charger looks after your phone in numerous ways. While charging your devices, this solar charger also monitors the USB ports for uneven current flow. 

It provides enough power to charge two devices simultaneously. You can hang it on your RV or just spread out on the beach to get an instant charge from sunlight. The package includes one SUAOKI 60W Solar Panel, a car charger, a 10-in-1 connector cable for charging laptops, one SAE-to-Clamp for Storage Battery, two DC-to-DC cables, and one DC-to-SAE cable. It is also backed by a 2-year warranty

Renogy Portable E.Flex Monocrystalline 10W Solar Panel with USB Port for Charging, Hiking and Biking

If you are someone who loves to keep it stylish and simple, the Renogy portable monocrystalline solar charger is the best buy. Offering a 10-watt charging capacity, the Renogy solar charger is unmatched in its efficiency. Do you worry about interrupted charging while you are constantly on the run and are going back and forth in the sunlight? This portable solar charger offers you full charge without any delay, adjusting with or without the sunlight. 

The technology in this portable charger automatically detects your movements and adjusts the charging requirements accordingly. The weight of this portable solar charger is only 8.7 ounces, making it the most suitable option for your outdoor plans. The package also includes carabiners and four suction cups for easy setup.

The company recommends you to pair this solar panel with your power bank for an enhanced charging experience. 

ECEEN Portable Solar Charger Panel with 10W High-Efficiency Sunpower Cells & Smart USB Output

This portable solar charger by ECEEN made to our list because of its high efficiency and ultra-smart outlook. ECEEN has made it possible to carry your solar charger around like a zipped wallet. Being lightweight (0.8 pounds) and only an inch when folded, this portable solar charger stays true to its name. 

You can safely tuck it in your backpack’s pocket or keep it mounted in the front pocket of your hiking bag. The zipper pack design comes in handy when you are out, and the weather suddenly turns damp. Its nylon and poly material helps in keeping all the moisture away from the solar panels. 

The package contains a 10W solar panel charger, four, carabiners, a 40cm Micro USB cable, and an instructions manual. The solar charger is backed by a 1-year warranty. 

Nekteck 21W Portable Solar Panel Charger, Waterproof Camping Gear Solar Powered Charger

If you are an avid traveler and love to keep your social media profiles updated with all the recent activities, then get your hands on this Nekteck 21-watt portable solar charger. This one is specially designed to accompany you on all your camping and hiking trips. It is incredibly lightweight and easy to carry. It also folds up into a small briefcase or notebook and can easily fit in with your other things. 

With smart IC chip technology, Nekteck quickly detects the type of device that is plugged in for charging and adjusts the power accordingly. With this portable solar panel charger, you can charge two phones simultaneously without having to worry about unequal power output. 

BigBlue 5V 28W Solar Charger with Digital Ammeter

This solar charger by BigBlue has a capacity of 28 watts. It features a built-in ammeter that shows how much power your device is drawing in. For instance, if the iPhone draws 1-ampere current from the charger, the digital ammeter will show between 0.8A and 1A (in theory).

Weather predictions can go wrong, and you can be stuck with rain while out on a camping, hiking, or a picnic. However, do not fret if you have the Bigblue solar charger. It is made of special PET polymer surface that protects the panel from rain and moisture making it waterproof. 

Goal Zero Nomad 7 Plus Solar Panel Recharger

The Goal Zero Nomad 7 Plus is one of the most intelligent solar chargers on our list. It comes with an LED indicator that tells you about the solar conditions. It relays information about how you should place your solar panel for absorbing maximum sunlight. With this technology at hand, you can never miss even a little ray of solar energy. 

We protect our phones and devices like our babies. So, who would not love a little shade for their precious phones while a solar charger is charging them? Yes, the Goal Zero Nomad 7 Plus solar charger also comes with a detachable shade that helps protect your devices from heating up due to excessive sunlight. 

When we said this device is intelligent, we meant holistically. This solar charger has the ability to keep track of the charging history for the devices. So, it wisely differentiates between a device that is fully charged and the one that accidentally got disconnected due to any reason. 

Portable 26800mAh Water-Resistant Solar Power Bank with LED Flashlight

One thing that you might require on outdoor trips the most besides portable solar charger is a flashlight. This portable charger has a built-in LED light, making your backpack a bit less heavy. Now, you don’t need to put a flashlight in your backpack because your solar charger has one (its built-in flashlight has three light modes). 

This portable solar charger has a powerful battery with dual USB ports for charging two devices simultaneously. It also offers to absorb solar energy and convert it to electric energy at the same time, resulting in faster recharge. It has a storage capacity of 26800mAh. 

Final Words

Going wireless is one thing but going green at the same time is the next level. In the coming years, solar energy appears as the most promising outlook in terms of renewable energy. If you want to upgrade yourself and utilize nature’s most efficient energy source, then switch to solar chargers and enjoy charging your devices on-the-go where you don’t have access to electricity.