The 10 Best Solar Chargers For Backpacking Reviewed
Portable solar chargers are quickly becoming the most popular option for charging electronics while backpacking or camping. No matter where you go, you can find the sun (except in certain places for parts of the year), which is why solar offers so much potential as it’s always available. Solar chargers provide a method of extracting energy from the sun and converting it to electrical energy to charge devices.
Solar power banks are very small now and allow you to pop one in your backpack with compact lithium-ion batteries inside to store the power. Even better, solar chargers reduce your carbon footprint as they are environmentally friendly using renewable energy. Most trees do not currently offer a charging station, but you can usually access sunlight even if you can’t access electricity.
Now you know the reasons why to get a solar-powered portable charger, but you don’t know which one to pick. Don’t worry! We did all the research and read reviews to make sure we provide you with the best options available. Take a peek, find the best option for your circumstances, and go forth with a handy solar charger in your backpack without wasting hours searching for the right device.
The Best Solar Chargers For Backpacking
Backpacking and hiking fans may need a backup power bank to charge their phone while out on the trails as it offers 26,800mAh solar charger. It’s compatible with most iPhones and Samsung Galaxy. It’s also cable-free and tangle-free with a built-in LED flashlight. Oh, and of course, you can charge it with direct sunlight on the built-in solar panel.
The Hugh capacity power bank automatically adjusts the delivered output to provide the correct current to charge without overcharging, over-current, over-voltage, or cause a short circuit. It uses a Type-C and a Dual USB 3.1A output but uses a wireless function to charge four devices at the same time. Once fully charged, it can charge up your device over ten times.
A rugged design with pops of red for color help to make this the perfect power bank for camping. It’s dustproof, shockproof, and waterproof, making it ultra-durable even in horrid weather. The set comes with a micro USB cable, user manual, lanyard, and a carabiner to attach it to your backpack all for a low price.
Finally, it can also charge an iPad, but only once before you need to recharge the device. It measures 6.9 x 3.7 x 1.1 inches and weighs just over a pound. Uses two lithium-ion batteries to store power. You may find because of the smaller solar panel, it can take a couple of days to charge the batteries fully.
For a lower price tag, and triple the solar panels, you can purchase the YONSIEO Solar Power Bank. What makes this a valuable addition to your backpack is three folding solar panels to capture more sunlight and keep you loaded with juice for your phone. If you aren’t on the trail yet, charge it in the wall and save yourself a little time, but it’s always nice to have the option to charge it outside with free, environmentally friendly solar power.
It comes with a high-capacity 24000mAh battery, which can charge your phone up to nine times in about two hours or less. The solar bank also the ability to charge an iPad too. Use the built-in flashlight to see in the dark camping conditions, and it has an SOS mode too. Hang it on your backpack using an included carabiner and let it collect sunlight as you walk the trails.
The kit includes the charger, one micro-USB cable, and instructions. Like the last phone, this one is also waterproof, dustproof, and shock-resistant to go where you go. Charge with the built-in folding solar panels when on the trail, but before you go, charge it in the wall and save a little time. Finally, it uses two lithium polymer batteries to power the 6.1 x 3.4 x 1.2 inch device that ways just under 1 pound. It comes in three colors too!
The Tranmix Solar Power Bank offers 18W of power for smaller devices, just perfect for charging your phone while out on the trails. It works with most iPhones and Samsung Galaxy phones as it uses wireless charging. With 18W PD and QC 3.0 tech, you can charge your phone in as little as an hour using the cord, and this phone offers both a USB-A and USB-C port.
A 24000mAh capacity allows you to store enough power to charge your phone several times or your tablet a couple of times. You can even charge a MacBook Pro if you need to take your computer with you when heading out into nature. The USB-C port works as both an input and output so you can use it to charge the device in as little as 7 hours.
The phone-sized device offers a waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof design to withstand any conditions you high in. On the front is the solar panel; on the back is the wireless charging station, and on the both find a flap to plug in your cord as well as a flashlight for night time charging. You can also use both the SOS light feature or strobe mode.
Lastly, lithium-polymer batteries store power to provide 88.8W hours. The device weighs just under a pound and measures 6.9 x 2.46 x 1.18 inches. Inside the box, you will find the solar charger, a USB-C charging cable, and a user manual. It displays a green light when charging.
If you need a low-cost portable power bank, the one by Beartwo offers everything you need for the cost of a meal out for two. It’s one of the smallest and lightest solar charger as it weighs only 7.4 ounces and measures only 5.3 x 2.8 x 0.6 inches. The power bank includes a hanger to store it on the front of your backpack when traveling outdoors for recreation.
A dual USB output charge allows you to charge two devices at once with a max output of up to 5V/2.1A for a fast charge. You can charge the battery in as little as 4-5 hours when using the wall plug. Furthermore, you can use the solar panel to charge the phone, although it will take longer, especially with low sunlight. It also comes with an ultra-bright LED emergency flashlight with three modes, normal, SOS, or strobe perfect for camping.
The solar panel uses a lithium-polymer battery and intelligent technology to store power and a shell made from ABS PC material to withstand any drops. It’s also rainproof, dustproof, and crash-proof, too, in case you drop it while hiking. The unit also comes with a two-year warranty in case you have any issues. It includes the charger, a charging cord, hanger, and the user guide.
Like the other portable solar banks, this one is about the size of a cellphone but comes with a much bigger flashlight to help you see in the dark and a bigger battery capacity at 26800mAh with 18W for rapid charging. The device uses PD3.0 along with the 18W to give you fast charging technology, and it automatically adjusts the output power for optimal current to shorten charge time.
The outer case was designed for outdoor use using durable ABS material to protect the batteries from rain, dust, drops, and crashes. It comes with two built-in super LED highlight flashlights with SOS, strobe, or steady mode for light even in the middle of the woods. You can charge the bank in the wall with the adapter in 8 hours or use the 1.5W solar panel with up to 300ma/h input current for emergency charging out in the wilderness.
Moreover, the charger includes three output ports so you can charge multiple devices at one time using lithium-polymer batteries. The box consists of the charger, a charging cord, a lanyard, and the instructions for use. This charger is a little bit bigger than the others at 3.4 x 5.2 x 1.3 inches and weighs 1.35 pounds making it bigger, but this allows for more solar charging area too.
Hiking enthusiast will adore the Aonidi Solar Charger as it offers 26,800mAh in its tiny little power bank. It charges in just six hours when plugged into the wall before your next hiking expedition. Once charged, you can charge your cellphone up to 13 times before you need to recharge the power bank. You can even charge an iPad up two-three times before recharging the solar charger.
It’s a good option for people with phones capable of charging wirelessly as this one works without wires to tangle it up. When out on the trails, charge the bank via the single panel on the front of the phone-sized device or by using a micro USB or a type C input port. Try only to use the solar panel as a backup emergency method and not as the primary source of charging.
Like most solar power banks, this one includes an 18 LED light on the backside to provide illumination even in the night out in the woods. It’s made of ABS fireproof materials with a lithium polymer battery. The device can withstand water, dust, and shock while still providing a micro and six ports. Finally, the affordable devices measures 7.9 x 5.1 x 1.3 inches and weighs 1.45 pounds, making it one of the heavier options on the list but with fabulous reviews.
The Hiluckey Portable Power Bank offers four solar cells to help you charge the lithium polymer in case of emergency so you can charge your phone no matter where you are even miles deep into the forest. You can pick from three colors, including orange, blue or black, although the orange is the easiest to find in your backpack. While it offers a smaller battery capacity at 25000mAh, it can charge better with the folding solar cells at up to 4 to 6 times faster than other portable chargers.
When the power bank is full, you can charge a cellphone 8 to 10 times on one charge or a tablet up to four times, meaning you can use this for around nine days per charge, making it an excellent option if you spend a lot of times out on the charge. Before you head out, charge the device using a USB cable included in the package. It provides 2 USB 2.1A outputs to charge two devices at once as well.
The device also auto-detects the current of your phone for optimal output. All this with a rugged construction that is dust, water, and shockproof. Like the others, you can use the flashlight with three different modes, including strobe and SOS mode. The kit comes with the charger, a USB cable, and the user manual. Last of all, the device measures 6.1 x 3.4 x 1.4 inches and 1.3 pounds, making it the perfect addition to the front of your backpack to collect extra sun rays.
The YOESOID portable power bank uses a solar panel on the front to charge your smaller devices in the case of emergencies. It’s made of ABS, PC, and silicone material, making it durable and reliable even in the rain, or if you drop it on the trails. It includes intelligent security protection by avoiding over-current, over-voltage, over-load, and short circuits. The solar power bank even comes with a compass in case you get lost as well as two bright LED lights making this a valuable addition to any camping backpack.
Use the portable device for phones, cameras, tablets, and other devices with USB charging. It has more than 1000 recharge lifecycles to work for years hanging from a carabiner on the front of your pack. You can use it to charge two phones at the same time to keep them ready to check the weather forecast or send a text even out in the woods.
Special pilot indicators let you know the status of the lithium-polymer batteries to see if you need to let it out in the sun or hook it up to a generator for a charge for your next hiking expedition away from camp. Always charge it with the wall plug before going out camping. Also, it can charge in the wall in about 10 hours, and the solar panel works as an emergency back up method. Furthermore, it measures 5.5 x 3 x 0.7 inches and weighs just 8.8 ounces making this one of the smallest solar banks on the list.
The Ryno-Tuff Portable Solar Charger makes camping with electronics easier by using the most powerful solar cells on the market – the Sunpower X-Series. With 21W, you can charge your cellphone or tablet in 2 hours, so you are never stranded without power again. Use the solar charger for phones, tablets, battery packs, and other USB charged devices. But what really makes this solar charger unique is it stores both the solar panels and charger on durable and flexible canvas instead of in a tough phone-like device.
The solar offers a compact method of taking larger portable solar panels with you for hikes or backpacking without all the added weight. You get 21W in just three panels that expand to 11.8 inches by 18.1 inches while still weighing less than one pound. Once you fold it up, it goes back to 5.9 x 11.8 inches so you can store it in your backpack.
Furthermore, the device adds in safety features while letting you charge two devices at one time with a unique charging algorithm to distribute power evenly. The device will stop charging when your phone or tablet is fully charged to prevent overheating. It delivers 2.4A per port with a max of 3A when using both ports. The device even lets you use a protective pocket to store your phone while charging.
Finally, even though it’s not made of ABS, it’s still waterproof and durable thanks to thick canvas material. The package includes two carabiners for easy set up on your pack and includes a lifetime warranty on the solar panels. This set of panels gives you more coverage to get more charging from the sun. Keep in mind, this charger does not have batteries to hold your power. Instead, it must be placed in the sun to power your device to charge it to full capacity.
The last option looks and acts like the other options, but the ADDTOP Portable Solar Power Bank can charge phones, tablets, and even MacBook Pro’s up to three times, meaning this device can last for days out on the trails thanks to four solar panels. It offers 6W of solar power with a current of up to 1A when in full sunlight. Of course, you can charge it faster using the built-in USB and Type-C USB cables in your wall.
With this bank, you get Dual USB outputs to charge two devices at the same time and in as little times as one hour depending on your device. Use either the USB-A or USB-c cable to charge your laptop. Also, like the other options, this one is waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof. It also includes and LED flashlight with all three modes to see even when out on the trails.
The kit comes with a solar charger, a USB-C cable, and a user manual. Do not charge the device in the car to charge. It folds up compactly to the size of your phone, although a little thicker because of the extra panels and a strap to keep the panels in place. All this thanks to 25000 mAh lithium-ion battery ready to store energy for you. In conclusion, the device weighs 1.2 pounds and measures 6.1 x 3.4 x 1.4 inches.
Questions About Solar Chargers for Backpacking
How long does it take to solar charge my phone?
First, you have to realize chargers depend on the sun. If you decide to take a charger, make sure the sun is out for your backpacking trip. Second, how fast your phone charges depends on the device you choose and how much power they can harness. However, solar chargers on a clear sunny day should charge very close to the rate of a regular phone charger.
Another option would be to bring along a regular phone charger battery bank as you can charge that after you charge your phone to let you stay out longer. Remember, though, not to expect a small portable charger to work as well to charge a computer or a tablet. You will definitely want to do this method if you are only camping for a day or two, but if you are camping, you will have more time available to use a solar charger to re-energize your phone.
How do I fully charge a solar charger?
The only way to charge a solar power bank is with sunlight. To get a full charge, the bank needs to sit in full sunlight so the solar panel can take energy from the sun. Some solar chargers have the option to charge multiple ways. You can charge via a normal wall plug or via the sun for more options and functionality.
For an average battery charge around 1500mAh, it will take around four to five hours to charge the charger fully. Before you go camping, on a good sunny day, take your charger out and leave it to collect sunlight. Make sure to leave it in a place where it won’t be stolen and collect it later that night. Finally, because of the internal battery, you can use the battery to charge your phone while the solar panel simultaneously.
How can I tell if my mobile is compatible with a solar charger?
You need to check which ports are in the charger to decide if your device is an option. Most portable solar chargers have a USB port, and most devices use a USB cord. This means you can charge any small device that uses a USB cord.
What requirements should I look for in a solar charger?
Some chargers come with rigid solar panels, and others come with flexible panels. Solar panels can also have independent or integrated storage batteries. But which is best?
What you should look for is the largest panel you can comfortably fit in your backpack as larger equals more sunlight, so you get a faster charge. A larger panel also means it can access more sunlight if clouds are in the way. Another consideration is the wattage; the higher the number, the more electricity generated in any given amount of time.
Furthermore, flexible panels can fold up for compact portability and open up to provide more surface space to collect sunlight. These panels can break easier too. You should also look at how many ports, if the charger has a noticeable color, and if it has a clip to attach to your gear securely. Heavier chargers can also weigh you down, so you may need a lighter option depending on your circumstances.
Finally, an integrated storage battery offers convenience as you only have to store one item instead of two. However, an independent batter offers more flexibility as you can leave one part and carry less for smaller trips away from camp. Don’t forget about storage capacity, too, as with a solar charger, more is definitely better.
Are Solar Chargers Worth It?
If you are wondering whether or not solar chargers are worth the investment, be sure to watch the video below. This guy does a live test to show just how fast a solar charger will charge your phone.
Wrapping Up Solar Chargers for Backpacking
If you want your options narrowed down even further, try the ADDTOP Portable Solar Power Bank as it offers the most panels, a lithium-ion battery, and a compact design to make camping easier. It’s no surprise that the more solar panels you have, the more energy you can harvest from the sun, and this device allows you to compactly grab sunlight and store it safely for days of camping.
Make your adventure better and safer, knowing you have the option to charge devices to stay connected to the world even while you disconnect from your day-to-day life. Taking a battery pack with you lets you take a phone to check work messages or use the phone to call for emergency services. It also puts a tracker on you and gives you a GPS and compass in case you get lost, but none of these features work without powering your device with electricity!