Today, the first concern when we plan any outdoor trip is to keep our devices charged. In times when Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram stories hold so much importance, it’s essential to keep our devices charged. Even if you charge your devices full before hitting the road, you can’t expect them to stay on beyond a few hours. That’s where power banks step in.
Power banks can be savior, but they will charge your devices a few times till their charge lasts. What will you do after your power bank dies too?
That’s what portable solar chargers are for. No matter how long your trip is, having a portable solar charger with you will ensure that your personal devices are charged all the time. With solar charges, you don’t even have to worry about their charge running out. As long as you’re out in the sun, your solar charger will on its own to back your devices up during your trip.
Whether you’re stuck in the wild or want to share a picture of your child enjoying their first snow or need to use the GPS, you never have to suffer due to your device not being charged. Investing in a portable solar charger is absolutely worth it. If you’re planning a weekend camping trip or a week-long road trip in the coming days, a solar charger is something you should consider buying.
You may want to know your best options, and that’s what we’re here for. We’ve listed down the best portable solar chargers for you to choose one that meets your budget and requirements.
Table of Contents
What to Look For
Before we take you to our list of the best portable solar chargers, you should first know what features make a solar charger the best. Below are some of the most essential features that you must look for when buying a mini solar charger.
The first and the most important feature that you should look for in a portable solar charger is wattage. Portable chargers with low wattage and high wattage both are available. If you’ve to charge your Smartphone only, a solar charger of 4 to 6 watts will be enough. For an iPhone, a solar power charger of at least 7 watts will be required as iPhone takes up a lot of power while charging. If you wish to use the portable solar charger to charge your iPad, you should consider buying a charger having a wattage of 15 watts. The higher the wattage, the faster it’ll charge your devices. So, before you buy any portable solar charger, consider which devices you’re planning to charge and then buy an appropriate charger accordingly.
Another important feature to look for in a portable solar charger is the output power. A solar charger works on solar panels that absorb energy from the sunlight and convert it into electrical power. The higher the output power of a solar charger, the more electricity it’ll generate in a given time. This means, if you expose a portable solar charger to sunlight for 2 hours, one that has a higher output power will get charged more (store more electric energy) as compared to one with low power output. You certainly wouldn’t want to get stuck with a charger that takes forever to get charged.
A larger surface area means more area of the charger is exposed to sunlight, and thus, your portable solar charger will charge faster. Portable solar chargers with a small surface area are equally efficient. They only take longer to store sufficient power in the battery. If you’re planning to somewhere where the sun comes out for a short while only, a portable solar charger with a large surface area will work best for you.
Connections or Ports
You need to consider which devices you’re going to charge in advance before investing in a portable solar charger. Most solar chargers come with one or multiple USB ports, but not all devices require a USB port. Some require other types of ports or a special adapter. See which port your device uses, and make sure the solar charger that you’re planning to buy supports that port. If not, the solar charger is of no real use for you.
If you’re on a long trip or a business trip where keeping your devices charged is necessary, you should consider buying a portable solar charger with integrated batteries. In these types of chargers, the power generator and the battery are integrated into a single device. The power generator generates the power and stores it in the battery simultaneously.
Some portable solar chargers feature a design that may look funny and may not be very convenient to carry and use. Look for a portable solar charger that is easy to carry and convenient to use. Also, consider checking if the solar panels have any form of attachment gear that you can use to attach the charger to your backpack. It’ll make it all easier to travel with your mini portable charger.
Weight is an important consideration. Ideally, a portable charger shouldn’t be too heavy. It should be lightweight so that you can carry it with you easily, without having to bear any extra weight, especially during longer trips.
Solar chargers are quite expensive. Consider your budget before deciding on a mini portable charger. A portable solar charger without a battery may come cheaper. You can buy a battery separately.
5 Best Portable Solar Charger
1) Anker 21 Solar Phone Charger
The first on our list of the best portable solar chargers is the Anker 21. With 21 watt wattage and an energy conversion rate of 21.5 to 23.5%, the Anker 21 can charge Samsung Galaxy S7, S6, Edge and Plus, iPhone 7, HTC, Nexus, and more.
- The Anker Advantage: Join the 50 million+ powered by our...
- Fast Charging Technology: PowerIQ delivers the charging...
- Incredibly Durable: Industrial-strength PET polymer faced...
- Highly Portable: Compact size (11.1 × 6.3in folded or 26.4...
- What You Get: Anker PowerPort Solar (21W 2-Port USB Solar...
It features 2 USB ports equipped with fast charging technology, allowing you to charge 2 USB devices at a time. The simplistic, super-thin design makes it extremely portable and easy to travel with. It can be folded into a compact form which can easily be kept in your backpack. It’s made from durable PET polymer that’s sewn into polyester canvas, making the Anker 21 waterproof – hence perfect for your outdoor endeavors,
Our rating: 4.6 / 5
2) BigBlue Solar Charger
If you’re looking for a portable solar charger for your camping or hiking trip, the BigBlue Solar Charger is the right one for you. Featuring a surface made of PET Polymer, it’s highly durable. It also offers IPX4 level protection from water, making it an ideal portable solar charger for rogue traveling.
- 【Upgraded Triple USB-A Ports】Each maximum output is...
- 【Higher Solar Conversion】Highly efficient SunPower solar...
- 【Portable Camping Solar Panel】BigBlue solar charger is a...
- 【Wide Compatibility】BigBlue USB solar charger offers a...
- 【Package & Support】You will get BigBlue 28W Solar...
The BigBlue Solar Charger has SunPower solar panels that have a conversion efficiency of 21.5 to 23.5% and a power output of 28W, making it a highly efficient portable solar charger for outdoor trips. It’s equipped with two charging ports that support all Android devices. The charging ports feature smart IC technology that ensures fast charging for your devices.
The best thing about the BigBlue Solar Charger is that it has an in-built ampere that verifies the amount of electric current production, so you’ll know exactly how efficiently it’s converting solar energy to electrical energy.
Our rating: 4.6 / 5
3) Nekteck Solar Charger
The Nekteck Solar Charger is one of the most reliable options for you. With SunPower Maxeon technology, the Nekteck Solar Charger has a conversion efficiency of 21 to 24%, making it one of the best portable solar chargers available today.
- 【High-Efficieny】The high-efficiency of its three solar...
- 【Advanced Smart IC Chip Technology】 The Microchip of...
- 【Portable and Foldable】The 6.3x 11.1x 1.06 inch (when...
- 【Dualable Design】The canvas surface and precision...
- 【Package】Nekteck 21W Portable Solar Charger,...
The Nekteck Solar Charger has a wattage of 21W and features 2 USB ports that allow you to charge two devices at a time. The smart IC technology ensures that your device is charged quickly. The charging speed per port is 2A. Each section of the charger produces as much 1000mA of electric power that is sufficient to charge your tablets, iPhone, smartphones, cameras, GPS and any other devices supported by USB.
It’s highly durable, featuring a durable canvas that protects the solar panels from any damage that could occur during your outdoor adventure. Not only this, the Nekteck Solar Charger is waterproof as well, so you don’t have to worry about wetting it in rain or fishing. Being ultra-light in weight, you can conveniently carry it with you wherever you go.
Our rating: 4.5 / 5
4) Goal Zero Nomad 7 Portable Solar Charger
If you’re looking for a portable solar charger to take along to your camping trip, the Goal Zero Nomad 7 is a great option for you.
- The Nomad 7 will directly charge most USB and 12V devices...
- Collect 7 watts of solar power from the sun
- The Nomad 7 works best with the following Goal Zero...
- Foldable, rugged design, and weather resistant
- Use the USB and 12V ports at the same time. The Nomad 7 will...
Made to support most handheld USB devices, including phones, headlamps, GPS, and power banks, the Goal Zero Nomad 7 is one of the lightest and easiest to carry solar power chargers that you’ll find today. Its 12V power output makes it highly reliable when it comes to keeping your devices charged when you’re out and about.
It comes in a waterproof cover that folds and keeps the solar panels protected from water, so you can roam around freely when it’s raining. The foldable case also makes it compact when folded that can be easily tucked away in your backpack.
The Goal Zero Nomad 7 also features an integrated indicator light that turns on when the panel is generating electricity.
The Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Charger is everything that you might ask for in a portable solar charger – lightweight, compact, portable, and efficient!
Our rating: 4.4 / 5
5) ECEEN Solar Charger
The affordable price, great performance and simplistic design don’t fail to bring the ECEEN Solar Charger to our list of the best portable solar chargers.
- HIGH EFFICIENCY: Constructed of 22% efficiency solar panel...
- SMART DUAL USB OUTPUTS -- Dual USB ports output Built in...
- PORTABLE & FOLDABLE -- The 6.3x 11.1x 1.06 inch (when folded...
- DURABLE DESIGN -- The canvas surface and precision stitching...
- PACKAGE -- ECEEN 13W Solar Charging Panel, Micro USB Cable,...
The ECEEN Solar Charger is small and sleek in design that makes it extremely portable. With a power capacity of 13W, it charges USB devices fast and efficiently. It weighs less than a pound that makes it an excellent source of emergency power when you’re away from home.
What makes the ECEEN Solar Charger one of the best portable mini chargers is its compact design when folded. It folds into a zipper pouch that keeps the delicate solar panel protected from any damage. It’s equipped with carabiners that you can use to attach it to your backpack or tent using a chain or thread to hold it directly in the path of sunlight for efficient charging.
If you’re looking for a portable solar charger for your weekend trip, the ECEEN Solar Charger is the smallest, lightest, and highly efficient charger that you should consider investing in.
Our rating: 4.2 / 5
A portable solar charger is an excellent investment if you’re an avid traveler who’s on the road often. Keeping your devices like mobile phones, cameras, and GPS is essential, especially today when the idea of going out of the radar is just impossible. With the right portable solar charger, you never have to worry about any of your devices dying due to no charging. Choose a mini solar charger from our list of the best ones – one that suits your budget and needs the best!