5 Best Solar Chargers

5 Best Solar Chargers

11
Hours
Researched
65
Products
Evaluated

After 11 hours of research evaluating 65 products, we picked BigBlue 5V 28W Solar Charger as our top choice.

The last thing you want when you’re on a camping or hiking trip is to run out of phone battery life!

After all, you’re going to need your phone to call for help in case of an emergency, or to help you navigate using the built-in GPS. Not to mention a bit of entertainment once you’re in bed for the night.

That’s where a solar phone charger comes in handy!

With a solar charger, you can keep your smartphone topped up and ready to use in case things go sideways.

You won’t need anything but a bit of sunlight to keep your battery full—or at least prevent it from running totally dry.

If you’re out in nature, a solar battery charger can be your best friend!

Take a look at the products below to see which is the best solar charger option is for you.

After reading thousands of reviews on dozens of products, we’re happy to bring you only the best of the best for whatever you could need a solar charger for.

5 Best Solar Chargers

  • 5. ECEEN ECC-626 13W Universal Foldable Solar Charger with Dual USB
  • 4. Sunway Solar 12V Car Battery Charger
  • 3. Hiluckey Outdoor Solar Charger and Portable Power Bank
  • 2. Solar Panel X-DRAGON 20W SunPower Solar Phone Charger
  • 1. BigBlue 5V 28W Solar Charger

Most Portable Solar Charger

#5

ECEEN ECC-626 13W Universal Foldable Solar Charger with Dual USB

Most Portable Solar Charger: ECEEN ECC-626 13W Universal Foldable Solar Charger with Dual USB
Get from Amazon
31 Bought
Design
8.5
Energy Capacity
8.0
Reliability
8.5
Value
9.0
Overall
85%
85 % Editor Score
80 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Highly portable, pack and unpack in seconds
  • Lightweight, compact, and very easy to use
  • Simple design, good reliability

Very lightweight, folds very small, built-in voltage regulator to stabilize current, weather-resistant, can be clipped to your backpack, high-efficiency solar cells, two USB charging ports, durable USB cables, and features a magnetic snap closure.

No protection for USB ports when in use, and less energy efficient than larger models.

Expert Ratings

Design

8.5 / 10

This solar phone charger is designed to be set up and start charging in seconds. Simply unfold it, flip out the kickstand, and you’re ready to get charging.  

With built-in magnets, you can literally snap it shut in a second and it will stay closed as long as it’s packed. It’s the most user-friendly solar charger, and it stows in your pack instantly.

It weighs just over 1 pound, but it’s slim and small enough that it’ll fit into any hiking backpack. Or, use the carabiners to clip it onto your pack - definitely a design any hiker or camper can love!

Energy Capacity

8.0 / 10

Energy capacity is where the solar charger isn’t quite on par with our best pick. It’s designed to produce just 13 watts per hour, which is enough to ensure your phone stays charged, but might not be enough to re-charge multiple devices quickly. But, as long as you’re not using your phone throughout the day, the solar charger will give you enough juice to keep it tanked up as long as there’s sunlight out.

It does come with two USB power ports, with a total of 2-amps of total power output, or 1.6 amps total when both devices are plugged in.

Reliability

8.5 / 10

Once you get past the reduced power generation (13 watt-hours), you’ll find it’s a highly reliable little solar phone charger. The weather-resistant materials make it suitable for the outdoors, and the fact that it’s so easy to pack up means you’ll always be able to get it stowed in your pack before it rains.

The built-in fabric pockets also give you storage space for your devices, and you’ll find that the charger is compatible with just about any 5V device.

Value

9.0 / 10

At $40, you’re getting decent value for the price. It’s especially useful if you want a lightweight, instant-setup option for keeping your phone battery charged all day long.

Overall Editor Score

8.5 / 10

Best Solar Charger for Vehicles

#4

Sunway Solar 12V Car Battery Charger

Best Solar Charger for Vehicles: Sunway Solar 12V Car Battery Charger
Get from Amazon
28 Bought
Design
8.5
Energy Capacity
8.0
Reliability
9.0
Value
8.5
Overall
85%
85 % Editor Score
82 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Prevent your RV, car, or boat from running out of battery life
  • Easy to set up, highly effective solar charger for any vehicle
  • Plugs straight into your 12V charger or can work via jumper cables

Compensates for battery drains, highly effective trickle charger, suitable for any 12V battery, comes with jumper cables included, easily installed in your car, highly durable, includes LED battery light indicators, and includes a 12-month warranty.

Will only provide trickle charge—not suitable for batteries lower than 20AH.

Expert Ratings

Design

8.5 / 10

If you’re parking your vehicle for a few days or weeks and want to make sure it’s not going to run out of juice, use this amazing solar charger! Designed to attach to your dashboard or windshield via suction cups, it will collect all that bright sunlight throughout the day and feed it to your vehicle’s battery.

It’s simple to use: just unroll it, set it up, and plug it straight into your vehicle’s 12V cigarette lighter or power port. As long as it’s plugged in and facing the sun, it will generate enough energy to prevent energy trickle draining from sapping your battery life.

Energy Capacity

8.0 / 10

This isn’t a high-capacity solar charger—it’s just enough to stop your car’s alarm, clock, or other internal passive systems from draining your battery dry. The 15-volt solar panels will generate just enough energy throughout the day to keep your battery from losing all its charge, enhancing its lifespan and preventing sulphation (the primary cause of vehicle battery failure).

Fair warning: this isn’t intended for long-term use. It’s recommended not to leave the solar panel connected to your vehicle for more than a few days at a time, or else you risk over-charging your battery. It’s especially important not to leave it connected if you’re using the jumper cables rather than the 12V power port.

Reliability

9.0 / 10

Not only is this solar charger compatible with any vehicle—RV, boat, ATV, and car—but it will work in any weather, thanks to its durable ABS housing and ultra-clear polyvinyl glass. The built-in diode will stop the charger from draining the car’s battery, preventing reverse-charging.

Thanks to the built-in LED battery life indicator, you can see when your battery’s sufficiently charged, so you can unplug your charger rather than letting it keep juicing. It’s a highly effective way to ensure you get good battery life no matter how long your vehicle is left sitting!

Value

8.5 / 10

At $35, this is a total steal, and very well-worth it for anyone who wants to keep their vehicle battery topped up. Best of all, you get a 12-month warranty to make sure it’s working well and a reliable product.

Overall Editor Score

8.5 / 10

Best Solar Power Bank with Built-in Battery

#3

Hiluckey Outdoor Solar Charger and Portable Power Bank

Best Solar Power Bank with Built-in Battery: Hiluckey Outdoor Solar Charger and Portable Power Bank
Get from Amazon
35 Bought
Design
9.0
Energy Capacity
9.5
Reliability
8.5
Value
9.0
Overall
90%
90 % Editor Score
87 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Always have enough energy saved to keep your devices charged
  • Use your solar panels to charge the battery banks, not your phone
  • Up to 10 phone re-charges or 4 tablet re-charges

Includes 25000 mAh battery bank, high-efficiency solar panels, two USB outputs, rugged, waterproof, shockproof, built-in LED flashlight, 12-month warranty, and folds out to four solar panels.

Slower-than-average solar charging capacity.

Expert Ratings

Design

9.0 / 10

This is the perfect device for anyone who’s serious about phone usage over an extended hiking trip. With the built-in battery bank, you have a way to store the power you generate even when your devices aren’t plugged in. Though the charging power is slower than average (see below), the battery bank makes this a real winner compared to other solar charger-only devices.

When folded down, the charger is barely larger than an iPhone 8+, though significantly thicker. It also weighs fairly little—just over a pound—despite having four solar panels to charge with. With two built-in USB ports, you can keep multiple devices juiced up at once!

As a bonus, you get an LED flashlight to use for night walking or moving around camp.

Energy Capacity

9.5 / 10

Each solar panel claims to be capable of up to 5 watts, with a total watt-hour generation of up to 92.5. However, upon real-life testing, the energy output is far lower—closer to 25 to 35, dependent on cloud cover and sunlight.

The good news is that this energy output is still more than enough to keep your devices charged, and the battery bank along with it. While not the most energy-efficient charger, the fact that you get a built-in battery bank means you’ll be able to generate and store energy even when your devices are fully charged.

The 25000 mAh battery bank has enough juice to re-charge your phone 8 to 10 times (model-dependent) and a full-sized tablet 3 to 4 times. Definitely worth using if you’re planning a trip longer than a weekend!

Reliability

8.5 / 10

Compact, lightweight, and highly durable, this little solar charger with battery bank is a very reliable option. It’s built to be dust-proof, shock-proof, and waterproof (more accurately, water-resistant), so it’ll serve you well for many hiking, camping, and backpacking trips to come.

The built-in regulator will adjust energy output according to the number of USB ports being used. Set it up on the ground or clip it to your backpack and let it charge your batteries!

Value

9.0 / 10

$47 is nowhere near too high a price to pay for this bad boy! Not only do you get decent energy production, but you’re also getting a built-in battery bank that will make it easy for you to always keep your phones and tablets charged and ready to use.

Overall Editor Score

9.0 / 10

Most Rugged Solar Phone Charger for Camping

#2

Solar Panel X-DRAGON 20W SunPower Solar Phone Charger

Most Rugged Solar Phone Charger for Camping: Solar Panel X-DRAGON 20W SunPower Solar Phone Charger
Get from Amazon
31 Bought
Design
9.0
Energy Capacity
9.0
Reliability
9.0
Value:
9.0
Overall
90%
90 % Editor Score
91 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Highly reliable and durable solar phone charger
  • Your best option for outdoor use; built to last for years of camping and hiking
  • Efficient energy generation, exceeds most competing models

Second only to top-rated pick for power output, highly durable, weighs as much as a can of soup, easy to fold out and set up, compact, fabric flap keeps the solar panels closed when not in use, high-efficiency solar cells, and automatically adjusts voltage and current.

More likely to go out of stock than competing models.

Expert Ratings

Design

9.0 / 10

The design of this solar charger is simple: three solar panels that fold out to maximize sunlight collection. Lay it flat on the ground, set it up like a three-frame house, or clip it to your backpack—there are many ways to use it, and all will give you excellent energy generation!

With three solar panels, you can collect more energy than most of its competitors. And yet, it’s surprisingly lightweight at 1.4 pounds, and folds down small enough to fit in any backpack.

Energy Capacity

9.0 / 10

This solar charger ties with the top-rated pick for instant energy production (10.7 watts), and only falls slightly behind in terms of cumulative wattage (43.7 watt-hours). The fact that it can generate so much energy means you’ll have enough juice to keep your tablet and phone charging at the same time.

But that’s not all! The charger also has built-in SolarIQ technology that will adjust the voltage and current according to the device you’re charging, thus helping to maximize energy usage to decrease charge time. You get up to 3 amps total output when both ports are in use, or up to 2 amps per port when used singly.

Reliability

9.0 / 10

Reliability on this bad boy is absolutely guaranteed! It’s built with durable components and a rugged design, and is FCC and CE Certified. The US-made solar cells are built to last and will generate reliable energy for years to come.

Though the waterproofing isn’t as good as our top pick, it’s good enough that you won’t have to worry if there’s a light rain, damp, or fog. It’s tough, rugged, and built to last—making it a hiker and camper’s best friend.  

Value:

9.0 / 10

At $55 for the solar charger, you get reliability, a quality design, and a device guaranteed to charge your phone and tablet all day long. What’s not to love?

Overall Editor Score

9.0 / 10

Best Solar Battery Charger Overall

#1

BigBlue 5V 28W Solar Charger

Best Solar Battery Charger Overall: BigBlue 5V 28W Solar Charger
Get from Amazon
43 Bought
Design
9.0
Energy Capacity
9.5
Reliability
9.5
Value
9.0
Overall
93%
93 % Editor Score
96 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • More solar panel surface area = more sunlight gathered to charge your devices
  • Highly reliable, recovers quickly from losing sunlight
  • Lightweight, easy to carry, and very user-friendly

Lightweight, largest solar panel surface area, charges up to three devices at once, weatherproof port protectors, highest cumulative wattage on the market, sturdy, folds up nice and compact, includes 2-foot long cables, and features a 24-month warranty.

Four fold-out solar panels are very large when unfolded.

Expert Ratings

Design

9.0 / 10

Though this solar phone charger is very lightweight (just one 1 pound), when folded out, you’ll find it has four large solar panels. Compared to the two or three integrated into its competitors, this gives it an edge when it comes to collecting sunlight to charge your devices. Its higher surface area will ensure you get maximum power for your devices.

Fair warning: it’s a bit large and hard to maneuver when all four panels are unfolded.

It can be clipped onto your backpack with the accompanying carabiners, but it’s best when set up and in one place to maximize sunlight collection.

Energy Capacity

9.5 / 10

This is where Big Blue really shines! Thanks to its larger surface size, you get more energy per day than with competing products—according to one test, 48.8 watt-hours compared to 43.7 watt-hour for its next-best competitor.

The built-in SmartIC chip will detect what device you’re using to help maximize energy efficiency and speed up charging time. With the built-in ammeter, the charger will ensure that just the right amount of power is sent to your device to charge it without overloading the battery.

Thanks to the Auto Restart function, you won’t need to reconnect your devices if you pass under clouds or shade. It will automatically re-start the charging, keeping your phone or tablet supplied with energy all day long.

Reliability

9.5 / 10

With a durable design and high quality components, this solar phone charger is built to last! It comes with rugged weatherproof port protectors, sturdy cables, and IPX4 waterproofing rating (suitable for light rain or fog).

Thanks to the industrial strength PET polymer surface, your device will be protected from light wet and damp, and you’ll have enough time to get them inside your backpack in case of rain.

Value

9.0 / 10

At just over $60, this is an amazing deal at just above market average. Plus, you get a 24-month warranty and friendly customer service to help you in case anything goes wrong!

Overall Editor Score

9.3 / 10

Faveable Ratings: 5 Best Solar Chargers

5 Best Solar ChargersDesignEnergy CapacityReliabilityValue:Overall
BigBlue 5V 28W Solar Charger Thumbnail
Best Solar Battery Charger Overall
#1BigBlue 5V 28W Solar Charger
9.0
9.5
9.5
  93
Solar Panel X-DRAGON 20W SunPower Solar Phone Charger Thumbnail
Most Rugged Solar Phone Charger for Camping
#2Solar Panel X-DRAGON 20W SunPower Solar Phone Charger
9.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
90
Hiluckey Outdoor Solar Charger and Portable Power Bank Thumbnail
Best Solar Power Bank with Built-in Battery
#3Hiluckey Outdoor Solar Charger and Portable Power Bank
9.0
9.5
8.5
  90
Sunway Solar 12V Car Battery Charger Thumbnail
Best Solar Charger for Vehicles
#4Sunway Solar 12V Car Battery Charger
8.5
8.0
9.0
  85
ECEEN ECC-626 13W Universal Foldable Solar Charger with Dual USB Thumbnail
Most Portable Solar Charger
#5ECEEN ECC-626 13W Universal Foldable Solar Charger with Dual USB
8.5
8.0
8.5
  83

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Article Staff

Fitness has come hard for Andy; he's had to work for it. But, his trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, a NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise and healthy living. That’s why he’s our resident fitness expert.

His favorite food is lettuce-leaf steak tacos – though he’ll admit to a love of hot wings if you leverage the right pressure.

We know him as the guy who understands British humor and wishes everyone was as passionate about life as he is. His previous forays into the worlds of international business and education have left him wildly optimistic. And, if that wasn’t enough, he's also a best-selling, award-winning author of fantasy novels! Can you say renaissance?

Editor Jenna Holtz
Researcher Ronnie Langston
Art Director Cherry Barbacena

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