Are you looking for a solar power bank? Then check out this article! Because here I’m going to talk about a more serious solution – portable solar charger. The main difference is that solar power banks are, well, the size of a regular power bank. That’s about the size of a smartphone. Mostly. And respectively solar panels they use are small. Which leads to the fact, that while they can charge your electronics, it can take a lot of time. Like half a day in favorable conditions to charge a phone. That much time.
And then there are solar chargers. All of the best solar chargers I’ve listed below are bigger in size – but still not too big; you can easily put them in your backpack or attach to it – and more effective with this task.
Scroll down to find the best solar charger for yourself! And – to learn more about this useful piece of travel gear!
Best Solar Charger 2018
Now let’s take a look at the list of the best solar chargers! Scroll down to read more about every one of them!
For the availability, latest price and user reviews check them out on Amazon – just click on the name or image of the solar charger! I have also included a link to Amazon under every solar charger review.
|NAME||IMAGE||POWER||WEIGHT||PRICE ON AMAZON|
|*** - our favorites|
|ECEEN 26W Portable Solar Charger||26 W||2.89 lbs / 1.31 kg||Check the price!|
|Anker 21W Solar Charger***||21 W||14.7 oz / 416 g||Check the price!|
|Nekteck 20W Solar Charger***||20 W||18 oz / 510 g||Check the price!|
|SunJack Solar Charger||2.5 lbs / 1.13 kg||Check the price!|
|ALLPOWERS 80W Foldable Solar Panel||80 W||4.8 lbs / 2.18 kg||Check the price!|
|X-DRAGON 40W Solar Charger||40 W||2.55 lbs / 1.16 kg||Check the price!|
|RAVPower 24W Solar Charger||24 W||26.4 oz / 748 g||Check the price!|
|ECEEN 13W Foldable Solar Charger||13 W||9.3 oz / 263.6 g||Check the price!|
|Instapark 10W Solar Charger||10 W||16 oz / 453.6 g||Check the price!|
|ECEEN 10W Solar Panel Charger||10 W||12.8 oz / 362.9 g||Check the price!|
Solar Charger Basics
There are only 2 questions you need to answer first to find the best solar charger for your needs. And actually they are the same like, when choosing a power bank.
1. Where are you going to use it?
What are the conditions you want the solar charger to be ready for? Anyway – if we forget about the extremes for a moment, most of the top portable solar chargers are designed to be used outdoors for an extended periods of time.
2. How serious solution are you after?
How many devices you will want to charge? Will you want to charge your laptop as well? How often? If it’s just a phone or two, and maybe a camera, then most of the solar chargers will do the job. Though, for the less powerful ones (3 of the bottom ones in the table above) it may take significantly longer time. If you have plentiful sunshine, it will help. Otherwise better take something more serious.
Solar Charger Reviews
1. ECEEN 26W Portable Solar Charger
Comes with a 16 000 mAh battery pack, supporting both USB ( 5V/2A) and DC output (18V/1.44A). It takes about 18 hours under direct sunshine to fully charge the battery pack. SUNPOWER® solar panels (solar cell efficiency rate: up to 22%).
When unfolded can be easily attached to the outside of a regular backpack, to continue charging on the go. Folded – only slightly bigger than an iPad, about the size of iPad Pro. Though, this solar charger set is thicker and heavier.
Features an LCD display showing battery charge level and voltage level.
Comes with 4 carabiners.
Dimensions (folded): 12.8” x 7.5” x 2.5” (32.5 x 19 x 6.35 cm)
Weight: 2.89 lbs / 1.31 kgClick Here for the Latest Price, More Photos and User Reviews on Amazon!
2. Anker 21W Dual USB Solar Charger
Weather-resistant dual USB solar charger designed with outdoor enthusiasts and travelers in mind. Uses industrial-strength PET polymer faced SunPower solar panels, that are sewn into a rugged polyester canvas.
Light – only 14.7 oz / 416 g – yet powerful enough to charge 2 smartphones or any other compatible USB devices simultaneously. Under direct and strong sunlight gives out up to 2.4 A per port (3 A overall).
Thanks to its compact size could be easily taken on almost any backpacking trip. Who doesn’t want some autonomy time after time? With this solar charger from Anker you can easily extend that hiking journey or stay on that remote beach, without worrying that your gadgets may run out of power. Of course, if you can get some sunshine there.
Same like many of the best portable solar chargers this one can be attached to the backpack. Or to anything else, for that matter. Is it the best solar charger out there? For me, it’s clearly in top 3.
Dimensions (folded): 11.1” x 6.3” x 1.1” (28.2 x 16 x 2.8 cm)
Weight: 14.7 oz / 416 gClick Here for the Latest Price, More Photos and User Reviews on Amazon!
If this one is over your budget, here is a cheaper and less powerful alternative from Ankers on Amazon! (Keep in mind, that price may change and what’s cheaper now, may not be truth after a while. So compare the price!)
3. Nekteck 20W Solar Charger
In a way very similar to the one from Anker – almost exactly the same size, only slightly thicker, also with solar panels covered with rugged canvas. Ready for damp conditions. When folded is about the size of a medium-size notebook.
Under strong sunlight gives out up to 2 A per port and up to 3 A overall.
Thanks to installed metal grommets could be tied or attached to your backpack. Carabiners might come in handy here.
Comes with a Micro USB cabel.
Dimensions (folded): 11.1 x 6.3 x 1.06 (28.2 x 16 x 2.7 cm)
Weight: 18 oz / 510 gClick Here for the Latest Price, More Photos and User Reviews on Amazon!
4. SunJack Solar Charger with Power Bank
How much does 8000 mAh is? It’s enough to fully charge most of the best smartphones twice. It may not be enough to fully charge your tablet, but with 2 power banks you’ll be able to do that as well.
In good conditions – under direct, strong sunlight, both of the batteries can be charged in about 10 hours.
It’s hard to say it from the pictures, but the SunJack Solar Charger is about the same size like all 3 solar chargers above. Only this set like the ECEEN 26W Portable Solar Charger is a pretty heavy one. But there are 2 batteries as well, not just a solar charger.
It’s dustproof, shockproof and ready to be take on your next outdoor adventure.
Dimensions (folded): 10.25” x 7.75” x 1.75” (26 x 19.70 x 4.45 cm)
Weight: 2.5 lbs / 1.13 kgClick Here for the Latest Price, More Photos and User Reviews on Amazon!
In case you are sure you don’t need 2 power banks, there is another option on Amazon with only 1 x 8000 mAh battery. Also from SunJack.
5. ALLPOWERS 80W Foldable Solar Panel
The charger features 2 USB port (5 V / 2.4 A per port), that can be used simultaneously, and 18 V DC (18 V/2.4 A) output, which can be used to power your laptop.
Ready for outdoors. Thanks to installed eyeholes can be attached to your backpack, while you are hiking. Can be also placed on the ground. While it’s not the most compact solar charger out there, it still folds into a size of a handbag. Count in how powerful it is, and you see why it’s one of the best solar chargers. Just look at its user reviews online!
Comes with 10 laptop connectors and DC cable. For more detailed and up to date information check it out on Amazon! And read the product description before buying it!
Dimensions (folded): 12.4” x 8.4” x 3.5” (31.5 x 21.3 x 8.9 cm)
Weight: 4.8 lbs / 2.18 kgClick Here for the Latest Price, More Photos and User Reviews on Amazon!
6. X-DRAGON 40W Solar Charger
And another powerful solution for more demanding users. Same like the ALLPOWERS solar panel I’ve mentioned, it can be used to charge not only smartphone, camera, ebook reader and other small electronics, but also your laptop. Pay attention to the list of supported laptops!
And not only that – you can use this this solar charger to charge storage batteries, too.
Under direct sunlight gives out up to 2.8 A (USB). The solar charger can be used also to charge storage batteries.
Comes with a DC Cable + 10-in-1 connector cable, compatible with a wide range of different laptops. For more information check out the full product description on Amazon! Set includes also 4 carabiners, that can be used to attach the charger to your bag or anything else.
Dimensions (folded): 11.5” x 7.6” x 2.7” (29.2 x 19.3 x 6.8 cm)
Weight: 2.55 lbs / 1.16 kgClick Here for the Latest Price, More Photos and User Reviews on Amazon!
7. RAVPower 24W Solar Charger
Body of the RAVPower solar charger is made of waterproof nylon fabric.
Under direct and strong sunlight gives out up to 2.4 A per USB port and up to 4.8 A overall. If 3 devices are connected at the same time output current is being evenly distributed, to ensure all of them are charging at the same speed. Which means – if, let’s say, you want to charge your phone as fast as possible, connect only your phone and nothing else, leave the rest of the ports free.
The RAVPower 24W Solar Charger comes with 2 micro USB cables and 4 stainless steel hooks for attaching to your backpack or hanging on a tent.
Dimensions (folded): 11.8” x 6.5” x 0.2” (30 x 16.5 x 0.51 cm)
Weight: 26.4 oz / 748 gClick Here for the Latest Price, More Photos and User Reviews on Amazon!
8. ECEEN 13W Foldable Solar Charger
Made of quality polyester, making it weather resistant and ready to be used outdoors.
Features a pocket, big enough to hold an iPad Mini, and several attachment points.
Maximum currency output – 2 A.
Dimensions (folded): 8.27” x 7.09” x 0.98” (21 x 18 x 2.48 cm)
Weight: 9.3 oz / 263.6 gClick Here for the Latest Price, More Photos and User Reviews on Amazon!
9. Instapark 10W Solar Charger
While 3000 mAh isn’t too much nowadays, but it’s still enough to fully charge most of the smartphones once. And the batteries themselves are small and can be easily put in a pocket.
Solar charger features 2 USB ports and several sewn attachment points.
Fold down to the size of a small handbag.
Dimensions (folded): 9” x 6” x 2” (22.9 x 15.2 x 5.1 cm)
Weight: 16 oz / 453.6 gClick Here for the Latest Price, More Photos and User Reviews on Amazon!
10. ECEEN 10W Solar Panel Charger
More of a backup solar panel charger than a main source of electricity. At the same time – it’s small, compact and light, one that will always fit in the bag. And, who said, that everyone needs to charge several gadgets while off-the-grid?
Just take a bigger power bank and even with this solar charger you’ll be ready to go away for a longer time. Otherwise – use your phone, tablet or what else electronic you may take with you more mindfully, and you’ll be ok. Note, that this solar charge can charge only via USB (max 1.5 A) and for anything bigger than a smartphone it may take 2 days or more to fully charge it.
Closes with a zipper for more convenient transporting.
Comes with 4 carabiners. Available in several colors.
Dimensions (folded): 11.5” x 6” x 0.5”'(29.2 x 15.2 x 1.27 cm)
Weight: 12.8 oz / 362.9 gClick Here for the Latest Price, More Photos and User Reviews on Amazon!
If you have any more questions about travel gear, check out our other gear guides! Or contact us!
Author: Kaspars Misins
Kaspars is a long term traveler and a travel blogger from Latvia. He loves going on long walks, reading non fiction books and spending time outdoors. Together with his girlfriend Una they have been traveling – volunteering – working abroad since 2013. On We Are From Latvia they share their experience and things learned along the way.