If you do a lot of off-the-grid outdoor activities like camping and hiking, a good addition to your outdoor equipment is a portable solar charger. The best portable solar charger should include multiple output ports, waterproof and shockproof capabilities, and surge protection. Also, look for high energy conversion rates to ensure your solar charger is efficient. Do not rely on others for an energy source and instead be able to charge your phone, camera, camp shower, or lantern no matter how remote you are. You only need the power of the sun!

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What is a Solar Charger?

In the most basic terms, a solar charger is a device that contains solar panels to soak up the sun’s energy and to convert it into usable electric current to charge devices and to power small appliances.

How Does A Solar Charger Work?

Again, a solar charge simply converts the sun’s energy to charge devices or batteries to be used on those devices.

How to Charge Devices with A Solar Charger

To charge a device using a solar charger, simply place your solar charger in direct sunlight and plug into the power output ports provided. USB and micro-USB are the most common ports. Be sure to place your devices that are charging in the shade, or under the charger to prevent them from overheating.

Where and When Can You Charge?

The most ideal place you can charge is in a sunny location during the daytime. Charge anytime during the day. If you have a solar charger battery pack, go ahead, and charge the battery all day and use the stored energy to charge you devices at night.

Pro and Cons of a Solar Charger

Pros: charge anywhere and off-the-grid.

Cons: Reliant on the sun for energy. 

Portable Solar Chargers Buying Guide

Output Power, Amperage and Voltage

Be sure to take careful consideration of what kind of output ports your solar charger has and how much power they are capable of putting out. First, determine how you will use your solar charger. Is it simply for phones, cameras, and other personal devices? Then you might only need a smaller solar charger with only USB output ports. Do you need to charge a camp fridge or other high-demand energy appliances? Then look for a more powerful solar charger with DC output ports.

Portability – Size

Again, once you determine how you will use your solar charger, figure out how much space you have to spare in your backpack or vehicle. If you are hiking most of the time, find something more lightweight and that takes up less space. If you are caravanning and need to power camp lights and a camp fridge, you might need something larger with higher power output and have the necessary space to stow it away when not in use.

Materials

Many solar panels come with water-resistance canvas encasing however if you need something with more hardcore waterproofing, look for IP rated materials.

Other Solar Charger Features

  • Batteries (mAh): Solar chargers with built-in batteries can be used to recharge your electronic devices at night or in cloudy conditions.
  • LED indicator: An LED indicator is great to know how much energy is coming into your solar charger and if you need to move it into more direct sunlight for better energy absorption.
  • Water proof: Look for IP rated materials for waterproof and dustproof capabilities. Some even have built-in shockproof capabilities.

 

Portable Solar Charger Reviews

Hard Korr 15W Personal Solar Panel

Hard Korr 15W Personal Solar Panel
Best Portable Solar Charger For 2121 19

The Hard Korr 15W Personal solar panel makes an excellent solar phone charger to take with you on your next trip. This portable phone charger comes with two high-speed USB ports which are ideal for charging your phone, camera, tablet, and any other devices you might take with you on your camping trip. This usb solar charger is super lightweight coming in at only a little over a half a kilogram. Take it with you anywhere.

  • RRP: $79.00
  • External Dimensions: 55L x 28.5W cm
  • Packed Dimensions: 29L x 20W x 2.8H cm
  • Weight: 0.55 Kg
  • Output Power: 15W
  • Material: A-grade Monocrystalline Silicon Panels
  • Connectors: Two high-speed USB ports
  • Include Battery: No
  • Waterproof: No

Pros: Inbuilt solar controller with intelligent electronics to protect sensitive devices against overcharging. Dual high-speed USB ports can charge 2 devices at once. Weighs only 550g. Tough protective storage pocket.

Cons: Only a two-year warranty and not waterproof.

BioLite SolarPanel 5+

BioLite SolarPanel 5+
Best Portable Solar Charger For 2121 20

The BioLite 5+ portable solar charger is lightweight, easy to use, and can be set up anywhere the sun is. Use its built-in kickstand to set this solar portable charger on a table or any other flat surface. Use the same kickstand to easily hang your solar panel battery charger from a tree or a tent. With a waterproof rating of IPX4 and only weighing 390 grams, the BioLite 5+ is perfect for your next hiking expedition.

  • RRP: $154.99
  • External Dimensions: 25.7L x 20.8W x 2.4W cm
  • Packed Dimensions: 25.7L x 20.8W x 2.4W cm
  • Weight: 0.390 Kg
  • Output Power: 5W/hr @ peak sunlight
  • Materials: Plastic | Monocrystalline Panel
  • Connectors: USB
  • Include Battery: Yes, 2200mAh Li-ion
  • Waterproof: IPX4

Pros: Comes with one 2200mAh Li-ion battery. IPX4 waterproofing. Lightweight. Built-in kickstand to set up on a table or hang it from a tree or tent. 

Cons: Only a 1-year warranty.

Goal Zero Nomad 7 Plus Solar Panel

Goal Zero Nomad 7 Plus Solar Panel
Best Portable Solar Charger For 2121 21

The Goal Zero Nomad 7 Plus is a perfect hiking solar panel for off-the-grid activities. This small solar panel will charge a smartphone in 2.5-5 hours depending on the quality of the sun. Use the easy to read LED indicator to find the best position for your solar panel to gather solar energy in the most efficient way. The Goal Zero Nomad 7 Plus is one of the best solar panels for camping with its compact design and only weighing 460 grams with the kickstand.

  • RRP: $159.95
  • External Dimensions: 33L x 22.23W x 1.27H cm
  • Packed Dimensions: 16.5L x 22.23W x 1.9H cm
  • Weight: 0.46 Kg | 0.36 Kg without Kickstand
  • Output Power:  USB 5V up to 1.4A, 7W Max | Mini Solar Port 8-9V up to 0.8A, 7W Max
  • Materials: Monocrystalline Panels 7W 8-9V open cct | Synthetic Cover
  • Connectors: USB
  • Include Battery: No
  • Waterproof: No

Pros: Easy-to-read LED indicator lets you know how much power your solar panel is receiving from the sun so you can move it to the optimal position.Weatherproof. Automatic shut-off for fully charged devices.

Cons: Only a 1-year warranty.

Roman Portable 120W Solar Mat Kit

Roman Portable 120W Solar Mat Kit
Best Portable Solar Charger For 2121 22

The Roman Portable 120W solar powered power bank charges a wide array of battery types including GEL, AGM, Lead Acid (WET), Calcium, Lithium Iron Phosphate (LifeP04) & Lithium Titanium Oxide (LTO) batteries. Comes with an easy to read LED screen to check battery levels. Build with 6 – 20.4-watt panels and includes 50A Anderson input and output plugs. This solar powered battery charger is ideal for camping, 4WD’ing, boating, and other outdoor activities.

  • RRP: $949.00
  • External Dimensions: 175L x 41W cm
  • Packed Dimensions: 30L x 41W x 9H cm
  • Weight: 3.7 Kg Including Accessories
  • Output Power: 122.4W Max. | 6.19A | 19.8V @ Max. Power
  • Materials: Sunpower™ Monocrystalline C60 Solar Cells | 900D Outer
  • Connectors: 50A Anderson input and output plugs
  • Include Battery: No
  • Waterproof: No

Pros: Easy to transport. Weatherproof.Charges GEL, AGM, Lead Acid (WET), Calcium, Lithium Iron Phosphate (LifeP04) & Lithium Titanium Oxide (LTO) batteries. LED screen display.

Cons: Only a 1-year warranty.

Roman PWRGRID 13W Solar Charger Kit

Roman PWRGRID 13W Solar Charger Kit
Best Portable Solar Charger For 2121 23

This Roman 13W solar charger kit has the best portable solar panels review in Australia. Specifically designed for the harsh Australian climate, this compact and portable solar power bank is perfect for camping and hiking and other situations where you might not have a lot of space. Built with reliable and high-quality components this is the best battery charger at a reasonable price.

  • RRP: $169.99
  • External Dimensions: 30.4L x 33W cm
  • Packed Dimensions: 30.4L x 16.5W x 2.2H cm
  • Weight: 0.63 Kg
  • Output Power: 2 x USB 5V 2A | 13.6W 6.5V @ Max. Power
  • Materials: Sunpower Maxeon C60 Monocrystalline Silicone Solar Cells | ETFE Laminated
  • Connectors: USB
  • Include Battery: No
  • Waterproof: No

Pros: Designed for Australian conditions. Smart charge controller with auto-restart technology. Compact and versatile. Includes USB cable and clamps and suction cups for placement.

Cons: Only a 1-year warranty.

Anker 21W 2-Port USB Portable Solar Charger

Anker 21W 2-Port USB Portable Solar Charger
Best Portable Solar Charger For 2121 24

The Anker 21W 2-USB Port solar mobile phone charger is incredibly durable and made form industrial-strength PET polymer faced solar panels sewn together into a tough polyester canvas. This portable ipad charger is cable of charging two devices at the same time without weakening its output.

  • RRP: $69.99
  • External Dimensions: 67.05L x 28.1W cm
  • Packed Dimensions: 28.1L x 16.00W cm
  • Weight: 0.416 Kg
  • Output Power: 2.4 amps per port and 3 amps in direct sunlight.
  • Materials: Industrial-strength PET plastic faced solar panels sewn into the durable polyester canvas.
  • Connectors: USB – micro-USB
  • Include Battery: No
  • Waterproof: No

Pros: Fast charging. Ideal for off-the-grid. Great portability. Short-circuit and surge protection technology. Super lightweight and compact.

Cons: Not waterproof.

BigBlue 3 USB Ports 28W Solar Charger

BigBlue 3 USB Ports 28W Solar Charger
Best Portable Solar Charger For 2121 25

The BigBlue 28W solar battery charger can charge up to three devices at one time safely with short circuit protect. Charge your devices without the worry of overcharging or overheating. This mobile-solar power pack is easy to carry, compact, and is great for hiking, backpacking, or to keep around for emergency power in the event of a power outage.

  • RRP: $73.96
  • External Dimensions: 84.07L x 28.19W x 0.50H cm
  • Packed Dimensions: 28.19L x 16W x 3.30H cm
  • Weight: 0.584 Kg
  • Output Power: 5V/2.4A Max x3
  • Materials: Not listed
  • Connectors: 3 USB charging ports – each is 5V/2.4A Max
  • Include Battery: No
  • Waterproof: No

Pros: High energy conversion with solar panels that can convert 21.5-23.5% of the sunlight into energy for your phone and other USB devices.Easy to carry, compact, and lightweight. 3-USB ports.

Cons: Not compatible with laptops or iPad pro.

Nekteck 21W Portable Solar Panel Charge

Nekteck 21W Portable Solar Panel Charge
Best Portable Solar Charger For 2121 26

The Nekteck 21W solar powered phone charger contains dual 5V USB ports with a maximum of 3A output. Great for charging two phones or a phone and a camera. This is one of the best portable chargers in this price range. Take advantage of a quality product at a ridiculously low price.

  • RRP: $49.99
  • External Dimensions: 66.80L x 28.19L cm
  • Packed Dimensions: 28.19L x 16.00W x 2.69H cm
  • Weight: 0.51 Kg
  • Output Power: 3.0A x 2
  • Materials: Solar panels sewn into the rough and durable canvas.
  • Connectors: Dual USB ports with maximum 3.0A total output.
  • Include Battery: No
  • Waterproof: No

Pros: Compatible with all iPhones, tablets, GPS, Camera, and other USB-supported devices. Built with SmartIC Technology for quick charging. Dual USB ports to charge multiple devices. Made from high-quality material.Portable and compact.

Cons: No waterproof capabilities.

Solar Charger 24000mAh, FEELLE Solar Power Bank

Solar Charger 24000mAh, FEELLE Solar Power Bank
Best Portable Solar Charger For 2121 27

This 24000mAH solar iphone charger is capable of charging an iPhone 6s ten times to completion. Each USB port is fast charging and waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof. This battery pack for the phone is perfect for every outdoor activity.

  • RRP: $39.99
  • External Dimensions: 15.49L x 8.38W x 2.99H cm
  • Packed Dimensions: Not given
  • Weight: 0.5 Kg
  • Output Power: 2.1A x 2
  • Materials: Not given
  • Connectors: Two USB ports. USB and micro-USB are compatible.
  • Include Battery: 2 Lithium Polymer batteries required. (included)
  • Waterproof: IP65

Pros: Airplane safe. Waterproof and shockproof. Dual USB ports. Compact. Lightweight. Also comes with a built-in flashlight.

Cons: No warranty mentioned.

RAVPower Solar Charger 16W

RAVPower Solar Charger 16W
Best Portable Solar Charger For 2121 28

The RAVPower solar usb charger has dual USB ports that use iSmart technology for rapid charging. This solar panel phone charger can be used for hiking, camping, and other off-the-grid outdoor activities.

  • RRP: $44.99
  • External Dimensions: 27.50L x 17.50W x 3.98H cm
  • Packed Dimensions: Not given
  • Weight: 0.50 Kg
  • Output Power: Dual USB ports at 3.2A of maximum output power.
  • Materials: Not given
  • Connectors: USB, micro-USB x 2
  • Include Battery: No
  • Waterproof: No

Pros: Compact size makes it easy to pack, transport, and stow. Use iSmart technology. High energy conversion.

Cons: Very delicate and fragile. No built-in surge protection.