As smartphones and other smart gadgets are getting smarter and more powerful, they are getting more power-hungry than ever.
If you like going camping, hiking, trekking, or on other outdoor trips, festivals, or other events that last for more than a day, you may find it frustrating or even impossible to keep your phones, GPS, or other devices charged while off the grid.
Thankfully, there are different options for ensuring that your phone is charged and you have a connection with the rest of the world while out in the wilderness. One is a power bank, which you can charge at home and then use to recharge your phone. The other, which is more suitable for longer outdoor adventures, is a solar-powered phone charger.
Solar chargers come with several solar panels and can convert the energy from the sun directly into power via the solar cells, which you can then use for your charging needs.
Some solar panel charging devices have integrated batteries and can be used as power banks with an emergency solar panel too.
To help you decide which solar phone charger is the right one for your needs, we have picked the top-rated solar phone chargers and solar power banks for you.
These solar chargers are devices that can make your trip much more enjoyable and safer, as you will have access to power whenever your phone needs recharging, provided that there is some sunlight available.
Direct solar phone chargers for 2022
Direct solar phone chargers have solar panels and rely on sunlight to charge your phone or another device. They are light, compact, and portable, and most of them are very durable and weather resistant.
This makes them perfect for camping, festivals, hiking, and even for everyday walks and picnics in the park.
They are also better than power banks when you are planning on spending a long time off the grid because you can use them wherever you need to, as long as there is sunlight.
On the downside, these devices will not function if there is no direct light, and they will not store the energy produced, so once the sun sets, they will not work.
Best Solar Phone Charger
Read on to find out more about the top solar phone chargers for 2022.
One of the top-rated solar phone chargers, the Anker 21W dual USB, is lightweight, compact, and yet durable, which makes it suitable for all kinds of outdoor adventures.
The solar phone charger has three resilient and efficient 7 watt PET polymer-protected solar panels. They are each meticulously sewn into a rugged cover made of canvas polymer with superb build quality, which will keep them safe and functioning properly in all kinds of weather conditions.
The Anker Dual USB solar phone charger has a total of 21 watts – all provided via solar power from the portable solar panels with a large surface area.
It is small in size and is only 11.1 x 6.3 inches when folded up and 26.4 x 11.1 inches when opened up for use.
Plus, it has stainless steel grommets on each corner, which you can use to safely attach the charger to your backpack when hiking or exploring.
This premium quality portable solar charger for phone by Anker offers an excellent charging speed thanks to its PowerIQ fast charging of up to 2.4amps per port, and 3 amps when the panels are placed directly under the sunlight.
The Anker charger has two ports and can charge two phones or other devices at the same time. It is compatible with most of the popular brands of Android and iOS phones and devices.
You will receive the charger and solar panels, a 3 foot long MicroUSB cable, a start-up guide, as well as an 18-month warranty if you decide to purchase this excellent, easy to use, and highly efficient solar charger.
The Nekteck 21W solar-powered phone charger is another excellent choice if you want to be able to charge up to two phones or other devices while on the road or in the wilderness easily and safely but without breaking the bank for a high-end solar phone charger with portable solar panels.
The Nekteck solar charging phone tool has two USB ports, which you can use at any time or place to charge an iPhone, an iOS device, and most Android phones and tablets, as well as cameras, GPS, and other devices. Each port has a maximum power of up to 2 amps and a total of 3 amps when used simultaneously. It has built-in overcharging and overheating protection to keep your devices safe while charging devices.
It can produce a total of 21 watts from the sunlight via the three 7 watt powerful and durable solar panels. It offers the optimal charging speed depending on the device connected.
The foldable solar charger phone has a rugged canvas cover and special water-resistant PET polymer protective covers for the solar panels.
It is designed with rustproof stainless steel holes on each corner, and a provided hook, making it easy to attach it to your backpack and carry it safely with you when you are outdoors.
Thanks to the advanced Monocrystalline construction of the solar panels, they can reach a conversion of power from the sunlight up to 24%.
This charger with solar panels is reasonably priced and compact. It is only 6.3 x 11.1 x 1.06 inches when folded and weighs only 17.3 ounces.
It is sold at an affordable price tag, with a micro USB charging cable and a detailed user’s manual.
The X-Dragon is another great portable solar phone chargers you can buy in 2022.
It has 14-watt solar panels and a built-in SolarIQ technology, which adjusts the voltage and current for the fastest charging speed, the safest, and best results depending on the devices you have attached.
It can deliver up to 1.5 amps per each of the two USB ports and a maximum of 3 amps when placed directly under the sun.
The solar panels have a large surface area when opened and are protected by a heavy-duty Oxford fabric, which is impact, dust, and water-resistant.
This solar charger with USB ports has short circuit and surge protection to keep your phone or other devices safe no matter the conditions.
It comes with a micro USB charging cable, a carabiner, and a useful user manual.
The device is CE, FCC, and RoHS certified.
It is 12.1 x 7.2 x 0.39 inches when folded, and 16.1 x 12.1 x 0.12 inches when open. The weight of this compact solar phone charger is only 16.9 ounces.
Related article: Solar Charge Controllers in 2022
The BigBlue 28W solar charger is one of the most powerful portable solar-powered chargers on the market. At the same time, it is among the safest ones and with the highest efficiency.
This nifty charging device has a built-in digital ammeter and state-of-the-art SmartIC technology, so it will automatically adjust the current emitted and the amps according to the devices connected and the cable which is being used for charging.
Thanks to these modern technologies, your phone, and other devices will be charged as safely, quickly, and efficiently as possible every time with the BigBlue 28W charger.
This charger equipped with solar panels has an efficiency rate of up to 23.5% for turning solar energy into free energy.
The four 7 watt solar panels offer a large surface area for collecting as much sunlight as possible. They are protected with durable, water-resistant PET polymer fabric. They have a total power of 28 watts.
It has two USB charging ports with a total output of up to 4amps.
The BigBlue 28W has overcharge, overcurrent, short circuit, and over-voltage protection to keep you and your devices safe when attached to the USB ports.
You can even unfold it and use it on top of your backpack while you are walking under the sun, and thus charge your multiple devices on the go.
The excellent quality solar phone charger from Big Blue is 11.23 x 6.3 x 0.71 inches when folded and is sold with 24-month customer support.
Battery bank solar phone chargers
Portable solar chargers have multiple benefits. They are compact, light, easy to use, and offer the needed power to charge your electronics, including laptops, whenever there is sunlight available.
One of their cons is the fact that they do not accumulate the produced power so that you can use it later on when the sun goes down.
If this is a problem for you, then you should consider buying a battery bank solar power phone charger instead.
These nifty devices will allow you to charge your phone while off the grid, and without a source of electricity, even after sunset in outdoor conditions.
As a whole, the power bank solar phone chargers are more versatile and usually provide faster and higher quality charging. Plus, they offer greater compatibility when it comes to the attached devices and usually come with a flashlight or emergency LED light.
They are also preferred for their compact size, lightweight and portability.
One of the downsides of these portable power bank solar chargers is the fact that they have smaller solar panels, so the generated power from the sun only may not be sufficient to charge your battery.
Here is a list of the most selling power bank solar phone chargers for 2022.
This compact and portable power bank with a solar panel is another top-rated product, suitable for hiking, hunting, camping, or spending time outdoors.
It is only 5.5 x 3 x 0.7 inches in size and weighs 7.4-oz.
The BearTwo is IP67 waterproof, dustproof and very sturdily built, and provides a slip-proof grip, which makes it suitable for all types of outdoor use, and even survival situations.
Even the USB charging ports are protected with rubber caps to protect them from water damage, making this one of the most suitable solar power banks for survivalists and adventurers.
Plus, it has a handy hook that you can use to attach it to your backpack and let it charge while walking.
It has a built-in light and a lightweight 10,000 mAh battery pack, and two USB outputs to charge two devices simultaneously.
The power bank charges fully for 4 to 5 hours. It can fast-charge two devices with an output of up to 5V (2.1amps) at the fastest device charging speed.
This versatile device also has a built-in flashlight that can emit 3 different light modes, including normal, strobe, and SOS.
The BearTwo is made of sturdy and eco-friendly ABS and silicone rubber and is certified by RoHS, CE, and FCC.
The Hiluckey is one of the best solar power banks and phone chargers being offered on the market for 2022.
It has a top-quality 25,000mAh li-polymer battery pack, which can charge almost any phone up to 10 times per charge.
Unlike most of the other solar-powered charging banks, this gadget comes with four solar panels, which can easily be folded and unfolded to convert the solar energy into free power, which can be accumulated and used later, even when the sun goes down.
Using solar energy, this power bank can charge a phone with 1A, and up to 5W of power, which is much faster than the other power banks which have a single small solar power panel.
The Hiluckey power bank has two 2.1 amp USB charging ports offering high-speed charging of up to 2 devices simultaneously. It detects the type of device and cable connected and adjusts the current for the fastest, most efficient, and safe charging experience.
The useful design is perfect for any type of outdoor activity, as it is water-resistant, dust, and shockproof.
It also has 9 integrated LED lights, which can serve as a flashlight, or an emergency SOS or Strobe light.
The charger is only 6.1 x 3.4 x 1.4 inches when folded and weighs 1.25 lbs., and can fit into a pocket, allowing for excellent portability.
This is one of the top-preferred portable phone chargers with integrated battery packs and gadgets for hiking, survival, and for a camping trip because it has a large capacity battery and also allows for recharging and charging multiple devices via direct sunlight too.
This is another powerful and small-sized portable solar charger and power bank, which is definitely worth considering for your camping and other outdoor adventures.
Its built-in battery has a huge 25,000mAh capacity, which will allow you to charge a phone up to 5 times completely, or a tablet about 3 times per charge.
The power bank has 3 charging ports that can be used for charging three devices simultaneously. Two of the three charging ports are 5V (2A), and one has a power output of 5V (1A).
It also has 2 input ports, which can be used for battery backup. One is a micro USB port, and the other is an iPhone port.
The power bank has a solar panel, and a built-in flashlight with normal and SOS light options.
The size of this portable phone charger is 7.5 x 5.9 x 1.3 inches and weighs 1.3 lbs.
It is water-resistant and sturdy and is among the solar-powered charging gadgets with multiple positive customer reviews.
The powerful portable charger is reasonably priced and comes with a micro USB cable, an after-sale card, a user’s manual, and free customer service for up to 24 months after the purchase.
Features to look for when buying a solar phone charger
As you can see, no two solar phone chargers are exactly the same. Each one of the top-rated solar chargers has its pros and cons and is suitable for different types of needs.
In order to make an informed decision when shopping for a solar charger, here are some of the features you should take into consideration.
If you want a portable charger for one of the normal cell phones, or an mp3 player, you can opt for a solar power charger with a 4-5 watt solar panels.
But for iPhones and larger smartphones, you will need a charger that has at least 7-watt solar panels.
If you want to use the charger to charge other devices like iPads, tablets, or several devices at once, then you should opt for a device with at least 15 watts of power.
For heavy-duty device charging and charging of laptop computers and other larger devices, then you will need to invest in good solar chargers with heavy-duty panels of 25 watts or more, as well as a battery and an inverter to meet your power needs.
Thankfully, many of the solar chargers and power banks are designed for charging power-hungry smartphones as quickly as possible, so choose the one with the wattage which will meet your needs.
The output power
The higher the output power of each of the ports of the solar charger or power bank, the more efficient it will be and the higher charging speeds it will offer when charging your smartphone, iPad, or another device.
Make sure that you take note of the amperage output of each of the ports of the USB solar charger, as well as the combined amperage amount when choosing the most suitable solar phone charger for your needs.
If you need to charge a more powerful or power-hungry device, you should choose a charger that offers a larger output per port, rather than a large total output and smaller amperage when the ports are used separately.
A solar power bank or a solar phone charger
The solar power bank has built-in batteries and thus is more reliable and easier to use than a solar phone charger. It is charged before heading into the wilderness, and then can be used to recharge the phone or another device several times. It is suitable for weekend or short outdoor adventures and can be used no matter how much sunlight there is.
Choose the one with the best battery life and the highest capacity battery packs for the highest results.
The solar panel charger, on the other hand, does not accumulate the energy produced, but it very handy if you are planning on going on a longer trip where you will be off the grid for a longer time. then again, you should keep in mind how much sunlight there will be when heading out relying on solar panels for power production only.
The best option is to get both types of phone chargers, or one which combines both functions, so that you have access to a charger for any of your future trips and adventures – long or short.
The connectivity options
All of the phone chargers on this review have one or more USB connections for a solar charge, which is sufficient for charging any phone and multiple devices.
If you will be using the solar charger for charging a camera, laptop, or other devices that require a wall socket or wall charger plug or a 12V car lighter plug, then you will need to buy a suitable adapter as well.
The ease of use
A portable phone charger is supposed to make your life easier and your outdoor adventure much more pleasant, so make sure you pick one which is easy to use.
Look for a solar phone charger that restarts after automatically stopping the charging when a cloud passes, to make your charging experience more effortless, and to eliminate the need to have to restart it every time the sun is hidden by a cloud. So, pick one with an automatic or easy charge interruption recovery.
The size, weight, and portability
If you want a solar phone charger for a portable and off the grid power supply for your hiking, hunting, and other trips that require carrying as little weight and bulk as possible, then you should opt for a small-sized and lightweight charger.
Most direct solar and solar power bank chargers are small and can easily fit in a backpack or be attached to it directly via grommets, hooks, carabiners, or other added accessories.
But please note that these are more suitable for emergency use, so make sure you have a power bank fully charged when you are leaving home and heading for an outdoor adventure off the grid.
The small-sized, rugged solar power banks are a perfect option for emergencies, as they do hold a charge, and can also be used as emergency lights. Plus, they have added solar panels, which can help you get some juice in your device. The solar panel phone chargers too are light and have a space-saving folding design. They do rely on having enough sunlight and cannot store the accumulated energy, but they are a great option for a trip to a sunny area.
If you are heading on an outdoor trip, the chances are that you can run into bad weather, rain, or accidentally drop or hit your backpack. This is why choosing a rugged and durable phone charger is essential if you want to be able to use it no matter what.
Most of the solar phone chargers and power banks are water-resistant, impact-resistant, and are pretty resilient to impact, so you can carry them with you and use them when there is rain, snow or fog, or when hiking on a heavy trail.
Choosing a solar panel charger or power bank largely depends on the money you are prepared to spend for such a device. To make the best investment, try buying the device which has the best price tag per the wattage offered for a solar panel or one which offers the best quality and value for the price asked.
In a world where the technologies are advancing on a daily basis, and in a time when more people are looking for eco-friendlier and cheaper sources of energy, there is no doubt that solar power technologies will become even more popular, and will continue advancing in performance too.
So, buying a good quality solar powered phone charger, and using a solar-charged phone, is a future-proof investment. It is something that you will invest in once and then can reuse over and over again to get access to free and green energy off the grid.
Good luck with your purchase, and enjoy your solar-powered phone charging device!