If you are always looking for the next outdoor experience, but you also need to be connected with friends, family, and work, then you know how important it is to have a reliable portable source that does not depend on any exhaustible source of energy.
Definitely, one of the most valuable gadgets that you should include in your backpack is a solar charger. Easy to carry, lightweight and inexhaustible. A solar charger will be the most reliable source of energy that you will have in the outdoor for your electronics.
There are multiple brands and models available, therefore you need to know which solar chargers are among the most reliable and valuable in the market. In this article, we will address the top 10 solar chargers providing you specs, reviews and everything you need to know about each product. Moreover, we will also approach some valuable tips that you should know at the time to purchase one of these.
Let’s jump into solar power and get started with this valuable guide on solar chargers.
10 Best-selling Solar Chargers
1. SOKOO 22W 5V 2-Port USB Portable Foldable Solar Charger
To get started in this list let’s evaluate one of the top solar chargers in terms related to waterproof performance.
The Sokoo 22W solar charger is an incredibly resistant and durable product that has been designed using SunPower technology for the manufacturing of solar cells. SunPower solar cells are among the most efficient in the market reaching values between 21%-23.5% efficiency.
Moreover, the product also features built-in Smart IC chip technology that identifies the required charging speed and nominal value to optimize the charging of any device and prevent overcharging or overloading. Sokoo has designed this solar charger with two USB ports that have up to 2.4A and 5V DC each with a maximum electrical current charging of 3.3A.
The product can be easily stored and carried thanks to its portable size and lightweight (17.5 oz.) and foldable property (12.20 x 6.69 inches when folded). There are also copper-alloy eye-holes on each corner which are perfect for hanging or attaching the product to backpacks, camping tents or even to trees.
Keep in mind that this solar charger does not include a battery set, therefore, you will be able to charge devices only during day-hours. The top feature of this solar charger is its amazing resistance to water, being able to submerge it underwater with no damage or drop in performance to the product.
2. SunJack 25W Portable Solar Charger
The SunJack 25W portable solar charger is the perfect companion for the traveler and outdoor short experiences.
The product has been designed with high efficiency monocrystalline solar cells that ensure maximum performance even under low light conditions. The structure of this charger features an ETFE layer that allows withstanding higher chemical aggression and temperature stress than other solar chargers could withstand with a PET layer.
Also, the product is sized for portability with a folded size of 12.5″ x 8″ x 1.2″ and lightweight of 1.3 lbs. These features make it perfect for backpacking, hiking, a day at the beach, and even for camping.
Moreover, the product includes two USB ports with a 2A nominal output and a maximum electrical current output of 4A which will be similar to outlet charging speeds. Besides, a smart-IC chip will intelligently identify devices to adjust the charging speeds to the requirements of the device while protecting it from overcharging.
SunJack is an American brand based in California which provides a 12-month warranty for this product that ensures the quality of design and durability.
3. Foxelli Dual USB Solar Charger 21W
Another valuable and quite popular solar charger in the market is the Foxelli Dual 21W solar charger.
This product has also been manufactured using the latest technology in solar panel manufacturing from SunPower with a conversion rate that reaches up to 24% which is one of the highest in the market. Smart charging is also an important part of this product which identifies requirements of the device that is being charged and can properly distribute current output between devices as needed. The Foxelli solar charger can charge to 2 devices at the same time delivering up to 3.5A in total.
Moreover, a unique feature of this charger is that it includes a built-in ammeter which shows you how much power is the solar panel producing and delivering to the device, this is an important feature as you will be able to know when and on which angle the solar charger is producing more power.
Besides, the charger can be coupled with any USB powered device and especially with electronics such as the iPhone X, XS, Max, 8 Plus, and the Samsun Galaxy S10, S9, S8, Note and more. GoPros, Kindles, and iPads can also get charged with the Foxelli product.
Portability is another important feature of this product using up to 11 built-in loops along with two carabiners which will allow you to easily attach the solar charger to your backpack or camping tent. Its 1.22 lbs. will make it easy to carry everywhere in every experience.
4. RAVPower Solar Charger 24W Solar Panel
Rav Power brings this valuable product that features solar cells with efficiency values up to 21.5% – 23.5%. Perfect for portable applications such as travels, camping and outdoor activities of any kind.
Moreover, the charger is also perfect for hiking activities since its solar panels are lightweight (almost 50% lighter than other solar chargers). It also features four built-in loops which will be perfect for hanging on a tent or tree and especially useful when you are on the go as you can attach it to your backpack while the product is using the sunlight that is reaching to your backpack to charge your devices.
Unlike other solar chargers, the Rav Power product holds three USB ports which are equipped with an iSmart technology that automatically detects and delivers the optimal charging current for all the connected devices at once. The maximum output that can be delivered per port is 2.4A and up to 4.8A in total when the charger is exposed to sunlight. Two micro-USB cables are also included in the product to make it even easier for you.
An important tip to consider is that the solar charger cannot be placed directly on high heat conduction surfaces such as concrete or sand since the heat on the backside of the module will drastically reduce performance.
5. WISSBLUE 60W Portable Foldable Solar Panel Charger
The WissBlue solar charger is a higher capacity product with a power output of 60W suitable for charging smartphones, iPads, iPhones, digital cameras, GoPros and GPS.
The charger features 3 USB port outputs with fast charging technology and a SmartIC chip that identifies the device that you want to charge and optimizes electrical current values to reach higher charging speeds that protect your device from overcharging or overloading. Each port has a maximum electrical current output of 2.4A with a total 6A output for all three USB ports.
An interesting feature different from previous solar chargers in this list is that the product is also compatible with solar generators through its 8mm, 5.5*2.5 mm and 3.5*1.35 mm 5V DC adapters for Goal Zero, Suaoki and Paxcess portable generators respectively. This compatibility adds an important feature that will allow users to use solar power at night by storing it in power banks or solar generators.
Moreover, the 60W power output of the module is also combined with a 23.5-25% efficiency value that maximizes sunlight conversion into DC electricity. The product is also made with a fiber oxford cloth that protects the solar panel from water and makes it wear-resistant. However, the junction box located on the backside of the charger is not waterproof, therefore it cannot be submerged or laid down on the water.
6. Nekteck 21W Solar Charger
Another good choice is the 21W Neckteck solar charger. Designed with high efficiency monocrystalline solar cells and based in SunPower’s Maxeon technology, the charger can reach conversion efficiencies that range between 21%-24% and provide enough power as to charge smartphones, iPads, and other USB devices.
The charger features 2 USB ports, each one with 2A output per port or 3A output overall. The smart IC chip technology on the product also detects the USB connected devices and simultaneously charges both of them to reach high charging speeds while protecting them from overheating.
Moreover, the canvas surface withstands typical outdoor use and the PET polymer guarantees an IPX4 waterproof protection which covers your charger from splashing water in any side and direction.
The product also includes 5 loops for hanging or attaching the charger and also features two carabiners which will make it even easier and faster for you to attach the charger in the front side of your backpack.
7. BigBlue 5V 28W Solar Charger
The Big Blue product is a remarkable solar charger that has a 28W output that features four solar panels designed with efficiencies between 21.5%-23.5% which are located between the best values for solar power efficiency. Moreover, the size (11.1 x 6.3 x 1.3 when folded) and weight (21oz) of the charger makes it perfect for outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, or even fishing. An interesting feature of the charger is that it includes an ammeter that allows you to see and detect when the solar charger is producing electricity and on which tilt angle generates a higher electricity output.
As with other solar chargers, this product also features a SmartIC Technology that allows the charger to detect the device’s required performance for optimum charging with a fast speed charging capacity that reaches up to 2.4A per port and up to 4A overall. Manufactured with a PET polymer surface, the module can be protected from splashing water, rain or wet fog thanks to its IPX4 waterproof rating.
The Big Blue solar charger has fail-safe protection and a 24-month warranty.
8. SUAOKI 60W Solar Charger
Suaoki is one of the top brands in the portable solar power sector with multiple products and with good quality standards.
This is why the Suaoki solar charger could not be missing in this list. The 60W portable solar charger acts as the perfect charger for laptops and power stations. A unique feature of the charger is that up to 10 connectors are included for different laptop inputs that will allow you to charge almost any laptop (except for Mackbook) without needing an inverter or a wall outlet to charge it.
The charger includes both 5V and 18V DC outputs that will be used for USB devices (5V) or laptops and power stations (18V). Regarding the power stations, multiple brands will be able to get connected such as Suaoki, Goal Zero, Paxcess, Webetop, and many more. Multiple DC connectors will also be available for these power stations.
Moreover, the Suaoki TIR-C technology is similar to the smart IC technology available in other chargers that will optimize solar charging for each device.
The only factor where Suaoki does not matches other solar chargers is in efficiency values as they are close to 20%, not bad, but not the best.
Compatibility, portability, performance, and quality are the reasons why this solar charger is located among the top models in the market.
9. X-DRAGON 40W Solar Charger
Similar but not equal to the Suaoki model, the X-Dragon solar charger is another valuable choice for those customers who are looking for a solar charger that suits both USB devices and laptops.
The X-Dragon product is manufactured with a USB port of 5V and 2A output that has been designed to power smartphones, GPS, digital cameras, iPads, Kindles, GoPro and other USB devices. Moreover, an 18V/2A DC output is also included for charging laptops and even solar power stations. Nearly 10 connectors are also available for multiple laptop inputs.
The product also features carabiners, USB cables, a DC cable and a SolarIQ technology that includes the smart IC chip to optimize current and voltage to the required power output for the charging device. Ideally 2.8 A will be delivered.
Solar panels are protected against the water with a rugged high-wear Oxford fabric with weather resistance durability while they are also protected against short circuits and surges. An important difference with Suaoki is that efficiencies reach between 22% and 25%, but power output is lower.
10. Yolk Solar Paper 10 Watt Solar Charger
Finally, the solar charger that could not be missing on this list is the Yolk Solar Paper. A unique and remarkable solar charger that has the size of a smartphone is the perfect companion for everyday experiences.
There is no level of competition when referred to size and weight when compared to other solar chargers, simply the Yolk Solar Paper is better in every sense related to portability.
Among other interesting features, the solar paper can be expanded to output wattages higher than 10W by simply using magnets that attach one to the other to create a larger solar panel with a single USB output. Every two added solar papers will increase capacity in 5W.
The solar paper also features an LCD screen that shows the electrical current output that is being generated by the panels.
Due to the size and power capacity of the solar paper, it is mostly used for charging smartphones like Samsung, LG, Nokia and others as well as iPhones and iPads.
What Should I Know Before Purchasing a Solar Charger?
When choosing solar chargers there are multiple parameters that you must be aware of and that you should take into account when selecting a specific model.
The first parameter that you should look for when selecting a solar charger is the efficiency of the solar cells Almost every solar charger will be based in monocrystalline solar panels, the only way to differentiate one from the other is considering the efficiency values that the cells are designed for.
The portable solar charger market is often a little bit above in terms related to efficiency when compared to regular size solar panels, generally, efficiencies between 20% and 25% should be selected when looking for solar chargers. Currently, choosing a solar charger with an efficiency value of 17%-19% would already be too low for the current status of the market.
The efficiency will be an indicator of how much solar energy can be converted into DC electricity through the solar cells, therefore is one of the top factors that you should consider.
The next parameter that you must add into your analysis is the power output. Generally, power outputs for solar chargers will be located between 10W and 60W. The power output gives a reference of the electrical current output that can be obtained from the solar charger, higher power output will mean that you will be able to charge more devices faster. Most solar chargers are rated at values close to 25W which will be enough to charge most common electronics such as smartphones and other gadgets.
Another parameter to consider is related to portability. Most solar chargers will have small sizes and have a lightweight, it is a basic requirement. However, some of them are more suitable for demanding activities such as hiking where weight and size are very important, while others may also be suitable for camping, picnic or maybe fishing activities where the weight and size do not constantly impact in the activity that you are doing.
All solar chargers will have a folded size dimension and an unfolded size dimension, you must carefully select the one that fits your requirements under a folded size for carrying. If you are looking for a hiking or backpacking solar charger, then you must also take a look at the unfolded size charger as it should not be bigger than the backpack you have.
Another important aspect is related to the charging options that you have. Some solar chargers are only suitable for USB devices, some will have two charging outputs while others will have three and maybe four charging outputs. This is important to consider depending on your requirements related to the number of electronics that you want to get covered with solar.
You must also keep in mind that not all solar chargers are capable of charging a laptop. An 18VDC output must be available for this purpose and you must be careful in choosing a solar charger with the right connector for your laptop. Also, evaluating the electrical output of each USB or DC port is important to compare with the required input for your electronic device, for optimum charging, the required input should be lower than the actual electrical output of each USB port.
Solar chargers are the most valuable gadgets that you can have in whichever outdoor activity you are involved in, choosing one or another is highly dependent on the type of activity. For instance, features like portability are crucial for backpacking and hiking activities, while others like power output are more important for camping and picnics. Meanwhile, waterproof ratings are deeply necessary for fishing and sailing activities.
We have evaluated some of the most remarkable solar chargers in the market, mostly all of them are located between 10W and 60W with efficiency values between 20% and 25%. Features such as waterproof ratings, loops, anti-scratch covers, weight and sizes, ammeters and others are always valuable to consider when selecting solar chargers. With these tips and evaluating the activity that you will be performing, you will be able to select the most accurate solar charger for you.