It feels like it was just yesterday when the idea of a solar phone charger felt like something out of a sci-fi movie or a spy kit. In reality, this was probably true five or eight years ago, but now, solar power has been creeping up on our daily lives for a while. Slowly and steadily, we have gotten used to the idea of solar-powered hot water, stoves, and even entire homes. So, why should phones be any different?
Whether you are trying to go green and reduce your carbon footprint just a little bit further, trying to improve your emergency supply systems (what bigger emergency is there than a dead smartphone?), or improving your camping or trekking kit, solar phone chargers are now available all over the internet. Newer models are lighter, faster, and longer-lasting. And companies have developed a plethora of technologies to target every niche in the market.
This is a top choice for anyone looking for a reliable companion during camping trips, road trips, or other outdoor adventures. It’s sturdy, easy to fold up, and even easier to carry. However, this does not compromise its capacity: 28 watts and a supreme conversion capacity mean that the Big Blue can power up even the hungriest smartphones in the market as well as tablets, cameras, Bluetooth speaker systems, and any other cool gadget that packs a USB-2 port.
Its efficiency was improved by BigBlue’s signature Auto-Adjust function and SmartIC technology, which will keep its charging efficiency at its optimal level, adjusting itself to the recipient gadget’s needs. It comes with 3 USB ports and its own high-efficiency micro-USB cable, but you should find no loss of efficiency when powering up anything through a proprietary cable or a USB-C cable.
The entire package weighs only 1.3 pounds, and thanks to its neatly-placed straps, it can easily be secured on top of your backpack during the hike. Its waterproof casing will ensure nothing gets ruined. When you are not using it, simply fold it back inside your emergency kit or first aid box or even a large pocket.
One of Anker’s best calling cards is the fact that they have sold over 10 million products worldwide and have managed to get rave reviews for nearly every item of their catalog. Such a massive hit speaks of professionalism and experience, but don’t be fooled to confuse it by a shortage in innovation.
Their 21-watt portable solar phone charger is a fast and easy-to-carry power cell and has been thoroughly tested with a variety of smartphone brands and related gadgets.
Its unique anklet shape can be strapped across many surfaces or even your arm for some on-the-go emergency energy. However, it can easily be laid down flat while the crew takes a pit stop, where its compact size will keep it unobtrusive. The self-supportive structure will help you tilt it or place it in many different positions, allowing you to make the most of early-morning rays or a fast-approaching sunset.
An efficiency rating of 23.5% makes this a reliable addition for any adventurer looking to go green.
Light and lightning-quick (at least for a solar charger), the RAVPower’s latest jab into portable green energy is much more than simply a respectable choice for high-end campers and fishing aficionados.
The RAVPower offers enough voltage to charge two devices simultaneously with their corresponding USB ports. Its quick adaptability and 21.5% efficiency places it as a premium-tier player in the solar charger world. It will be equally useful during road trips and in the city alike. By the time next spring rolls in, you will be ready to completely let go of the ball and chain that keeps you close to a socket at all times.
At 1.12 pounds, this model also stands out as one of the lightest models available. However, it is not as sturdy, and you should try not to bang it around too much. Likewise, the manufacturer is precise enough about performance to include a warning: Don’t lay the RAVPower flat on top of dark rocks, concrete, cement, or any other fast-heating surfaces. If it overheats, the cells may not be able to work as well as they should.
The iClever doesn’t have the same muscle as the models mentioned before, but it does provide an extra edge for those who truly need to keep things light and portable.
Designed to be minimalistic, this device offers only one USB port, but it doubles up on efficiency. At a 30% conversion rate, you won’t need to lay down a picnic blanket to soak up the best sun rays. This is enough to ensure that the iClever will continue providing a steady stream of energy even if sunshine is barely “normal” rather than blindingly bright.
Fully waterproof, the iClever will stay functional through a great range of temperatures, from 0℃ to 40℃. In addition, its protective sleeve looks more like a stylish wallet than an oddity, which will help you keep it low-key in those situations where sneaky hands may be lurking around.
Dizaul has opted for a complete redesign on the classic “foldable charger” that spreads out during your rest time. Instead, their completely case-protected solar charger is meant to provide a truly on-the-go experience. Rather than straps, a hook will ensure it provides you with a slow, but steady stream of energy at all times.
If you are a lover of long distances and unexpected detours, you will find this to be a superb investment. It is ideal for travelers and backpackers as well, thanks to its ABS+PC case that guarantees extended durability and shock protection. Even the USB ports are protected with an extra bit of rubber that will ensure the micro-wiring inside won’t get accidentally damaged while you are soaking up the world around you.
And if you are the kind of compulsive gift shopper who is always trying to make the most out of their allotted suitcase weight, the Dizaul charger comes with a final unbeatable bonus. It barely hits one-quarter of a pound, providing you with less load than a big burger.
Not all endurance sports are lonesome experiences – and many, in fact, are best enjoyed with a crew of your most reliable buddies and gadgets. If you have to provide enough solar energy for the entire gang, and would rather not send everyone to buy their own portable charger, why not invest in a portable station instead?
The X-Dragon Panel station provides you with eight full panels of energy and was even designed to look like an old-school home solar panel – only in miniature version. It’s fast, efficient, and strong, possessing an energy retention capability of 25%. Two separate USB ports will actually provide enough juice for even four or five devices at a time, provided you get a proper USB hub. Alternatively, plug in the included 18-volt adapter, and you can charge your laptop outside instead of just your phone.
Finally, the Oxford fabric casing adds to its durability and even adds some weather protection. No light drizzle will jeopardize your equipment, and if you use the small standing hook that comes with it, it will even protect your phone from water damage. That’s a lot of use for only 3 pounds worth of weight.
It was named “Rugged” for a reason. The OUTXE Solar Phone Charger aims to be an inseparable, mandatory companion for all adventurers who are seeking to push the limits of their own routes. That’s why they have managed to merge a solar charger, a power bank, and an emergency flashlight all in one.
Both the solar panels and the power storage cells were made to last. The ability to store power for later, while unnecessary at first glance, will prove invaluable during extended trips. Why waste precious sunlight hours re-charging your phone or GPS locator when you can leave it to charge overnight?
If you run into trouble during the day, on the other hand, its fully-featured Quick Charge support will still get your devices up and running quickly. In addition to 10 ounces worth of charger and case, you’ll also be getting their proprietary micro USB and USB-C cables as well as a carabiner. Its ABS silicone case was designed to be dependable and will act as the ultimate armor for the charger itself.
And at this price, it’s a steal of a deal.
There truly is a niche market for everything! So, if you would like to keep the lightness and convenience of a foldable sleeve sun powered charger with the chance to keep some power reserved for later, the SunJack offers a viable and attractive alternative.
Four flat polycrystalline panels are all efficiently held together by a rugged sleeve, which hides a set of cleverly-placed sewed-in power banks. This means you can take everything in one package – no accidental forgetfulness getting in your way – and still get enough energy to provide up to 10 full smartphone charges in one go. All of this is protected by a high-grade case and waterproof fabric, which allows SunJack to provide a 12-month warranty without any fear.
In between the removable power banks, cables, and three separate ports, the SunJack provides you with two full amps of 20-watt power – enough for your entire crew to get a chance to reload overnight.
The next competitor for the doomsday survival scenarios is CXLLY’s portable solar charger, which includes its own small power bank, high-grade waterproofing, a tri-colored flashlight, and a built-in SOS beacon.
While neither of the safety features may seem important during a zombie attack, they will offer a chance at quick help while off-roading or trekking in the wilderness.
Despite its tiny package, the CXLLY can still carry up to 25,000 MAH worth of energy, available through three separate USB outputs that are compatible with both Android and iOS devices. As a final show of their commitment to reliability, it comes with a 24-month bulletproof warranty.
Solar phone chargers are not only for adventurers and lovers of the extreme. In this day and age, we all deserve a planet-friendly way to stay always connected, even if it’s only for a day trip to the beach.
If investing in military-grade solar stations and emergency kits is not your cup of tea, but you are seeking an affordable alternative to the wall socket prison, the Hiluckey may be the best value you can find. Thanks to its three large panels and dual USB output, this solar phone charger will offer a steady and quick flash of energy for smartphones and tablets alike, right when you need it. Its stylish casing is colorful but still provides decent protection from water and dust alike. It’s available in blue, orange, and black.
Solar-Powered Phone Chargers: Learn What to Look For
Nowadays, there are three main types of portable solar chargers available. Depending on whether you want to prioritize stamina, strength, or portability, you can choose your next purchase from among the following:
Monocrystalline Solar Panels
This is the type of solar technology that has been around for the longest time, and is, therefore, the one that’s available at the lowest prices. Small but heavy, monocrystalline solar panels tend to be portable enough to stash inside a backpack. The amount of power they provide is limited, though. Most monocrystalline models will offer you enough to charge your smartphone back to half-charge, at least, which is more than you need to save your own life. Just keep the game apps closed until the next wall outlet is nearby.
Polycrystalline Solar Panels
Polycrystalline solar panels use the same raw principles as monocrystalline models, but are made from a lattice of small crystals rather than simply one big cell. This provides a remarkable improvement in power capacity and storage, although it does increase the charger’s overall size and weight.
The result is a sturdier solar charger that you can easily keep in your car’s glove compartment if you are going off-road for days on end, and that will be able to bring back your smartphone’s battery indicator back to 100%. They will require more hours of exposure to charge though, and they may slow you down if you are planning to go on a demanding trek or a long hike.
When it comes to solar chargers, CIGS panels are the equivalent of next-gen connectivity. Made from different, much lighter materials (usually a blend of copper, gallium, and selenide), these panels will offer more energy fast. However, their price makes them a significant investment, and a frail one at that. They won’t be as resistant to shocks and scratches as a good old monocrystalline panel.
However, you won’t have to keep them on your back for hours on end, so as long as you remember to secure them properly as soon as you’ve finished feeding your smartphone, they will be worth every dime.