Looking For The Best Solar Phone Charger For Your Smartphone?
Do you need a power pack that will generate power no matter where you go or how long you need to be gone?
You've come to the right place.
The Problem With Phone Battery Packs
Most people think about getting a portable battery pack when they need to keep their devices charged on the road.
Power banks are great - but only for limited amount of time. If you are going on a day trip, they are perfect.
But if you work outdoors or expect to be away from a power source for days, you can't rely on a rechargeable power bank.
You need a solar powered phone charger.
Perfect for Emergencies
Solar phone chargers are great to have around in case of an emergency.
If there is a power outage, you can still charge your phone. Which means you won't lose your connection to your family and your colleagues.
As long as you get several hours of direct sunshine every day, your devices will work - fine.
Types of Solar Phone Chargers
There are many different types of solar phone chargers that are designed for outdoor use, camping trips, indoor only use - and more.
That said, the price you pay mostly depends on the amount of power the unit stores, measured in Watts (W) or Amp-hours (Ah).
The most expensive solar chargers can charge several phones and tablets at a time.
Mid-priced solar chargers can charge up to two phones at a time and are very dependable for that.
Budget models are where you can get into trouble. These include most low-cost solar phone cases. Most of these will NOT keep your phone charged if you use it a lot.
When NOT To Buy One
Solar phone chargers are not for everyone.
If you aren't going to be in a place where you can count on at least a few hours of direct sunlight each day, then don't waste your money. Opt for a less-expensive power bank, instead.
Or, if you already have a larger portable solar charger for camping or home backup purposes - such as the popular Goal Zero Yeti 400 - then you have plenty of backup power to charge your phone as well as other devices such as laptops, tablets, and lamps.
Note: If you want a more powerful home power backup solution, read our guide to the leading home backup solar generators. If you want a solar power station for camping, boating and other off-grid uses, then check out our reviews of camping & RV solar generators.
What’s In This Guide?
This guide reviews the best solar-powered phone chargers you can buy online today.
Through many hours of research, we've selected great choices in several categories including:
We also cover what features and limitations to look for when buying a solar phone charger or a solar-charged power pack.
Best Solar Powered Phone Chargers: Reviews
- 1Best Overall: SunJack 25W Solar Charger With 2 Power Banks
- 2Most Portable: Anker 21W Dual USB Solar Charger
- 3Best For Tablets: Hiluckey Solar Charger & Battery Pack
- 4Best Wireless Charger: Blavor 20Ah QC3.0 Compatible Solar Power Bank
- 5Best Value: Soaraise 25Ah Solar Charger With Power Bank
- 6Best For Camping: Foxelli Dual USB Solar Charger
- 7Best for Charging Multiple Devices: RAVPower 21W Solar Panel Charger
- 8Best for Charging a Small Solar Generator: X-DRAGON 40W Solar Charger
SunJack Solar Charger
- Best overall
Solar Power Output:
24.5" x 12.5" x 1"
Anker Dual USB Solar charger
- Most portable
Solar Power Output:
26.4" × 11.1" x 0.2"
Hiluckey Solar Charger
- Best for tablets
Solar Power Output:
13.9” x 6.1”
BLAVOR Solar Charger
- Best wireless charger
Solar Power Output:
3 + wireless charging
6.9" x 3.5" x 1.1"
Soaraise Solar Charger
- Best value
Solar Power Output:
10.4" x 6.1" x 1.3"
Foxelli Solar Charger
- Best for camping
Solar Power Output:
24.6" x 8.7" x 0.6"
RAVPower Solar Panel Charger
- Best for charging multiple devices
Solar Power Output:
20.7" x 11.6" x 1.5"
X-DRAGON 40W solar charger
- Best for Charging a Small Solar Generator
Solar Power Output:
26.8” x 20.9” x 0.2”
1. Best Overall: SunJack 25W Solar Charger With 2 Power Banks
With two power banks included, the SunJack 25W solar charger is the best choice for most people.
You can charge your phone directly from it or store solar power in the power banks to charge your devices at night.
25W Kit: The 25W solar kit produces more power than most portable solar phone chargers. This allows it to charge devices pretty quickly especially in direct sunlight.
It charges a smartphone just as fast as a wall outlet.
ETFE Panels: The foldable panels have a layer of ETFE instead of PTE like most portable solar panels. ETFE panels are more efficient, last longer and can withstand rough environments much better.
This makes the SunJack solar charger perfect for hiking, camping and other outdoor activities.
Two power banks: The solar panel comes with two 10000mAh power banks that you can charge with the solar panel. They allow you to keep your phone charged even when there’s no sunshine.
The power banks feature Quick Charge 3.0 and USB-C charging.
Two USB ports: When it’s sunny, you can connect your devices directly to the two USB ports integrated into the solar panel.
A smart IC chip allows the ports to recognize your device and deliver just the right amount of power to ensure fast and safe charging
The Best Choice for Most Outdoor Enthusiasts
The higher power output, addition of two power banks (with USB-C) and lightweight foldable design makes the SunJack solar charger kit a great choice for most outdoor enthusiasts.
At 2.7lbs, the kit is a bit heavier than most portable solar phone chargers. It’ll add some weight to your backpack when you are out hiking.
It’s also a bit pricey but that’s expected considering it comes with a pair of power banks. Too bad there’s no option of just buying the solar kit without the power banks.
If you are looking for a solar phone charger that will juice up your smartphone or tablet quickly, we highly recommend the SunJack 25W solar charger.
2. Most Portable: Anker 21W Dual USB Solar Charger
The Anker USB solar charger is a compact and highly portable smartphone and tablet solar charger.
It uses fast-charging technology to charge your devices quickly, even with two phones connected at the same time.
PowerIQ charging technology – The Anker solar charger can deliver the maximum amount of power possible to the devices that need it most. PowerIQ makes your phones charge faster and makes it possible to charge two devices simultaneously.
Compact design – At just 11 inches wide when folded, this Anker solar charger can fit just about anywhere, making it perfect for traveling. And when unfolded, it only measures 18 inches long. It contains loops at the corners for easy attachment to your backpack, tent or tree when outdoors.
2 USB ports – charge up to two devices at the same time. You also get an extra-long 3-foot cable for frustration-free charging.
Durable and weather-friendly – The PET polymer solar panels are sewn into a weather-resistant polyester canvas. It can withstand dust and even a little drizzle. But the weather proofing isn't IP67 (or even close) - so keep this one out of inclement weather.
Wide compatibility – the Anker solar charger is compatible with Android and Apple devices including the iPad, Samsung Galaxy, iPhones, Note 5 and HTC. It will charge any smartphone or tablet.
Great For Outdoor Hiking & Camping Trips
Anyone planning to spend extended time outdoors. With as few as 2 hours of direct sunlight every day, you can keep your phone charged. It’s great for hikers, campers, backpackers, cyclists and professionals engaged in field projects.
The slim lightweight design makes the Anker solar charger easy to carry around. You can even connect it to your backpack in such a way that it charges as you walk.
It’s a must-have tool for anyone going outdoors for longer than a day or two.
One common complaint is that there is no easy way to secure the solar charger to your backpack, like Velcro. Even with the loops at the corners you still have to improvise a way to attach the solar charger.
Also, note that this is not a completely weather-proof solar charger. While it will withstand many rough outdoor conditions including scratches and occasional tumbles, you should keep it out of rain and snow.
If you are looking for a lightweight easy-to-carry phone solar charger for hiking or camping, this is one of the best.
Despite its compact size, it charges up to 2 smartphones surprisingly fast.
3. Best For Tablets: Hiluckey Solar Charger & Battery Pack
If you often carry your tablet with you when traveling and outdoors, the Hiluckey solar charger is a great choice.
The foldable solar panel doesn't put out a ton of power, but the integrated battery pack can charge a tablet more than three times.
5W solar panel kit: The solar panel kit consists of four solar panels, which produces a combined 5W of power. That’s not very high, but it’s enough to keep the power bank charged as long as there’s enough sunshine.
You can lay the solar panel kit on the ground to charge or hang it from your backpack if you are on the move.
Integrated power bank: The Hiluckey solar charger includes a 25,000mAh power bank. It lets you charge your phone and tablet at any time, even when you are indoors or it's dark. The battery capacity is enough to charge most tablets 3-4 times and a smartphone 10 times or more.
Just remember to unfold the solar panels when the sun is out to recharge the power bank.
Two output ports: The power bank comes with two outlets, both 2.1A 5V ports. So you can charge two devices at the same time.
A micro-USB cable is provided. But if you have a modern tablet or phone that uses USB-C, you’ll need to get a USB-A to USB-C charging cable.
Waterproof with built-in light: The Hiluckey solar charger is great for rough outdoor activities like hiking, mountain climbing, and rock climbing.
It has a rugged design that is waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof.
The built-in LED light also comes handy in the dark. You can set it to normal, strobe, or SOS mode.
The biggest limitation of the Hiluckey solar charger is the solar power output. The 5W solar panels take a long time to fully recharge the power bank - about 30-45 hours depending on sun intensity.
If you have multiple devices to charge or you charge your tablet more than twice a day, the power bank will not recharge fast enough for you to charge your devices.
The Hiluckey solar charger and battery pack is the best choice for anyone looking for a lightweight and portable solar charging kit that can keep their tablet and phone charged.
Just make sure you’ll get plenty of sunshine wherever you are going. The solar panels will need plenty of it to charge the battery pack.
4. Best Wireless Charger: Blavor 20Ah QC3.0 Compatible Solar Power Bank
If your smartphone supports wireless charging, we recommend the Blavor 20Ah solar power bank. If not, you can still charge your devices through one of the USB ports, including a USB-C port.
20,000mAh power bank: Like ToughTested Bigfoot, Blavor is mostly a power bank rather than a solar charger. The internal battery has a generous 20,000mAh capacity, enough to charge your smartphone, laptop, tablet and other devices several times over.
300mA solar panel: This is just a bonus feature for use during extended outdoor adventures. It’ll take several days to charge the battery with solar.
Wireless fast charging: The Blavor power bank offers 10W, 7.5W and 5W QI wireless charging. The power at which the power bank charges will depend on your smartphone model. iPhone 8 charges at 7.5W while the Samsung Galaxy S10 supports 10W fast charging.
3 USB charging ports: If your phone doesnot support wireless charging, you can charge the old fashioned way using one of three USB ports: a USB-C port, a 9V USB port and a quick charge 3.0 USB port.
USB rechargeable: You can recharge the power bank via the USB-C or micro USB port.
Flashlight and compass: Two built-in tools that outdoor enthusiasts will love. The flashlight has a steady, strobe and SOS mode.
IPX5 protection: It’s not quite as rugged as ToughTested Bigfoot but the Blavor power bank can withstand an accidental splash or light rain. It doesn’t offer dust protection.
A Great Choice for Modern Smartphones
Most power banks still rely only on traditional USB charging interfaces. The Blavor power bank offers convenient and fast wireless charging for modern smartphones.
You won’t find the integrated solar panel very useful. It takes forever to charge the power bank.
Luckily, the battery holds enough charge to last you several days. Fill it up at homeand you can recharge your phone several times.
But if you are going on an extended trip, the small solar panel can come in handy.
The Blavor solar power bank is a great choice for anyone looking for a high-capacity power bank that supports wireless charging.
5. Best Value: Soaraise 25Ah Solar Charger With Power Bank
With a decent 5W solar output and a built-in 25,000mAh power bank, the Soaraise solar charger is one of the best deals we’ve seen.
5W solar kit: The solar panels have decent power output. Unlike other power banks that take over a week to charge via solar, the solar panels take 2-3 days to fully charge the power bank. The solar panels fold out to provide a wide surface area while still being easy to carry.
25,000mAh power bank: That’s enough to charge an iPhone 8 almost 10 times and an iPad Mini 4 over four times. Even with two smartphones, the power bank can last through a week long camping trip.
Dual USB ports: The Soaraise doesn’t offer USB-C or quick charging. You get two basic 2.1A dual USB ports. For the price, I’ll accept them gladly. Intelligent IC technology provides fast and safe charging.
Micro USB input: A faster way to recharge the power bank is via the micro USB port. It takes about 12-15 hours to recharge from a wall outlet.
Flashlight: A built-in flashlight offers a steady, strobe and SOS mode.
Solar power banks can be pricey. If you are on a budget, the Soaraise solar charger is one of the best deals you’ll find.
It has a huge power bank and solar panels that don’t take forever to charge the battery.
The Soaraise solar power bank lacks quick charge 3.0 and doesn’t have a USB-C port as well.
If you don’t mind the lack of quick charge and USB-C, the Soaraise solar power bank is a great choice. It offers the best value for your money.
6. Best For Camping and Rugged Use: Foxelli Dual USB Solar Charger
This is another good choice if you are looking for an affordable way to keep your phone charged when you are outdoors.
We especially recommend it for camping because of its lightweight and portable design and the versatility of setting up the solar panels.
10W foldable solar panels: The 10W solar panels take about 6-7 hours to fully charge most smartphones. The foldable design makes for easy portability while providing a large surface area. Note that there’s no power storage option; direct solar charging only.
Dual USB charging: The two USB ports can charge smartphones and just about any USB-chargeable device including Bluetooth speakers, smartwatches and power banks. Just know that large devices like laptops will take much longer to charge. The ports have smart IC technology to detect devices and deliver the highest safe current.
Rugged: The PET panels are resistant to water, dust and debris.
Versatile set up: Once you unfold the solar panels, you can set them up in multiple waysusing the built-in loops. You can hang them from your tent, your backpack while hiking or from a tree. The solar charger comes with two carabiners.
Great Choice for Campers and Hikers
The lightweight and foldable design makes the Foxelli solar charger a great choice for campers and hikers.
With a 10W solar output, it takes fairly long to fill up your smartphone. Thankfully, you can easily charge on the go so you don’t have to sit there waiting for your phone to charge.
The Foxelli Dual USB Solar Charger is a great choice for campers and hikers looking for a lightweight solar phone charger they can use on the go.
7. Best for Charging Multiple Devices: RAVPower 21W Solar Panel Charger
If you need to quickly charge two smartphones, the 21W RAVPower solar charger is a great choice.
21W Solar panels: The higher wattage solar panels can charge multiple devices faster compared to 5W and 10W panels.
Dual USB output: You can charge two devices at once using the two USB 5V ports. You can connect two smartphones, a smartphone and a tablet or a smartphone and a power bank. Smart IC technology recognizes connected devices and delivers the highest safest power for fast charging.
4 hooks: The integrated hooks let you hang the solar panels from just about anywhere including your backpack for on the go charging, your tent or a tree.
Great Choice for Camping with Friends or Family
If you’ll be sharing a single solar charger with your family or friends, this is the best one to carry. The 21W output lets you quickly charge two smartphones at the same time.
The charging speed slows down significantly when you connect two devices at the same time. But it’s still faster than a 10W solar panel.
To get the fastest charging time, charge just one device at a time.
The RAVPower 21W solar charger is a great choice for campers and hikers looking for a solar charger that can charge two devices relatively quickly.
8. Best for Charging a Small Solar Generator: X-DRAGON 40W Solar Charger
If you need a solar charger powerful enough to charge both your smartphone and a small portable power station, we recommend the X-DRAGON 40W solar charger.
It comes with several connectors that are compatible with different solar generators.
In addition to your phone and power station, the X-DRAGON can also charge your laptop and other 18V devices.
40W solar output: The 40W solar panel is one of the most powerful we have seen in any solar phone charger. The high wattage is what makes the X-DRAGON suitable for charging portable power stations and laptops.
Suitable for phones, tablets and laptops: You can plug in your phone, tablet and other USB-chargeable devices into the 5V USB port. There’s also an 18V DC port for laptops and other 18V devices. This is also where you charge a power station from using one of the connectors provided.
Plenty of accessories: The X-DRAGON solar charger comes with almost everything you need. This includes a USB cable for devices, a 5.5mm x 2.1mm cable for charging a small portable solar generator (such as the Jackery Station Explorer 240) and a DC cable with 10 different connectors.
Foldable design: To get 40W of solar power, you need a fairly large surface area. The X-DRAGON’s foldable design allows it to offer a large charging area while remaining easily portable. Unfolded, it measures 26” by 20”. It folds up into a portable case measuring 10” by 6”.
All-Round Portable Solar Charger
The biggest reason to get the X-DRAGON solar charger is its versatility. With the high output, dual outlet and 10 connectors, you can charge a wide range of devices including portable solar generators, laptops and smartphones.
For a solar charger with such a high output, the X-DRAGON has limited output options. You only get two ports, and only one is USB. That means you can only charge two devices at the same time.
If you want to charge multiple devices at the same time, we recommend getting a multi-port power bank. Charge it through the USB port, and then charge your devices from the power bank.
The X-DRAGON solar charger could be better when it comes to ports, but we still think it’s a great choice for campers and other outdoor enthusiasts. The high output, charges a wide range of devices quickly.
Buying a Solar Charger? Look For These Features
The first thing you should always look for when shopping for a solar-powered phone charger is its power capacity.
For solar-only chargers, look for the wattage provided by the solar panels. The higher the number of watts, the faster it will charge your phone and the more devices it can charge at the same time. We recommend a minimum of 15 W.
For combined solar and power bank chargers, look first at the capacity of the battery pack. It’s denoted in mAh. The higher the number, the more power it can store, and the more times it can charge your phone.
2. Solar Panel Efficiency
Solar panels are surprisingly inefficient. Most convert just 14% of the solar energy that reaches them.
But modern solar panels are getting much better.
For example, RAVPower's chargers use panels with an efficiency between 21% and 23%. Generally, the higher the solar panel efficiency, the better.
3. Number Of Ports
At a minimum, a solar-powered phone charger should have two charging ports. If possible, buy one with three. The extra USB ports come in handy when you have multiple devices, or you need to charge someone else’s phone. You can plug in 2 or 3 phones at the same time.
4. Fast Charging
Look for a solar charger with fast-charging technology. It’s especially important for solar chargers that accept multiple devices. Fast-charging shortens the charging time even with 2 or 3 devices plugged in at the same time.
Anker calls their technology PowerIQ, while RAVPower calls theirs iSmart.
5. Power Input
Regarding power input, there are two types of solar-powered phone chargers; those that rely on just solar energy and those that can be powered by either solar or a standard electrical outlet.
Dual-input (solar and outlet) chargers are handy when you need a backup for use at home and short-term travel. This is because they usually have very weak solar panels that can barely charge the battery when you are away from an outlet.
Solar-only chargers are best suited for camping and hiking. They have higher-efficiency and capacity solar panels that can provide enough power to keep your phone charged wherever you are.
6. Integrated Battery Pack
Solar chargers with an integrated battery pack are usually dual input chargers. They are meant to be charged mainly through a power outlet, not the low-capacity solar panels.
If you spend a lot of time outdoors, then I recommend getting a solar charger without an integrated battery pack.
Instead, buy a solar-only charger and charge a couple of external battery packs with it - for additional power when there is no sunshine.
Look for a solar charger that is easy to carry around in your backpack or travel bag. It should have hooks, Velcro or just a way to attach it to your bag when traveling. Anything weighing a pound or more is too much.
If you will be using your solar charger outdoors, it’s important that the charger you buy can withstand the worst outdoor conditions you can expect. This includes dust, falling and water (to a degree). Check whether the charger has an IPxx rating which shows whether it’s proofed from dust and water.
Finally, check what accessories the solar charger comes with. At the very least it should include one or two USB charging cables.
Best Portable Solar Chargers for Different Needs
Here are some additional tips for buying the best portable solar phone chargers for specific needs and situations.
Best Solar Phone Charger for Hiking
Portability is the most important factor when shopping for a solar phone charger for hiking. Look for a charger that’s lightweight and which you can hang from the back of your backpack to charge your phone on the go.
It should be foldable so you can easily pack it in your bag when you don’t need it.
High output is not super important since you’ll be in the sun for hours. A 5W-21W solar charger is enough to charge one or two phones at the same time.
Best Solar Phone Charge for Camping
Unless you already have a high-capacity portable power station, consider getting a high-output solar phone charge for camping.
More output (at least 30W) means more versatility. You can charge your phone, power bank, camera, drone and even a small solar generator.
Portability is also important. If you’ll be driving up to the campsite, you can afford to get a large and heavier solar charger with more output.
Best Solar Phone Charger for iPhone
Any 5W-21W solar charger will charge an iPhone in a few hours. The type of USB ports doesn’t matter in terms of compatibility with your iPhone. USB to Lightning cables are easy to find.
But keep in mind that special USB ports such as USB-C and Quick Charge-enabled USB will charge your iPhone faster.
When charging your iPhone using a solar charger, remember to keep the phone shaded to prevent overheating. Don’t place the solar charger on a hot surface like a rock or concrete as that could reduce its efficiency and output.
Best Solar Power Bank
If you don’t want to be limited to charging your phone during the day when the sun is out, get a solar power bank.
This is primarily a power bank with a low-output solar panel built-in for emergencies when you cannot recharge the power bank via USB.
One advantage of buying a solar power bank is that they typically come with more charging options than standalone solar chargers. Many offer USB-C, USB Quick Charge and even QI wireless charging.
Best Solar Phone Chargers For Home Backup
A solar charger is a great way to keep your phone and/or tablet charged when there’s a power emergency at home.
If you plan to charge multiple devices for everyone in the household, get a high-output solar phone charger with several outlets. This will let you charge multiple phones quickly at the same time.
It’s also a good idea to get a solar charger with an integrated power bank, unless you already have a high-capacity power bank.
A power bank ensures you can still charge your devices at night or when the weather is bad (e.g. during a hurricane).
We also recommend getting a solar phone charger with fast charging technology. This is especially important for large households where you need to charge many devices.
Portability is not very important, so you can afford to get a bigger kit with a larger solar panel and bigger battery pack.
Limitations of All Solar Phone Chargers
The biggest limitation of ALL solar phone chargers is also what makes them so great: the sun.
Without direct sunshine falling on your solar charger, it’s not going to charge your phone or will do so painfully slowly.
This is especially a bad problem for combo solar chargers that have integrated battery packs. They often include such low capacity solar panels that it would take days of perfect sunshine to recharge the battery.
Normally, you won’t get perfect sunshine, even in the summer. Clouds can form, or you may be traveling through a thickly wooded area.
That’s why I recommend you get the highest wattage solar phone charger you can afford. It will charge your phone faster even with limited sun exposure time.
If you are planning to spend more than a couple of days in the wild, don’t get an integrated solar charger+power bank unit. According to most campers, this type of integrated charger will frustrate you because of the low wattage solar panels, sometimes as low as 1 watt. Instead, get a high capacity solar-only charger and buy a couple of battery packs to charge with it.
Another issue with many solar phone chargers is their lack of versatility. They can only produce enough power for small devices.
Unlike larger portable solar chargers, you cannot use them to power your laptop, lamp or medical device.
The payoff is that you'll get a charger small enough to put in your pocket.
Portable Solar Phone Chargers: Frequently Asked Questions
How long does a solar phone charger take to charge a phone?
If the solar phone charger has a built-in power bank, your phone will charge in 2-3 hours depending on how much power the USB port delivers (ports with fast charging technology deliver more power) and the battery capacity of your phone.
If your solar phone charger doesn’t have a battery, meaning you are charging directly from the solar panels, charging time depends on how much sunshine there is and the wattage of the solar panels.
A 21W solar phone charger can fully charge a phone in as little as 2-3 hours in direct sunlight. In poor sunlight with a low-wattage solar phone charger, it can take a whole day or even a couple of days to charge your phone.
How long will it take to charge a solar phone charger?
It depends on the capacity of the battery inside the solar phone charger. On average, it takes 1-3 days to charge a solar phone charger depending on the amount of sunlight received.
Most solar phone chargers offer the option of recharging the battery using an AC outlet or a car’s 12V socket. This shortens charging time to just a few hours.
Why does my solar phone charger sometimes stop charging my phone?
If you notice your solar phone charger occasionally stops charging your phone, it’s probably because there isn’t enough sunlight. This usually happens when a cloud passes over the sun.
Wait for the sun to re-appear, then unplug and plug in the charger to get it working again.
Can I use a solar phone charger inside the car or house?
It’s not a good idea. For best results, do not place the solar phone charger behind a window. It may charge slower or not charge at all because it’s not receiving adequate sunlight.
Are solar phone chargers compatible with all smartphones?
Solar phone chargers are designed to charge all kinds of phones. They deliver the minimum voltage and current most phones need to charge. Most have smart features to prevent too much voltage or current.
As for the types of ports on the solar charger, that’s usually not an issue. That’s because it’s easy to get a cable that ensures device compatibility.
For instance, most devices nowadays have USB-C ports. If the solar charger has the older USB-A port, a USB-A to USB-C cable will work to charge your device.
Do solar phone chargers work on cloudy days?
Solar phone chargers will still produce power even on cloudy days. But they’ll produce less power and will charge your phone or power bank slower.