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Solar Powered Phone Charger

Best Portable Solar Phone Charger Reviews 2019: Top Picks For Every Need

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 amounts 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 at a time, 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 at home and your colleagues at the office.

As long as you get several hours of direct sunshine every day, your devices will work - forever.

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:

  • Best Solar Charger Overall
  • Best Foldable Solar Charger
  • Best Solar Power Pack for A Weekend Hike With Friends
  • Best Solar Charger for a Week-Long Camping Trip
  • Best Budget Solar Charger
  • Best Waterproof Solar Power Pack

We also cover what features and limitations to look for when buying a solar phone charger or a solar-charged power pack.


Best Solar Phone Chargers (2019)

Disclamer: All links below go to Amazon.com

SunJack Solar Charger
  • SunJack Solar Charger

  • Best overall
  • Solar Power Output:
    25W

  • Charging Ports:
    2

  • Storage Capacity:
    20,000mAh

  • Dimensions (Unfolded):
    24.5" x 12.5" x 1"

  • Weight:
    2.7lbs

Anker Solar Charger
  • Anker Dual USB Solar charger

  • Most portable
  • Solar Power Output:
    21W

  • Charging Ports:
    2

  • Storage Capacity:
    None

  • Dimensions (Unfolded):
    26.4" × 11.1" x 0.2"

  • Weight:
    0.9lbs

WissBlue Solar Charger
  • WissBlue Solar Charger

  • Best for charging laptops and tablets
  • Solar Power Output:
    60W

  • Charging Ports:
    4

  • Storage Capacity:
    None

  • Dimensions (Unfolded):
    58" x 13.7" x 1.1"

  • Weight:
    6.1lbs

ToughTested Solar Charger
  • ToughTested Bigfoot Portable Solar Power Bank

  • Best for rugged conditions
  • Solar Power Output:
    400mA

  • Charging Ports:
    3

  • Storage Capacity:
    24,000mAh

  • Dimensions (Unfolded):
    2" x 4" x 8"

  • Weight:
    1.65lbs

Blavor 20Ah QC3.0
  • BLAVOR Solar Charger

  • Best wireless charger
  • Solar Power Output:
    300mA

  • Charging Ports:
    3 + wireless charging

  • Storage Capacity:
    20,000mAh

  • Dimensions (Unfolded):
    6.9" x 3.5" x 1.1"

  • Weight:
    1.5lbs

Soaraise 25Ah
  • Soaraise Solar Charger

  • Best value
  • Solar Power Output:
    5W

  • Charging Ports:
    2

  • Storage Capacity:
    25,000mAh

  • Dimensions (Unfolded):
    10.4" x 6.1" x 1.3"

  • Weight:
    1.1lbs

Foxelli Solar Charger
  • Foxelli Solar Charger

  • Best for camping
  • Solar Power Output:
    10W

  • Charging Ports:
    2

  • Storage Capacity:
    None

  • Dimensions (Unfolded):
    24.6" x 8.7" x 0.6"

  • Weight:
    1.1lbs

RAVPower Solar Panel Charger
  • RAVPower Solar Panel Charger

  • Best for charging multiple devices
  • Solar Power Output:
    21W

  • Charging Ports:
    2

  • Storage Capacity:
    None

  • Dimensions (Unfolded):
    20.7" x 11.6" x 1.5"

  • Weight:
    1.3lbs


Best Overall: SunJack 25W Solar Charger With 2 Power Banks

SunJack 25W Solar Charger

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.

Features 

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.

Limitations 

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.

Summary 

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.


Most Portable: Anker 21W Dual USB Solar Charger

Anker 31W 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.

Best Features

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.

Limitations

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. 

Summary

Best Solar Powered Phone Charger

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. 


Best For Charging Laptops & Tablets: WissBlue 60W Solar Charger for Camping

WissBlue 60W Solar Charger

If you want a more powerful and versatile solar charger that can juice up your laptop, tablet, camera and other devices, we recommend the WissBlue 60W solar charger.

Features 

60W kit: The four solar panels produce up to 60W of power, which is plenty enough to charge a laptop in direct sunlight.

You can also charge your tablet, smartphone, camera and most USB-chargeable devices.

Note that the solar charger does not come with a power storage option, either internal or external. So unless you have your own power bank, the only way to use it is in direct sunlight.

Four output options: The solar panel has four charging ports: one USB 3.0 port (3.3A), two USB 2.0 ports (2.4A) and one 18V DC port. The charger’s Smart IC technology ensures safe, fast and efficient power delivery to your devices.

Stainless steel holes: The holes make it easy to hang the unfolded solar panel on your backpack for on the go charging, on your tent or on a tree.

Waterproof: Don’t worry about the rain. The PET solar panels can withstand all weather conditions without any damage. However, the junction box where the ports are is not waterproof. So try to keep it protected.

Great for Power-hungry Devices 

If you need to carry your laptop, tablet or camera outdoors for an extended period, this is the best portable solar charger to carry in your backpack.

Limitations 

The WissBlue solar charging kit is a bit heavy. Keep that in mind when you are packing for your trip. It adds about 6lbs of weight to your bag.

Summary 

The WissBlue 60W Solar Charger is the best choice for charging laptops and tablets on the go. It’s a bit heavy but makes up for it with a compact foldable design that makes it easy to carry.


Best For Rugged Conditions: ToughTested Bigfoot 24Ah Portable Solar Power Bank

If you are looking for a portable solar phone charger that can withstand the rough outdoors, the ToughTested portable solar bank is tough in both name and design.

It also has one of the largest capacities of any power bank.

Features 

24,000mAh power bank: The built-in Lithium-Ion battery holds 24,000mAh of charge, enough to charge an iPhone more than 10 times and a MacBook Pro around 3 times. You can also charge a camera, drone and any other device that can be charged via USB.

400mA solar panel: Unlike other portable solar charges, the ToughTested Bigfoot is just a thick brick with integrated small solar panels on top. So it doesn’t capture as much solar power. It’ll take about a week to charge the internal battery via solar. But you don’t have to wait for the battery to fill up to charge your phone. 4-5 hours in the sun is enough to charge your phone once.

USB rechargeable: If you need to fill up the power bank faster,use the two hidden USB ports on the side. There’s a micro USB port for standard recharging and a USB-C port for fast recharging.

Three charging options: As for charging your devices, you have three options: two USB-A ports with quick charge 3.0 and one USB-C port (same one you use to recharge the power bank).

IP67 protectionThe Bigfoot solar charger/power bank is dustproof and waterproof. You can submerge it in 1m of water for 30 minutes and it’ll be fine. It’s also designed to withstand impacts and accidental drops. So whether you are going rock climbing, hiking or fishing, the Bigfoot solar charger is the perfect companion.

Flashlight: The Bigfoot power bank comes with a built-in flashlight that you can set to a steady beam, strobe light or SOS signal.

Great for Outdoor Adventurers 

If your hobbies often take you to some pretty rough places, the ToughTested solar charger won’t have a problem keeping up.

Limitations 

The main limitation is the slow solar charging. But it won’t really be an issue if you only need to charge one or two devices or you’ll be away for just a couple of days.

With a full day of charging in the sun, the battery can recharge your phone. If you’ll be gone for just a day or two, you can charge the power bank at home and it’ll last you the entire trip.

Summary 

ToughTested 24Ah Portable Solar Power Bank

The ToughTested Bigfoot solar charger is a great choice for outdoor enthusiasts looking for a tough and rugged solar power bank.


Best Wireless Charger: Blavor 20Ah QC3.0 Compatible Solar Power Bank 

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.

Features 

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.

Limitations 

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.

Summary 

The Blavor solar power bank is a great choice for anyone looking for a high-capacity power bank that supports wireless charging.


Best Value: Soaraise 25Ah Solar Charger With Power Bank

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.

Features 

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.

Best Deal 

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.

Limitations 

The Soaraise solar power bank lacks quick charge 3.0 and doesn’t have a USB-C port as well.

Summary 

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.


Best For Camping: Foxelli Dual USB Solar Charger

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.

Features 

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.

Limitations 

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.

Summary 

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.


Best for Charging Multiple Devices: RAVPower 21W Solar Panel Charger

RAVPower 21W Solar Panel Charger

If you need to quickly charge two smartphones, the 21W RAVPower solar charger is a great choice.

Features 

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.

Limitations 

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.

Summary 

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.


Buying a Solar Charger? Look For These Features

1. Capacity

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.

Solar Powered Phone Charger

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.

Solar Powered Phone Charger

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.

7. Portability

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. 

8. Weatherproofing

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. 

9.  Accessories

Finally, check what accessories the solar charger comes with. At the very least it should include one or two USB charging cables.


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.


About the Author David Roberts

I'm a Mechanical Engineer who's obsessed with solar energy and sustainable living.

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