We all know the sudden panic that sets in when we see a “low battery” warning on our smartphone, tablet, laptop or other device. But what if you’re not around a power source to plug in and juice up? Whether you’re hiking in a national park, camping outdoors or just walking around town these best portable solar chargers can help keep you powered up courtesy of the longest running battery and energy source around: The sun.
Best Overall: Wildtek Source 21W Waterproof Portable Solar Charger
The highly efficient Wildtek 21W portable solar charger is a solution for staying charged no matter what environment you find yourself in. Compatible with a slew of devices (thanks to its dual USB ports), the Wildtek offers ultra-efficient solar cells resulting in faster charging time that’s nearly two times quicker than competing models. Measuring 6.6 x 12.4 x 2.2 inches and weighing 2.1 pounds, the Wildtek folds flat to charge and re-charge and folds right back up for extra portability and smaller storage. The built-in stand helps you find the perfect angle to absorb as much sunshine as possible for the fastest re-charge time. Easy to fit into a backpack or clip to a bag with the included carabiners, the Wildtek is IP65 rated as one of the first fully waterproof solar chargers available today (it’s also dustproof).
Best Splurge: X-DRAGON 40W SunPower Solar Panel Charger
Thanks to a super-sized 40W solar panel charger, the X-Dragon offers a beefy 2.8A (Amps) of power capable of re-charging smartphones, tablets and even some smaller laptops. Built-in to the X-Dragon is a 5V/2A charging port for a 5V gadget and a 18V DC output (18V/2A) for charging a laptop or other 18V powered devices. Fortunately, all that extra juice doesn’t mean an unwieldy size; the X-Dragon maintains a slim and foldable profile that’s easy to carry around. It can go in or on a backpack with the included carabiner that hooks directly to a bag. The 10-in-1 connector cables enable it to charge just about any type of device, while the incorporation of SolarIQ technology helps achieve the appropriate current and voltage to deliver max power. Ultimately, the X-Dragon is an ideal combination of portability and power that can keep you going for days.
Best Battery Life: Voltaic Arc 20 Watt Solar Laptop Charger Kit
Backed up by a whopping 19,800mAh battery, the Voltaic system’s 20W solar charger kit packs a punch when it comes to charging devices. This waterproof and scratch-resistant solar charger offers enough juice to fully charge a laptop in around 6.5 hours (smartphones can see a full charge in 60 minutes). Weighing 3.25 pounds, the Voltaic system isn’t as lightweight as the competition, but it’s still highly portable. Measuring 7.5 x 10 x .8 inches, it remains compact enough to tuck away into a bag for on-the-go use. The total battery life can handle one full laptop charge, seven smartphone charges, 3.5 charges to DSLR batteries and nearly two full charges for a full-sized iPad. The 73-watt solar cells can re-charge fully in around 6.5 hours.
Best for Camping: Jetsun Solar Charger 16750mAh Portable Solar Power Bank
Designed with the outdoor camper in mind, Jetsun’s portable solar charger is ready to help you out with all your power needs, thanks to a 16,750mAh battery and compact solar panel. With dual USB output ports, it’s easy enough to charge a smartphone and other portable devices that might come in handy during nights in the woods. A built-in LED light helps it serve dual purposes as a nightlight and shows you the amount of charge left in the power bank. The shell consists of wear-resistant plastic and is waterproof, shockproof and dustproof. Taking around 8 to 10 hours to fully charge, the Jetsun can charge a smartphone from 0 to 100 percent in around two hours. Overall it’s portable, durable and can hang on a backpack and charge while you’re on the move.
Best Phone Charger: Dizaul 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank
With an ultra-portable design, the Dizaul 5000mAh portable solar power bank is the ideal solution for keeping your smartphone charged. With dual USB ports, it’s easy enough to share with a friend and charge two devices simultaneously. Fortunately, its water-resistant design and shockproof casing make it easy to travel and attach to the outside of a carry-on bag (there’s an included hook). An emergency flashlight helps you quickly find any lost items and the smart LED indicators alert you when the battery is charged or requires a re-charge. It takes around two hours to charge a smartphone and the AC charging time of the Dizaul is around six to seven hours (it takes around two days of sunlight to completely re-charge due to the smaller solar panel surface). It measures 2.76 x 5.59 x .55 inches.
Best for Hiking: Nekteck 21W Solar Charger
The portable and compact design of the Nekteck 21W solar charger is a fantastic and highly efficient solution for hikers who want to stay charged while on the trail. With dual USB ports, the Nektech keeps your iPhone, Android and tablets charged whether you’re on an adventure or sitting at the kitchen table. The built-in smart IC chip helps identify each device plugged in and helps determine the appropriate charging speed (either 3A or 2A), which maximizes overall battery life. The build quality matches its use-case with a rugged canvas designed specifically for outdoor use. Come rain or shine, the Nekteck will be ready to go. It weighs only 18 ounces and measures 6.3 x 11.1 x 1.96 inches folded or 26.3 x 11.1 inches when open.
Best for Water-Resistance: Sokoo 22W
Water-resistant and durable, the Sokoo 22W portable solar charger has a PVC fabric canvas that can withstand thunderstorms, high humidity and even splashes from the ocean. The included Smart IC circuit helps maximize battery life through the dual USB chargers by determining the type of connected device and the appropriate output power. With a max charge of 3.3A or 2.4A on the 5V port, the 12.2 x 6.69-inch (when unfolded) and 17.5-ounce design is ready to go wherever the road takes you. The included attachment hook makes it ideal for connecting to a backpack while you’re on the trail or walking around town.
Best for Durability: Aukey 28W
This industrial-strength 28W solar charger is designed to be tough, rugged and used anywhere. Supported by high-efficiency solar panels (up to 23.5%), the Aukey delivers up to 2.4 amps per port or 4.8 amps overall while powered under direct sunlight. The 28W solar array offers enough power to simultaneously support two devices at once courtesy of the dual USB port design. The design is composed of PET laminated scratch-resistant solar panels and a water- and weather-resistant PVC fabric. Compact and lightweight at just 2.1-pounds ounces and nearly 1.8 inches thick when folded, the Aukey is ideal for long hikes, camping or just spending a day in the park. Attaching it to a bag with any of the four included carabiners makes it easy to open flat, attach to a backpack and charge while you’re enjoying walking around outdoors.