Solar panels are a great way to charge your electronic devices when on the move, hiking or camping or a living off-grid on a boat or in an isolated wooden cabin. Increasingly portable, solar panels are integrated with batteries to make small solar banks which can continue to charge your equipment after the sun goes down, or fitted with converters with USB ports for direct charging of all your electronic devices or into a solar generator. This article will focus on the best portable solutions for your energy needs.

Comparison Table

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Key Factors to Consider before Making a Purchase

  • Capacity; how much electrical charge can your solar panel can generate 
  • Weight 
  • Quality
  • Durability

It is important to determine how much energy you will need, and for what purpose before making make a decision. The higher the capacity, the more energy the device will hold. We recommend a minimum of 15000mAh capacity as that will fully charge one regular smartphone once.  The weight is a significant factor, especially for hikers and the quality of the solar panels will determine the amount of time it will take to achieve a full charge. Regular solar power banks range from charging at 22% efficiency, but this can increase to 40% for higher quality products. Most portable solar chargers are water-resistant, but not all are waterproof, however,some include rubber caps to cover USB ports for added protection. Most portable solar banks are made of a strong, rugged design, ideal for use when hiking or camping.

Product FAQs

1. What Is a Solar Panel?

2. What Does a Solar Panel Do? 

3. How Does a Solar Panel Work?

4. Where Can You Buy Them? 

What We Reviewed

  • Teryei Portable Solar Power Bank
  • Portable Solar Charger by BEARTWO
  • CXLiy Portable Charger Power Bank Solar Charger
  • Cobra Electronics CPP 300 SP Dual Panel Solar USB Charger
  • Anker PowerPort Solar 2 Ports 21W Dual USB Solar Charger for iPhone 7
  • Solar Charger with Strong LED Flashlight by URWILL
  • Soluser 25000mAh Portale Solar Power Bank 
  • Hobest Portable Charger with Dual Output Type C & Micro USB
  • Friengood Solar Charger
  • ALLPOWERS 10000mAh Solar Charger

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Features 

Key Features of this product include a 15000mAh capacity which can be fully charged via the micro USB cable included, in around 7 hours. It will take a full week to charge completely via solar power. It is waterproof and dustproof and features a compass and a metal hook for easy attachment to backpacks and coats. Lights indicate the amount of charge in the battery, with all four blue lights on indicating that it is fully charged.

Pros

  • Durable 
  • LED light charge indicators
  • Compass      

Cons

  • Slow
  • Heavy – 320g
  • List Element

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Features 

One of the lightest, and smallest, portable solar chargers, weighing only 187g, this device is ideal for hikers. It is durable and water resistant and made out of silicone and PC material. Its additional features include a mini flashlight with an SOS and flashing light mode and it has dual-USB ports. It is quick to charge via cable, taking only 4-5 hours, so it is a great little device for emergency back-up if you are going hiking for a few days, and charge it up before you leave.

Pros

  • Lightweight 
  • Dual USB ports covered by a rubber cap  
  • Fast

Cons

  • Slow to charge via solar energy
  • ​
  • List Element

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Features 

This portable solar charger has  a capacity of 25000mAH and three ports. A smart LED display indicates the level of battery charge available. It has blue LED lights that indicate battery power, and also a double flashlight. It is made of a strong waterproof design.

Pros

  • High capacity
  • 3 outputs
  • AC adapter 
  • 2-year warranty  
  • LED dislay

Cons

  • Heavy – 480g
  • Slow
  • List Element

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Features 

The Key Features of this product include a dual-panel design which increases the total surface available for solar charging making it faster than single panel chargers. Fully charging from solar power takes from 8-12 hours. It has a capacity of 6,000mAH, and an LCD Display which shows the battery level.

Pros

  • 3 ports
  • Light – 250g
  • Fastest to charge from the sun

Cons

  • Fairly expensive

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Features 

Key Features of this product include three panels instead of one. Although this solar charger does not include a battery, it is one of the most efficient in converting solar energy.  Anker PowerPort is foldable and lightweight, with hooks to enable easy attachment to your backpack.  It can directly charge your devices while the sun is shining, via two USB ports or it will charge a separate power bank. It has 21.5-23.5% efficient solar panels, and with three of them, you will be able to charge your devices faster, with some reporting this charger to be as fast as a wall socket in full sunlight.

Pros

  • Dual USB ports
  • Powerful        
  • Lightweight
  • Fast

Cons

  • No battery
  • Heavy

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Features 

Key Features of this product include a dual USB port and built-in 52 LED Flashlight. At a capacity of 1000mAh, it will charge a small smartphone 2.5 times, and is also water resistant, with multiple circuit protection, which prevents overheating and overcharging. 330 g in weight, it is easy to carry on your bacpack.

Pros

  • 24 White LED flashlight  
  • Perfect for iPhone charging
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Slow to charge via solar

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Features 

Key Features of this product include the capacity to charge a smartphonee 5-6 times once fully charged. Incredibly durable it is water resistant, and  relatively fast to charge via solar power, taking 2-3 days to achieve a full charge. It has a dual-USB port so can charge two devices simultaneously.

Pros

  • High capacity – 25000mAh   
  • 2 USB ports, max 2.1 A
  • Battery level light indicators
  • Flashlight
  • Robust

Cons

  • Expensive 
  • Heavy – 440g

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Features 

Key Features of this product include an incredible capacity of 135000mAH  and a type C and micro USB Dual input port.  It has a lightweight design, with a hanger. This charger includes an extra compass and four blue light indicators which displaythe amount of charge in the battery. There is also a build in LED Flashlight for emergency lighting and it's water-resistant, dustproof and shockproof.

Pros

  • Huge capacity – 13500 mAH 
  • Emergency LED light
  • Blue light indicators of battery charge   
  • Compass and whistle
  • Hook

Cons

  • Slow – up to 75 hours for a full charge from solarPrice

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Features 

Key Features of this product include dual ports, 25000 mAH capacity, and 4 LED lights which show the amount of charge in your battery. This charger is lightweight and durable with a hook for easy attachment to your backpack.

Pros

  • 2 x 5V ports, 1A and 2A        
  • Available in orange, blue and black
  • 18-month warranty 

Cons

  • Heavy – 478g
  • Not waterproof
  • Slow

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Features 

Key Features of this product include multiple ouput options, which mean that you can not only charge your smartphone via its USB port but also you laptop (18V) or attach the solar panel charger to your 12V car battery. It operates on 23.5% solar conversion efficiency rate, and it comes with a range of connectors. It will fully charge in 15 hours of full sun, or in eight hours via a normal 1A input. The Connectors and DC cable, carabiners, cigarette lighter plug, clip line, and instruction manual are all included in the price.

Pros

  • Multiple voltage outputs including an 18V DC output (18V/12A)
  • Powerful
  • ETFE Coating which lasts up to 25 years
  • Short circuit and surge protection

Cons

  • No battery
  • Only 21% efficiency
  • Slow to charge via solar power

The Verdict

For an efficient, lightweight back-up device for a short weekend hiking trip, or similar,  the Portable Solar Charger by BEARTWO 

is the best option.   If you require something that can provide an efficient and reliable energy source for daily use, the sturdy fold-up solar panels of the ANKER POWERPORT SOLAR 2,  coupled with a separate battery or a solar bank is an economical and efficient option.

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