Best Portable Solar Chargers of 2019

I am sure we are on the same wavelength when I say that dead phones are not of much use. Aren’t we?

Now, of course if your phone is broken it has other uses but if it just needs a little juice then there is no point in destroying it.

The good news for us is that the sun never stops shining for us (at least during the day), and we can put those rays to good use when our phones are in need of a charge.

After finding that our Freeloader Supercharger was just junk we’ve rounded up some of the best solar chargers available to help you when it comes to choosing the right one for your needs.

Best Portable Solar Chargers in Short

ProductAmazon Link
Anker 21W Dual USB Solar ChargerUK/US
RAVPower Solar Charger 24W Solar PanelUK/US

SUAOKI Portable Solar Panel

UK/US
Goal Zero Guide 10 PlusUK/US

Powertraveller Solar Adventurer

UK/US
In a Hurry?
If you are in a hurry, then I suggest that you just have a look at the following two models below.

  • Anker 21W Dual USB Solar Charger – Incredibly durable, compact, 2 USB ports. UK/US
  • Powertraveller Solar Adventurer – USB socket for charging 5V devices. Fully water and shock resistant. Supplied with bespoke travel case and carabiner. UK/US

1. Anker 21W Dual USB Solar Charger – Our Pick

This portable charger is not one of the cheapest on the market but it came out on top because it’s worth it.

This type of solar charger is one of the fastest ones available in the stores. Exclusive to Anker, PowerIQ discovers and replicates your device’s original charging protocol to provide its fastest possible charging speed up to 2.4 amp per USB port or 3 amps overall.

Carrying it around is not a problem because just like most others, the Anker solar charger is light weighing in at only 14.7oz and it’s thin too at 1.1in folded or 0.2in opened so it fits easily in your rucksack.

It couldn’t get any simpler to use, just spread out the solar panels or attach to your rucksack, plug your devices in and you’re away.

Another advantage of having this solar charger is that it has short circuit and surge protection technology that keeps you and your devices safe.

Thanks to its Industrial-strength PET plastic faced solar panels that are sewn into high-wear polyester canvas, it ensures that it’s able to withstand the trials of your outdoor adventures, making it a perfect fit with your survival kit.

At Anker, we believe in our products. That’s why we back them all with an 18-month warranty and provide friendly, easy-to-reach support.

Anker charger

As you can see in the image above it has a nice little pocket to hold your devices while they charge.

Pros
  • Super efficient
  • Nice and compact
  • Great value
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Pocket on the small side
  • not compatible with the iPod nano, iPod Classic, iPod Shuffle, HP TouchPad and Asus tablets.

2. RAVPower Solar Charger 24W Solar Panel – Best Design

If two ports isn’t enough then maybe you should check out the RAVPower 24W Solar Panel offering not two but three USB ports for your devices. Constructed with RAVPowers premium SUNPOWER solar charging cells, charging efficiency has increased to 21.5% – 23.5%.

We don’t like big and bulky and the RAVPower is neither of these. This comes in at only half the size of what many on the market do that do the same thing. But don’t be fooled, this may be smaller but it is capable of generating just as much energy without the extra baggage.

When placed under direct sunlight, all three ports are individually capable of reaching 2.4A; with a total of 4.8A being reached when all three devices are simultaneously charging.

Many products that try to add extra USB ports can often result in an uneven distribution of power where one device charges faster than the other. With the built-in Smart IC chip of the RAVPower, the flow of energy is regulated resulting in every device charging at an even and constant rate. 

 

As long as the RAVPower is placed under the sun, it will charge. It can be placed on the ground or attached to your pack using the four stainless steel hooks. And, if the weather changes, the waterproof nylon covering protects the solar panels while the pouch ensures your devices stay dry.

Pros
  • Ability to charge 3 devices at once
  • Easy portability
  • Large storage pocket
Cons
  • A bit on the heavy side
  • With 3 devices connected, it started to struggle slightly

3. SUAOKI Portable Solar Panel – Most Durable

Coming in third and mid-price we have the SUAOKI Portable panel. This is the same as many foldable solar panels with a nice rugged design. It does however boast a higher wattage than a lot of others which means that it will even charge some devices that have a higher power demand such as hybrid tablets.

Let’s have a look at the best features of the SUAOKI Portable Solar Panel and why it makes our list of the top 5 portable solar panels.

  • Quality-built SunPower cells convert up to 23% of solar power to energy; besides, the sundials can help you to find the perfect angle to absorb as much sunshine as possible for the fastest charging.
  • QC 3.0 FAST & SMART CHARGING: automatically recognizes your devices to provide the optimal charging current input and speed up the charging process to minimize charging time.
  • 3 USB PORTS: powerful enough to charge up to 3 devices simultaneously; built-in 2 Micro USB (5V 3.1A) ports and 1 Quick Charge (4V 3.6A/ 5V 3.4A/ 9V 2.5A/ 12V 2A) port; let it be your backup in case of a power outage.
  • DIRT & SPLASH-PROOF: features an IPX4 waterproof rate, which is resistant to spraying water and dust, no matter the direction; great for any outdoor activities such as camping hiking climbing and more.
  • PORTABLE & LIGHTWEIGHT: ultra-thin and foldable design makes it easy to carry; make full use of the eyeholes and attach it with carabiners to your backpack whenever you go out, also comes with ropes for you to hang the panel onto your tent.
To obtain the optimal tilt angle of the collector(Sundial Stand), please make sure the dot on the dial reflects a shadow perfectly at the centre in the white background.

This is a powerful bit of kit but this will not charge standard laptops, which are impossible to hook up to it in a reasonable way, and which require more power than it can provide.

Pros
  • Rugged, portable, and powerful
  • Three ports
  • Mounting stand
Cons
  • Doesn’t have a power bank
  • Panels overheat easy

4. Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus – Best Functionality

I am sure that you have come across, or at least heard of Goal Zero while looking around for a portable solar charger. We stumbles across the Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus and have to say, it is a neat bit of kit.

You can use this not just as a single unit power pack to power your device but also as a power source to recharge the batteries for use in any AA or AAA battery powered device.

Unlike the solar chargers above, this only has the one main USB port which makes it seem a little on the expensive side but I think it more than makes up for it with the ability to charge AA/AAA batteries also.

In the box you receive the following:

  • Guide 10 Battery Pack
  • Nomad 7 Solar Panel
  • Ultra Charge Solar Cord
  • 12V cigarette adapter
  • AA rechargeable batteries (4 pack)
  • Manual
  • Warranty

If your product breaks “due to a defect in workmanship or material” during the warranty period then Goal Zero will repair or replace it for you. Just save your sales receipt.

All of the above fits nicely into the zippered pocket at the back of the solar panels.

A handy and bright built-in LED light is always with you on the top of the battery pack. It can be used to find things in your backpack or purse in the dark. The light runs for over 150 hours before needing a charge.

With 7 Watts of charging power this solar panel will charge the battery pack in about 3-4 hours.

Pros
  • Super lightweight
  • Good design
  • Can be hung up or strapped just about anywhere
  • Flexibility of charging both AA and AAA rechargeable batteries
Cons
  • For the price it’s not the fastest of charges

Powertraveller Solar Adventurer – Most Reliable

While the Powertraveller Adventurer is a very reliable charger, it is not fast. The good thing is that although it charges fairly slowly, it doesn’t glitch out like some others on the market.

The design is simple but sturdy, although a better USB rubber protector would be better as it is a bit flimsy. I like the ability to charge up both in the sun and via mains / USB.

In this updated version they have increased the battery capacity from 2500mAh to 3500mAh, and they made the USB output port 5V and 2 amps for modern, power-hungry devices.

Let’s take a look at what you get:

  • Compact and lightweight solar charger with integrated lithium battery
  • USB socket for charging 5V devices (smartphones, iPods etc.)
  • Fully water and shock resistant
  • Supplied with bespoke travel case and carabiner
  • In built battery charges iPhone / smartphone up to 2 times

For what you get I believe this is a bit on the expensive side but like I mentioned earlier, it IS reliable.

Pros
  • Simple design
  • Very reliable
  • Rugged
Cons
  • Slow charging
  • Small battery
  • Not powerful enough
  • Bit too expensive

So what is your go-to portable solar charger? Have any of the above and want to share your own views? We’d love to hear from you so let us know what you think in the comments below.

If you enjoyed this post, check out our pick of the top 3 budget friendly solar powered flashlights and our pick of the best backpacks of 2018.

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