The Top 5 Solar Chargers For Backpacking
Whether it’s your smartphone or GPS, tech gadgets can have a huge impact on your comfort, enjoyment, and safety on a trek. Unfortunately, the battery life on most devices is, quite frankly, pathetic. And while a standard power bank can help, the fact you can’t recharge this means you’ll soon run out of juice. Thankfully, there is a solution for your backpacking travels: a solar charger.
Solar power chargers offer all the benefits of a traditional power bank, except you won’t need to find a power source to charge them. Instead, you can simply charge the unit through the power of solar energy, which essentially enables you to keep all of your electronic devices suitably charged for the duration of your backpacking adventures.
Sound good? Of course it does! Still, the solar charger for backpacking will only be an excellent investment when you choose a quality product. There are many options on the market, and we’ve shortlisted five of the best to ensure you find the perfect product. Happy backpacking.
For those of you in a hurry, our choice for the Best Solar Charger For Backpacking is the RAVPower Solar Charger.
Best Solar Chargers For Backpacking
RAVPower’s lightweight solar charger unit is ideal for backpacking as it can be folded up for easy storage while the materials and overall design protect the panels from damage. More importantly, though, the solar charger produces excellent results in terms of charging.
The 24W solar cells are some of the most efficient on the market, converting up to 23.5% of solar power into useable energy while delivering up to 2.4A of energy to devices, meaning they can be charged at a pleasing speed. The product is designed for a plug and charge process, but using an external battery gives you the best chance for uninterrupted charging.
RAVPower’s product also takes the fact that most users will want to charge several items, which is why the solar charger unit can accommodate up to three devices at once via the USB charging ports. The practical function also extends to the fact that it can be successfully used in virtually all sunny conditions – unlike many cheaper alternatives that will fail to perform in extreme heat.
One of the great things about this solar charger is that even intermittent sunlight can charge your devices. Meanwhile, the sturdy panels and foldable design offer the option to fix the product to the outside of your bag for charging on the go, although it will certainly work best when you’re stationary and have the panels facing the direct sunlight.
While the RAVPower solar charger is a little more expensive than most, there’s no doubt that it is a premium product in design and function. Thanks to its fast output and ability to charge multiple devices at once, it is the perfect option for families and seasoned backpackers.
- Signature Solar Cells: Our 24W solar charging technology increases the efficiency of charging by up to 21.5% - 23.5%
- Easy To Carry: Half the weight of similar solar chargers but equal in power so you can bring it anywhere
- Exclusive iSmart Technology: All three USB ports are equipped with iSmart technology, which automatically detects and delivers the optimal charging current for connected devices; up to 2.4A per port or 4.8A overall when used under direct sunlight
- Triple Port Power: Smart IC frequency technology detects and evenly distributes output current to all three USB ports ensuring every device is evenly charged
- Important Note: Please DO NOT lay the solar panel directly on CONCRETE, SAND, ROCK or other high heat conduction surfaces in direct sunlight – this will cause the solar panel to overheat and significantly reduce the conversion rate and output wattage
The Nekteck solar charger for backpacking is another fold up option that uses D-rings so that it can be easily fixed to a variety of other products for charging on the go. However, you’ll make the most of the dual-charging ports and 2.0A output when stopped and facing the sunlight.
With energy conversion rates of up to 24%, the 21W solar charger will provide an ideal solution even when the sun is blocked by clouds. However, the zipped pouch underneath means that you can safely use the unit even when charging in high heats as the devices you’re charging (cameras, smartphones, etc.) will be kept at a suitable temperature to avoid the threat of explosions.
The charger allows you to keep using your devices while charging, although switching to long charging cables can impact the speed of charge. A current meter will let you know exactly how much you’re getting at any given time, which is very useful when needing to charge items before continuing your exploration.
For the very best results, it’s advised that you charge an external battery pack in one port while charging a device on the other – especially as you will get the maximum 10W per port irrespective of whether using them simultaneously or not. Taking this approach gives you an instant charge and a convenient backup for later in the day.
The Nekteck charger is capable of charging smartphones and other devices at a rate which only falls a little short of wall sockets, making it one of the best on the market. When added to the lightweight design that supports regular movement, this is a backpacker’s dream.
- 【High-Efficieny】The high-efficiency of its three solar Monocrystalline panels cell is based on SunPower Maxeon technology, that allows them to reach 21%-24% of conversion efficiency while providing enough power (up to 2.0A max per port or 3.0 A max overall)
- 【Advanced Smart IC Chip Technology】 Microchip support to detects the electronic devices plugged into the USB ports for fast charging two phones simultaneously under safe conditions as well as the prevention of overheating
- 【Portable and Foldable】The 6.3x 11.1x 1.06 inch (when folded ) small size and 17.3-ounce design that can easily squeeze in your backpack offers portability and simplicity, and the attachment hook makes it ideal for connecting to a backpack while you’re on the hiking or walking around town
- 【Dualable Design】The canvas surface and precision stitching withstand rugged for outdoor use and the PET polymer cover that guarantees IPX4 waterproof level protection will make the panels resistant to water and even dust
- 【Package】Nekteck 21W Solar Charging Panel, 2.6ft(80cm)Micro USB Cable, User Manual
With four solar panel cells and a good electricity conversion rate, the 2500mAh ADDTOP power bank charger combines traditional power bank functions with solar power recharging for an extremely convenient solution for backpacking and extended time outside.
Once sunlight is converted, it can be successfully stored as energy for charging the unit, which will then be used to charge your smartphones, cameras, etc. This means that you can charge the outlet in the day before recharging devices while you camp at night. While solar energy is best captured when facing the direct sunlight in a stationary position, the unit can be fixed to your backpack too.
The charger is very clear in indicating how much charge is available while the dual charging ports allow you to refuel two devices at once via USB. At 5V per unit, you can get a steady charge out of the power bank even when utilizing the dual capabilities. When the power bank is fully charged, you’ll be able to recharge your devices several times over, which is an integral feature for anyone.
Available in five colors and equipped with a powerful LED flashlight capability, this truly is a fantastic option for backpackers that might only experience limited levels of sunlight during their backpacking adventures.
- 25000mAh SOLAR CHARGER: Provides large battery backup for usage during outdoor activities. The power bank can charge iPhone 6 around 10 times, Samsung S6 around 7 times and iPad Air around 3 times on a full recharge.
- 4 FOLDABLE SOLAR PANELS: This Portable Solar Charger is handheld sized, which looks a slightly larger than iphone X when fold. It can absorb more solar energy than ordinary solar charger when unfold.
- FAST CHARGING: Dual USB output ports can charge 2 devices simultaneously up to 5V/2.1A with Quick Charge. Auto-stop when the phone is full charged. This helps protection against over-heating & over-charging situations.
- EMERGENCY LED LIGHTS: The solar power bank equipped bright LED light, works perfectly in darkness, ideal for outdoor trips or emergency events. Easy to carry, you may hang it on your backpack for traveling, hiking, camping.
- WHAT YOU GET: 1* Solar charger, 1* Micro-USB cable, 1* User manual. Note: please don't put the charger in the car to charge by the solar.
The Foxelli solar panel charger is available as a 10W or a 21W unit, both of which take advantage o dual charging capabilities via the charging dock, which is conveniently located in a pouch. The folding polyester design, which incorporates 11 loops for fixing to bags, is one of the best on the market.
With three panels soaking up 16% of solar energy, you can gain a decent charge even when using the dual charging capability. Charging external battery packs during the day through this method will allow you to charge devices overnight. Alternatively, you can plug and charge smartphones and other devices straight into the charger. As long as there’s sunlight, you can charge to 100%.
The charge indicator gives a clear reading of how much power is being gained at any given time. In good conditions, you can charge a full smartphone battery in two hours, which is pretty good going. The solar panel charger itself is very lightweight (1.1lbs) and folds up for very easy storage.
Once folded, the wallet looks very cool thanks to the fox logo and good choice of colors. While this is hardly as important as the performance, it can have a telling influence, not least because the unit is dirt resistant thanks to the polyester. One of the best things to like, though, is that you can still get an acceptable charge when sunlight is intermittent.
The fact that the Foxelli brand is a well-known and highly respected name in the industry provides even greater reassurance. Whether using for a day trek or a two-week expedition, the durable and reliable properties make the solar panel charger a worthy addition.
- FAST & EFFICIENT CHARGING: Polycrystalline cells provide this solar panel charger with enough power to charge 2 devices at the same time! Smart charging technology recognizes the input needed for a connected device and distributes current output accordingly, delivering up to 1.85A in total and cutting down on total charging time.
- WIDE COMPATIBILITY: Use this solar phone battery charger with any USB powered device with 5V DC input voltage. Compatible with iPhone X, XR, XS, Max, 8 Plus, 7, 6s, iPad, Samsung Galaxy S10, S9, S8, S7, S6, S5, Edge, Note, mini, Nexus, LG, HTC, GoPro, Kindle and other electronic devices, including power banks of various capacity. It’s also the perfect backup in case of a power outage.
- PORTABLE & LIGHTWEIGHT: You can easily take this foldable solar panel charger with you on any outdoor adventure! It weighs only 1.10 lbs. and is ultra-thin (1.2” folded). It’s ideal to use while backpacking, hiking, camping, kayaking & other outdoor activities. Features 11 built-in loops and 2 carabiners to easily attach to your backpack, tent or trees, and has a convenient pocket for the device being charged. No matter where you go, you can keep all your devices fully charged.
- WEATHER-PROOF & DURABLE: Don’t worry if those clouds could turn into rain – our solar panels are shielded with industrial-strength PET polymer and sewn into rugged polyester canvas, making it highly resistant to water and dust. Its top-of-the-line construction provides maximum durability and is specially designed to supply you with free energy for years to come, and will never let you down.
- RISK-FREE PURCHASE: Don’t worry about missing Amazon’s 30-day return window! We Offer a 120-day, no questions asked, money back guarantee with our One Year Warranty. If You Don't Like it - FOR WHATEVER REASON - we’ll give you your money back. Buy with confidence!
Available in a choice of three color trims (red, blue, orange), the Blavor solar power bank is a budget solution that provides an impressive performance as well as a number of cool functional features that make it one of the best options on the market – particularly at this price point.
The traditional power bank features are supported by the addition of a solar panel that can catch and store sunlight energy through the day. While this happens at a slower rate than some of the other chargers, the fact that it tops up the standard electricity means that the device can be used in an extremely practical fashion.
Meanwhile, the Blavor device includes a dual LED flashlight, which is very useful for backpackers while the lightweight device also utilizes a wireless charging area for devices that support Qi charging technologies. Shockproof, splashproof, and dustproof properties lend themselves to comfortable backpacking too, especially when you hook it to the side of your bag.
The small yet durable charger also utilizes micro USB and standard USB ports for when you do require wires. The solar charging will provide a limited service as you’ll need several hours to charge the unit in this way. However, when the unit is fully charged from standard power sources before the adventure, the sunlight should keep it topped up for the duration of the trip.
While the Blavor solar power bank only charges one product at a time through the wire (two if you want to charge using Qi tech, this is a small price to pay for the powerful and versatile charging. At this price range, there is no better solution.
- 【Qi WIRELESS & SOLAR POWER CHARGER】NEWEST 10,000mAh power bank especially for outdoor enthusiasts. More than portable solar power bank but qi portable charger as well compatible with iPhone XR/ XR MAX/ XS/ X/ 8/ 8plus, Samsung Galaxy S9/S9plus S8/S8plus and all qi-enabled devices. Truly cable-free and tangle-free.
- 【FRIENDLY REMINDERS ON SOLAR POWER The solar power bank itself can be charged via power outlet(micro usb and type C input port) and sunlight. Yet its recommended to take the solar charging feature as the emergency back-up solution instead of main power sources. It's difficult to produce intensive power via sunlight due to sunlight intensity and panel conversion rate.
- EXTENSIVE TESTED CHARGING TIMES The charging times of BLAVOR solar power wireless charger have been extensively tested. Itself can be fully recharged around 6hours with 5V/2A adapter, It can charge iphone7plus up to 2.2times, iPhone X up to 2.3times, iphone8 up to 3.5times. Best choice for resources of emergency power.
- 【STURDY DURABLE AND COMPACT SIZE The wireless power bank is made of premium ABS fireproof materials and premium lithium polymer battery, highly sturdy and durable. IPX4 Splash proof, Dustproof, Shockproof. Its equipped with USB and type C ports, two flashlights and a compass kit. Light weight and compact size. NOTE: Type C port is used for charging the solar power bank, not for charging your phone, its an input port not a output one!
- 【BLAVOR QUALITY GUARANTEE & BRAND DECLARATION】BLAVOR offers 100%money-back guarantee and timely & considerate customer services, eliminating all your worries about getting this wireless solar power bank. PLEASE NOTE: BLAVOR is the exclusive seller and manufacturer of the solar power bank. Be careful about other counterfeits and we are not responsible for products sold by other sellers. Please make sure you buy it only from BLAVOR.
Everything You Need To Know About Solar Chargers
Here is a great YouTube video that tests different models of solar chargers and gives some good tips: