The Top 5 Solar Chargers For Backpacking

solar charger reviews 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 BigBlue Solar Charger.

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Our Pick
[Upgraded]BigBlue 3 USB-A 28W Solar Charger(5V/4.8A Max), Portable SunPower Solar Panel Charger for Camping, IPX4 Waterproof, Compatible with iPhone 11/XS/XS Max/XR/X/8/7, iPad, Samsung Galaxy LG etc.
Nekteck 21W Solar Charger(5V/3A Max) with 2 USB Port, IPX4 Waterproof Portable and Foldable Hiking Camping Gear SunPower USB Solar Panel Compatible with iPhone, iPad, Samsung Galaxy, and More
A ADDTOP Solar Charger Power Bank - 25000mAh Portable Solar Phone Charger with 4 Solar Panels & Dual 2.1A USB A Outputs External Battery Pack for Phones Tablets Outdoor Camping
Foxelli Dual USB Solar Charger 10W - Portable Solar Panel Phone Charger for iPhone & Android Smartphones, iPads, Android Tablets, Power Banks & More, Solar Power Charger for Camping & Outdoors
Budget Friendly
Solar Power Bank, Qi Portable Charger 10,000mAh External Battery Pack Type C Input Port Dual Flashlight, Compass, Solar Panel Charging (Orange)
Manufacturer
BigBlue
Nekteck
ADDTOP
Foxelli
BLAVOR
Reviews
Price
$75.96
$62.94
$44.99
Price not available
$28.99
Our Pick
Preview
[Upgraded]BigBlue 3 USB-A 28W Solar Charger(5V/4.8A Max), Portable SunPower Solar Panel Charger for Camping, IPX4 Waterproof, Compatible with iPhone 11/XS/XS Max/XR/X/8/7, iPad, Samsung Galaxy LG etc.
Manufacturer
BigBlue
Reviews
Price
$75.96
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Preview
Nekteck 21W Solar Charger(5V/3A Max) with 2 USB Port, IPX4 Waterproof Portable and Foldable Hiking Camping Gear SunPower USB Solar Panel Compatible with iPhone, iPad, Samsung Galaxy, and More
Manufacturer
Nekteck
Reviews
Price
$62.94
More Information
Preview
A ADDTOP Solar Charger Power Bank - 25000mAh Portable Solar Phone Charger with 4 Solar Panels & Dual 2.1A USB A Outputs External Battery Pack for Phones Tablets Outdoor Camping
Manufacturer
ADDTOP
Reviews
Price
$44.99
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Preview
Foxelli Dual USB Solar Charger 10W - Portable Solar Panel Phone Charger for iPhone & Android Smartphones, iPads, Android Tablets, Power Banks & More, Solar Power Charger for Camping & Outdoors
Manufacturer
Foxelli
Reviews
Price
Price not available
More Information
Budget Friendly
Preview
Solar Power Bank, Qi Portable Charger 10,000mAh External Battery Pack Type C Input Port Dual Flashlight, Compass, Solar Panel Charging (Orange)
Manufacturer
BLAVOR
Reviews
Price
$28.99
More Information

Best Solar Chargers For Backpacking

1. BigBlue Solar Charger

BigBlue Solar Charger review

The BigBlue Solar Charger

BigBlue’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.

BigBlue’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 BigBlue 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.

2. Nekteck Solar Charger

Nekteck Solar Charger review

The Nekteck Solar Charger

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.

3. ADDTOP Solar Power Bank

ADDTOP Solar Power Bank review

The ADDTOP Solar Power Bank

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.

4. Foxelli Solar Panel Charger

Foxelli Solar Panel Charger review

The Foxelli Solar Panel Charger

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.

5. Blavor Solar Power Bank

Blavor Solar Power Bank review

The Blavor Solar Power Bank

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.

Do Solar Power Banks Really Work?

Here is a great YouTube video that tests if solar chargers are actually viable: