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Best solar phone chargers

Pick the right portable charger for your next adventure

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    charging  a cellphone on the beach using a solar charger

    Solar phone chargers are portable power banks with USB-A or USB-C outlets that can be used to charge your phone or other devices on the go with solar energy. These machines are popular with outdoor athletes, like hikers and backpackers, but they’re also used by everyday individuals who want access to power wherever they are.

    We compared several devices on the market today to select our top picks for best solar phone chargers:

    Hiluckey Outdoor USB-C PortableFeeke Solar ChargerSuperallure Solar ChargerBigBlue Solarpowa 28Riapow Solar Power Bank
    Amazon rating* 4.4 stars 4.2 stars 4.4 stars 4.4 stars 4.4 stars
    Reviews on Amazon* 9,002 4,805 1,801 6,415 10,992
    Price on Amazon* $46.99 $19.99 $45.99 $72.96 $39.99
    Weight 1.34 lbs. 13.4 oz. 1.5 lbs. 1.57 lbs. 1.76 oz.
    Capacity (milliamp-hours) 25,000 mAh 36,800 mAh 43,800 mAh N/A 26,800 mAh
    Wattage 15 watts 15 watts 15 watts 28 watts 15 watts
    Compatibility 2 USB-A and 1 USB-C port 2 USB-A ports Built-in USB-A and USB-C cables 3 USB ports 1 wireless charging spot, 2 USB-A and 1 USB-C ports
    Key feature 4 solar panels for optimum absorption Built-in flashlights and compass Automatically delivers appropriate voltages High wattage for more effective charging Wireless charging capabilities
    *As of publishing

    Compare our top 5 solar phone chargers

    To create this list, we scoured Amazon for the most popular options, plus a few of the lesser-known ones, and compared a few key factors: configuration, capacity, device compatibility, pricing and reviews.

    hiluckey portable power bank
    Hiluckey Outdoor USB-C Portable Power Bank
    • Amazon rating*: 4.4 stars
    • Price*: $46.99 on Amazon
    • Wattage: 15 watts
    • Compatibility: 2 USB-A ports and 1 USB-C port

    Buy on Amazon

    The Hiluckey Outdoor USB-C Portable Power Bank has a battery capacity of 25,000 mAh (milliamp-hours), enough to charge a phone up to 10 times and a tablet up to four times. It can be used for an average of nine days per charge, which is great for backpack or hiking trips. With one USB-C and two USB-A ports, you can charge three devices at once. The design is perfect for outdoor use, with a durable and waterproof exterior and a built-in flashlight.

    Many customers mention opening it up and attaching it to their backpacks while hiking so it charges during their trip. At 1.34 pounds, it’s a little heavier than some others on the market, but it does pack a good amount of power.

    With four large, high-performance solar panels and 15 watts of energy output, this charger can power up to three devices pretty efficiently. According to the company, it can charge a supported device to 50% in 30 minutes.
    This solar phone charger is heavier than others on this list, so it may not be best for those who already have a heavy pack. It is foldable, but it also takes up a bit more space than others.
    Many reviewers are happy with their purchase, with a few customers saying they don’t know what could make it better. According to several reviewers on Amazon, this charger powers up fairly quickly, although some say not as quickly as advertised. A few had issues with the product after a few years, and in one case the battery came apart and became somewhat hazardous. But the majority of reviewers have no issues and recommend it to others.

    feeke solar charger power bank
    Feeke Solar Charger Power Bank
    • Amazon rating*: 4.2 stars
    • Price*: $19.99 on Amazon
    • Wattage: 15 watts
    • Compatibility: 2 USB-A ports

    Buy on Amazon

    The Feeke Solar Charger Power Bank offers lightning charging in a small profile, weighing only 13.4 ounces. It includes built-in safety features like a dual-light flashlight and built-in high-precision compass. With a built-in battery and a wattage of 15, you can charge it up and take it with you on the go, or you can use the solar panels to charge it as needed. The company says it’s powerful enough to juice up your phone several times.

    This device includes a few added safety features that set it apart from other devices — specifically the high-precision compass. The compass, paired with its superbright flashlight, is a nice addition for those who like to adventure off the beaten path.
    This device only charges by USB-A (no USB-C), which isn’t the standard for new devices on the market, so you may have to purchase an additional cord to use the product.
    Reviewers say this device is handy — not just for its solar capacity but its built-in safety features. Some say it doesn’t hold as much juice as it promotes, but most haven’t found it to be a big problem. The small size and profile are a big selling point for most, with many saying it’s easy to pack and use throughout the day. They also say it packs a punch in terms of added features.

    Superallure solar charger power bank
    Superallure Solar Charger Power Bank
    • Amazon rating*: 4.4 stars
    • Price*: $45.99 on Amazon
    • Wattage: 15 watts
    • Compatibility: 1 USB-A, 1 USB-C and 1 lightning cable

    Buy on Amazon

    The Superallure Solar Charger Power Bank brings quite a bit of power, with 43,800 mAh and 15-watt charging. With three built-in output cables (USB-A, USB-C and a lightning cable), a built-in 680-lumen flashlight and two additional ports to support the charging of five devices at once, it’s a bit of an all-in-one. It’s powered by four foldable solar panels, and the built-in smart transformer chip immediately identifies and delivers each device’s required current and voltage.

    This product comes packed with the cables you need for charging, which is a huge convenience factor that no others on this list offer. If you go out with it, you don't need to bring a cumbersome (or easily forgettable) charging cable or three.
    This is the heaviest device on our list at 1.5 pounds, so it may not be the best option for all types of users. If you’re heading out on a hike or backpacking trip, this may not be a comfortable choice.
    Most customers say they bought this device due to its high capacity and built-in charging cords. These two factors make this device convenient and ideal in all kinds of situations. Some say it’s too heavy for backpacking, the efficiency and convenience may make it worth the added weight. Some reviews say the capacity isn’t what the company claims it to be, but others are happy with the purchase.

    bigblue solarpowa solar charger
    BigBlue Solarpowa 28 SunPower Solar Charger
    • Amazon rating*: 4.4 stars
    • Price*: $72.96 on Amazon
    • Wattage: 28 watts
    • Compatibility: 3 USB-A ports and a USB-A-to-C cable

    Buy on Amazon

    The BigBlue Solarpowa 28 SunPower Solar Charger has a wattage of 28, which means it can charge up to three devices more quickly and efficiently than others on this list. The package includes four carabiners, which can be used to attach to a backpack or the exterior of a parked vehicle. While it only has USB-A ports,the pack does include one USB-A-to-C cable. It doesn’t store any power, though, so it can’t be used when direct sunlight isn’t available.

    With a wattage of 28, this solar phone charger is highly efficient and effective. It also folds up for easy packing and storing, like in a car or RV. Plus, it uses SunPower panels — this brand is a longtime top pick on our solar energy guide (as of publishing).
    The biggest drawback is that this device doesn’t store energy for future use, like when it’s cloudy or at night. So even with its high wattage, it may not be best for all types of locations and situations. And it’s larger and heavier than other options.
    While the device is easily foldable, many reviewers comment on the bulk, saying it’s not the best option for backpacking or hiking. But for camping or other more stationary needs where direct sunlight is easily available, it’s extremely efficient and useful to have, reviewers say.

    Riapow solar power bank
    Riapow Solar Power Bank
    • Amazon rating*: 4.4 stars
    • Price*: $39.99 on Amazon
    • Wattage: 15 watts
    • Compatibility: 2 USB-A ports and 1 USB-C port

    Buy on Amzaon

    The Riapow Solar Power Bank is a lightweight power bank, weighing just 1.76 ounces. It can be easily packed in most bags and holds up to eight days’ worth of power on a single charge. This machine can charge four devices simultaneously at full speed through either wireless charging, one of its two USB-A ports or the USB-C port. For added convenience, it can charge fully when plugged into a wall outlet for just seven hours.

    With three ways to charge a device, this power bank offers the most flexibility of all on this list. For those with multiple devices that charge in multiple ways, the Riapow Solar Power Bank is a good choice.
    With only one panel, the solar portion of this device isn’t very helpful for those on the go for long periods of time. This device is probably better for quick trips with easy access to a wall outlet.
    Reviewers on Amazon love its ability to quickly and efficiently charge multiple devices in multiple ways, and the wireless charging capability is useful for times when you forget the cord. But many reviewers say it takes quite a bit of time to power up and function as a phone charger. Still, for the price, many reviewers say it’s hard to beat.

    *Amazon ratings and prices are at the time of publishing.

    How do solar phone chargers work?

    Solar phone chargers work like traditional solar energy generators: They take energy from the sun, store it and turn it into usable energy that can charge a device via a USB-A or USB-C cable. For these portable solar panels, the mAh is important — this will determine how many times you can charge your phone before you need to charge the device again. The higher the mAh, the longer it lasts between full solar charges.

    Solar phone chargers are usually the size, weight and shape of a traditional iPhone. They’re easy to pack and to use. In some cases, they may include a charging cable for charging the device through a wall outlet before a trip. To charge a device, you can simply plug your own USB-C or USB-A cords into the appropriate holes and let the sun do the rest.

    It’s important to understand what to expect from a solar phone charger before purchasing. Usually, these devices are best for topping off a device’s charge; it may take quite a bit of time to bring a dead device to 100% charge.

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      What should you look for in a solar phone charger?

      With so many solar phone chargers on the market today, it can be a bit overwhelming to figure out which is the best to spend your money on. According to Luke Xavier, travel expert and founder of the travel website USA Rover, these are the factors you should consider when comparing solar phone chargers:

      • Price: It’s important to set your budget right off the bat. Most devices are between $20 and $50, though there are some really cheap and some more expensive ones, depending on your needs. Generally, though, you should expect to spend around $35 for an average device.
      • Size: A good rule of thumb is that a bigger device will hold more charge because it has more surface space to absorb energy from the sun. If you’re going on a hiking trip, you may only have a small amount of space available to pack a charger, but if you’re keeping this in your vehicle or home for emergencies, size may not be as much of an issue.
      • Capacity: The storage capacity is measured in milliamp-hours (mAh). This refers to how much the bank can hold before it needs to recharge. Not all devices offer significant capacity, but it can be handy for those who are off the grid and need reliable energy at all times of the day and through all types of weather.
      • Wattage: Wattage is equally as important as capacity — if not more so. Wattage tells you how quickly and efficiently you can charge your device. Ten to 15 watts is usually considered good for charging one or two phones, but higher-wattage devices will charge even faster. That being said, the added price may not be worth it for those who just need to charge one or two devices.
      • Compatibility: Most devices are equipped with USB-C outlets, but several recent phone and tablet models come with USB-A cables. You may have to buy a separate cable for your device if it doesn’t include the outlets you already have cords for.
      • Backup battery: Most, but not all, solar chargers have backup batteries that can store the sunlight’s energy to use later (like at night). If you’re heading somewhere where rain or cloud coverage is likely, this is a necessity.

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