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Best Portable Solar Chargers

last updated Jan 02, 2019

Technology has made a big impact on our lives as humans over the past forty years. But now electronics are becoming more powerful and portable. Every single person travels with their phone or other favorite electronics on them, but what do you do when you see that terrible low battery signal and you are nowhere near a power outlet to charge? You could be lost in the middle of the woods and need a source of power to charge your device, and this is where the portable solar charger comes in. These types of chargers convert energy from the sun to charge the devices that are connected to it. They are great accessories to have in your camping or emergency gear as you will always have the sun to provide you with energy and ensure your devices have power.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 16 hrs of research

icon
Voltaic Systems Arc 20
98/100 our score
Capacity
98
Portability
97
Safety Hazards
99
Features
98
Voltaic Systems Arc 20
Why is it better?

Due to its compact and foldable design, it is easily transportable

Coated with waterproof ETFE for extra durability

The included V72 battery, in full sunlight, takes around 6.5 hours to charge

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Voltaic Systems Arc 20
Test Winner: Voltaic Systems Arc 20
Researched Sources
12
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
2.2k
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
16
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
18
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
By Sarah Roth:

This buying guide of portable solar chargers has been put together to show you the best researched and reviewed portable solar chargers to keep your devices charged through the power of the sun. A portable solar charger to keep your eye on is the SunJack Solar Charger. We love this addition because it is highly rated, compact, and charges devices quickly.

Sorting Options
Capacity Portability Safety Hazards Features By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98
Capacity
98%
Portability
97%
Safety Hazards
99%
Features
98%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$278.00
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.5
Capacity
97%
Portability
96%
Safety Hazards
97%
Features
96%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$69.99
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
Capacity
95%
Portability
95%
Safety Hazards
94%
Features
96%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$189.99
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.3
Capacity
92%
Portability
91%
Features
91%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$99.00
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.8
Capacity
90%
Portability
89%
Safety Hazards
90%
Features
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$77.99
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.5
Capacity
88%
Portability
87%
Safety Hazards
88%
Features
87%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$169.95
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.3
Capacity
85%
Portability
86%
Safety Hazards
85%
Features
85%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$148.00
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82
Capacity
82%
Portability
82%
Safety Hazards
83%
Features
81%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$61.99
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
79.7
Portability
81%
Safety Hazards
79%
Features
79%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$39.70
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
78.5
Capacity
78%
Portability
79%
Safety Hazards
79%
Features
78%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$61.99
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Voltaic Systems Arc 20
  • Wildtek Source Panel
  • Allpowers Sunpower
  • Voltaic Systems Amp
  • RavPower 16W Solar Phone Charger
  • SunJack Solar Charger
  • Yolk Paper Thin
  • Anker Charger
  • Instapark Solar Panel
  • BigBlue Solar Charger, 28W Solar Panel 
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Top 10 Picks

1. Voltaic Systems Arc 20

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98
Voltaic Systems Arc 20
Capacity
98
Portability
97
Safety Hazards
99
Features
98
best offer for today
$278.00
Pros:

Due to its compact and foldable design, it is easily transportable

Coated with waterproof ETFE for extra durability

The included V72 battery, in full sunlight, takes around 6.5 hours to charge

Cons:

The LED indicator lights are flawed as they signify the wrong amount of battery life for a specific device

The Arc 20 from Voltaic Systems is the embodiment of what all solar chargers aspire to be. It offers you fast charging, a waterproof exterior, and compatibility for any device you can think of.

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Charging Technology

With 20 watts of power, the V72 battery that is included can charge most laptops in 6.5 hours and around one hour for smartphones (under direct sunlight). The Arc 20 is designed to charge thousands of USB devices.

Portability

Past the fact that it weighs only 3.25 pounds, you have a few carrying options. You can either choose to stash it inside of a pack or mount it on a backpack or bicycle with the sturdy metal grommets.

Durability and Protection

Utilizing ETFE coating, you are promised folding panels that are waterproof, UV, and scratch-resistant. With this type of coating, you can expect it to last around three times longer than the average weather coating.

Seller Options

There are no further seller options available; you only have the option for a 20-watt solar charger.

Additional Noteworthy Features

For convenience, included with this panel is a USB-backup battery. So, even when the sun is not shining at all, you have a source of power as this battery will store its solar energy.

Overall

It is difficult to ask for much further than Voltaic Systems provides here. Outside of a minor issue with the LED lighting, as it does not properly signify how much power your device has, everything is as close to perfection as you can get.

2. Wildtek Source Panel

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.5
Wildtek Source Panel
Capacity
97
Portability
96
Safety Hazards
97
Features
96
best offer for today
$69.99
Pros:

Includes carabiners to attach the charger to your backpack

Features a zippered pouch for storing accessories

Is fully waterproof, even the USB port when the silicone tab is on

Cons:

li>Do not expect 21 watts of power

Many of the same brilliant features from the last entry are also present with the solar charger from Wildtek. While they may exaggerate a bit on the maximum watt capacity, even though most manufacturers do, its waterproofness and compactness are superb.

Read more

Charging Technology

With the latest high-efficiency solar cells from SunPower, these panels are two times more efficient than many competitors. Also, the SmartCharge technology that is integrated will detect the USB-powered device and provide an appropriate charge.

Portability

Whether you choose to use the carabiners to strap the panel to your backpack or not, either way, this solar charger is extremely lightweight and easily packable.

Durability and Protection

It does not matter which conditions you plan on using this solar charger for, as long as the sun is visible, as it is constructed to be both waterproof and dustproof. Even the USB-port, when it is closed with the included silicone tab, manage to be waterproof.

Seller Options

Again, there are no further options available; only the 21-watt version of the solar charger.

Additional Noteworthy Features

Wildtek backs this solar charger with a full, two-year warranty. Past this, there is also a built-in stand that allows the panels to have superior access to the energy from the sun.

Overall

Everything you could ever ask for, again, is present here. Although solar power is vitally important, arguably the best design feature here is the full waterproof construction. No need for rain and snow to affect your trip.

3. Allpowers Sunpower

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
Allpowers Sunpower
Capacity
95
Portability
95
Safety Hazards
94
Features
96
best offer for today
$189.99
Pros:

i>It is certified by FCC, RoHS and CE

Includes eyeholes for an easy attachment to packs

The unique voltage regulator design manages to guarantee a stable voltage while charging

Cons:

Takes a while to fully charge a battery

Slow and steady sometimes does win the race and this solar charger exemplifies that perfectly. While it can be a little slow acting, it does a fantastic job od not only charging your devices but also protecting them against surges.

Read more

Charging Technology

The panel features dual-USB ports with iSolar Technology and also 18V DC output. This means you can charge 5V-powered gadgets and laptops alike. With 80-watts of power and a 22 percent efficiency rate, it will deliver the juice you need.

Portability

This exact same power output is 1/3 lighter than solar silicon. In addition to this, there are eyeholes that allow you to attach the solar charger to a backpack or other bag.

Durability and Protection

For outdoor use, the exterior is equipped with a dustproof, anti-shock, and water-resistant construction. But, these solar panels will also protect your connected devices from short circuits and surges.

Seller Options

Depending on the price, you can either select a 5, 7.5, 10, or an 80-watt version of the same charger.

Additional Noteworthy Features

Besides the solar charger itself, this also comes with carabiners, USB cables, a DC cable, an instruction manual, a clip line, and a cigarette lighter plug.

Overall

The addition of multiple wattage sizes is a nice touch, as those looking to save money can sport for less. However, truly noteworthy here is the superb protection and rugged construction. Rest assured, both the panels and your device will be safe.

4. Voltaic Systems Amp

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.3
Voltaic Systems Amp
Capacity
92
Portability
91
Features
91
best offer for today
$99.00
Pros:

i>It is compatible with DSLR camera batteries and thousands of USB devices

The panels are UV and scratch-resistant

Cons:

Under moderate sunlight, it can take a long time to charge

It did not take too long for Voltaic Systems to make another appearance on this list and their Amp Charger, while not quite as good as the last, is more than capable in its own right.

Read more

Charging Technology

With its wide range of compatibility, this bad boy will charge thousands of devices. But, as long as you are under good sunlight, it also succeeds in charging devices with a total peak of 4.4-watts at 6 to 12 volts.

Portability

With a weight of just over one pound, this will easily fit inside any bag you stuff it into. This could include dry bags, backpacks, duffle bags or any other travel bags.

Durability and Protection

To withstand abuse from the most rugged of environments, the folding panels are coated with a self-healing urethane to provide a scratch-resistant, UV-resistant, and waterproof construction.

Seller Options

For the first time, there are actually different selections of colors. You can choose from charcoal, silver and orange.

Additional Noteworthy Features

In times when the sun is not shining, which is likely to happen at some point, there is an included V15 battery that will store solar power. This way, you still have a means to charge your devices.

Overall

The solar panels themselves do not offer an immense amount of wattage, but the backup battery can be used for additional power. Plus, its rugged craftsmanship makes it ideal for any occasion you can imagine.

5. RavPower 16W Solar Phone Charger

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.8
RavPower 16W Solar Phone Charger
Capacity
90
Portability
89
Safety Hazards
90
Features
90
best offer for today
$77.99
Pros:

Lightweight

Durable

Reasonably priced

Cons:

Won't charge multiple devices at once

The RavPower 16W Solar Phone Charger is a great, moderately-priced option for those looking for a charger that will do the trick on those long nature hikes.

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Charging Technology

With its solar power technology, this case delivers ultra-efficient solar cells (over 20 percent) to power your phone when it has access to direct sunlight.

Portability

At just 15 ounces, the RavPower 16W is lightweight especially for a three-panel design. While not the lightest on our list, it's definitely up there with the lightest. For its size that's especially impressive.

Durability and Protection

While there are some more durable chargers on the list, the RavPower 16W scores moderately. Most reviewers don't see any damage on normal use but also noted that the panels didn't seem quite as integrated as other options on the list.

Overall

While there are some drawbacks to this option, there is plenty to like. The fast charge, compact and portable design, and ease of use is something that many outdoors people enjoy when wanting to charge their devices.

6. SunJack Solar Charger

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.5
SunJack Solar Charger
Capacity
88
Portability
87
Safety Hazards
88
Features
87
best offer for today
$169.95
Pros:

Portable

Charge 2 devices simultaneously

one-year warranty

Cons:

Can be bulky

The SunJack Solar Charger is a great option for those looking for a sturdy and durable solar charger to take out into the wilderness. It will help to keep your devices charged while on the go and won't leave you stranded.

Read more

Charging Technology

Being built with SunPower solar cells, this is able to achieve an efficiency percentage of 22 to 25. To achieve the maximum amount of power it can, which is 40-watts, it can automatically adjust the current voltage.

Portability

While it can be a little bulky, the panels can be folded down and fit snugly in any pack. But, if you wish to attach it, the eyeholes allow you to do that.

Durability and Protection

For your protection, more specifically for your devices, this solar panel is certified by the FCC, RoHS and CE. In addition, it has surge protection and short circuit technology to prevent your devices from potential electrical failures.

Seller Options

There are additional seller options, but they are all different from this version.

Overall

Bulkiness aside, this solar panel would make a terrific addition to your arsenal of technology. Its solar technology, safety features, and foldable design truly do speak for themselves.

7. Yolk Paper Thin

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.3
Yolk Paper Thin
Capacity
85
Portability
86
Safety Hazards
85
Features
85
best offer for today
$148.00
Pros:

The magnetic connections reduce the wear and tear of panels

Achieve higher wattage capacities simply by connecting more panels together

Features an LCD screen to display current power readings for connected devices

Cons:

The panels themselves do not feel very durable

If nothing else, YOLK will turn some heads thanks to the way they designed their Paper-Thin Solar Panel Charger. With the panels having magnets, you can snap together as many as you wish. Each has a specific amount of wattage and snapping more together gives you more power.

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Charging Technology

Utilizing the most efficient solar panels in the world, YOLK manages to get around 23.7 percent efficiency from their panels. But, with the power of magnets, you can connect together as many as you wish for more wattage.

Portability

As the panels are held together by magnets, you can disconnect them at will. Plus, there are holes that can be used as connectors when traveling.

Durability and Protection

This solar charger has a water-resistance rating of IP54 and also is crafted to provide protection against dust. However, the USB-port can be susceptible to corrosion if any water gets inside.

Seller Options

As each panel has 2.5-watts of power, you have a few choices at your disposal. You can either select one, two or three panels (going from 5 to 7.5 to 10).

Additional Noteworthy Features

For your convenience, there is an LCD screen that displays the current power reading of your connected device and how much current is flowing through it.

Overall

The best way to describe this solar charger is it is the daisy chain of solar chargers. Because you can keep on connecting solar panels, you can achieve as much wattage as you wish.

8. Anker Charger

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82
Anker Charger
Capacity
82
Portability
82
Safety Hazards
83
Features
81
best offer for today
$61.99
Pros:

Crafted from industrial-strength PET polymer

Compatible with several USB devices

Dual-USB ports can charge simultaneously

Cons:

Even in full sunlight, does not reach maximum power

Compared to the rest, you may not see anything new and innovative here. But, what you will see is pure-quality and a solar charger that anyone should be proud to own and use.

Read more

Charging Technology

With dual-USB ports, the Anker Solar Charger can charge two devices simultaneously. Sporting 21-watts of power and an efficiency rate that ranges from 21.5 to 23.5 percent, you can rest assured that it succeeds where it matters the most.

Portability

Besides the fact that it is highly-portable in its own right, with a foldable design, it features stainless-steel eye-holes that allow for easy attachment to backpacks and other objects.

Durability and Protection

Anker ensures that the solar panel itself and your devices will both be perfectly safe and secure. For the panel, it is crafted from an industrial-strength PET polymer with weather-resistant properties. Meanwhile, short circuit and surge protection technology protect your electronic devices.

Seller Options

What you see is what you get here, but there is certainly nothing wrong with that.

Additional Noteworthy Features

Included with the solar power charger is an 18-month warranty, a micro-USB cable and a welcome guide.

Overall

When you have access to direct sunlight, it is hard to beat this solar panel. However, as soon as cloud cover arises the unit will power down. But, as you have already seen, this is more than worth an investment.

9. Instapark Solar Panel

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
79.7
Instapark Solar Panel
Portability
81
Safety Hazards
79
Features
79
best offer for today
$39.70
Pros:

Comes equipped with multiple USB ports

When carrying it in your pack, it is very lightweight

Includes the manufacturer’s one-year warranty

Cons:

Even under opaque cloud cover, this solar panel will stop charging your devices

When this solar panel works, it is glorious. However, cloud cover can be an issue. Yes, they can still operate under cloud cover but this particular model will not very well. Again, on sunny days, this does exactly what it was designed to perform.

Read more

Charging Technology

Instapark integrates dual-USB ports and 100 percent green energy to provide you with its charging capabilities. But, even when opaque clouds begin to roll in, this will discharge and stop working efficiently.

Portability

As this has a foldable design and can be packed away snugly, it will easily fit inside any travel bag that you have. To paint a picture, it folds up to the size of a hardcover book.

Durability and Protection

The panels will hold up well to moderate water, but it can’t be promised that it will survive under heavy rainfall. In addition, with the USB ports exposed, water can damage and corrode them.

Seller Options

The lone seller option only has 10-watts of power and there are no additional options for either capacity or colors.

Additional Noteworthy Features

Most notable here is the fact that Instapark backs this up with their one-year warranty. In the instance where you feel this is not as great as advertised, or you receive a defected solar panel, you can contact the seller.

Overall

Sure, this does not quite hold up to the other solar chargers on this list. But, it made the list and that says something by itself. On cloudy days, this may provide serious aggravation for you, but on those luxurious sunny days, this should satisfy your needs.

10. BigBlue Solar Charger, 28W Solar Panel 

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
78.5
BigBlue Solar Charger, 28W Solar Panel 
Capacity
78
Portability
79
Safety Hazards
79
Features
78
best offer for today
$61.99
Pros:

Green energy

Very convenient to carry

Easy to set up and use

Can be used on the go

Cons:

Price is a little higher than some other brands

A very wide compatibility capability with regards to using environmentally kind green energy for charging up all types of devices. The attachment for transferring the charge is via a micro-sized USB cabling which works with the majority of Android operated devices. You can charge the majority of other phones, Ipads, iPhones, iPods etc and a full range of brand names phones. If you have a none standard device you can obtain a charging cable to work with it.

This outdoor solar charger is good for hiking, exploring, camping, outward bound activities, wherever you are, if you want to create green energy this is the way to do it.

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Charging technology

The smart tech charging system gives a very good performance, when you plug in a device it is automatically detected and given the fastest charge-up speed while the panels remain under direct sunlight.

Sunpower transformation is very efficient at around 21.5% - 23.5%, this means charge-up time is halved compared to many other traditional panels.

High tech designed in Chip & Ammeter, the Solar Charger system is Big Blue 28W which reads out the number of amps and the internal chip which ensures a stable consistent charge.

Portability

This is very easy to carry and can easily be folded and stashed away in a holdall or backpack. This means you can take it anywhere without any difficulty. If you want to use it to charge your phone while on the move, you can use the provided straps to string the panels down your back and connected to your phone to keep it charged.

Durability/Protection

Constructed with a durable Polymer material which ensures the charger is weatherproof against light rain, fog or damp mist, the key construction material is industrial grade (PET) Polymer Fabric which comes with a full 24-month guarantee.

Additional Noteworthy Features

The solar charger is compatible with iPad, iPhones, iPods,  Andriod operated phones from Samsung Sony, Nexus and comes with a micro USB cable (1x). Compatible with all USB devices which can run with a 5volt input. Generally, by obtaining an extra cable, this will charge all phones/devices.

Overall

This system opens the door to being able to use green energy with minimal environmental impact, through using this we all play our part in being environmentally friendly.

Cost

A little higher in cost than some other brands but a good device for creating green energy, nice investment

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Capacity

When discussing solar panels, the conversation should always start here. The power they produce and the efficiency at which they do it is important, but compatibility also comes into play. One of the first specifications you will notice in solar panels is the wattage that they are capable of producing. Obviously, the higher the number the more power it can handle. However, for whatever reason, it seems to be a universal ploy for manufacturers to exaggerate the actual wattage capacity their panels have. If you find that the solar panel you invest in is not performing at the power it was advertised as it does not become defective and many others have the same issue.

The efficiency, which usually ranges in the 20’s (in terms of percent), refers to the amount of energy that the panels can convert from the sun. Again, the higher the rate, the more efficient the panels will operate. But, also take a special note to solar chargers that can work under moderate sunlight. Some will be inoperable when the slightest cloud covers a portion of the sun. Finally, there is the factor of computability. Check for USB ports and DC outputs for thousands of devices including smartphones, tablets, laptops, batteries, etc.

Portability

Given that this guide is for portable solar chargers, which most are anyway, portability does come to the forefront. For this section, it all comes down to the chargers’ compactness and carrying options. As solar panels can convert energy from the sun anywhere, chances are you will utilize this convenient technology on the go. As such, if you plan on storing it in your backpack or travel bag you do not want it to be too heavy or bulky. Solar panels that fold up, or even ones that can come apart, are a nice addition as you can pack them tightly.

But, perhaps even more important than this is integrating either carabiners or eyeholes to allow you to mount the solar charger on your backpack. This is so important because you may want to charge your device without feeling the need to stop. For example, with it mounted on your back and indirect access to the sunlight you can charge your smartphone while you are hiking or walking. Of course, this is also where the issue of cloudiness can come back to the forefront.

Safety Hazards

With any type of technology that is designed to flow voltage into electronic devices, safety will always be important. However, because these types of chargers will be used outdoors manufacturers also should add durability and protection to the solar panels themselves. For instance, you may see some with a waterproof and scratch-resistant coating. Even though you probably will not get much power when it is raining, this type of coating can be useful as it adds durability to the panels. This type of weather coating can also provide a sense of protection in accidental scenarios where water is poured on the panels.

But, more important than this is the protection that the manufacturers integrate for your electronic devices. In specific, protection against surges, short circuits, and stabilizing the voltage to prevent circuit damage. Without this protection, for example in the instance of a short circuit, your device is prone to many detrimental events. Such as the device overheating and causing a fire. This will not only fry your battery and render it useless but could also affect the solar charger itself.

Features

Truthfully, the best of the best has already been documented. But, that does not mean that there are no additional features that you can look out for. After all, hiding in the shadows may be a design implementation that puts it over the top for you. Or, it could be something as a simple as a backup feature. No matter, here are some other features to keep an eye out for.

Anytime you receive a manufacturer’s warranty on a product it is a bonus and solar chargers are certainly no exception. If you find that it is not performing up to the standards you expected, with a warranty you can simply return it. Also, when developers provide you with a backup battery it gives you the means to charge your devices when the sunlight is not shining bright enough. Of course, to get the best access to the sun, it is helpful when the panels are designed to stand-up at an angle. With a built-in stand or pegs, this is possible. Lastly, you may see some sellers provide you with additional accessories such as DC cables, USB cables or carabiners.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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#1
Portability
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#2
Safety Hazards
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#3
Capacity
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#4
Features
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Outdoor Use Is Optimal

Even though you may plan on taking your portable solar charger with you on perilous journeys and outdoor adventures, you still may want to use them inside your. This begs the question; can you utilize the energy of solar panels through a window? The iron content that is used in glass windows will block some of the light; in addition to the already lost light that is being reflected. While it can vary, through a glass window, you could see in excess of a 50 percent power loss.

Other Factors to Consider

Effectiveness

While seller options may prove more beneficial for other consumer products, they still matter in the world of solar panels. Even though some sellers will provide you with additional color options, which have no bearing on performance, the more important one to note is further wattage options. If the current solar charger you are looking into does not have the wattage that you want, taking into consideration that many exaggerate the actual amount, to begin with, you may want to spring for one with a larger wattage capacity. But, you may fall in love with a particular version and not want to steer away from it. In these types of situations, further options can prove to be very helpful.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: How Are Portable Solar Chargers Designed to be Used?
a:

This may have been a question you thought of the minute you clicked on this guide. How exactly are you supposed to use these types of chargers? As opposed to solar panels that you install on your roof or outside your home, it is not a good idea to leave your portable solar charger exposed to the inclement weather outdoors. Even though some are coated to provide protection from water and scratches, leaving the panels outdoors at all times may end up degrading their performance and lifespan.

But, they are designed to be used outside in all types of weather conditions. That is, depending on how efficient the panels are under light cloud cover. As far as how frequently you use them, as long as they have the ability to gather light rays from the sun and convert it into usable energy you can utilize it as long as you wish.

q: Can You Run a Device Straight from the Solar Charger?
a:

Up until now, you may have been under the belief that to charge and use your electronic devices, you must plug them into the USB or other port. However, in some cases, depending on the type of device that you are using, you may be able to navigate on your device without the battery (using the power straight from the solar charger). Though, there are a few caveats that you need to be concerned with. First of all, if the device is voltage sensitive or requires an initial surge of power on it is best to veer away from running it straight from the solar panels.

Secondly, some solar chargers will shut down when they do not have access to sunlight. If you do not have a battery in your device and the charger shuts down or loses its ability to deliver power for even a moment, your device will perform a hard shut-down which is not good for the hardware.

q: What Happens to Solar Panels on Cloudy Days and Will They Work?
a:

When discussing solar chargers, panels or anything to do with the technology of solar energy, possibly the most frequently asked question alludes to its effectiveness on cloudy days. Although it has alluded to a few times in this guide, it is important to fully understand their usefulness on cloudy days. To provide optimal performance, solar panels need the rays from the sun. This is not something you can get around, but they are not rendered useless on cloudy days (depending on the model). They will still produce power but at a less efficient and powerful rate.

To be honest, it does not matter if it is clouds or even a roof or massive tree cover, without direct access to sunlight solar panels does not perform to their maximum capacity.

q: What is the Ideal Temperature for Portable Solar Chargers?
a:

Alright, so it is promised that you will not hear another reference to clouds in this guide! But, what about the temperature outside? Do solar chargers work better or need to be exposed to a certain climate outside? Well, the reality is temperature actually does make a difference in terms of performance. Optimally, most solar technologies will work best when the temperature is warm but not hot outside. One particular company, P3 Solar, states that an optimal degree would be around 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It is worth noting, also, that this falls under normal atmospheric conditions.

But, do not think that solar panels are inoperable in other climates. The reality is most are rated to withstand bitterly cold days and excessively hot climates. But, in these types of climates, the power output will drop for most solar technologies.

q: Can You Connect Solar Charges in a Parallel Fashion?
a:

One of the best solar chargers in the world, which made its way onto this list, manages to use a magnet design to allow you to daisy chain panels together for enhanced power. However, is this possible with multiple solar chargers? The short answer is yes, but if you do so in a parallel fashion. What happens when you do so is the power output and current are doubled, but the individual solar charger ratings are kept the same.

If you do plan on partaking in this to achieve a greater power output, you may want to do so with panels that have equal wattage capacities. Doing so will provide you with the most efficient charging capability possible, as there is no worry about half of the solar panels having a higher voltage than the others.

Sources

  1. Valerie Mckenna, 5 Best Portable Solar Chargers in 2018 for Camping, Article, Dec 10, 2018