Since we live in the times of high tech and one of our biggest fears is that our gadgets won’t last through the day, today’s article is about choosing the best solar power bank. As usual, we’ve combed the internet and found the best deals for our readers, so keep reading because you’re in for a real treat.
The thing about solar power banks is that they’re some type of neo- perpeetuum-mobile, i.e. solar-powered stuff enjoys a form of free and (almost) perpetual energy. Well, at least until you drop your solar power bank in the pool, or whatever catastrophic event takes place (like your rechargeable battery dying on you).
Now, since we live in smart world, you’ll definitely require a smart energy solution to keep your phone or your laptop charged while you’re browsing the “interwebz” for cat pictures, and here the solar power bank comes into play, due to its inherent qualities: reliability and efficiency. Okay, there’s also a “coolness” factor embedded in this type of gear, but let’s skip that for the time being.
The concept behind a solar power bank is pretty straight forward: get a high-quality pack of rechargeable batteries, slap a solar charger (a micro solar panel with an inverter and all that jazz) on top of it, and voila: you’ve got endless juice to power up your high-tech paraphernalia. And speaking of mobility and high-tech gear, it makes perfect sense to keep your laptop charged at all times, especially if you’re constantly using an external hard drive or, why not, a travel router.
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How to Choose the Best Solar Power Bank
Since solar power banks are the ideal companion for travelers, the best ones are compact and easy to carry around, so look closely at metrics like weight and size. We know, that sounds pretty obvious, and the same stands true for the next issue: size matters. Now, before getting all giddy and giggly on us, no, we’re not thinking about what you’re thinking, but more like capacity matters.
When you go shopping for a solar power bank, make sure you know exactly what you’re hoping to charge with it. To make it simple, the portable charger’s capacity must match (in an ideal world, to exceed) the capacity of the battery of the smartphone or whatever device it’s going to charge. Battery capacity is measured in mAh aka milliamp hours, and the general rule of thumb is that if you want to charge a 3,000 mAh smartphone battery, it would be great to have a solar power bank with at least the same output.
By the way, a 5,000 mAh power bank will only charge a 5,000 mAh battery one time, hence if you want to charge multiple devices, think big (capacity, right?). And since we’re talking about charging batteries, make sure your power bank comes with safety features, like protection of short circuit and protection of overcharge. The former cuts power automatically when a short circuit occurs, while the latter protects the battery from, well, you see where this is going.
Another thing to take into consideration is the specs of the wall charger used for the device you’re going to charge with the power bank. While most smartphones require at least 5 watts/1 amp to charge correctly, more powerful gear like a tablet or a laptop will expect up to 12 watts/2.4 amps. If the solar power bank can’t match that output, you’ll be facing excruciatingly long charging times, and that’s not cool. The idea is to go for a high output power bank to get the juices flowing into your smartphone in the shortest amount of time.
Finally, check out the input/output ports, to make sure they’re enough for your specific needs (the number and type of USB ports for example), and also if they’re rated for the device they’re going to charge. Also, look into “how do I connect my stuff to the solar power bank”, or charging inputs. Remember that fast charging (charging speed is an issue with many people nowadays) is a nice feature to have, but that requires a compatible power bank, a compatible cable and, most importantly, a compatible device.
Best Solar Power Banks
RAVPower Solar Charger 20000mAh
The Best Solar Power Bank for Camping
This 20,000Mah solar charger made by RAVPower is everything about performance and battery density, as it manages to squeeze a lot of oomph to power up your smartphone, tablet and even a smaller laptop in a relatively compact form-factor. Featuring two 2.4A Outputs and a cool flashlight for sending SOS messages or whatever, the RAVPower solar charger shines in this crowded market due to its bi-directional power delivery capability and large capacity, doubled down by a budget-friendly price tag.
There’s also a LED display that shows you exactly how much “juice” is left, i.e. there’s no more guesswork. Weighing 420 grams and measuring 6.5 x 3 x 1 inches, this solar charger is designed as a rectangle with rounded corners and boasts a matte/smooth finish, while the glossy end harbors the LCD display that lights up at a touch of the power button.
Basically, if you’re looking for a solid and affordable solar charger with a cool design and all the necessary features required in the “current year”, this is the way to go, especially if you’re into hiking, camping or other outdoor activities, due to its portable design and the wear-resistant plastic that covers it.
- full connectivity via Lightning and Micro-USB, USB-A QC 3.0, USB-A iSmart 2.0, USB-C PD
- recharges fully in 5 and a half hours and can charge multiple devices at the same time
- TSA compliant (has a Battery Capacity of 74Wh and a rated capacity of 66Wh)
- LED percentage display, USB C charges the battery
- iSmart Technology works great (automatically detects and delivers the optimal charging current)
- no wall adaptor included in the retail package
GoerTek Solar Charger 25000mAh ES982
The Best Waterproof Solar Power Bank
Here comes a bigger one, the 25,000mAh GoerTeK solar charger respectively. This beast features a huge battery in a sleek and compact shell at a competitive price, as well as a single (tiny) solar panel, plus 3 USB outputs and 36 leds. To give you a hint about what 25,000mAh looks like in the real world, the GoerTeK is capable of charging an iPhone X seven times before requiring a “refill”.
However, it’s worth mentioning that if you don’t have a 5V/2A adapter and a power supply available, it may take between 3 and 7 days to fully charge the Li-Polymer battery via the solar panel, which is kind of normal for this type of gear. The GoerTeK can charge up to three devices simultaneously, which is very convenient, and it’s built from a tough plastic; and before you ask, that means it will resist wear and tear with flying colors.
- well designed and tough as nails
- full recharge via micro USB takes 12 hours
- IPX6 waterproof rating makes it invulnerable to elements
- the entire backside is a giant flashlight
- 3 USB outputs, great value for money
- kind of heavy at 1.2 pounds
BLAVOR Solar Power Bank PN-W05
The Best Portable Solar Power Bank for Qi Devices
Now it’s time for a small boy, and by small we mean a 10,000mAh Qi portable solar charger from Blavor. The PN-W05 power bank comes with interesting features and an appealing price-tag, things like Qi compatibility for Qi-enabled devices, plus a dual flashlight and even a compass. Basically, this compact and lightweight solar power bank is designed to win the hearts and minds of outdoors aficionados, especially if we take into account the fact that the BLAVOR Solar Power Bank PN-W05 is IPX4 rated, which means it’s dustproof, splashproof and shockproof, i.e. this baby is quasi indestructible.
Compatibility-wise, you can recharge basically all types of “mainstream” smartphones, ranging from iPhone XR/ XR MAX/ XS/ X/ 8/ 8plus to Samsung Galaxy S9/S9plus S8/S8plus and more. The body of the device is built from strong ABS plastic (fireproof, mind you), and you’ll be happy to discover that it arrives with both regular and Type C USB ports.
When it comes to recharging the power bank itself, you have two options: the 2A output adapter delivered in the retail package, or, if you’re in an emergency, the built-in solar panel. Needless to say, the former is way more quicker, as a full charge will take approximately 4 hours, while the latter requires almost two full sunny days to complete.
- competitive price
- enough capacity to keep your smartphone running for a week in the woods
- full spectrum compatibility, including Qi
- tough as nails
- compact design, compass and dual flashlight for outdoors fanatics
- none really
BEARTWO Portable Solar Charger SP10000
The Best Ultraportable Solar Power Bank
Here comes another 10,000 mAh solar phone charger, the BEARTWO SP10000 respectively. This improbably named ultra-compact portable charger is relatively spartan specs/features wise, yet it’s very affordable and offers Dual USB and a flashlight, along with the 10k battery pack. However, its main selling point is its portability, as the BEARTWO SP10000 is sold as one of the lightest and smallest devices on the market, and comes with an extra hanger included in the retail package, which makes it the ideal companion for hiking, camping and any other outdoor activity.
The chassis is built from strong ABS plastic, as usual we might add, with reinforced corners for rainproofing and extra durability. To be more specific, this solar charger measures 5.51 x 2.95 x 0.7 and weighs a mere 7 ounces (read ultralight), which makes it the size of a regular smartphone, yet it’s more chunky and grippy. The solar panel itself measures 2.5 x 4.5-inches, and you’ll also get a charge level indicator and a special cutout for attaching the charger to a lanyard loop or a carabiner.
- highly portable, very light and compact
- tough and rainproof/waterproof (IP67 certified) with a chassis made from silicone rubber and ABS + PC material
- comes with built-in LED flashlight
- dual USB allows you to charge two devices at the same time
- takes 5 hours max to fully charge via 5V/2A charger
- none really at this price
Nekteck Solar Charger 10000mAh sl-10000-b
No Nonsense Solar Charger for Smartphones
If you’re looking for a dirt-cheap 10,000 mAh solar power bank, this particular one made by Nekteck may become love at first sight, and here’s why: as we already told you, this power bank is amazingly affordable, yet it packs enough power under its belt to juice-up your high-end smartphone 2-3 times. But wait, there’s more: you’ll also get a very efficient micro solar panel powered by a Sunpower solar cell, a shockproof/dirtproof design and a dual USB port.
Basically, the Nekteck sl-10000-b is a no-nonsense solar charger that fits into your pocket or your travel bag easily and features 2.1A output, i.e. enough power to charge two devices at the same time. There’s also a LED flashlight for emergencies, and, last but not least, it will recharge in less than 36 hours in full sun, which is kind of cool for such a small power bank.
- well designed, grippy and tough
- can recharge a regular iPhone up to 5 times
- high quality/high-efficiency solar cell
- dual USB for charging 2 devices simultaneously
- amazing value for money
- the LED flashlight is kind of dim
SOXONO 16000mAh Solar Power Bank
More Than Meets the Eye
This Soxono solar power bank is described by the company as an eco-friendly 16000 mAh solar charger with Qi Wireless capability. Now, we don’t really know about the “eco-friendly” palaver, but what’s immediately obvious is that for less than thirty bucks you’ll get a lot of bang for the proverbial buck.
To begin with, 16000mAh capacity is nothing to scoff at, and if you add into the mix the Qi Wireless Charger and the two USB ports, plus the fact that the solar power bank is advertised to be waterproof, you’ve got yourself a winner.
The Li-Polymer battery cell is fully compatible with all iPhones, iPads and Android tablets, and just to give you a hint about what 16000mAh means in real life, well, this is enough juice to charge your average iPhone 3 times, which is respectable, or a Galaxy S10 (we know, that’s old news already, but just to put things into perspective) two times and so on and so forth.
To put things into a more modern perspective, you can charge an iPhone X two times fully, and you’ll have enough juice left for a Nokia 3310. Kidding aside, the Qi thing also functions pretty well, though it’s kind of slow, and if you have a magnetic case like Rokform, forget about it, it won’t work. The 15 LED power indicator is a nice feature to have for outdoors scenarios, as well as waterproofness.
Add into the mix the fact that the out case of the Soxono is made from a very tough plastic, that protects the power plant from dust, drops, or crashes, and you’ve got yourself a winner.
- Solid as a brick
- Qi Wireless charging
- Comes with LEDs
- Outdoors ready
- Good value for money
- None really
Panergy 26800mAh Solar Charger / Power Bank
Bigger, Better, Faster, More
This Panergy fella is a monster of a power bank, boasting no less than 26800mAh capacity, which is almost double the size of your average solar charger. So, if you’re into high capacity gear, or you need extra juice for your weekend escapades, this baby has your name on it, though you’ll have to pay a little bit extra for the privilege of adding this huge power bank to your survival kit.
For a little bit less than “fiddy bucks”, you’ll get one of the largest and most efficient portable solar power banks on the market, plus a powerful 18-watt fast charger that can charge a modern iPhone 11 six times. However, there’s a caveat to so much power: this solar charger is kind of big and heavy, but remember this kids: heavy is good, heavy is reliable, if it doesn’t work, you can always hit him with it, right?
Seriously now, the Panergy also boasts highly efficient 1.5 watt solar panels, which are faster compared to conventional gear, and it’s also IPX1 certified, i.e. it’s specifically made to survive crashes, drops, rain, alien attacks, what have you. Since we’re talking outdoors stuff, we must mention the built-in flashlight with a 60 LED panel that boasts 150 lumens and can illuminate up to 300 feet distance.
PS: this bad boy comes with USB A to USB C Charging Cable and can charge 3 devices in the same time, which is kind of amazing.
- Huge capacity
- Heavy-duty power bank
- Fast charging
- Amazing value for money
- Super powerful flashlight
- Perfect for camping
- Big and heavy
Oukafen 20000 mAh Portable Solar Power Bank
The Best Solar Charger To Keep In Your Car
Here comes another big boy, the Oukafen 20000 mAh respectively. What’s interesting about this portable solar power bank is that it mixes high capacity with affordability in a rugged/outdoors centric package. For a little bit over $20 you’ll get a waterproof solar power bank with dual USB ports and LED lights, which is not a bad deal after all.
Another nice thing about the Oukafen 20000 mAh is that it can charge two devices at once, while the LED lights feature a Steady-SOS-Strobe mode for emergency situations. It’s not much tech, but it’s nice to have it when SHTF, right? If you’re into hiking and camping, the Oukafen solar power bank will definitely become your back-up solution of choice, and the best place to put it is in your emergency kit.
Truth be told, considering how affordable and well-built the Oukafen is, you should have one in your bug out bag, and also in your car emergency kit. As an interesting factoid, you’ll be able to fully charge the battery pack in 7 to 8 hours in a sunny day; also, an iPhone will be “revived” in approximately 2 hours. So, yeah, despite its affordability, the Oukafen really has it where it counts.
We almost forgot: this solar power bank comes with a compass built-in, but it’s more of a gimmick, i.e. don’t trust your life with it.
- Solidly built
- Built-in LED flashlight
- Simple to use
- Charges quickly
FEELLE HI-S025 Solar Charger 25000mAh
Travel-Ready Solar Power Bank
We’ve almost finished, but we saved some of the best for last: enter the strangely named FEELLE HI-S025, a high capacity 25,000 mAh outdoor waterproof solar charger. This little monster also features a cool folding 4-solar panel gizmo, i.e. it charges pretty fast compared to regular single-solar power models. Besides high capacity and multiple solar cells, the FEELLE HI-S025 offers dual USB 2.1A ports for charging two devices simultaneously and the usual LED flashlight.
One of the main selling points of this power bank, besides its high capacity, is its fast charging capabilities. In layman’s terms, that means a regular 2000mAh smartphone can be charged fully in approximately 75 minutes, which is very close to a regular wall charger. Oh, and we’ve almost forgotten the price, which is way under $50.
- high capacity affordable solar charger
- amazing value for money
- waterproofing and LED lighting make it ideal for outdoors lovers
- fast charging tech that really works
- 4 solar panels instead of one
- none really
The Best Solar Power Bank
Finally, here we have the Be-Charming portable solar charger; don’t worry, we saved the best for last, and speaking of the best, check this out: this cutely named power bank has a huge 26800mAh capacity, which means it’s the beefiest of the bunch. Moreover, there are 4 solar panels (the folding design thing) to help to charge it quickly, two inputs and two USB outputs, plus waterproofing and the obligatory LED flashlight; but hang on to your hat, as all these features can be yours for under $50.
And that’s why this is our favorite solar power bank. Even if the Be-charming TN4-M is kind of big and heavy, it compensates with its grade-A Li-polymer battery and AI power technology, which identifies the charging device automatically and provides the quickest charging speed possible.
- high capacity/low price
- charges quickly
- 4 solar panel folding design with nice faux leather padding
- waterproof, well built
- great for outdoors activities
- bulky and heavy