Survivalist’s Guide to Solar Chargers…
Going on an adventure is fun. There is something about nature that makes us feel relaxed and fulfilled. However, though the wild is beautiful, it can be unmerciful at times. An accident can strike anytime and if you are unprepared, then expect some severe consequences.
Thankfully with communication devices more accessible than ever, getting help is easier. However, our trusty smartphones don’t run on an infinite power supply and getting caught with a dead battery in emergency situations is a nightmare.
It’s a good thing that solar chargers are here to the rescue, now adventurers and nature lovers can trek and embark on the wild with confidence. But the retail market is also a jungle on its own. If you are clueless, then losing money is not far-fetched. But don’t worry as I did a round-up of all the best Solar Chargers on the market right now! You are welcome!
1. RLERON Solar Charger 25000mAh Power Bank Portable Charger
- 25000 mAh Power Bank
- Three charging ports can be used simultaneously
- LED charge indicator
The RLERON Solar Charger, despite its non-outdoorsy look, remains as a best-seller. With its massive capacity power bank battery at 25000mAh, this charger has been a crowd favorite. That much power can fully charge a 4000 mAh smartphone like the Vivo XL5 and X5 without problems. Now stir in its budget-friendly price tag in the mix, and you’ll soon understand why it is so popular.
Aside from this, it has features that are missing from its competitors. The first one is the charge indicator LED. Quite handy and preferable than the generic row of dots indicating how much power you have left. With RLERON’s easy-to-read numbers, you can quickly tell at a glance the remaining percent capacity with ease. The next one is three full-size USB ports, that can be used at the same time with no problems.
2. Nekteck 21W Solar Charger
- Cost-effective solar panels
- Lightweight and long-lasting
- Fast charging capabilities
The Nekteck 21W is powered by Monocrystalline panels cell that is based on SunPower Maxeon technology. By using this tech, 21%-24% of conversion efficiency is achieved. This means that you can quickly charge two devices without a hitch. It also sports a built-in smart IC chip, that can identify the type of equipment that you have plugged in. In this way, the Nekteck 21W can optimize its charging depending on the device plugged.
This charger is lightweight and can be folded down to a compact size for effortless transport. You will also get the most out of this purchase thanks to its durable materials. Sadly, it is not waterproof but quite resistant to damp conditions. It comes with a free 12-month warranty, so this is a wise investment, indeed.
3. PowerAdd Apollo 2 Waterproof Solar Charger with LED Flashlight
- Has electric lighter
- 24/7 Customer support
- Waterproof IPX7 level
The PowerAdd Apollo 2 power bank looks like a standard solar charger with its rugged outdoorsy look. With its 12000 mAh, it can juice up modern smartphones without any problems. This charger can also deliver fast charging time. It is also super useful for seasoned survivalists thanks to it’s like a built-in flashlight, electric lighter, dual USB output and a rubberized exterior that gives off extra shields from outdoor hazards. Among these features, my favorite is the electric lighter. This is quite convenient when starting campfires and cooking.
This charger is not just functional but super sturdy as well and built to withstand abuse. It is also rated with a waterproof IPX7 level. You can be sure that this is indeed a trusty outdoor buddy.
4. Dizaul Portable Solar Power Bank
- Super portable
- Can be clipped anywhere
- Robust build
This is the solar power bank rated to be the best one from Dizaul. Aside from being a compact solar charger, it can also be effortlessly fastened to any part of your bag or in your equipment thanks to its built-in clips. You can easily attach it anywhere whether in your bag or anywhere in the camp.
It is also resistant to damage due to its shockproof body, thus making it sturdy against drops. Water activities won’t impede this charger as well as it is water-resistant. The USB ports are protected from the water by rubber caps. Its only downside is its rather slow charging time. As it usually takes up to 7 hours to fully charge. But aside from this, this is a great solar charger.
5. JETSUN Solar Charger
- Can be easily transported
- Lifetime warranty
- Comes in various colors
Aside from being compact, the JETSUN Solar Charger can also be clipped to any part of your gear without worries. If you are a hiker who wants to mellow down on your load, then this is the best pick thanks to its weight.
Though it is smaller than most competitors, it is still very functional. It has two ports plus a LED torch and light indicators to see how much battery is charged. Designed for heavy outdoor use, its exterior is made from hardened plastic that is shockproof and dustproof. It is also covered by a lifetime warranty, so it is worth every penny.
6. GoalZero Nomad 7 Plus Solar Panel
- Versatile mounting points
- Folding design
- Removable kickstand
Another strong contender in this list is the GoalZero Nomad 7 Plus. Because of its high transportability, this solar panel is meant for people who are inclined to doing outdoor adventures. The way it was built, was meant to withstand elements while hooked on a backpack or outside the tent.
Backpackers who are famed for taking the beaten path will find this charger useful thanks to its convenient features. You will not worry about wasting power as it has an automatic shut-off whenever a plugged-in device is already fully charged.
This feature is one of its main selling points as it promotes power-saving. To maximize solar strength, there is a LED indicator for finding the optimum spot for capturing rays.
7. BigBlue 5V 28W Solar Charger
- 24-month warranty with customer service
- Built-in ammeter
The BigBlue 5V 28W Solar Charger is one of the smartest solar chargers in the market. It is equipped with a built-in digital ammeter that provides data about amperage plus a voltage regulator for better and stable power output to ensure safer charging.
This folding four-panel design allows plenty of surface area to collect the sun’s power. Its zippered pocket is there to keep your devices secure while they are charging. The utilitarian design also sports an industrial-strength PET polymer fabric including grommet-reinforced holes for fastening the charger panels to a backpack. You can also opt to hang it anywhere using the four included hooks.
8. BioLite SolarPanel 5+
- Integrated power bank
- Built-in Sundial
- Battery and charge strength indicator
The BioLite SolarPanel 5+ is one of the several solar chargers that comes with its very own built-in battery. Thanks to this feature it lets you soak up the sun during the day, and keep some of that power for charging during nighttime.
This ingenious design includes a 2200mAh integrated rechargeable battery plus a 360-degree kickstand. Amazingly it also has a convenient sundial on the front to aid you in finding the best site for the free-standing panel. The charging panel is also weather-resistant, due to its tough protective layer that keeps moisture out of the unit’s USB output and micro USB charging port.
9. BLAVOR Solar Charger Power Bank
- Supports Qi wireless charging
- Built-in liquid compass
- Waterproof IPX4 level
The BLAVOR PN-W05 Solar Power Bank is one of the strongest contenders in the solar charging market. Because in addition to being a competent power solar power bank, it also offers Qi wireless charging. This means that it has the capability to charge smartphones wirelessly. Talk about convenience.
It has a 10,000mAh external battery pack that is loaded with features. From the built-in solar panel down to the integrated flashlight, this charger is packed. The robust shell is made even sturdy thanks to the rubber-reinforced corners plus water-resistant port covers. Below the protective covering, you’ll find the micro USB and USB-C ports and a standard USB port for power output. If you use the wireless charging pad and the USB as well, you can charge two devices simultaneously.
10. BearTwo Portable Solar Charger
- Built-in flashlight
- Easy to carry design
- Made with Eco-friendly silicone rubber
The BearTwo Portable Solar Charger is a solid buy without breaking the bank. This solar charger originally comes in black, but if you are feeling fashionable, you can get versions that are colored blue, green, and one with orange accents. Who says you can’t be stylish while being outdoors?
The overall design is a bit basic but fully functional. A bit chunky, but it is still easy-to-grip. It also has built-in functions like a charge-level indicator, a cutout for connecting a carabiner or lanyard loop, plus a good flashlight.
The power bank’s 10,000 mAh can fully charge a standard smartphone up to five times. The BearTwo Portable Solar Charger can charge two devices simultaneously, thanks to its two USB power outputs. It is also lightweight at just 7.4 ounces, making it a popular choice for ultralight backpackers and anyone else who loves to travel light.
Factors to Consider When Buying A Solar Phone Chargers
Before jumping the gun and buying your very own sun-powered chargers, there are things that you must know first. In choosing the right one for you make sure to do a checklist of these listed factors first.
In any form of power, wattage is essential. For solar panels, this is more crucial than usual. Because when the need arises for your solar charger, it is natural that you want them to charge your phones as instantly as possible. This is where a high amount of wattage will come into play. The higher the wattage, the better it is.
Naturally, the mere fact that you are looking solar chargers it means that you’re an outgoing person whos likely to get exposed to elements. It might be extreme weather conditions or other hazards so in retrospect a sturdy solar charger is your best bet. Make sure to get one that has a sturdy build and can withstand the active lifestyle that you have. A water-proof option is also a huge plus.
You are a traveling adventurer so being as lightweight as possible is critical. Finding the extra space squeeze in your solar panels might be a hassle especially if you have minimal space. If this sounds like you then make sure to consider portability as a major factor in your solar charging shopping.
In choosing your solar panels and batteries, you will have three options to choose from. You can opt to get pure solar panels that don’t have a battery added, or you can have a built-in battery which is technically a permanent part of the device, or you can choose to get an external battery as an alternate source of power. However, the advantages of not having a battery are obvious. No battery pack means lightweight and less bulk.
It’s challenging for a solar charger to have every USB charging options considering that there are tons out there. That is why you must check the product listing carefully to know which type of USB port they have and if it’s compatible with your devices. In the worst-case scenario having adapters and multi-purpose cords are handy.
The scenario of running out of phone battery is very familiar. This is even more relatable if love outdoors. If you do, then this inconvenience might turn ugly in emergency situations. Whether you’re out there hiking or fishing, having a solar charger at your disposal will give you peace of mind.
Remember a solar panel can be a lifeline. You don’t want to be caught without power in a bad situation. Having a solar charger means that you will stay connected as long as the sun is shining. And that is just a comforting thought, especially for adventure seekers like yourself. I mean, who would want to get stranded in the middle of nowhere with a dead smartphone in their pocket?
[Note: This was a guest post.]