There’s nothing wrong with bringing electronics on an outdoor excursion. Sure, it can be argued that screens take away from the adventure, and we agree to an extent. However, there are plenty of reasons to at least have a cell phone. You could get injured and need to make a call; lost and need a map or maybe your cell phone doubles as your camera for nature photography. You’re also probably going to want a cell phone with you on a long RV trip.
Solar Phone Charger
How do you keep your cell phone and electronics powered and juiced up during an outdoor excursion? The answer is solar phone chargers or solar power banks. These handy contraptions can recharge your phone, radio, laptop or other devices without plugging into an electrical outlet.
A solar phone charger is a great piece of equipment to carry because you never know when your cell phone battery will die. Solar phone chargers are easy to use and are perfect for your hiking backpack or briefcase. You can even clip a solar phone charger to your belt loop so that you always have it with you.
Solar Battery Charger
A solar battery charger absorbs sunlight and powers your devices such as cell phones, tablets, smartwatches and more. They’re lightweight and easy to carry. All you have to do is place them in direct sunlight or attach them to your backpack and they will convert solar power into battery power for your devices.
Solar charging has become increasingly popular. We rely on cell phones and other devices to stay in contact these days and you don’t always have the opportunity to plug into a wall outlet. Solar charging makes hiking, camping, backpacking and commuting back and forth to work easier. You can use them while carpooling if there aren’t enough vehicle phone chargers or on the bus while commuting to work or school. Sunlight is always available which makes solar charging easy to do.
Solar Power Bank Vs. Solar Charger
Solar power banks and solar chargers may sound the same, but they work differently. A solar power bank is a portable solar charger that has an internal battery that you can charge with a wall outlet. You have two ways to charge your power bank which can then charge your electronic devices.
Solar chargers have multiple solar panels that absorb sunlight and turn it into usable electricity to charge your devices. Both types have pros and cons so you will need to decide which one fits your needs the best.
Camping Solar Panels
Camping solar panels come in all shapes and sizes. They do an amazing job at keeping your devices fully powered. You can attach them directly to your tent to absorb sunlight all day and power your devices at night. Camping solar panels can also be hooked to your hiking backpack to collect power while you hike. We use camping solar panels all the time and they keep the kids’ devices charged all day.
Best Power Banks for Camping
There are a ton of power banks that are perfect for camping. Many of them can charge your phone up to 5x on a single charge. If your power bank runs out of energy, you can simply leave it out in the sun the next morning or attach it to your tent or backpack to recharge it. You can also plug it into your vehicle or wall outlets you find to recharge.
Not just for outdoor use – solar power banks are great for the office or transit where you may not always have access to a plugin to charge your cell phone, tablet and other devices. You can also purchase solar-powered power banks that recharge in the sunlight and then pass on that juice to your electronics. These are perfect for hiking and camping because you can get multiple charges to your devices without recharging the power bank. Just leave it out in the sun or on your hiking pack and let nature power your gear.
Solar power banks are essential during inclement weather. You never know when electricity will go out and for how long. The best solar power banks can charge your household cell phones multiple times on one charge.
Solar Power Bank Reviews
Anker Solar Power Bank
Anker makes a powerful solar power bank. This model is resistant against water, shock, dust and dirt and is great for the outdoors. You can take these on the trail, beach or even your backyard to power your cell phones and laptop.
Anker uses SunPower monocrystalline panels that give it a higher efficiency than other solar power bank chargers. It also has a Micro USB input port that allows you to recharge your device at a higher speed and save charging time.
This solar power bank 10000mAh with dual USB ports can charge a ton of electronic devices from a single charge. This is a great outdoor solar power bank for anyone wanting a tougher version of the solar power banks you find in Walmart or BestBuy.
GoerTek Solar Power Bank Charger for Outdoors
The GoerTek Solar Power Bank is the best overall power bank in our opinion. There are many other power banks in this quality range, but we liked this one the most. A rugged 25000mAh Ultra High Capacity Solar Charger that will keep your electronic devices charged many times over on your next outdoor excursion.
This military grade power bank packs enough power to charge an iPhone XS 7.4 times, an iPad Pro nearly 2 times and a Galaxy S9 Plus for just about 6 times!
That’s a lot of power and we all know these devices use a lot of juice. While you may not want to bring a ton of electronics with you in the woods, sometimes you want multiple charges on your phone just in case. You never know when you may need to make an emergency call or need to find directions with Google Maps.
There are two basic ways to charge the GoarTek Battery Solar Power Bank: the 5V/2A adapter or solar charging. This solar charging powerbank offer 3-USB ports to charge. Guess what that means? You can charge 3 devices at the same time! You and your friends can charge all devices while you make your morning coffee.
The GoerTek Solar Power Bank comes with a carabiner and a USB cable. The charging adapter is sold separately. Do yourself a favor and drop one or two of these in your bag next time you go hiking or camping.
We suggest fully charging this device by USB cable before your excursion just in case there isn’t enough sunlight to charge your device. It can also take longer than expected to fully charge. This solar power bank charger also has 36 LED high-illumination lights that can provide 3 modes for lighting to help you see around the campsite instead of burning up your phone’s battery.
This solar power bank measures 3.8” across the top and bottom, 1.1” thick and 7” long. Solar Power Banks also come in handy during a natural disaster where you could be without power for multiple days.
The GoerTek is a great solar power bank for camping, office use and home use for when you need to charge a cell phone.
Benfiss Solar Power Bank with 4 Solar Panels
More solar panels gives you more charging capacity. The Benfiss Solar Power Bank comes equipped with 4 foldable solar panels that are highly effective at gathering juice from the sun.
The 4 solar panels allow the Benfiss Solar Power Bank to charge roughly 5x faster than other solar power bank chargers. We like this one because you get more solar panels to spread out and capture more sunlight. It has 25000mAh capacity that can charge mobile phones up to 12 times on one charge. That’s plenty of juice to keep your electronic gear working while on an outdoor excursion. You get 2 USB outputs to charge 2 devices simultaneously. You also get the ever popular LED lights that can illuminate a campsite or help you find your gear in the dark.
Not only does this solar charger power bank fold up like a smart phone for easy carry, it’s also waterproof and can hang onto your pack with the included carabiner. Some people clip it to their pack while they hike to gather a little extra juice. As always, we recommend giving this device a full charge with the wall charger before you head out on your outdoor adventure.
The four solar panels can easily fold out over your backpack to pick up more sun rays which makes this one of the best solar chargers for backpacking. The multiple solar panels also makes this a great solar power bank for laptop use.
Related: The Best Solar Powered Outdoor Gear
Panergy Portable 5 Solar Panel Power Bank 26800mAh
If 4 solar panels weren’t enough for you, check out the Panergy 5 Solar Panel Power Bank Charger. It comes with 5 foldable and super-efficient 1.5W solar panels that are perfect for hiking, camping, RVing, picnics and weekend outdoor excursions.
This powerful solar power bank can charge roughly 4-6 times faster than other brands. You can easily charge up to 3 devices at the same time with 3 USB charging ports. This comes in handy for group hikes or trips where you need multiple electronic device charged and don’t want to wait. You can attach this solar power bank to your pack and let the 5 solar panels hang down and catch sunrays.
This power bank has huge charging capacity with its 26800mAh battery. You can charge an iPhone 11 roughly 6.5 times with one charge, a large table nearly 2 times and a Galaxy phone for roughly 5 times. That’s a lot of charging capacity for one solar power bank! This hiking solar power bank is made from tough material that protects it from dust, spills and dropping it. You get 2 strong flashlights with 3 modes that can light up your campsite, vehicle or help you see the trail as you make your way back before sundown. You get the 268000mAh Solar Charger Bank, Lanyards, Travel Pouch and a USB Cable with this purchase. This is one of the best hiking and backpacking solar power bank chargers for under $50.
Beswill Solar Power Bank 30000mAh with 5 Outputs
You get a lot of extras with this solar power bank! First, it’s more powerful than most power banks with a 30000mAh battery. Most power banks have about 20000mAh to 26800mAh batteries.
The Beswill Solar Power Bank provides a little extra capacity and can charge most phones 10-11 times on a single charge and a tablet roughly 3 times. That’s much more than the average solar power bank.
This is the perfect solar power bank to have during hurricanes, natural disasters where electricity goes out, hiking, camping, backpacking and emergency situations. You can charge Qi-enabled devices wireless and can charge multiple devices with 5 outputs and type-C input. You also get a flashlight mode with 4 lighting modes just in case you forget your flashlight or don’t want to dig in your hiking bag for it.
Did we mention this solar power bank is waterproof? It’s designed for outdoor use and is made from tough materials that will withstand water, dust and drops. You can charge up to 6 devices at a time which is nearly triple the average for other outdoor solar power banks. Perfect for camping with friends because we all know they want to charge their devices as well. This is one of the most powerful solar power banks for under $60.
Oukafen Solar Power Bank Portable Charger for Camping
If you’re looking for a good solar power bank for under $25, the Oukafen Solar Bank is a great place to begin your search. It has a built-in 20000mAh high capacity polymer battery that can power your gear on the go. The compact solar panel gives you an additional way to charge your electronics while on an outdoor trip. It has a compass built-in and 2 bright LED flashlights. Designed with your outdoor needs in mind and made from ABS+PC+Silicone material that will give your device some protection from drops, dirt and moisture. Two USB ports allow you to charge up to two smartphones at the same time or one large tablet at full speed. You also have access to a SOS strobe light for emergency situations. Compatible with all cell phone brands. You can get this solar power bank for around $24 and have it charged and ready for your next camping trip. This is a great military grade solar phone charger that will keep your gear juiced up and ready to use.
Slols 20000mAh Wireless Solar Power Bank for Outdoor
This 20000mAh large capacity solar power bank is a great addition to any outdoor gear bag.
You can charge cell phones up to 5x with one charge and small tablets twice. Compatible with all types of phones and it comes equipped with 2 USB outputs and 1 Type-C output, so you can charge 4 electronic devices at the same time.
Keep in mind though, only Qi-enabled devices can be charged through wireless charging tech. LED flashlight to give you an extra amenity and it’s rainproof. Obviously, we wouldn’t recommend dunking it in a puddle, but it will hold up under a light drizzle.
This solar power bank 20000mAh are tough and can take a beating. Not that you would want to rough it up, but we all know that can happen on a hiking or camping trip as gear gets jumbled up in your bag. The Slols is one of the more powerful and best solar power banks of 2020. This is a pretty good camping and hiking power bank for under $30.
You can find this solar power bank on Amazon and have it shipped directly to you.
Riapow Wireless Solar Charger Power Bank for Outdoor Camping 26800mAH
The Riapow Solar Charging Power Bank is a truly cable-free solar power bank that comes equipped with wireless output and has the ability to support all Qi-enabled cell phones. The 26800mAh Ultra High Capacity battery is a great deal stronger than many other power banks and allows you to charge much more on a single charge. Feel free to charge your cell phone an average of 6-8 charges and roughly 3 whole charges to an iPad mini or similar sized tabled on a single charge. One full charge on this solar power bank will give you up to 8 days of juice. That’s hard to beat! This camping solar power bank is under $40 and you get a lot for your money. The fact that the Riapow is cheap and packs a strong charge makes it one a top contender for the best solar phone charger for backpacking.
Kilponen Solar Charger 26800mAh Power Bank
This 26800mAh Solar Charger packs a mean punch! The huge capacity battery has enough juice to fully charge up to 6 cell phones or 2 tablets. These are perfect for outdoor treks, emergency situations, long car drives or natural disaster preparations. You never know when the electricity will go out and having one of these solar power banks on hand could make your time a little easier. You can charge this device in a wall plugin or rely on solar power. We recommend fully charging it in a wall outlet before your trip and not fully relying on the sun to charge as it could take some time. The battery pack comes with two USB ports with 5V/2.1A and a 5V/1A output for multiple devices. A charge will easily last nearly a week. We’ve seen these power banks fully charge a phone and still be at full power.
Hiluckey Solar Charger 26800mAh 10W Wireless Power Bank
Compatible with all Qi-enabled devices and packing a 26800mAh battery with huge capacity; this power bank charges 4x as fast as a regular USB charging port. Get your gear charged and ready to go faster with a more powerful battery. Don’t worry about cables with the wireless charging feature. You also get 2 super bright flashlights just in case you forget your flashlight. This solar power bank is designed for heavy-duty outdoor use and is protected from dust, waterproof and drop proof. They can take a beating and keep charging. You can easily stash one of these in your backpack or hiking bag just in case you need it. Many people also keep one in their car, but know that you should fully charge it before you plan on using it. While solar power banks can easily be charged in direct sunlight, it can be time consuming. The Hilucky is a powerful little charger and one of the best solar power banks for camping.
Are Solar Power Banks Worth It?
Solar power banks come in handy when you’re in the outdoors and need a quick cell phone charge. They’re also great to have at home or in your vehicle. They can really get you out of a bind and keep the juice flowing to your important electronics. We recommend having at least one in your gear bag.
Which Solar Power Bank is the Best?
The best solar power bank depends on what you’re looking for. Solar power bank chargers come with varying amounts of power. Some are stronger than others and have more functions to help charge your electronics.
Are Solar Power Banks Good To Have During Hurricane Season?
Absolutely! You never know when the electricity will go out during hurricane season and it’s good to have a few solar power banks on hand to ensure you can keep your family’s cell phones fully charged in case of emergency. If you live in an area that gets hit hard by hurricane’s, you could benefit from buying the best solar power banks you can find. They’re not expensive and can keep you connected when the power goes out.
Do Solar Power Banks Work During a Hurricane?
The best thing you can do is to fully charge your solar power banks the second you hear of an incoming hurricane. We’re talking the first moment it comes on the news, make sure you have at least one on the charger. You can always charge them outside in the sunlight, but it may be cloudy for a while during hurricane weather and could take hours to get a decent charge. If you charge it ahead of time, you can charge your phone multiple times on one charge. Once you run out, you will have to rely on the solar panels to charge the device until the electricity comes back on.
How to Charge a Solar Power Bank
You have multiple options when it comes to charging your solar power bank. You can charge using electricity and sunlight. To charge by electricity, you can either plug your solar power bank into a USB charger with a wall outlet or you can plug into your computer. We suggest using a wall outlet so you will not drain your computer battery. You will need to use the included USB cord. Your solar power bank has an LED indicator that lets you know it is charging. You can also charge your device using sunlight, however, this will take longer than using the USB cord. We don’t recommend relying on sunlight unless you have to due to the fact it could be cloudy and will take some time. The best advice we can give you is to charge your solar power bank before you need it to have a full charge on hand and then use the sun when you run out of juice.
What is the Best Solar Power Bank for Camping?
If you plan on using a solar power bank for camping, you want to make sure it can power all of your devices that you plan on using on your trip. Take not of what you will be brining and how often you plan on using them. You can get a pretty decent charge from any solar power bank, but you want to make sure it will last throughout your entire stay. Many solar power banks can charge multiple electronics simultaneously such as a cell phone, laptop and fan. You will also want to compare charging times between models as some require you to leave them in the sun for hours before they can even begin to charge your gear. Keep in mind, you should fully charge your solar power bank before going camping as that will give you multiple charges before having to rely on the sun to charge your solar power bank. It can take quite a while to charge using purely the sun and will prolong your ability to charge your phone.
Can Anyone Buy a Military Grade Solar Phone Charger?
Yes, anyone can purchase military grade solar power banks for charging cell phones, tablets, small laptops, fans, ice chests and more. Military grade simply refers to the toughness of the product and how well it is made. Many solar power banks could be considered military grade as they are extremely tough and durable. Military grade doesn’t mean only the military has access to such products, it merely describes the durability of the product.
What is the Best Solar Phone Charger in 2021?
There are many brands to choose from and advancements in solar power charging are made daily. Products that were good a few years ago are now nearly obsolete as new solar phone charger models are more powerful and can hold a charge longer. We suggest reading reviews of the top solar power banks and take into account how many devices they can power at once, how long it takes to charge in the sun and how long the device can hold a charge.
Jerome is an avid outdoorsman who moonlights as an attorney when he’s not creating the world’s greatest online content.