The 8 Best Portable Solar Chargers of 2019

Don't get caught in the wilderness without one

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The Rundown

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Jetsun Solar Charger 16750mAh Portable Solar Power Bank

4.3

Designed with the outdoor camper in mind, Jetsun's portable solar charger is ready to help you out with all your power needs, thanks to a 16,750mAh battery and compact solar panel. With dual USB output ports, it’s easy enough to charge a smartphone and other portable devices that might come in handy during nights in the woods. A built-in LED light helps it serve dual purposes as a nightlight and shows you the amount of charge left in the power bank. The shell consists of wear-resistant plastic and is waterproof, shockproof and dustproof. Taking around 8 to 10 hours to fully charge, the Jetsun can charge a smartphone from 0 to 100 percent in around two hours. Overall it's portable, durable and can hang on a backpack and charge while you’re on the move.

Best Splurge: X-DRAGON 40W SunPower Solar Panel Charger

4

Thanks to a super-sized 40W solar panel charger, the X-Dragon offers a beefy 2.8A (Amps) of power capable of re-charging smartphones, tablets and even some smaller laptops. Built-in to the X-Dragon is a 5V/2A charging port for a 5V gadget and a 18V DC output (18V/2A) for charging a laptop or other 18V powered devices. Fortunately, all that extra juice doesn’t mean an unwieldy size; the X-Dragon maintains a slim and foldable profile that’s easy to carry around. It can go in or on a backpack with the included carabiner that hooks directly to a bag. The 10-in-1 connector cables enable it to charge just about any type of device, while the incorporation of SolarIQ technology helps achieve the appropriate current and voltage to deliver max power. Ultimately, the X-Dragon is an ideal combination of portability and power that can keep you going for days.

Best Battery Life: WPBPINE Solar Power Bank

4.8

Supported by a massive 24,000mAh battery pack, the WBPINE solar power bank is a solid choice when you need a battery on the go. Capable of charging an iPhone 7 up to 10 times before running out of power, the battery pack adds dual USB 2.1A inputs for rapidly charging two devices at a time. It works with all Apple and Android smartphones as well as a slew of other devices. The three solar panels fold out to absorb more sunlight than similar models, dramatically cutting down on charging speeds and allowing for a full solar-powered charge in under 26 hours. The incorporated LED light is a noteworthy addition that can double as a flashlight or a steady SOS-strobe light in case of an emergency. Plus, the rugged form factor makes it ideal for outdoor use — the hardware can withstand rain, shock, and dust as well as intelligently preventing devices from overcharging or overheating while plugged in. The included hook attaches to a backpack or tent for charging via sunlight without having to be carried in hand. 

Best Phone Charger: Dizaul 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank

3.3

With an ultra-portable design, the Dizaul 5000mAh portable solar power bank is the ideal solution for keeping your smartphone charged. With dual USB ports, it’s easy enough to share with a friend and charge two devices simultaneously. Fortunately, its water-resistant design and shockproof casing make it easy to travel and attach to the outside of a carry-on bag (there's an included hook). An emergency flashlight helps you quickly find any lost items and the smart LED indicators alert you when the battery is charged or requires a re-charge. It takes around two hours to charge a smartphone and the AC charging time of the Dizaul is around six to seven hours (it takes around two days of sunlight to completely re-charge due to the smaller solar panel surface). It measures 2.76 x 5.59 x .55 inches.

Best Portability: BigBlue 28W Solar Charger

With the BigBlue Solar Charger, you’ll never find yourself caught off-guard by low battery levels on your computer or smartphone, no matter if you’re tackling adventures or just navigating the demands of the day-to-day. Small and light (it measures just over a pound and can be folded to the size of a magazine), it’s easy to pack, but its size doesn’t stop it from producing a great deal of power, offering a 21.5 to 23.5 percent solar efficiency. Thanks to two 2.4 A ports and one 1A port, you can charge three devices at the same time, and all the ports are covered by a cloth flap and rubber cover to protect them from dust or water damage. It is compatible with a variety of Apple and Android devices, and the polymer surface protects the entire charger from occasional rain and fog. When hiking under trees or when you encounter cloudy conditions, the device will automatically stop, restarting once it's back in the sun. 

Runner-Up, Best Portability: YOLK YKSP 5W Solar Paper

A little more expensive than the average solar charger, the Yolk Solar Paper offers one of the lightest and most portable options available. Weighing just 0.3 pounds and measuring only 3.5” x 7.5” x 0.4” when folded, it is ideal for any adventurer whether you're in the city or the mountains. It can easily fit into a jacket pocket for easy transportation. Along with its size, the charger’s appearance is subtle and sleek — matte black and trimmed with gold accents.

An iPhone 6 can be charged within 2.5 hours with the Solar Paper 5W, though 7.5W, 10W, and 15W options are also available. While the smaller sizes are only able to accommodate smaller devices, additional panels can be added to meet any charging needs. With auto reset technology, the device will automatically resume powering once you enter a sunny area so you don’t have to worry about plugging and unplugging.

Best for Hiking: Nekteck 21W Solar Charger

The portable and compact design of the Nekteck 21W solar charger is a fantastic and highly efficient solution for hikers who want to stay charged while on the trail. With dual USB ports, the Nektech keeps your iPhone, Android and tablets charged whether you’re on an adventure or sitting at the kitchen table. The built-in smart IC chip helps identify each device plugged in and helps determine the appropriate charging speed (either 3A or 2A), which maximizes overall battery life. The build quality matches its use-case with a rugged canvas designed specifically for outdoor use. Come rain or shine, the Nekteck will be ready to go. It weighs only 18 ounces and measures 6.3 x 11.1 x 1.96 inches folded or 26.3 x 11.1 inches when open.

Best for Water-Resistance: Sokoo 22W

Water-resistant and durable, the Sokoo 22W portable solar charger has a PVC fabric canvas that can withstand thunderstorms, high humidity and even splashes from the ocean. The included Smart IC circuit helps maximize battery life through the dual USB chargers by determining the type of connected device and the appropriate output power. With a max charge of 3.3A or 2.4A on the 5V port, the 12.2 x 6.69-inch (when unfolded) and 17.5-ounce design is ready to go wherever the road takes you. The included attachment hook makes it ideal for connecting to a backpack while you’re on the trail or walking around town.

Tested by

How We Tested

Our reviewers spent 18 hours testing one of the most popular portable solar chargers available. To really get the full experience, we asked them to consider the most important features when using this solar charger — from durability to charging power — and we've outlined them here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.

What to Look for in a Portable Solar Charger

Charging power - Bigger solar chargers typically charge your devices faster, but the wattage is a better indicator of charging power than the size of the solar panels alone. If you want to charge a phone in a reasonable amount of time, 10 to 15W is about the lowest you want to go.

Battery backup - Portable solar chargers that have built-in power banks are a must-have if you plan on using yours in cloudy conditions or at night. Look for a bigger battery if you want to be able to charge multiple devices or have extra reserve power in an emergency.

Portability - More surface area for the solar panels usually translates into more power for your devices, so folding solar chargers tend to split the difference between great portability and high output. Single panel chargers are easier to carry around, but the smaller ones struggle to provide a decent amount of power in anything resembling a timely manner.

2:11

Our 3 Favorite Solar Phone Chargers Compared

Test Results: Jetsun Solar Charger 16750mAh Portable Solar Power Bank (Best Overall)

4.3

What We Like

  • Durable

  • Good battery life

  • Portable

What We Don’t Like

  • Blinking light to signify solar charging

  • Flashlight functionality is confusing

  • Gets hot in direct sun

Jetsun Solar Charger
Jetsun Solar Charger
Jetsun Solar Charger
Jetsun Solar Charger

“Unlike other power banks I tested, I see this as a match for truly active, outdoorsy people as well as weekend or vacation adventurers,” our tester said of the Jetsun. The negatives? According to our reviewer, “the LED flashlight functionality could be a little more straightforward in terms of how to turn it on and off.” She added, “The blinking power indicator lights are another weakness of this device.” Still, our tester highly recommended this solar charger: “It's not very expensive, but there's tremendous value in what you do get, which is great battery life, fast charging for smartphones, and portability.”

Test Results: X-DRAGON 40W SunPower Solar Panel Charger (Best Splurge)

4

What We Like

  • Quick charge time

  • Great battery life

  • Lightweight

What We Don't Like

  • No fastener to keep panels in place

  • Not waterproof

X-DRAGON 40W SunPower Solar Panel Charger
Lifewire / Yoona Wagener
X-DRAGON 40W SunPower Solar Panel Charger
Lifewire /Yoona Wagener
X-DRAGON 40W SunPower Solar Panel Charger
Lifewire / Yoona Wagener
X-DRAGON 40W SunPower Solar Panel Charger
Lifewire / Yoona Wagener 

“I was impressed by how well it responded to the sun in a short window of time,” our tester said of the X-DRAGON. “It convinced me of the dual benefit of both the internal battery and the four solar panels.” In terms of negatives, our reviewer warned, “Because there is no snap or other fastener to keep the solar panels together, carrying this solar bank is limited to putting it inside a bag folded up or leaving it unrolled at all times by attaching it to a backpack with a carabiner.” She also said it’s “water resistant at best.” If you can ignore those design elements, though, our tester concluded, “All in all, this device earns high marks for charging speed since we found it consistently charges in four hours, powers up smartphones in two hours, and soaks up power from adequate sunshine.”

Test Results: WPBPINE Solar Power Bank (Best Battery Life)

4.8

What We Like

  • Huge battery

  • Portable

  • Protective cover

  • Effective solar power conversion

What We Don't Like

  • Heavy

  • Gets hot in direct sun

WPBPINE Solar Power Bank
Lifewire / Yoona Wagener 
WPBPINE Solar Power Bank
Lifewire / Yoona Wagener 
WPBPINE Solar Power Bank
Lifewire / Yoona Wagener
WPBPINE Solar Power Bank
 Lifewire / Yoona Wagener

“The battery life is amazing on this solar power bank,” our tester raved. “It's what makes it hefty and a bit heavy, but it does its job, which reinforces the value of this product.” According to our reviewer, it does get “quite hot when in direct sunlight.” She also called it “somewhat pricey compared to similar models that have more features like wireless charging.” Overall? “It offers a powerful blend of impressive battery and solar charging capacity, which I imagine is exactly what buyers would want for serious time outdoors.”

Test Results: Dizaul 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank (Best Phone Charger)

3.3

What We Like

  • Compact and lightweight

  • Includes flexible reading light

What We Don't Like

  • Battery life isn’t great

  • Attracts lint

  • Flimsy covers for USB ports

Dizaul 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank
 Lifewire / Yoona Wagener
Dizaul 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank
Lifewire / Yoona Wagener
Dizaul 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank
Lifewire / Yoona Wagener 
Dizaul 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank
Lifewire / Yoona Wagener 

Our tester gave this solar charger “high marks for portability.“ She added, “Even though it's small and light, the silicone material does feel substantial enough to protect it from some wear and tear.” The downsides? ”Within the first moments of handling it, I noticed it was starting to pick up dust,” our reviewer reported. “This takes away from what otherwise feels like a low-maintenance product.” She also said that “the charging speed is decent,” but “the battery life itself isn't that spectacular.” The takeaway: “This may be worth buying for folks who want a portable phone-charging solution and who spend enough time outside to get some benefit from the slow solar charging power.