The 10 Best Portable Solar Chargers for Backpacking & Travel in 2018
With life becoming so chaotic and hectic, the need for useful technology is becoming a must – especially when it comes to having the very best portable solar charger. With so much to do in so little time, many people are finding themselves overwhelmed with the lack of space in their schedule to charge up their devices. And if they do happen to find enough time to power back up, there often aren’t enough chargers or open plug ins available for them to do so. However, thanks to the advances in solar technology, this no longer has to be an issue. Portable chargers are a growing trend – one that we only expect to gain more momentum as time progresses. They can be used to charge your laptops, cell phones, tablets, and more. Click here for the guide on Solar Panels for your house!
Table of Contents
- View the Best Portable Solar Charger on the Market, Below.
- How does the Solar Charger Work?
- Can You Charge Your Phone Battery in the Sun?
- Do Solar Phone Chargers Really Work?
- How Do You Know if Your Portable Charger is Fully Charged?
- What is a Solar Bank?
- Are Portable Solar Chargers Any Good?
These portable devices provide a unique opportunity and freedom that few other electronic tools have been able to, which makes them an invaluable resource in our opinion. However, learning about which chargers will best suit you and your needs can sometimes be quite time consuming. The good news is that you won’t have to make time in your busy schedule to figure out which portable solar charger best fits your needs – we’ve already done this for you. Continue reading to see which solar chargers you should have your eye on in this review of the 10 best rated portable solar chargers of 2018.
|Picture||Portable Solar Charger||Weight||Number of Panels||Charging USB Ports||Wattage|
|RAVPower RP-PC008||1.6 lbs||4||3||24W|
|Anker A2422011||0.8 lbs||2||2||15W|
|ECEEN ECE-647||0.8 lbs||2||1||10W|
|X-DRAGON 3296851||1.3 lbs||3||2||20W|
|X-DRAGON XD-SC-001-BORA||0.9 lbs||3||3||3.6W|
|Instapark Mercury 10||1.3 lbs||3||2||10W|
|Nekteck 14W||1.3 lbs||2||2||14W|
|Renogy E.Flex 5W Portable||0.3 lbs||1||1||5W|
|RAVPower US-RP-PB-003-1||0.9 lbs||1||1||10W|
|SUAOKI SG9EPVME-F1||1.5 lbs||4||2||25W|
Buyers Guide Questions
How does the Solar Charger Work?
Solar chargers are devices that are composed of many different cells called photovoltaic cells. These cells are able to absorb energy from the sun and turn it into solar power. Though the design of these solar chargers may be sophisticated, the thought behind them is actually quite simple and straightforward. Photovoltaic cells are made by taking two pieces of semiconductive material and laying them on top of one another to create an electrical field.
However, since electrical fields require opposite charges to function, these pieces of semiconductive material must first be given proper charges. The semiconductive material (which is usually silicone) is assigned a charge by soaking it with another element. To give the top piece of silicone a negative charge, the cell is treated with phosphorous. This adds electrons to the material and makes it negative. Then, the bottom piece of silicone is given a positive charge by treating it with boron.
Boron takes electrons away from the silicone which makes it positive. Then, these two oppositely charged pieces are placed on top of one another. Once this is done, an electric field has been created. Once an electric field has been created, you can charge the photovoltaic cell by letting it sit in the sunlight. The sun’s rays will knock electrons loose from their atoms which can then be collected to use as electricity.
These electrons need to be collected by using metal plates on either end of the cell. The collected electrons can then be transported through wires to your device, where they will promptly recharge your phone, tablet, or laptop until you reach a full charge.
Can You Charge Your Phone Battery in the Sun?
With the growing expansion of solar technology, more and more things are becoming possible that were once a mere dream to the majority of people. One of these things is the ability to charge electronic devices – like your phone by using solar energy. Though many people are familiar with this technology, very few of them understand how it actually works. This leaves many people to wonder, do portable solar chargers actually work?
Or are their capabilities over estimated by the majority of people? The good news is that these solar chargers are actually capable of producing a charge for your phones. However, the time it will take to do this is still a work in progress. Solar chargers are able to absorb light from the sun into their photovoltaic cells and create electricity. However, it can take quite some time to fully charge a battery cell.
Some of the faster models can complete the process in as little as 4.5 hours. However, other models that are made with cheaper materials take much longer – some up to 11 hours just to charge the device’s battery. If you invest in a portable solar charger, you’re going to want to make sure that you don’t choose a cheap device to charge your phone.
While it is possible to charge your phone with cheaper devices, it will take quite some time to do so and you’ll likely lose much of the energy that has been obtained when you try to transfer the charge. Instead, it is better to invest in a portable solar charger that you know will work and last for quite some time. This will be more worthwhile in the long run, and will help you achieve more clean energy for your phone and other devices.
Do Solar Phone Chargers Really Work?
Though many are surprised by this small piece of information, solar phone chargers do indeed work. Though how well these solar chargers work is dependent on the types of materials that are used to build them and if you’re using a portable solar phone charger or a solar phone charger phone case. Portable chargers are much more efficient with their charging and tend to be able to store more power than the phone cases themselves.
However, this doesn’t mean that the phone case chargers are ineffective. Some of them do a rather good job of providing a strong and consistent charge for your phone. However, you’ll have to be especially careful if it is your goal to invest in one of these portable solar chargers because the materials used to build your phone case will be crucial to having a device that can perform well.
How Do You Know if Your Portable Charger is Fully Charged?
Though there are many different types of portable solar chargers on the market, the majority of these chargers have one thing in common: a charge status marker. This feature will look different on every solar charger, but the main thing to keep in mind is that you won’t have to worry about determining when your solar charger has reached a full charge because the charge status will let you know.
Though there may be a few models that don’t have this feature, you should be able to determine how full their battery cells are by following the instructions manual that comes with the device.
What is a Solar Bank?
Many people are familiar with solar panels, but solar banks are an unfamiliar term. However, you shouldn’t worry about being unfamiliar with this term. It isn’t something new and confusing – in fact, if you use solar energy it’s probably something you’ve already come into contact with. Solar banks are no different than battery banks – they are storage cells that hold power until a device is plugged in to charge. The only difference between the two is that solar banks rely on sunlight to charge and battery cells rely on electrical outlets to fill their space.
Are Portable Solar Chargers Any Good?
While people are beginning to accept the many benefits and uses of solar energy and integrate it into their lifestyles, many people are still uncertain as to what benefits – if any – portable chargers have. It’s an important question, especially when you take the time to consider all of the different charging options out there. Solar chargers are actually very effective charging devices despite what many people have heard.
The key to using a solar charger effectively is to understand what time schedule will work best for you to complete the charging phase so you can take advantage of the clean energy it generates. You’ll likely want to set your charger out early in the day so it can soak up enough energy to charge your devices by the time your work day is over. As long as you make effective use of your device’s charge time, a portable solar charger will serve you well. Also, you will need to look into how many devices you want to charge at the same time and all of these 10 Solar Chargers we have reviewed have a different number of usb ports to choose from.
- Charging USB Ports ( 2 )
The Solar Charger RAVPower 16W Solar Panel is an impressive portable solar charger that takes all the needs of an outdoor adventurer into consideration. For this reason – and many others, we have selected it as our top pick for the best of the portables solar chargers. This device is made for those who have an on the go lifestyle. This makes it ideal for people who need a charger that can keep up with their busy lifestyle. There are many reasons that the Solar Charger RAVPower 16W Solar Panel is the best and desirable portable solar charger on the market.
However, one of the most noticeable reasons is that it has a high energy conversion (21.5 to 23.5 percent of solar energy – click here for the study) that is usually only attained by solar chargers that are substantially bigger and only weighs two pounds! This alone makes it useful and convenient. But the benefits don’t stop there. The Solar Charger RAVPower 16W Solar Panel is also water resistant. This is an extremely useful function that helps to increase its versatility. You won’t have to worry about getting caught out in an unexpected rain storm – the RAVPower team has made sure that the device will be able to handle the water exposure until you’re able to place it in a more secure environment.
Last but certainly not least, the solar charger is able to charge up two different USB plug in devices at once. This means that you’ll be able to get all of your devices up and running again with no issue. Additionally, the iSmart technology that is built into the device enables it to sense what kind of device you’ve plugged in. This will help you get the best charge possible and back to work faster than most chargers would be able to work. With so many great features it’s not hard to see why the Solar Charger RAVPower 16W Solar Panel is the best and most popularb portable solar charger on the market.
The Anker 15 W Dual USB Solar Charger is an excellent tool with one of the best outdoor charger designs that we’ve seen. The solar charger is especially made for hikers, bikers, and campers who want to be able to take off into the outdoors without having to worry about not being able to connect with their friends and family if the need arises.
The Anker team worked hard to make sure that you won’t be weighed down while you’re outdoors. The solar charger only weighs 12.5 ounces and has a high energy conversion. You’ll be able to charge up to two devices while you use this tool and then pack it up into your bag without any difficulty.
The ECEEN Folding Solar Panel Phone Charger is one of the best tools for people who need a bit of extra juice to work with to keep their devices fully charged. If you live an on the go lifestyle and need something to keep your devices powered without exceeding your budget, this is the tool for you.
The solar charger is able to use its 10W panels to charge quickly and efficiently. Additionally, the solar charger is rather small in size and takes up less space than a piece of computer paper would. You’ll be able to easily pack the tool up and store it when it isn’t in use. One of the best features of this device is that it is extremely light in weight.
The entire tool weighs less than 1 pound. It’s perfect for people who lead business lifestyles that require them to carry their work with them – easy to carry, but hardly noticeable in weight. It’s the best value buy you could hope to find and will serve any traveler or businessperson well.