Best Solar Battery Charger 2016: Portable Solar Phone Charger Reviews

A portable solar charger is a great way to bring power with you, whether you are going camping for a few days or for a long hike, or even if you are planning on creating a bug out bag or emergency shelter and are trying to decide how you would like to go about having power in your shelter.

A solar battery charger or solar USB charger works by capturing the energy of the sun, and using this energy in a way that allows you to power small lanterns, phone chargers, and GPS systems. Depending on your power needs, you might want to invest in multiple solar panels or larger units if you plan on using them in an emergency shelter, or if you have a lot of different devices that need to be powered.

Some portable solar panels can clip onto your backpack, while others can be strapped to your bag or even to your belt. Some of them are a little more permanent in design, and can be set up outside of your emergency shelter and left there if you desire, while others can be folded up neatly and moved around.

Best Solar Charger Reviews

Here are five of the best solar chargers on the market today. In each review, I will include a description and highlights of the features that each solar panel offers. At the end of each description, there are bullet points that allow you to compare each of the products.

These bullet points will include:

  • Type: What the product is categorized as
  • Size and weight: How big each portable solar panel is, and how much it weighs
  • Solar Capacity: How much power the solar panel can hold
  • Weatherproof: Whether or not the item is weatherproof

Anker 21W 2-Port USB Solar Charger PowerPort Review

solar phone chargerThe Anker 21W 2-Port USB Solar Charger PowerPort is an easy to use portable solar panel that offers fast charging, a sleek design, and the ability to attach it to tents, trees, and backpacks by using the stainless steel eyelets on the product.

The solar charger offers a charging speed of 2.4 amps per each port, and 3 amps in direct sunlight, making the charging process rather quick for a solar panel charger.

Created with a tough polyester material, the charger is weatherproof, so if you get stuck in the rain during a hike, your solar power charger has a good chance of being okay if left outside.

The 18-month warranty is a big selling point for this portable solar panel, and it shows that the company backs up its product. The $60 price tag is expected for the product, and it quite impressive for all this portable solar panel offers.

  • Type: USB Camping Sun Charger
  • Size and weight: Size: 6.3 x 11.1 x 1.1 in, Weight: 15 oz
  • Solar Capacity: 21W
  • Weatherproof: Yes

Nekteck 20W Solar Charger with 2 Port USB Charger Review

best solar charger for iPhoneThe Nekteck 20W Solar Charger is another impressive backpack solar charger and the $50 price tag makes it a little more affordable, and still offers 20W-charging capabilities.

The amount of solar power that this charger can hold is enough to charge two devices simultaneously, which makes it a great buy for families. You can use is as a solar iPhone charger for two iPhones at the same time! The charging speed the Nekteck portable solar charger offers is 2.0 amps per port, or 3 amps total between the two ports.

The lightweight foldable solar charger is made from rugged material that is built to withstand drops, heavy usage, and the solar panel part of the charger is even resistant to rain and other rough weather conditions. Sleek, light, and foldable, this product is great for hiking and camping, and the loops allow for easy attachment to your belt, backpack, or even your tent.

  • Type: USB Camping Sun Charger
  • Size and weight: Size: 6.7 x 12.9 x 1.7 in, Weight: 20 oz
  • Solar Capacity: 20W
  • Weatherproof: Yes

X-DRAGON High Efficiency 20W Solar Panel Charger Review

solar powered battery chargerThe X-DRAGON High Efficiency Solar Panel Charger costs about $50, and offers a 20W charging system for your smartphones, iPods, and tablets.

The solar portable charger boasts an exclusive iSolar technology, which allows the device to automatically adjust the voltage and current your charging device is receiving to ensure that it charges quickly and completely. The fastest current offered by the X-DRAGON charger is 2.4 amps under direct sunlight, and the dual USB ports allow you to charge more than one device at a time.

Slim and lightweight, this solar power charger can attach to backpacks and tents with ease thanks to the loops around the product. After being out in the sun all day, the charger can be easily folded and put away for easy storage.

  • Type: USB Camping Sun Charger
  • Size and weight: Size: 7.8 x 13.2 x 1.5 in, Weight: 1.65 pounds
  • Solar Capacity: 20W
  • Weatherproof: Yes

iBeek Portable Solar Battery Pack and Charger Review

solar charger for phoneThe iBeek Portable Solar External Battery Pack and Charger is a bit different than your average iPhone solar charger!

Priced at $22 and available in multiple colors (orange, green, and black), this solar power battery charger isn’t just a charger – it is an actual battery pack with a solar panel that can be used to recharge the battery inside. There are two USB ports, a 2.1 amp port for iPads and tablets, and a 1.0 amp charger for cell phones and smartphones, and the device is able to charge two devices at once.

Another great feature that makes this charger great for emergency situations is the ultra bright powerful camping light that is on the outside of the charger. This light can be helpful if you are stuck or stranded and need a little extra light to make food or get sleeping areas ready. It can be hung easily on a backpack or tent by the hook on the charger.

Since the charger is mainly an extra battery, it is important to note that solar power is not the main source of power for the unit, and it should be charged in an electrical outlet before leaving the house. The battery can be charged about 500 times.

  • Type: Portable battery/charger/solar panel charger
  • Size and weight: Size: 0.79 x 6.3 x 3.11 in, Weight: 8 oz.
  • Solar Capacity: N/A – 12000mAh battery
  • Weatherproof: Yes

Matone Portable Solar Charger Battery Review

backpacking solar chargerComing in a variety of colors (such as blue, green, orange, red, and black), the Matone Portable Solar Charger Battery is moderately priced, ranging from $19 to $32, depending on your color choice.

The lifespan on this cell phone solar charger allows the battery to be charged up to 500 times, and if left in direct sunlight, the device can charge the battery within, as well as devices such as a smartphone or tablet, as well as GPS systems, radios, and even smart watches, and can charge up to two different devices at a time.

Also a feature of this product is a bright LED flashlight that is helpful in camping and emergency situations. A hook is included with the product, which allows you to hang it just about anywhere (backpacks, tents, etc.), and if left in direct sunlight, will stay powered up and ready to go.

  • Type: Portable battery/charger/solar panel charger
  • Size and weight: Size: 7.8 x 6.2 x 1 inches, Weight: 8.8 oz.
  • Solar Capacity: N/A – 10000mAh battery
  • Weatherproof: Yes

My Vote for the Best Portable Solar Charger

best solar phone charger If you are looking for a solar powered phone charger, all of these are great options, but it obviously depends on what your needs are.

Since we have discussed two different types of portable solar panels, regular solar panels and those with a battery charge and a solar panel as a backup, choosing one relies on what you are planning on using the product for.

If you are planning on keeping a backup power source with you at all times, such as when you are out driving around), you might want to choose one of the solar panels that acts as a a solar cellphone charger. This will be easier to ensure a proper charge of your device if you are out of direct sunlight.

However, if you are purchasing a portable solar panel for use during camping and hiking, or to add to an emergency gear bag, it might be a smarter plan to go with a full solar panel charger, since you are likely to be outdoors often enough for the unit to get enough energy stored up to charge your devices.

That being said, my vote for the best portable solar panel leans toward the Anker 21W 2-Port USB Solar Charger PowerPort. While the device might be a little higher in price than the others, the warranty, lightweight and sleek design, and overall charging capabilities are enough to justify the price.