The 4 best solar phone chargers of 2024
The struggle to keep your phone charged while out and about is real, especially while on the road, during camping trips, backpacking, at festivals, or spending the day in the park. The good news is that there is now an easy charging solution - solar phone chargers. Solar phone chargers are portable solar panels that can absorb light from the sun to directly charge a phone or a small battery pack.
Our picks for the best solar phone chargers of 2024 are:
*Note: This is an unbiased review: we have no financial ties with any of the companies mentioned, nor do we earn money from affiliate advertising. The content of this blog is based on research and information available at the time of writing.
Here are our picks for the best solar phone chargers on the market.
Our top pick, the BigBlue 3, with its four solar panels and a compact design. Image source: BigBlue
Price: $68.96 Buy Now
Pros: The BigBlue 28W USB Solar Charger is our pick for the Best Overall solar charger. With four highly efficient foldable SunPower solar panels that fit into a compact bag, they can be easily stored in your backpack. It has two charging USB output ports, so it can charge up to three devices while still delivering decent power. Reviews consistently claim that the charger provides decent output in cloudy conditions, as well.
Cons: This charger’s on the heavier side for solar panel chargers, weighing in at 1.3 pounds, even though it doesn’t come with an external battery bank. Although it will fit nicely in your backpack, it might weigh you down. If you want to store power for later, you have to purchase a battery bank separately.
Compatibility: Most 5 volt USB rechargeable devices, including iPhones and Androids. Not compatible with the iPad Pro.
The BLAVOR QI portable charger is a great option for avid hikers who need a durable portable charging option. Image source: Amazon
Price: $26.99 Buy Now
Pros: Because the BLAVOR Qi Portable Solar Charger is durable, shockproof, and weighs only 10 ounces - it is the best solar charger in terms of portability and is ideal for hiking and camping. It has over 25,000 reviews, with an overall 4.4-star rating on Amazon. This solar charger power bank adds virtually no weight to your backpack and is wireless. That’s right - you don’t have to worry about having a cord to charge your phone. Simply place it on the charger and you’re good to go. It also acts as a flashlight and comes with a compass.
Cons: The BLAVOR Qi is so lightweight because it has only one small solar panel. This means it can take a very long time to charge using the sun. Most users will charge the battery as much as they can at home and then let it sit in the sun to top it off.
Compatibility: iPhone, Samsung, Android, Windows, GoPro, GPS, tablets, and most USB charging devices.
Hilucky’s Outdoor solar phone charger has great reviews and is one of Amazon’s Choice picks for portable solar panels. Image source: Amazon
Price: $46.99 Buy Now
Pros: Hilucky’s Solar Phone Charger comes equipped with four fold-out solar panels that charge its battery bank. The included rechargeable battery can fully charge a smartphone over 7 times. It comes with LED light settings, making it perfect for outdoor use. It has enough USB ports to charge three devices.
Cons: Having four solar panels makes it a little bulky, even if it does increase the surface area of the charger in order to collect sunlight. It will also add an extra 1.3 pounds to your backpack.
Compatibility: Almost all 5V devices such as iPhones, iPads, tablets, and other smartphones.
The QiSa charger has a compact, foldable design that provides you power you can easily take with you. Image source: Amazon
Price: $89.98 Buy Now
Pros: QiSa’s charger is compact but doesn’t sacrifice on power. This makes it a great option to put in your backpack on a hiking trip or even take it with you on your commute, just in case. It can charge three devices at once and has a wireless charging function, so you don’t even have to fuss with cords. The device itself is waterproof and drop-proof. It also has a built-in flashlight!
Cons: Although it has overwhelmingly positive reviews, some commeters report that the QiSa’s charging speed is a bit slow, especially when on the wireless charger. The wireless charger also has an auto-off function that can make be frustrating if you’re trying to juice up a dead phone. Plus, this is a more expensive option than some others on our list.
Compatibility: most USB-C devices
When you’re shopping for a solar phone charger, there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure you get the right one for your needs, including:
There are two types of solar phone chargers:
Direct solar chargers connect the solar panels to your phone, so the energy produced by the panels goes directly into your phone’s battery.
A battery bank solar charger doesn’t get hooked up to your phone. Instead, the panels charge a solar power bank that you can then plug your phone into later when it needs a boost.
You want to make sure the charger you get is powerful enough to charge your devices. If you’re only looking to charge one smartphone, a solar phone charger with a lower power output can work for you.
If you need something that can charge multiple devices or larger electronics like tablets, you’ll want a solar phone charger with more power. A wattage between 10 watts and 15 watts of power is a good rule of thumb when looking for a solar phone charger.
The size of your charger is important! Because you’ll generally be using a solar phone charger on the go, the size and weight are important.
Some solar chargers are made up of multiple lightweight solar panels that fold up so they can easily fit in your backpack. Others are heavier and include a backup battery pack that will add extra weight to whatever you’re carrying.
Make sure that the charger you buy is compatible with your devices! Most solar phone chargers are able to charge any USB device, however, it’s always good to check before you purchase.
Also, keep an eye out for how many charging ports the charger has. You don’t want to go on a hike with three people and only be able to charge two gadgets!
An important thing to note about solar charging is that even if you get one with a high power output and place it in direct sunlight, they don’t have fast charging capabilities. With most solar phone chargers, it will take a minimum of five hours to fully charge your device.
Typically, portable solar panel chargers are meant to function as a source of backup power, not as the primary way to charge your phone every day because of their slow charging speed.
The quality and efficiency of solar-powered phone chargers are getting better all the time. As solar technology continues to improve, we might one day have small solar panels capable of generating a substantial amount of power.
Until that day comes, solar-powered phone chargers will best serve as a backup option and not a primary source of power.
Your phone doesn’t have to be the only thing you power with solar energy. By installing solar panels on your roof, you can power your whole home with solar. Not only does this decrease your carbon footprint, but it can also save you thousands of dollars on your utility bills.
You can use our one-of-a-kind solar calculator to get an estimate tailored to your specific home and find out how much solar could save you.