What are the best solar battery chargers on the market in 2021?

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best solar battery chargers 2021

*Editorial 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.

In 2021, monocrystalline and photovoltaic solar panels can do more than power your home - they can keep your electronics charged and power up your car battery, too! Solar power can be utilized from mostly anywhere and charge basically any device with the right charger.

If you have access to the sun and a solar battery charger, you can rest easy when it comes to keeping electronics charged and ready for use. 

In this blog, we will make it easy for you to determine what solar charger is best for the use you need it for. Whether you need a solar charger kit for charging your phone battery, car battery, boat battery, or supplying power to your RV, we break down the best choices for you.  

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    Best solar batteries and solar panel kits to buy

    We picked these options based on their performance, ease of use, and practicality. Some chargers are built only for one use, such as charging a phone, and others use an adapter that can work to charge anything from car batteries to boat batteries. 

    Best overall 

    SUNER POWER 12V Solar Panel Car Battery Charger & Maintainer 

    Price: $45.95 Buy Now

    SUNER POWER 12V Solar Panel Car Battery Charger & Maintainer

    Image source: Amazon

    • Comes with a 1-year warranty
    • Can be used for 12v batteries in cars and boats
    • Does not include a solar charge controller, which acts as a regulator for potential overcharging

    Best for RV/ATV use 

    Battery Tender 12V, 270mA, 5W Solar Battery Charger 

    Price: $74.95 Buy Now

    Battery Tender 12V, 270mA, 5W Solar Battery Charger 

    Image source: Amazon

    • Lightweight, 12v battery charger that can be stored in your camper
    • Built for durability and rugged outdoor use
    • This low wattage panel charger works best with full sun exposure

    Best for small appliances 

    BigBlue 3 Portable Charger

    Price: $69.96 Buy Now

    BigBlue 3 Portable Charger

    Image source: Amazon

    • Very reliable, works in cloudy conditions
    • Charges electronics, like iphones and ipads, safely
    • Lightweight, foldable and easily portable 

    Best for boats 

    Topsolar Flexible 100W Solar Panel 

    Price: $134.99 Buy Now

    topsolar flexible solar panel

    Image source: Amazon

    • Thin, flexible monocrystalline 100-watt solar panel
    • Sealed to be waterproof, wear-resistant panel
    • Includes connector cable to attach to a charge controller

    Best for cars 

    Sunway Solar Car Battery Mppt and Trickle Charger and Maintainer

    Price: $35.99 Buy Now

    Sunway Solar Car Battery Trickle Charger & Maintainer 12V Solar Panel Power Kit

    Image source: Amazon

    • Designed for daily use, diminishing risk of overcharging the battery
    • Includes LED light to monitor charging
    • Options available from 1.5kW - 8 kW, includes alligator clips

    How do solar battery chargers work?

    Similar to how solar panels power your home, a solar battery charger powers a device’s battery. Portable solar chargers use their solar cells to absorb and then transfer solar energy in order to supply electricity to devices or to charge lithium-ion batteries within devices.

    Solar battery chargers range in price, depending on which type you need, but many can be found for under $100. 

    Despite their relative ease of use, some people think they are not as powerful as traditional chargers. But, as the technology becomes more sophisticated, you won’t have to worry so much about their power - or lack thereof. 

    Do solar battery chargers really work? What type do you need?

    Yes! Solar battery chargers can fully charge your devices. The only thing is, if the battery has reached the end of its lifetime and needs to be replaced, a simple recharge won't cut it. 

    They do take a longer time than gas powered or wall powered chargers but they are a great option for traveling or off-grid living

    Determine which one will work for your needs by answering the questions below:

    1. What do I want to charge, something as big as a car or as small as a phone? 

    If you are looking for a charger for a specific purpose, like charging your car battery, then you can look strictly at solar car battery chargers. Typical 12v car batteries aren’t always the most reliable, especially if there is an accidental light in the car left on overnight or a car sits idle for months. 

    Once you determine the category of chargers you are looking at, i.e., automotive chargers, then you can pick between the chargers available. The size and type of the battery you need to charge will determine the size and amp power of the charger you need. 

    Solar powered battery chargers are a great way to add a charge to your 12-volt battery and act as a battery maintainer to expand their lifetime and practical use. Many of these batteries are known as ‘trickle charge batteries’ because they produce a low current of electricity to charge batteries’ power banks.

    2. How portable do I need the solar battery charger to be? 

    Portability is important, especially if you are planning to use your solar battery charger while camping or on the go. 

    But if you need the charger as a backup for your car battery, it doesn’t need to be portable and can sit in a garage for use only when it is needed - or be stowed in your car for emergency use!  

    3. Do I want individual solar battery chargers for each prospective use or one that serves multiple purposes?

    You might be thinking to yourself that you don’t want a few different chargers for each device, that only one solar battery charger is necessary for you. 

    Luckily, there are charger options that can serve many purposes! So if you don’t particularly care about portability but more about practical uses, buying a general charger makes sense. 

    Other things to consider are making sure it's waterproof if it is used for a boat or dust-proof if it is needed for camping and hiking. You can narrow down your search by getting specific about what role your solar battery charger is going to play.

    Increase your solar savings with a solar powered home

    Relying on solar power makes your life easier - all you have to do is set up the solar panels and let them be. 

    With portable solar battery chargers, you can improve and maintain the charge for your car, boat, and RV battery packs - from anywhere. If the concept of using the sun’s energy to power your appliances appeals to you, a solar powered home might also make sense. 

    Learn how much it can cost you to power all of your electricity usage with solar panels alone. 

    How much can you save with solar?

    Key takeaways

    • Solar battery chargers utilize solar panels to power up battery packs for anything from small electronics to 12-volt car batteries.
    • Solar battery chargers allow you to stay charged on the go and anywhere you find yourself without an outlet but have access to the sun.
    • Solar battery chargers are becoming more popular as backup battery charging options, especially for car batteries that can run out after a forgotten light is left on.
     - Author of Solar Reviews

    Ana Almerini

    Web Content Specialist

    Ana is a web content specialist at SolarReviews. She has 5 years of marketing experience blended with 2 years of experience in climate communications and holds a master of arts degree in climate and society from Columbia University. Ana frequently volunteers for environmental causes ranging from oyster reef restoration in NJ to expanding bike sharing in Naples, Italy.

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