Resolving to get out more into nature in the new year? If you want to bring your devices along to stay connected or take pictures, you'll want to consider how to keep them charged up.
Solar chargers and powerbanks use the sun to generate electricity. You can then use that electricity to power your devices, charging things like your mobile phone, laptop, fan, or car battery. We couple our expert analysis with thousands of real customer reviews to find the best solar chargers and powerbanks of 2022.
This is what we found.
Up to 3 years
At a glance
The BigBlue 28W Solar Charger works with most Apple and Android devices. It is powerful enough to handle multiple devices simultaneously, saving you precious seconds when you do not have time to spare. The SunPower solar panel is coated with a special PET polymer surface. Its smart charge technology adjusts its charging speed to best match your device without the risk of overcharging or overheating. It also includes short circuit protection in case of a power outage. However, if charging is interrupted due to cloud cover or a summer shower, there is an automatic restart function to ensure you do not lose any valid charging time.
Its compact and lightweight design has excellent portability for a life on the go. With USB connectivity, it has three different ports to accommodate several devices. Included is a standard USB cable measuring 50 centimeters that works with most devices except for Apple devices, which require their own Apple cord. The weatherproof port protector gives extra peace of mind, especially if you are using this charger while you are camping or otherwise braving the elements.
In the box:
28W Solar Panel Charger
Quick charging speeds
It does not support laptops or power stations
Slower function when using multiple ports
At a glance
The Blavor Solar powerbank boasts dedicated Charger-Qi wireless technology with a 20,000mAh capacity. Thanks to its dual USB ports and bidirectional type C port, you have the ability to charge your favorite devices at the same time. Its fast-charging capability uses a maximum of 18W charging power, automatically adapting itself to whatever device you are charging. It offers Bluetooth capability and is compatible with both Android and Apple devices, plus other popular devices like MP3 players, GPS systems, cameras, and USB charging devices. A single charge on the Blavor Solar powerbank means that you can charge your iPhone X up to 4.5 times, a Samsung Galaxy S8 more than 3.5 times. It is also capable of charging an entire 13-inch MacBook Pro. When you need to recharge your powerbank, charging time takes approximately 13 hours with a 5-volt adapter.
This powerbank also includes a built-in compass kit for extra assistance during your travels. Also helpful are the three different light modes, including Flashlight, Strobe, and a potentially life-saving SOS light feature. A one-year warranty helps secure your purchase.
In the box:
20,000mAh Solar Charger
Type C Cable
Built-in flashlight and compass
Qi wireless charging
Subpar with sunlight
At a glance
The Hiluckey 25000mAh Powerbank uses four high-efficiency panels and up to 1A input current in a vibrant orange. This means that you can charge your devices up to six times faster than competitor models. The charging process is simple, allowing you to connect two different devices via dual USB ports for both USB and micro USB charging. The auto-detection feature is an added convenience, automatically searching out your devices for a more stable and reliable connection. It is compatible with both Apple and Android devices, as well as iPads and other tablets. In fact, you get multiple uses out of this powerbank because its Li-polymer battery can charge tablets up to 4 times and phones up to 10 times. Users typically get an average of nine days before the powerbank needs another charge.
An added bonus is the unit's durability. It is not only waterproof but also resistant to both shock and dust. A multi-function LED flashlight helps light the way if your phone is dead, offering an SOS mode to signal help in the event of an emergency. The built-in hook offers easy storage when you are done using your powerbank.
In the box:
25000mAh Portable Solar Charger
Micro USB cable
Built-in battery pack
Charges multiple devices
Unreliable LED notifications
Best used in the sun
Heavier than other models
At a glance
The Renogy E.Lumen 500 Multi-Functional Flashlight goes beyond the standard powerbank, offering several extras that make it a versatile, life-saving tool. It is aluminum construction manages to host a number of unique but welcome features, including a glass-shattering hammer, solar-power flashlight, seat belt cutter, and magnetic attachment. Overall, there are seven different LED headlights and sidelights options, like red and white coloring paired with bright, dark, or flashing features.
To charge your device, it uses a 3.7V battery capacity. The recharge time takes about 65 hours for the solar panel, but when you use the micro-USB port, it is significantly shorter, at just 1.5 hours.
In the box:
Renogy E.LUMEN 500 Multi-functional Flashlight
Micro USB Cable
Superior LED flashlight
Incorporated safety tools
Average charging power
Extended recharge time
At a glance
In our review of the Jackery Solar Generator, we were thrilled with our results. It is a powerhouse for solar charging with an enormous capacity of 1534Wh with 1800W. The inclusion of an MPPT solar regulator makes for better, faster, and more efficient charging. In just four hours, you can reach 80% battery capacity.
Review: The Jackery Solar Generator.
This generator is a fantastic solution for camping, offering efficient operation without any need for gas. It manages quiet operation for little distraction with simple one-button functionality. Overall, it is a green and sustainable solution when you are looking for an eco-friendly upgrade for your home or travels. The generator comes with everything you need, and a two-year warranty is available with the option to add a third year when you register your product.
In the box:
1x Jackery Explorer 1500 Portable Power Station
4x SolarSaga 100W Solar Panels
1x AC&AC Cable
1x Car Charger Cable
2x Solar Panel Parallel Adapter (Cable)
1x User Manual
Performs in cloudy weather
It may be too much for some users
How did we choose these products?
We analyzed several products in our search for the best solar chargers and powerbanks, carefully reviewing and comparing each product to find the very best options that the market has available.
These are some important features of consideration to help you find the best powerbanks and solar chargers for your needs.
Size: The size of the solar panels will determine how much solar power you will receive when away from an outlet.
Charging speeds: When you do not have a lot of time to waste, the charging speed can be a big deal. Solar panels typically charge significantly slower than wall connections, so consider how long it will take to charge your devices both ways.
Battery size: The size of the battery also determines how much charge you can receive. While a 10,000mAh is suitable for a quick charge on the go, you will want to consider a higher battery, around 25,000mAh or more, if you plan on charging multiple devices or living remotely for a few days.
Functions: While some solar chargers and powerbanks stick to just charging, there are other models that incorporate additional features, like a flashlight or seat belt cutter.
Ports: If you plan on charging multiple devices, it is important to consider a solar charger or powerbank that has multiple ports to accommodate your devices.
Before you buy, take the time to consider your specific needs, so you know which product will be the best solar charger and powerbank for you.
Which is the right one for you?
There are plenty of options available today for solar chargers and powerbanks, but they each have their own features and strengths. When deciding which is the best powerbank or solar charger for you, our recommendations may help.
What is a solar charger?
A solar charger, or solar powerbank, is a device that uses energy from the sun to generate electricity. You can charge a number of items such as a cell phone, laptop, or even a car battery, depending on the size and power of the solar charger.
How do you use a solar powerbank?
Solar powerbanks and solar chargers typically operate via a solar panel or by using an electrical connection, such as a USB cord.
Do you need the sun to use a solar powerbank?
Although solar chargers and solar powerbanks are best known for their efficient use of the sun, many models also allow you to charge via a traditional wall outlet or another power source.
Are there alternatives worth considering?
We considered many solar chargers and powerbanks in our search for 2021's top picks. These are some other models we considered that almost made our list: