When your phone battery runs out, a power bank comes in quite handy for a quick charge. But what do you do when the power bank itself runs out of charge? You get a good solar power bank and charge it on the go! Not only does it allow you to easily move wherever you want, but a good power bank such as the Kogan Solar Power Bank can charge several of your devices comfortably.
Keep reading to find out more!
Everything You Need to Know About Solar Power Banks
As we become more and more dependent on our smartphones and smart accessories, we require more features and faster performance. This leads to advanced phones with bigger and better batteries to power all those features and new technology. Now, when that battery dies for any reason, be it excessive use or because you simply kept forgetting to charge it, it can be a big nightmare. That’s why, along with smartphones and other accessories, you see a rise in the popularity of power banks as well.
Normally, you’d be restricted to your home or work or any other similar place whenever you wanted to charge your phone. Because it’s not like you have the option of not charging your phone. No one wants to take the risk of their phone battery dying on them. So, you would always charge your phone to 100% before leaving so that the charge could last you till the next time you get the chance to plug it in and charge it.
This is where power banks have really made a difference. With these, you can simply charge the devices to full capacity and keep it in your bag. Then, whenever you feel like your phone battery is running out, you can whip out your power bank and easily charge your phone wherever you are.
Now, with the introduction of solar power banks, there’s so much more to these devices. So, let’s find out exactly what they can do, how they are beneficial for us, what features you need to look out for when buying one, and which are the best solar power banks out there.
Benefits of a Solar Power Bank
Having a solar power bank in your arsenal brings loads of benefits. In fact, once you have used a solar power bank, you will not ever want to go without a power bank anywhere. For those of you who might not be familiar with the device, a power bank is exactly what it sounds like. Just like a regular bank stores your money, a power bank stores power.
You can use this power whenever you need to charge your phone, camera, tablets, etc. Solar power banks are different in the sense that they can be charged through your normal sockets as well as from the sun. This is pretty convenient as you can’t really carry your wall socket wherever you need to. Here are more benefits of these power banks.
Easy Charging Anywhere, Anytime
As mentioned earlier, one of the greatest benefits of this device is that it can charge your other devices anywhere, anytime. Once you’ve charged the power bank at home, you can take it anywhere. Then, whenever your phone battery starts dropping to dangerously low levels, you can quickly charge it through the power bank.
You can do this while you’re on the bus, in the park, at a restaurant, or even during your dentist’s appointment. Gone are the days when you had to sparingly use your phone to ensure the battery lasts till you get home and can charge it again. It also depends on the power bank capacity, but most of them are powerful enough to let you use your phone as much you’d like.
Furthermore, with a solar power bank, you can not only charge your phone anywhere but also charge your power bank itself anywhere. As long as there’s some sunshine, you can leave the power bank out and let it charge.
As you must have gathered already, power banks are quite portable. You can take them anywhere. However, the important thing to note here is the extent of their portability. If it was just about charging, you could probably carry your car battery everywhere and use it to charge your devices.
But the cool thing about a power bank is that it is incredibly small and lightweight for a portable charger. Most are about the size of your smartphone and just slightly heavier. This means you can easily place it in your bag, purse, or even slide it into your pocket. You can hardly tell that you are actually carrying a portable charger.
Most models of this portable charger are also quite versatile. While usually people use it to charge their phones, you can use the portable charger to charge other devices as well.
For instance, if the power bank capacity is large enough, you can charge your tablets and iPad. You can power your camera, GPS devices, MP3 players, portable speakers, and other small devices. However, it depends on the capacity of your power bank as well as what you are trying to charge.
Can Support Multiple Devices at a Time
This also depends on precisely which power bank you go for. Most models have at least two charging ports. Sometimes, these can be the same, and sometimes, they can offer different charging speeds. Either way, it lets you charge more than one device at a time.
So, if you’re carrying a lot of accessories or you use two phones, this feature comes in very handy. You don’t have to wait for one device to complete charging before putting on the other one. You can charge both simultaneously and save your time.
Of course, if you do charge multiple devices at a time, the power bank’s power will drain that much faster.
Compatible with Most Brands and Models
If you’re worried about whether the power banks on our list will work with your iPhone or alternatively, an Android phone, you will be happy to know that power banks are compatible with most brands and models. Therefore, whether you have an iOs or Android device, the power bank will work perfectly fine either way.
If the charging cable included with the power bank doesn’t go with your smartphone, you can use your normal charging cable to connect the power bank to the cellphone. Sometimes, though, using a different cable than the one accompanied with the power bank can affect the charging speed at times.
A solar power bank is also very environmentally friendly. Today, power banks usually come with both charging options–charging from your wall socket or under the sun using solar power. If you choose to charge it only from the sun for all your devices, imagine how much energy you could end up saving!
While it may not directly benefit the climate and environment, it can show people the advantages of using renewable energy sources and decreasing their dependence on non-renewable energy sources.
Perfect for Camping, Travelling, Etc.
If you thought this portable charger was convenient in your normal routine, wait till you go camping. It becomes a big lifesaver when you happen to go camping, hiking, traveling, etc. When you don’t have access to a proper charging unit for a while, a power bank becomes absolutely vital to keep your smartphone alive.
It can charge your devices several times to keep them going for a few days. More importantly, when the power bank itself runs out of power, you can use solar power to charge it back up. Other than that, especially when you are traveling, it can be hard to find the right socket or adapter to charge your devices. A solar power bank also helps then. You just have to remember to charge it whenever the sun’s out.
Solar Power Bank – Buying Guide
As great as these devices are, they can be a waste of money if you don’t buy the right one for yourself. Therefore, when you are thinking of buying one of these devices, be careful. Don’t buy one that just looks great. Consider all its features and assess your own needs as well. If you’re not sure how to choose the right one, take a look at some of the factors you need to consider.
Power Bank Capacity
The most important thing you will have to consider is the capacity of the power bank. This will ultimately determine how useful the power bank ends up being for you. For this, you will need to assess your own needs and usage. For instance, how many devices will you charge with the power bank? How many times during the day will you want to charge it? How many people will be using the power bank?
If it’s just for personal use and that too, not very frequently, then you can go ahead and choose a power bank with a smaller capacity. If you’re buying one for the house, you will want something that has a higher capacity so that everyone can use it comfortably. If you plan to use it often and you decide to go for a lower-capacity model, it will just be a headache. The battery will drain pretty fast and become just another thing that you need to charge instead of a convenient power bank for your other device.
Number of Outputs
The number of outputs on the charging device can also make it more or less convenient for you. Most portable charger models have two outputs. This allows them to charge at least two things simultaneously. However, there are also some inexpensive power banks that only have a single charging output. This can be a little troublesome if you have numerous things to charge.
In that case, you might be better off with a solar charger that has three or more outputs. Alternatively, you can even get an adapter for additional outputs, but that could affect the charging speed. If you plan to use it just by yourself and only for a single smartphone, a single-output power bank will be just fine.
Regardless of how inexpensive this device is, you don’t want to be buying one every other month. Ideally, you would want to buy just one portable charger that lasts you a couple of years and efficiently charges everything you need to charge. Therefore, you need to consider the durability of the device. Look at the material of its body, its construction, the finish, etc.
All these affect the overall quality of the power bank and consequently, its durability. A power bank that is built using cheap materials will break on the slightest hit or bump. Moreover, especially if you want the device to use it outdoors while camping and hiking, you want something tougher. So, you can check if the device is dustproof, waterproof, shock-resistant, etc. All these will make your charging device a long-lasting portable charger.
In the fast-paced world we live in, time is everything. And that applies to your power bank as well. You want something that helps you stay on the move and not slow you down. So, what you need is a device that has a fast charging speed.
This has two aspects. It should be fast in charging your smartphone and getting charged itself. Some models have two outputs that offer charging at different speeds. This can be handy when you don’t have a lot of time but need to charge your smartphone as much as possible. On the other hand, when charging the power bank itself, see how long it takes to fully charge while plugged into the wall socket.
Moreover, since it is a solar power bank, you will have to see its charging speed under the sun as well. While it depends on the size of the solar panel on the power bank, most of them take quite a long while to fully charge even under direct sunlight.
As discussed earlier, an important benefit of a power bank is that it is a portable charger. So, if you do plan to carry it around often, you should see how portable it is as well. There are power banks of all shapes and sizes. If you don’t carry a bag, you’d want a smaller power bank that you can keep in your pocket or hands. Similarly, some of these power banks can also get pretty heavy, which is not very comfortable. Therefore, you will need to keep all this in mind.
Once you’ve worked out the basics, you can then focus on the additional features that most power banks come with. You can consider its design, style, and color if you’re going for a specific aesthetic. You can look for handy features such as an LED light, power indicator, strap, etc.
Best Solar Power Bank Reviews
Quick Take: OUR RECOMMENDATIONS FOR Solar Power Bank
The moment you’ve all been waiting for is finally here. You get to choose the perfect solar power bank for yourself, and to help you out, we’ve got two excellent contenders.
The Best Overall Option
kogan KAPWB40SLRA 4000mah solar powerbank
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With a 4000 mAh battery, this power bank is just right for personal use. It has a lithium-polymer battery inside, which is not only rechargeable for easy use, but also aids in fast charging due to its high conductivity. Regardless of which smartphone or devices you have, this power bank has enough capacity to keep them going for a while. You can use it to charge numerous things, from your cellphone to camera to even an iPad.
The lightweight and compact device is built to last with water, dust, and shock protection. Whether it’s for those long subway rides or for hiking, you can use this solar power bank without any worry. It features a strong 1.2 watt mono-crystalline solar panel. It also has a built-in emergency light.
- Input: 5V/1A
- Output DC 5V/2x1A
- Weight: 130 grams
- Dimensions: 14.3 x 7.4 x 1.2 centimeters
- Lithium-polymer battery
- Lightweight and compact
- 1.2 watts mono-crystalline solar panel
- Emergency light
- Limited capacity for multiple users
The Alternative Option
If you’re looking for just an explosion of power from your solar power bank, you have to go for the ZeroLemon Power Bank. Considered as one of the world’s best power banks, this device feels substantial just through its size and weight. It packs a powerful 26,800mAh battery.
It has wireless charging so that you don’t get up in any cords. It offers 60 watt power delivery charging for incredibly fast charging. It has three ports that allow you to charge three things at a time. Moreover, along with that massive battery, it can charge many gadgets, including smartphones, tablets, and even laptops. With a rugged design, it’s perfect for outdoor use as it’s rain, dirt, and shockproof. It also comes with an LED light, compass, and fire starter.
- Input: 5-20V/3A
- Output: 5-20V/3A (USB-C Port)
- Weight: 563 grams
- Dimensions: 17.6 x 8.3 x 3.3 centimeters
- Massive and powerful battery
- Superfast charging
- Three outputs plus wireless charging
- Great for outdoor use
We imagine you’re having a hard time right now, choosing one power bank from amongst these two brilliant solar power banks. We feel the same way!
However, if we did have to choose just one from this list, it would have to be the best overall option.
After all, there’s a reason, we considered it to be the best. It is perfect for everyday use as it has enough capacity to get your devices going through the day. Additionally, if you don’t have a lot of devices, it doesn’t make sense to splurge on a power bank with excess capacity. This one will be just fine for you. It also has loads of extra features, such as an emergency light and water, dust and shock protection.
Alternatively, if you do own a lot of devices that you need to charge on the go, or you have a bigger budget, then the ZeroLemon Power Bank is the power bank for you. It has a massive 26,800mAh battery that can charge your smartphone, tablet, and even your laptop. It also has three charging ports along with wireless charging.