▷ How to Choose the Best Solar Battery Charger (2018 Update)

How to Choose the Best Solar Battery Charger

Best Solar Battery Chargers

In today’s day and age, technology is a part of everyday life.  Checking text messages, emails and social media accounts is something that most of us do on a fairly regular basis.  There are various snazzy devices out there that can help you do this while you’re out and about including smartphones, tablets, and laptops.  The problem is that all of these devices have limited battery power.   And there’s nothing worse than seeing dreaded battery bar flashes empty and powers down the very device that keeps you connected to the modern world.  Thankfully, that’s where solar battery chargers in.     

What is a solar battery charger?

A solar battery charger is the answer to all your power needs while you’re out in the middle of nowhere and need to add some juice to your smartphone, laptop, tablet, or other electrical device.  No longer do you have to go without power or search around for hours on end looking for an available electrical socket to use.  With a solar battery charger, you simply use the sun’s energy in which to power your device.  For a more in-depth guide on how solar battery chargers work click here.  

Who could benefit from a solar battery charger? 

Just about anyone, that’s who!  Most of us today feel completely lost without our creature comforts, and this includes our phones.  So to ensure they remain working wherever you are in the world, a portable solar charger is needed.  Some of the more obvious situations where these devices are useful include while hiking or camping.  But rescue teams could also greatly benefit from using solar battery chargers as they carry a lot of vital electrical equipment around with them.  As could anyone who enjoys spending time in the great outdoors.    

What to look for in a good solar battery charger

There are many different solar battery chargers available to buy right now that you are literally spoilt for choice.  However, unless you know a little about solar battery chargers choosing the right one to suit your needs can be an absolute nightmare.  The following section will take through some of the things to look out for when shopping for a solar battery charger.  This should help you a lot when going to make your purchase.   

Materials - This is one of the most important aspects to consider when purchasing a solar battery charger.  Because your solar battery charger is always going to be on the move with you, and out in the sun, you need to ensure the model you choose is fit for its purpose.  It should lightweight but durable.  And unless you’re a great weather forecaster and know that you’ll never experience any rain, you may want to consider a waterproof or at least water-resistant model too. 

Charging time -  The time it takes for your device to charge will vary depending on a number of different factors, the most important being the amperage output that device is capable of.  A fully charged battery that has a rating of 1 or 2 amps should be more than enough to charge a smartphone fairly quickly.  The other factor to bear in mind is the Milliamp-hours (mAhs) of whatever it is you’re charging.  The bigger the capacity, the longer it will take to fully charge.    

Wattage - The size of the battery you need will depend on what it is you need to charge while on the move.  If all you have to worry about is a keeping a fairly simple smartphone charged, then a 4-5 watt battery charger will be fine.  But if you have a power hungry iPhone you’ll need a 7-watt charger and for iPads, you’ll need around 15 watts.  One thing to bear in mind is that chargers with a low wattage will charge much slower than those with a higher wattage.  As a rough guide, it will take around 3-4 hours to charge a smartphone with a 4-6 watt charger and around 1-2 hours if using one with a higher wattage.    

Check your connections:  Most standard solar battery chargers are fitted with USB port (s).  The problem with that is not all devices are charged in this way.  Many photo cameras, for example, use special adapters in which to charge.  So before making your purchase be sure to have a think about what it is you need to charge and whether you’ll need any special adapters in which to do it. 

Size and weight:  These are quite important features to consider when you’re on the move as every inch and every pound you’re carrying with you.  If you’re not going to be transporting it very far then it doesn’t matter too much.  But if you can find a model that’s compact or foldable it will save you space and weight if you ever do need to take it further afield.  As a general rule of thumb the more USB ports the device has, the larger it will be.      

Easy to use:  When you’re on the move and your phone’s battery is just about to use its last ounce of energy, the last thing you want to be doing is to be scrabbling around with an overly complicated device trying to get some power.  There are many different models out there when it comes to solar battery chargers and while most of them are relatively easy to use some are more trouble than they’re worth.  So just take your time and do a little research before you do make your purchase to avoid landing yourself in the above situation. 

Price:  A lot of people feel that for what they are, solar battery chargers are expensive.  However, when you consider what they do and just how well they do it, I beg to differ.  These devices can get you out of a sticky situation when you need it most and are perfect to take to festivals, camping, long road trips, or anywhere else you may be without power for a while. The main reason as to why they differ in price is normally down to the different features they have.  But just remember when paying for your next solar battery charger is that it is an investment rather than just another pointless purchase.          

Extra features:  Obviously extra features aren’t necessities, but they can help to sway your decision one way or the other.  Sometimes the extra feature may be nothing more than an additional USB port.  Other times you may see an integrated flashlight or even panic alarm.  But just remember that more often than not, you will be paying more for these extra features.  So if you are on a budget or don’t really need them, you’re better off saving your money and sticking with a more basic model.    

Solar battery charger reviews 

To help you come to an informed decision about your next solar battery charger purchase the following are a few short reviews on some of the most popular models out at the moment. 

ALLSOLAR Portable Charger 2400mAh Solar Power Bank

Available in black, orange, or red, this compact solar battery charger on offer from ALLSOLAR will keep your phone going just when you need it most.  It’s fitted with lightning, micro USB, and USB ports and has MultiProtect technology which uses surge protection to make sure you and your devices remain safe.  

Solar Charger 24000mAh Portable Power Bank, ALLSOLAR External Battery Pack with 2 Input and 3 Output USB, iSmart 2.0 Tech Fast Charging for iPhone,iPad & Samsung Galaxy & More-Black

And, there’s an integrated LED light indicator that lets you know just how much your phone is charged.  Thanks to the hefty 2400 mAh capacity, you can get up to 10 iPhone 6s charges or around 7 Galaxy S6 charges each time.  

Pros
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    Good power reserve
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    Smooth, rounded design
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    Multi-charging options
Cons
  • A little on the expensive side

If you’re looking for an all-around good solar battery charger that won’t cost a fortune, this may be the model for you.  Available in 3 different color options and with a 13500mAh capacity, not only does this WBPINE solar battery charger look great but it performs really well too.  

Solar Charger 13500mAh,WBPINE Solar Powered Charger External Solar Panel Battery Pack Phone Charger with Dual USB and 2 LED Flashlights for iPhone X,Samsung S9/Note 8 and More

While the faster charging does hinder the number of times you can charge a device, it’s definitely worth the sacrifice if you’re not travelling for long.  It has a waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof shell and is even equipped with a metal hook to assist with mounting.  And there’s even an integrated LED flashlight!    

Pros
  • Low price
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    Fast-charging
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    Dual USB port
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    Lightweight
Cons
  • Case is hard to grip
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    Buttons are a little stiff
CXLiY Portable Charger Power Bank Solar Charger

With a capacity of 2500mAh and not one, not two, but three USB ports, this solar battery charger on offer from CXLiY will give most other models out there a run for their money.  There are also two inputs to allow for charging via an iPhone or an Android port.  

Portable Charger Power Bank Solar Charger 25000Mah Waterproof Batter Pack For iPhone, iPad & Samsung Galaxy & More

Other features include an LED flashlight, a handy hook for easy mounting, and a water-proof solar panel that’s capable of absorbing light from pretty much anywhere.  Compatible with iPhones, Samsung Galaxy’s, and many others, this is one cool solar battery charger.

Pros
  • Extra input and output ports
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    Rugged case
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    Super lightweight
Cons
  • Case is not waterproof
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    Unit charger gets a little hot
Ayyie Solar Charger 13500mAh Solar Power Bank

Stay connected for up to a week while on the move with this funky little solar battery charger on offer from Ayyie.  Available in an all black design or a red and black design, this charger is one mean looking device.  It’s equipped with three USB outputs, giving you the flexibility of charging up to three devices simultaneously, and is compatible with iPhone, Samsung, and a number of other phone manufacturers.  

Solar Charger, Solar Power Bank, 13500mAh Portable Solar Phone Charger External Solar Panel Battery Pack Phone Charger with Dual USB and 2 LED Flashlights for iPhone X, Samsung S9/Note 8 and More

Weighing in at 12 ounces it’s not the lightest model out there, but it’s light enough.  The best feature about this charger (in our opinion) is its ruggedness.  Made from ABS plastic, this charger is both waterproof and durable and likely to withstand even the harshest of weather, making it perfect for use outdoors.

Pros
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    Hard-wearing case
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    Stealth design
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    3 x USB ports
Cons
  • A little on the bulky side
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    Slower charging capabilities
ELZLE Solar Charger 15000mAh Portable Power Bank

If you’re looking for a fast-charging solar battery charger that’s both well-built and easy to use, then be sure to check out the ELZLE Solar Charger.  With a capacity of 15000mAH, you can charge an iPhone 5S more than 4 times, an iPhone 7 three times, or a Galaxy S6 twice.

Elzle Solar Charger 15000mAh, Portable Solar Power Bank Dual USB Backup Battery Pack Charger, Outdoor Solar Phone External Battery Charger With 6 Led Flashlight For iPhone Series, Smart Phone, More

There are two output ports to enable simultaneous charging, 4 LED indicators to let you know how fully charged your device is, and a funky flashlight to help you out when in the dark.  Although the case feels pretty durable, it’s not waterproof and is certainly nothing special to look at either.  And while it does offer fast-charging, it seems that this is only some of the time.   

Pros
  • High capacity
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    Dual USB outputs
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    Compact size
Cons
  • Design lacks imagination
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    Only water resistant
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    Inconsistent charging 

Conclusion

We hope you found the above product information and review useful and are now one step closer to making your next solar battery charger purchase.  For us, the clear winner at the moment when it comes to these helpful little devices is the ALLSOLAR Portable Charger.  It’s fast charging, equipped with a multitude of input and output ports, and it has a very healthy power reserve. And even though looks aren’t extremely important when it comes to solar battery chargers, this model is one of the more attractive ones out there too.  It may be one of the more expensive solar battery chargers out there, but for anyone wanting high-performance and reliability, it’s definitely an option worth considering.