why solar?

I’m not sure why phones have such a short battery life and you would think that with all the advancements and features they add, improving battery life would be near the top of the list. Tyler and I both use our phones ALOT and leaving the RV without a power bank limits us to what we can do.

As we are traveling and exploring the great outdoors we heavily use our phones for pictures/videos, directions, geocaching, looking up park/trail information, and they are also a safety precaution should we venture out and need help.

Having a power bank would also be convenient when we are camping so that we can conserve our motorhome battery. Having a solar power bank is great because we can charge it in the sun rather than having to plug it into our RV.

What to Look for when buying a solar battery charger

What you should look for when deciding on a solar power bank is largely dependent on your lifestyle and needs. Here are the main factors to consider:

mAh Capacity: This is how much power it can hold when fully charged and this determines how many times it can provide a device with a full charge. The larger the capacity, the more power it can hold.

Durability: This includes things like dust-proof, water resistant, waterproof, rugged and heavy-duty design, shock-resistant, etc.  Think about how you see yourself using the power bank. is it something that you would like to keep around your RV/ car as a backup, take it on hiking/camping trips.

Number of Outputs: Portable Solar Chargers generally have USB outputs that you plug your cord into and charge your device. If you would like to be able to charge two devices at the same time then you will need a solar power bank with two USB outputs. Also, think about what kinds of devices you want to charge and make sure that they are compatible with the solar charger.

Features:  Other than being a solar powered battery bank, some offer additional features like a build in flash light and clip on for backpacks.

You don’t need to spend hours on Amazon comparing different models and reading hundreds of reviews… I’ve already taken care of that. I ranked the top 5 solar power battery chargers that I think are worth buying.

TOP PICK: ADDTOP Waterproof Solar Power Bank

 

This is the solar charger that I use almost every day. I wanted something that wasn’t overpriced, rugged and durable since we do a ton of hiking and camping. We love swimming and paddle boarding so having a waterproof power bank was a must.

Best Waterproof Solar ChargerIt has two USB ports so my husband and I can charge our phones at the same time. It has impressive 24000 mah capacity so we can each get multiple charges. We can charge our phones about 5 times each.

I also liked how it had solar panels that fold out so you have 3 panels which greatly shortens the solar charging time. Like many other rugged solar chargers, you can clip this one to a backpack and have it charging while you are on the go.

You can immediately tell when you are holding it that it’s made out of high-quality materials. It can also be charged by plugging it into the outlet. Also has a built-in flashlight that has a setting to flash an emergency SOS signal.

We have been using this solar charger for a month now and it’s been through quite a bit. I’m 100% satisfied this is the one I would recommend to friends and family.

Pros & Cons

Pros

L
Battery: 24000mAh long lasting battery, can charge iPhone 6 10 times.
L
Durability: Waterproof, Shock-proof, Dust-proof
L
Features: Build-in flash light with 3 modes
L
Warrenty:12-month warrenty and 30 day money back guarentee

Cons

M
Price: not the cheapest but still very affordable

Best in Durability: SOS20K 20,000 mAh Rugged Solar Charger

This a monster of a solar charger and if you are a true adventure seeker and have the cash to spend this would be the best you can get in terms of durability.

So how durable is this thing, you might ask? Well, they did a few “stress tests” to give you a better perspective:

Shock-Proof: Dragged a SOS20k behind a car…off road…for half a mile. It still works beautifully.

Drop-Proof: They dropped it from 10,000ft out of a helicopter. Twice. It still works perfectly fine.

Don’t believe me? Check out their YouTube channel and see for yourself!

If you are going hiking or on a weekend camping trip than this is overkill. But if you going to be in extreme weather like a hurricane or on a dog sledding trip, bush plane flight and helicopter ride like one Amazon reviewer, then this it for you.

Package includes SOS20K Solar Charger, Aluminum Clip-n-Go Carabiner, 4 Braided Nylon, Aluminum Cased USB Charging/Date Cables (2 Lightning, 2 micro-USB), and 1 Waterproof Cable Case.

Pros & Cons

Pros

L
Battery: 2000mAh long lasting battery, can charge about 11 iphones
L
USB: Four ports, charge four devices at the same time.
L
Durability: Extreme Durability, Waterproof, Shock-proof, Dust-proof, Drop-proof
L
Features: Build-in flash light with 3 modes
L
Warranty: 30-Day Money Back Guarantee and Limited 1 Year Warranty    

Cons

M
Price: It’s VERY expensive

Best in Compatibility: ZeroLemon 26800mAh SolarJuice

So the majority of these types of solar charging power banks are compatible with most phones and devices. But what if you need a something a little extra. Let’s say you need to power your MacBook or even a Nintendo Switch? Yup. I’m dead serious. I had no idea that was even an option until I stumbled upon this nifty little thing.

It has a higher capacity than most solar chargers and it is still rain resistant & shockproof. But let’s get back to talking about compatibility. TheZeroLemon 26800mAh SolarJuice has three ports: QuickCharge 3.0 Output, Type-C Port, and USB 2.0 Output. You can charge three devices at one time.

It’s still very portable and durable. A flashlight is built in and you can clip to your backpack.  All this and the price is still affordable.

Another thing worth mentioning is that is has a 36-month warranty, much higher than the typical 12 month that seems to be the standard.

Pros & Cons

Pros

L
Battery: 26,800mAh is amoung the highest for solar chargers
L
USB: Three ports and has Type-C Port for Macbook
L
Features: Build-in flash light with 4 modes
L
Warranty: 36 Months Warranty
L
Price: Price is great considering the capacity and features

Cons

M
Slower: People have complained that it’s slow to charge but you have to consider that the capasity of this power bank is very high and it will take longer to charge

Best for Budget: Hiluckey Solar Power Bank 10000mAh

If your top priority is getting a good solar power bank for a budget-friendly price, you might be happy with the Hiluckey 10,000mAh Solar Power Bank. A rugged build, shock-proof, 2 USB charging ports, built-in flashlight at about half the cost as some of the other solar power banks featured in this post. Not a bad deal if you ask me. But at the same time, you are also getting about half the capacity as well. If I was a casual hiker or am usually gone for less than a day I would opt for this option.

Pros & Cons

Pros

L
Features: Build-in flash light with 3 modes
L
Warranty: 12 Months Warranty
L
Price: This is the most bedget freinly option

Cons

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Battery: 10,000aMh capasity will give you fewer charges than higher capasity models