Before backpacking, traveling was seen as a luxury to many people. The idea of traveling was attached to what seems to be the way the jet set travels. Nowadays, backpacking has gained traction among youths who seek traveling experience affordably. With great planning, backpacking can be an eye-opening journey for those who exercise it. One of the things to figure out is how to keep your gadgets live during your exciting trips. It’s always wise to bring a portable solar charger with you. Keep reading to find out the best backpacking solar charger for your next adventure.
How to Choose The Best Backpacking Solar Chargers
Gone are the days of paper maps and guide books since they can fit into a device as big as your palm. But these devices still require electricity to be functional. You will probably opt for portable batteries or portable chargers for travel with limited power storage, but what if you are in the middle of nowhere with no power source? Consider buying yourself a solar cell charger. So, here are some things to look into before getting one:
The most important thing for backpackers is to pack only the essentials and keep it light. Luckily, solar chargers are made of sheets of solar cells that won’t add much weight to your carry. However, since it only converts a little energy, you will need many of them. With this principle, solar chargers often have foldable sheets of solar cells or one big panel with smaller sheets. If you like to charge while you’re mobile, a solar charger with loops is a great choice as you can attach it onto your backpack. There are also solar charger backpacks if they suit you better. But if you like to do it while you are stationed, like camping, bigger solar chargers are more suitable as it converts more power from the sun.
Another thing to consider before purchasing a solar charger is the ability to deliver electricity to the attached devices. 1A is enough to charge most devices nowadays, but the ideal output is 1.5A at the minimum. If you need to charge your devices quickly, opt for solar chargers that support fast charging or have high output.
However, it all goes back to the condition of the sky. A solar charger can only do so much under a cloudy sky. But worry not! Manufacturers are now embedding a continuous charging system or a current stabilizer into their solar products, so you can have seamless charging without having to check the battery whenever the sky changes.
Do you need to charge multiple devices at the same time? A solar charger with extra USB ports will do the job well. Especially camping gadgets that don’t require much power like LED lanterns for camping. But again, because the sky is not always bright and clear, we recommend that you put 2 devices connected at the most to ensure they are charged quickly.
The most common solar cell used in solar chargers is crystalline silicon. This material was introduced in the 50s for space exploration projects. Many manufacturers use polycrystalline silicon for their solar chargers, but we’d like you to consider the ones with monocrystalline silicone instead. True, they are more expensive than its counterpart, but its 22% more conversion efficiency makes the difference. With a higher conversion rate comes more stable and higher current for your charging needs.
Solar cells are flimsy and sensitive to abrasion and corrosion, that’s why it’s necessary to keep them protected from the elements. Your best choice will be the solar chargers that have proper covers and storing systems. Find out if the cover can protect the solar cells from water and dust. Next, you can check the wiring and USB port module whether they are protected by the cover as well or it’s the least protected part. All in all, it’s simply the best to keep them away from water and dust at all times to avoid unwanted breakage.
Renogy Portable E.Flex Plus
Our first pick is the Renogy Portable E. Flex solar charger that’s ready to power up your device on the go. This portable solar panel is not bigger than a tablet and even thinner than a notebook. It’s capable of delivering 5W to charge one device via the USB port. Wearing this portable solar charger is rather easy and effortless. You only need to attach the provided hooks to your bag using a couple of carabiners to let it work under the sun.
This solar charger already uses monocrystalline, a cutting-edge material to convert sun rays into electricity. Unlike other materials, the monocrystalline offers a higher conversion efficiency rate for up to 22% than the more common polycrystalline. Aside from wearing it on your bag, you can also mount this solar charger on your car window or the car-roof using the suction cups included in your purchase. Cleaning this waterproof solar charger is convenient. A water rinse is enough to get rid of any dust or dirt on its surface.
What We Love
Ultra-thin and lightweight. You can slip this fully functional solar panel into your backpack without adding noticeable weight.
- Lightweight and thin
- Continuous system
It’s not made to be durable.
Dualpow Portable Solar Battery Charger
When you are exploring a new place, your gadgets could be your lifesaver. Be it a GPS tool, a translator, or an emergency caller, these devices need to stay on at all times. However, they require electricity to operate. Sure they come with batteries, but how long can they keep the power on? The solution is the Dualpow Portable Solar Battery Charger. Though it’s the only one of its kind in our best backpacking solar charger list, this power bank isn’t your ordinary solar charger. While you can charge it via a conventional power outlet, this power bank has a solar panel as its secondary source of energy. This is particularly useful when you are out in nature as you won’t find power source except for the freely available one, the sun.
To charge this power monster, you only need to hook it onto your bag and it will automatically store the converted electricity into the battery for later use. It has a rugged build to withstand shock and wear. The features embedded in this power bank are dual-mode LED flashlight, a hook, and 2 USB ports supporting 1A and 2.1A power output to charge 2 devices simultaneously. Unfortunately, this device isn’t safe from water and dust.
What We Love
This self-recharging device has a generous capacity to charge 2 devices at the same time.
- Rugged build
- Converts and store power at the same time
- LED emergency flashlight
It takes a long time to fully charge using the solar panel.
ECEEN Solar Charger Panel
Eceen Solar Charger Panel is simply the mini-max of the bunch. With the size of 11.5 x 6 x 0.5 inches and weighing less than a pound, this solar charger is perfect for an emergency power source while you are venturing to nature. This solar charger can be folded like a book into a zipped pouch that protects the solar cells inside it. You will find a zipped stretchy compartment on the exterior that not only houses the USB module but also your gadget when it’s recharging. There are 2 color options available, Black and Multi-Colored. We like the multi-colored one because of the camo-looking fabric that wraps it.
This portable solar charger is capable to deliver 10W electricity to recharge two 5V devices in 1.5A outputs using a pair of monocrystalline solar cells. It works best when the sun is at the brightest and facing directly at it. If you are mobile, you can use the daisy chain to attach the panel onto your bag with the help of provided carabiners. Please mind keeping your gadgets protected from the sun while recharging as they can overheat and break.
What We Love
It’s highly compact and ultra-lightweight.
- Weighs almost nothing
- Easy to attach to carriers
- Withstand light exposure to water and dust
Performance plummets in a cloudy sky.
Sokoo Foldable Solar Charger
The manufacturer that produces this solar charger is confident in its performance and waterproofing. Wrapped in PVC coated canvas, this charger can still perform well even if it falls into the water. The power module is claimed to be short-circuit-proof on water. Using the most current SunPower solar panels, Sokoo Foldable Solar Charger is a power monster you can rely on when you are hiking, camping, or canoeing. To power up your devices, you can hang this solar charger on your tent or backpack, tie it on your ATV, or simply laying it flat in the sun. It can charge 2 devices at the same time via USB ports located in the pocket.
This solar charger works incredibly well for 5V devices and gives out 2.4A at most. With a clear sky and the fast-charging feature, any compatible gadgets will be fully recharged in no time. A worth-noting feature of this solar charger is the Smart IC. Since the sky is unpredictable, an unstable current can damage your gadget’s battery. But with the Smart IC, the charging module will identify your gadget and regulate power output and protect it from overloading.
What We Love
It has a huge wattage in such thin and lightweight form.
- Lightweight and waterproof
- Hooks to attach to mobile surfaces
- Deliver up to 3.3A in total
It gets hot easily.
Foxelli Portable Solar Panel
If you want to try on solar charger, Foxelli Portable Solar Panel is your perfect starter. Used to be the best backpacking solar charger, it may not have the most recent technology of solar cell in the market. However, that doesn’t mean it works second best. This solar charger is actually smaller than the products in this list, so it won’t take up much space in your backpack. Even though small, this unit is capable of accommodating 2 devices at the same time at 1.85A total. It’s already equipped with eye-holes and carabiners, so it’s ready to operate immediately.
The exterior of this solar charger is built to take the temperance of nature. The solar cells are protected by strong PET polymer that’s sewn into waterproof-coated canvas. This renders the unit to be waterproof and dustproof. Please mind that some devices cannot be charged by this unit due to its limited output. However, most 5V devices, like bluetooth speakers for travel, can be charged just fine. If you aren’t satisfied with this product, the manufacturer offers 120-day worry-free warranty where you can get your money back.
What We Love
It’s an affordable starter solar panel you can take to hiking and backpacking.
- Water and dust resistant
- Smaller size but still packs a punch
- 120-day money back guaranteed
It has a standard output or its size.
Anker 21W Portable Solar Charger
In the areas often visited by hurricanes and thunderstorms, having a dependable alternative power source is mandatory. One can get a diesel generator that relies on gasoline, but why choose the impractical and expensive alternatives while you can get the portable and affordable solar charger? Besides, the energy from the sun is free and available most of the time. This is what Anker 21W Portable Solar Charger specializes in. Simply set it up against the sun and off it goes.
This solar charger is crazy light. Lighter than most of its competitors. But don’t get fool by its form factor, this power beast is capable of giving out 21W worth of power for 2 attached devices. 3A is the max output for 2 USB ports. It’s also easy to set up. You can use the eye-holes to attach it to your backpack or tent with the help of some carabiners. Just like any Anker products, you will get an 18-month warranty to ensure your peace of mind.
What We Love
The lightest and smallest of its kind. It’s ideal for mobile users.
- 18-year warranty sets you at ease
- Embedded with powerful solar cells (SunPower)
- Durable cover
It’s not waterproofed.
BigBlue Portable Solar Phone Charger
While the best backpacking solar charger manufacturers are competing in sporting big numbers, the BigBlue Portable Solar Phone Charger doesn’t follow the trend. It focuses on how to make their products reliable in all conditions nature gives. Be it rain, dust, or even snow; wear this solar charger without worry thanks to the IPX4 protection. This focus also extends to its reliability to convert energy from the sun. In the best sky condition, the solar charger is capable of converting more efficient energy using the latest SunPower solar cell technology.
This product is fairly lightweight, considering it’s a 4-panel solar charger. But this justifies its capacity of producing 28W-worth of power. It’s a wonder how this solar charger can accommodate 3 devices simultaneously with a maximum output of 4.8A (for 5V devices). Along with the package, you will receive the main unit, a micro USB cable, and a warranty card. It’s a 2-year damage warranty to protect your experience with it.
What We Love
Stable current in any weather. A must-have in your emergency kit!
- Weather-proof and short-circuit protection
- Stable current delivery
- 3 USB ports
You can’t charge your laptop and tablet at the moment.
RAVPower 24W Solar Charger
This solar charger has been gaining rave reviews all over the net with its outstanding performance. The Smart IC technology embedded in this solar charger does its charm by identifying your device and regulates its output according to what the device needs. You don’t need to worry about overcharging or short-circuit. This technology complements the monocrystalline SunPower solar cell perfectly to achieve better conversion efficiency.
RAVPower 24W solar charger can charge 3 devices at the same time and deliver 4.8A output in 5V current. It’s also lightweight for its size so you can fold this powerhouse and tuck it into your backpack with ease. If you need to charge your devices on the go, hook the solar panel onto your backpack or your tent and it’s ready to juice up their batteries. Lastly, sudden rain or a dust attack won’t be a problem for this solar charger as it’s protected by a waterproof sleeve.
What We Love
Lightweight and compact charger, perfect for backpacking, hiking, and camping.
- iSmart charging for more effective output
- Monocrystalline SunPower solar cell
- Water and dust-resistant
It’s best to keep it from overheating to maintain its high performance.
Goal Zero Nomad 7 Plus
Goal Zero is a renowned brand in the travel gadget world. They produce some of the best solar chargers for backpacking. From the look of it, you can tell immediately that you won’t be buying another solar charger for a very long time. The Goal Zero Nomad 7 Plus is a rugged, well-made solar charger that will be your reliable device recharger on the go. With 10 watts, it’s plenty enough to power up your phone wherever the sun is shining.
To use this gadget, there are 2 ways you can choose. You can hook it onto your bag and let it hang while you walk or use the included kickstand and let it face the sun. This solar charger is best used for directly charging a device or filling up a power bank if you already have one. It’s also weatherproof so you don’t need to worry if water and dust affect its performance. To check how the sun affects the recharging process, you can consult the LED indicator on the charging module. The charging module is equipped with a continuous charging system.
What We Love
It’s built for continuous wear and tear without affecting its performance.
- Rugged and reliable
- Equipped with a Continuous Charging System
- Kickstand included
It’s a little more expensive than other solar chargers.
Nekteck 21W Portable Solar Charger
The market for solar chargers now demands a more efficient and powerful solar charger to fulfill the needs of the consumers. Fortunately, technology supports this demand by releasing the newest generation of solar panels that promise faster and more efficient energy conversion. Nekteck 21W Portable Solar Charger saw this as a chance to be the best backpacking solar charger in the world. Armed with the cutting-edge SunPower Maxeon, the monocrystalline solar cells make this particular solar charger prominent among its competitors.
Under a ray of relentless sunshine, this product is capable of producing 2 watts of electricity to deliver to 2 attached devices. The cumulative output can reach 3A if both USB ports are used simultaneously. It also supports fast-charging for supported devices. This 3-panel charger is neatly portable you can attach it wherever you want with the included carabiners. If not used, simply fold it into the size of one panel and tuck it away in your backpack or trunk.
What We Love
A lightweight solar charger that simply does its job.
- Highly efficient solar cells
- IPX4 water and dust protection
It isn’t equipped with continuous charging system.
Sunjack Portable Solar Panel
Is yellow your color? Then you must love the sun and Sunjack Portable Solar Panel! The premise of this product is so apparent: to provide sustainable energy in all-weather conditions. This solar charger has figured out the way to further the efficiency of a solar cell by making a small change that the competitors didn’t expect. While most solar chargers use PET sheets to protect the solar cells, this one cleverly uses ETFE material which has higher UV permeability. It results in better-performing solar cells.
With 15W, you can easily charge two 5V devices at the same time with a max output of 4A, especially when they have a fast-charging feature. When the sky is unpredictable, you can sit back and let the Smart IC feature regulate the charging activity. While other chargers may need you to unplug and reattached a device after a cloud pass, this solar charger will take care of it for you. The best thing is that these features come with a 12-month warranty for your peace of mind. Sunjack Portable Solar Panel is a tough competitor in the best backpacking solar charger category.
What We Love
It’s snappy and dependable whenever you need it.
- More efficient solar panel
- Unbelievably lightweight
- High output
It’s less durable than others.
Ryno-Tuff Portable Solar Charger
You’re deep in the woods but need to juice up your phone? Take out your Ryno-Tuff Portable Solar Charger while you take a break at the riverbanks and plug 2 of your devices to it. It will be charged in no time! Depending on the sun intensity, this solar charger is capable of delivering up to 2.4A to one device with a fast-charging feature (total output 3A for 2 ports). It’s quite a power from the second-best solar chargers for backpacking, isn’t it?
This solar charger uses the best material available in the market, the Sun power X-series. It’s a monocrystalline solar cell that works 23% better than the cheaper polycrystalline. Charging your phone with this is safe thanks to the iSOLAR feature that keeps your phone from overcharging and overheating. Every purchase comes with a 12-month warranty and a tree planted in your name through the National Forest Foundation. It feels good to give back to nature!
What We Love
A solar charger designed for rough trips.
- Waterproofed 600D nylon cover
- High-efficiency solar cells
Not equipped with continuous charging system.
Moolsun Solar Panel Charger
If you’re reading this far, chances are you never settle for the less. This solar charger is the best backpacking solar charger in our version. Moolsun Solar Panel Charger is the solar power converter you can count on in any weather. This solar charger is exceptionally thin and space-efficient that you don’t feel it in your bag. If you’re an avid hiker, you’ll soon find you can’t hike without hanging this solar converter on your backpack.
The manufacturer somehow found a way to furthermore increase the power of its monocrystalline solar cells. The 24W solar panel is more than enough to juice up three 5V devices at the same time at 2.1A output. The solar panels are protected by ETFE material and PVC-coated canvas wraps around the rest of the unit. The last feature of this durable solar charger is the intelligent regulator that can identify the sunlight intensity and restart the charging process when necessary.
What We Love
A solar charger with optimized hardware and protection. It’s simply the best you can get.
- Intelligent regulator
- Rugged to the core to tackle the weather
It feels a little flimsy due to its thinness.