What Are the Best Solar Cell Phone Chargers?
Solar cell phone chargers are a game-changer. They let you charge your phone anywhere you have sunlight.
Whether camping in the middle of the woods or stuck at home during a power outage, you can use solar cell phone chargers to charge your phone in many situations.
Solar cell phone chargers were once an expensive novelty. Today, they’re common and affordable. Keep reading to discover the best solar cell phone chargers you can buy today, including the top-rated solar cell phone chargers from today’s best brands.
Our Rankings – The Best Solar Cell Phone Chargers
After analyzing and testing today’s top-rated and best-selling solar cell phone chargers, here are our rankings of the best solar chargers available today.
1. BigBlue 3 Solar Charger
The BigBlue 3 is one of the internet’s most popular and best-selling solar cell phone chargers – and for good reason. At around $55 from most retailers, the BigBlue 3 provides incredible value given the technology inside the unit. It features four solar panels, a compact and foldable design, and three USB charging ports. Whether camping, hiking, or protecting yourself around the house, the BigBlue 3 is ideal for using solar energy to charge all different devices. At 1.3lbs, the BigBlue 3 is heavier than other solar chargers listed here, although most find that the extra weight is worth it.
2. Anker 21W 2-Port USB Portable Solar Charger
Anker’s 21W 2-Port USB Portable Solar Charger looks similar to the top-rated option on our list, the BigBlue 3. You get the same high-quality industrial-strength polymer fabric that we see with the BigBlue 3, making Anker’s option ideal for camping and outdoor use. Anker’s 21W solar charger has less charging power and three solar panels instead of four, but it remains one of the best options in the solar cell phone charger market today. It’s also available for around $30, making it one of the best budget options on this list.
3. BioLite Solar Panel 5+
BioLite’s Solar Panel 5+ has a kickstand – something we don’t see with all other solar chargers on this list. The kickstand makes it easy to point the panel towards the sun for maximum absorption. Other solar panel chargers are designed to be laid on the ground or hung from something, so the kickstand makes a difference. One of the biggest advantages of the BioLite SolarPanel 5+, however, is the built-in 2,200mAh battery. The solar panel transfers unused electricity to this battery for later use. You can leave the solar panel out all day, then charge your devices at night.
4. Blavor Solar Power Bank
Blavor’s Solar Power Bank is another budget-friendly option. At under $30, the Blavor Solar Power Bank offers incredible value. Like the BioLite option above, the Blavor Solar Power Bank also comes with a large battery: the 10,000 mAh battery can charge your smartphone several times over before needing to be recharged. The main drawback of the Blavor Solar Power Bank is the weak capacity of the solar cells on top. It can complement the electricity that’s already stored within your power bank, although it takes a long time to charge the battery using just sunlight. Nevertheless, the Blavor Solar Power Bank has Qi wireless charging, two USB ports, and a waterproof rating, among other surprising perks at this price range.
5. X-Dragon 20W SunPower Solar Charger
The X-Dragon 20W SunPower Solar Charger is similar to the BigBlue 3 at the top of our list in terms of price and features, and it can quickly charge multiple devices. Although it looks identical to other solar cell phone chargers listed here, the X-Dragon performs very well in real-world testing, soaking up more energy from the sun than top-ranked cell phone chargers from other brands. The X-Dragon lacks an additional charging port and port protector compared to the BigBlue 3, although it continues to be one of the top-rated options on our list.
6. Goal Zero Nomad 50
Weighing in at 7 lbs, the Goal Zero Nomad 50 is the heftiest solar charger on our list. It features four panels that stretch out to 4.5 feet long. It’s the least portable option on our list, but it may be the right choice for use around the house or for people who drive to campsites in their cars. As you would expect with the larger size, the Goal Zero Nomad 50 features 50W of power, which means it can charge a 20,000mAh power bank in around three to five hours. If you want maximum power and don’t care about portability, then the Goal Zero Nomad 50 is an excellent choice. And, for those who need less power, Goal Zero offers several smaller chargers with similar designs.
7. SunJack 15W Solar Charger
The SunJack 15W Solar Charger features three panels and a surprisingly small form. With 15 watts of power, the SunJack solar cell phone charger doesn’t have the capacity of other top-rated chargers listed here, although it does feature its own battery. There’s even a Quick Charge 3.0 port that can power your devices more rapidly than other chargers listed here. At $59, the SunJack 15W Solar Charger is more expensive than other chargers with this wattage, but it’s a higher-quality device made from durable material like ETFE, making it ideal for outdoor use and camping.
How We Ranked
Every solar cell phone charger claims to charge your phone effectively. However, quality varies widely between solar power banks. After testing each of the solar cell phone chargers above, our team ranked the chargers based on the following factors:
Charging Efficiency: Solar cell phone chargers vary widely in terms of efficiency. Some are highly efficient at transforming sunlight into usable electricity. Others have solar panels that seem to barely do anything. Charging efficiency played a large role in our rankings.
USB Ports: The best solar cell phone chargers have multiple USB ports, including USB-A and USB-C charging ports. However, extra charging ports are only useful if the device has the capacity to charge them.
Wattage: Some people need 10W of power, while others need 30W. We featured solar chargers with all different wattage ratings.
Power Bank: Some solar cell phone chargers come with a power bank, while others do not. A power bank makes it easy to store unused energy within the solar cell phone charger for later use. If your solar cell phone charger does not come with a power bank, then you can buy a third-party one yourself and charge it, which is why models like the BigBlue 3 continue to rank so highly on our list despite the lack of a power bank.
Ease of Use: Most solar chargers are easy to use. Just unfold the panels, plug in your device, and let it charge.
Wireless Charging: Wireless charging isn’t a dealbreaker, but it does expand the usefulness of a solar charger. Some of the best-rated solar chargers support wireless charging for Qi-enabled devices, which also makes it easy to charge multiple devices from a single solar charger.
Price & Value: Some people want to spend $20 on a solar cell phone charger. Others want to spend over $100. We featured a range of products for all different budgets, although we emphasized good value at each price range.
IP Rating: IP ratings denote the charger’s protection against water, dust, dirt, and other contaminants. Some people need rugged solar chargers with the highest possible IP ratings. Others use their solar chargers around the home, which means durability is less important. However, we considered IP rating in our ranking of the best solar cell phone chargers.
Final Word on Solar Cell Phone Chargers
Solar cell phone chargers come in different sizes, capacities, and options.
Whether protecting yourself from the next blackout or looking for a cell phone charger to use while camping, the solar chargers above are the best available today.