What’s the Best Solar Powered Phone Charger? Top 10 Revealed

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phone and charger

In today’s highly connected world, most of us have grown dependent on our mobile devices. From mobile phones to tablets to Bluetooth headsets, we’re always plugged into the digital world around us. But that connection can come to a screeching halt without a reliable power source. In this article, we’ll look at one of the most convenient ways to keep your mobile devices powered up—solar powered phone chargers.

A solar powered phone charger can be an ideal option for times when you’re traveling, camping, or need to get some extra power but don’t have access to a reliable power outlet. With a solar-powered phone charger, you’ve got a simple solution that can fully recharge your device or merely enough juice to carry you over until you can get a full charge.

What separates the charges in this article apart from the pack is that they will not only recharge your devices but also recharge themselves. By harnessing solar power, these units provide a reliable and sustainable power source that is portable and convenient for an on-the-go lifestyle. If you’ve ever been caught with a dead phone battery at the wrong time, you know it’s critical to getting your device recharged and back in service as soon as possible.

The solar powered cell phone chargers in this article can help you stay in better contact and keep connected anywhere you have service.

Comparison Table

Solar Powered Phone Charger Product FAQ

phone on dashboard

image source: Pexels

Solar powered phone chargers have a few key differences when compared with traditional cell phone charges. Here are a few frequently asked questions about solar powered phone chargers that will get you up to speed:

1. What Is A Solar Powered Phone Charger?

A solar powered phone charger is a rechargeable battery that can reserve a power source for mobile devices and small electronics. Like traditional power banks, these units are portable and stow easily in a purse or backpack. Unlike a conventional power bank, however, solar powered battery chargers include an onboard solar panel that can help maintain and refill the power level available in the unit.

2. How Do Solar Powered Phone Chargers Work?

To use a solar powered phone charger, you must connect your mobile device or small electronics using a power cable. The cable used to connect with a solar powered phone charger will vary depending on the phone or electronic device. The connection point on the phone charger is typically a traditionally USB connection, making this unit very versatile and capable of working well with many brands and types of devices.

When charging a phone or other device with a solar powered phone charger, you will often see lights showing the remaining power on the charger. These can come in the form or multiple LEDs or a single LED panel that displays power. When your solar powered phone charger runs low, you can either recharge it by connect a micro USB cable into the recharging port or keep the unit in direct sun exposure.

It’s important to note that most solar chargers will refill their power much more quickly using a power cable than with the sun alone. Some solar charges are not capable of completely recharging themselves with the sun alone. It’s best to think of the solar recharging panel as a supplement to traditional recharging methods that can help maintain the power of your charger while you’re on the go.

3. When Could You Need A Solar Powered Phone Charger?

Solar powered phone chargers are an excellent option for any application in which recharge a mobile device on the go. With that said, these unit are useful while traveling, camping, hunting, and fishing working outdoors, or taking road trips. The beauty of a solar powered phone charge is that you’re not bound to a power outlet to keep you connected, so these units thrive during activities where outlets are few.

4. What Are The Top Brands For Solar Powered Phone Chargers?

There are thousands of different solar powered phone chargers available today, and many of them are cheap. Everyone wants to get the most bang for their buck, but it’s hard to recognize which solar powered phone chargers are a good deal and which ones to pass up. Some more true names for solar powered phone chargers include Voltaic Systems, SunJack, X-Dragon, Eceen, Sokoo, Nekteck, Renology, and Jetsun.

It’s common in the electronics market place for lookalike products to emerge that mimic the aesthetics of quality products but lack the quality. This is especially true with solar powered phone charges. When you’re shopping for a solar powered phone charge, take the time to ensure you’re buying from a reputable dealer and then scrutinize the unit to ensure it is genuine and not a cheap knockoff.

5. What Are Some Key Features To Look For In A Solar Powered Phone Charger?

When you’re in the market for a solar powered phone charger, there are a few key features you should consider. Your budget and aesthetic tastes will play a role in the decision, but you’ll also want to find the batter capacity, water resistance, portability, and durability.

phone and charger

image source: Pexels

Battery Capacity

The capacity for most solar powered phone chargers is measured in milliampere-hours (mAh). This is a subunit of ampere-hours, which is the amount of electrical energy that a battery has available for transfer. Smaller solar powered phone chargers start around 3,000 milliamperes with the most massive solar chargers ranging up to 100,000 mAh. The power in a solar powered phone charger is housed in battery cells within the unit, so the more critical the mAh rating, the more cells and the larger the unit will be.

Water Resistance

Many solar powered phone chargers are water resistant, and some are even rated as waterproof. If you are planning to use this unit in an outdoors context, ensure that verify if the unit is water resistant or waterproof as this can significantly affect the durability and functionality. Waterproof solar powered phone chargers often carry an International Protection marking followed by the level at which it was tested for water safety. These will read as IPX6, IPX7, and so on.

Portability

The physical size of solar powered phone charges will vary drastically depending on their capacity, make, and model. For our review of solar powered phone chargers, we will focus on two different styles–traditional power banks and fold-out panels. Traditional bank-style chargers are more compact but often more substantial. Fold-out panels are usually thinner and lighter but have more surface area to allow for maximized solar power collection.

When choosing the shape, we recommend considering the size and shape of the bag in which you plan to carry that charger to ensure the best and most convenient fit possible.

Durability

In a market that is flooded with cheap knock-offs and imports, it is critical to look carefully at the strength of a solar powered phone charger before purchasing. Given the outdoor functionality, many of these chargers have reinforced housings that will give added protection against drops and mishandling. Don’t be taken by good looks alone, however, as the cheaper versions often look the part but skimp on quality.

Examine the quality of the plastic and seams of a new charger. If it looks rugged but feels cheap then move on to another brand that is using all quality components and housings.

How We Reviewed


For this review, we compared the features of each solar powered phone charger and also considered their price, availability, and warranty. We also provided a few pros and cons for each unit to give a quick reference as you shop. In the end, we have also selected one overall top choice from this list of the solar powered phone chargers.

There’s never a single solar powered phone charger perfect for every user out there, but our top choice represents an excellent combination of price, performance, features and overall quality. Any of these units could be a good choice for you, but if you’re looking for one option that rises to the top, then our top pick will be worth your consideration.

What We Reviewed

  • SunJack 20W Solar Charger
  • X-DRAGON Solar Charger
  • Voltaic Systems – Fuse 6 Watt USB Solar Charger
  • ECEEN ECC-626 13W Universal Foldable Solar Charger
  • Solar Paper + Pouch, Paper-Thin and Light Portable Solar Charger
  • SOKOO 22W 5V 2-Port USB Portable Foldable Solar Charger
  • Solar Charger, Dizaul 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank
  • Nekteck 21W Solar Charger
  • Renogy E.FLEX 10W Ultra Thin Portable Solar Panel Charger
  • JETSUN Solar Charger

SunJack 20W Solar Charger

No products found.

Feature

SunJack’s 20 solar powered phone charger offers a complete kit that can give you elite level charging capacity. This unit includes a four-pane fold-out solar panel, two 10,000 mAh power banks, two USB-C charging cables and two carabiner clips for easy connection to a backpack or luggage. This is a sturdy unit that costs more than some competing options, but we think it’s worth the money.

Technical Specs

The four-pane solar panel included in this kit offers two amps of charging capacity, which should give comparable speed to a wall outlet. It also has a smart IC chip which will help detect your phone and interpret its battery level during the charging process. This can be a crucial feature because it will cut down on overcharging that can lead to battery fatigue and diminished life on your smart device.

The included 10,000 mAh batteries should offer around ten full charges for an average sized mobile phone, though this can vary depending on the size of your phone’s battery. Overall this provides lots of power for a unit that is sleek and weighs in at only 2.5 pounds.

Recommended Uses

The great fold-out solar panel on this unit could make this the perfect choice for campers or travelers that need to ensure they will have plenty of power throughout a trip. If both power banks are fully charges before leaving from a trip, the 20W solar panel should provide more than enough juice to keep your devices fueled up. It could also work well for home use as a permanently mounted unit to take the strain out of your monthly power bill.

PROS

  • Lightweight and powerful
  • Includes everything you need for complete charging on the go
  • Good charging speeds
  • Two power banks for added reliability

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Could be more powerful than most travelers or campers need
  • Packing a solar panel and power banks could be unwieldy for backpackers

Warranty

This unit includes a one-year warranty.

X-DRAGON Solar Charger

No products found.

Feature

If you plan to rely heavily on your electronic devices and need a lot of power from your solar powered phone charger, then look no further than this X-Dragon solar charger. This is another panel-style charge, but it boasts considerably higher power levels and overall performance than many of the similar charges in its class. The unit comes in a water-resistant housing and will provide enough juice to keep you (and your entire campsite) powered and well connected. This kit includes the 40W Foldable Solar Charger, ten laptop connectors, DC cable, USB cables, carabiners, and an instruction manual.

Technical Specs

What sets this unit apart from the competition is its solar retention. Most of the units in this class keep around 15-17% of the sunlight they take in. This unit, however, can take in 22-25% of the available solar energy. This may not seem like a huge increase, but it can add up to essential efficiency savings throughout weeks and months.

Like most units, this offers standard 5V charging via USB, but it also has an 18V input for charging larger devices like a laptop. You can also your devices are protected while charging as this unit has both surge protection and short circuit protection.

Recommended Uses

This unit is an excellent choice for those who are planning extended travel in remote areas or outdoor trips. It’s a compact unit that won’t take up too much space in a backpack and won’t weigh you down. Part of what we love about this solar powered phone charger is the value for money. It’s a premium unit, and it’s less expensive than many peers. This could make it an excellent option for those considering a big powerful unit but don’t want to break the bank.

PROS

  • 40W charging power
  • High-grade solar energy retention
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Excellent value for the price
  • Great warranty

CONS

  • 40W may be more power than necessary

Warranty

This solar powered phone charger is covered with an 18-month warranty.

Voltaic Systems – Fuse 6 Watt USB Solar Charger

No products found.

Feature

Voltaic Systems’ Fuse 6W solar powered phone charger offers a super durable option for those who an ultra-reliable option for their electronics. The signature feature of this unit is the robust housing that will clip onto the back of any backpack or luggage piece. It comes with a tough webbing outer rim and features high-grade plastic buckles that won’t crumble when nicked and dinged. If you want to keep your solar powered phone charger under the sun while you’re on the trail, then this charger might be for you.

Technical Specs

This is a monocrystalline solar panel that comes with an external battery to store energy. The panel is entirely waterproof and collects enough electricity for a full phone charge in about three hours. To charge small tablets and comparable devices this unit requires about eight hours in the sun. Despite the robust housing, this unit weighs in at just 1.5 pounds, so it won’t be an impediment when strapped onto the back of your pack.

Recommended Uses

We think this unit would be an excellent option for tourists and backpackers, especially in warm and sunny climates. When strapped onto a day pack this will keep your charging battery full while you explore. The added toughness offered by the housing on this unit could also serve campers well, but you won’t get maximum charging power if you’re hiking under a dense tree canopy.

PROS

  • Ultra-durable body
  • Easily clips onto backpacks
  • Premium-grade quality
  • Efficiently collects power on the go

CONS

  • Only a 6W unit
  • Comparatively expensive for low wattage

Warranty

This unit is covered by a two-year warranty.

​ECEEN ECC-626 13W Universal Foldable Solar Charger

No products found.

Feature

This solar powered phone charger from Eceen marks a high-quality and low-cost entry onto our list. This unit comes in at just around $$ and offers enough solar charging power to keep a mobile phone running with sufficient charging time. It is housed in a convenient case that includes various pockets, and a kickstand for support when presented in front of the sun.

Technical Specs

This is a two-pane charging panel that measures in at 4 x 7 x 1.0 inches. One of our favorite features of this unit is that its light. The entire kit weighs in at just over nine ounces, making it portable enough to take just about anywhere. At 13 watts, this unit has more than enough juice to get several devices up and to run and it can power two units at once. It also comes with a voltage regulator to ensure a constant flow of power from the internal battery to your phone.

Recommended Uses

While this is a quality solar powered phone charger, we would not recommend it for great camping or adventure travel. The housing is water resistant, but it won’t offer much in the way of protection. We would highly recommend this unit to business travelers and those that can use power on the go but will also have ample weather protection throughout their trip.

PROS

  • Super affordable
  • Good power for a low price
  • Light and packable
  • Convenient pockets included on the housing

CONS

  • Less rugged than some comparable units

Warranty

This unit has a 90-day warranty.

Yolk Solar Paper + Pouch, Paper-Thin And Light Portable Solar Charger

No products found.

Feature

The Yolk has combined excellent functionality with an innovative design for their Paper+Pouch solar powered phone charger. Size and weight were at the top of mind when this unit was designed, and it weighs an astonishing three ounces total. It’s genuinely paper thin and could serve as a bookmark when not in use charging your mobile devices. Besides its slim profile, this unit also features beautiful gold metal components for a modern look.

Technical Specs

This unit is a two-pane solar panel that is hinged in the center to create an ultra-compact profile when folded. At just three ounces, it’s light enough for any backpacking trip. A unique technical feature on this solar powered phone charger is their proprietary auto-comparison circuit. This predicts when there is a momentary break in direct sunlight and suspends usage until the full sun has resumed. This feature prevents the need for repeatedly unplugging and re-plugging your devices.

Recommended Uses

This unit is perfect for the backpacker or traveler who wants and handsome and well built solar powered phone charger and has extra money to spend. With such a lightweight and compact design, this unit will appeal to long-distance backpackers. It’s good looks, and the advanced tech could also make it an excellent choice for those who want a high-grade gadget around the house.

PROS

  • Ultralight and thin design
  • 5W, 7W, and 15W options
  • Attractive gold trim
  • Automatic light sensing option

CONS

  • Higher cost
  • Not as tough as some outdoor-specific units

Warranty

This unit is covered with a one-year warranty.

​SOKOO 22W 5V 2-Port USB Portable Foldable Solar Charger

No products found.

Feature

Sokoo’s 22W foldable solar powered phone charger provides maximum weather protection for those who plenty of power in the harshest climates. This unit is waterproof and rated to withstand downpours, prolonged exposure to humidity, and even saltwater. This is thanks to a high-grade PVC housing that locks all moisture out from the units sun-gathering array. Though this solar powered phone charger has found panels, it folds down to a reasonable 12.20 × 6.69 inches.

Technical Specs

The standout feature on this unit is the waterproof housing, but it packs stable charging power. Like the other leading solar powered phone chargers, this unit is a power regulating circuit that will ensure you are protected in the rare event of power surges. With 22 watts of charging ability, this unit will offer plenty of power for both cell phones and other mobile devices. The burly waterproof housing also comes equipped with metal grommets on the corners and four carabiner clips for easy mounting in the sun’s rays.

Recommended Uses

This solar powered phone charger is an outdoor beast at its core and would thrive for those on extended aquatic adventures. If you’re a whitewater rafting guide, canoe tripper, sailor, fisherman, or beach bum, this unit will keep your units powered up with any fear of the water. It could also be an excellent choice for outdoorsmen like waterfowl hunters and those traveling in areas prone to sudden downpours.

PROS

  • Waterproof
  • Compact for its charging capacity
  • Reasonably priced for the size and durability
  • Complete kit with solar panels, battery, and clips
  • Solid warranty

CONS

  • Some backpackers may find this unit bulky

Warranty

This unit is covered with an 18-month warranty.

​Solar Charger, Dizaul 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank

No products found.

Feature

Dizaul’s solar charged 5000mAh power bank is a great all-in-one option for those that have little room to spare. Unlike the previous solar powered phone chargers on this list, the Dizaul has a small solar panel mounted directed on top of the power bank. By combining these two in features, they save a considerable amount of space when compared with the panel-based system.

Technical Specs

At 5000mAh, this unit offers a relatively small amount of charging capacity. It’s a compact solar powered phone charger, measuring just 142 x 75 x 13.6 mm. So if you are skinny on space and don’t need too much charging power, this could be an ideal choice. This unit is water resistant, shockproof and also offers an LED emergency beam on the housing. There are two integrated USB outputs on this charger, and you’ll always know charge level with a simple LED display.

Recommended Uses

This solar powered phone charger would be an excellent choice for day-to-day uses like throwing in a backpack or purse. If you bike or walk to work, it could be a nice option as it will provide robust durability and enough power to charge you up on the way. If you’re traveling or camping and need lots of sustained energy, we’d say look elsewhere, but if you need a touch of backup power for emergencies, then this could be worth having out on the trail.

PROS

  • Compact and light
  • Integrated solar panel and battery design
  • Very inexpensive
  • Durable housing
  • Shockproof

CONS

  • No warranty

Warranty

There is currently no warranty information available for this unit.

​Nekteck 21W Solar Charger

No products found.

Feature

Nekteck has offered a robust and high-performing option with their 21W solar powered phone charger. This is a fold-out style charger with a sturdy and durable case that will stand up to the elements. This unit is similar in appearance to the Sokoo solar powered phone charger and will offer the same water protection. It’s light for its power at just 18 ounces and also comes in a very packable footprint at just 6.3×11.1×1.06in folded and 26.3×11.1in opened.

Technical Specs

The standout feature on the Nekteck 21W solar powered phone charger is its high-efficiency energy converting panels. These solar arrays will turn 21-24% of solar energy into usable power, which is a rate commonly found on far more expensive units. With such a high conversion rate this unit can charge two small units like mobile phones at the same time. The Smart IC chip in this charger will also predict how much power is needed to charge your phone and cap off the power flow once the maximum charge has been achieved.

Recommended Uses

With this device, Nekteck has offered another premium-grade solar powered phone charger for those that plan to head way off the grid. The high-efficiency solar arrays could make this unit an excellent choice for those who may backpack for extended distances under the tree canopy with only brief opportunities to recharge in an open space. Nekteck’s commitment to an ultralight and packable design also made this unit an easy decision for outdoor trekkers. 

PROS

  • Very affordable for the performance
  • 18 ounces and small, packable size
  • Highly efficient solar arrays
  • Solid warranty
  • Excellent weather resistance
  • The housing includes a pocket for accessories

CONS

  • Over 26 inches when fully expanded

Warranty

Nekteck backs this charging unit with an 18-month guarantee.

​Renogy E.FLEX 10W Ultra Thin Portable Solar Panel Charger

No products found.

Feature

The E.Flex 10W solar powered phone charger from Renogy offers another ultra-compact entry on our list. This unit is super thin, claiming on .16 inches of thickness when folded. It’s not surprising then that this is a super lightweight charger, clocking in at just 11.3 ounces. Renogy gave this unit an impressive aesthetic design that will appeal to tech buffs and outdoorsy types alike. A mixed black and teal housing provide sufficient weather resistance to keep your devices reliably powered on wherever you are.

Technical Specs

At 10 watts of power, this unit provides plenty of juice for average mobile devices, but won’t be overkill to most users. It’s made of high-efficiency monocrystalline panels that will convert solar energy into electricity easily when you need it. An integrated Smart sensor on this solar powered phone charger will temporarily suspend operation during moments of cloud cover and automatically resume activities once the sun has returned. For all this power, the Renogy E.Flex claims little space, measuring in at 10.3 x 6.3 x 0.16 inches folded and 10.3 x 13.4 x 0.08 inches unfolded.

Recommended Uses

Renogy has hit a sweet spot with this solar charger between tough and technical equipment and fun approachable design. The looks of this unit will probably align most closely with young adventure travelers, but it has more than enough functionality to compete with more techy looking units. 

PROS

  • Pleasingly hip aesthetic
  • Super thin and light
  • Simple operation
  • Just enough power but not too much

CONS

  • No power bank included
  • Average warranty

Warranty

This unit is covered for one year against defects.

​JETSUN Solar Charger

No products found.

Feature

Jetsun’s solar powered phone charger is explicitly made with outdoor campers in mind. This unit is housed in a super tough polymer casing that is fully waterproof and shock resistant. It’s an integrated design with the solar arrays sitting directly about the enclosed batteries, so it’s compact and easy to hang right off your pack. Jetsun’s charger will take longer to recharge with sunlight alone and other units with bigger solar panels, but it more than compensates with its durability and a full lifetime warranty.

Technical Specs

One feature that sets this unit apart from its competition is capacity. This unit boasts almost 17,000mAh in a unit that similarly sized too much less powerful banks. It will take eight to ten hours to charge by sunlight alone, but the small footprint and included carabiner clip make it easy to hang this unit from a backpack and charge on the go. It’s packable as well at just 6.3 x 3.3 x 0.8 inches and will keep you moving fast and light at only 11 ounces.

Recommended Uses

Jetsun made this tough and waterproof solar-powered phone charger specifically for campers and backpackers, but it could work well for travelers too. Whether you’re headed worldwide or town for a business meeting, this unit is compact and functional enough it could be a welcome addition in your everyday kit.

PROS

  • Tough yet small
  • Large battery capacity
  • Waterproof
  • Lifetime warranty
  • High quality and affordable

CONS

  • Comparatively slow charging time with a solar panel

Warranty

This unit is backed by a limited lifetime warranty against any manufacturing defects.

The Verdict

In today’s fast-paced world it can be a real disadvantage to lost power on your mobile devices. If you’re a business traveler, then connectivity could make the difference between success and failure. As a traveler, backpacker, and camper, having the maximum connectivity could be a matter of safety. No matter how you engage with smart devices, it’s worth considering a solar-powered phone charger.

Our top overall pick from this list of solar-powered phone chargers is the Nekteck 21W charger. What makes this unit remarkable is the functionality you get for such a low price. 

This unit may be larger than some business travelers or commuters want to carry, but for campers, backpackers, and adventure travelers this unit is a tremendous value. Money is an issue for many in this world. If you’re looking for the maximum amount of bang for your buck in a solar-powered phone charger, we think you can’t go wrong with the Nekteck 21W solar charger.

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