5 Best Solar Chargers for Backpacking Reviews, Tips & Guides
- 1 5 Best Solar Chargers for Backpacking Reviews, Tips & Guides
- 2 Factors that need to be considered before making a purchase
- 3 Best Solar Chargers for Backpacking in 2021
- 3.1 Goal Zero Venture 30 Solar Recharging Kit with Nomad 7 Plus Solar Panel
- 3.2 Anker 21W Dual USB Solar Charger
- 3.3 Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Solar Recharging Kit with Nomad 7 Plus Solar Panel
- 3.4 Instapark 10 Watt Solar Panel Portable Solar Charger
- 3.5 Powertraveller Solarmonkey Adventurer Portable Solar Charger
Thinking of buying a solar charger? Not sure about which one to buy?
These days with electronic devices, dominating our lives, it is not possible to travel or backpack without portable power solutions that can recharge these electronic devices. A solar charger, as the name suggests, makes use of solar energy to charge the devices or power batteries.
In easy words, they convert sunlight energy into solar energy. These automotive gadgets are portable and can be easily carried along on backpacking or hiking trips.
By making use of these solar chargers, you can easily recharge your mobiles, tablets, or laptops, on-the-go. Earlier, people used to struggle a lot to find the right spot and angle for catching rays, in order to charge their devices via these solar chargers.
But with the portable solar technology improving day by day, this struggle has evaded. Nowadays, these chargers have light indicators to tell you about the sun conditions.
Factors that need to be considered before making a purchase
These panels come in varied shapes and sizes, and you need to buy the one as per your requirement. Let’s take a look at the various factors that need to be considered before making a purchase:
- Weight and ease-of-use— Low weight should be a high priority while buying solar chargers for backpacking. Durability, ease of use, and reliability come next. Always buy a charger that has ease-of-use features as nobody likes to lug around complicated chargers on a trip.
- Battery– Most of the solar chargers offer a regulated USB output for direct charging of small electronic devices. The integrated storage battery is better as they are fully compatible with the charger and offers maximum convenience. The best part is these batteries can work even at night after the sun has gone down. However, an independent storage battery gives you the leverage to carry less weight.
- Power output– Make sure that the input battery voltage of your electronic device equals the output of the charger. Most portable solar chargers, charge small electronic devices easily, but find it difficult to charge larger electronic devices. So, in case you want to charge large devices, then buy a charger with 12V – 24V output.
- Battery Type– NiMH technology makes uses of AA or AAA batteries that are easily rechargeable and replaceable. Lithium-ion and lithium polymers are kinds of in-built batteries and the lead-acid batteries are best and provide the greatest power capacity.
- Storage capacity– It gives you an idea of how many recharges are available in the battery pack for you to recharge later. Read the technical specifications and find out the storage capacity of the battery in your device. In case your device uses NiMH batteries, then this is not of concern. Otherwise, buy a battery pack with enough storage capacity.
Best Solar Chargers for Backpacking in 2021
Amidst so many options, choosing the best solar charger is not an easy task. To ease it out for you, we have rounded some of the best solar chargers for backpacking in 2021. Take a look:
Goal Zero Venture 30 Solar Recharging Kit with Nomad 7 Plus Solar Panel
- Venture 30 - 30Wh, 7800mAh power pack powers phones (2-3x), tablets (1x) and more. Lightweight and packable from the airport to the trail
- Built-in micro USB tip provides tangle-free charging for phones and tablets. Certified cables for efficient charging
It’s a simple battery pack that has ports that can be interfaced with any device. This recharger kit features a weatherproof, rugged, and stylish design. Its weatherproof nature allows you to take it anywhere; be it a beach or in rain, it is your forever companion.
Lightweight and packable from the airport to the trail, it can be taken anywhere as this solar panel folds down for easy transport.
Don’t go by its smaller size, it is much more powerful than other comparable panels in this range. It works effectively with Apple, Android, and Windows devices.
It has two high-speed 2.4A USB and micro USB ports, that provide the fastest charge possible. It allows you to power two devices at once or it can be also shared with a friend or buddy.
This highly versatile 7-watt solar panel has been paired with Venture 30s, a powerful battery. Venture 30 features 7,800mAh recharger to keep your phones, headlamps, cameras and other smaller USB gear powered up, no matter how the weather is. It also includes a built-in micro-USB cable that allows for tangle-free charging of phones and tablets.
All the cables have been certified to allow for efficient charging. The best part is that this device is compatible with almost all the gadgets. No rubber plugs are needed.
This battery is so powerful that it charges up in 4 hours from USB and in 9 hours of full sun from the Nomad 7. The design has been engineered in a way that offers maximum convenience and a user- friendly experience.
The zippered mesh pocket holds the detachable battery. All you have to do is just plug in the battery, open the solar panels, and leave it where there is sunshine.
There are two ways to charge Venture 30. The first resort is that you can recharge the Venture 30 via sun by connecting a compatible solar panel, this process takes about 6 hours.
The other one, in case there is no sun, then you can recharge via the USB Source, and this takes about a good 5 hours. Once the Venture 30 is fully charged up, it will charge a smartphone 2-3 times, POV camera 5 times, and a tablet once.
Overall, Venture 30 is a complete power package that has been adequately priced. It is available at a higher relative price than others but then given the added features, durability is totally worth it.
Anker 21W Dual USB Solar Charger
- 【High-Efficieny】The high-efficiency of its three solar Monocrystalline panels cell is based on SunPower Maxeon technology, that allows them to reach 21%-24% of conversion efficiency while providing enough power (up to 2.0A max per port or 3.0 A max overall)
- 【Advanced Smart IC Chip Technology】 Microchip support to detects the electronic devices plugged into the USB ports for fast charging two phones simultaneously under safe conditions as well as the prevention of overheating
Anker is one of America’s Leading USB charging brand and has more than 10 million+ happy users and counting. Equipped with advanced technology, Anker 21W Dual USB Solar Charger allows for faster and safer charging.
This portable solar charger features an intelligent design that has 3 solar panels encased and separated by a meshy canvas. The panels fold into themselves making it easily packable. At 11.1 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches, it is easy to carry around on backpacking trips.
The elastic loops on each corner make it easier to attach this charger to backpacks, trees, or tents. Its ultra-thin design makes it easily portable and suitable to carry on long treks.
As this device has been engineered for camping use, it is incredibly durable. The high-quality solar panels are protected by industrial-strength PET polymer. The rugged polyester canvas that separates the panel is water-resistant and offers outdoor durability.
Anker’s standard short circuit and surge protection technology protects you and your devices. It only charges with the power of the sun; there is no other way to do it. It is capable enough to recover its charge in case it is shaded for a few minutes.
However, you can make use of off-the-grid power; all you have to do is just spread out the solar panels or attach to your pack to start recharging your gadgets. With 15W SunPower solar array, which is is 21.5-23.5 efficient, this device is powerful enough to charge two devices simultaneously.
This compact, the lightweight panel has a powerful charging system that is suited to charge more powerful electronic devices. Delivering the fastest possible charging, it replicates the original charging protocol of your device. With charging speed up to 2.4 amp per port or 3 amps overall, it provides for fast charging.
Though it is weather-resistant, still it is recommended not to take this in rain to protect electrical components. Minimize moisture exposure as much as possible. This product comes with an 18-month warranty and offers friendly customer service.
This one is preferable for camping activities wherein the camper is not moving much, unlike the hikers who are constantly moving. If you want a durable and reliable product, and does not want to spend hefty, then this one is a great option. If you want a portable device that charges multiple devices efficiently, go for it.
Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Solar Recharging Kit with Nomad 7 Plus Solar Panel
- Battery capacity: 11Wh, 2300mAh (4.8V)
- Solar capacity: 7W (8-9v)
This versatile charger provides on-the-go charging. Intelligently designed, this compact charger has an integrated pocket to keep things organized and store everything in one place.
Constructed out of strong and durable material, panels are encased in a tough material and fold up easily to be sealed with a magnetic clasp. It has various attachment loops that can be easily connected to a backpack or tied anywhere. The magnetic closure is handy and the cables attach conveniently to the back so that they are not lost.
Its weatherproof resistant nature allows you to take it anywhere you want. Equipped with four AA removable and rechargeable batteries, it is suitable to power small devices like a phone.
It is also compatible with other rechargeable NiMH batteries and includes AAA adapter. The Guide 10 Plus is perfect for smaller USB or AA/AAA powered gear like it gives 50-100 boost in smartphones, 25 boosts in tablets, and 1-2 Recharges in POV camera.
There are two ways to charge Guide 10. The first resort is that you can recharge via the sun by connecting a compatible solar panel and the other one, in case there is no sun, then you can recharge via the USB power source.
Charging is faster via the Nomad 7 solar panel and takes about 3-6 hours. This unit charges in 6-10 hours by USB. It comes with a 12V cigarette adaptor for use in cars and USB to Mini USB cord. You can always connect the multiple Nomad 7 panels together to speed up the charging process, a great idea especially if you travel in groups.
It includes a built-in flashlight, which is quite handy as it can instantly light your way to finding anything in any backpack or purse. The Nomad 7 Plus features an auto restart, which is like the most intelligent technology you’ll come across. In case your device has not been fully charged, and was just disconnected due to any environmental issues, like a shadow, or poor sunlight, etc. then this technology automatically reconnects the charging device, without bothering you.
The kickstand is easily detachable and provides optimum angle placement for charging devices effectively. The pocket is vented to allow for the proper regulation of temperature. The 4 LED lights give a glimpse of the ongoing solar conditions and the way your device will be charged.
Given the functionality and flexibility, the price seems appropriate. This is an easy way to power your devices and surely is a good addition to your backpacking gear.
Instapark 10 Watt Solar Panel Portable Solar Charger
Instapark s a reputable brand that is known for its effective and reliable products. Instapark 10 is one of the most portable folding panels that you’ll come across. Its simple and smart design is eye-catching.
This 10 Watt high-efficiency solar panel comes with a foldable design, which makes it easy to carry anywhere on backpacking, camping or hiking trips. It folds out into three separate large mono-crystalline solar panels. With a power output of 10 Watts, it measures only 9 X 6 X 2 inches.
It charges small electronic devices effectively. Weighing only 1 lb, It is small enough to fit in a backpack. This lightweight device has been sophistically designed and engineered in a way to charge the device in any kind of condition. It can easily charge any USB powered device such as iPhone, iPad on the go. It can easily charge two USB supported devices at a time.
Made of durable, canvas fabric this charger has Velcro closures for the panel. The closure method seals the pockets and keeps the panels secured.
It also has an accessory pocket, that is large enough to stash and protect your device, while it is getting charged. The sewn carabiner attachment points make it easier to hang up the panel.
This solar charger is not as efficient when it comes to charging multiple devices at once. Also, it lacks any cigarette lighter adapter capability, so basically there is no other way to charge a device that does not have a USB cable. It does not have any in-built battery.
You do not need an additional battery to charge external devices, as it can directly charge the device. The best part is that this charger has been engineered keeping the environment in mind; it releases 100 green energy with zero carbon footprint. This product offers a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Good for solo travelers or small groups, this charger is an amazing value for money. If you are looking out for a reasonable, mid-range option then this one has got you covered. It is easily portable and works excellently even in sub-prime conditions.
Powertraveller Solarmonkey Adventurer Portable Solar Charger
This reliable solar charger comes in a slim and compact design that is eye-catching. Weighing at 265g, it has two solar panels that yield an output of 3-watt max.
Power-packed with advanced features and technology, this charger surely covers you under any kind of emergency preparedness. It features a weatherproof construction, i.e. you can easily resist any outside elements that interrupt smooth functioning of this charger.
It is equipped with 3500mAh internal lithium polymer battery delivers 5V USB output, i.e. this charger is compatible with a host of 5V devices and provides 2 Amps of output for efficient charging of mobile devices.
It can charge a smartphone 1 – 2 times, a GPS 1 – 3 times, or charge an iPad up to 25, and is also compatible with rechargeable headlamps, e-readers, handheld action cameras, etc. It features a 4-color LED light that indicates the level of charge left in the internal battery.
This device features auto-load, self-sensing switching technology, which automatically starts to charge your device as soon as it connected. In case your device lost a charging connection due to any environmental issue, it will automatically reconnect it without bothering you. It also optimizes the charging parameters required.
It also includes a “daisy-chain” feature which allows you to charge your device while the solar panels are working to charge the internal battery.
This charger is also equipped with maximum power point tracker (MPPT) technology that lets you efficiently charge your devices in low light conditions and during night time the internal battery power your devices. In simple language, this charger works efficiently to charge itself and other devices in low light conditions.
The travel case has been made using some very solid materials, therefore is extremely durable. The travel case also has integral fixings and pockets for stowing cables and tips. The carabiner ensures firm protection and secure attachment to a backpack. This also helps to recharge the internal battery with the sunlight on-the-go.
It includes various safety features like, short-circuit protection, overload protection, and low voltage protection, and thermal insulation battery protection giving an operating temperature range of -10 to 90 degrees C.
Given its size and features, this charger may seem a bit too expensive. But given its thoughtful design and reliability, and the fact that you can directly charge it from the sun makes it worth the value.