Whether you’re going on an off-the-grid camping trip or just want a backup battery, a solar-powered charger can help you stay connected. The best solar phone chargers use one or more energy-converting panels that allow you to power up your phone, and they’re compact enough to carry with you. Some are even dust- and water-resistant, so they'll stand up to outdoor elements.
When shopping for a charger, you'll have a choice of two designs — solar power bank and solar charger. Here’s what you need to know about each:
Solar power banks:
These are about the same size as traditional portable battery packs and include at least one integrated solar panel. They can be charged at home with a USB cable before you leave, and then used to top off your phone's battery life with solar power as needed. Of course, these aren't best option if you're planning to rely exclusively on solar energy for more than a couple days. The big benefit of power banks is that they can hold a charge, so you don’t need to rely on the sun being out in order to power up. The rechargeable battery capacity is measured in milliamp-hours (mAh), and most options are 24000mAh, which is enough to charge your phone at least three times (and for most phones, significantly more than that), but there are larger and smaller capacity options, as well.
These typically use several foldable panels that convert solar power directly into electricity for your phone. Since they don't have built-in backup batteries, the panels need to be in direct sunlight while charging your phone. On the bright side, these tend to be a more lightweight option, and they're perfect for extended time away from outlets, since the multiple panels gather more solar power.
Other features to consider when shopping for a solar-powered phone charger: multiple USB ports so you can charge several devices at once, a built-in flashlight or compass, and water resistance. Before you head out on your next adventure, scroll on for the best solar phone chargers on Amazon so you can keep your devices powered up.
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