Getting a small-sized solar charger with a high battery capacity and high effective surface area might help your mobile charging needs. But what makes the most significant difference in a portable solar charger is its power output.
8 Best Portable Solar Chargers in 2022 at a Glance
- DOKIO Portable Foldable Solar Panel Kit – Overall Best Solar Charger
- ITEHIL Solar Panel – Best Water Resistance
- ROCKPALS Foldable Solar Panel – Highest Conversion Efficiency
- Jackery SolarSaga Portable Solar Panel – Best Small Solar Panel
- BigBlue 3 USB Solar Charger – Great for Charging Multiple Devices
- MOOLSUN Solar Panel Power – Best Solar Phone Charger
- Blavor Solar Power Bank – Best Portable Solar Panel Charger
- BioLite Solar Panel 5+ – Integrated Power Bank
Some solar chargers come with only solar panels (stand-alone solar panels). Then others come with a solar panel connected to a battery. Obviously, a panel-only solar charger will work only when the sun is out. But the solar charger that comes with a battery can work even when it’s dark.
Between two similar types of solar panels, the one with a larger surface will receive more solar energy and produce more solar power. Unfortunately, large surface areas beat the whole point of portability. However, there is a way around this – foldable solar panels.
Foldable solar panels can be packed for portability. At the same time, they can be unfurled for a higher effective solar panel. It is proper to verify the solar panel conversion efficiency while checking for the effective surface area of the panel. High quality solar chargers typically combine high effective surface area and high conversion efficiency for the best output.
The point of getting a portable solar charger is to have a mobile power source. But a solar charger is only mobile when it is lightweight and can fit into places like your pocket or backpack.
The power output of your solar charger determines if the charger will give off enough power to charge your devices at all. Besides that, the power output/wattage of solar chargers influence the charging rate considerably. Good solar chargers have higher wattages. This is why they charge devices relatively faster.
The 8 Best Portable Solar Chargers – Review
1. DOKIO Portable Foldable Solar Panel Kit
About the Product
The DOKIO is the best solar charger in our review as it offers the highest power output. But besides having the highest wattage, this charger also has a remarkable conversion efficiency, a broad effective surface, and a relatively lightweight.
As the name reveals, the DOKIO has a maximum wattage of 110W – more than the other portable solar chargers we reviewed can offer. Its output voltage peaks at around 18 volts, and its maximum output amperage is about 6.1 A.
While the DOKIO has the highest maximum output wattage, the other solar chargers with wattages close to it are not far off. The Rockpals, ITEHIL, and Jackery solar chargers peak at 100W – only 10 watts off the DOKIO.
Going by its high wattage, you can expect the DOKIO to offer the highest charging rate of all the reviewed chargers when at full power.
The DOKIO is a panel-only solar charger; it has no built-in battery. While this design makes for relative lightness, it also means that it cannot charge without the sun.
Weighing just 6 pounds, it is pretty light. But you can get something lighter in 5 of our other solar chargers: the Bigblue, BioLite, Blavor, Jackery 100W, and MOOLSUN chargers are all lighter than the DOKIO 110w.
This solar panel is foldable, and when folded, it measures 21 x 20 x 1 inch. But when unfolded, its length becomes 43 inches while its width is 21 inches. This gives it an effective surface of around 903 square inches – amongst the top 4 surface areas but not the highest in our review.
Considering this portable charger offers the highest wattage, it is one impressive solar technology.
The DOKIO uses monocrystalline cells – just like every other one of our best solar chargers. Of course, if you are conversant with solar panels, you already know monocrystalline silicon cells generally offer the highest efficiency.
That being said, it has a rated conversion efficiency of 23% – on par with every other portable charger on the list except the Bigblue. A 23% is no small rating as the average monocrystalline cells offer conversion efficiencies around 15-20%.
While the DOKIO was built primarily for a solar generator without a built-in solar panel, it can function alone. It comes with integrated 5V 2A USB ports so that you can charge multiple devices at the same time.
The solar panel features 5 DC conversion adapters. This allows for extensive compatibility with various types of solar generators. Then it also comes with alligator clips so that you can connect it to 12v batteries. All the features we have mentioned so far make a strong case as one of your camping electricity options.
You do not necessarily have to get a solar charge controller. It already comes with a PWM controller. But if your device already has a built-in MPPT controller, you should not use the DOKIO PWM controller.
- Impressive maximum wattage – the best of all solar panel chargers we reviewed.
- The conversion efficiency of this portable solar panel is way above the average for its type of solar cell. Only the Bigblue solar phone charger offers a higher conversion efficiency.
- Foldable and lightweight, so you can carry it in your backpack without it being a burden.
- Offers multiple DC conversion adapters for flexibility across solar generators from different brands.
- Having a built-in battery or a battery pack would have made this solar charging kit much better.
- An MPPT charge controller in place of the PWM controller would have been better.
2. ITEHIL Solar Panel – Solar Phone Charger
About the Product
Amongst all the portable chargers we reviewed, the ITEHIL Solar Panel comes closest to the DOKIO. Its wattage is notable, it offers the highest effective surface area, and its conversion efficiency is way above average.
With the ITEHIL Solar Panel, you get a maximum wattage of 100W – the same power output as the Rockpals and the Jackery 100W solar phone chargers.
The wattage is not as high as that of the DOKIO. However, you should still get a notably rapid charging speed from this solar charger.
Of course, with this high power output, you are sure that this solar panel produces enough power to charge your mobile devices.
The ITEHIL Solar Panel is also a panel-only type of solar charging kit. Of course, with just solar panels, portable chargers are no better than duds at night. But you can get a portable battery for your solar charger to expand its functionality.
The solar panel measures around 12.42 pounds – the highest of any of our solar chargers. Now, you might be thinking this is too heavy – well, it isn’t.
It might not be the lightest solar phone charger we reviewed, but you should still be able to carry it around without stress.
But if you are ever bothered about moving this portable solar charger around, you can fold it like a briefcase. When folded, you can also store some of your devices within the briefcase.
When folded, it measures 20.47 x 14.17 x 1.97 inches. But when unfolded, its length is 67.52 inches, and the width is 20.47 inches. These dimensions bring the effective surface to around 1382 square inches – the highest of any of the reviewed solar powered phone chargers.
Compared to the Jackery and the ROCKPALS, the ITEHIL solar panel is exposed to more direct sunlight per time. So, it may just generate power faster. But any of the three is a worthy solar panel for camping.
Like the solar panels of every portable solar charger in this review, the ITEHIL is made with monocrystalline cells. It has a rated conversion efficiency of 23% – on par with all the portable solar panels we reviewed except the Bigblue and the Rockpals.
As we said before, this conversion efficiency is way above average. So, even under varying sunlight, the performance should be exceptional.
ITEHIL Solar Panels comes with a couple of features that make it durable. For one, its outer layer is covered with an ETFE film. Therefore, it would resist stain and oxidation quite well. Stain and oxidation resistance equals a higher level of durability. Besides promoting durability, the ETFE covering makes for easy maintenance.
The zipper is waterproof, and the body is made of Oxford cloth. Together these features create an IPX4 environment. So, this solar charger is pretty much resistant to water splashes from any direction. Still, you should not let water get to the junction box as this is most likely not waterproof.
The solar panel has two USB ports – a USB 2.0 port and a USB 3.0 port. As expected, the USB 3.0 charges faster as it offers a maximum of 15 watts – 5 watts more than the USB 2.0 port. With the two USB ports, you get to charge two devices simultaneously.
This solar charger comes with 11 DC conversion adapters, including an adapter for micro USB. This makes it compatible with various types of solar generators, laptops, and mobile devices.
- Impressive wattage – only the DOKIO has higher power output.
- Conversion efficiency is above the market average for its type of solar cells.
- Highest effective surface area.
- Features 11 DC conversion adapters, and this makes for broad compatibility.
- It is easy to clean.
- This solar charger features no power bank, so it cannot be used without sunlight.
- Unlike the DOKIO, it does not have a built-in charge controller.
3. ROCKPALS Foldable Solar Panel
About the Product
Fold out solar panels like the ROCKPALS SP003 are remarkable. It offers the second-highest effective surface area, and its conversion efficiency is not bad.
The ROCKPALS has a maximum wattage of 100 watts – the same as the Jackery 100W and the ITEHIL solar panel.
While the maximum power output of the ROCKPALS is lower than what the DOKIO offers, it is still pretty impressive. You should still get a rapid charging speed for this charger under optimal conditions. However, it may be slightly below what the DOKIO can offer.
Like the DOKIO, the ROCKPALS does not have a battery pack or a built-in battery. It is a panel-only charger, so it will not work without the sun’s power.
But not all is lost; you can get external batteries and convert this charger into a solar power bank. The batteries will store power for you to use when the sun is unavailable.
This solar panel weighs around 10.8 pounds. This makes it the second heaviest solar phone charger in our review. You get the feeling it could be lighter, but 10.8 pounds is not overkilling. Besides, it makes up for the heaviness.
The ROCKPALS has the second-highest effective surface area of our best solar chargers. When folded, it measures 20.5 x 14.2 x 2.6 inches. And it would fit your backpack just fine. But if it does not fit in your bag, it can be folded into a briefcase and carried around easily.
When unfolded, the solar panel measures 64.5 inches in length while the width becomes 20.5 inches. When unfolded, the dimensions is 1322.25 square inches.
Compared to the Jackery solar phone charger, the ROCKPALS will receive more direct sunlight per unit of time. Consequently, it may produce power at a relatively faster rate.
Like the DOKIO, the ROCKPALS comes with monocrystalline silicon cells. So, by default, you can expect elevated conversion efficiency. It has a rated conversion efficiency of around 21.5% to 23.5% – only the Bigblue charger has higher efficiency.
Going by its rated conversion efficiency, it is perhaps the second-best solar charger amongst the 100W chargers we reviewed.
The ROCKPALS comes with 3 USB outlets so that you can charge up to three devices at once.
Of the three USB ports, two are regular USB ports rated 5v, 2.4A. Then the third is a quick-charge USB port, and it is rated 9v, 2.5A. Obviously, the quick-charge port will charge your devices faster than the regular ones.
It is designed with a pouch, which can keep your mobile devices while charging them. So, not only can this portable charger be folded into a briefcase, but it can also serve as a bag.
Like the DOKIO, the ROCKPALS offers multiple DC conversion adapters. In fact, while the DOKIO offers 5, the ROCKPALS offers 10 DC conversion adapters. This makes choosing a portable generator to use with it more flexible.
While the panel will mostly resist water, ensure water does not get to the junction box.
- High power output – only behind the DOKIO.
- Second-highest effective surface area – only behind the ITEHIL Solar Panel.
- Highest conversion efficiency – just behind the Bigblue solar phone charger.
- Offers as many as 10 DC-conversion adapters.
- It would have been better if it had a built-in battery.
- Does not feature an inbuilt charge controller like the DOKIO.
4. Jackery SolarSaga 100W Portable Solar Panel
About the Product
The Jackery SolarSaga 100W is typified by a high wattage and an above-average conversion efficiency.
Obviously, the Jackery SolarSaga offers a maximum wattage of 100 watts – second only to the DOKIO.
While the Jackery SolarSaga does not offer the highest output, 100-watt portable solar panels are typically impressive.
If you wanted a solar power bank battery, you might not fancy the Jackery SolarSaga. It is a panel-only portable solar charger. So, it has no integrated battery pack to store solar energy, and it cannot work without sunlight.
Notwithstanding, you can upgrade the Jackery SolarSaga to a solar power bank. Just get a high-capacity battery alongside the panel, and you are good to go.
Weighing just 5.5 pounds, the Jackery SolarSaga 100W is lighter than the DOKIO and the other 100-watt solar chargers. In fact, only 3 other solar chargers (the Bigblue, the BioLite, and the Blavor) weigh less. You should have no issues carrying this around.
When folded, the Jackery SolarSaga measures 24 x 21.06 x 1.4 inches. This makes it one of the larger solar panels in our review. But worry not, the Jackery SolarSaga has a handle that makes carrying it around uncomplicated.
When unfolded, it is 1032 square inches big – only the ROCKPALS and the ITEHIL solar chargers have higher surface areas.
This solar panel may not receive direct sunlight at the same rate as the ROCKPALS and the ITEHIL solar chargers. But its overall generation of solar power is still remarkable.
As with the other solar panels in the review, the Jackery SolarSaga uses monocrystalline cells. So, its performance is pretty steady and efficient even with marginal changes in the intensity of sunlight.
It has a rated conversion efficiency of 23% – the same as every other portable solar charger we reviewed besides the Bigblue and the ROCKPALS chargers.
Given its conversion efficiency, the Jackery SolarSaga falls slightly short of the ITEHIL and ROCKPALS solar chargers.
The Jackery SolarSaga features dual USB ports – a USB-A port and a USB-C port. While the USB-A port offers a maximum wattage of 12 watts, the USB-C port offers 15 watts. So, of course, the USB-C port offers faster charging.
Unlike the other solar panels we have discussed so far, it does not come with any DC conversion adapter. It only features a cable that can be connected to the Y-parallel cable of a solar generator. So, its compatibility is limited by default. Nonetheless, you can buy DC adapters on your own if you have to.
This solar charging kit is designed with multiple safety features, including over-voltage protection, surge protection, and short circuit protection. It has a built-in kickstand. So, you can readily set it up anywhere.
This solar phone charger is covered with an ETFE layer, and this extends its lifespan greatly. The ETFE layer also makes cleaning easier. Besides that, the solar panel is IP65 water-resistant. So, it should be unaffected by streams of water from all directions.
- Impressive wattage – second only to the DOKIO.
- One of the lightest products we reviewed.
- Its conversion efficiency is way above the average for monocrystalline cells.
- It has one of the highest effective surface areas – only the ITEHIL, and ROCKPALS solar panels have broader surface areas.
- It would have been even better if it were a solar power bank.
- Does not come with multiple DC adapters. So, its compatibility is limited.
5. BigBlue 3 USB Ports 28W Solar Charger
About the Product
The BigBlue may not push out as much power as every other solar phone charger we have reviewed so far. But it compensates for this with its portability and conversion efficiency. None of the other solar chargers are as efficient or as portable as the BigBlue.
The BigBlue is not the most impressive on the power output front as it produces just 28 watts. But if you just want a solar charger for small devices like your phone, laptop, and camera, it is an okay choice.
Still, the BigBlue will not charge a solar generator as fast as the DOKIO or the ITEHIL Panel. So, if you need something you can use with your solar generator, you should consider the DOKIO 110W. You may also consider any of the 100-watt solar powered phone chargers.
Like the others, the BigBlue has no integrated battery. But you can get one to extend its usability into the night.
The BigBlue weighs just 1.3 pounds – the third-lightest solar charger in our review. Besides being very lightweight, the BigBlue has the third-smallest dimensions when folded. It measures 11.1 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches – none of the other solar chargers are as small as this when folded.
When unfolded, it is 227.5 square inches big. Unsurprisingly, this surface area is the third-smallest of all the solar chargers in our review.
Interestingly, even though the surface is smaller than that of the MOOLSUN, it still has a higher output wattage.
Like all the other solar panels, the panel uses monocrystalline cells. But remarkably, its rated conversion efficiency is 24% – more than every other solar charger on the list. Besides that, a 24% efficiency is awe-inspiring considering the average for monocrystalline solar panels.
Featuring 3 USB ports, the BigBlue allows charging multiple devices. Unlike the others, all 3 USB ports will charge your device at the same rate.
The BigBlue appears only to be compatible with mobile devices. So, you may be unable to charge your solar generator with it.
- Has the highest conversion efficiency of all the solar panels on our list.
- Most portable solar charger on our list.
- While the output power is not very high, it offers enough for most 5v mobile devices. But the DOKIO offers more.
- Does not come with a power bank. So, it cannot be used in the dark.
- It does not have a quick-charge USB port.
6. MOOLSUN 25W Small Solar Panel Power
About the Product
The MOOLSUN 25W offers the third-lowest output power of all our solar charger options. But it offers the possibility of connecting multiple solar panels for more power.
Besides that, the MOOLSUN is pretty efficient and portable. So, overall, it is a decent portable solar charger.
Giving off a maximum of just 25W, the MOOLSUN will charge the devices with high power input slowly, or it will not charge them at all.
The good news is, the MOOLSUN allows for parallel connection of up to four solar panels. So, you can raise the maximum power it gives off.
Each MOOLSUN offers 25W, but with four solar panels in parallel, you can get up to 100 watts. While 100 watts falls slightly short of the DOKIO, it is still pretty remarkable.
It does not have a battery pack. Like every other charger on the list, it is a panel-only solar charger. But if you would like to make it useful in the dark, you could connect an external power bank to it.
Weighing 5.89 pounds, this product is a bit heavy for its size. But it is unlikely to burden you with its weight.
The MOOLSUN does not fold like the others, and it measures 32.3 x 21.8 inches. While it is longer than every other portable solar charger in the review, you should have no trouble fitting this in your backpack. Then if you want, you may also carry it around with the handle.
A single unit is 704 inches big. But when four solar panels are connected in parallel, the effective surface area shoots up to 2816 square inches.
Because other 100-watt panels produce the same power with lower surface areas. It has too much surface area per unit of power.
The MOOLSUN solar panel uses a monocrystalline panel and has a rated efficiency of 23% – just like the others.
With this portable solar charger, you get 10 DC conversion adapters. Only the ITEHIL Panel offers more. The MOOLSUN also comes with 2 USB ports so that you can charge two devices at once.
The 2 USB outlets are quick-charging ports. They offer a maximum output power of 15W. So, devices charged through them typically charge fully faster than usual.
The solar panel features a light intensity sensor. This tells you how intense the sunlight is relative to the positioning of the panel. The light intensity sensor can help you position the MOOLSUN for maximum sunlight reception.
- You can connect up to four solar panels if you want more power.
- Features a light intensity sensor to guide you as you set the panel up.
- Top-notch conversion efficiency.
- You can charge multiple devices simultaneously.
- Its 25W output falls way below the 110W of the DOKIO 110W.
- The ratio of its effective surface area to output power is quite high.
7. Blavor Portable Solar Charger Power Bank
About the Product
The Blavor portable solar phone charger may not be a powerhouse. But it typifies portability, and it offers extended functionality.
The Blavor Solar Charger Power Bank offers an output current of 2.1 amps and an output voltage of 5v. So, you can expect a power output of up to 10 watts from it. Only the BioLite Solar Charger offers a lower output wattage.
The low output wattage of the Blavor limits its functionality; it is only useful for charging mobile devices like smartphones. But it charges the said devices pretty well, so overall it is a worthy solar portable solar charger.
Unlike the others we have discussed so far, it comes with a built-in battery. So, if you charge the battery when the sun is out, you can power your devices in the dark.
The only other portable solar charger on our list with a built-in battery is the BioLite Solar Charger.
The battery can hold up to 10,000 mAh of electric charge. This is almost 5 times the capacity of the BioLite Solar Charger’s battery.
When fully charged, the Blavor solar charger can fully recharge most smartphones 2-4 times.
With a weight of 10 ounces (0.625 pounds), the Blavor charger is super lightweight. You can carry it around comfortably without feeling like you have a burden in hand. Plus, on our list, only the BioLite Solar Charger weighs less.
This solar charger measures 5.9 x 3.1 x 0.8 inches. Going by those dimensions, it should fit into one of the bigger trouser pockets. Obviously, this is the true definition of portability.
Unlike the solar phone chargers we have reviewed, it does not come with monocrystalline cells. Instead, it features polycrystalline cells, which are not as durable or space-efficient.
Going by the type of solar cells the Blavor charger uses, its conversion efficiency would be around 15-18% – the lowest in this review.
The Blavor charger has dual USB ports: one USB-A port and one USB-C port. While both ports will charge your devices at about the same rate, they extend the charger’s compatibility.
Besides the USB outlets, it can charge your devices wirelessly through the Qi wireless charging technology. Obviously, your device must support Qi wireless charging for you to use this feature.
With the Qi wireless charging and the two USB outlets, you can charge up to 3 devices at once on the Blavor solar charger.
The charger also comes with two flashlights. This makes it very handy for when you are out camping.
Besides charging it with solar energy, you may also charge the charger with the appropriate USB cable.
- Features a battery, unlike the DOKIO, ITEHIL, Jackery, BigBlue, ROCKPALS, and MOOLSUN.
- Its battery holds more charge than that of the BioLite solar charger.
- Has a wireless charging feature.
- Very lightweight – only the BioLite charger is lighter.
- Fits in suitable pockets.
- It comes with a flashlight for emergency purposes.
- You can also charge it with a USB cable.
- The output wattage could be higher.
- Having a higher conversion efficiency would have been better.
8. BioLite Solar Panel 5+ with Integrated Power Bank
About the Product
The BioLite charger is also very portable. It has a high conversion efficiency, and it can be used even in the dark.
With an output wattage of just 5 watts, the BioLite solar panel has the lowest power output of all the solar chargers reviewed. So, you may only be able to use it with mobile devices; it will most likely not work with a solar charger.
Still, it does a good job charging mobile devices. So, it gets a pass from us.
Like the Blavor power bank, the BioLite charger comes with an integrated battery. Therefore, even when it is all dark, you can power your mobile devices.
The battery can hold up to 2200 mAh of electric charge – way less than the Blavor offers. So, it may only fully recharge your device just once – not very desirable.
The BioLite charger is the lightest option we reviewed. It weighs just 3.5 ounces (0.221 pounds) – you will barely feel its weight amongst the other items in your backpack.
Besides being the lightest, the BioLite charger is the second most compact. You may not be able to fit it in your pocket like the Blavor power bank, but it should fit into some of the smallest compartments in your backpack.
The BioLite charger joins the majority in this aspect as it uses monocrystalline cells. Its conversion efficiency rises as high as 23% – about the same as every other charger we reviewed (except the Blavor power bank).
With the 360-degree kickstand and the sundial, it is relatively easy to get the optimal position for sunlight reception with the BioLite charger.
This charger comes with only one USB outlet – this did not impress us at all. But on the bright side, you can charge it through the micro USB input when the sun is unavailable.
- It comes with a battery unlike the DOKIO, Jackery, BigBlue, ITEHIL, ROCKPALS, and MOOLSUN.
- The lightest option on the list – only the Blavor comes close.
- Remarkable conversion efficiency.
- It can be charged with a micro USB when there is no sun.
- The output wattage could be much higher.
- More than one USB outlet would have been way better.
- A higher battery capacity would have made it more functional in the dark.
Buying Guide for Portable Solar Chargers
What Features Should I Look Out for in a Portable Solar Charger?
The output power of a portable solar charger defines how much power the charger can provide when working at full capacity. If your devices consume more power than a solar charger can offer, then the charger may not charge the devices. Even if the charger does charge the devices, it will do so very slowly.
So, when buying a solar charger, ensure the output power suffices for the devices you intend to charge.
Size, Portability, and Effective Panel Surface Area
Going for a lightweight and compact solar charger is a no-brainer; that is what portability is all about. But besides considering size, you should consider the effective surface area.
Solar panels with high effective surface areas receive relatively more sunlight than those with lower effective surface areas. Of course, large solar panels that receive more sunlight are likely to produce more solar power.
But how do you combine portability with high effective surface areas? Get solar chargers with foldable solar panels. When you want portability, you fold the panels. Then when you want a high efficiency you unfold the panel.
The conversion efficiency of solar chargers basically defines how much of the incident sunlight their solar panels convert to solar power. Generally, the higher the conversion efficiency of the panel of a solar charger, the better its use of incident sunlight is.
Always go for a solar charger with a high conversion efficiency.
Charger Type and Battery Capacity
If you are comfortable only using your solar charger when the sun shines, you may opt for a panel-only charger. But if you want something you can use even when it is dark, then look for a solar charger that comes with a backup battery pack.
It is important to pay attention to the battery capacity of a solar charger that comes with a battery pack. This tells you how much charge the battery can hold. The higher the capacity of a solar power bank’s battery, the more charge it will hold.
The best portable solar chargers are known for their elevated output power. But beyond that, they feature highly efficient small solar panels with broad effective surface areas while maintaining their relatively small size. For an extended experience, some of the smaller solar chargers come with power banks, so the user can charge even when it is dark.
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