Unfortunately, for many, emergencies strike when you least expect it, but having a quick and reliable method to restoring battery power can be a lifesaver. In many cases, when you can least handle it. Being out shopping when your car battery decides to die can be a massive headache. Being out camping in the middle of the woods with your RV, refusing to turn on can be an emergency. No matter which spot you find yourself in, having a portable, dependable way of pumping juice back into your battery can save the day. It’s even more essential to carry the best solar battery maintainer money can buy, so at least you have some luck on your side.
Our Top Picks
- ECO-Worthy 12 Volt Solar Battery Maintainer – Best Power Drain Prevention
- SUNER POWER 12V Solar Car Battery Charger – Most Solar Panel Protection
- Battery Tender 12V Solar Battery Charger – Runner Up
- Sunway Solar Car Battery Charger – Best Overall
- POWISER Solar Battery Charger – Easiest to Use
- Schumacher SP-200 12V Solar Battery Maintainer – Best Compact Maintainer
- POWOXI 12V Solar Car Battery Charger Maintainer – Most Hands-Off
- SOLPERK Solar Trickle Charger – Best Amorphous Charger
- SUNER POWER Waterproof Trickle Charger – Best Permanent Maintainer
- Renogy Portable Solar Panel Battery – Best Built-In Safety
Our 10 Favorite Solar Battery Maintainers for 2021
ECO-Worthy 12 Volt Solar Battery Maintainer
If you have a 12v battery of any sort that needs an emergency charge, look no further than the ECO-Worthy Solar Maintainer. This 5-watt solar panel is easy to use and can charge your battery up whenever an emergency arises. It’s eco-friendly and has reverse-polarity protection, which helps prevent battery damage when you connect the wrong wires.
Furthermore, the product contains blocking diodes to ensure that the power can only travel from the solar panel to your battery and not the other way around. The issue with many solar charger devices is that the battery can quickly drain back to the solar charger after a full charge, especially when the solar charger has no sunlight. The ECO-Worthy does well to avoid this drainage.
Our favorite feature of this product was how great it is for any weather conditions. It’s both waterproof and durable so that you don’t have to worry about the amorphous solar panel cracking or shorting out. It’s effortless to use as it can be plugged into the car’s cigarette lighter plug for ample charging.
Most solar battery charger devices will die out after too much use. With the ECO-Worthy, you won’t have to worry about buying a new one for a long time. We loved how great it is for outdoor use and how resistant to most weather conditions it is. You can use it to charge up your vehicle – car, boat, truck, RV, etc. – without having to worry about rain or snow damage.
- Easy to install and easy to use
- Durable and water-resistant
- Prevents power drainage
- Suction cups come loose quickly when charging.
SUNER POWER 12V Solar Car Battery Charger
Much like the ECO-Worthy, the SUNER POWER Battery Trickle Charger includes diodes to prevent any excess power drainage. SUNER POWER has done a fantastic job protecting the solar panels. It is made of premium solar glass and includes a durable ABS plastic frame making this battery charger and maintainer quite sturdy.
It can either be charged through the cigarette lighter plug or via the alligator clips included in the kit. The only issue we had with this device was that the alligator clips can be a little too loose and might need replacing. Other than that, this 12-volt charger and maintainer is a fantastic product. Almost any 12v battery is covered with this solar car battery as it can jump Wet, Gel, SLA, AGM, and Deep Cycle batteries. No matter what situation you find yourself in, this 5-watt solar battery has you covered.
This all-in-one frame is a perfect solar charger. The solar panel is well protected, the device itself is easy to use, and the built-in diode prevents reverse charging. This solar-powered battery caught our attention with the dual charging capabilities and kept us interested because of the protected solar panels and durable ABS plastic. If you’re looking for a robust solar battery charger that can get you through any emergency, then the SUNER POWER is the perfect battery charger and maintainer for you.
- Built-in blocking diode prevents drainage and reverse charging.
- Durable ABS plastic helps protect the solar panel.
- Charges with both the cigarette lighter and alligator clips
- Alligator clips can be loose.
Battery Tender 12V Solar Battery Charger
Safety is the name of the game for the Battery Tender Solar Battery Charger. It includes reverse polarity protection, a spark-proof and waterproof design, a 3-step microcontroller to prevent overcharging, and a temperature compensator to prevent overheating. This amorphous solar battery trickle charger is one of the best solar-powered battery charges we’ve ever seen. It’s lightweight yet perfect in almost any situation. You won’t have to worry about any weather conditions with this 5w solar charger.
When we first encountered this product, we were surprised by the unique design of the solar panel. This eco-friendly charger maintainer looks more like a mat than a 12-volt trickle charger. However, once you plug it into your cigarette lighter plug, this thing is ready to go and will thoroughly protect your car. The Battery Tender solar charger senses when your car battery is fully charged and can cut itself off with the internal charge controller, something very unique and useful that this product has over the others.
Most other solar charger products offer charge protection, but very few battery chargers can sense when a car battery is at peak power and cut themselves off. That’s what we love about this trickle charger is that it might be the smartest battery on our list. Not to mention the extreme protection you get from this smart device. Waterproof, shockproof, internal overheating prevention, overcharge protection, you name it. The Battery Tender solar battery charger protects you, itself, and your vehicle.
- Extreme protection from misuse
- Easy to install and use
- Senses when your battery is fully charged and cuts off
- The built-in diode prevents reverse charging.
- Reports of poor after-sales service.
Sunway Solar Car Battery Charger
The Sunway Solar Battery Maintainer includes all of the necessities we’ve seen with the SUNER POWER, the ECO-Worthy, and the Battery Tender. You have a built-in blocking diode to prevent drainage and reverse charging. There’s a fully stocked package with suction cups, your cigarette lighter plug, and even some alligator clamps for a direct charge. What makes this battery trickle charger so appealing to us is this combination of all the above devices’ best features.
Sunway does a fantastic job creating one of the most durable and dependable solar battery chargers that include all of the industry’s best features. The solar panel is protected by an ABS plastic frame and the ultra-clear PV glass encasement.
If you’re looking for the best solar battery charger, chances are you just found it. From the most important features like the charge controller or the built-in drainage prevention to the aesthetic additions such as the LED battery level indicator, this solar battery maintainer has it all. The only issue with this device is having a 4-watt output only while the others on our list a 5-watt output.
- Durable construction and ABS plastic frame
- Energy-efficient solar powered product
- Includes suction cups, alligator clamps, and a cigarette lighter plug
- Prevents reverse charging
- Only 4-watts output
- Not as water-resistant as other devices
POWISER Solar Battery Charger
The POWISER Solar Battery Charger essentially takes care of itself as it requires low maintenance and is easy to operate. All you have to do is let it charge with solar power or plug it into the cigarette slot, and you can maintain or charge your car battery. Like the others, the product works on almost any 12-volt battery chemistry. The solar panel is covered by tempered glass, which can withstand high impact force if needed.
What stands out for us is the higher efficiency of the solar panels. This means that if the situation arises that your battery charger was not charging in the direct sunlight and you can’t get your car started on a rainy day, you won’t need to worry. The POWISER solar battery maintainer will work for you in testing conditions, albeit, at a lower output than with sunlight.
We’ll start our verdict by addressing the elephant in the room on this device: many customers can’t decide whether this is a charger or a maintainer. Our tests showed that it could charge your battery, but it won’t ever get to a full charge and will eventually maintain the current levels. This is mainly due to the low wattage output for the device, only cloaking in at 1.8w, which is far below the 4-5 watts seen on other products listed here. For us, this is a basic charger, but mainly a maintainer.
- Works on almost any 12 Volt battery
- Solar panels are thoroughly protected
- Works no matter the weather
- Extremely easy to use
- Suction cups can come loose.
- Low wattage output of 1.8w
Schumacher SP-200 12V Solar Battery Maintainer
Small and ready at a moment’s notice, the Schumacher Solar Battery Maintainer is the perfect glove compartment solar battery tender. If you’re looking for a small, portable solar car battery maintainer, then this is the ideal device for you. With some of the lowest wattage numbers on our list (a tick above the POWISER ), it’s designed to be compact and ready to handle any 12V battery in an emergency. For anyone tight on space but in need of a quick charge, this is the best solar battery maintainer you can find.
It’s completely reliant on solar power and works well in direct sunlight. This could be an issue should your battery ever need charging in a garage or covered area, but it makes it one of the most eco-friendly devices on our list. Clouds won’t be an issue with this battery tender as it can still charge, even when the sun is partially obstructed. The solar panel might be small, but it can pack a punch and handle any 12v input or output. It might take a bit longer to charge your car battery, but you’re gaining a sense of portability with this product. For its small size, it’s surprisingly durable and water-resistant.
Small but mighty is the tag line we can think of that describes this solar battery maintainer best. It might not have the largest solar panel, but it can charge your car battery just as well as some of the larger competitors. This charger maintainer is perfect for anyone tight on space but still with a battery on edge. Many solar battery chargers rely on the size to provide the perfect kick, but this one’s most interesting feature is the fact it is so compact. Water-resistant and durable, this is one of the best solar battery maintainers for small spaces.
- Compact and easy to transport
- Eco-friendly solar panels
- Works on cloudy days
- Completely reliant on solar power
- Only 2.4-watts leads to a slow charge.
POWOXI 12V Solar Car Battery Charger Maintainer
When we started searching for the ten (10) best solar battery maintainers, we wanted to find a device that enabled users to “set and forget”. The POWOXI Solar Car Battery Charger Maintainer achieves that goal perfectly with its long life, maintenance-free design, and durable casing. You’ll never have to worry about taking care of this product or keeping it protected as it handles all of that on its own. The ABS plastic casing protects the solar panel, and the long-life guarantee keeps you from having to keep constant care of the device.
When we opened the package, we found a fantastic all-in-one deal with the suction cups, cigarette lighter plug, and alligator clips.
Hands-off leads us to fall in love with this product and will guarantee your satisfaction. Many solar battery chargers require maintenance or constant charging to keep them prepared for an emergency. The POWOXI, much like the Battery Tender or the ECO-Worthy, includes drainage prevention.
- It works just as well on a cloudy day.
- It doesn’t require any maintenance.
- Prevents power drainage
- The perfect hands-off amorphous solar maintainer
- Loose packaging lead some devices have come compromised and needed to be replaced.
SOLPERK Solar Trickle Charger
The SOLPERK Battery Tender arrive on our list as the amorphous solar cells option. Most of the products on our list use monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels, however, SOLPERK have gone with the thin film later cells for this model.
The main advantage these amorphous cells have over the other kind is that they are more flexible and lightweight. That means if you want to slap down this panel on a non-flat surface, they will rest at the adjusted angle. The downside, however, is that the efficiency of transmitting power from the sun isn’t as good as what can be delivered with the other types of panels.
A great alternative option to the standard monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels. The product definitely feels lighter than the others and will be able to be shoved into a smaller space with more ease.
- Works in the sun, clouds, rain, etc.
- Lightweight and flexible
- Built-in blocking diode
- 1-year warranty
- Can’t be submerged in water
SUNER POWER Waterproof Solar Trickle Charger
This is a very different battery maintainer than the rest of our list, but we wanted to include it because of the incredible additional features it offers. This is not a charger that can easily come with you in your car as it’s designed to be mounted on a wall and placed in an affixed location. Where most maintainers would use suction cups, the SUNER POWER Waterproof Solar Trickle Charger comes with screws and an adjustable mounting base. It’s perfect for charging any battery within its reach.
SUNER POWER’s biggest advantage over the others is its muscle power. With far more solar real estate and an output of 30 watts, this product will charge your batteries far quicker than anything on this list. With the 3-stage charging system, this device will fully charge any 12V battery during any season or condition. Simply mount it to a sunny wall and bring the dying battery close to it for an optimal charge. The massive solar panel can collect plenty of power for a full, quick charge of your battery.
While we might not recommend this for anyone looking to bring the battery charger along with them, we can say that this is one of the best mountable solar panel charging stations. If you’re ever in need of something you can mount to your home that will utilize the power of the sun to charge any 12V battery, this should be the first thing you look for. Because of its fixed design can be used for much more than car batteries should you need.
- One of the best waterproof products on our list
- The LED indicator tells you how charging is going.
- Durable design offers ample protection.
- The fixed design prevents mobility.
Renogy Portable Solar Panel Battery
Much like the POWOXI, the fantastic hands-off Renogy Portable Solar Panel Battery is easy to install and requires little to no maintenance. Many other battery charging solar panels need inspections to make sure everything is working properly, but this device almost guarantees to last you for years at a time. With the built-in safety features this device offers, you’ll never run the risk of overcharging.
Renogy is another solar device that does a fantastic job at charging in all conditions. You won’t need to rely solely on the sun for power. Solar battery products like the Renogy are rare to find as most similar devices require direct sunlight for even a minimal charge. Another feature that caught our eye with this solar battery tender was the compact size. A solar product of this size wouldn’t typically be as durable or offer the battery charge the Renogy can give you, but, much like the Schumacher, this compact solar panel is perfect for any emergency.
Harness the solar power around you with this compact battery charger. This is one of the safest products on our list due to the many internal safety features it offers. You’ll never run the risk of drainage, shocks, or back charging. You can leave the Renogy plugged into the car cigarette port for days on end without fear of overcharging. This product combines the Schumacher’s compact size with the ability to charge no matter the cloud coverage.
- Built-in safety features
- Durable and compact
- Can remain in cigarette port 24/7
- Works in any weather
- Mounting the device can be difficult.
Sunway Solar Car Battery Charger!
This battery charger has everything you could need and more. There isn’t really a unique feature being offered that makes this device the most recognizable one on our list, but it does everything so well that we couldn’t pass it up as our favorite. The emphasis is on ensuring that you’re getting the best solar battery maintainer available rather than offering flashy additions.
A Quick Buyer’s Guide
What Features Make a Solar Battery Tender Great?
How Safe is it?
This is often overlooked when selecting a battery maintainer. Many devices offer a fast charge for a moment’s fix, but this can leave you at risk of an overcharge or even shocks. Protection, in the case of car battery maintainers, must cover a multitude of bases. You’ll want a device that protects you, your car battery, and even itself. If any of these aren’t guaranteed safety by the device, then do not purchase that product. There are hundreds of solar maintainers available that do promise protection.
Batteries never die during an ideal situation. If you’re out getting food with a friend who has a car during a sunny day when your battery dies, then you’re a lucky one. More often than not, luck is not on our side, and you’ll need a device that can weather the elements. Don’t be afraid to charge your battery when it’s raining out because your solar charger isn’t waterproof. This is one of the most important features to look for in a solar maintainer.
Many devices will include LED lights that indicate the charge level. This might not improve the product’s overall charge, but it’s nice to know when your maintainer wasn’t charged for a situation. If you have multiple gathering power methods – solar, AC, DC, etc. – then an extra feature like the LED indicator will allow you to alter how you’re going to maintain your battery.
What Criteria We Had When Testing the Solar Battery Maintainers
When you’re working outside, many different factors come into play. Unfortunately, many of these factors can cause harm to your maintainer, so it’s necessary to ensure that your charger is durable and ready for anything. Many of the devices on our list come with an ABS plastic casing, which helps protect the solar panels and the device’s internal structure.
Our tests were done to ensure that each maintainer’s structure wasn’t easily compromised to guarantee longevity. If a product couldn’t withstand a few knocks and bruises, then it wasn’t included on our list. Durability is important for a solar charger as you’re not always charging in a comfortable situation.
Ease of Use
The stress of a dead battery is already on you, so why make it harder on yourself with a complicated maintainer? Many industry giants offer these fantastic chargers that will get your car started in seconds flat, but only if you can figure the device out. Each of the products on our list is simple to use and easy to install. If you have any questions on how it functions, most of them come with competent customer service centers to help you when you’re stuck.
Any device that gathers its charge from the sun should be able to withstand the heat. Otherwise, you’re looking at a pretty useless and short-live product. Finding the perfect device is all about picking one that can hold its own in some pretty hot situations. A quality charger will last out in the direct sun on a hot day in the equator without issue.
The same should be true for a much colder climate. Not everyone is in the heat of the sun all the time, nor are they always in a moderate climate with seasonal changes. A quality charger should work in both extreme heat and extreme cold without the slightest compromise apparent.
Why Get a Solar Battery Maintainer?
These things take a lot of time to charge fully. Many similar products are ready to go in a matter of minutes, but they could take up to hours for a full charge because they use the sun. This means that, if you weren’t charging your maintainer, you could be stuck without a way to charge your battery should the situation ever arise.
These chargers can also be quite difficult to charge should you ever run into a cloudy day. Many devices require direct sunlight for a proper charge and, even for products that work on cloudy days, it could take much longer to bring your battery back to life.
These products can be used almost anywhere. They are a fantastic way of bringing safety to your battery no matter where you go. Traditional chargers require a power source to bring charge to your battery, but these solar products can source power at almost any moment.
They are extremely eco-friendly and offer an alternative method of charging your car in an emergency. While cloud cover could obstruct a quality charge, many devices have begun to ensure that the solar panels will still be effective, even on a rainy day. They might not be as quick to charge as your traditional charger, but the knowledge that this product will be effective, no matter where you get stuck, is more than enough reassurance for consumers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does a Solar Battery Maintainer Work?
By using the power of the sun, these devices offer an external way to charge your car battery without needing access to an outlet or generator. Most other battery maintainers require access to power from the car, which can leave your battery hovering above death until you can replace it. With a solar maintainer, that power is endless, and your car won’t need to create a circuit of energy, relying on itself for power.
How to Use a Solar Battery Charger?
This will vary from device to device, but the most basic way to use it is as follows. When you’re not using it to provide power to your battery, you leave the solar panel affixed to a window – front, rear, or side – where it can gather power from sunlight. Once your battery dies, you can either attach it directly to the battery or plug it into a cigarette lighter. Either way, the stored energy will be used to jump the battery and either charge it or maintain the power level.
How Should I Clean My Solar Battery Maintainer?
Luckily, you won’t need to do much with most solar maintainers, if any, maintenance. They are rather independent tools that won’t require much from you. As long as you charge it when you’re not using it, unplug it when it’s at a full charge if it can’t protect itself from overcharges, and ensure that the solar panel isn’t obstructed, your maintainer should be ready to go. Wipe it off if any water gets on it, but the maintainer requires little maintenance for the most part.
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