Ahh, the great outdoors. Nature, calm, and freedom from technology await — unless you need your GPS or absolutely must check your social media feeds. This is where finding the best backpacking solar charger becomes crucial.
While many of us would like to shun the distractions of modern living during hikes and other outdoor jaunts, technology offers assistance, safety, and comfort on the trail. Unless you're out in an area with no cell coverage, a smartphone provides connection to help if necessary, access to trail maps, and even some tunes for when a musical mood strikes. GPS use and related apps can take a toll on a smartphone’s battery, leaving you vulnerable to disconnection!
A backpacking solar charger can help you stay connected wherever your wandering may take you.
Backpacking and Technology
It's not just your smartphone. There are a number of other electronic devices that can help you push your backpacking experience to the limit. Of course, electronic devices can't keep going forever. At some point, they're going to need charging. You don't just want any charger, either. You need the best backpacking solar charger you can get for your money.
Examples of electronic camping gear that requires charging include GPS devices, radios, lamps, flashlights, and portable speakers. Some of these items help during a hike or other outdoor activity, and some are useful at the end of the day when resting at camp. Still others, like your phone or GPS, are crucial in case of an emergency. While a drained speaker or radio battery might not ruin your outing, you'll thank yourself for bringing a solar charging source when your emergency phone or GPS runs out of juice.
The best backpacking solar charger features
Solar chargers are simple gadgets. For hiking and camping use, they should be small, lightweight, water-resistant (or waterproof), and rugged. Some of these chargers unfold to take advantage of the most surface area when collecting the sun's rays. Others work with a single panel. Other desirable features include multiple charging ports, built-in LED flashlights, and clips or carabiners for easy stowing at a campsite.
Top 3 Best Backpacking Solar Charger Options
Luckily, there are lots of solar chargers on the market, and most will suit your backpacking and camping needs. We chose three popular products, compared their specs and features, then took to the internet to see what consumers thought of their purchases.
BearTwo Ultra Compact
4.4 out of 5 stars
- 【Compact & Portable Design】- One of the smallest and lightest solar charger on the market(only weighs7.4oz). Extra hanger included, easy to hang on your backpack, perfect for camping, hiking and various outdoor activities.
- 【Dual-USB Output】- Charge 2 devices simultaneously with max output up to 5V/2.1A, deliver fast charge. Only takes 4-5 hours to fully charge the battery(via 5V/2A charger), save your charging time than most other similar power banks.
- 【IP67 Waterproof】- Every USB port or micro USB port is covered by rubber cap, better protect battery from water; Reinforced corner makes it more tough and sturdy; Rugged surface to avoid slipping.
- 【Built in mini LED Flashlight】- with three modes available(Normal /SOS /Strobe), convenient to control with one button. SOS mode is specially designed for emergency use.
- 【Safety for Use】- Made of eco-friendly silicone rubber and ABS + PC material. CE, FCC, RoHS certified, reliable and durable. Kindly noted that it's comparatively slow to recharge the battery via solar power due to limited solar panel, please do not take solar as main power source. Please kindly contact us anytime when you meet trouble with our product !
Some chargers are simple and small. The BearTwo model is compact, which keeps it from dragging you down when stowed in your backpack. Its small design also lets users hold it just like a smartphone, so charging your devices while walking is a breeze. This charger weighs a mere 7.4 ounces, is water and dust-resistant, and is shockproof. When hiking, your tools can get wet, dirty, and roughed-up; the BearTwo is ready for the outdoors. Use the built-in mini flashlight to find your way back to camp, where you can hang the unit with its included clip.
The BearTwo charger is one of the best reviewed on the market, with over 160 user reviews on Amazon. Over 80 percent of Amazon customers give this product 5.0 out of 5 stars. Users rave about its compact size and build quality. There are a few negatives, however, with some reviewers pointing out that charging devices can be slow-going at times. Others noted that it's a very good portable battery, but could take several days' worth of sun exposure to charge its own battery fully.
The BearTwo charger has an overall customer rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Hiluckey Outdoor Power Bank
4.6 out of 5 stars
- 25000mAh High Capacity: Built-in 25000mAh Li-polymer battery, it can charge your phones 8-10 times or tablets 3-4 times for an average of 9 days of usage per charge.
- 4 Solar Panels: With 4 foldable high-effeciency solar panels, up to 1A input current under the sunlight, which is 4 - 6 times faster than the other solar chargers. You can also use micro USB cable to charge it.
- Dual USB 2.1A Output: Dual 2.1A USB ports allow you to charge 2 devices simultaneously with 2.1A high speed charging. Auto-detect your devices' current to pair the optimal output.
- Built for Outdoors: Rugged construction is dust, shock and waterproof; Built in LED flashlight with SOS mode, perfert for outdoor emergency.
- What You Get: Hiluckey 25000mAh Portable Solar Charger, a micro USB cable, User Manual; 12-Month Warranty and 30 days money back. Any question, please feel free to contact us first.
For those looking to maximize the power of the sun on their next outdoor adventure, the Hiluckey charger is one of the best folding options. This product is pocket-sized when you don't want to worry about it, but it unfolds when you need it to soak in some rays. Its four solar panels power up to six times faster than a single panel model. Two ports give you an additional charging option. Touted as dust- shock- and waterproof, this is an excellent all-purpose charger.
Another well-reviewed charger, the Hiluckey garners praise such as "impressive," "amazing," "powerful," and "fantastic." Users like its high quality and powerful charging capabilities. Of its 55 reviews, only two had anything negative to say, but they are both recent, so are noteworthy — these both noted disappointment with build quality.
The Hiluckey charger has an overall customer rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
RAVPower 24W Solar Panel
4.3 out of 5 stars
- Signature Solar Cells: Our 24W solar charging technology increases the efficiency of charging by up to 21.5% - 23.5%
- Easy To Carry: Half the weight of similar solar chargers but equal in power so you can bring it anywhere
- Exclusive iSmart Technology: All three USB ports are equipped with iSmart technology, which automatically detects and delivers the optimal charging current for connected devices; up to 2.4A per port or 4.8A overall when used under direct sunlight
- Triple Port Power: Smart IC frequency technology detects and evenly distributes output current to all three USB ports ensuring every device is evenly charged
- Important Note: Please DO NOT lay the solar panel directly on CONCRETE, SAND, ROCK or other high heat conduction surfaces in direct sunlight - this will cause the solar panel to overheat and significantly reduce the conversion rate and output wattage
One of our best backpacking solar charger products focuses more on power than ruggedness. The RAVPower is a sleek, thin, and lightweight, and features five folding panels. When closed, it looks like a magazine or a small folded blanket. It features iSmart Technology, in which its three USB ports automatically detect and deliver the optimal current to whatever device is connected. It also features a highly efficient solar charging — up to 23.5 percent faster than comparable solar chargers.
Another well-regarded product, over 250 customers have chimed in about their experiences with the RAWPower. Most are positive, with many highly recommending the product for its performance. A handful of negative reviews noted that the included port cables stopped working.
The RAVPower charger has an overall customer rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Which is the Best Backpacking Solar Charger?
BearTwo Ultra Compact
4.4 out of 5.0
Hiluckey Outdoor Power Bank
4.6 out of 5.0
RAVPower 24W Solar Panel
4.3 out of 5.0
The best backpacking solar charger is ultimately the one that matches your particular needs. If you're going to use a lot of high-powered tech, and staying fully-charged is non-negotiable, you will have to sacrifice durability for performance.
On the other hand, if you plan to deal with unpredictable weather, you should look for a rugged, waterproof solution. We think the Hiluckey is the best backpacking solar charger since it is rugged and folds for extra power.
Do you have any experience with these products? If so, let us know your opinion in the comments, and get outside and enjoy!