Best Solar Charger Power Bank For Backpacking- Ultimate Guide

Who doesn’t love to go on thrilling backpacking adventures into the wilderness, right?

But often we’re taken off the grid and have to suffer the inconvenience of not having access to any electrical power outlets nearby. In these situations, staying connected with your devices powered up is essential.

This is where a solar charger power bank can be your best companion. In this ultimate buying guide, join us in this journey to explore some of the top solar charger power banks that are worth the investment. Let’s begin this ride!

best solar charger power bank for backpacking

Why Go For a Solar Charger Power Bank For Backpacking?

Backpacking is all about embracing the great outdoors, but it doesn’t mean you have to disconnect entirely. Here’s why a solar charger power bank is a valuable addition to your backpacking gear:

1. Off-Grid Charging: When you’re deep in the wilderness, away from electrical outlets, a solar charger power bank allows you to recharge your essential devices using the power of the sun.

2. Sustainable Energy: Reduce your environmental impact by harnessing renewable solar energy, decreasing your reliance on disposable batteries and non-renewable power sources.

3. Emergency Backup: It’s not just about convenience; a solar charger power bank can be a lifeline in emergencies, ensuring you have communication, maps and navigation tools powered up.

Reviewing The 4 Best Solar Charger Power Banks For Backpacking

Now that you understand what a solar charger power bank does, its advantages and why you absolutely need one during hiking trips and backpacking, it’s time to go shopping!

Although the idea of the ‘perfect’ solar charger is very subjective and varies from person to person, we have come up with this exclusive list of our top 4 most favorite solar charger power banks without which hiking is incomplete.

We’ve decided to shelter these models in our list based on the spectacular features they offer including high durability and solar power efficiency. Without further ado, let’s dig in!

1. Overall Best: BigBlue 28W SunPower

The BigBlue 28W SunPower is at the top of our recommendation list because of how portable and easy it is to carry around – especially thanks to its foldable solar panels, which makes the overall Backpacking experience so convenient and comfortable.

It also comes with multiple attachment points and grommets, allowing you to hang it on a backpack or set it up at a suitable angle to capture sunlight. Let’s take a look at its key specifications in a glance.

Key Specifications:

  • Folding Size: 11.1x 6.3x 1.3in
  • Unfolded Size: 33.1x 11.1x 0.2in
  • Net Weight: 1.5 lbs
  • Color: Black
  • Input Voltage: 5 Volts
  • Connectivity Technology: USB
  • Connector Type: USB Type A
  • Operating Temperature: 14 ℉ – 158℉

What’s Included in the Package?

  • 1x 28W Solar Charger with Digital Ammeter
  • 4x Carabiners
  • 1X 28W Solar Charger
  • 1x USB-A to USB-C cable

Features You Will Like:

  • Dual USB outputs for convenient connectivity
  • Digital ammeter that shows how fast device is charging
  • Super speed charging even with minimal sunlight
  • Five solar panels offering 28 watts of power
  • Compact and lightweight, making it travel-friendly.

What You May Not Like:

Well, like all other solar chargers, its performance depends on sunlight availability, so it may not be very efficient in cloudy weather or rainy conditions.

2. Best Value For Money: Ryno Tuff 21W

Our second most favorite solar charger is the RT-3035 model from Ryno Tuff. Its stunning solar cell tech ensures maximum power absorption from sunlight and efficiently power ups two or more devices at a time.

This solar panel charger gets 21 watts in its 3 panels using its unique iSolar technology to convert pure solar energy and convert it to electric current.

You can charge your iPhone, Android smartphone, laptop, tablet, power bank, torchlight etc. without having to worry about them overcharging and overheating, in case you end up taking a long nap. Its unique charging algorithm will automatically stop charging when your device is fully charged to prevent overheating.

Let’s go through some of its key specs and top-notch features.

Key Specifications:

  • Item Weight: ‎1.06 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: ‎18.1″ x 11.8″ x 0.12″
  • Color: Black
  • Bulb Voltage: 5 Volts
  • Connectivity Technology: USB
  • Connector Type: Lightning
  • Amperage: ‎2.4 Amps
  • Total USB Ports: 2
  • Wattage: 21.00

What’s Included in the Package?

  • 21W Solar Charger
  • Solar Panel
  • Carabiner hooks
  • 1 Micro USB Cable

Features You Will Like:

  • iSolar technology ensures equal distribution of power for safe charging
  • Durable, corrosion-proof build material to withstand all weather conditions
  • One of the lightest 21W panel kits out there
  • 600D waterproof PVC canvas
  • Portable and foldable solar panels

What You May Not Like:

The built-in battery capacity is finite, so it may not fully charge larger devices like laptops. Therefore, we recommend using a separate battery bank to have the ultimate convenience.

3. Best All-in-one Choice: BioLite 10+

Right, it’s impossible not to include the BioLite Solar 10+ when talking about the best solar chargers available in the market.

What we love the most is the analog sundial – it enables you to find direct rays and its 360-degree kickstand makes it easy to position the whole thing on uneven terrain. Now that’s a cool feature needed for backpacking.

Moreover, this also has an IPX4 rating which means it can withstand splashing water from any angle and is resistant to dust and corrosion.

Lastly, it includes multiple USB outputs for easy connectivity purposes. Keep reading to find out more of its spectacular features we’re in awe of.

Key Specifications:

  • Material: Monocrystalline Silicon
  • Item Dimensions: 8.19 x 10.12 x 0.94 inches
  • Item Weight: 550 Grams
  • Color: Black
  • Wattage: 5 watts
  • Voltage: 5 volts
  • Battery Capacity: 3200 mAh
  • Connector Type: ‎USB
  • Power Output: 10 Watts

What’s Included in the Package?

  • Solar Charger
  • Carabiners
  • Solar Panel 10+
  • USB Cable
  • 1 Lithium-ion battery

Features You Will Like:

  • All-in-one lightweight kit with a built-in 3200 mAh battery
  • Sundial to help maximize solar absorption
  • 360° flip-out kickstand for optimal positioning
  • Water-resistant and durable build quality
  • Dual 10-watt solar panels that are foldable

What You May Not Like:

Unlike the other models in our list, this solar charger from Biolite is a bit on the expensive side. If you have a very limited budget, you may be better off with other solar chargers with similar build and features.

4. Best Durable Solar Charger: Goal Zero Nomad 10

Goal Zero is a well-reputed and trusted name in the portable solar power industry. The Nomad 10 is compact and versatile, equipped with a kickstand for optimal sun exposure, making it perfect for hiking and travel.

The foldable monocrystalline solar panel is lightweight and portable and includes USB ports to support external connectivity. With the carabiners provided, you can hook it to your backpack easily when traveling or prop it up with the 180° adjustable kickstand.

The overall build quality is durable, sturdy and rugged which makes it worth the long-lasting investment. We also love how versatile it is – you can charge your devices directly from the sun or you can also pair your panel with a power bank, works great either way.

Key Specifications:

  • Material: Plastic
  • Item Dimensions: 14.49 x 0.12 x 9.49 inches
  • Item Weight: 510 Grams
  • Maximum Power: 10 Watts
  • Color: ‎Black
  • Power Source: Corded Electric
  • Wattage: ‎10W
  • Connector Type: ‎USB
  • Maximum Voltage: 6 Volts

What’s Included in the Package?

  • Solar Charger
  • Carabiners
  • Nomad 10 Solar Panel
  • USB Connector

Features You Will Like:

  • Very lightweight and portable – just over a pound.
  • Packable & built with durable materials.
  • Adjustable 180° built-in kickstand to optimize solar connection
  • Water resistant & reliable in extreme temperatures
  • USB ports allow direct plugging for convenient connectivity.

What You May Not Like:

Although there’s no doubt it’s a winner in our list, there’s one drawback you should be aware of. This Nomad 10 requires a lithium ion battery to operate however it’s not included in the package nor is it built in. So, you’ll have to spend extra bucks and buy a battery bank separately.

7 Factors To Consider When Choosing a Solar Charger For Backpacking

It’s not easy to choose the right solar charger for backpacking – especially when there are too many different models in the market, all with different styles, features and sizes. Here are 7 factors you should keep in mind when shopping for a solar charger:

1. Style and Design

Solar chargers for backpacking are typically available in three different major styles in the market today:

  • Solar panels only
  • Solar panels with internal battery storage
  • Solar panels with a separate external battery pack

Choose wisely which one goes more with your taste and style along with suiting your needs.

2. Solar Panel Efficiency

Efficiency matters when it comes to solar chargers. Look for models equipped with high-quality solar panels. SunPower solar cells, for example, are known for their exceptional efficiency in converting sunlight into electricity. Efficient panels ensure faster charging, even in less-than-ideal conditions.

3. Battery Capacity

The built-in battery capacity determines how much energy the power bank can store. For backpacking, opt for a solar charger power bank with a capacity of at least 10,000mAh to 20,000mAh. This capacity can provide multiple charges for your devices, ensuring you stay powered up throughout your adventure.

4. Weight and Portability

Backpackers know the importance of keeping gear lightweight. Look for a solar charger power bank that is compact and portable. Foldable designs are convenient for saving space, and many models have attachment points or grommets, making it easy to hang them on your backpack to charge while you hike.

5. Weather Resistance

Weather conditions in the wilderness can be unpredictable. Ensure your chosen solar charger power bank is designed to withstand the elements. Look for features like water-resistant or rugged construction to keep it functioning even in rain or snow.

6. Output Ports and Compatibility

Consider the number and type of output ports the solar charger offers. Multiple USB ports allow you to charge multiple devices simultaneously. Additionally, check that the charger is compatible with the devices you plan to charge, whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, camera, or GPS unit.

7. Charging Speed

While solar charging is inherently slower than charging from electrical outlets, some solar charger power banks incorporate smart IC technology. This technology optimizes and regulates the charging speed for connected devices, ensuring efficient and safe charging.

Final Thoughts

A solar charger power bank is a must-have for backpackers who want to stay connected, reduce their environmental impact, and ensure they have a reliable power source in remote locations.

With the right solar charger power bank in your backpack, you can embrace the wilderness while staying powered up and prepared for anything your adventure throws your way.

We hope you find the perfect solar charger power bank that ticks all your requirement boxes and suits your needs. Happy backpacking!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.1: Is a solar charger better than a power bank backpacking?

Answer: For backpacking, a power bank is generally more reliable and efficient for charging devices, while a solar charger depends on sunlight and can be slower. Consider your location, device usage, and individual needs to decide which one to bring or possibly use both.

Q.2: What is the disadvantage of solar power banks?

Answer: The main disadvantage of solar power banks is their dependency on sunlight. Solar power banks are therefore less reliable in cloudy or nighttime conditions when there’s no sunlight available.

Q.3: What is the fastest charging solar power bank?

Answer: It’s hard to label one as many top-notch models out there feature advanced charging technology and high solar efficiency. Please note that the charging speed varies and depends on factors like the quality and efficiency of the solar panels and the capacity of your power bank.

Q.4: Do solar chargers work for backpacking?

Answer: For short trips or day hikes, a solar charger can be a convenient way to keep devices powered. However, for longer trips without access to electrical outlets, especially on cloudy or overcast days, using a solar charger to keep your smartphones running may not be very convenient or a pleasant experience.

Q.5: What size power bank for backpacking?

Answer: For backpacking, consider a power bank with a capacity between 10,000mAh and 20,000mAh. This size strikes a balance between providing sufficient power for multiple device charges while remaining relatively lightweight and portable for your outdoor adventures.

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