Whether you’re looking for something to top off the batteries on your car, recreational vehicle, or camping set-up, the right solar powered battery tender can keep you going without an outlet. Of course, you’ll need some sun to go with it. Luckily, there’s still plenty of it to go around.
Traditional electricity is becoming increasingly expensive to produce, which means its price will only go up. Because batteries are a great way to save excess power when you can spare it, a solar battery tender will guarantee you have free, renewable electricity standing by to power your generators and devices.
What is the Best Solar Battery Tender in 2020?
The number of people who choose a battery tender with solar technology is on the rise. The versatility, as well as the affordability of this type of charging are just too good to miss out on. In the past few decades, solar cells have progressed to such an extent that they are now a viable source of electricity for homes, cars, and RVs. Here’s our list of the best products you can buy today.
GIARIDE Solar Power System Charger (50W Solar Panel)
Both the 50W and 100W versions of a solar-powered battery tender by Giaride are nothing short of impressive. This flexible solar system can be installed anywhere you want and it will produce hefty amounts of electricity for free. Travelers prefer to place them on the roof of their cars and trailers, but fishing enthusiasts can easily take them in the boat since they are incredibly lightweight.
With an efficiency of up to 21% and flexibility which allows it to curve for up to 30 degrees, this solar battery tender is our editor’s pick because of the value it packs. Its low price and tested efficiency make it a widely popular choice for sports mobile owners. On sunny days, with the right exposure, people have managed to get even 150 watt-hours out of these.
Small in size and weighing in at just over 40 oz. (1 kg), Giaride’s battery tender with solar power is a welcome addition to any camping trip, as it will be able to charge all of your small devices and keep you connected with friends, family, and business.
- Made with highly efficient monocrystalline photovoltaic cells
- Flexible panel design that can be bent up to an angle of 30 degrees
- Incredibly lightweight
- Laminated junction box ensures resistance to water and dust
- Does not come with a solar charge controller
ACOPOWER HY-3x35W18V2 Solar Panel Kit (105W Foldable Solar Panel)
Acopower’s compact solar battery tender has everything you’ll ever need to safely charge your batteries on a camping trip. Its size and weight are actually smaller than that of a regular 105W solar panel and, on top of everything else, it can be neatly folded into an ultra-portable 8 lb. (3.6 kg) suitcase.
This is a complete solar powered battery tender, with charge controller that also has a USB port, alligator clamps, and an SAE connector. You can just as well charge your phone and then switch to charging your 12V car battery.
The downside is that this amount of features and portability will cost you. The way we see it, though, its hefty price tag will pay for itself in less than couple of years’ worth of frequent usage. When it comes down to it, it’s an investment that will not only pay for itself by giving you free electricity, but also save you money in the long run.
- One of the most lightweight and compact foldable 100W solar kits
- Weather and water resistant
- Highly efficient solar panels with an additional efficiency enhancer module
- SAE connector that matches with Zap Solar RV or campers
- High price
ROCKPALS Solar Panel Charger for Suaoki Portable Generator (100W Foldable Solar Panel)
For those who are always on the go and who need a bit more power from their solar battery tender, Rockpals’ kit might be a better fit. Extended camping trips, cross-country touring, or RV expeditions are greatly improved by this set of four solar panels that neatly folds into a 20’ (50cm) by 14’ (35 cm) briefcase.
Although it does offer twice the wattage of Giaride’s solar powered battery tender, this product is also twice the price. It can easily handle two or even three families’ worth of numerous small devices with the right generator. However, we found that the best part about this system is that you don’t even need the latter.
Rockpals’ battery tender with solar technology has 3 USB 3.0 ports that can supply lightning fast electricity directly to your phones, laptops or portable power bank, no generator required. The downside of such a setup is that it will be a bit slow on cloudy days without any stored power to help compensate the lack of direct sunlight.
- Efficient PV cell that can guarantee up to 23% on conversion
- An intelligent USB chip that will adjust current according to the device you connect
- Incredibly versatile for a 100W set-up
- Can be folded into a lightweight briefcase (11 lb./5kg)
- No charge controller
NOCO BLSOLAR2 2.5 Watt Solar Battery Charger (2.5W Solar Panel)
Although Noco’s mini-solar panel is an all-time favorite solar battery tender for cars, it doesn’t actually do much in the way of charging. Granted, its weather-proof technology allows it be used outdoors, as well as with low lighting conditions, but its PV output of just 2.5W won’t be enough to actually charge a 12V car battery.
Instead, you can use this kit to maintain your car’s battery. The latter is usually made with the standard, lead-acid technology, which means that without proper and regular usage, it’ll slowly drain and lose its load. Noco’s battery maintainer is an easy and affordable solution that can prevent this from happening.
In extreme conditions, it might provide enough energy for a jump-start, but that’s pretty much it. Another handy feature of this system is that it has an in-built diode that prevents back-current drain in the absence of light.
- One of the most affordable battery maintainers on the market
- High-quality PV panel that is weather and water resistant
- You can install it inside the car and plug it directly into the 12V aux port
- Very lightweight and compact
- Very small wattage
POWOXI Solar Battery Charger for Cars (18W Solar Panel)
In terms of value purchases, you can’t go wrong with Powoxi’s solar charger. Their 18W flexible solar panel can easily maintain, as well as slowly add a charge to your RV’s battery, unlike the super small Noco. Similar to the latter product, you can plug Powoxi’s charger straight into the cigarette lighter and let it do the work for you. This is one of the best products of the kind you can buy for under $50.
With tens of happy purchases, people have successfully recharged their sailboat and truck batteries without having to waste valuable time and money. Weighing in at approximately 12.49 oz. (0.3 kg), this portable, the lightweight panel can just as easily be placed inside or outside your car. Although more convenient, the former option will reduce the product’s efficiency.
- Affordable and useful battery topper
- Alligator/crocodile clips and cigarette lighter plug
- In-built diode that prevents charge leaks
- Very lightweight and compact
- High PV cell efficiency
- You might need a charge controller to avoid overcharging