A solar power bank is a device that you can use to keep your devices charged while you’re out and about. The fact of the matter is that more and more of us are now almost wholly reliant on our technology in order to keep us entertained or just to perform everyday tasks.
We rely on our smartphones for staying in touch with friends and relatives, we use them to work and keep our offices updated, some of us run online businesses from them…
We use phones and GPS devices to navigate and get around. We use them to watch Netflix and play games.
We use our phones as cameras and snap shots of anything interesting that happens to share with others.
We even use phones as our credit cards very often!
And when you take that away from us, we’re lost.
So as our reliance on technology increases, so too must our access to that technology. This is why something like a solar power bank is so incredibly useful – as it will allow us to use technology wherever we are. As long as the sun is out, we’ll be able to charge our devices and keep playing games, taking photos, finding our way around and paying for coffee.
In fact, with a solar power bank, you’ll be able to do all that even when you don’t have access to the sun. How? Because these power banks store that energy for you to use later on!
This changes the ways you can use your devices, so read on to find some of the best solar power bank reviews.
Solar Power Bank Review Countdown
1. Solar Charger Dizaul 5000mAh Solar Power Bank
This solar phone charger ticks a lot of boxes for anyone hoping to take a charger out on a walk or hike. Firstly, this is a very small, compact and light solar charger that can easily fit into a pocket. It comes with a handy loop and carabiner, which means you can attach it to a belt and charge as you go.
The charger is also waterproof and shock proof, meaning it’s ideal for adventuring and won’t get badly damaged should you drop it.
As well as being a solar charger, this device is also a power bank. That means it can store 5,000mAh of power in order to provide energy for your phone at your convenience. Note that 5,000mAh is only about 1-2 charges for a typical phone, but seeing as you’ll be constantly adding more energy as you go, this shouldn’t be an issue.
Add in an appealing price and you have a great option!
2. Floureon 1000mAh Solar Charger Power Bank
If you thought those last two options offered a lot of value though, then you’ll be even more blown away by this Floureon model. At 1,000mAh it will provide more than enough power to charge a smartphone a good 4-5 times. On top of that, it has all the benefits of previously mentioned products – water resistance, shock resistance etc. Better yet, it throws in a bunch of added benefits too with a torch on the back for finding your way around and a small compass attached to the carabiner. There’s also dual USB charging. The best part? This is cheaper than those other models and the only missing feature is the LEDs.
3. SolarBank Solar Power Bank Charger 8000mAh
The Dizaul we looked at last is a great option for convenient power on-the-go. However for just a small amount more you can upgrade to this offering from Outdoor Drift and improve a whole bunch of features.
Once again, this is a convenient, compact, portable, waterproof and dustproof dual USB solar panel power bank. Once again you also get an LED to show the level of charge, as well as a convenient loop for attaching to a belt.
Only now, the battery is an impressive 8,000mah which gives you 2-4 charges depending on the device in question. The design is also even more durable thanks to rubber corners that protect the gadget from drops and falls. A bright green color on this also means it’s easy to find.
4. Solar Charger 2400mAh PLOCHY
Were you basing your choice purely on the ratio of battery-size-to-price, then this would be a very hard contender to beat indeed. This model from PLOCHY provides 2,400mAh of charge, which is more than enough to power your phone a good ten times and more – or even to power a small laptop.
There are not two but three charging ports, which all offer ‘fast charging’. It’s a little bigger than the others of course and a little heavier and unfortunately there’s no LED indicator. It’s also the most expensive option on this list, though still very good value for what it is.
5. 2000mAh Solar Power Bank
Finally, this option from Digital-Kingdom has an awful lot going for it and is a strong choice for a lot of reasons. It’s not the largest battery here – that honor goes to the PLOCHY – but it is the closest behind with a whopping 2,000mAh. If you combine this with the fact that it still has waterproofing, still has LED indicators and is still very affordable, it becomes one of the best all-rounders on the market right now.
Of course this is still a little heavier and a little larger than some of the other portable solar power bank options out there. That’s why it’s important when reading solar phone charger reviews to think about what it is that you are looking for from your device. Portability or power?
What you need to know about Solar Power Banks
First of all, Photovoltaic cells or solar panels banks convert energy from sunlight directly into electricity. And are built from semiconductors such as diverse thin-film materials or crystalline silicon. They can also provide small amounts of power for watches or big amounts for the electric grid, and everything in between.
A solar power bank capacity varies between 2000 mAh to 20000 mAh or even greater values, they are in a great demand mostly for charging smartphones. But can be used to charge various types of gadgets.
They are made from the following components:
- lithium-ion battery
- hardware protection circuit
- outer case
How do they work?
They use specific mirrors or lenses to focus sun’s heat energy into a small beam, which eventually drives a generator to produce electricity that gets stored into the batteries.
The heart of the power bank is the battery. However, the hardware protection controls the voltage, current, and temperature too.
Types of power solar banks
Mainly there are three types of technology used in the making of solar panels available today, monocrystalline, polycrystalline and thin film amorphous. Years ago the best solar panels where the monocrystalline ones, but recently the polycrystalline one have caught up.
Honestly, you shouldn’t be worried too much about what type of power banks to choose from. It is way more important to pick a good brand.
What makes a good brand?
A company that prioritizes highly the quality of their manufacturing process and care about their reputation. The performance of the mono and poly solar banks is pretty similar, what matter most is the lack of defects in the manufacturing process.
Now let’s define every type in part:
The most commonly used and the most matured out of all three power banks. They require less space and are not very good when it comes to charging. If you’re all about saving space, or in the case of solar power banks, inches, this is the one to choose.
They are newer than the monocrystalline ones and vary in the manufacturing process. That’s where the difference between the two banks is, long story short polycrystalline solar panels have multiple cells while monocrystalline absorb energy into one big cell. Recently they have come close to the monocrystalline ones in terms of efficiency.
Thin film panels are entirely different from the other two solar power banks, they are new, and will not be considered mature pretty soon. There are plans to improve them in the next 10 years. They can be recognized by having a solid black appearance, with or without a frame.
They have quite a reputation for themselves as being the worst ones, due to the lowest efficiency out of all. This type of power bank is the cheapest to produce, and quickly have become more economically efficient. Thin film panels are better for the environment too and have an advantage in low light conditions.
Solar panel chargers can be found in different forms and shapes, manufacturers don’t follow a single design or concept, each of them uses their own. Thus the market is full of various models to pick from. These below are the most frequently used.
Manufacturers had in mind cars when they made those power banks, they usually sit on the dashboard, and can be plugged in the cigarette socket in order to charge the battery of the car when no used.
2. Portable solar power banks
You can carry them around on your trips and you can use them to charge different small devices like mobile phones, iPods or any other portable devices. We have mentioned above five models of banks which you can choose from. All will do just fine, depending on your budget.
3. Public charging stations
If you live in a modern developed country, you’ll most likely find those around your city. They are meant to be used by people and are free to use.
How to buy the best Solar Power Bank
Before jumping to conclusions you need to make sure you find the best in terms of solar power banks.
How do you do that? Simple, there are some criteria you need to take in consideration before making a purchase, criteria that will make sure you picked the best power bank.
The first thing that you need to look out for when choosing a power bank is how much extra juice you’re going to have. Sure, that depends heavily on what type of electronic devices you are planning to charge. But it’s safe to say that most people will use it to charge their smartphone and maybe a go pro.
Make sure to get at least 2000 mAh bank, this amount will do you a full phone charge. There are also much bigger capacities on the market. So think what devices are you going to charge and pick a size that will be enough for all of them.
2. Weight & size
This will play a huge role also if you’re looking to hike for many days or maybe you want to be as compact as possible. Bigger capacity power banks will be bigger in size and will weight more. Find a balance between.
A more respectable brand will assure you quality, but most of the times it means that will be more expensive as well. I’m not saying a specific brand is the only way to go, there can be budget brands which will give you a great value.
This is important if you plan to go hiking or have in mind other outdoor activities. You want a solar power bank which will resist water splashes, rain, mud, and snow. In other words something as durable as possible, luckily there are such devices on the market.
Sure, the main feature is to charge your stuff, but it doesn’t hurt if it has other functionalities does it? Read every description carefully and make sure it has as many extra features as possible.
That’s it for today, you have everything you need to know about solar power banks. We hope you this guide will make your trips easier, which means more fun.