Best Solar Power Banks – Top Reviews of 2019

When you’re stranded with a dead or dying phone, it can be the cause of problems and emergencies, but what if you had a solar power bank with you?  Imagine such a situation; we’ve all been there one time or another. You’re far from home and maybe someone is waiting for your communication, but your phone battery has dropped below 10% and it’s only a matter of time now before you completely lose your charge.

Even if you can find a power outlet, and you have your charge-cord with you, you’ll still be stuck sitting next to the outlet while your phone charges.  But you might even be in a scenario where you cannot find an outlet and there seems to be no other possible way to recharge your phone. But that’s where you’re wrong.  A solar power battery bank is a cache of electricity captured and converted from sunlight. This bank is easily portable and fits in most backpacks and purses. When your phone or other critical devices get low on battery life, use your solar bank to recharge them. With a solar power bank, there’s no worry or frustration. You don’t have to be tethered to an outlet because you can carry your power source with you easily so charging happens while you’re on the go.

A solar power battery bank is a great buy for professionals who do a lot of travelling, or camping enthusiasts, or even emergency-preparedness zealots. Instead of plugging your dying phone into an outlet in a coffee shop and being stuck sitting right by the wall watching that battery charge, you can plug your phone’s cable into the power bank and go about your day. Your phone will charge from your pocket or bag, and you’re free to keep on schedule with your busy day.

Having a reliable, high powered charging source that can keep your phone from dying is important. It can keep your phone working so that you can track your position with GPS, send critical messages,  or call for assistance in an emergency. It’s more than just a convenience–having reliable power is a matter of safety.

Hiluckey Portable Solar Charger

Bonai 30000 mAh Solar Charger

Beartwo Ultra-Compact Solar Bank

Best Solar Power Banks – Top Reviews of 2019

To help in your search, we’ve rounded up some of the best-rated and most popular models. These solar bank reviews offer a concise description of the main features of each model, and allow you to compare banks to decide which one is right for your needs.

Hiluckey Portable Solar Charger

Editor's Pick

The Hiluckey model is our top choice due to its triple-panel design and solid build. The main advantage of this bank is its trifold design, which opens to reveal three solar panels, and then refolds to close with a snap.

The multi-panel design makes it easier to charge quickly using solar energy. With solar power, surface area and panel quality are the keys to successful charging, so a device that features three panels has an edge on the competition. But more than that, the Hiluckey’s design manages to give you three panels without the added bulk or complexity.

It’s also considered one of the best solar banks due to its high capacity. At 24000 mAh, you can charge your cell phone up to eight times on one full bank-charge before it will require replenishment. This model features dual ports so you can charge two devices at once. This also features a multi-function LED light. This can act as a flashlight or an emergency strobe light, which makes it particularly useful for camping.

This model comes with a highly convenient loop to allow the unit to hang on the exterior of a backpack so that it can charge as you hike or go about your day. This is a great feature for convenient solar charging. The Hiluckey is similar in size to an iPhone 7 and weighs about one pound, so it’s easy to find a little extra room for it no matter how much you’ve packed.

PROS:

  • Large capacity at 24000 mAh
  • Fold out design with three solar panels
  • Durable and waterproof
  • LED light with 9 functions

CONS:

  • Indicator lights are not intuitively designed

Bonai 30000 mAh Solar Charger

Most Popular

This charger is king for techies and those who rely on multiple devices to complete tasks and communications throughout the day. This solar power battery bank has the highest capacity and the most number of USB ports for you to keep up with all your charging needs, no matter where you roam.

If you’re working remotely and need to keep your GoPro and iPad fully charged to create, edit, and post videos, this device has the high capacity you need. If you’re required to carry multiple phones for work, you’ll have plenty of charge with you. And if you’re on a family camping trip and everyone needs their devices charged at the same time, the four USB ports keep everyone happily charged. The Bonai also has a 30,000 mAh capacity, which is one of the largest power reservoirs available in solar power banks as yet. This has the capacity to charge a cell phone up to ten times before the bank needs to be replenished. It also features multiple colors, and a basic LED flashlight. Like most other power banks in its class, it’s similar in size to a cell phone, but it is significantly heavier, weighing about 1.2 lbs.

There are a couple of drawbacks to the Bonai. It’s somewhat less rugged than other models. It doesn’t feature rubber bumpers, and there is no cover for the ports. That means it’s not waterproof, and may not fare as well under heavy use, especially for camping or hiking where conditions can be wet and unpredictable. The design has a bit more of an “indoor” feel than that of rugged camping equipment.

It also does not include a hanging pack hook, which can make it inconvenient to charge using the sun while you’re backpacking or traveling. It’s best if you can leave it somewhere like a car dash or a campsite, and come back to it later.

PROS:

  • Largest capacity at 30,000 mAh
  • Five output ports (4 USB, 1 Type C to C)
  • Comes in designer colors

CONS:

  • Long charging time due to its size
  • Not as outdoors-friendly as other models

CXLiy Portable Power Bank

The CXLiy power bank is a rugged, outdoor-friendly solar powered bank that offers multiple charges from its 24,000 mAh battery. Like the Hiluckey it offers about 6-8  full cell charges before needing to be replenished. It has a sturdy exterior construction, with bumpers for shock absorption, and red detailing. This power bank features a port cover in the form of a panel that flips closed to cover the charging and USB ports for waterproof durability.

There are three USB ports for charging, plus two input ports. One is compatible with Android devices (micro USB) and one compatible with iPhone (lightning cable). The CXLiy has a hanging hook and a multifunction LED light. The LED light has a flashlight mode, and red and blue colored flashing lights for emergency signalling.

The CXLiy features a single panel, so solar charging time can be high. It’s also one of the heaviest solar power banks we reviewed, coming in at 1.3 lbs.

PROS:

  • Rugged, durable and waterproof design
  • Three USB ports to charge multiple devices
  • Compatible with both iPhone and Android cables for outlet charging

CONS:

  • On the heavier side for these highly portable chargers at 1.3 lbs

Beartwo Ultra-Compact Solar Bank

Best Value

The Beartwo is a solid, reliable solar power bank. It offers many of the same features as other banks, but comes in at a lower cost of around $25. So if the price is a major concern, we recommend the Beartwo Ultra-Compact. This Beartwo has a 10,000 mAh capacity. Though it has a much lower capacity than other banks we reviewed, it’s still enough to recharge a cell phone about 3-4 times.

If you’re not a heavy phone user and will have plenty of time to charge your bank in between uses, this may be plenty of for your needs. The Beartwo also features dual USB ports, so you can charge two devices at once, for added convenience. The size of the Beartwo is similar to other devices–about the size of a standard cell phone, and it weighs just under eight ounces, which makes it light, and easy to carry.

It features an LED light with multiple modes, and it’s dust, water, and shock resistant. The exterior features rubber layers to prevent damage when it’s worn on a backpack or if it is dropped. And the ports can be covered by a rubber cap to prevent water from getting in, which makes the device safe from rainfall or accidental splashes. The main drawback is the low capacity, but the price and durability may outweigh its limitations for some users.

PROS:

  • Durable, lightweight design
  • Low-cost
  • Dual USB ports with covers to protect from water damage
  • One of the smallest and lightest power banks

CONS:

  • Charging capacity is only 10,000 mAh

Blavor Qi Wireless Solar Power Bank

The Blavor solar bank may have the most features and extras for outdoor enthusiasts. It has a very rugged, outdoorsy design that features bright orange contrast bumpers for extra protection from shocks and drops. It is waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof. It clips onto a bag or backpack for all-day solar charging.

While the Blavor does not have the highest capacity, and it features only one USB outlet port, it is the only high-quality power bank we found that also has wireless charging capacity. If your phone is Qi compatible (most iPhone 8 and higher, or Galaxy 7 or higher) then this may offer additional flexibility.

At 10,000 mAh, you’ll probably get somewhere around 3-4 cell phone charges from a fully powered bank. This is on the low end, but it’s enough for most casual users, and the Blavor is priced to reflect its capacity at around $30. Combining Qi charging with solar charging means you could, in theory, use this device completely wire-free. The prospect of traveling with no need to keep track of or untangle cords is very appealing.

As an added extra, the Blavor bank includes dual LED flashlights, and a compass attached to the backpack clip. This gives the hiker or camper some additional perks that lend even more to the outdoorsy feel of this device.

PROS:

  • Lower cost than other, high capacity devices
  • Designed for the outdoors with sturdy construction and added compass on clip
  • Qi compatible charging for wire-free use with certain devices

CONS:

  • Lower capacity at 10,000 mAh
  • Single USB port output means only one device can charge at a time 

Buyer’s Guide for Solar Banks

Buyers Guide for Solar Banks

Solar power banks can often be found at tech and electronics retailers. These retailers have a selection of power banks to choose from, with a small portion of them being solar powered, and all useful for charging your phone.

Outdoor suppliers, sporting goods, or camping stores may also carry these items, as they are a must-have for avid hikers and campers who will be too far off the beaten trail to access the power grid. Of course, a wide selection of banks can be found by searching online retailers like Amazon.

As you can see, there’s a wide variety of banks available for purchase that will charge everything from your solar lantern to a solar backpack. To decide which one is right for you, consider the circumstances and where you’ll be using it. Someone who might use a solar power battery bank only occasionally during travel will have different needs than someone who is purchasing their bank for a month-long hike of the Appalachian trail. Ask yourself what you need in each of the following categories:

Charging Capacity

The capacity of a power bank is typically described as the number of mAh (milliamp hour) it contains when it’s fully charged. It takes about 2000-3000 mAh to charge a cell phone a single time. Tablets can take 6000-8000 mAh to charge. If you just need to top off your cell phone battery once or twice a day, then a lower capacity power bank like the 10,000 mAh units we reviewed will be perfect for your needs.

But if you’ll be charging a device many times, or if you’ll be charging multiple devices at once, then you may want to consider a larger capacity power bank. A bank with 24,000 mAh or more is better equipped to handle the requirements of the heavy tech user. A larger capacity drive is particularly important if you need to recharge a tablet or laptop (or even a car battery), as their power needs are often two or more times higher than your phone.

Solar Panel Capacity

The key feature of a solar powered power bank is its solar panel. This is what takes it to the next level. Not just the ability to store power for later, but the ability to recharge itself with solar energy. For solar charging, you want a panel that’s durable and resists dust.

The best banks have large, high-quality panels. If you’ll be relying heavily on solar charges from the power bank, then you may want to consider a unit that has multiple panels. The more surface area the solar panels can cover, the more quickly they’ll charge the device.

Durability

To allow a solar power battery bank to charge, it’s usually hung from a hook or clip onto the exterior of a backpack or bag. This means that it must be sturdy enough to handle the bumps and bruises of rugged travel.  The most durable power banks are made with sturdy material, and often feature the addition of silicone rubber bumpers or edges, which help to protect the device from drops.

Some devices are also water-resistant or waterproof. This is great if you’ll be using the solar power bank in an area prone to sudden changes in weather, or if you’re concerned about spills and splashes.

Cost

Finally, solar power banks are available in a range of prices. Think about how much you can afford to spend on this item. Keep in mind that cost often mirrors quality, so if you need reliable power in a device that will last through years of rough use, then it pays to invest in a higher-end solar power bank.

Conclusion

Once you examine the features that are most important to you, and look through our comprehensive solar power bank review, you’ll be able to choose your solar bank with confidence. Enjoy posting photos online, streaming video and music, staying in touch with friends, and everything else that technology offers, without being stuck next to an outlet, or worse. Get unplugged and get going with your new solar power bank. And don’t forget to bring along your new solar battery tester either! (Want to see a cool article about solar RV panels?)

4.6 rating
Based on 29 reviews

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