Solar Power Banks

Solar power banks are small and portable battery packs connected to a solar panel, all wrapped in a durable, compact shell. Most are big enough to charge your smartphone two or three times – perfect for a weekend getaway to the mountains or when you’re stuck on a 20-hour flight with 3 layovers (we’ve all been there).

While solar power banks all share that same basic makeup – battery + solar panel – the specifics can vary considerably. Some have small batteries that can charge your phone once or twice while others have large batteries that can charge a smartphone 5 to 7 times. Solar power banks also tend to come with optional features like USB output, attached flashlights or wireless charging support.

We researched the solar power bank market, and reviewed the five best solar power banks below. Our pick for the overall best solar power bank is the Blavor Qi Portable Charger, which features wireless charging, a 10000mAh battery, and two bright flashlights. If you’ve got a newer smartphone, it’s the perfect power bank as it’s easy to use, well priced, and durable.

With the dozen of solar power packs on the market, we narrowed our list by focusing on cost, durability and reviews. We call out the important features or any trade offs we found in the review process. We then looked at battery size, solar panel size, features like flashlights and charging methods, and anything else that could set a power bank apart. Any of the power packs below should provide you with years of service, no matter if you’re camping, backpacking, or sitting in the airport watching Netflix.

Best Solar Power Banks

Here’s our top 5 picks for the best solar power banks:

Let’s dig into each one of these a bit deeper. If you want some tips on finding the best solar power bank for you, read on to the end.

Blavor Qi Portable Charger: Best Overall

Blavor Qi Portable Charger

Quick Look: 10000mAh capacity, Qi wireless charging, IPX4 water-resistant

The Blavor Qi Portable Charger, our top pick for Best Overall, isn’t the biggest battery on our list (read below for more on that), but it is packed with features and enjoys hundreds of great reviews.

Customers report the wireless charging functions perfectly, the solar panels work well even in low light, and the flashlights are very bright. On top of that, it’s wrapped in a durable shell with a non-slip grip, so it’s easy to use on an everyday basis.

It’s got 10,000mAh of capacity – enough to recharge your smartphone a couple of times, give or take a half charge depending on the model. The battery pack can be fully charged in 6 hours via the two inputs (micro USB and Type C USB) or you can use the integrated solar panel. It comes with two flashlights on one end. A small LED indicates whether the device is charging via the solar panel and there are also LEDs to keep you updated on your battery life.

You can charge your phone via the single USB output or – and this is the cool part – via Qi wireless charging. If you’ve got a Pixel 3, iPhoneX, a Galaxy S10, or any other phone that can charge sans cord, you can leave the charge cord at home on your next camping trip!

Unlike most others battery chargers on our list, the Blavor power bank has been tested for waterproofness and is rated at IPX4, with the ‘4’ meaning it’s splash-proof but that it can’t withstand a heavy downpour. While Blavor advertises this charger as dustproof as well, the ‘X’ above denotes it hasn’t been tested for ingress of dust or other particles, so we’ll have to take them at their word for that. If you’re looking for a truly waterproof and dustproof charger, take a look at the BEARTWO Ultra-Compact Solar Power Bank below, which is our top pick for most durable power bank.

Like any solar power bank with a single solar panel, fully charging the battery via the solar panel alone takes quite a while. The manufacturer reports it takes about 40 hours of direct sunlight. At 8 hours of charging a day, that’s 5 days of charging! Instead, it’s probably safer to consider the solar panel a way to keep your battery topped up with juice while you’re out and about.

If you want to use a solar power bank on a two-week backpacking trip through the Sierras, you’ve got a couple of options. First, you could jump up to a solar power bank with a larger solar panel. The Hiluckey 25000mAh Solar Power Bank, for example, has 4 solar panels that fold out and can charge the power bank much more quickly than Blavor’s single panel. Alternately, you could purchase a solar charger (which is just a small solar panel, no battery) to charge up your battery pack. For example, the RAVPower 24W Solar Charger can fully charge a 10,000mAh battery in just a few hours and weighs just 1 ½ pounds.

While other power banks are bigger or include more solar panels, none quite match Blavor’s great reviews and great list of features, which includes Qi wireless charging.

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BEARTWO Ultra-Compact Solar Power Bank: Most Durable

BEARTWO Solar Charger

Quick Look: 10000mAh, IP67 waterproof and dustproof, weighs just 7.4 ounces

If you’re looking for a rugged, durable, go-anywhere-and-do-anything solar power bank, the BEARTWO Ultra-Compact Solar Power Bank has you covered.

Like the Blavor power bank above, the BEARTWO boasts 10000mAh of battery capacity. That’s on the smaller side compared to other solar power banks, but still enough to charge your smartphone a couple of times – perfect for a weekend camping or backpacking trip. Charge your devices via the two USB outputs, but keep in mind the device only produces a total of 5V/2.1A of power, so if you’re charging two devices at once, it’ll be a little slow.

You can fully charge the battery in 4 to 5 hours via the 5V/2A input, but it’ll take much longer with the small solar panel. BEARTWO doesn’t say exactly how long, but similar power banks take about 40 hours, so the solar panel is really only for emergencies or topping off the battery. If you’re looking for a power bank with more powerful solar charging, take a look at the Hiluckey 25000mAh Solar Power Bank which includes four integrated solar panels that fold out – that’s about 4x the power of the BEARTWO.

Features are pretty standard, but helpful, on this solar power bank. Like other power packs, it has lights to denote battery levels, so you’re never left without power. It also has a built-in mini LED and a cut-out on one corner so you can easily clip it to a backpack. On top of all this, it weighs just 7.4 ounces, making it one of the lightest products on our list.

The real kicker is the power bank’s durability – and it beats the pants off all the other products on our list. The BEARTWO Ultra-Compact is rated IP67.

The second digit denotes waterproofness, with the ‘7’ showing it can withstand complete immersion in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes. That’s far and away the best on our list. There are only two others chargers on our list that are even IP rated, including the Blavor Power Bank above, and that’s only rated a ‘4’, meaning it can handle splashes of water.

The first digit in IP67 denotes its protection from solid particles like dust and dirt. Again, the BEARTWO blows the competition out of the water. It’s the only power bank actually tested for particle protection and at a ‘6’ rating, it’s the top of the line – there’s nothing above 6. This solar power pack survived 8 hours of testing without any dust getting inside

As you can see, the device is well-built and the case is covered in rubber protection for extra durability. Customers report it handles water well and, despite the small size, the solar panel charges the device efficiently.

If you need a power bank that can handle rain, mud, sand, or dust – or maybe all four – and just keep going, the BEARTWO Ultra-Compact is exactly what you’re looking for. And at just 7.4 ounces, it’s easy to throw in your backpack for the weekend warrior lifestyle.

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BESWILL 8000mAh Solar Charger: Most Portable

BESWILL Solar Charger

Quick Look: 8000mAh, weighs just 7.8 ounces, large 21 LED flashlight

Quick trips to the city and long-term traveling typically mean stuffed backpacks without much room to spare. Adding a bulky power bank for your phone just adds to the weight and stuffs your pack even more. Avoid the problem by taking a look at the BESWILL 8000mAh Solar Charger, our pick for the most portable solar power bank.

This power bank weighs just 7.8 ounces – less than half a pound – and just 3 inches wide and 5 ½ inches tall. It’s perfect for tossing in a backpack or medium-sized purse. Of course, our pick for the most durable power bank, the BEARTWO Ultra-Compact above, is actually 0.4 ounces lighter than the BESWILL, but it’s also a bit more expensive, likely thanks to its extreme waterproofness. If you’re looking for a portable power bank with great reviews, but want to spend as little as possible, the BESWILL should be top of your list.

At 8000mAh, this is the smallest power bank we have on our list. It can charge your smartphone 1 to 2 times, depending on the model, but will have a hard time fully charging a tablet. At this size, it’s really just for day or weekend trips where you’ll need to keep your phone battery topped up while out and about. It’s got a fabric loop integrated into one corner so you can clip it to a backpack with the included carabiner and the black ABS plastic case is easy to hold thanks to the molded grips around the edges.

You can find even smaller solar power banks, like the Dizaul 5000mAh Power Bank, but they generally suffer from poor reviews and aren’t any cheaper, so we don’t really recommend them.

Like other power banks with a single integrated solar panel, the solar itself isn’t powerful enough to charge the battery in a reasonable time frame. You can expect to wait about 35 hours or so for the solar panel to completely charge the battery. A better method is to charge the battery at home with the micro USB input, which will take just 3 to 4 hours, and use the solar panel to keep the battery topped up while out and about.

The power bank has three USB outlets on the bottom, so you can charge multiple devices at one time, though again it’s really not big enough to fully charge three devices without needing a recharge itself. Small LEDs next to the solar panel keep you updated on the battery life and when the solar panel is doing its thing.

Beyond the small size, the integrated flashlight also helps to set the BESWILL apart from the crowd. It’s a whopping 21 LEDs that covers the entire back of the power bank. Customers report it’s extremely powerful and even better than most ‘normal’ flashlights.

If you like the extra-bright flashlight but want a bigger battery, GoerTek 25000mAh Solar Power Bank is almost identical in looks, but includes even more LEDs and over 3x the power.

The BESWILL 8000mAh Solar Charger is the perfect option for a day when you’re running around the city or on a short camping trip. With its small size, you can easily throw it in your bag without worrying.

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Hiluckey 25000mAh Solar Power Bank: Fastest Charging

HiLuckey Portable Power Bank

Quick Look: 25000mAh, 4 folding solar panels, stylish faux-leather case

All of the solar chargers above include a single solar panel integrated into the battery housing. While it makes for a compact, ultra-portable power bank, it’s slow to charge via solar energy. Most take about 40 hours to fully charge the 10000mAh battery – far too long to be useful.

If you want to really keep your battery charged with solar energy, you’ll need to increase the size of the solar panels, and that’s where Hiluckey comes in. While the battery capacity of the Hiluckey 25000mAh Solar Power Bank is much bigger than all the power packs above, they’ve also quadrupled the number of solar panels – from a single integrated panel to four panels that fold out from the battery.

With the 5 watt solar panel, it’ll still take about 40 hours to completely charge the battery – which is 2.5x larger than the other power banks above – but on a per-hour basis, Hiluckey’s solar power bank will provide about 4x as much energy as any of the other power banks on our list.

The 25000mAh battery is about as big as solar power packs get and can charge an iPhone X about 9 times before it’ll need recharging. You can charge your devices with the two USB outputs, which share a total power of 5V/2A. Charging the power pack is via the solar panel or a single micro USB input.

The whole kit looks very sleek, wrapped in faux leather, like a folding phone case or clutch. The flashlight on the back includes 9 LEDs – not quite as bright as the GoerTek below, but enough for occasional use. Overall, this power pack is likely designed for travel more than camping, as faux-leather looks great, but isn’t quite as durable as the heavy canvas that outdoor gear, like the RAVPower Solar Charger, usually uses.

There are a couple of downsides to this product. First, at 1.2 pounds it’s about twice as heavy as the BESWILL 8000mAh Solar Charger above. Second, it’s also about twice as expensive as other power banks on our list. Of course, you’re also getting about 2.5x the power and 4x the solar panels, so a higher price shouldn’t be much of a surprise.

Other than that, if you need a powerful battery backup that will keep your phone and tablet going for more than just a day or two, Hiluckey’s 25000mAh power pack is a great solution. It’s durable. It’s as snazzy as any faux-leather wallet. And it’s a good value, especially considering its size.

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GoerTek 25000mAh Solar Power Bank: Biggest Battery

GoerTek Slow Power Pack

Quick Look: 25000mAh, ultra-bright 36 LED flashlight, 3 USB output ports

If you’re looking for a deep battery with a squadron of solar panels attached, check out Hiluckey’s power pack above, which boasts a 25000mAh of battery storage as well as four folding solar panels. But if you’re looking for just the battery and a single solar panel, why not shave a few bucks off the cost and buy GoerTek 25000mAh Solar Power Bank, which wraps an ultra-long battery life in a compact, sleek shell at a very good price.

This solar power pack can charge your iPhone X 9 times before it needs a recharge. Like all the solar power packs here, it’ll take 3-7 days to fully charge the device using the solar panel alone, so don’t forget to charge it via the micro USB input (which still takes 13 hours) before you leave the house. When you smartphone or tablet starts to run low, three USB outputs (1A, 2A, 2A) allow you to charge your devices all at the same time.

While GoerTek does warn it takes a very long time to charge via the solar panel, numerous buyers report that they exclusively use the solar panel with good success, as long as it’s left outside or on a windowsill for a few days.

The device is rated at IPX6 waterproof, meaning it can handle heavy downpour like a champ and still keep going. Small indicator lights show your battery life as well as if your solar panel is charging the battery. At 1.2 pounds, it’s on the heavier side compared to other smaller charges on our list, but that’s to be expected as its 2.5x the battery capacity of those as well.

Beyond the battery capacity, the power bank also boasts the brightest, strongest flashlight of any power pack on our list. The entire backside is covered in 36 LEDs, allowing you to brighten up just about anywhere or anything.

There are power packs with even bigger batteries out there. The Dualpow Solar Charger, for example, is an industry-leading 30000mAh, but suffers from worse reviews than the GoerTek (though not bad, by any means). On the flip side, if you like the design of the GoerTek, but don’t need that much battery capacity, check out the BESWILL 8000mAh Solar Charger, our pick for most portable power pack. The BESWILL is just 8000mAh, but features the same rugged looks and 3 USB outputs, but at almost half the price.

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Everything You Need to Know about Solar Power Banks

Solar power banks are pretty easy to use: charge it up and plug your phone in. But there are a few factors to consider before purchasing. Here’s a few tips to get the most out of your solar power bank.

Solar power banks vs solar chargers

When looking at solar power banks, you’ve probably seen a lot of names and buzzwords thrown around, like solar power banks, power packs, and solar chargers. Manufacturers like to use muddled lingo and it can be hard to figure out exactly what you’re looking at. Let’s set the record straight on what these words mean.

Solar power banks, also called solar power packs, include a solar panel integrated into a portable battery. This can be a single solar panel or multiple panels that fold out, but it’s always a single unit. Solar power banks are usually small and designed to charge your smartphone, tablets, and other small devices. As we’ve seen above, the solar panels are typically too small to fully charge the battery and instead are used to keep the battery topped up when you’re going about your day. It’s generally best practice to charge your solar power bank at home before you leave, so they’re great for day or weekend trips when you’ll have an outlet available fairly soon.

Solar chargers are also designed to charge your phones and tablets, but only include the solar panel, not a backup battery. The solar panels are typically much larger than in solar power banks, 5 to 25 watts compared to power banks’ 5 watts or less. With the large solar panel, solar chargers can keep your smartphone and tablet fully charged indefinitely, but only during the day when the sun is out. Solar chargers are the perfect option for long trips when outlets aren’t available – backpacking trips, weeks spent camping, etc – as they’re lightweight (no battery) yet powerful (big solar panel).

Don’t expect to charge exclusively with solar panels

This might be a bit of shock to you, but most of the solar power banks above can’t really be charged by their solar panels. Yes, it’s a bit sad and confusing, but it’s true. The solar panels are simply too small to fully charge the batteries. Most manufacturers say it’ll take about 40 hours to fully charge the battery via the solar panel. Yikes!

Instead, consider the solar panels as auxiliary or emergency charging. They can keep your battery pack topped up when you’re on the trail or running about town, but that’s about it. All the solar power banks above can be charged via a wall outlet in just a few hours with the included USB or micro USB input, so you’ll want to fully charge the power bank at home before leaving for any adventures.

If you want to keep your smartphone or tablet charged completely via solar energy, take a look at solar chargers instead of solar power banks. Solar chargers don’t include a battery, but have much larger solar panels that are still very portable and can fully charge your phone in just a few hours.

Milliamp-hours measure battery capacity

The storage capacity of all batteries is measured in amp-hours or milliamp-hours (1,000 mAh equals 1 Ah). The higher the number, the more energy your battery can store at one time. For example, a 25,000mAh battery bank can store 2.5x more electricity than a 10,000mAh power bank. Pretty simple, right?

Most solar power banks can hold between 10,000mAh to 25,000mAh. Exactly how many times that can charge your smartphone or tablet depends on how big your smartphone or tablet’s battery is. With a 10,000mAh solar power bank, you’d be able to recharge the iPhone X’s (which has a 2716mAh battery) about 3.5 times. With a 25000mAh power bank, you can charge about 9 times.

Tablet batteries are much bigger than smartphone batteries. The latest iPad includes an 8820mAh battery, so a 10,000mAh power bank can charge it just once.

Figuring out how big your solar power bank should be is pretty easy. Just add up the mAh storage of all your devices, multiply by the number of times you want to recharge, and find the power bank that meets that number. For example, let’s say you want to charge your iPhone X three times and you iPad one time. That’s a total of 26460mAh. So while a 25000mAh power bank is a little short, it’s probably close enough to meet your needs. If you want to go even bigger, you’ll have to sacrifice the solar, as good-quality solar power banks don’t go much larger than 25,000mAh.

Water-resistant vs waterproof

All manufacturers on Amazon like to say their products are waterproof, dustproof, water-resistant, shockproof, and everything in between, but few actually have been tested and verified for durability. If you’re going on a week-long camping trip in the mountains and want to know your power bank is up to the task, look for the devices’ IP rating, which measures both the waterproofness and dustproofness of the products.

IP ratings always include two numbers. Our top pick for most durable power bank, the BEARTWO Ultra-Compact for example, enjoys a rating of IP67 – the best rating of any product on our list. The first number denotes dustproofness and 6 is the highest it can go. The second number denotes waterproofness and a 7 means it can handle being fully submerged in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes.

Only two other products on our list are IP rated. Our pick for Best Overall, the Blavor Qi Portable Charger, is rated IPX4. The X denotes it isn’t tested for dustproofness and the 4 means it can handle rain showers, but not heavy downpours or submersion.

Other products claim they’re waterproof or dustproof, but without the IP rating, we can’t verify those claims. If you’re drawn to a power bank that doesn’t list the IP rating, be sure to at least look at customer reviews for insight into its durability.

What We Learned About Solar Power Banks

If you’re looking to keep your phone topped up on weekend trips into the mountains or even just a day scooting around downtown, solar power banks can keep your phone going. While the Blavor Qi Portable Charger is our top pick for Best Overall, exactly which one device to buy depends on your own needs. Whether durability, or battery capacity, or size is most important to you, one of our top picks will meet your needs:

All of the power banks above are trustworthy, durable, and low cost, so grab a solar power bank and happy adventuring!

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