The 7 Best Solar Power Banks of 2022

The QiSa Solar Power Bank is our top choice.

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Best Solar Power Banks

Treehugger / Chloe Jeong

Solar power banks are an essential for outdoor enthusiasts and offer a way to keep cell phones, cameras, and other gadgets charged when electricity is scarce. They’re also invaluable when severe weather or power surges cause widespread outages.

These convenient, portable devices have evolved into several different styles, but the two most common are around the size of a cell phone and have either a single portable solar panel or several expanding, folding panels. Solar chargers with one panel are more compact, but also slower to recharge using the sun’s energy. Multiple panels can speed things up a bit but are often bulkier. The fastest way to recharge both is by plugging a USB into a traditional power source and storing the energy. Once the power bank has been replenished, various electronics can still be charged on the device indoors or at night.

Here are the best solar power banks, many with added features such as wireless charging, waterproof exteriors, and built-in flashlights.

Best Overall: QiSa 38800mAh Solar Power Bank

4.9
QiSa 38800mAh Solar Power Bank

Amazon

Weight: 1.41 pounds | Dimensions: 7.2 x 4.33 x 1.93 inches | Output ports: Two USB, one Qi wireless charging | Accessories: None

With an impressive 38,800 mAh battery, this compact power bank has four built-in solar panels or can be charged from a micro USB cable. It’s an excellent value, looks attractive, and has more battery storage than many competitors, making it our top all-around choice. With the combination of wireless and USB output ports, you can charge up to three devices at once. 

The solar charger also features a flashlight with multiple settings (low, high, and flashing), producing up to 280 lumens of light. A Velcro strap holds the panels together when closed, and there’s a notch where you can attach a keyring or carabiner, allowing you to clip it to a backpack to charge as you explore. It can withstand moderate impacts, some water exposure (but not submersion), and has a dust cover to protect the input and output ports. 

This charger also tops our list because of its compact size, making it easy to take traveling or tuck into your car’s glove box in case of an emergency. It’s ideal for off-grid camping trips where you won’t have access to power, but it’s also handy to keep at home in case your power goes down. The amount of time it takes to charge the battery on solar alone varies, and the battery is large, so think of the built-in panels as more of a way to top-up the battery rather than a fast way to charge it.

Price at time of publish: $90

Best Single Panel: Goal Zero Nomad 5 Solar Panel

4.8
Goal Zero Nomad 5 Solar Panel

Courtesy of Goal Zero

Weight: 0.79 pounds | Dimensions: 9.5 x 7 x 0.8 inches | Output ports: USB Port: 5V, up to 830mA (5W max) | Accessories: Kickstand, small battery pack

The compact size of most single-panel power banks limits the solar charging capability of the panel, but the Goal Zero Nomad 5 is both portable and powerful. The Nomad 5 offers a 5-watt, rugged solar panel that’s lightweight (12.7 ounces) and water-resistant (though not waterproof).

The simple design includes a kickstand on the back to angle it into the sun, or carabiners can connect to the top and attach to a backpack for charging on the go. The Nomad 5 kit comes with Goal Zero’s Flip, a small battery pack (3,350 mAh) with a USB port so you can charge devices after the sun goes down. When the sun is out, the Nomad’s panel can charge the Flip in just three hours—making it one of the fastest single-panel chargers.

Price at time of publish: $60

Best Foldout: FEELLE Solar Power Bank

FEELLE Solar Power Bank Charger

Amazon

Weight: 1.18 pounds | Dimensions: 6.1 x 3.35 x 1.37 inches | Output ports: USB 5V/2.1A | Accessories: Micro USB cable

Fold-out solar chargers increase the number of solar panels available to charge a device, but their collapsible design means they’re also portable. While some fold-out panels can only be used to charge devices directly when the sun is out, the FEELLE Solar Power Bank includes a staggering 25,000 mAh high-capacity battery capable of charging an iPhone upwards of nine times.

Combined, the four foldable solar panels produce 5 watts, while dual USB ports allow for two devices to charge at once. The moderately priced FEELLE also contains an LED light (with an SOS mode), is water-resistant, and weighs just 1.18 pounds.

Best Versatile: BLAVOR Solar Charger Five Panels Detachable

BLAVOR Solar Charger Five Panels Detachable

Courtesy of Walmart

Weight: 1.25 pounds | Dimensions: 7.28 x 5.51 x 2.16 inches | Output ports: dual USB max 2.1A | Accessories: Type C cable, LED flashlight, compass ring kit

For a versatile power bank that can be used during day-to-day activities or on outdoor adventures, the BLAVOR is an excellent option. Four of the five collapsible solar panels are detachable, so you don’t have to tote them around when they’re not needed.

The 20,000 mAh battery bank features Qi wireless technology to charge compatible devices, plus two USB ports, a small compass, and a built-in flashlight for wilderness jaunts. One drawback of the BLAVOR, however, is that the solar panel connectors are not waterproof.

Price at time of publish: $55

Best for Laptops: Rockpals 250W Portable Power Station

Rockpals Solar Charger

Courtesy of Rockpals

Weight: 11 pounds | Dimensions (solar panel): 13.78 x 13.39 x 2.36 inches | Output ports: 250W continuous dual AC outputs, two USB 2.1A, four DC 12V (60W) ports | Accessories: 6.5 foot AC adapter, 3.3 foot car charger cable, DC to cigarette lighter socket adapter

Most laptops consume between 40 and 70 watts when charging, compared with just 2 to 6 watts used by cell phones. This means you’ll need a larger power bank plus a stronger (and more costly) solar panel to continuously replenish it—so typical power banks won’t cut it.

The Rockpals 250-watt power station includes a 60-watt expanding solar panel case (with four panels) and a multi-purpose power station with a 64,800 mAh lithium battery for charging several devices. The Rockpals station and panel is a convenient, portable unit that can turn any area into an off-grid office.

Price at time of publish: $220

Best for Camping: Raddy SW5 Emergency Radio

Raddy SW5 Emergency Radio

Courtesy of Amazon

Weight: 1.21 pounds | Dimensions: 7.83 x 3.46 x 2.56 inches | Output Ports: USB-C 5V, 1.5A | Accessories: USB cord, wrist attachment

Although most portable solar charge banks are useful in the great outdoors, multi-purpose devices are even better and can save space when camping and hiking. The Raddy SW5 Emergency Radio is a durable device that’s a must-have piece of survival gear. The 5,000 mAh battery can be recharged with the small solar panel, by the USB port, or with the hand crank.

Equipped with a waterproof rating of IPX5, the durable device includes an AM/FM/NOAA radio, compass, flashlight (with SOS setting), and floodlight. The Raddy portable radio charger can replenish cell phones up to two times before needing to be recharged.

Price at time of publish: $39

Best for Home: BLUETTI EB55 Portable Power Station with Foldable Solar Panel

Bluetti Portable Power Station with Foldable Solar Panel

Courtesy of Bluetti

Weight: 12.57 pounds (panel) 16.5 pounds (unit) | Dimensions: 21 x 18.5 inches (panel)

10.94 x 7.87 x 7.79 inches (unit) | Output Ports: AC 4 x 700W (1400w surge), USB-A 4 x 5V/3A; 1 x type-C 100w, 1 Car Port, 2 x 12V/10A | Accessories: 200w AC adapter and cable, car charging cable, solar charging cable

Keeping a solar power at home is especially handy during power outages, and the BLUETTI EB55 is a complete charging station that can keep home devices running long after the lights go out. The back-up power supply includes four outlets (120 volt) as well as four for USB charging ports with built in MPPT technology to ensure higher efficiency.

The battery can be recharged through a wall outlet, 12/24-volt car port, or by propping open the foldable, 120-watt monocrystalline panel. In full sun, the panel can recharge the unit in under seven hours. Both the panel and the unit have a carry handle for easy transportation.

Price at time of publish: $899

Final Verdict

With a massive battery and the convenience of wireless charging, our top pick for a solar power bank is the QiSa solar charger. Or, if you need a complete unit to use in the home as a backup power source, we recommend Bluetti EB55 solar charging station.

What to Look for in a Solar Power Bank

Panel Size

Most portable solar chargers have smaller panels of around two watts or less, so the panel serves as a slow, emergency-charging system and the battery does the lion’s share of the work. If you know you’ll be away from an electric outlet for a while and need to rely more heavily on the solar aspect of the unit, you’ll want to opt for a larger solar panel. If this is the case, a folding panel charger might be a better option since they are still relatively compact.

“Weather, where you live, time of year, and the size and type of solar panels your device uses can all have a significant impact on charging speeds," says Paul Schwent, tech expert and the creator of the Rando Tech Info YouTube channel. "Most four-panel 25,000 mAh power banks charge from 0 to 100% in around a week with good sun. A single panel power bank will usually take around twice as long."

Battery Size

Consider how many devices you’ll be toting along with you that will need a recharge, and how often you’ll be away from an outlet for a fast recharge. If you’re just spending a day sightseeing and need to keep your phone juiced up, a battery of less than 10,000 mAh should be adequate. If you’re planning on being without grid power for several days and have multiple devices to charge, opt for a battery with 25,000 mAh or more.

Schwent adds that portability is another factor in battery size. “A 6000 mAh power bank is going to fit in your pocket or purse much better than a 25,000 mAh power bank and if you don't need the extra power between charges, you can save some money with something smaller.”

Added Features

Many chargers have convenient features like wireless charging, flashlights, and carry handles. If you plan on hiking, going kayaking or rafting, mountain biking, or other active adventures consider a charger that’s also waterproof or shockproof.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How do you use a solar power bank?

    Before use, charge a solar-power bank either using the solar panel (very slow option) or by connecting to an electric outlet using a USB adapter plug. When you need to recharge a device (or several devices) simply connect the USB to the power pack (or in some cases, use wireless connection).

  • Can any solar power banks be charged without the sun?

    Most solar power chargers contain battery banks that can be used without the sun—as long as they are charged before use by plugging into a wall outlet or other power source. Solar panels that do not contain battery packs require a direct connection to the device and cannot be charged without the sun.

  • Can I take a solar power bank on an airplane?

    Generally, speaking, yes, you can take a solar power bank on an airplane. However, solar powered chargers contain lithium-based batteries, and should not be put in checked luggage (where they are more likely to be damaged). For more information on FAA rules regarding solar chargers, refer to the TSA website.

  • Are solar power banks good?

    Yes! Portable solar power banks are useful for people who enjoy spending lots of time outside, away from traditional power sources. Larger solar banks can be used to store clean energy for use when the sun isn't shining. Both options can be good in emergency situations when the electricity goes out.

Why Trust Treehugger?

Living completely off the grid herself, Amber Nolan relies on solar energy in her daily life as well as on backcountry adventures. An avid camper, kayaker, and outdoor enthusiast who resides in hurricane-prone Florida, she knows firsthand that solar power banks are a necessity for keeping modern devices ready to go when you need them the most.

She has personally tested multiple solar power banks from several different brands, and also interview a tech expert about what to look for in a solar power bank.