Our guide of the 7 best portable solar laptop chargers has been a great resource for years, but since writing it, more solar power kits capable of charging laptops have come on to the market, and there are some great options. Here are my top picks for solar chargers for laptops -- some are ideal for size, some for price, and some for power. Hopefully it will help you find the option that is just right for you.
1. Goal Zero Sherpa 120 Adventure KitPrice: $669.95 Watts: 27
The Sherpa 120 Adventure Kit features a 27-watt foldable solar panel and a battery pack to store energy converted from sunlight. Running at 17-18% efficiency, this solar charger can bring the battery pack to full within 5-10 hours, depending on the strength of sunlight.
The solar charger itself is not compatible with tablet computers like the iPad, so the best strategy is to charge the battery pack to full, then charge your laptop from there. According to Goal Zero, the 120Wh power pack can charge a laptop to full 2-3 times before needing its own recharge. Meanwhile, the solar charger can fill up a cell phone or MP3 player in just 1-3 hours, and a smart phone in 2-4 hours.
One of the best features is how light and compact the kit is -- it only adds about 6.5 lbs of weight to your bag, and that includes the solar panel, power pack and necessary cords. It folds up to a small square you can easily fit into a purse, bag or luggage.
2. Voltaic Generator Solar Laptop ChargerPrice: $459 Watts: 15
This waterproof laptop case from Voltaic Systems fits up to a 17" MacBook Pro, and features a 15 watt solar panel and a 50Wh battery that can be charged in roughly 8 hours of direct sunlight. According to Voltaic Systems, "One hour in the sun will provide between 12 and 45 minutes of runtime, depending on your laptop." It weighs just 4.5 pounds, including the panels and battery. A few items of note include that with Dells, the external battery won't work with the laptops battery, but the solar panel will provide a charge to the battery. That means you can get a small trickle charge directly from the solar panels but won't be able to refill your Dell battery straight from the battery pack. That said, most every laptop has a compatible adapter included with the laptop with just a handful of exceptions.
3. Solaris 62Price: $1,380.00 Watts: 62
The Solaris 62 from Brunton is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts based on the rugged design and capability of collecting a whole lot of solar power. The panel folds up to a compact 8.5” x 14.5” x 2” package weighing 3.4 pounds. You can even link up several panels for gathering more energy.
You'll probably want to order a power pack so that you don't have to have your laptop hooked up to the solar panel to collect a charge all the time.
4. Go Power! Weekender SW Complete Solar and Inverter SystemPrice: $1,815.28 (sale price on Amazon.com) Watts: 125
This kit available on Amazon as well as a few other solar tool storefronts is a powerful panel and inverter system. It will charge your laptop and probably a whole lot more. It comes with a 125 watt solar panel and a 1500 watt pure sine wave inverter system. You'll still need at least a 200 ampere hour battery to store energy generated by the panel. This think ain't no joke, and is ideal if you want to basically set up camp on a sunny rock in the middle of nowhere and work on your laptop for hours on end from there. It weights a whopping 20 pounds so be prepared to get a workout carrying it around. You're giving up a level of portable convenience for the ability to charge a laptop without issue.
5. Solar Laptop Charger & Portable Power KitPrice: $489.00 Watts: 25
This solar charger kit comes with a 25 Watt Sunlinq foldable solar panel with the Duracell Powerpack 300. The battery pack can provide up to 300 watts of output, and can power a 25 watt laptop for up to 3 hours. Most of us have laptops that require more like 45-60 watts so it might not be as versatile as one would like . According to the makers, the solar panel charges the battery pack in 6-8 hours of sunlight. The battery pack is over 14 pounds with the solar panel adding another 2 pounds, so it is rather on the hefty side.