Best Solar Chargers for Backpacking of 2024

Best Solar Chargers for Backpacking Reviews

When it comes to backpacking, having a reliable source of power to charge your electronic devices can be a game-changer. A solar charger can be a convenient and eco-friendly option for backpackers who want to stay connected while on the go. However, with so many options available on the market, it can be challenging to choose the best one for your needs.

Throughout this guide, we’ll delve into the top solar chargers available in 2024, considering factors such as charging speed, weight, portability, durability, and compatibility with various devices. We’ll also give some tips on how to choose the best solar charger for backpacking.

Best Solar Chargers for Backpacking

Comparison table of the top seven best solar chargers for backpacking in 2024.

NamePowerRatingWeightPrice
Goal Zero Nomad 1010 Watt5.01.43 lbsCheck
Nekteck 28W Solar Panel28 Watt5.01.44 lbsCheck
Powertraveller Falcon 2121 Watt4.02.33 lbsCheck
Anker 21W 2-Port USB21 Watt5.014.7 ozCheck
BigBlue [Upgraded] 3 USB-A28 Watt4.01.48 lbsCheck
BioLite SolarPanel 5+ 2.05 Watt4.013.8 ozCheck
SunJack ETFE Monocrystalline60 Watt4.03.52 ozCheck

Best OverallGoal Zero Nomad 10

Best Ultralight Solar Charger for Backpacking – Anker 21W 2-Port USB

Best Value for the MoneyNekteck 28W Solar Panel

1. Goal Zero Nomad 10 Monocrystalline Solar Panel

1. Goal Zero Nomad 10 Monocrystalline Solar Panel

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The Goal Zero Nomad 10 is a foldable and portable solar panel that is designed for backpacking, hiking, and travel. It features a monocrystalline solar panel that can generate up to 10 watts of power. It has a highly efficient built-in USB port for charging your devices very efficiently. However, the USB port isn’t water resistant.

The adjustable kickstand allows you to position this device at the perfect angle to maximize the amount of sunlight it receives. The solar panel is weather-resistant and durable, making it ideal for all types of outdoor use. However, the device has no input, only a single output.

I plugged my iPhone directly into it to test, and it started charging immediately. I was able to achieve 8 watts with direct sunlight outside on a clear day in the Midwest, with the panels pointed directly at the sun. It is very light. You can carry it in your bag daily carry. To ensure quality, the manufacturer also offers 1 year warranty. 

ProsCons
  • Compact and lightweight
  • High energy efficiency
  • Adjustable kickstand
  • Weather-resistant
  • Limited power output
  • Expensive
  • A bit fragile

2. Nekteck 28W Portable Solar Panel with 2 USB Port

2. Nekteck 28W Portable Solar Panel with 2 USB Port

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The Nekteck 28W is a portable solar panel that can generate up to 28 watts of power without losing charging efficiency. It features two USB ports, which allow you to charge multiple devices at the same time. It is IPX4 waterproof, making it ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking and camping.

Nekteck 28W solar charger is compatible with a variety of devices, including the iPhone 12/11/11pro/Xs, iPad, Samsung Galaxy, and cameras. It is also designed with a smart IC chip, which automatically detects the optimal charging speed for your device.

You can use this device to charge a rechargeable battery charger. However, it will take a while to fully charge your rechargeable battery. Nekteck portable solar panel comes with an attached zip pouch that you can put your phone in while your device is charging. It is also surprisingly thin and folds up nicely.

Attaching it to a backpack usually causes the wires to break, but I believe it’s inherent to the folding design, especially if the panels accidentally fold backward. These chargers don’t perform well in high heat, so allow it to cool off occasionally to maintain effective charging. Windy conditions are preferable for optimal performance.
ProsCons
  • Dual USB ports
  • IPX4 waterproof rating
  • Wide compatibility
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Sturdy and rigid feel
  • It can be damaged easily if not handled carefully.
  • No built-in battery
  • Slow charging

3. Powertraveller Falcon 21: Folding Solar Charger

3. Powertraveller Falcon 21

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The Powertraveller Falcon 21 is a portable folding solar panel that can charge up to 3 devices simultaneously (2 via USB and 1 via DC). It features both a 5V USB output and a 20V DC output, making it compatible with a wide range of devices including laptops, tablets, smartphones, SAT phones, GPS devices, and action cameras.

The Falcon 21 solar panel is rugged, lightweight, and splashproof, making it ideal for backpacking. It can charge laptops with a power consumption of up to 40 watts, making it a great option for people who need to work or use their laptops while in outdoors.

This device incorporates high-efficiency monocrystalline cells from SunPower, which produce up to 30% more power compared to conventional cells. The order includes a variety of connectors and cables so that you can charge your devices easily, no matter where you are.

However, it has a limited range of angle adjustments. This makes it difficult to position the solar panels optimally for maximum sun exposure. This model is more expensive than some other portable solar panels on the market.

ProsCons
  • Dual output
  • Innovative design
  • Rugged and durable construction
  • Highly versatile choice
  • Limited angle adjustment
  • Expensive

4. Anker 21W 2-Port Solar Charger with Foldable Panel

4. Anker 21W 2 Port Solar Charger with Foldable Panel

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If you’re looking for a portable powerful solar charger for a long period, the Anker 21W is the best option for you. With a compact and slim design, it can generate up to 21 watts of power. It features two USB ports, which allow you to charge two devices at the same time.

It is lightweight and compact, making it easy to carry around in your backpack or luggage. It’s also weather-resistant, which makes it ideal for outdoor activities such as camping and hiking. It has four foldable sections: three sections have solar panels and the fourth section has a small velcro-closed pocket that contains the two USB ports.

The solar panel is compatible with a wide range of devices and the Anker’s “PowerIQ” system allows it to communicate with essentially all USB devices. The PowerIQ technology automatically detects the optimal charging speed for your device. This ensures that your devices charge as quickly and efficiently as possible.

However, this device is made of delicate materials, and it can be damaged easily if not handled carefully. It isn’t compatible with devices that require more than 2.4 amps of power or devices with proprietary charging cables.

ProsCons
  • Very powerful device
  • Fast charging technology
  • Foldable design
  • Advanced safety feature
  • Fragile
  • Limited compatibility

5. BigBlue [Upgraded] 3 USB-A 28W Solar Charger

5. BigBlue Upgraded 3 USB A 28W Solar Charger

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BigBlue has been committed to developing energy storage products with higher safety factors. The BigBlue 28W Solar Charger is very powerful with 28 watts of power supply. It features three USB-A ports, which allow you to charge up to three devices at the same time.

Like most of the solar panels in our ranking, this model is compatible with a variety of devices, including the iPhone 11/XS/XS Max/XR/X/8/7, iPad, Samsung Galaxy, and LG devices.

It is IPX4 waterproof, which means it’s protected from splashes of water from any direction, making it ideal for outdoor activities such as camping and hiking. It’s also designed with high-efficiency SunPower solar panels, which convert more solar energy into usable power than traditional solar panels.

BigBlue 28W Solar Charger has built-in safety features, including a surge protection circuit and short circuit prevention. These safety features help to protect your devices from damage while they’re charging. It can automatically change the charging according to the sunlight’s brightness.

ProsCons
  • Triple USB ports
  • Very efficient solar panels
  • Waterproof design
  • Good value for the money
  • No included cable
  • The opening to the pocket is on the bottom

6. BioLite SolarPanel 5+ 2.0 With Onboard Battery

6. BioLite SolarPanel 5 2.0 With Onboard Battery

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The BioLite SolarPanel 5+ 2.0 is an ultralight solar panel that can generate up to 5 watts of power to charge up your gear when you need it most. It features an onboard battery, which allows you to store energy for later use. It is suitable for charging smartphones, cameras, and other small electronic devices.

BioLite solar charger is designed with a slim profile and lightweight design, making it easy to carry around in your backpack or luggage. It also has a kickstand that can be adjusted to different angles, which allows you to position the solar panel for maximum sun exposure. It has an IPX4 rating, which means this device can withstand splashing water from any angle.

BioLite SolarPanel 5+ 2.0 also features an LED meter that displays the solar panel’s power output, as well as the battery level. This makes it easy to monitor the performance of the solar panel and make adjustments as needed. Its rugged and durable exterior makes it resistant to water and dust. This makes it ideal for outdoor activities such as camping and hiking.

ProsCons
  • Built-in power storage battery
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Design to withstand harsh outdoor conditions.
  • Multiple charging options
  • Limited power output
  • Limited battery capacity

7. SunJack 60 Watt ETFE Monocrystalline Solar Panel

7. SunJack 60 Watt ETFE Monocrystalline Solar Panel

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The SunJack 60 Watt Foldable Portable Solar Panel provides a high-powered and efficient source of renewable energy for outdoor enthusiasts, backpackers, hikers, and campers. With its foldable design, it is easy to carry and transport. It can be deployed quickly and easily to provide power to a variety of electronic devices, including cell phones, laptops, and power stations.

It is constructed using high-quality ETFE monocrystalline solar cells, which are known for their high efficiency and durability. This can significantly extend the life of the solar panel. It comes with a durable carrying case, so you can easily transport and store it when not in use. It is IP67 waterproof, so it can withstand heavy rain and splashes.

It also features multiple charging ports, including DC, USB QC3.0, and Type-C, which allow you to charge multiple devices simultaneously. Additionally, the solar panel is IP67 waterproof, which makes it resistant to water and dust, making it suitable for outdoor use in all weather conditions.

However, this model is a bit heavy, which makes it less suitable for backpacking and hiking. It is also relatively expensive compared to other portable solar panels on the market.

ProsCons
  • Waterproof design
  • ETFE monocrystalline solar panels
  • Multiple charging ports
  • Easily foldable
  • Heavyweight
  • Premium price tag
  • Large size when unfolded

Best Solar Chargers for Backpacking Buying Guide

Choosing the best solar charger for backpacking requires consideration of several factors. Here are some steps to follow before making the final decision:

  • Determine your power needs: Assess your power needs and determine how many devices you will be charging. Consider the types of devices and their power requirements to determine the wattage required for the solar charger.
  • Consider the solar panel efficiency: A solar panel’s efficiency determines how quickly it can convert solar energy into electrical energy. Look for a solar charger with high panel efficiency, so you can charge your devices faster.
  • Evaluate the weight and size: The solar charger should be lightweight and compact so that it is easy to carry while backpacking. Check the dimensions and weight of the charger before buying and ensure that it meets your requirements.
  • Check the battery capacity: The battery capacity of the solar charger is the amount of energy it can store. Consider how many devices you will be charging and how often to determine the battery capacity required.
  • Regulator/Controller: Solar chargers with built-in voltage regulators or controllers help prevent overcharging and ensure a consistent power output. This feature is crucial for protecting your devices.
  • Durability: Look for a solar charger that is durable and can withstand harsh weather conditions. It should be made of sturdy materials, and have some level of water resistance.
  • Price: Solar chargers come in a wide range of prices. Consider your budget and look for a solar charger that provides the best value for the money.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Here is a list of questions and answers people are commonly interested in.

How long does it take for a solar charger to charge a device?

The charging time depends on the capacity of the solar charger and the device being charged. It can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day to charge a device fully.

Can a solar charger charge multiple devices simultaneously?

Some solar chargers can charge multiple devices at once, while others may only charge one device at a time. It is essential to check the specifications of the solar charger before purchasing.

Do solar chargers work in cloudy weather?

Solar chargers can still work in cloudy weather, but their efficiency will be reduced. It is essential to have a solar charger with high panel efficiency to ensure that it can charge even in less than optimal weather conditions.

Can a solar charger overcharge my device?

Most solar chargers have built-in safety features to prevent overcharging of devices. However, it is always recommended to monitor the charging process and disconnect the device once it’s fully charged.

Can solar chargers store energy for later use?

Yes, some solar chargers come with a built-in battery that can store energy for later use. Make sure to check the battery capacity of the solar charger before purchasing.

How do I clean my solar charger?

To clean a solar charger, use a soft cloth or a brush to remove any dirt or debris on the solar panels. Avoid using harsh chemicals that can damage the solar panels.

Conclusion

When choosing the best solar charger for backpacking, consider factors such as power output, portability, charging capacity, durability, and price. The Anker, Goal Zero, and RAVPower are some of the best brands available. Choose a solar charger that meets your power needs. It must be durable and fit within your budget. With the right solar charger, you can enjoy a reliable source of power during your outdoor adventures.

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