It is a long time ago that cell phones could last for weeks before they needed to be charged up. With the advances in technology for cell phones—smart phones are essentially small computers—it’s only logical that the battery needs to be charged more often.
If you’re like me, you’ve definitely had more than one “scary” moment when you realized that you needed to charge your phone but didn’t have an outlet you could plug your traditional charger into. For a while, my solution was to use a car charger, but that’s not always feasible. I didn’t like having to leave events to sit in my car and wait for my phone to charge.
Eventually, I overheard one of my friends talking about an outdoor portable charger. I did some research on my own and came across the concept of portable solar powered battery charges. So not only were the chargers portable, they ran on solar energy—a win win. I made it my little mission of sorts to find the very best outdoor portable solar powered charges for smart phones, and I hope this information will be useful to anyone with the same dilemma I used to have.
Benefit of Portable Solar Powered Battery Chargers
You might be wondering: why are outdoor portable chargers with solar power the better option at all? There are a lot of reasons why you should check these types of outdoor portable chargers out, but the most important can be broken down into three simple things: you can use them anywhere, they run on solar energy, and they’re more environmentally friendly.
The benefit I appreciated most at first was the fact that I could use a solar powered outdoor portable charger anywhere. In the car? Check. In a restaurant? Check. At the beach? Check. At my in-laws for dinner and too embarrassed to ask to plug my phone in? Check. There’s nowhere you can’t use a solar powered phone battery charger, and that gives you so much more freedom than standard chargers. I no longer have to fight for the coffee shop seats next to outlets!
I didn’t give much thought to the charger running on solar energy until I had used my first one for a while. Solar energy is powered by the sun, so all you need is some sunlight to get your charger working. The only downside—and it’s very slight, given the benefits—is that your phone will charge a little slower than it would with a regular charger. But it’s not very noticeable unless you’re the type to time your phone’s charging speed.
Another benefit that I didn’t consider until I had been trying out solar chargers for a bit was the environmental benefit. Solar chargers don’t require electricity, so you’re putting less of a strain on the environment when you use them.
Top 5 Solar Chargers for Androids and iPhone
There are a lot—and I do mean a lot!—of solar powered battery chargers for Androids and iPhone out there. But you don’t have to do any guesswork: I’ve done the grunt work myself and found the top 5 solar chargers for Androids and iPhone out there.
#1 RAVPower Solar Charger 15W Solar Panels with Dual USB Port
The RAVpower has everything I needed from a solar powered charger. It is waterproof, sparkproof, very high efficiency for a solar charger, and in fact can charge 2 different phones (or other USB devices, if you’d like) at the same time! What is special about the RAVpower charge is that it contains iSmart technology, which basically lets the charger change the current depending on the device–so if you have a smart phone and a mini mp3 player plugged in, it will divert more of the charging current to the smart phone since it requires more than the mp3 player.
#2: X-Dragon 14W Dual USB Portable Solar Charger
The X-Dragon has similar features to the RAVpower, although it is slightly less powerful–it can charge 2 devices, but it is really designed to charge 1 standard smart phone (such as a iPhone) and one smaller USB powered device. It has a sleek design which can fold up brief-case style, is waterproof, and is sparkproof as well.
#3: Poweradd 7W Solar Charger Portable Foldable Solar Charger for Android
If you’re looking for something more compact, the waterproof, sparkproof Poweradd is definitely a great choice. It’s about 9x6x.7″, which means that it can fit in backpacks and similar sized bags. I prefer to use the Poweradd when I am hiking because of the compact size–and because it can reach a 5V/1A current when it’s under direct sunlight, so it can pack a lot of power. It’s also one of the most compatible solar powered chargers out there, so if you camp or hike with groups, you may suddenly become very popular!
#4: Portable Outdoor Solar Power Bank with Mini Lamps
This is another charger that I find very handy for hiking, camping or any outdoor situation. This particular waterproof, sparkproof outdoor portable charger contains mini lamps which are ideal in emergency situations where your normal lighting (hiking flashlights and so on) aren’t working or aren’t accessible. This charger also has its own solar powered panel, so you can get an additional power boost in an emergency.
#5: The Goal Zero Yeti Solar Generator with Solar Panel
So the Goal Zero Yeti isn’t your typical outdoor portable charger—it is about the size of a small radio but its power is actually more of a solar generator than a simple charger. It can actually charge my laptop, my smartphone, or rechargeable lights–again perfect for outdoors! If you’re looking for something with more power than a standard phone charger, definitely keep the Yeti in mind. I like to take it with me on trips where I know I might be on my laptop in the car (don’t worry, I’m not driving!) and can’t stop to charge it using an outlet on a regular basis.