Best Solar Charger
My best pick solar charger for sale in the UK (October 2020).
#1 Pick: Overall Score = 97%
#2: Best Rated Runner-Up
#3: Best Customer Feedback
Solar Chargers: A Buyer’s Guide
With so many of us dependent on technology, it makes sense that we often need to charge our gadgets while on the move. Think about how many times you’ve been left with a phone that’s running out of battery, and you’re somewhere new or strange! Losing contact with friends or family can be scary. Therefore, if your phone or tablet is notoriously losing power very quickly, it makes sense to invest in a power bank. Power banks are fairly common on the whole – but have you considered buying a solar charger?
A solar charger, as you may expect, lets you harness the power of the sun’s rays. This means that, providing you take your charger with you while the sun’s out, you can always expect it to power up! It’s a great way to make sure you always have enough power when on the go. Otherwise, you’d need to make sure that your charger is charged up, too. It can be a bit of a nightmare to manage!
In this buying guide, we will look carefully at solar chargers, and will consider everything you need to know about buying this portable tech for various purposes. If you’re likely to be on the go a lot, or if you simply depend on your phone, then you might find buying a solar charger a cost-effective investment.
At the end of the guide, as always, we will take you through some commonly asked questions that shoppers pose while searching around online. Who knows – you may find the answers to all your queries!
Why Buy a Solar Charger?
A solar charger is a portable battery booster you can always rely on. Can’t get to a socket any time soon? Running out of battery on your phone, and need to keep in touch? Then you’re going to need extra juice you can boost up again and again. Solar chargers are hugely popular with campers, hikers and even those working in remote locations. It’s always easy to just plug in your phone or tablet and just give yourself an extra charge or two on the go.
Solar power, for as long as the sun still burns in the sky, is always available. Therefore, it’s a never-ending source of power. Rather than spend money charging up your phone or device through a socket, or on endless replaceable batteries, it makes economic sense to charge up from the sun! It’s also a responsible choice, of course, as you’re not depending on power or energy derived from fossil fuels. You’re getting your juice directly from the sky.
Solar chargers will normally get their power over a day in the sun, meaning that you can leave them to store power and then run for a set period. They work in a very similar way to solar panels and their batteries. What’s more, they are thought to be very long-lasting. Therefore, you can generally depend on a portable solar charger to withstand months and years of use without having to buy new batteries or finding new sources of juice.
It may be easier to find sockets on public transport these days, for example, but think about what you’d do if you’re out in the wilderness! What if your phone drops down to 1% battery power, and you’re in the pitch black in the middle of nowhere? Before mobile phones, we all coped differently. But in the modern age, why should you have to put up with this kind of inconvenience?
Things to Compare
Of course, there are always going to be a few things you need to compare when it comes to solar chargers. You shouldn’t just look for a charger that runs on solar power! Here are a few things we think you should keep in mind, especially when it comes to investing in the best charger for your money. What makes a good solar charger great value for money?
Charging Times and Power
One of the first things you should look for in solar chargers is the timings. How long will it take a charger to fully power up? Once it’s up to speed, how long will it last? How much power can it give your phone? Do you need to leave it plugged in? These are all good questions to ask. Thankfully, most of them will be answered in product marketing and descriptions. Therefore, do read through what you’re buying carefully, and – as we always say – check what verified buyers have to say!
Durability and Protection
As you’re likely to take solar chargers out and about, it makes sense that you should prioritise durability. You can tell a durable product sometimes just from the build quality in photos. However, you should also look for brand recognition, buyer reviews, and IP ratings. An IP rating will tell you how resistant your charger will be against water, dust, debris and more. If you’re going camping or walking in all weathers, for example, you’re going to need a charger which will withstand a lot, if not everything that Mother Nature is going to throw at you.
You’ll find that there are plenty of solar chargers out there which are built from fancy materials. These may cost you more, however, they may also offer you more protection. Therefore, it’s worth thinking carefully about how much money you’re putting aside.
By their very nature, solar chargers are generally portable. However, you’ll need to think about size and bulk. Bulkier units may be easy to carry around if you have a vehicle or a backpack, but what if you’re travelling light? You can buy solar chargers which will comfortably fit in your pocket. It may be worth, for example, looking for a charger which is slimline, and which you can slide into your jacket for ease of storage. Portability is going to be key if you need power on the go. It’s a real no-brainer!
It’s always a good idea to check connectivity. The best solar chargers will, on the whole, have USB ports. This means that you should be able to connect smartphones and devices which use micro USB and lightning connectors. Naturally, depending on the make of phone or tablet you want to charge, this is going to vary.
You can, however, also charge laptops and Macbooks in a similar way. Therefore, be sure to look for solar chargers which have multiple connections, so that you can really diversify what you juice up. You should also look for a charger which can power up multiple devices and systems.
Frequently Asked Questions
Buying a solar charger may not be as simple as it seems. Therefore, it’s worth looking at what other potential buyers have to say when it comes to finding the best tech for your money. Before you go ahead and buy anything, here are a few queries which people are already asking while on the hunt for solar chargers.
Does Brand Matter When Buying a Solar Charger?
Sometimes, yes. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t find a bargain or two. If there are some brands or manufacturers you feel you can trust over others, it is always worth going with your gut. Make sure to see what people have to say about lesser brands, though, because – as mentioned – you might just find yourself a sleeping bargain if you’re lucky.
Can Solar Chargers Drain Batteries Overnight?
One problem some people face with solar chargers is the fact that some models can lose battery power overnight, as they sap. However, some models have reverse current technology built-in. This means that they will not actively waste battery power while their units are not in use. This means you can expect such chargers to give you all the juice you need from the moment you wake up. However, you may need to invest more money in these types of devices. Be careful!
How Does a Solar Charger Work?
Much like solar panel batteries, solar chargers work by capturing rays from the sun and converting them into stored energy. It’s a common misconception that solar chargers will only work while the sun is out. Providing there is natural light, even if it is cloudy, you can store battery power. You can then unleash this for use at night, too. Solar power stores battery life, it doesn’t stop working when the sun goes in.
How Much Do Portable Solar Chargers Cost?
You may be able to pay as little as £30-£40 for a good solar charger. However, for the best technology and most reliability, it may be worth holding out for bigger, more expensive models. Of course, you need to consider value for money. How often will you use your charger? How many features do you actually need?
Naturally, there are many people out there considering solar chargers, which means there are plenty of questions to ask! However, we hope we’ve helped to make the shopping process a little easier on you. Take a look at the best tech available and make sure to read user opinions, too.