Nowadays, our lives revolve around phones, tablets, and other personal electronic devices. We use these gadgets to get directions, as a source of entertainment, and get in touch with others.
They bring us great convenience, but also some problems. For example, when traveling or hiking, we often worry that these electronic devices are out of power.
So, for those of us who enjoy venturing into the great outdoors, a solar charger can be all the difference.
A high-quality solar charger will power your devices and make sure they won’t run out of juice on your backpacking trips. In this way, you will stay online despite being miles from the nearest wall outlets or main grid.
Unfortunately, solar chargers are pretty novel gadgets, and not all of them are created equal.
Today, we’ve put together a quick guide to choosing the best solar charger for backpacking.
When you are ready to purchase, be sure to check out our picks for the solar charger below.
What Is A Solar Charger For Backpacking?
A solar charger for backpacking is a portable, compact photovoltaic unit that you can use to charge your devices on the go. It is typically an affordable solar system that captures the sun's energy and converts it into electrical power, which can be stored in a built-in battery for later use.
You can connect your phone, tablet, camera, GPS, or any other device to the solar charger, and it will juice them up with hours of electrical power.
The solar charger for backpacking is usually small in size and lightweight, making it easier to carry around in your backpack.
If you plan to go fishing, camping, hiking, or other long outdoor trips, investing in a solar charger for backpacks is worth it. But which one is best for you?
There are at least three kinds of solar chargers on the market today: Monocrystalline, Polycrystalline, and Cigs solar chargers. The choice will come down to your budget and energy requirements of your backpacking trip.
Buying a Solar Charger – What is Important?
Solar chargers are relatively new gadgets, and not many people know what to look for in a good unit.
So for that reason, we have compiled several essential factors you should consider when choosing the best solar charger for backpacking.
For instance, will the unit built to stand up to scrapes and bumps? Will it charge effectively in cloudy days or in partial sunlight? Does it have any outdoor safety and emergency features?
Let's find out how to look for a high-quality solar charger for outdoor activities:
#1: Types of the solar charger
Manufacturers offer three primary types of solar chargers, and each type comes with its own set of pros and cons.
a) CIGS Solar Chargers
Copper, indium, gallium, and selenide (or CIGS for short) solar chargers are the lightest of the bunch. You can easily roll them up into a tube and slide them into your backpack, which makes them highly portable and versatile. They also tend to be recharged better in partial sun or overcast than crystalline models.
On the flip side, they aren't too durable or long-lasting due to their thin design.
b) Monocrystalline Solar Chargers
Extra durable and rugged, Monocrystalline solar generators are the most efficient if the sun is shining. The newer models are pretty portable, lightweight, and foldable. They usually last longer than CIGS solar panels.
c) Polycrystalline solar chargers
Like Monocrystalline modes, polycrystalline solar chargers are the most durable option. They are cheaper, too, although they may be less efficient than monocrystalline solar chargers.
So, if you’re looking for a happy-medium and the best backpacking solar charger, settle for one of the Monocrystalline models.
#2: Power output
Figure out how much amperes your devices need and pick a unit accordingly. Most brands list the amps of each port on the charger.
The more wattage the solar charger has, the more powerful and faster it is to charge your electronics. The wattage can range from less than 5W in basic models to well over 100W in high-end solar chargers.
#4: Charging rate
Another thing to consider is the charging time of the solar charger. Of course, this will vary based on the device's energy requirements, battery size, and how intense the sun is.
Naturally, due to portability issues, you want to snag a lightweight solar charger for backpacking other than a bulky one that’ll weigh you down
Best Solar Chargers for Backpacking We Picked For You
Off the back of the considerations above, we have found the best solar charger for backpacking 2021 that you will love. They score well in terms of portability, charging time, power output, and wattage, plus they look fantastic and come from a trustworthy and beloved brand.
BLUETTI is an innovative solar brand that has proven time and time again that it can deliver top-notch products, and this 120-watt solar panel is no different. The reliable, powerful PV120 should be your go-to choice for its efficiency and durability credentials.
In addition, it is IP65-rated waterproof and crafted from scratch-proof material, meaning that you can use it outdoors for camping & hiking in wet conditions.
You’ll appreciate that these portable solar panels are super-lightweight at just 12.57 pounds, you can fold them down to a compact size for hassle-free storage. It’s fitted with two small holes to help you hang it up wherever it will capture the most sunlight. Overall, this is a great solar unit that will ensure your devices are always at full charge.
If the 120 watts delivered by the PV120 can’t meet your backpacking power needs, you can opt for the much-powerful BLUETTI SP200. It is one of the best portable charger that offers pretty much the same features – it's efficient, portable, lightweight, scratch-resistant, and highly waterproof, not to mention it boasts a transmittance rate of up to 95%.
Benefits of Solar Charger for Backpacking
Why should you invest your hard-earned money in a solar charger? What are the advantages of owning the best solar charger for backpacking? We have all the answers here:
#1: Designed and built with high durability for the outdoors
One of the biggest reasons to buy a solar charger is that these gadgets offer outdoors-ready durability. For instance, they feature anti-scratch materials, waterproof design, and other functionalities specifically meant for outdoor use when fishing, camping, hiking, mount-climbing, or backpacking.
Also, solar battery chargers are dirt-proof and dust-resistant with safeguarded charging ports. It is also not uncommon for solar chargers to withstand high levels of shock and impacts, helping them survive falls and drops.
#2: Portable and Lightweight
Solar charger is an ideal accessory for backpacking because it is portable, lightweight, and compact. In addition, they are so easy to pack in your backpack and carry around wherever wanderlust takes you.
#3: Free, renewable energy source
If you are an eco-warrior who doesn't want to create any impact on the environment, a solar battery charger is an excellent choice for backpacking. It will reduce your carbon footprint to nearly zero, making an environmentally-friendly way to juice up your devices on the move.
#4: Endless power in your backpack!
You won’t have to worry about finding an outlet when you have the best solar charger. Thanks to the foldable solar panels and a battery pack, you can expose your unit to the sun and charge your electronics at the ready.
#5: Improve charging capacity
Solar chargers come in a wide variety of sizes, wattages, and power output capacities. You will find models that deliver from 10000mAh up to behemoths that will produce 27,500 mAh or more. For this reason, you will have enough electric power to charge your tablet, smartphones, cameras, or even a drone, etc.
The best solar charger for backpacking can be a lifesaver when you’re outdoors camping, hiking, fishing, or even living off the grid.
It offers outdoors-ready durability, unlimited solar power, and significant charging capacity. You can use them to charge your mobile phones, tablets, flashlights and other devices, and never have to worry about your electronic devices running out of power.
But one thing needs to be pointed out: solar panels can only generate electricity and have no function of storing electricity. This means that you have to charge your devices during the day when there is sunlight and make them have enough power to support the next night.
Plus a solar charger is typically lightweight, portable, and compact, you can easily carry them. Solar power panels can greatly improve your happiness during travel.
1. Do solar chargers work for backpacking?
Absolutely! Most solar chargers come with a foldable solar panel and multiple USB ports, helping you charge multiple devices simultaneously during your camping, hiking, fishing, and other backpacking trips. Of course, the day should be adequately sunny. You may also consider your energy requirements so that you can buy the best backpacking solar charger.
2. What should I look for in a solar charger?
It is crucial to consider the solar charger's wattage, power output, weight, and portability. Don't forget to account for your backpacking power requirements. If your camera or drone requires 5,000A, then you should select a unit that will deliver enough power.
3. Do solar lights charge on cloudy days?
Yes, solar lights do charge on cloudy days. The charging efficiency of solar chargers is typically high during cloudy conditions because the temperatures are lower and more conducive for charging.