Camping is a perfect way to escape reality, the built-up cities and the fast-paced lifestyle that is not uncommon for most of us.
However, it does make sense to keep some element of contact with the real world, in terms of electronic devices, for example, a mobile phone in case of an emergency or a situation whereby you need to contact someone. Unfortunately, it isn’t practical to completely disconnect ourselves.
When camping in remote areas, keeping our electronics powered can sometimes be a challenge, and there have been numerous devices made that have attempted to provide the best charging possibilities over recent years and the technology has made remarkable advances.
There are, in fact, so many devices on the market that choosing one can sometimes turn into a difficult task, especially because of the array of technical jargon used.
Here are some of the best portable, compact, easy to use and reliable solar charging devices out there.
A small and well-built device that boasts its dust, shock and waterproof qualities designed specifically for outdoor use.
It even has a built-in emergency LED light that works in strong, probe and SOS modes as well as a battery pack that can save the power from the panel for use at a later time.
The dual inputs allow for Micro USB and USB-C ports to be used simultaneously and devices can be charged multiple times from one single charge.
It is a great option for avid campers using cameras or drones, that need a solar charger capable of providing a lot of power.
The solar panels do take approximately 80 hours to fully charge, however that is no surprise considering the power it can hold.
|Charging Times |
iPhone 8: 9.3 times
iPad mini 4: 3.3 times
Samsung Galaxy S8: 5.6 times
|Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 8.9 x 3 cm ; 549 g|
Boxed-product Weight: 680 g
Batteries 1 Lithium ion batteries required.
|– Perfect for a weekend away camping|
– Karabiner clip is a great addition
|– Needs charging before you go away|
– Can take a while to recharge (especially if using solar power)
Polaroid SP50 50W
This slightly large sized- device has an amazing 4 solar panels totalling to 50 watts of output power to charge any device, mobile storages or portable batteries.
It has a DC port and comes packaged with several cables and adapters that will allow for easy connection.
Because of its large size, it is probably best to consider how easy it will be to transport to your chosen campsite, as it is not as compact as other devices.
However, it is still lightweight, so if the backpack is large enough, it shouldn’t be an issue.
|4 High Quality Monocrystalline Solar Panels|
12.5 Watt per Panel
1x DC Power port
|Product Dimensions: 29 x 2.5 x 35.5 cm ; 2 Kg|
Boxed-product Weight: 15.2 Kg
Item model number: SP50
|Great battery life|
|Not the cheapest on the market|
Anker 15W PowerPort
A fast charging solar charger that is ideal for backpacking and camping trips, and ideal for charging portable battery packs which can then be used to charge multiple devices.
Its design allows for extremely easy transportation and can even be fitted to backpacks whilst hikers are on the move, which is great if you are walking during the midday sun as it still allows the pack to be powered.
This lightweight powerhouse of a solar charger is a great option for the budget campers.
|Use the sun to charge your devices|
|Product Dimensions: 46 x 28 x 0.4 cm ; 354 g|
Boxed-product Weight: 522 g
Item model number: A2422011
Chargers fast on sunny days
|While it has two USB ports, it can only charge 1 device at once in good sunlight|
Goal Zero Nomad 7 Plus
This device is probably one of the most suitable options for campers and hikers that will be spending time in locations that are prone to rain.
It has waterproof features, it is lightweight, built with high quality materials and has a good power output.
It features a dynamic auto-restart and can optimise the power output to suit different devices that are plugged in.
The useful LED indicator is designed to display information regarding the strength of the solar condition that the device is placed in, allowing users to receive feedback on
It is perfect for charging mobile phones directly as well as small devices and 10-30-watt rechargers.
By using some of the highest efficiency cells on the market, Goal Zero is one of the most competitive products on the market.
This device is constructed with a built-in smart IC chip which is able to identify each ports device and maximize its charging speed to suit, resulting in a fast charge, almost a speed which is comparable to being plugged into a wall outlet.
It contains a 21 SunPower panel with a power conversion rate that provides enough power to charge two devices at the same time. It is compatible with all iPhones, tablets, GPS devices, cameras and pretty much any USB-supported devices.
It has a beautifully compact and sleek design and has a well-designed mesh pocket where your phone or tablet can be placed whilst being charged that will shade it from the sun.
Whatever solar charger you decide to go for, remember that the secret to maximising its power is the positioning and aligning with the sun. Each location, time of day and environmental conditions will be different, so have a play around and see what works best.