Best Solar Power Banks on the Market
Have you ever experienced getting ready for work in the morning, and then as you step outside and prepare to leave, you find out that your phone’s battery is only at 1%? Forgot to charge it the night before, huh? Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. While some people can easily charge their phones in their car, not everyone has their own vehicle. How about at work? Well, most companies don’t allow the use of mobile phones during work hours. Want to know how to solve this problem? It’s simple: use a power bank!
Did you know that the first power bank was invented in 2001 by a bunch of college students? This power bank was first presented at the Las Vegas International Consumer Electronics Show. It consisted of Double A (AA) batteries and a piece of control circuit connected together. It looks nothing like the ones that we know and use now. In around 2006 to 2009, more companies became more interested in creating portable charging devices for mobile phones.
Fast forward to 2020 where people are more aware of the negative effects of the excessive usage of electricity, and most of them now opt to use solar power banks instead of the conventional ones. But how different is one from the other? Read on and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about solar power banks: their uses, advantages, and disadvantages.
What Is a Solar Power Bank?
A solar power bank is a compact and portable charging device that utilizes the sun’s energy as an alternative to electricity generated from fossil fuels and gases. Conventional power banks work by plugging it into an electrical power source, which charges its batteries. Once fully charged, it can then store enough power to charge other portable devices such as mobile phones or tablets. A solar power bank, on the other hand, works by absorbing solar energy through the use of PV or photovoltaic cells, converting the said energy to electricity, and then storing it in a battery.
Most solar power banks are so small and compact that it can fit into a person’s pocket, but don’t underestimate its size and capabilities. Not only is it easy to carry, it’s also not as heavy as other power banks. And since this device relies on solar energy, it doesn’t require charging adapters or electric outlets. It just needs a few hours of sun exposure and it can hold up electricity that can power up and recharge your cellphone’s battery to its full capacity. Smartphones have been a large part of our lives for a long time now thanks to their multi-functionality. What better way to recharge your gadgets than to use a solar powered charger?
How to Choose a Solar Power Bank
With so many brands and types of solar power banks being sold in the market today, choosing one over the others is no mean feat. This is why you have to be wise about your choice before clicking on that checkout button. Let us make things easier for you by providing some pointers on what to look for before purchasing or considering purchasing this product.
There’s no denying that most of the time, we look for the brand name of a product first before checking its value and true purpose. There’s nothing wrong with that since most of the popular brands we know would not have made it big if the products they sell are of poor quality. So if you’re pretty particular with brands, then some of the famous solar power bank brands to look out for are Feelle, Hiluckey, Beartwo, Goertek, and Hobest.
Let’s face it, when we go out of town or on a vacation, we usually bring one or more gadgets with us. We often keep not just mobile phones but also tablets, digital cameras, or portable gaming consoles on our person. In this case, it is best to get a solar charger with multiple USB ports to maximize its charge. If it has two ports, then surely it has more power to fully recharge more than one device.
This refers to the amount of power or voltage that the power bank can provide to recharge an electronic device. It pays to know the power output to make sure that its voltage is compatible with your phone or tablet to fully recharge it. It will also help in finding out if the solar powered charger will meet the requirements that your phone needs to sustain its juice.
Size of the bank
This simply refers to the actual size of the solar charge bank. For people who don’t like carrying a large bag or purse all the time, there are power banks that are the size of a conventional smartphone. But for those who often go on adventures or are always in the great outdoors, then there are a few larger choices that can easily be slipped into your backpack.
The capacity is clearly one of the most important aspects to look for when purchasing a power bank. This factor is what separates one item from the other. The capacity is identified as the mAh or milliampere per hour. What it means is that the higher the milliampere per hour, the more power it will produce to fully recharge your devices.
Since a solar power bank is often used outdoors, it is advised to choose one that’s made with durable materials to make sure it can stand the test of time or wear and tear. Most solar banks are waterproof, so it should survive harsh weather like heavy rainfall or snow. Only get those that are made of excellent quality materials so that you can get your money’s worth.
It refers to how hot the power bank becomes when it gets charged. Since this one uses energy from the sun, then you can expect it to heat up during sun charging hours. Check if the charger has the capacity to overheat, which is usually when it gets too hot to the touch.
Top 5 Best Solar Power Banks
To assist you further on your quest to finding a solar power bank that will suit your needs, we have listed the top power banks on the market today so you won’t have to do the research on your own.
5. GoerTek Solar Power Bank 25000 mAh
Are you looking for a solar charger that can recharge and keep your mobile phone’s battery full for at least five to seven charges? Then this one is what you need. With 25000mAh capacity, you won’t have to worry about missing that important phone call. Its dimensions are 7 by 3.8 by 1.1 inches and it weighs 1.18 pounds.
This solar powerbank is perfect for people who enjoy outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, mountain climbing, and many other activities. This is not only because of its high capacity, but also because the ABS material used on this product is both sturdy and environmental-friendly. Another great feature of this device is that it has 36 built-in LED lights that one can use as a night light or flashlight. How cool is that?
- Has 3 USB ports
- IPX 6 waterproof
- Has two charging methods: solar or using a DC5V/2A adapter
- Compatible with both IOS and Android phones
- Has charging light indicators
- Takes 3-7 days to get fully charged via solar
- Heavier compared to other power banks
4. Hiluckey Solar Charger 26800 mAh
Need an even bigger and more powerful solar charger that can re-juice your gadget’s battery ten to twelve times? This might just be what you’re looking for. Its total weight is 1.21 pounds and product dimensions are 6.9 by 3.46 by 1.18 inches. This charger is also very useful for those who love the great outdoors.
Worried about sleeping in the dark? Don’t fret, this solar power bank can be used as an emergency light with its built-in LED lights that are so bright that its light can reach up to 33 feet. It even has an SOS mode that can be of great help during terrifying situations. One more thing worth mentioning is that this power bank is compatible for devices that utilizes both micro-USB and USB C. Talk about flexibility!
- Multiple USB ports
- Fast charging
- Water, dust, and shockproof
- Can also be used to charge a laptop
- Solar charging function can only be used for emergencies
3. Beswill 8000 mAh Solar Charger
If you’re someone who hates travelling with big bags or purses, then you might want to consider Beswill’s solar charger. It does the job well in charging your mobile devices without the hassle of carrying such a bulky or heavy power bank. This one is great for people who don’t necessarily go on many adventures outside but just want to make sure that their phone has enough juice to keep up with their daily needs such as calling, texting, surfing the internet, etc.
What’s nice about this one is that it weighs a meager 7.8 ounces – that’s less than a pound! If you’re using an IPhone 6s, this solar charger can recharge your phone up to eight times. What’s not to like about that?
- Lightweight and compact
- Has 21 LED lights
- Has 3 USB charging ports
- Made with ABS material that makes it durable and shockproof
- Takes 7 days or longer to get fully charged through solar
- Small capacity
2. BEARTWO Portable Solar Charger 10000 mAh Ultra
It’s tough to find power banks that can survive heavy downpour or extreme weather conditions. Luckily, Beartwo’s powerbank is made for just that. This product is considered as one of the most durable power banks being sold today. With its IP67 build and rugged design, you can be sure that it won’t slip off your hands even when it’s raining cats and dogs.
Even though this one looks ruggedly durable, you’ll be surprised at how small and light this charger is – it weighs at only 7.4 ounce! Not only that, it can charge two devices simultaneously with its 10,000mAh capacity. And just like the other power banks that we’ve mentioned, this one also has a built-in flashlight if you hate the dark.
- Small and lightweight
- Compatible with IOS, Android, and Windows phones as well as tablets and GoPros
- Fast charging capability
- Has a built-in security sensor that prevents overheating or overcharging
- No specifications as to how long solar charging will take
1. Blavor Qi Portable Charger 10000 mAh
Finally, Blavor Qi’s portable charger is what we consider as the best power bank today due to various reasons. One is that it boasts 10,000 mAh charging capacity, but what surprised us the most is its wireless charging option. Yes, you read that right: wireless charging! This feature is compatible with both Apple and Android phones that have wireless charging capability, which is great.
Another thing is that the power bank itself can be fully charged in six hours via the 5V power adapter while solar charging can be used during emergencies. And if you’re going on an outdoor trip, you can use this charger as a lamp with its dual flashlight feature. There’s also no need to worry about unplanned beach or swimming trips since this charger is IPX4-certified, which means that it’s splashproof, shockproof, and dustproof! What other proof could you possibly look for?
- Sturdy and durable
- Tangle-free charging
- Multiple USB ports
- Comes with a compass kit
- Solar charging depends a lot on sunlight intensity and panel conversion rate
Pros and Cons of Solar Power Banks
Some things are just too good to be true, and this can also be said about solar power banks. Every item or product has two sides: its pros and cons. Here we have listed some of the advantages and disadvantages of solar chargers to help you decide on whether you’d like to get one or not.
- Its main purpose as a backup charging system
Plain and simple. A solar power bank is mainly used as a backup power source. When you’re out and about, you can’t always find a power outlet where you can plug your phone in, and this is when a solar charger is most helpful.
- Low to no maintenance cost
Since solar charging relies on solar energy, which is infinitely free, it means that it costs almost absolutely nothing to maintain and keep the charger working.
- Clean and sustainable power source
With the utilization of solar energy, we are limiting the usage of electric power that’s generated from fossil fuels and harmful gasses that slowly inflicts irreversible damage to our ecosystems and ozone layer. Not only is solar power absolutely clean, it’s completely renewable and sustainable as well.
- Expected return on investment
Solar power banks are made for the long haul. Unlike consuming electric power that results to constant increase on electric utility bills, a solar powered device does not require any payment during use. You’ll only have to purchase it once and you can utilize it all you want with no additional cost.
- Charging time can suffer during bad or extremely harsh weather conditions
Since electricity often gets cut off during a storm or heavy snowfall, most people rely on solar power banks. Unfortunately, during these times, it’s almost impossible to get the power banks to charge when the sun is not out or completely hidden.
- There’s no chance of getting solar charge overnight
Unlike conventional power banks that you can plug in and leave to charge while you sleep, solar chargers have to stay exposed to the sun for long hours to get fully charged.
Whether you’re someone who has fun doing outdoor activities or just somebody who is always busy and has no time for other things, both can benefit from a durable and reliable solar power bank to keep your gadgets or mobile devices fully juiced up to serve your needs. If you’re planning to live off the grid but still want to be updated with what’s happening elsewhere, then you can get the most out of a solar charger.
Aside from the great benefits we can get out of solar power banks, it is nice to know that the environment can benefit from it as well. If we continue to limit the usage of greenhouse gases and fossil fuels to power up our electronic devices, we can definitely see a brighter future to look forward to. A future that’s clean and away from the dangers of climate change and extreme changes in weather conditions.
So if you’re up for all of that, then take that first step to living green by considering purchasing a solar charger today. It’s definitely a small step, but we all need these tiny first steps so that we can reach our goal. And that goal is to keep our environment alive while we strive to survive.