Best Solar Power Banks 2018 – Reviews And Top Picks

Imagine you are alone during the day, maybe you are camping out or driving on the road. Then, something bad happens and you look to see your phone is dead. Thankfully, you planned ahead and made sure to pack a solar power charger. Of course, getting the wrong solar power bank can leave you in just as bad of a spot as having no solar power bank.

That is why we have put together a list of the 10 best solar power banks. We have made a convenient chart and provided a helpful buyer’s guide as well. We personally feel the Kiizon is the best, but there are others with better features for different people or purposes.

  • Kiizon
  • Rating:
  • Capacity: 25k mAh
  • Weight: 408 g
  • Compatibility: Output – 2.1 USB, 1 USB Input – 2.0 micro USB
  • Wooyhn
  • Rating:
  • Capacity: 24k mAh
  • Weight: 350 g
  • Compatibility: Output – 2.4 USB x3 Input – Apple Lightning, micro USB
  • RAVPower
  • Rating:
  • Capacity: 10k mAh
  • Weight: 130 g
  • Compatibility: Output – 2.1 USB x2 Input – 2.0 micro USB
Name
Capacity
Weight
Compatibility
Price
Name
Capacity
Weight
Compatibility
Price
β„–1
25k mAh
408 g
Output – 2.1 USB, 1 USB Input – 2.0 micro USBShow More
β„–2
24k mAh
350 g
Output – 2.4 USB x3 Input – Apple Lightning, micro USBShow More
β„–3
10k mAh
130 g
Output – 2.1 USB x2 Input – 2.0 micro USB
β„–4
24k mAh
385 g
Output – 2.1 USB, 2.0 USB, 1 USB Input – 2.0 micro USBShow More
β„–5
10k mAh
250 g
Output – 2.0 USB, Qi Wireless Input – micro USB, Type-CShow More
β„–6
50k mAh
300 g
Output – 2.1 USB, 1.0 USB Input – 1.0 micro USBShow More
β„–7
10k mAh
350 g
Output – 2.1 USB, 1.0 USB Input – 1.0 micro USBShow More
β„–8
20k mAh
320 g
Output – 2.1 USB, 1.0 USB Input – 1.0 micro USBShow More
β„–9
30k mAh
320 g
Output – 2.1 USB, 1.0 USB Input – 1.0 micro USBShow More
β„–10
15k mAh
350 g
Output – 2.1 USB, 1.0 USB Input – 1.0 micro USBShow More

Kiizon is a fairly new company with less than one full year since its founding, and while not all of their products have been hits, their solar power bank is surprisingly impressive. It may not necessarily wow you with top of the line specs, but neither will it disappoint in any meaningful category either. For instance, this power bank has a maximum capacity of 25k mAh which places it just above the average for our list.

Capacity
25k mAh
Weight
408 g
Compatibility
Output – 2.1 USB, 1 USB Input – 2.0 micro USB
PROS

Has 2 outputs;

Has a 25k mAh capacity;

Has LED flashlight signaler;

Is easy to use;

Charges devices quickly;

Is well-protected;

Great solar panel.

Cons

The heaviest power bank reviewed;

Slow solar charging.

Like most of the companies on our list, Wooyhn is actually fairly new to the market with recent advancements in small solar and lithium-polymer storage technologies. As the only solar power bank on our list with a lightning input, this is easily the best solar power bank for Apple products. One of the more unusual is a USB-powered fan to keep you cool on hot, humid days.

Capacity
24k mAh
Weight
350 g
Compatibility
Output – 2.4 USB x3 Input – Apple Lightning, micro USB
PROS

Has 3 outputs;

Has a 24k mAh capacity;

Has a USB fan;

Has Apple Lightning and micro USB inputs;

Quick device charging;

Has circuitry Multiprotect.

Cons

A heavier solar power bank;

Poor solar charging.

RAVPower is one of the few companies on our list that has managed to extend its presence beyond online open marketplaces like Amazon. The RAVPower solar power bank may have some of the lower specs on our list, but that is because the RAVPower focuses on portability instead. In this case, the RAVPower power bank is the lightest we saw, and the comparison is not even close.

Capacity
10k mAh
Weight
130 g
Compatibility
Output – 2.1 USB x2 Input – 2.0 micro USB
PROS

The lightest power bank reviewed;

Has 2 outputs;

Has a capacity of 10k mAh;

Has LED flashlight signaler;

Is easy to use;

Decent charging speed.

Cons

Not as much capacity;

Divides amperage between outputs.

Be-Charming is definitely a bit unique in that it is the first company we reviewed which makes literally but one product. This does provide some advantages in that they can alter the basic design and paradigm of the product without recourse. In this instance, one of the big differences Be-Charming made was to include 3 usable output ports.

Capacity
24k mAh
Weight
385 g
Compatibility
Output – 2.1 USB, 2.0 USB, 1 USB Input – 2.0 micro USB
PROS

Has 3 outputs;

Highly device compatible;

Has a capacity of 10k mAh;

Has LED flashlight signaler;

Is easy to use;

Decent charging speed.

Cons

A heavier solar power bank;

Divides amperage between outputs.

Blavor seems to recognize how the Internet of Things will eventually develop and designed their power bank to reflect that. This has led to the Blavor providing a high-end build quality, but their main advantage is in the future and future-proofing their power bank. Specifically, the Blavor offers the best connectivity options while also providing a good construction build that is both lightweight as well as IPX4 waterproof.

Capacity
10k mAh
Weight
250 g
Compatibility
Output – 2.0 USB, Qi Wireless Input – micro USB, Type-C
PROS

ABS+PC+Silicone;

Has Type-C inputs;

Has Qi Wireless charging;

A lighter power bank;

Has a USB output;

Has body clip.

Cons

Few output ports;

Ports are iffy.

KaruSale does not specialize in any particular market, but they do still top the list in a number of specs. For instance, this is one of the few power banks we reviewed with an IPX4 waterproof rating. On top of that, the actual components seem to work better than many competitors–especially for the charging capacity and charging time, the most important qualities.

Capacity
50k mAh
Weight
300 g
Compatibility
Output – 2.1 USB, 1.0 USB Input – 1.0 micro USB
PROS

A lighter power bank;

Has 2 outputs;

Is very portable;

IS IPX4 waterproof;

Has a 50k mAh capacity;

Recharges quicker than most.

Cons

“Extras” are iffy;

Mediocre internal components.

Errbbic may sound like a mispronunciation in freezing temperatures, but the company does understand what the market standards are. That is especially important for the best budget solar power bank since you should not expect top of the line performance. Instead, you simply want a product that can do everything that defines its purpose, even if it does so at a lower level.

Capacity
10k mAh
Weight
350 g
Compatibility
Output – 2.1 USB, 1.0 USB Input – 1.0 micro USB
PROS

Has dual outputs;

A less expensive power bank;

Has a built-in compass;

Has a 10k mAh capacity;

Has a body clip;

Is IPX4 waterproof.

Cons

A heavier solar power bank;

Not the best capacity.

Taoxiwave is by far one of the newest companies on our list, and like some of the other solar power bank manufacturers, they specialize exclusively in this product line. This allows them to provide a more nuanced product, and in this instance, the Taoxiwave has seen the major flaw in solar power banks. Most of these products are glorified batteries that can only kinda draw on solar power to recharge their cells.

Capacity
20k mAh
Weight
320 g
Compatibility
Output – 2.1 USB, 1.0 USB Input – 1.0 micro USB
PROS

A lighter power bank;

Has a 20k mAh capacity;

Has a body clip;

Has LED lights;

IS IPX4 waterproof;

Has a 260 mAh solar charger.

Cons

Slower to recharge;

Extras are iffy.

Jeep Informant is a bit odd in that they are officially sponsored by the automotive manufacturer Jeep, but they are also their own separate entity. Since Jeep owners happen to be outdoorsy people, the Jeep Informant made sure to build their solar power bank durable as well as easy to carry around. That is why we have rated the Jeep Informant solar power bank as the best outdoor solar power bank that we saw whether camping, hiking, or just getting lost.

Capacity
30k mAh
Weight
320 g
Compatibility
Output – 2.1 USB, 1.0 USB Input – 1.0 micro USB
PROS

A lighter power bank;

Has 2 outputs;

Has a 30k mAh capacity;

Is IPX4 waterproof;

Has a body clip;

Easy to use.

Cons

Slower to recharge;

Poorly written instructions.

Though they may be less than a year old, Elzle has still managed to put together a respectable lineup of niche electronic accessories and peripherals. While we cannot speak on their other products, this power bank actually sports the brightest LED flashlight mode that we saw. Truth be told, the competition was not even close as the Elzle has triple the LED bulbs that the next closest competitor sports. Keep in mind, LED bulbs are incredibly energy efficient, so the tradeoff is worth it.

Capacity
15k mAh
Weight
350 g
Compatibility
Output – 2.1 USB, 1.0 USB Input – 1.0 micro USB
PROS

Has 2 outputs;

Least expensive power bank reviewed;

Has a 15k mAh capacity;

Has a body clip;

Has superior solar panels;

A less expensive power bank.

Cons

A heavier solar power bank;

Not the most durable.

Buyer’s Guide – How to Choose a Solar Powerbank

Advantages and Disadvantages of solar power banks

Easily the primary benefit of a solar power bank is the ability to provide a steady, controlled source of electricity anytime, anywhere. It does not have to get too terribly more complicated than that, though the “solar” descriptor does highlight the second advantage. So long as you have access to the sun, there is almost no limit to how much electricity you can both generate and distribute to your various devices.

The major drawback for a solar power bank is its physical presence. Batteries are actually incredibly inefficient–even today. This means that every battery of every type will be larger and heavier than you would prefer and this includes solar power banks. If you want storage of any meaningful capacity, you are going to have to accept a bit more encumbrance. That said, the size and weight of solar power banks are rarely unmanageable.

Charging capacity & how long does it take to charge?

For the charging capacity, there are few ways around the maximum energy capacity of the battery cells. These cells are generally Lithium-Ion batteries, so they can hold quite a bit of energy. That said, the power cells are still sensitive to damage, temperature, and often inclement weather. It is also worth noting that while the charging capacity may steal the show, the charging time is what generally makes or break a solar power bank in practice.

The charging time can refer either to the amount of time it takes to charge one of your devices or the amount of time it takes to charge the solar power bank. Keep in mind, solar power generation is always the least efficient and should only be used in case of emergency. In terms of charging either the solar power bank or your devices, the issue will hinge on the input and outputs. Basically, these points create a bit of a bottleneck with maximum energy transfers rarely exceeding 0.5 volts at 2.1 amps.

Weight & size

This is fairly important depending on what you need the solar power bank for. If you are an outdoorsy type of person, then a solar power bank is an excellent emergency backup. Of course, outdoorsmanship requires an efficient approach, one that may not always have the space to give a luxury like a solar power bank. In this instance, the lighter and smaller power banks will probably be preferred despite their lower charging capacity.

On the other hand, if you live your life either in the office or in your house, the solar power bank’s size may not be that big of a deal to you. Chances are, if you use this item, you have a tendency to treat it a bit like a luxury item. It is liable to see most of its use during vacations, perhaps camping or at the beach. There may even be a domestic moment where a power bank really pulls through, but by and large, this person forces the use of a power bank rather than needs one.

Water resistance

More and more power banks are beginning to be manufactured with some form of water resistance. That said, it is important to note that by design, a solar power bank can never be 100-percent waterproof. If a power solar bank suggests that it is IP67 or IP68 waterproof, you need to read the fine print very carefully to figure out what they actually mean by that. The primary issue is that a power bank is a device which physically connects devices to transfer electricity.

So long as those ports remain open for use, a power bank will always have a weakness and a weak spot to water. That said, some manufacturers have done the best they could with the physical limitations at their back. In this instance, numerous brands are adding covers to the various ports and openings.

While not truly waterproof, this arrangement will regularly achieve water resistance ratings of IPX4 or IPX5. These ratings are more than sufficient for a light splash or even a short exposure to rain. Keep in mind that most of the true waterproofing often comes in the form of covers that protect ports from exposure to water. If you leave these covers open, you often lose all waterproofing to the device. This means rarely will you be able to charge a device and simultaneously keep the solar power bank waterproof.

Gadget compatibility

Most devices use one of a few types of inputs and outputs with the most common being some form of USB. It is worth noting that the numbers used in this article reflect the USB ports amperage, not its version. As such, it should be assumed that all USB ports are version 2.1 or lower, though few manufacturers provide those specifics.

The alternative to this comes from proprietary devices which is most common amongst Apple products. That said, there are also newer forms of connection which allow a significantly higher transfer of energy. The Type-C connection is the newest and quickly gaining popularity with larger devices like tablets and laptops.

Portability

Outside of the weight and size dimensions, the primary thing that determines a solar power bank’s portability is its design. Some power banks feature a body with a clip point. Other power banks will even include a carabiner to make sure that the body clip gets used. Still, there are few features designed to seriously increase the portability of a power bank.

Additional features (LED flashlight, multiple USB ports etc.)

There is a litany of features that come with power banks, but the majority of them are either useless or meant for particular circumstances. LED lights are great if you have no other light source, but that is a fairly unlikely scenario in its own right. Some power banks will include minor bells and whistles like a fan or compass, but these are mostly gimmicks and not worth basing your decision on.

One feature that may come to be seen as necessary in time is the Qi Wireless charging feature. However, multiple input and output ports of different types is also a great feature. Though you will want to make sure that the charging ports do not create an amperage bottleneck for charging either the power bank or your devices.

Conclusion

As we can see, there are plenty of great solar power banks to choose from, but which is right for you will depend on your particular needs. We personally recommend the Kiizon due to attention placed on the internal components and the build quality. While it may not have the greatest specs that we saw, it is the most reliable and longest lasting on our list.

If you are looking for a solar power bank that costs a bit less money but still provides a decent experience, we recommend the Elzle. Granted, this power bank does lack for some of the higher-end specs, but for the price, you will not find a more reliable or better built solar power charger. Moreover, this power bank has one of the better solar panels that we saw.

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By Chris Hayes
about author

My name is Chris and I am a hunter, outdoorsman, survivalist of 36 years old from Bosie, Idaho. Being a participant of Ihea-USA, I like big game hunting most of all, especially hunting white-tailed deer. Except hunting, I’m also keen on fishing and gaining new knowledge how to survive in the wild nature. As a professional hunter, I do not stop improving upon own hunting skills and testing new gear, equipment, hardware and weapons. I write articles to share my experience and knowledge with the readers who motivate me for more. For any additional information contact me at [email protected]