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Best solar charger for backpacking reviewers and experts has collected 14 products, we scoured industry research, ratings and reviews to bring you the Solar Charger For Backpacking that you can choose…

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How to Choose the Best Solar Powered Hiking Charger

Electronic devices while hiking continue to grow, creating a demand for portable power solutions to charge these devices. As a result, portable solar panels have become the preferred power source. This article will help you choose the right mobile power technology for your adventure and travel needs.


Several power sources can be used to recharge an energy storage unit (battery) or your electronic device directly. The most common sources, from fastest to slowest:
AC power (wall outlet)
12V DC (car charger)
USB (any source: wall, car, computer, or even the Biolite stove)
Solar panel
Kinetic motion
Hydrogen fuel cell
To recharge your electronic equipment when it is away from wall outlets, vehicles, or USB ports, you will need a battery that can be restored by solar power or other means.


My Goal Zero Nomad 3.5 solar kit
This is the most common power source among backpackers. Consider using a solar panel for additional power if your electronics use exceeds the available energy stored in an extra portable battery.
Solar power is your best option for long trips when charging multiple devices.


Several popular solar panel options are available:
The panel only, rigid or semi-flexible
Panels with integrated storage batteries
Panels with separate storage batteries
The main variables to consider:
Surface area: the larger the solar panel, the more sunlight it collects and the faster it is converted to energy stored in a battery. While easier to pack, a smaller board takes longer to charge a battery. A larger forum is also ideal in winter, or when logistical constraints limit the amount of time you can be exposed to the sun. Charging times can vary from 4 to 16 hours of sunlight for the same battery, depending on surface area and lighting conditions.
Production capacity: Solar panels are rated in watts. The higher the number, the more electricity is produced during a given period.
Semi-flexible or rigid panels: Semi-flexible solar panels can be folded or rolled up for easy transport and open up to provide a larger surface area than many wooden panels. Also, consider the options for attaching a solar panel so you can safely attach it to your backpack, bike, kayak, or tent.


Switch 8: Battery (1000mAh) of the Nomad 3.5 solar kit
A solar power generator is best used to directly charge a storage battery rather than an electronic device. Why is this?
These power sources may not contain circuitry to regulate the flow of electricity to your electronic device, resulting in damage. Instead, check the manufacturer's recommendations; some solar panels offer a regulated USB output to charge small electronic devices directly.
An integrated storage battery offers the all-in-one convenience of a power generator to create energy and a battery to store the fuel for charging your devices later.
A separate storage battery offers the option of leaving the generator (e.g., solar panel) at home or the base campsite and taking only the battery.
If you buy a solar panel that comes with a storage battery, pay attention to the battery's specifications. This can be the most important part.


Here are my tips for choosing your hiking solar panel:

Rip length: A power bank may be sufficient for a weekend trip. However, once it runs out, it becomes a weight of uselessness. Hikes of a week or more will likely require a solar charger or another generator.

Tip: Fully charge your devices and power bank just before your trip. Even if you've done this for a few weeks, it doesn't mean they're still fully charged.

Mode of travel: For a solar charger to be effective, it requires prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. Some activities like bike touring and sea kayaking are well suited to solar charging. Hiking in the countryside may be appropriate if you orient the panel to face the sun. But if you're hiking under a deep canopy, there's not much point in attaching a solar charger to your pack.

Battery type: If your electronics use only AA batteries, consider a solar charger that can charge spare batteries quickly while others are used in the device. This way, you can rotate two batteries.

Tip: Avoid draining the battery completely from the device before charging.

Size and weight: All chargers take up space and add weight. Is it worth it? Do you need unlimited power, no matter what? Or is an emergency charge enough? The larger (and heavier) a battery is, the more storage capacity to provide multiple orders. For solar chargers, consider their built-in mounting points.

Batteries offer a supplement, not a guarantee. So don't assume that these products will provide a full charge to your device's battery.

All rechargeable batteries have a useful life generally measured in discharge/recharge cycles. Not all manufacturers provide this figure, but you can assume that a storm will have a minimum life of 500 cycles, up to a maximum of 1000 cycles.

Now that you know how to choose your hiking solar charger, you'll probably need my e-book "Your Guide to Safe Hiking" to go hiking without putting yourself in danger and to encourage you; I'm offering a 15% discount on it if you enter the code "evanela15" in the order page.


Stephen A Poirier
Stephen A Poirier
Stephen A Poirier has worked for more than 10 years at Best Machinery, where he has written on carpentry, masonry, painting, plumbing, electrical, woodworking, blacksmithing, welding, lawn care, chainsaw use, and outdoor power equipment. When he’s not working on his own house, he volunteers with Sovereign Grace Church doing home repair for families in rural, suburban and urban locations throughout central and southern New Jersey.