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The 3 Best Solar Phone Chargers

If you want to power up your phone while camping or traveling, the best solar phone chargers are game changers, as they eliminate the need for an external power source. You just connect your smartphone to charge it — even when there's no power outlet in sight. They're great for long outdoor treks and especially useful during emergencies, too.

Solar-powered phone chargers come in a variety of styles and vary in features, but there are a few important things to consider. The first is the power output and charge. Most smartphones require at least a 7-watt solar panel to reach a full charge. Also, make sure the USB ports on the solar charger have a minimum of 2.1 amp power (it's the standard for charging high-powered smart devices).

Connection and portability are other important factors. Some solar phone chargers only feature one or two USB ports for charging, while others provide multiple ports for all kinds of devices. Opt for the one that'll best suit your needs. And regardless of which style you choose, it should be easy to carry and pack away.

Below, find a list of the best solar phone chargers available to meet any outdoor charging need.

1. Best Solar Phone Charger, All Things Considered

JETSUN Solar Charger

$28

Amazon

Boasting a water-resistant and shock-proof shell, JETSUN's heavy-duty solar charger was designed for camping and backpacking. And of course, while it does have solar power functionality, it should be noted that due to its small size, the solar power is actually more of an auxiliary function. That means it's best to charge it via an outlet in advance, then rely on sun as a supplemental power. But considering its compact size, charging power, and amazing price, this option is probably best for most people.

This high-powered, 16,750-milliamp-per-hour solar power bank includes a hook so you can easily hang it on your backpack to charge. It delivers 83.75 watts per hour for a full charge, plus you can power up to two devices simultaneously with its 2.1-amp power output. For added safety, it has two built-in LED lights that function as a mini flashlight as well as four charging indicator lights that'll let you know when your power is running low.

What fans say: "Wow. An easy 4 stars for the product. I bought this charger for my hike to Machu Picchu and boy did I love it! I was able to charge my phone, headlamp, friend's phone, sister's headlamp and still have one notch on the bus ride back."

2. Best For Lots Of Devices

BigBlue 3 USB Ports 28W Solar Charger

$63

Amazon

If you want to power up even more devices, the BigBlue solar charger is a great option. With three USB ports, compared to two in the one above, it delivers 28 watts of power — that's 5,600 milliamps per hour — to quickly supercharge most iPhones (it's compatible with the iPhone 5 and beyond) and Android smartphones on the go. The ports on this charger feature Smart IC technology to automatically detect the connected device and provide the right amount of power.

With its folded design, this 33.1-by-11.2-inch solar charger can easily collapse to fit into your backpack or emergency kit. Similar to the option above, it has a buckle strap for hanging on your bag or tent.

What fans say: "This worked better than I expected. My phone has a crappy battery and I recently went hiking in Zion National Park. We spend the entire day without power and at the end of it I had a well charged phone."

3. Best Splurge

X-DRAGON Solar Charger

$115

Amazon

X-Dragon's foldable solar charger is a powerful 40-watt solar charger capable of charging at 8,000 milliamps per hour. It features dual USB ports with 2.8-amp power outputs, but it also has an 18-volt DC output for charging laptops, warranting its higher price. Like the previous option, it has built-in Smart IC technology to automatically deliver the appropriate amount of power when a device is connected.

The integrated SunPower makes it more efficient than standard solar chargers, plus its Oxford fabric is waterproof. What's more, it comes with all the required cables and connectors.

What fans say: "Used this charger on my recent camping trip through Colorado, Utah and Nevada. I went with the larger capacity with this unit and was very happy as to how fast it charged by Nexus 6P and kids iPhone 5s. It unfolds/fold quickly and had loops to hold it in place while your charging."

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