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* Celebrate Earth Day with these solar-powered chargers
* Just add sun and your tech is ready to use
* Portable solar panels for the tech-monger on-the-go
In the past, we have garnered a master-list of charging devices you need for the home and office, but we don’t want to leave out those who need to take their tech with them on their next great journey outside. In honor of Earth Day on April 22nd, we have put together four portable solar chargers for your laptop, phones and tablets—just add sun. The key to using these foldable and packable solar devices is to always charge them at home before hitting the trails and when you do need to charge on the go, you need to ensure they get direct and full sunlight on them to charge properly, so keep in mind the weather as you venture out into wild. From the Renogy portable panel great for backpacking (now offered at a super affordable reduced price) to the 12-volt charger from Giaride that can even charge your car battery, these are excellent options for the tech-monger on-the-go who needs an extra boost from the natural world.
1. Renogy E.Flex Portable Panel
The E.Flex is an excellent choice for weekend backpacking trips as it is a super lightweight and totally waterproof panel that can be used hands-free by clipping the included carabiners onto your backpack so the panel charges with direct sunlight while you hike. In addition, you can mount the panel onto a non-tinted window via the suction cups included for a secure set-up on the car or your building. You can even transport this in and out of the sun and it will pick up its charging capabilities once the rays start to hit it again without losing power when your device gets under shade. It is compatible with any USB device making it an accessible panel for many different types of tech users. They are currently 20% off on Amazon, making them only $19.99 and the most affordable option out of this roundup.
Weight: 8.7 ounces
Charging Capabilities: 5 watts; 5 volts.
2. Dostyle Portable Solar Power Bank
We love this hand-held power bank for its size and versatility. It comes with three ports for charging tablets and phones while off-the-grid and has a powerful LED light on the opposite side of the solar panel to light up your campsite or rescue mission if things take a turn. This device works best as a portable battery pack and should not be completely depended on for full capabilities via solar charge. When the device is charging in sunlight look for the green LED light to ensure it is working properly. It hooks nicely onto bags when running around town or the mountains for a hands-free way to get your charge on.
Weight: 10.4 ounces
Charging Capabilities: 1.5 watts; 5 volts; 6 hours to charge (at home).
3. Kingsolar Portable Panel
This is a heavier-duty portable solar panel that folds up really nicely into an easy-to-carry durable pack for longer trips outdoors. It is waterproof and scratch-resistant to protect the 12 panels when roughing it outside. It can connect most devices via USB and also has the capability to charge each device depending on how much power it needs, which minimizes wasted power output. One reviewer gave it an excellent review based on their use of it on a camping trip saying, “on a fairly cool day (about 60 degrees Fahrenheit) with bright sun and no clouds, at around 11am while the sun was not yet directly overhead, I was able to get 29 watts of power to my Jackery 160 battery. This was pretty impressive to me as that’s more than enough power to run my laptop while camping, which is why I bought this. The solar panel is pretty lightweight and when it’s folded I can easily slide it into the wide outside pocket on the back of my backpack.” Not to mention it will automatically start charging again when it is taken from the sun to shade, to the sun again, for more dependability.
Weight: 2.2 pounds.
Charging Capabilities: 40 watts; 18 volts.
4. Giaride Foldable Solar Charger
This is a much larger (and heavier) solar panel set-up designed for more rigorous charging on the road. With 12 solar panels integrated into the full panel and with 80 watts of power, you can even charge a 12-volt car battery, there are two ports for charging laptops and other USB devices. The brand says it outpowers the standard solar panels with a higher conversion efficiency rate to keep larger devices powered up through the day—as long as there is consistent sunshine. The weatherproof product comes with 10 laptop connectors, DC cable, USB cables, carabiners, cigarette lighter plug and a clip line for easy carrying.
Weight: 5.25 pounds
Charging Capabilities: 80 watts; 18 volts.