Portable chargers and battery banks are incredibly useful devices for anyone who is traveling or constantly on the go.
Below is a list of the top three solar panel battery banks along with their descriptions to give you an idea of which ones would be good purchases.
|Ranking||#1 Best Overall||#2 Best Features||#3 Best Budget Option|
|Model||FEELLE Solar Power Bank||Qi Portable Charger||Yelomin Portable Charger|
1. FEELLE Solar Power Bank
|Large battery (25,000mAh)||Nothing to hang it with|
|Fast solar charging from its 4 panels||No light indicators for charging|
|Water resistant, dustproof, & shockproof||More expensive than the other options|
The FEELLE Solar Power Bank is the top choice on this list for the best solar panel battery bank.
These come in black, blue, and orange, with orange being a slightly cheaper option than the other two colors.
This solar charger also has a built-in flashlight. This LED flashlight includes three light modes which are “steady”, “SOS”, and “strobe”.
To start, this solar panel battery bank has a safe, reliable, and powerful li-polymer (lithium-ion polymer) battery.
Lithium-ion batteries are generally safer and more reliable than other types so this is also a good feature to look for.
This battery, specifically, has a capacity of 25,000mAh, going well beyond the recommended minimums. The battery is able to withstand many life cycles and should last you about 5 years.
One key standout feature of this solar charger is that it actually has four solar panels instead of just one.
Having four solar panels allows this solar panel battery bank to charge much more quickly than other models.
In fact, it is able to charge about 3-4 times faster with solar energy than most other solar chargers. For a full charge, this takes about 25-30 hours of direct sunlight.
Another nice feature is that you can charge devices using this battery bank while the battery bank, itself, is charging.
The FEELLE Solar Power Bank has two USB ports to allow you to charge multiple devices at once as well.
In general, phones will take 1-1.5 hours to charge and tablets will take 2-2.8 hours to charge. This bank is also able to power devices multiple times on a single charge.
For example, it can charge some phones between 5 and 10 times, an iPad Air 3 times, etc.
In addition to its fantastic battery, this solar panel battery bank is also quite durable. It has a waterproof design to protect it from damage by water, snow, and frost.
It is also protected against dust and shock (being dropped, kicked, etc.).
2. Qi Portable Charger, 10,000mAh
|Wireless charging feature||Small battery|
|Splash-proof, dustproof, shockproof||Takes a long time to recharge from solar|
|Comes with flashlight & compass||Max output power is about 10W|
This solar panel battery bank has a lithium battery with a 10,000mAh capacity.
This is the lowest of the solar panels on this list, but it still falls within the recommended minimum range.
This battery, having a lower storage capacity, does not last as long as some of the others featured on this list. That said, you still get a pretty decent amount of power out of it.
For example, you would get about 2.2 recharges for the iPhone 7 Plus, 2.3 for the iPhone X, and 3.5 for the iPhone 8.
The Qi charger is compatible with a wide variety of devices. This includes USB charging options as well as the Qi wireless technology.
This is a wireless charging option that is convenient and simple to use. To charge your device wirelessly, all you need to do is simply lay the device on the back of the solar charger.
This connects the device with the solar charger wirelessly and allows its power to transfer from the charger to the device.
Please note that, in order to use this feature, the device, itself, must be Qi-enabled. So this will not work with all devices. The Qi charger is compatible with a wide variety of devices. Some of these include:
- iPhone: 8, 8 Plus, X, 7 Plus
- Samsung Galaxy: Note 9, S9, S9 Plus, Note 8, S8, S8 Plus, S7, S7 Edge, S6, S6 Edge
- Nokia 9
- Nexus: 4, 5, 6
- Lumia 920
Recharging the power bank
The battery can be charged in three different ways, including solar, micro-USB, and USB-C. With solar charging, you would need about 55 hours of direct sunlight.
With the 5V/2A adapter, you are looking at about 6 hours for a full charge.
This solar panel battery bank is durable enough to withstand most of what comes in its way.
It is made from ABS plastic which is also IPX4 splash-proof, dustproof, and shockproof.
This solar charger does not have a lit panel like some of the other models but it does have a nice dual-flashlight feature.
This purchase is also unique in that it comes with a complimentary compass kit, making it a great choice for those who enjoy adventure sports.
3. Yelomin 20,000mAh Portable Outdoor Mobile Charger
|Inexpensive||Max USB output power is only 10W|
|Splash-proof, dustproof, shockproof||Compass awkwardly placed|
|Large battery||Slow solar recharging|
That said, it is still a great solar charger that has good use for anyone needing a quick power source on the go.
Battery details & recharging the power bank
This solar panel battery bank runs on a lithium-ion battery that can last for 900+ life cycles. You can either charge this battery using a USB wall charger or with solar power.
Using the USB wall charger would take about 3-6 hours for a full charge while solar charging would take 10+ hours. Please note that the USB cable that comes with this solar charger should only be used for this solar charger.
Using it for other devices may damage those devices or this cable due to incompatibility issues.
You can use the two USB ports to charge two small devices (like phones) at once or a single large device.
Larger devices, such as tablets, are recommended to be charged one at a time. With a single device, you can either have 5V/2.1A or 5V/1A output depending on the specific USB port you use.
When charging two devices at the same time, you will have 5V/1A output in both ports.
This solar panel battery bank has a strong build made from ABS, PC, and silicone materials.
These materials help to protect the device from rain, dust, and shock. It has an IPX4 water resistance rating.
It also has intelligent security protection as well as protection from over-current, over-voltage, overloading, and short-circuiting.
You can track the charging progress using the five pilot lights located at the top of the solar panel.
Green indicates that you are charging with solar energy while blue indicates that you are charging with a USB connection.
The number of lights illuminated will also give you a rough idea of the charge level so you can easily determine when it is fully charged.
This solar charger has two LED flashlights at the top with “steady”, “SOS”, and “strobe” light modes.
This charger also comes with an attached carabiner as well, so it is really easy to use this accessory during outdoor activities.
How Do I Charge My Solar Phone Charger?
You can charge your solar phone charger by using electricity from a wall socket. Besides, you can also use a solar panel to charge the solar phone charger.
When using electricity or solar panels, you need to make use of a USB charger.
Here are the steps to charge your solar phone charger using electricity:
- Plug the solar phone charger into a USB charger.
- Ensure that the other end of the USB is plugged into your wall socket.
- If you are not making use of a wall socket, you may plug the USB into your computer.
- Observe the LED indicator (usually in most solar phone chargers).
Depending on the solar phone charger model, the led indicator may stop blinking, indicating a full charge.
If you’re charging your solar phone charger via a solar panel, then the process differs.
Here are the steps to follow to charge a solar phone charger with a solar panel:
- Place the solar phone charger in a suitable position to attract direct sunlight.
- Monitor the indicators to confirm the charge progress
The LED indicator may stop blinking, indicating a full charge.
Portable Power Banks – What To Look For Before Purchasing
Portable power banks have become a key asset in the family of phone and electronic chargers.
The main point of these batteries is to charge your devices while on the go when you do not have ready access to a power outlet.
Whether you’re biking, at a sports game, or hiking/backpacking, portable power banks are important for people on the go and who need some extra power close at hand.
In recent years, power banks have stepped up their game in a wide variety of ways.
Let’s get into the details.
Element #1 – Features of Battery Banks
Other than simply charging your device, there have been many innovations to assist with where you’re taking your battery. This includes:
- Battery charge status indicators
- Onboard flashlights
- Water-resistant and rugged housings for the battery
- Built-in solar cells to charge the battery on the go
- Versatile outputs
Element #2 – Battery Capacity
This is one of the most crucial areas to look for when considering the purchase of a portable power bank.
The battery is measured in mAh or milliampere-hours and is an important aspect to consider because it shows you how much juice is in the battery.
For example, chargers range from anywhere from 2,000-30,000mAh.
Explained – Milliampere hour (mAh) rating
Let’s say you had a battery that had 10,000mAh.
When charging a device like an iPhone with this battery, you can charge your phone about 7-8 times over before the battery bank runs out of juice.
Now, if you have an iPad, the standard charge brick that comes with it is rated to handle 2.1 amps, so you can charge your iPad or tablet of similar size for about half the time as an iPhone (5 hours or 3.5-4 times with a 10,000mAh battery).
It’s important to know these measurements to decide which devices you’re going to need to charge while you’re either off the grid completely or without access to a wall outlet for a while.
If you have a tablet, they take more current out of a battery so they will probably need a larger portable power bank to charge it up.
It all depends on what you’re charging.
Element #3 – Charging Rate
With a standard USB 5 Volt output on most portable power banks, the charging rate is typically 1-2 amps or a little more than two amps.
The higher the amperage, the faster your phone or device will charge up.
But you need to make sure that the device you’re charging and the power cable attached can run at a higher current as well before charging.
BEWARE: Some battery banks will give an absurd number of amps on the label or description. For example: “5 amps” or something high like that.
This means that the total amount of amps is spread across all of the ports, so if there are three USB ports, then this means that each port has about 1.7 amps, or that one port is stronger than the other port (2 amps on one port, 2 amps on another, and only 1 amp on the third). Don’t be fooled by these little marketing techniques.
An example of this amperage spread across port options can be found in my article on solar chargers for cell phones.
In the middle of my post, I give three top solar panel chargers and you will see that two of the three options have limits on their amperage “spread” when charging multiple devices.
You can find this post right here: How Long Does It Take a Solar Charger to Charge a Cell Phone?
Overall, these are the main factors to consider before looking to purchase a portable battery bank.
Obviously, it’s easy to get lost in the sauce of all of the different batteries out there, but if you want a battery that will be reliable and sustainable for a while, knowing these measurements are crucial.