Power your devices with the sun: 12 great solar chargers
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Surfr iPhone 6
This charger was made for the iPhone 6/6s. It’s a protective case with a built-in solar charger and a 2,700 mAh battery pack. It’s even pretty slim for a charging case, at 14.8 mm thick. It can also be charged by a conventional wall outlet. Price: $79.99.
Array Solar Backpack
The 10-watt solar panel on the outside of this backpack powers the battery inside, which can charge a smartphone up to seven times. The battery has one USB port and comes with a variety of adapters so it can charge almost any laptop. Price: $379.
Cobra CPP 300
This solar charger is perfect for a weekend camping trip, with a three-output USB, dual solar panels, fold-up design, and 6000mAh lithium polymer battery pack. Price: $79.95.
Nomad 7 Plus Solar Panel
This lightweight, foldable solar panel can be attached to the outside of a backpack for charging USB devices on the go. It also comes with a kickstand to hold it at the optimal angle for solar charging. Price: $99.99.
Brunton makes several versions of the Explorer, in five, 10, and 20 watt panels. It’s lightweight, folds up, and charges almost any kind of device via USB. Price: Varies, depending on number of watts; 20 watt charger is $174.99.
Make your own
Someone at MAKE Magazine decided to build his own solar charger by using a dollar store garden solar light and USB cord. It isn’t meant to charge your phone very quickly, but he wrote that it could be good for MP3 players or other small devices. Price: $3.
SunVolt is a larger solar charger that is made to charge several devices at once. It has two USB ports and a connector port you can upgrade through Gomadic’s TipExchange system to find the right connector for your gadget. Price: $99.95.
Bushnell offers two models of this flexible solar panel that rolls up like a scroll when not in use: The 400 is fully solar charged in 3.5 hours, and the 250 charges in 6 hours. Both models work even if it’s partly cloudy. Price: the 400 model is $213.95, and the 250 model is $154.95.
Instapark Mercury 10
The Instapark Mercury 10 is a 10-watt high-efficiency portable solar charger for your devices and is compatible with most tablets and smartphones and has dual USB chargers and it’s foldable, so it’s ideal for camping and hiking trips. It measures at 9 X 6 X 2 inches. Price: $64.90.
Xcellerator + HUB
The Xcellerator plugs into the HUB battery, which can fully charge a phone in about 90 minutes. According to the manufacturer, the solar panel is designed to work in even low light conditions. Price: $120
This tablet-shaped solar panel has two USB ports and a micro USB port. It can charge an iPhone in an hour and a half and an iPad in four hours. Price: $97.
Aimed at the music festival-going crowd, this backpack is arguably a bit more stylish than other brands. Three minutes of sunlight gets a phone a 1% charge when plugged into the built-in USB port. Price: $99.99 – $124.99