The best solar chargers in the UK 2023

Free and inexhaustible, solar energy is on the rise. Join the useful to the ecological gesture by buying a solar charger. To save you hours of research, the BigBlue B406-EU is the best model on the market. Its main advantages? Its power, portability, intelligent charging system and high conversion capacity.

BigBlue B406-EU 1

Best value for money

BigBlue B406-EU

The best solar charger in 2021

The lightweight BigBlue B406-EU solar charger provides plenty of power despite its small size. It features a 10-in-1 connector for charging up to 10 devices at the same time.

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The BigBlue B406-EU is an 80W USB solar charger with a DC port and a 60W DC output. It features 18V solar panels giving it versatility. Where other models excel, this one does better with its many ports, including USB, QC 3.0 fast charging, DC and 45W Type-C.

This solar charger is designed for 12V rechargeable batteries. It is ideal for emergency backup and remote use. Its accordion-shaped photovoltaic panels are foldable and promise a large surface area. Thus, it will be easier to capture the slightest radiation of the sun.

Poweradd Apollo 2 2

Best value for money

Poweradd Apollo 2

The best entry-level solar charger

Discover the best solar charger for small budgets! The Poweradd Apollo 2 meets the basic power needs for users who find themselves outdoors without access to an electrical outlet.

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The Poweradd Apollo 2 is the first hybrid solar charger! It is the best ally for adventurers looking for a device that is both efficient and inexpensive. Its other features? Its 2 LED flashlights with different operating modes, including a constant normal light, a flashing light and an SOS mode.

In addition, it has a lighter which is essential when you are in the wilderness (to light a fire or a cigarette for example). The technical aspect does not propose less, because this waterproof solar charger has a capacity of 12 000 mAh as well as a double USB output compatible with iPhone, smartphone and Android tablet, etc.

BigBlue B442-EU 3

Best value for money

BigBlue B442-EU

The best high-end solar charger

The most powerful solar charger of our comparison, the BigBlue B442-EU displays 120W. Portable and foldable, it also seduces thanks to its MPPT technology, essential for a faster charging.

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With its MPPT control box, the BigBlue B442-EU has the ability to offer fast charging, more efficient than a PWM controller, with 30% more efficiency. Its broad compatibility is a result of its 4 ports, including USB, USB fast charge port with a maximum power of 18W, DC port and 60W Type-C power supply.

Ideally used as an emergency backup, the BigBlue B442-EU remains a credible alternative when power fails. Smartphones, iPads, tablets are all supported by this solar charger. With its overheating and overcharging safety systems, this model is sure to please.

Anker PowerPort Solar 21 W 4

Best value for money

Anker PowerPort Solar 21 W

A great value

The Anker PowerPort Solar 21W is one of the best selling solar chargers on the market! Popular for its performance, it is a model that also offers an excellent price/performance ratio.

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Are you unable to part with your smartphone or tablet, even in the most remote places? In that case, you will need a reliable solar charger to ensure that your battery never runs out. The Anker PowerPort Solar 21W has just the right features for these needs.

Compatible with various types of electronic devices, it has two 2.4A USB ports and a high power of 21W. Thanks to these parameters, you have the possibility to charge two devices simultaneously without fearing any overload. These panels are covered and protected in a sturdy and extremely waterproof canvas. Another thing? Its size and weight make it an easy charger to handle and carry, whether open or folded.

Buying guide • November 2023

Best solar charger

Any specific needs?

The best solar charger in 2021

The best entry-level solar charger

The best high-end solar charger

A great value

Your guide : Samuel

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Comparison table of the best solar chargers

BigBlue B406-EU 5
Poweradd Apollo 2 6
BigBlue B442-EU 7
Anker PowerPort Solar 21 W 8
BigBlue B406-EU
Poweradd Apollo 2
BigBlue B442-EU
Anker PowerPort Solar 21 W
The lightweight BigBlue B406-EU solar charger provides plenty of power despite its small size. It features a 10-in-1 connector for charging up to 10 devices at the same time.
Discover the best solar charger for small budgets! The Poweradd Apollo 2 meets the basic power needs for users who find themselves outdoors without access to an electrical outlet.
The most powerful solar charger of our comparison, the BigBlue B442-EU displays 120W. Portable and foldable, it also seduces thanks to its MPPT technology, essential for a faster charging.
The Anker PowerPort Solar 21W is one of the best selling solar chargers on the market! Popular for its performance, it is a model that also offers an excellent price/performance ratio.
Smart charging
Waterproof solar charger
Charger using MPPT technology
PowerIQ Technology
Portable and foldable
Built-in LED light and lighter
High conversion level thanks to its smart chip
PET panel durability
10-in-1 connector
Large capacity battery
Too bulky for mobile use
Easy to transport

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Buying guide - solar charger

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How to choose your solar charger

Everyone knows that a solar charger uses the sun's rays to charge devices or store energy in its cells. What is less well known is that it is important to choose carefully before buying this type of charger. Here are the criteria of choice to take into account for a successful investment.

#1 - The power

The power is a priority criterion for choosing a solar charger as it defines the capacity of the gadget in terms of efficiency and speed. You will find on the market, models whose power varies between 5 and 25 W, even more. While those of 5 to 10 W are effective for charging small electronic devices such as mp3 players, you will need more power to charge a smartphone or a tablet. To do this, bet on a solar charger of 15 to 21 W which for the most part, has between 2 to 4 charging ports. Finally, for energy-hungry electronic devices (laptops, radios, digital cameras ...), the best would be to choose a solar charger with a power of 25 W and more.

#2 - Range and charging speed

An excellent autonomy and a good charging speed are essential to have a sufficient amount of charges when connecting the device to the solar charger. When it comes to autonomy, be aware that the higher the capacity of the device, the longer it will last. To say that a solar charger is autonomous, you need a capacity of about25 000 mAh, able to charge 3 to 5 times a low consumption device (mp3 player, smartphone, tablet, USB flashlight, Bluetooth speaker, etc.). As far as charging speed is concerned, you will notice that the more light there is from the sun, the more likely it is that you will be able to power your solar charger quickly. Nevertheless, it is well known that the type of photovoltaic panel integrated in a solar charger is very small. Thus, it will take at least6 to 8 hours of exposure to the sun for your gadget to be fully recharged. Since this is therefore entirely dependent on weather conditions, hybrid solar chargers are recommended, as they can also be plugged into the mains.

#3 - Connections

To charge your device, the solar charger must of course be equipped with connectors to deliver a voltage ranging from 5 to 18 V for 2 to 3 amps. Usually, the models are equipped with USB ports to connect traditional devices such as cell phones, tablets as well as GPS. However, you'll need a solar charger that offers other types of outputs(micro USB or USB Type-C) to be able to connect a laptop or even a camera, unless you have an adapter. In addition, you'll note that conventional models only have one or two inputs, while those that are largely sophisticated allow you to charge up to eight electronic devices of various kinds.

#4 - Height and weight


size and weight of a solar charger is systematically based on uses, although it is recommended to choose a space-saving model to use


Are you an eco-friendly and self-consuming person who plans to use your solar charger for domestic purposes? You can always opt for a large model like the foldable solar panels that can be recharged quickly thanks to their larger sun exposure area. Conversely, nomads will preferportable, compact and light models

that can be carried everywhere (in a pocket, in a pouch, in a backpack...).

#5 - The resistance

Solar chargers are mainly recommended to be portable in an urban, rural or remote environment (in the middle of nature, in the mountains, at the water's edge...). If you intend to use it during a trip or a camping, put a word of order on the resistance of your solar charger. For example, choose a waterproof gadget and resistant to moisture, weather and dust. Likewise, we recommend that you choose a model made from sturdy shock- and drop-resistant materials.

#6 - Additional features

Are electronic devices undergoing major revolutions? The same goes for solar chargers, as manufacturers are no longer content to offer simple-to-use devices. In addition to charging their devices, users also benefit from other built-in features such as a :

  • Lighter
  • LED lamp
  • Display of consumption and number of connected devices
  • Qi technology that consists in charging devices without using cables
  • Batch of accessories included (mounting brackets or carabiners, extension cord, adapters...)

How does a solar charger work?

In practice, the solar charger is a type of miniature photovoltaic panel that is very useful for recharging various devices such as a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop ... Depending on the device, you will need between 6 to 12 hours of exposure to the sun to get a full charge. Hybrid models are powered both by the sun and by an electrical outlet.

A well thought-out design

Similar to a photovoltaic panel, the solar charger is however smaller in size. Their mode of operation remains the same. The panels are made of silicon (semiconductor), which captures the sun's rays and converts them into energy. It has received a special treatment consisting in the introduction of impurities in the silicon in order to increase the conversion capacity of the latter. The photons will be put in contact with the electrons of the device. Released, the energy contained in these electrons evolves in current before being put in reserve in the battery of the solar charger.

More sunlight means more energy

The amount of energy stored depends mainly on the intensity of the sunlight. If there is a lot of heat, the battery will charge faster. The same is true for the power, which varies according to the charging time. The longer the charging time, the more powerful the battery (depending on the total area of the photovoltaic panels). As a rule, 6 to 12 hours are sufficient for a maximum charge. Although charging via an electrical outlet takes an average of 4 hours, the use of sunlight can be more advantageous as it is relatively environmentally friendly.

Solar charger or USB battery?

Solar charger

The simple solar charger has advantageous properties such as its large charging surface (portable photovoltaic panel) which can efficiently capture the sun's energy. In addition, this type of charger can have several panels to speed up the power supply. In other words, the bigger the better! However, don't hesitate to choose a foldable model to ensure portability and manageability.

The hybrid solar charger is the option that most users turn to. Since it has a built-in battery, it can be powered by the mains and does not necessarily need the sun to be fully charged. This device then performs its functions properly and can be used anywhere like ordinary chargers. However, once the battery is depleted, and if the user still does not have access to electricity, a solar charge is in order. Unfortunately, the process can be very long and of poor quality as the solar panels that equip this type of charger are too small.

USB battery

A USB battery allows you to be as autonomous as possible during your stay (preferably for a short period). Unlike the solar charger, it is impossible to recover energy with this type of charging device. Its operation is quite simple. You store energy from home by connecting it to a power source or by USB on your computer.

It is no bigger than a pack of cigarettes. Thanks to the accumulated energy, it serves mainly as a backup battery. It is also compatible with all devices that charge via USB such as a smartphone, a tablet, an onboard camera like the Go Pro Hero8 Black or a GPS watch. The number of possible charges depends on the capacity and model of the battery.


Instead of opposing them, why not combine the two devices? If you're going to be hiking, on a business trip, trekking or in the mountains for several days, it's best to invest in a solar charger. Indeed, where you will go, you will not always be sure to have a source of electricity available. The sun will serve you better since it is more economical. However, a USB battery can do the trick if your stay is short. Just think about its capacity and the number of charges it can provide.

Why buy a solar charger?

Practical wherever you are

Whether you're out in the wilderness or sitting comfortably in your chair, solar chargers can be used at any time. The only condition: they must be charged to work. So remember to put them in the sun even as it starts to rise to take advantage of its rays. These are the flagship gadgets of hikers and campers who usually venture into remote areas without any power source.

If the network is well accessible, there is no risk of being cut off from the world via a smartphone or PC. Running out of battery power in the middle of an outdoor meeting or on public transportation? Solar chargers are still essential and will save you in case of extreme emergency.

Free to use

Even if the acquisition and installation of green energy equipment are expensive, they are more economical in the long run and everyone knows it. This is one of the reasons why many English people are converting to energy independence. Thanks to a solar charger, you have the possibility to reduce your monthly expenses, as it is of course a free energy source. So, if the weather is in your favor, you can enjoy it as much as you want.


Respect for the environment is a big term that has been making noise in recent years. The major players are now bringing to the forefront thousands of devices and accessories that promote a healthier and less polluting lifestyle. By using a solar charger, you participate favorably to the ecology and in favor of the environment especially since this device no waste.

Essential in case of power outage

It is clear that power outages are part of the daily hazards that we are forced to face. Fortunately, there are far more economical ways than generators and generators to get power in case of emergency. Of course, power-hungry appliances will have to wait until the power is restored to work again. For small electronic devices, you can always use your solar charger to charge them until the power comes back on.

Compatible for distress signals

While early solar chargers were not very functional, these days it is more common for them to have an LED light. In addition to illuminating in the dark in the wilderness or in case of power failure, they are unbeatable gadgets for issuing distress signals. The LED lamp can be adjusted in several positions and offers different lights to make an SOS call (stroboscopic mode or intense light flash).

The best brands of solar chargers

In our opinion, the best brands of solar chargers in 2022 are :


Specializing in the field of batteries in all forms, the brand, having emerged around 2011, will only offer you products that are as reliable as they are affordable.

The GRDE brand is a leader in the world of solar chargers. As one of the best sellers of the moment, its models are often a reference. You will appreciate the quality of design of its articles as much as their quality/price ratio.

An American company specializing in the manufacture and sale of various items such as headlights, lamps and solar chargers, BigBlue was established around 2007. The brand is known for the performance, quality and price of its products.

Established in the 2010s, Poweradd is among the most economical brands on the market. Its solar chargers are at the forefront and remain accessible to all budgets.

Anker is always keen to satisfy its customers and offers a range of high quality products. It has been able to distinguish itself by the robustness, longevity and reliability of its models, including solar chargers.

What is the price for a solar charger

The diagram below will help you to get an idea of the typical prices for each price range (entry-level, mid-range and high-end).

However, more expensive does not necessarily mean better.

We therefore advise you to always consult our ranking before deciding, rather than blindly relying on price ranges.

20 £ to 75 £
75 £ to 200 £
more than 200 £
Price range diagram


Take care of your solar charger

Although quite resistant, your solar charger requires a good maintenance to be able to serve you longer. First of all, you should clean it regularly with a damp cloth to optimize its capacities. If you have just exposed it to the sun, do not use water that is too cold to avoid thermal shock. Then, be sure to protect it from drops that could damage it.

Put it in the right place

The location of your solar charger is going to play a big role on the efficiency of the charge. It should be placed in a location that is exposed to the sun for most of the day. If it's in the middle of the garden, make sure your pets or children don't wander around it at the risk of crushing it. If it's by a window, consider installing it vertically to catch the sun's rays as best as possible.

Always refer to the weather forecast

Before you take your solar charger out, always look at the weather forecast beforehand. So, if ever the weather looks cloudy, you will not take the risk to expose your charger. Indeed, it would be a shame if your device is caught in the rain and is damaged.

Place your smartphone in the shade

When charging your smartphone with a direct solar charger, the latter is the only one that requires exposure to sunlight. So be sure to put your smartphone in the shade to avoid any risk of overheating. You can cover it with a cloth or cardboard, for example, or place it behind a bush.

Combine your solar charger with an external USB battery

If your solar charger doesn't have a built-in battery to store the energy produced, consider combining it with an external USB battery. That way, you'll be able to charge your devices even when there's no sunlight. It's also the ideal option if your devices prefer a constant current, which isn't always possible with direct solar power.


Is it possible to charge devices even in cloudy weather or with artificial light?

A solar charger is only charged quickly and efficiently in direct sunlight. The modules generate enough power for a certain charge even under less sunlight and even under a halogen lamp, but it takes much longer.

How long does it take to charge a phone with a solar charger?

It takes about 25 to 30 hours under ideal conditions to fully charge the power bank via solar power and with a full charge, it can charge most mobile phones about 12 times or more. The performance of the solar panels and the battery are what sets this solar power bank apart, but its excellent design should also be mentioned.

Can I leave a solar charger on all the time?

A solar charger is a tool that uses solar energy to charge various devices. These low power charging devices are great for charging smartphones, laptops or tablets. They can be left plugged in all the time, providing an outlet for these devices at home without using grid power.

Why don't the chargers have a battery?

USB solar chargers are direct solar chargers. With these devices, the charging current in a connected device depends directly on the light irradiation. In full sunlight, the charging current is as high as the specified maximum current of the solar charger. In a battery-buffered solar charger, often called a solar power bank, the internal battery current flows into the terminal and is usually much higher than the charging current of the solar module. In most cases, these solar modules are much smaller and have less power than direct solar chargers.


Note: Below are some of the sources we have consulted in writing this article. Links to other sites are not continuously updated. It is therefore possible that a link may not be found. Please use a search engine to find the desired information.
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March 2022 : Translation of this buying guide from our partner

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Our selection
BigBlue B406-EU 9
BigBlue B406-EU
Poweradd Apollo 2 10
Poweradd Apollo 2
BigBlue B442-EU 11
BigBlue B442-EU
Anker PowerPort Solar 21 W 12
Anker PowerPort Solar 21 W


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