Best Solar Car Battery Chargers: Keep Your Battery Charged Anywhere
The best solar chargers that can handle any car battery
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED ON October 1, 2019
You don't need a wall outlet to keep your car battery charged, especially when you are far from any sign of normal civilization. Solar car battery chargers make it easy to juice a battery almost anywhere on the planet. Like other solar devices, it can be somewhat difficult to know what you need, so check out our guide below for some help.
- Best OverallSUNER POWER 12V Solar Car Battery Charger & MaintainerSummarySummaryA large solar battery charger for typical 12-volt car batteries that can be used almost anywhere there is direct sunlight.ProsProsThe large solar panel allows a good deal of sunlight to hit at once. Easy to connect to the terminals of a standard car battery.ConsConsPoor performance in low-light or cloudy conditions. It can't be used to run more power-intensive items like fridges.
- Best ValueSunway Solar Car Battery Trickle Charger & MaintainerSummarySummaryThe type of car battery charger that is easier to pack or hideaway in small spaces, thanks to the long and narrow design of the solar panel and body.ProsProsGood general charging performance that doesn't take too long to "fill up" a car battery in direct sunlight. Quality body and solar panel construction.ConsConsDifficult to use during the winter or in rainy areas. Only meant to be used periodically instead of for routine battery maintenance.
- Honorable MentionBattery Tender 021-1163 5W Solar MaintainerSummarySummaryA large and wide solar car battery maintainer that comes in several different sizes from a well-known brand in car battery charging.ProsProsAvailable in 5-, 10-, and 15-watt options. It offers a trickle charge to keep batteries at a premium charge level while going off-road or camping in the wilderness.ConsConsThe onboard controller can have some difficulties analyzing certain car batteries. Some controllers have been reported to stop working after a few months of use.
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- Solar battery chargers work best in direct sunlight.
- Solar chargers can still work in the shade or bad weather, but the charging performance tends to be slower and less effective.
- Larger solar panels tend to trade weight and overall bulk for better, faster performance.
Q. Do solar battery chargers work better than normal chargers?
A. Generally, no. Solar battery chargers, especially for cars, tend to be slower due to the limitations of the solar panel.
Q. Can I use a car solar battery charger with other batteries and devices?
A. This depends on the design and capabilities of the individual battery charger. Some have other connectors or USB ports to charge small devices.
Q. What is a trickle charger?
A. Trickle chargers, which come in regular and solar power varieties, charge a battery over time. This helps increase and maintain a battery's power level without damaging the battery itself.
We found the SUNER POWER 12V Solar Car Battery Charger & Maintainer to be a good all-around solar charger that blends good performance and durability.
You can also save some space and money with our budget pick, the Sunway Solar Car Battery Trickle Charger & Maintainer.