Are you searching for the best solar car battery charger?
I have kept solar battery chargers in all my vehicles and they have saved me and family members more than once. The key to getting one that will save you from being stranded in the middle of nowhere is selecting a high quality model capable of reliably pushing enough juice to get your vehicle back on the road. With that in mind I have reviewed the top models available on the market and after reading this article you will know my recommendations.
Check the quick list below for links to customer reviews and prices for my best solar car battery charger picks, or read on for the full review:
- Battery Tender 5W Solar Maintainer with Built-in Super Smart Charging Controller
- SUNER POWER 12V Solar Car Battery Charger & Maintainer
- SUAOKI 18V 12V 18W Solar Car Battery Charger
- Sunway Solar Car Battery Charger 12V Battery Trickle Charger Maintainer
- ECO-WORTHY 12 Volts 10 Watts Portable Power Solar Panel Backup
I know how frustrating and scary it can be when you are away from home and your car battery dies. Rather than having to call someone for help or when making a call isn’t possible, a solar car battery charger can easily take care of the problem. I think that everyone should have one of these in their car in case of an emergency and to prevent their battery from slowly draining due to not being used on a regular basis.
How to Choose the Best Solar Car Battery Charger
One of the first things that you need to do is decide how many watts or volts you want the battery charger to provide. This will help you to quickly narrow down your choices when you are shopping for a new solar car battery charger.
You also need to consider the quality of construction of the battery charger you want to buy, as some are lower quality than others and simply aren’t built to last for long periods of time. Buying a charger that is made from durable solar panels and cells means that it will last longer.
Solar Car Battery Charger Benefits
One of the main reasons why people opt for solar car battery chargers is because they can then keep their car battery full when their car is not in use. I think that there are few things more frustrating than going to start your car only to find out that the battery has drained and you won’t be able to drive. With a solar car battery charger, however, you never have to worry about running out of power.
These batteries are usually designed to withstand bad weather, which means that you don’t have to worry about them being damaged in extreme temperatures, a lot of rain, or the heat. Because of this, you can leave your battery charger in your car for the best charging experience.
Finally, once you purchase a new solar car battery charger, you won’t have to worry about making any other purchases or having to buy a new battery right away. These chargers help to prevent your battery from discharging fully, which can not only be frustrating, but also expensive because it will shorten your battery’s lifespan.
Features to Look For
I think that it’s a good idea to look for a solar car battery charger that can be connected to your battery in multiple ways so that you can easily charge not only your car battery, but also another battery in an emergency. That’s why I like battery chargers that can connect to your vehicle not only via alligator clips, but also through the cigarette lighter. While newer cars don’t necessary have these lighters, older vehicles do, making it easy to plug in your charger without having to lift the car hood.
I also love battery chargers that have LED lights to let you know not only when the charger is running, but also when the battery is full. This allows you to easily gauge when to remove the charger and to keep an eye on your battery’s condition.
It’s also a good idea to look for a charger that comes with suction cups so that you can place it in direct sun. The best way to get the fastest charge on your battery is to have your charger in direct sun, and being able to angle it by suctioning it onto windows is not only easy, but functional. Not all chargers come with mounting options, but I really prefer ones that do.
How to Best Use Your Solar Car Battery Charger
You can easily use your solar car battery charger by simply attaching it to your battery via the alligator clips or plugging it into your cigarette lighter. Then you need to make sure that you have the panel in direct sunlight so that you can get as much energy as possible.
Trickle chargers work by keeping your battery strong when your car is parked for long periods of time and are a great option for owners who don’t drive their cars on a regular basis. They are safe to use for long periods of time, as they won’t overcharge your vehicle.
To get the most power from your solar charger, which is important if your battery is fully dead, you need to pick a powerful charger and make sure that it is directly in the sun at all times.
One concern that you need to be aware of when buying and then using a solar battery charger is that they do not generally come with regulators the way that other chargers do. This means that you have to be careful to not use the wrong type of charger for your battery type.
Additionally, it’s important to have realistic expectations of what your charger will be able to do. If you have a completely dead battery, then it can take a very long time to fully charge it. I find that as long as you understand how to best use your chargers, then you can have a good experience.
Finally, when charging a fully dead car battery, it’s best to use more amps at the beginning and then slowly lower the amperage as the battery charges. This is impossible to do with a solar car battery charger, so you need to be careful that you don’t damage the battery.
Best Solar Car Battery Charger
Keeping your batteries charged or getting a jump is not always easy. These solar battery chargers are perfect for your cars, trucks, boats, ATV’s, snowmobiles, and campers. Equipped with efficient and powerful solar panels, even when on your own in the middle of nowhere you can keep yourself from being stranded.
Battery Tender 5W Solar Maintainer with Built in Super Smart Charging Controller
This is a great solar battery charger that will do a wonderful job helping to maintain a charge on vehicles when they are not in use. It is designed with reverse polarity protection so users never have to worry about the charger accidentally damaging their battery. Additionally, the temperature compensation sensor will prevent the charger from overheating and becoming damaged. At just three pounds, it’s small and light enough to easily take on the road.
- 5W of power
- Built-in battery tender to prevent damage to battery
- Offers precise charging
- Sparkproof and waterproof
- Features reverse polarity protection
- Some do not work right out of the box without additional service
- LED lights sometimes fail
- Tends to lose charging ability over time
SUNER POWER 12V Solar Car Battery Charger & Maintainer – Portable 6W Solar Panel
This is a great 12v solar charger that is designed for trickle charging and can easily be plugged into a cigarette lighter or connected directly to the battery via battery clamps. Connecting the charger this way ensures that it offers all of the necessary power. Additionally, this charger quickly converts the sun’s energy into 12V electricity and comes with suction cups so that it can be stuck easily to the window.
- Offers reverse protection
- Strong solar glass can handle high loads
- Easy to install
- No additional maintenance required
- Can be plugged into the cigarette lighter for easy battery charging
- Doesn’t work well in vehicles with a lot of accessories plugged in
- Tends to drain quickly
SUAOKI 18V 12V 18W Solar Car Battery Charger
This solar battery charger is great for use in vehicles that sit for a long period of time unused, but still need to have plenty of battery power to run occasionally. By attaching this charger to the car via the cigarette lighter, it can easily top off the battery and keep the car in great working condition. Because it is made from material that is water and heat resistant, it lasts for a long time without problems. This solar trickle charger is very handy and works well for motorcycles too.
- Has a solar cell efficiency of 22.5%
- Only weighs 345 g
- Easily charges battery through the cigarette lighter
- Comes with 18-month warranty
- Offers 18V of energy
- Cigarette adapter isn’t a standard size
- Tends to stop working after a few months
- Takes a long time to charge
Sunway Solar Car Battery Charger 12V Battery Trickle Charger Maintainer
It’s easy to counteract natural battery drain with this great solar battery charger. Not only does it connect and disconnect quickly and easily from the battery, but it has both battery clamps, as well as a cigarette light plug for easy use. The lightweight design means that it can be taken with you on the road, and the design of the solar panel ensures high efficiency when charging.
- Easily attaches to windows via the suction cups
- Clear PV glass is efficient and durable
- Built-in diode prevents reverse charging
- Can be used with any rechargeable 12V battery
- Blinking LED shows when it is charging
- Extremely hot temperatures can cause the plastic to split and melt
- Not great when used with lower quality car batteries
- Doesn’t work in indirect sunlight
ECO-WORTHY 12 Volts 10 Watts Portable Power Solar Panel Backup
At just under 1.5 pounds, this solar panel charger is great to take on the road for when you need to top off your car battery. It easily connects to your car battery to give the charge that you need to keep your battery from draining and can also work on a motorcycle, if needed. By mounting the charger with the included alligator clip, you can easily put it in direct sunlight for the best results.
- Dust, rust, and shock proof
- Great for use as a trickle charger
- Maintenance free
- Charges 12V rechargeable batteries
- Includes both alligator clips and cigarette lighter adapter
- Doesn’t offer all of the output it is supposed to
- Not compatible with all charge controllers
- Doesn’t always work as advertised
For more battery guides and tips read these articles:
- Best Battery Isolator
- Best ATV Battery
- Best Battery Tender
- Best AGM Battery Charger
- Best Battery Leaf Blower
- Best Battery UPS Battery Backup
- Best Battery Powered Weed Eater
- Best Marine Battery
- Best Trolling Motor Battery
- Best RV Deep Cycle Battery
The Sunway solar powered car battery charger is the best option on this list for a few reasons. Not only do I appreciate how easy it is to set up this charger and attach it to your car’s windows, thanks to the suction cups, but it boasts a lot of other great features that make it easy to use. These include the two ways to attach the charger to your car for charging and the fact that it has LED lights to ensure that you can easily check and see the status of your charging. Thanks to the durable clear PV glass that covers the top, you never have to worry about it shattering.
Fred is the Ready Zeal owner and editor. He has been passionately pursuing all things emergency preparation since working alongside his grandfather as a boy growing up in the Midwest. When not working on the family homestead he can be found brewing coffee and reading a good book or backpacking in the wilderness. Contact Fred at [email protected]