Here are some of the portable solar solutions that I have experience with. Some of these I still own, and some of them are owned by friends and co workers.
This is a little USB battery bank, that is also able to charge it’s self AND you’re phone from solar power! I have had this unit for a couple years now, although I think the one listed here is the 2nd generation version of it (?). From what I read before buying it, the main complaint was that the solar panel took a long time to charge the batteries. This is true; I full day of direct sun will give you a 1/2 charge or so on the 10k maH battery. You have to remember that the small little panel can only output 500 mA (1/2 an amp) under the best conditions. Phones and especially tablets these days take 2 amps to charge. The beauty here is that if you are out on the trail, this unit (and ones like it) are WAY better than nothing! I keep mine in my backpack and will unfold it and attach it to the back, and thru the day it charges a little bit. then at night I have a little bit of portable USB power. Out in the bush this is (usually) more than enough if you have a small smart phone that you are using for GPS or whatever. It is NOT good for keeping a tablet powered 24/7. For that, maybe go for a goal zero type unit. All in all, the portability and ease of use make this a must for hikes that are more than 1 day!
Get one here:
This is a goal zero portable, foldable solar charging kit. The neat thing about this one is that it can charge standard rechargeable AA and AAA batteries! Those batteries can then be used to charge a phone OR the panel can charge a phone or tablet directly. This makes this unit VERY versatile and useful in almost any situation where battery power is an issue.
For the backpacker or camper, this can be strapped to the back of a pack and charge as you walk, and at the end of the day, you have some charged batteries which anyone who has been out in the bush for more than 1 day will tell you is like gold!
Like most things, you get what you pay for. With that in mind, this, and all goal zero products that I have owned or seen in action, for my money is WELL worth the few extra bucks because of the good design, and versatility that they bring to the table. From the testing I have done, what friends have told me, and the online reviews and videos, Goal Zero almost always comes out on top in delivering the rated wattage as well as being rugged enough to actually be usable in the real world!
Get one here: