Having the best solar trickle chargers may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re thinking about renewable energy sources. But when you’re out traveling in areas without a reliable power outlet, you’ll thank yourself for having them at the ready. 

What is a Solar Trickle Charger?

Did you know that electronic devices like the radio, AC, and clock on your vehicle still slowly drain your car’s battery even when not being used?

Having a solar trickle charger means you’ll be able to charge various daily devices like your phones or laptops in those situations. Solar trickle chargers aren’t the most portable solution for charging hand-carry devices – you can just use a USB battery bank. 

But on the flipside, USB battery banks require traditional electricity from other power outlets since they can’t generate power. Once the juice runs out, you’re pretty much out of power for the rest of the trip.

Having a larger solar trickle charger during extended outdoor trips is undoubtedly better than carrying a one-charge portable battery bank. You can just lay it out under the sun for a few hours, and you’ll have the electricity to charge your devices again.

With the rising popularity of alternative energy sources, dozens of companies have launched solar trickle chargers in various shapes and sizes. If you’re new to the renewable energy space, you’re likely to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of products you can choose.

In this article, we’ve rounded up the best solar trickle chargers that you can find in 2022 and some parameters that you should use to decide which one to buy.

Let’s dive right in.

Find the Best Solar Trickle Charger

Product
Best Overall
Sunway Solar Trickle Charger
ECO-WORTHY 12V Solar Trickle Charger
Suner Power Upgraded Waterproof Solar Battery Charger & Maintainer
Sunway Solar Car Battery Trickle Charger & Maintainer 12V Solar Panel Power Battery Charger With...
ECO-WORTHY 12 Volt 10 Watt Solar Car Battery Charger & Maintainer, Solar Panel Trickle Charger,...
Upgraded Waterproof 12W Solar Battery Charger & Maintainer Pro - Built-in Intelligent MPPT Charge...
Performance
9/10
8/10
8/10
Build Quality
9.5/10
8.5/10
9.5/10
Dimensions
13.9 x 5 x 0.5 inches
1.4 x 9.6 x 15.3 inches
17.44 x 9.88 x 1.85 inches (package dimensions)
Weight
1.41 lbs
1.45 lbs
3.27 lbs
Best Overall
Product
Sunway Solar Trickle Charger
Sunway Solar Car Battery Trickle Charger & Maintainer 12V Solar Panel Power Battery Charger With...
Performance
9/10
Build Quality
9.5/10
Dimensions
13.9 x 5 x 0.5 inches
Weight
1.41 lbs
More Info
Product
ECO-WORTHY 12V Solar Trickle Charger
ECO-WORTHY 12 Volt 10 Watt Solar Car Battery Charger & Maintainer, Solar Panel Trickle Charger,...
Performance
8/10
Build Quality
8.5/10
Dimensions
1.4 x 9.6 x 15.3 inches
Weight
1.45 lbs
More Info
Product
Suner Power Upgraded Waterproof Solar Battery Charger & Maintainer
Upgraded Waterproof 12W Solar Battery Charger & Maintainer Pro - Built-in Intelligent MPPT Charge...
Performance
8/10
Build Quality
9.5/10
Dimensions
17.44 x 9.88 x 1.85 inches (package dimensions)
Weight
3.27 lbs
More Info

Best Overall Solar Trickle Charger: Sunway Solar Trickle Charger 

  • Performance: 9/10
  • Build quality: 9.5/10
  • Price: 8/10

As one of the leading solar companies globally, Sunway comes into the market for solar trickle chargers with high expectations from consumers — and they delivered.

The Sunway Solar trickle charger is an innovative product for charging your devices and car battery while you’re traveling outdoors for an extended period. If you’re a frequent hiker or camper who loves wandering into nature for days at a time — the Sunway Solar trickle charger is one of the best products you can get right now.

It comes with both a pair of alligator clips and a plug for a cigarette lighter, so you can directly connect it to your car’s battery or use the lighter port. Sunway also has built-in diodes to stop current from your battery from going to the trickle charger. It self-regulates the charging process and switches on/off automatically when necessary to prevent overcharging or undercharging.

In other words, you won’t have to worry about your battery being drained or overcharged with this trickle charger installed. 

Best Value Product: ECO-WORTHY 12V Solar Trickle Charger

  • Performance: 8/10
  • Build quality: 8.5/10
  • Price: 9/10

The Eco-Worthy 12V 10W Solar Car Battery Charger is a solar trickle charger that can charge your car battery even when you are away from the car. This solar trickle charger is water-resistant, which means you’ll be able to get away with some drizzle — as long as it’s not soaking wet.

On top of the water-resistant exterior, the Eco-Worth 12V is also lightweight and portable, making the setup more hassle-free. It also has a built-in blocking diode, which protects the battery from overcharging and prevents reverse charging from the battery.

You can use this device to charge 12V batteries with a 10W power output ratings, such as cars, motorcycles, boats, forklifts, and other vehicles that are likely to spend some time outdoors. It comes with both a set of alligator clips and a cigarette lighter connector — so you can choose either method to set it up in your car. 

Best MPPT Solar Trickle Charger: Suner Power Upgraded Waterproof 12W 12V

  • Performance: 8/10
  • Build quality: 9.5/10
  • Price: 8/10

The Suner Power solar trickle charger is relatively straightforward to use, even for someone unfamiliar with alternative energy sources like solar panels.

It’s also a high-efficiency charger that works great for pretty much any type of car battery — but especially for vehicles that spend a lot of time outdoors like ATVs, snowmobiles, trailers, RVs, motorcycles, boats, and cars.

Suner Power is also IP65 waterproof certified, which means it can withstand rain and snow if you decide to install it under the open sun. The housing on this product is also robust and overall well-constructed, which certainly adds to its longevity.

The Suner Power trickle charger features a built-in MPPT charge controller that can generate up to 15% more energy compared to other solar trickle chargers.

When you combine the MPPT technology with the highly efficient solar cells, the Suner Power upgraded solar trickle charger promises a well-rounded performance for its price. 

Other Solar Trickle Chargers Worth Considering

POWISER 20W 12V Solar Trickle Charger

  • Performance: 8/10
  • Build quality: 8.5/10
  • Price: 8/10

Since solar trickle chargers are meant to be used outdoors, it only makes sense that they can endure harsh weather – and that’s where POWISER trickle charger stands out. POWISER 12V solar trickle charger controller has a sturdy casing that protects all electrical components from environmental damage while being exposed to the elements.

It features a built-in charging microprocessor that can prevent reverse charging, so you can keep it installed without worrying about your batteries being drained. On the back of the solar panel, you’ll find three LED indicators (blue, red, and green) that can tell you monitor the charging status.

POWISER also claims that their trickle charger is waterproof, but there’s no official certification available on their site. If you decide to install this trickle charger outdoors, you may want to consult POWISER for water-resistant confirmation. 

In the retail package, you’ll get the solar panel, a pair of alligator clip connectors, a lighter plug connector, suction cups for windshield mounting, and carabiner clips to secure the solar panel. It comes with everything you’d need to install it right away.

Suner Power 12V 10W + Mount Bracket

  • Performance: 8/10
  • Build quality: 9/10
  • Price: 8/10

If you’re looking for a solar trickle charger to install directly under the sun without any cover – this product is one of the best you can get on the market right now. While the product featured here is rated for 10W of output, you can get a more powerful variant that can dish out up to 50W.

Regardless of the variant you get, it comes with everything you’ll need to set up an ever-charging solar panel without worrying about damage from rain or snow.

You will get the solar panel, a pair of alligator clip connectors, a lighter plug connector, and a mounting bracket with an adjustable tilt to get better sunshine exposure.

You can also mount the included either on the ground or a wall, so you’ll get more freedom on where to install the solar panel to get optimum charging conditions. There are also three LED indicators on the back of the solar panel that will tell you whether the panel is charging correctly.

If you plan on installing the solar panel outdoors, you’re probably concerned about its durability – but that’s not an issue with the Suner Power trickle charger. This solar panel features an aluminum frame and sturdy tempered glass designed to last for years with minimum maintenance. 

There’s also an automatic power detection that will cut off the current once the battery is fully charged up. This automatic current detection will prevent overcharging and eventually prolong your battery’s lifespan.

Not only that, but Suner Power also has built-in MPPT technology into their solar trickle charger. In other words, this solar trickle charger will be able to convert sunshine into electricity at a considerably better rate.

What to Consider When Buying Solar Trickle Charger

There are several essential factors that you should consider when buying the best solar trickle charger for your needs. Here are some of them:

1. Devices You Want To Use

Solar trickle chargers are most commonly used to prevent battery drain in vehicles that rarely get used. However, you can also use them as a power source for other electronic devices like your phone and laptop.

If you plan on going somewhere without a reliable power source, it’s best to get the largest trickle charger you can. Not only will they provide more power for your vehicles and devices, but you’ll also be able to charge faster since they have higher current output.

best solar trickle charger

2. Portability

On a week-long outdoor trip, the last thing you want is to have a bulky solar panel weighing down your luggage. It may be excusable if you’re going to install it as a stationary trickle charger for your RV or boat – but if you plan on taking the charger with you, it’s best to go light.

Solar trickle chargers are considerably larger than USB battery banks. But unlike USB power banks that will eventually run out of battery on outdoor trips, solar trickle chargers don’t need electricity to charge. You can just put it down under the sun for a few hours, and it will top off your batteries once again.

Can’t find any sun? Here are some tips on how to charge your solar charger without sun.

3. Durability

Solar panels are outdoor power generators that require maximum sunlight exposure to generate electricity – they will almost always be sitting outdoors. Unless you want to buy a new solar panel every few weeks, you should choose the most durable solar panel that you can get.

The quality almost always goes hand-in-hand with the price when it comes to solar trickle chargers. The more you spend, the better and more durable product you’ll get. If you’re planning to use the solar trickle charger for an extended period, it’s best to reach deeper into your pocket upfront rather than having to replace your setup every few months or so.

Generally, you’ll want at least a solar panel with sturdy build quality with an aluminum frame and industrial-grade tempered glass. Manufacturers often claim that their products are water-resistant, but the official certification will always ensure the accuracy of that claim. When you choose, always get an official waterproof certificate (e.g., IP68 or IP65).

4. Voltage and Power Output

A solar trickle charger set’s voltage and power output determine whether it is compatible with your battery and devices. Having a mismatched battery and solar charger voltage will damage your battery – it could even lead to a catastrophic failure.

As for power output, some devices require specific wattage to operate properly. If you want to use your solar trickle charger to power devices (instead of maintaining a battery’s charge), you should choose products with enough power output.

5. Price

While the notion that higher price equals higher quality still primarily applies to solar trickle chargers, some products are inherently better than others for specific situations. If you have a $100 budget to spend on a portable solar charger, there might be drastically different products you can get. 

Prices are relative to what you want to use your trickle charger for. Some products are better than the others in one specific scenario – and we hope this guide will help you decide which is the right one for you.

Our Verdict – Finding the Best Solar Trickle Charger

There are dozens of excellent solar trickle chargers that you can get, but the products we’ve listed in this buying guide are certainly one level above the rest when it comes to quality.

Depending on your budget and reason for use, some products may be better for you than others.  We hope that this article can help you pick the best solar trickle charger that can perfectly meet your alternative energy needs.