The rapid advancement in solar technology has led to many gadgets, with solar powered radios coming a long way since the first one was made in the 1950s.
Life is unpredictable, and emergencies can happen at any time. It is always best to be prepared in case anything happens.
Read on for our expert reviews of the best solar powered radios available. Check the latest prices to ensure you get a great deal!
- 1 Our Picks of the 10 Best Solar Powered Radios
- 2 Best Solar Powered Radios
- 2.1 1. FosPower Emergency Solar Hand Crank Portable Radio
- 2.2 2. RunningSnail Emergency NOAA Weather Crank Solar Powered Portable Radio
- 2.3 3. Kaito KA500BU 5-Way Powered Emergency AM/FM/SW Weather Alert Radio
- 2.4 4. Midland ER310 Emergency Crank Weather AM/FM Radio
- 2.5 5. Aiworth Emergency Solar Hand Crank Radio
- 2.6 6. RegeMoudal Upgraded Emergency Solar Hand Crank Radio
- 2.7 7. Givoust Store Upgraded AM/FM/NOAA Weather Solar Crank Radio
- 2.8 8. Kaito Emergency Radio Voyager Max KA900 Solar Powered Portable Radio
- 2.9 9. Mesqool 5-Way Powered Solar Hand Crank Emergency Radio
- 2.10 10. Greadio Emergency Weather Solar Powered Portable Radio
- 3 Solar Powered Radio Buying Guide
- 3.1 What Is a Solar Powered Radio?
- 3.2 How Does a Solar Powered Radio Work?
- 3.3 What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Radios?
- 3.4 What Kind of Radio Is Used for Emergencies?
- 3.5 When Would You Need an Emergency Radio?
- 3.6 Can I Get Weather Updates Using a Solar Radio?
- 3.7 Features to Look for in Solar Powered Radios
- 3.7.1 Design
- 3.7.2 Portability
- 3.7.3 Battery Capacity
- 3.7.4 Durability
- 3.7.5 Waterproofness
- 3.7.6 Multiple Power Sources
- 3.7.7 Solar Panel
- 3.7.8 Hand Crank
- 3.7.9 Rechargeable Batteries
- 3.7.10 Emergency Flashlight
- 3.7.11 Channels And Alerts
- 3.7.12 Charge External Devices
- 3.7.13 Headphone Port
- 3.7.14 Warranty
- 3.7.15 Conclusion
Our Picks of the 10 Best Solar Powered Radios
FosPower Emergency Solar Hand Crank Portable Radio
RunningSnail Emergency NOAA Weather Crank Solar Powered Portable Radio
Kaito KA500BU 5-Way Powered Emergency AM/FM/SW Weather Alert Radio
Midland ER310 Emergency Crank Weather AM/FM Radio
Aiworth Emergency Solar Hand Crank Radio
RegeMoudal Upgraded Emergency Solar Hand Crank Radio
Givoust Store Upgraded AM/FM/NOAA Weather Solar Crank Radio
Kaito Emergency Radio Voyager Max KA900 Solar Powered Portable Radio
Mesqool 5-Way Powered Solar Hand Crank Emergency Radio
Greadio Emergency Weather Solar Powered Portable Radio
Best Solar Powered Radios
1. FosPower Emergency Solar Hand Crank Portable Radio
The FosPower Portable Radio is an all-encompassing solution with multiple charging options, a unique build, and the capability to perform in all scenarios. This makes it a reliable solution to have nearby at all times when outdoors.
2000 mAh Power Bank
When it comes to power offered by this radio, the quality is noticeable immediately. It provides a constant burst of power that’s perfect for charging a smartphone and/or any other USB-powered device.
Two Light Sources
Whether it is the 1W flashlight or the LED reading light, both light sources are perfect for darker times during the day. The light turns out quickly and provides good range when put in front of the body. This is ideal for those who spend time outdoors when the sun is down.
Three Power Options
It can be powered using solar power, a hand crank, and/or AAA batteries. This makes it easy to use in all types of situations, even if the sun is not out. The radio can continue to run in the background for a long time on nothing more than AAA batteries.
The design itself is perfect for those who are always moving around and want something easy to tuck away in a bag. It has a sleek look that’s aesthetically appealing and doesn’t get in the way of anything else carried from one place to the next.
- The build quality is impressive and perfect for constant movement
- It offers refined power that’s easy to access on the go
- The light sources are powerful and perfect for darker situations
- The power bank offers a consistent stream of power for all modern USB-powered devices
- The user manual doesn’t offer enough information on the initial setup
2. RunningSnail Emergency NOAA Weather Crank Solar Powered Portable Radio
The RunningSnail Solar Powered Portable Radio is all about performance, durability, and consistent quality in a wide array of situations. It’s engineered to work well in emergencies and provides a robust sense of control in differing conditions.
The battery is powerful, refined, and continues to work well in the background once set up. It has a good conversion rate for solar energy and tends to age gracefully, even with regular usage. It is a reliable battery that is efficient throughout the day.
Four Charging Methods
It is easy to charge this radio whether the process is done using a hand crank, solar power, AAA batteries, and/or USB cable.
This is ideal for those who are always on the go and may not have access to one of these charging options. The selection of options makes it a lot easier to find a good fit in tune with the user’s current situation.
The display is well-sized, easy on the eyes, and adds value to the overall performance of the radio. For users wanting something easy to read, this is a great display to have on hand. It makes the radio much easier to use in outdoor conditions.
Users looking to charge their device and/or connect their smartphone to the radio will enjoy this product. It offers a unique USB port that is easy to access and provides an immediate connection once plugged into.
- Offers a refined USB port for quick charging and usability
- The LCD display is easy on the eyes and offers constant information
- Its battery is comprehensive and offers a good amount of power
- It has a good build quality that works well in emergencies
- The maximum sound output isn’t as loud as other alternatives
3. Kaito KA500BU 5-Way Powered Emergency AM/FM/SW Weather Alert Radio
The Kaito KA500BU Radio is a world-class option with a unique build, advanced features, and the ability to provide constant power whenever necessary. It can recharge quickly and can easily charge other devices without wasting power.
Built-In Ni-MH Battery
The battery is exceptional and does a great job with the different power methods on offer. Those who will be relying on the battery to keep up with their power demands are not going to be let down here. This is among the finer batteries on the market for providing constant power even with heavy usage.
Three Power Sources
Whether it is the AA battery setup, hand crank power, or solar power, this works well with all three power sources. Users can put any of these options to the test and feel good about how well the radio is going to do.
When it comes to the radio, it offers 5-band support, which is perfect for the average user. The radio quality is impressive and continues to work well even with external noise around.
For those who are looking to connect to the radio, it has a USB port that is easy to manage and works well all the time. This is perfect for those who are walking around and will want to tap into the battery for their needs.
- The radio quality is impressive and works well with external noises
- It offers a good stream of USB power when put to use
- The power sources are adaptable, efficient, and work well all the time
- It has a strong battery that is made for the outdoors
- The lighting can be confusing to understand due to their positioning on the radio
4. Midland ER310 Emergency Crank Weather AM/FM Radio
The Midland ER310 Radio is one of those solutions that offer a rugged, well-designed build with consistent performance. It’s a high-powered radio that’s easy to set up, offers complete power, and continues to work well indoors and outdoors.
The flashlight is excellent for SOS situations and doesn’t get in the way of the radio’s overall power output. This makes it an ideal addition for those moments where the natural light is low, and it is still essential to remain aware of the surroundings. This is when the flashlight kicks in and works well.
Rechargeable 2600 mAh Battery
The battery is a powerhouse when it comes to sustainability, performance, and overall quality. It is easy to recharge, works well in different scenarios and doesn’t break down easily. This makes it a good fit for those who are going to be using the radio regularly.
Built-In Dog Whistle
In emergencies, it is great to have a competent dog whistle that is available at the drop of a hat. This is something the Midland radio offers, and it works well in all types of situations when it is time to call a dog in.
Three Power Sources
It is easy to recharge using solar power, AAA batteries, and/or the hand crank. This is ideal for those who are always on the go and want something easy to set up wherever they are.
- The flashlight is powerful and offers good range once turned on in emergencies
- The dog whistle is easy to use and offers complete coverage outdoors
- It has a strong build quality that is perfect for different conditions
- It is easy to pack and carry around
- It is not as waterproof as it needs to be due to gaps in protection
5. Aiworth Emergency Solar Hand Crank Radio
The Aiworth Emergency Solar Hand Crank Radio is one of those products that will settle in nicely due to its rugged battery, long list of power sources, and constant power output. It works well and can continue to meet the user’s power needs without breaking down.
The display is noticeable and effective at what it has to offer. For those looking to learn more about how the radio is doing and all of the relevant information it has to share, the display does an excellent job of showcasing those details in one place. This is good for those who don’t want to keep track of everything on their own without knowing about potential issues that arise.
2000 mAh Power Bank
The power is exceptional with this product, making the radio stand out for all of the right reasons. It charges well, offers quick access for USB-powered devices, and continues to offer a constant stream of power during the day.
Seven Weather Band Channels
There are seven on offer when it comes to the weather band channels providing more flexibility and quality in terms of overall control. This makes it a lot easier to utilize when outdoors.
Built-In SOS Flashlight
The flashlight is exceptional when it comes to performance when the natural light fades. It is competent, strong, and bright in all potential situations.
- The power bank is excellent when it comes to power output and overall efficiency
- It has a robust build that is ideal with water around
- The display is easy on the eyes and perfect as the light starts to fade
- It has a comprehensive built-in flashlight that is ideal for darker conditions
- The solar panel is not as efficient in converting energy
6. RegeMoudal Upgraded Emergency Solar Hand Crank Radio
The RegeMoudal Upgraded Radio is a brilliant option that is easy to carry around, provides exceptional coverage, and is built to sustain performance. This makes it one of the better all-around options for those on the market for a brand-new radio.
Two Light Sources
The reading light and flashlight are both exceptional to use and work well immediately. They can be used in fading light while providing a direct beam of usable light that is easy on the eyes over time. If it is dark outside, these light sources work like a charm when used.
2000 mAH Battery
It has a comprehensive battery that offers a lot of power and works well with any USB-powered device connected to it. This battery doesn’t take a long time to recharge and works well right off the bat.
Four Ways to Recharge
Whether it is using the hand crank, solar energy, batteries, or USB cable, this is a radio built to offer continuous results due to the underlying battery. There is enough flexibility to find the right way to charge the battery based on personal requirements.
The alarm is loud and noticeable for those who put it to the test. This makes it a good addition for those who are worried about dealing with emergencies.
- The light sources are strong and easy to use when it becomes dark outside
- The SOS alarm is loud and offers enough coverage to work well in emergencies
- The battery provides a good amount of power and doesn’t lead to constant interruptions
- The versatility of its energy sources makes the radio a good option when on the go
- The hand crank is difficult to use and takes a lot of energy to move
7. Givoust Store Upgraded AM/FM/NOAA Weather Solar Crank Radio
The Givoust Store Upgraded Radio is a well-engineered and dependable solution that’s crafted for outdoor users. It has a unique construction with a refined power bank perfect for charging different devices. It has been crafted with a lot of care, both internally and externally, for consistent performance.
4000 mAH Battery
The battery is a powerhouse and is one of the better ones on the market right now. It is refined, easy to recharge, and offers enough power to sustain multiple devices if necessary. This makes it suitable for those who want to have a viable power source available in their vicinity at all times.
OD-090P NOAA Flashlight
The flashlight is powerful and works well when it is time to handle fading light. The flashlight takes seconds to turn on and will continue to work for hours without dying or flickering. This makes it an excellent fit for those going to be walking in the wilderness for extended periods.
Three Flashlight Modes
This radio has a unique set of flashlight modes. Most offer two, but this one has three making it a more profound lighting option for those spending a lot of time in the dark.
Two Lighting Modes
It’s easy to toggle through the dual lighting modes to get enough light while walking around. This provides ample coverage and range in those low-light situations.
- It has a unique set of flashlight modes that make it far more versatile than other alternatives
- The lighting modes are robust and provide a good amount of range
- The channels are crisp and clear for continuous performance
- The battery provides a good amount of power and is ideal for extended usage
- The hand crank is slippery and isn’t as easy to use as it needs to be
8. Kaito Emergency Radio Voyager Max KA900 Solar Powered Portable Radio
The Kaito KA900 Solar Powered Portable Radio is a complete solution for those who want continuous power, durability, and good range. It offers a comprehensive set of features, making it an enjoyable solution for many settings, including the outdoors.
2,000 mAh Battery
The battery is an impressive one and provides a good amount of juice during the day. This ensures it is easy to connect to and continues to keep the radio running without a problem.
Seven Pre-Programmed Channels
There are seven pre-programmed weather band channels on offer with this portable radio. The channels are clear, crisp, and in line with international standards. This has to do with the built-in antenna and the range it has to offer once put to the test.
The antenna can extend up to 14 inches without compromising on quality and/or performance. It tends to work well when moving, making it one of the better solutions for those who are always outdoors. The antenna is built to last and doesn’t take a long time to set up.
Durable ABS Construction
The ABS construction adds value to how the portable radio works. It doesn’t have massive gaps ensuring the radio continues to work without a problem even with a little bit of moisture around. This adds to the radio’s overall consistency and how it continues to work throughout the day when focusing on different weather band channels.
- The build quality is impressive and ensures the radio does well outdoors
- The antenna provides excellent range and doesn’t lead to interruptions when moving
- It offers high-quality pre-programmed channels that are easy to toggle through
- The battery is long-lasting and offers a good amount of power
- The tuning can crackle a bit at times due to internal interference
9. Mesqool 5-Way Powered Solar Hand Crank Emergency Radio
The Mesqool 5-Way Radio is all about performance, efficiency, and offering a wide array of options. The radio offers crisp quality and doesn’t let users down when making adjustments to its settings.
5000mAh Replaceable Li-ion Battery
The battery is robust and offers a good amount of power. It doesn’t take a long time to recharge and continues to work for hours without slowing down and/or showing signs of wear. This makes it an ideal fit when listening to the different channels for alerts or light is needed in the dark.
Six Bright LEDs
When it comes to handling the dark in an emergency, the six bright LEDs are a joy to use. They offer a strong, bright light that is constant from the time they are turned on. The flashlight also works well and provides a direct beam of illumination that is perfect for extended periods of darkness outdoors.
3.5mm Headphone Jack
For those who prefer to listen to audio through their headphones, the 3.5mm headphone jack is a bonus. It makes things more enjoyable and customizable when on the go.
Seven Pre-Configured Stations
It offers seven pre-configured stations along with a strong antenna to pick up additional channels. This makes it an ideal fit for those wanting constant alerts through the portable radio in their hands.
- The battery is one of the most powerful options available on the market and provides constant results
- The LEDs are bright and easy on the eyes during the dark
- It has crisp audio that is even better when used with headphones
- The pre-configured stations are simple to toggle through and work well
- There is no viable indicator associated with when the battery is fully charged
10. Greadio Emergency Weather Solar Powered Portable Radio
The Greadio Portable Radio is a world-class solution with a powerful antenna, quality pre-programmed channels, and high-grade power output metrics. This makes it one of the better radios available on the market for both indoor and outdoor use.
2000 mAh Power Bank
The power bank does an exceptional job of providing high-quality power throughout the day. It can easily charge devices through the USB port and make sure a user’s devices are kept charged. This is ideal for outdoor conditions where a power outlet isn’t nearby. Just set up the USB connection and charge the device in one spot.
Up to 15 Hours of Light Time
Greadio has crafted a portable radio that’s refined in terms of its build quality but offers a good amount of light time. It can provide up to 15 hours of light time in one charge without any interruptions or power drops.
1W Radio Flashlight
Whether it is the reading light or the 1W radio flashlight, there is enough quality to work well in all situations. This is a bright light that shines immediately and remains steady for as long as it is pointed in the right direction.
7 Band Support
This radio offers 7 band support, which is ideal for those who are looking for crisp audio. This is efficient, easy to set up, and a good fit for those particular about how the radio works on the go.
- The audio quality is impressive for those wanting consistent clarity from the channels
- The flashlight is powerful and offers a good amount of light as soon as it’s on
- The battery lasts for a long time and does well when charging phones
- It has a good build that’s easy on the hands
- The USB connection is not as sturdy as it should be
Solar Powered Radio Buying Guide
Life is unpredictable, and emergencies can happen at any time. It is always best to be prepared in case anything happens. For example, when a natural disaster occurs, the first thing to go down will be the communication lines.
This is where solar power radios come in. Yes, there are electrical and battery radios in the market, but these depend on the availability of batteries or electricity, which may be an issue. They will therefore be useless in emergencies such as floods, hurricanes, or even storms.
Solar powered radios will be functional as long as there is sunlight, as they do not need grid electricity, which has led to their popularity over the recent years.
They are also made of highly resistant material and waterproof, which makes them ideal for adverse situations. If you are interested in buying a Solar powered radio and want detailed information about it, then please read on.
What Is a Solar Powered Radio?
A solar powered radio is a battery-less radio receiver that is powered by photovoltaic technology. The power given off by the sun is referred to as solar energy. It is an efficient source of renewable energy.
The photovoltaic panels usually absorb the energy from the sun and convert it to electric current. It is used primarily in areas where access to power sources is limited.
It looks and functions just like the standard radio, but the only difference is that it does not need batteries or be plugged into an electrical source to work.
The first solar powered radio was made in the 1950s in an experiment with General Electric. It was pretty portable, weighing only ten ounces, and was able to work without any recharge. It contained four transistors, seven solar cells and a tiny battery. Four years later, the Western Electric brand began selling them commercially, including other photovoltaic technologies. In 1957, The Acopian Technical Company reported that they had produced the first solar radios that could be sold to the public.
How Does a Solar Powered Radio Work?
The working of a solar powered radio is simpler than you could imagine. There are two methods in which solar energy is converted to electricity.
The first method is through photovoltaic cells or solar panels. These are usually made from monocrystalline or polycrystalline cells connected to semiconductors. Once you expose them to the sun, they collect and absorb that light energy. It is then converted to electrical power once the semiconductors have removed electrons from the atoms of the light particles. The electric energy then powers the radio.
The second method is not quite common as it does not give off as much solar power as conventional solar cells. It involves mirrors, metal reflectors, and panels. Here, the reflectors are used to direct sunlight to an insulator. This is done to produce sufficient heat and also power the turbine, which then generates electricity. It harnesses solar power as thermal energy hence produces steam, which then powers the turbine.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Radios?
The consumption of non-renewable substances such as gas, oil, and coal has led to the damage of the earth’s atmosphere. This has led to global warming, with the global heat index rising rapidly, which has severely impacted human beings and animals’ livelihoods. This is why governments urge more and more people to start using solar energy as it is renewable. Below are some of the advantages and disadvantages of solar radios.
Solar power radios are eco-friendly and great for the environment. They help protect the environment, which is a plus. Electrical consumption is also reduced as they do not need to be plugged into an electrical power outlet. This then helps maintain a greener environment.
Great Value For Money
Solar powered radios have higher durability than their electric counterparts. Therefore, you will save lots of money in the long run compared to someone using a battery or an electric-powered radio.
As long as there is sunlight, then the solar powered radios will serve your needs. This, therefore, makes them quite reliable, as they will not fail you. Also, solar energy is free, which is also a plus, as you will always have a continuous supply of renewable energy.
Excellent For Emergencies
What better radio do you need in an emergency than a solar powered one? They are made for emergencies; hence they will come in handy in your time of need.
If you are experiencing power outages due to heavy storms or floods, they will help keep you safe by ensuring you get all the crucial information you need.
One of the other significant advantages of having a solar powered radio is that you can carry it with you everywhere you like. Traditional radios, on the other hand, are pretty bulky and heavy and are not easily portable.
Solar radios will not take up a lot of your space, hence convenient when traveling. You can carry it when going to the countryside or even hiking.
They Solely Rely On The Sun’s Energy
One of the most significant issues that solar powered radios have is that they rely entirely on the sun’s energy. Therefore, the amount of sun that they are exposed to can have an impact on their performance.
If there is no battery to hold the charge, you may not be able to use it at night. This may also be an issue during winter and cloudy days, as the sun’s energy is limited.
What Kind of Radio Is Used for Emergencies?
The federal government recommends using a battery-powered or hand-crank radio during emergencies. Emergency weather radios are critical in a crisis. Ensure that they have NOAA weather access and alerts.
These radios are not only tuned to find AM and FM radio, but also NOAA weather channels. They are manufactured to be powered independently of wall outlets when there is no power. The NOAA weather stations give updates on the weather conditions and advisories. They also warn about weather and non-weather disasters.
When Would You Need an Emergency Radio?
These radios come in handy in emergency weather situations, such as tornadoes, severe storms, and hurricanes. They are also helpful in other emergencies such as chemical spills and fires.
Can I Get Weather Updates Using a Solar Radio?
Not all solar radios do, but some solar radios tap into the NOAA emergency alerts and broadcast local radio programs to help you get all the information you need.
The best way to get weather updates is to stay tuned with the National Weather Service, which sends messages under several frequencies.
Most of these radios, however, already have pre-set channels for these radio frequencies.
Features to Look for in Solar Powered Radios
Solar powered radios have multiple features; hence it can be confusing to know what to look for. However, with this guide, everything will be made simpler. Below are some of the crucial features that you should look out for.
There are different designs of solar radios in the market. It is advisable to look for one with a long working lifespan. Most of the models are manufactured to work for 16 hours on a full charge.
However, they only run for around 8 hours. Therefore, ensure that you have this in mind. Also, reduce the total working time of other accessories such as phone chargers, flashlights, and speakers.
Always ensure that you choose the most compact and lightweight solar powered radio that you get. This is because no one wants to deal with a bulky radio when fishing or camping, as it can be pretty annoying, especially since you have other gear with you.
Therefore, check for the collapsibility of the antennas, strings, hooks, and carry handles. This will help hold it easily.
Know the battery capacity of the solar radio, and go for one that will suit your needs.
There is no need to buy a solar radio that is highly portable, has excellent audio quality and reception, but breaks easily. This can be pretty frustrating. Therefore, ensure that it is durable as it will come in handy in emergencies.
When choosing a solar radio, ensure that you buy one that is waterproof. Check for the IP rating of the radio. This is a value that denotes how protected the device is from water and dust. Therefore, always buy one with at least a rating of IP65, as this shows that it is dust and water-resistant.
Multiple Power Sources
Solar powered emergency radios have a significant advantage over their traditional counterparts because they have numerous charging methods and power sources. They mainly use hand cranks for a quick charge and solar energy for a longer one. They also have regular USB charging, which makes it quite efficient. Most models also use double batteries, a Lithium-ion battery, and a backup battery so that the other kicks in when one dies.
These are crucial to convert solar energy to electric energy that you can use.
A hand crank will come in handy when the batteries eventually discharge, and solar power is not available, especially in storms. It is a great backup power source.
These are crucial as they will enable you to swap out the dead batteries for fresh ones when they fail.
In most solar powered radios, you will find that there is an LED flashlight integrated inside it. This will ensure that you have backup light in case of an emergency.
Channels And Alerts
When buying a solar radio, it is crucial to check that it can receive weather channels and alerts. These include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration(NOAA), National Weather Radio (NAR), Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS).
Charge External Devices
External devices such as cellphone chargers, flashing lights, and speakers may need to be charged. It is advised to be careful with these as they may draw a lot of power and shorten battery life.
Never underestimate the ability to use headphones when with a solar radio. It is crucial as the headphones enable you to listen to faint signals easily. The small antennas present in most solar radios struggle to pick up light signals, so headphones are vital.
It is also better than having a built-in speaker as it will save more power, hence more usage time. Therefore, ensure that your radio has a headphone port.
No matter how good the radio is, never purchase it if it does not have a warranty. Most of them have a twelve month-warranty with a free replacement of the damaged parts.
However, some companies offer a lifetime warranty for their solar radios. It is advisable to buy one with a lifetime warranty, especially if you want to go green and conserve the environment. With this, you are assured that anytime your radio needs repair or replacement, it will be done. This option is not cheap, but it will be worthwhile in the long run.
Using a solar powered radio will help sustain the environment and reduce the carbon footprint. Therefore, it will help make the world a safer place.
Moving from electric to solar powered radios is an excellent step for the future. As seen above, their advantages outweigh their disadvantages, and they come in quite handy in emergencies and remote areas without electricity.
Countries worldwide are embracing the use of solar energy and investing more time and resources into it. This has led to a decrease in the cost of creating power with solar energy. This has made it easier to access these radios.
The solar powered radio is excellent due to its unique features and simplicity with all factors considered. It is also quite convenient, hence no need to worry about electricity, or if you have enough batteries.
So, what else are you waiting for? Get one today, as it will be an excellent investment for you and your family. You will not regret it!