11 Best Solar Radios On The Market Today [With Video Reviews]

Best Solar RadioIn this article, we break down everything you need to know to make a wise choice when purchasing a Solar Radio!

Because in a fast-paced, changing emergency, quality information is one of your most critical assets. Without accurate intelligence, you’re not able to make wise survival decisions.

For example, you need to know the exact location of the emergency danger (riots, wildfire, roadblocks, etc.) so you can avoid them.

But nowadays, most of us assume we can find such information fast using our smartphone or laptop. Yet, that’s a flawed assumption.

You see, the networks that support these powerful devices are fragile. They’re susceptible to both physical attacks or hacks.

So, you need a more reliable (backup) means of tapping into critical emergency information.

That’s why EVERYONE should own at least one survival radio!

Here are all the specific Solar Radio topics we’ll be covering today:

**Note: If you just want our top recommendations, feel free to SKIP AHEAD HERE.

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WHAT IS A SOLAR RADIO


A solar-powered radio is a hand-held or stationary radio that includes a solar cell. This radio design allows you to charge an internal battery directly from the sun.

Most solar radios are smaller portable models that feature a moderately sized solar cell on top. These smaller units are ideal for camping, survival, and emergency use.

Solar radios also tend to come with other means of charging and give the user a wide range of options to suit their needs.

The internal battery, charged by solar energy or other routes, provides stored power. That way, the radio can be used later, even after dark, when the solar cell is not producing power.

It’s also nice that solar charging is a passive task. Passive charging means you can let your solar-powered radio charge while focusing on other tasks. This feature is a huge advantage when you’re trying to hike, drive, cook, or do other camp chores.

It only requires an occasional re-positioning, so the solar cell receives direct sunlight.

It’s these two features (“free” power and passive charging) that get most people to invest in a solar radio.

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WHY YOU SHOULD INVEST IN A SOLAR RADIO


Sometimes, older technologies are better than new ones. Sure, while old technologies may not be as “cool” as new technologies, what they lack in appeal – they make up for in reliability!

Radio signals transmit for very long distances Over-The-Air; meaning without any physical wires. And these signals are known to distribute critical emergency information in real-time (think “weather radios”).

Plus, it’s far easier to listen to this information while still performing other tasks. That’s why every vehicle still has a radio instead of a TV in the dashboard!

Now, it’s true that most commercial radio stations rely on expensive antennas and transmitters. But all it takes to receive a signal is a small device that easily fits in the palm of your hand.

Of course, if the internet and TV go out, chances are your electricity isn’t far behind. And ALL radios run on some form of electricity.

That’s why it’s critical to have a secondary power source for your emergency radio.

Fortunately, there are several methods to power a radio besides just plugging it into the wall.

Popular alternative power options range from batteries to hand-crank generators. But one of the best and most convenient options is SOLAR POWER!

Finally, a solar radio is a perfect device to add to a faraday cage or faraday bag to ensure you still have a means of receiving intel after an EMP attack.

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ADVANTAGES & DISADVANTAGES OF SOLAR RADIOS


As with any new technology, there are advantages and disadvantages. That’s why it’s essential to weigh both the Pros and Cons when deciding which solar-powered radio best fits your needs.

First up, solar power is considered a “free” energy source. I put the word “free” in quotes because nothing is truly free.

In this case, you’ll need additional features on your radio to collect solar energy.

And these extra features equate to more weight and bulk. Plus, added complexity, more pathways for error, and more cost.

But these disadvantages are offset by an unlimited power source. It’s a power source capable of charging even in remote locations and with minimal effort by the user.

Of course, all this free energy depends on ACCESS to the sunlight itself.

The amount of power produced by a solar cell is dependent on the intensity of the sunlight it receives.

It may take days to partially charge a radio battery in a foggy forest (especially in the US Pacific Northwest). Yet, just a few hours of direct, high-intensity sunlight in the desert may charge it completely.

So, you must be aware of the environment in which you plan to use your solar powered radio.

ADVANTAGES

  • “Free energy” from the sun!
  • Great for remote locations and off-grid areas
  • An eco-friendly method of charging the battery
  • Will charge (slowly) even on a cloudy day

DISADVANTAGES

  • More bulk/weight/parts than similar non-solar radio
  • More costly than similar non-solar radio
  • Need consistent access to direct sunlight
  • Smaller solar cells take longer to charge a battery
  • It depends on direct sunlight to charge efficiently

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KEY FEATURES TO LOOK FOR IN A QUALITY SOLAR-POWERED RADIO


Durability

In the case of small electronics, the idea of durability comes down to a couple of basic questions.

First, is the device water-resistant?

It’s a fact –survival gear that gets used regularly in nature will eventually get wet.

Even in the desert, someone will inevitably manage to spill water on your electronics. Or a surprise desert storm will pop up when you’re least expecting it.

So, look for a radio with an IP-rating for water resistance – and then treat it as if it’s still not water resistant!

Secondly, can the device handle rough use?

Your radio will get dropped, sat on, and shoved into a cramped pack.

If the delicate parts like the antenna are exposed, they can break with ease.

Shock and dust ratings are an excellent way to find devices that are built for rugged outdoor life.

Size/Weight

Size and weight are always a prime consideration when you plan to carry your radio in a pack or vehicle.

A smaller radio is more likely to find its way into your pack.  And a radio at left on a shelf at home does you no good when you’re out and about.

So, look for something that can fit easily into a bug out bag, survival pack, tactical backpackget home bag, or go-bag.

Cost

Cost is always a factor, and you get what you pay for (to some extent).

The cheapest radios are often built with less reliable parts. They also tend to lack features that may make your life easier.

Be sure to read reviews (like ours) and do your homework before deciding which radio to buy.

Power Bank Capability

Power bank flexibility is a great bonus feature found on most small solar radios.

This option allows you to tap the internal battery as a charging device for other small electronics.

Look for a radio with a USB outlet, and you’ll always have a spare battery for your smartphone, camera, or GPS in a pinch.

Built-In Flashlight

Another common bonus feature, an LED flashlight is often integrated into solar-powered radios.

It’s an excellent way to add a backup light in case your headlamp goes out.

Other Charging Routes

The rate of solar charging is variable based on sun conditions. That’s why it’s best to have other ways to charge your radio as well.

First off, look for a plug-in charging port to take advantage of standard grid power.

Next, get a radio with a hand-crank generator that allows you to put in a quick workout to charge your battery.

It’s also helpful to have replaceable (usually AA or AAA) batteries. This feature allows you to swap out dead batteries for fresh ones if all else fails.

Headphone Port

You should NEVER underestimate the ability to use headphones with a solar radio. Why? Because headphones (mono or stereo) make it a lot easier to listen to faint signals.

Most portable solar-powered radios have small antennas. Small antennas can struggle to pick up faint signals. But headphones or earbuds allow you to hear even the weakest signals.

Also, headphone speakers are much smaller than the speakers built into the radio. That means headphones take less power to create the sound. This feature equates to small power savings over time. But it can add up to precious minutes or hours of use compared to the built-in speaker.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our #78 Item Complete Prepper Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

11 Best Solar Radios On The Market Today


1 – Scorpion II Multi-Powered Weather Radio & Flashlight by Eton

Scorpion II Multi-Powered Weather Radio & Flashlight by Eton

The Eton Scorpion II Multi-Powered Weather Radio and Flashlight is perfect for your off-the-grid needs.

With AM/FM/NOAA weather bands you’ll be able to stay up to date on weather and emergency situations.

It even has a bottle opener for a different type of emergency.

Equipped with both solar and hand-crank power options so you’ll never have to go without a flashlight, news updates, or the ability to charge your cell phone.

This rugged and compact radio is the one tool to have for both outdoor adventures and potential disasters.


2 – Midland ER310 Emergency Crank Weather AM/FM Radio

Midland ER310 Emergency Crank Weather AM/FM Radio

Midland is a common sight at the small electronics counter of many outdoor stores. One of their most popular units is their 2-way FRS communication radios.

This emergency radio is a little heftier than competitors. But it features a 2600mAh internal battery which can be charged via USB, solar, or hand crank.

In turn, this large battery can also charge any small USB device as well.

It also comes with an ultrasonic dog whistle mode and a LED flashlight with an SOS beacon.

Note: many users replace the provided internal battery with the second generation E310. This upgraded battery has a higher capacity 18650 Lithium battery for extended use.

PROS

  • Has several frequency bands, including NOAA Weather
  • NOAA Weather Alert mode scans for and sounds an alarm automatically
  • Digital tuner
  • Hand crank, solar, and AA battery options

CONS


3 – FosPower Emergency Solar Hand Crank Portable Radio

FosPower Emergency Solar Hand Crank Portable Radio

FosPower is a familiar electronic brand these days and their gear gets many favorable ratings across many sites.

Their small electronics are well-built and feature most of the add-ons consumers want.

In the case of the FosPower Emergency Solar Hand Crank Portable Radio, the name says it all.

The FosPower is a compact radio with both solar and hand crank charging capabilities. It also features several LED lights for both close-in tasks (reading, etc.) or on the go.

It includes several radio bands, including the NOAA weather channels.

Some users have had issues with quality from the factory. But most have exchanged them for working units quickly via FosPower’s warranty.

My one big gripe is that the NOAA weather radio does not have a standby mode. This mode helps to conserve power yet announces NOAA warning and watch conditions.

Growing up in tornado country, this was a crucial feature for my battery-operated weather radios.

PROS

  • LED Flashlight
  • Hand Crank for alternative charging
  • USB Power Port

CONS

  • Some Amazon users report durability issues
  • Weather radio needs to be ON to receive, no standby mode


4 – Kaito KA500 Emergency AM/FM/SW/NOAA Weather Alert Radio

Kaito KA500 Emergency AM/FM/SW/NOAA Weather Alert Radio

We’ve reviewed several small Kaito emergency radios over the years. And they’re always a contender on our survival electronics lists.

The KA500 is a reliable emergency radio that has a well thought out set of features.

First off, it has several charging options, including:

  • Solar
  • Hand crank
  • USB
  • DC wall plug
  • Internal AA batteries

The antenna and solar cell fold away to remain protected in transit. But the hand crank could use a little more protection.

The analog tuner is decent but requires a delicate touch to really dial in a faint station. A digital tuner would be a good upgrade for this model.

As with many inexpensive options, there are reports of quality control issues online. So be sure to check all the features of your device on arrival to ensure they work.

PROS

  • MANY charging options
  • USB charging for devices
  • A more comprehensive range of frequencies supported (AM/FM/NOAA/SW/PEAS)

CONS

  • Analog tuner
  • Quality control issues at the factory


5 – RunningSnail Emergency Hand Crank Radio

RunningSnail Emergency Hand Crank Radio

Running Snail has recently improved its compact hand crank and solar charging radio. It now includes a better solar cell and larger battery capacity.

The RunningSnail is a good emergency radio in a pinch. But the battery life (even with the upgrade) makes them a little unreliable for long-term use (say in a home/cabin).

They’re designed to be lightweight and small for use as a portable radio.

As with many smaller USB chargers, the voltage regulation is lacking. That’s why you may find your smartphone won’t “recognize” the device.

This issue is partially true, but the phone will usually continue to charge at a slower rate than you may expect.

PROS

  • Compact
  • USB, solar, and hand-crank charging

CONS

  • Radio reception is not great
  • USB charging of other devices is spotty


6 – Running Snail Emergency NOAA Weather Radio

Running Snail Emergency NOAA Weather Radio

This NOAA Weather Radio is a better option if you’re looking for a more extensive solar-powered radio for a cabin.

We always had one in the kitchen above the fridge growing up.

You can charge it via any one of four options:

  • Solar
  • Hand crank
  • USB
  • AAA batteries

And it can act as a 4000mAh USB battery bank for other devices.

It’s an LED flashlight, a reading lamp, and an SOS strobe. These are all are welcome emergency features. Plus, it has a sturdy triangular design that keeps it from tipping or rolling.

A digital tuner helps with dialing in faint stations. And the range of AM/FM/NOAA frequencies keeps you well connected.

PROS

  • Stable design
  • Solid construction

CONS

  • Slow to charge via solar due to large battery
  • No preset weather stations


7 – Aiworth Emergency Solar Hand Crank Radio

Aiworth Emergency Solar Hand Crank Radio

This Aiworth Emergency radio is a new product on the market. But it has many of the same features as other more expensive models out there.

It’s very compact and lightweight. Yet it sports a solar cell and hand crank charger and a USB charger and can use AAA batteries.

It has a wide range of frequencies, including the 7 NOAA weather presets. These will help keep you up to date on emergencies.

The AUX input, phone charger, and LED flashlight features make it a great multitool of a radio.

PROS

  • Compact and lightweight
  • All 7 NOAA presets included
  • Several charging options

CONS

  • 2000mAh battery bank will only charge smartphones ~1 time
  • Instructions not well translated to English


8 – Wayl Buzz4000 Emergency Weather Radio

Wayl Buzz4000 Emergency Weather Radio

This solar radio looks like a miniature boombox straight out of the ’90s. The Wayl Buzz4000 Emergency Weather radio is an excellent addition to any emergency cache.

It’s a full-featured AM/FM radio, with 24/7 NOAA weather coverage as well.

It’s easily powered via USB, hand crank, solar, or AAA batteries. This flexibility provides max charging options for any emergency.

The internal 4000mAh battery bank can be used to power the radio – or to charge your other devices via USB.

It’s both water-resistant and sports stereo speakers. Heck, the Buzz4000 is even able to play audio files from an external USB drive!

PROS

  • Stereo speakers
  • 4000mAh battery bank
  • Can play audio files via USB

CONS


9 – Tenergy Hand Crank Weather Radio

Tenergy Hand Crank Weather Radio

Tenergy is another new company, and I have limited experience with their products, but this radio is well rated online and has earned several “best new radio…” rankings.

It’s an inexpensive solar radio with features you’d expect on more expensive models.

The hand crank and solar cell allow you to charge without using either AAA batteries or the wall charger.

Unlike most radios, you can charge the internal lithium battery from AAA batteries. This feature allows you to consolidate partial batteries into one charged device.

Also, it’s one of the few devices on this list to use USB-C connections. The Tenergy can charge most devices moving forward – including new smartphones and watches.

The radio functions work well, as do the LED flashlights.

It also includes an unexpected plus, the well-padded case, protecting the radio from all kinds of abuse.

PROS

  • Well designed functions
  • Great power options
  • USB-C compatible
  • Padded case

CONS

  • Bulky
  • Slow to charge via solar or hand crank


10 – Lijiani Emergency NOAA Radio

Lijiani Emergency NOAA Radio

The Lijiani Emergency NOAA Radio is another surprisingly well-featured new offering.

It features all the expected AM/FM and weather bands but adds a welcome “Alert” mode.

While in Alert mode, the radio will remain silent unless an NOAA weather alert is issued for your area. It will light up the LED, play an alarm tone, and then broadcast the alert message.

Beyond the radio features, it can be used as a flashlight with multiple modes. And it also plays audio files via both USB and micro-SD cards.

Charging is possible via USB, solar, or hand crank. Not bad for such an inexpensive unit.

Unfortunately, Lijiani is a new manufacturer. So time will tell if their products stand up to the claims.

PROS

  • Play audio via USB or micro-SD cards
  • Automatic weather alert
  • Multiple charging options

CONS

  • New manufacturer, so few online reviews


11 – CrazyFire Solar Hand Crank Radio

CrazyFire Solar Hand Crank Radio

One of the few radios that claim to be water-resistant is the CrazyFire Solar Hand Crank radio. Making it a good option if you know water is in the future.

The internal 2000mAh battery bank is charged via USB, solar cell, or hand crank. And it provides enough charge for a cellphone.

AM/FM and NOAA weather stations provide plenty of information and entertainment.

It’s also on the inexpensive end of the spectrum and comes with a 12-month warranty.

PROS

  • Compact
  • Easy to use
  • Inexpensive

CONS

  • Small internal battery (2000mAh)

FINAL THOUGHTS


Now that you’ve seen the best solar powered radios, you should add one to your supplies.

They’re compact enough for a pack, but I like to keep one in each vehicle and my house/garage for emergencies.

They open your world to an unlimited supply of energy from the sun. They often come with an ideal backup power source like a hand crank for cloudy days and nighttime use.

The bottom line is:

Solar Radios are a vital connection to intelligence during times you need it most.

Jason K.

P.s. Do you know where the closest nuclear bunker is from your home?

There are a lot of natural nuclear shelters in the US that are absolutely free. And one of them is near your home.

Click on the image above to find out where you need to take shelter.


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