CampingOutdoor SolarSolar Radios

The Best Solar Radio For Every Situation

By February 11, 2021February 17th, 2021No Comments
The Best Solar Radio For Every Situation

Both an important safety tool and a great entertainment device, a good solar radio can keep you in the groove and out of harm’s way while hiking or working outdoors. With a range of add-ons, from Shortwave antennas to bottle openers, each solar radio is different. The best solar radio for hiking might come equipped with emergency SOS sirens, whilst the best solar radio for yard work might be bulkier for the sake of big speakers. With devices this small, there’s often a trade-off between sound and safety features, though that needn’t always be the case.

In this guide, you’ll find a selection of solar-powered radios that are a step above the kind of fare you’ll pick up in your local Best Buy. From rugged radios that can take a beating to handheld music players perfect for easy listening, there’s a solar radio here for every situation. They all come equipped with NOAA Weather Band service, but some lack Shortwave and Longwave channels, so keep an eye on the specifications as you read on.

1. Kaito KA500 5-Way Solar Radio

A budget solar radio that’s perfect in a pinch, the Kaito KA500 allows for five different power inputs, meaning you’ll never run out of energy while on the go. Small but mighty, the Kaito can also be paired with a shortwave antenna (sold separately) to allow you to listen in on distant broadcasts. The emergency solar charge is reportedly somewhat slow, but with a hand crank and battery options available, that isn’t a major issue.

Features

  • Six colors available
  • Flashlight
  • USB output

Specifications

  • Inputs: Crank, Solar, AA Batteries, USB, AC/DC
  • Channels: AM, FM, Shortwave, NOAA Weather

2. Sangean MMR-88 Solar-Powered Radio

The Sangean MMR-88 is a nifty little solar-powered radio that can take quite a beating. Reinforced with rubber corners and built with simple cubic construction to prevent damage when dropped, this is a piece of kit that can survive a trip or two to the canyonlands. Equipped with a weather alert buzzer and an SOS signal, the Sangean might just save your bacon if a bad wind blows your way.

Features

  • 19 preset stations
  • Emergency buzzer
  • Micro-USB output

Specifications

  • Inputs: Crank, Solar, USB
  • Channels: AM, FM, NOAA Weather

3. Midland ER310 Solar-Powered Radio

The Midland ER310 Is a solar-powered emergency radio designed to keep you safe in any situation. Its ultrasonic dog whistle sounds at extremely high frequencies to assist rescue teams in emergency situations, while the built-in Cree flashlight comes equipped with a strobe function to help alert those nearby to your presence. A safety tool of stringent specifications, this is a radio worth keeping close in dangerous weather conditions.

Features

  • Ultrasonic dog whistle
  • Bright flashlight
  • USB output

Specifications

  • Inputs: Crank, Solar, AA Batteries, USB
  • Channels: AM, FM, NOAA Weather

4. Kaito Voyager Pro KA600 Digital Solar Dynamo Radio

A compact little radio with high sound quality, the Kaito Voyager differs from its KA500 cousin in that it can also access longwave radio and comes with a shortwave antenna built-in, saving you the hassle of buying the KA500’s separately. Longwave radio is somewhat niche in the USA, but in practical terms, it will allow your radio’s clock to stay super-accurate through Colorado’s WWVB longwave transmitters and can also be attuned to select navigational beacons.

Features

  • Weather alert buzzer
  • Calendar and clock
  • Thermometer and humidity meter

Specifications

  • Inputs: Crank, Solar, AA Batteries, USB, AC
  • Channels: AM, FM, Longwave, Shortwave, NOAA Weather

5. Rocam Emergency Weather Radio

While some solar radios are entirely focused on emergency support rather than user-friendly features, the Rocam Weather radio instead attempts to bring together the best of both worlds. This friendly green box includes a removable compass for easy navigation, along with a helpful reading light that can also double as a source of broad illumination while pitching tents. The user interface is stripped of complicated dials for a few simple frequency knobs, making the Rocam a great choice for casual campers.

Features

  • Waterproof shell
  • SOS alarm
  • Compass

Specifications

  • Inputs: Crank, Solar, AA Batteries, USB, AC
  • Channels: AM, FM, Shortwave, NOAA Weather

6. RunningSnail NOAA Weather Solar Radio

This is a great little radio with a wide range of features! The RunningSnail sports a large 2000mAh lithium battery capacity, allowing for around 20 hours of usage on a full charge. That makes it a great option for those who don’t want to lug extra batteries along for a few nights of camping, though if you do need more power in a pinch, you can use three triple-A batteries to give you another day or two of juice instantly.

Features

  • Available in green or yellow
  • Simple interface
  • 20 hour charge time

Specifications

  • Inputs: Crank, Solar, AAA Batteries, USB
  • Channels: AM, FM, NOAA Weather

7. RunningSnail Emergency Radio

This emergency radio is almost identical to RunningSnail’s original offering, save for a few bonus features. An SOS light and alarm come built-in for extra-safety during power outages or night-time hikes, and a handy USB output allows you to charge your phone if there’s no way for you to access a power outlet. This makes for a good emergency solution with the same large battery life as its predecessor.

Features

  • Compact size
  • SOS alarm and light
  • USB output

Specifications

  • Inputs: Crank, Solar, USB
  • Channels: AM, FM, NOAA Weather

8. FosPower Emergency Hand Crank Solar Radio

Like the RunningSnail radio but with slightly higher build quality, the FosPower emergency radio is a slimline radio that provides a lot of versatility without taking up much room in your pack. Its weather alert system is of the same standard as the best solar radios going, though the radio does need to be turned on to receive alerts. Users report the SOS system is extremely loud, as it should be. Just remember to cover your ears before sounding the alarm!

Features

  • Torch and reading light
  • Water-resistant
  • Drop-proof

Specifications

  • Inputs: Crank, Solar, AAA Batteries, USB
  • Channels: AM, FM, NOAA Weather

9. RunningSnail Prism Radio

With an immense 4000mAh battery for around 40 hours of usage time on low volume settings, this is one radio that will never give up the ghost mid-broadcast. It’s worth considering that for some more complicated radios for all the extra features, long battery life might just be what saves your life in an emergency. To boot, the power bank can be used to charge your smartphone via USB, which in and of itself is an important safety measure. This is a great pick for the battery capacity alone.

Features

  • 4000mAh Battery capacity
  • Sturdy prism design
  • Charge indicator

Specifications

  • Inputs: Crank, Solar, AAA Batteries, Micro-USB
  • Channels: AM, FM, NOAA Weather

10. Kozo NOAA Radio

An emergency solar hand crank radio that capitalizes on its crank, the Kozo NOAA radio stands apart from the competition in one key domain. While many solar radios come equipped with hand cranks, their dynamos are often inefficient, meaning you’ll be cranking a long time for very little power. The Kozo NOAA, meanwhile, can provide 18 minutes of radio time from a mere 130 circles. This is a great conversion rate and makes this a strong choice for those who might run out of disposable batteries on a long trip.

Features

  • Traditional form factor
  • Efficient crank conversion
  • USB output

Specifications

  • Inputs: Crank, Solar, AAA Batteries, Micro-USB
  • Channels: AM, FM, Shortwave, NOAA Weather

11. Dingmi Crank Radio

The Dingmi crank radio is a sleek and simple emergency and camping solution with an easy to use interface and a modern aesthetic. Don’t expect anything out of the ordinary here; this is your typical emergency radio with a flashlight, three basic frequency settings, and a small solar panel. For the price, you’re getting it at; however, there’s not much to complain about. With a small form factor, the Dingmi carries light and won’t weigh you down on long journeys.

Features

  • Water-resistant
  • Drop-proof
  • USB output

Specifications

  • Inputs: Crank, Solar, AAA Batteries, Micro-USB
  • Channels: AM, FM, NOAA Weather

12. VMEI Carabiner Solar Radio

Handy for climbers or those listening while they walk, the VMEI solar radio comes equipped with a mini carabiner for easy attachment to backpacks or climbing harnesses. With a built-in compass, this is also a great solution for long-distance hikers heading off the trail. It might not be the prettiest radio going, but it’s sturdy as anything, according to reviews, and can take a heavy bashing without showing signs of damage.

Features

  • Carabiner hook
  • Built-in compass
  • SOS beacon

Specifications

  • Inputs: Solar, Crank, AAA Batteries, Micro-USB
  • Channels: AM, FM, NOAA Weather

13. RegeMoudal Upgraded Solar Radio

A simple, compact choice for easy listening, the RegeMoudal solar radio supports 3.5mm headphones and earphones to allow for a private music session on the go. Most radios of this size don’t have the biggest speakers. Therefore, they are somewhat rudimentary in terms of sound quality, so this is a nice compromise between audio and emergency features.

Features

  • Rubber USB protector
  • Headphone jack
  • USB output

Specifications

  • Inputs: Crank, Solar, AAA Batteries, Micro-USB
  • Channels: AM, FM, NOAA Weather

14. YEZRO Emergency Solar-Powered Radio

One of the best solar radio kits for music listeners, the YEZRO may look ultra-functional, but it’s actually equipped with some great extra audio features. An SD card slot allows you to bring a bevy of music and podcasts along with you without worrying about draining your smartphone battery, and for once, the USB input included is a media input as well as a charging input. This means that you can use the radio as both a charging bank and a portable speaker, unlike most USB-compatible radios.

Features

  • Military design
  • Micro SD slot
  • USB media input

Specifications

  • Inputs: Crank, Solar, AAA Batteries, USB
  • Channels: AM, FM, NOAA Weather

15. POVO Alert Portable Emergency Solar Radio

Another solar-powered radio with great media options, the POVO includes an SD slot and 3.5mm jack for aux listening, along with a zoomable flashlight and a water-resistant exterior. This mixture of features means it’s decent for both camping and listening to music, though again, you’ll get better sound quality through headphones rather than using the inbuilt speakers.

Features

  • Zoomable flashlight
  • Water-resistant
  • Aux slot

Specifications

  • Inputs: Crank, Solar, AAA Batteries, USB
  • Channels: AM, FM, NOAA Weather

16. Eton Camping Radio

A solar-powered digital radio with short battery life but a big bevy of features, the Eton camping radio comes equipped with an extra-large ambient light for working in the dark, along with a Bluetooth transceiver for music streaming throughout the day. Practical, portable, and modern, the Eton can also tune into SAME frequencies for local weather alerts, something very few radios on this list can do. A great choice for both safety and functionality.

Features

  • Ambient light
  • Red SOS light
  • Bluetooth ready

Specifications

  • Inputs: Crank, Solar, Micro-USB
  • Channels: AM, FM, SAME, and NOAA Weather

17. Eton Rugged Emergency Radio with Solar Power

A tiny solar-powered emergency radio capable of playing music and acting as a super-bright flashlight, the Eton Rugged is perfect for campers who want to cut down on as much weight as possible. At an extremely light 301 grams, this is a miniature piece of kit that can be clipped onto a backpack with ease. It even comes in handy when staked out for the night, too, with a bottle opener built-in to make relaxing easy after a long day of walking or working.

Features

  • Water-resistant
  • Bottle opener
  • Digital tuner display

Specifications

  • Inputs: Crank, Solar, USB
  • Channels: AM, FM, NOAA Weather

18. iRonsnow NOAA Radio

Doubling up as an MP3 player, the iRonsnow NOAA radio is another handheld emergency device with the features of some of the best solar radios shrunk down into one easy package. This great gadget can tune into both Shortwave 1 and Shortwave 2 frequencies to help you find a signal no matter where you might find yourself, and the SD and USB media support mean you can listen to your favorite tunes on the go. Easy to carry and easy to use, this is another great pick for those who want a simple, reliable solar radio.

Features

  • Carry handle
  • USB and SD media input
  • Reading light

Specifications

  • Inputs: Crank, Solar, Micro-USB
  • Channels: AM, FM, Shortwave, NOAA Weather
Sebastian Arciszewski

Sebastian Arciszewski

I'm super excited about the continuing electrification of our infrastructure, much of which is being powered by massive solar installations. Additionally, more and more companies are incorporating the power of solar panels into their proucts. I also write about Electric Bikes and Minimalist Design Products. You can find me on twitter: sebastian_a