The solar radio is the tool that all lovers of survival, camping or outing in isolated sites love. But not that, this portable radio has everything to seduce the general public. An affordable price, self-sufficient in energy and multiple possible options. This type of radio is recharged thanks to a small solar panel. Also, thanks to hand crank can directly by a mains socket or with batteries. Many services will be provided to you by this revolutionary product that we detail here.
What is the best solar radio?
Choosing the best model can be a bit tricky, especially if you don’t know what to look for. Especially f is the first time you’re trying to buy one or you don’t have an idea what you need. You can even get confused with so much variety and differences in the market!
But do not worry, in the following guide you will see high-quality models:
- Radios with durable materials, that capture many different frequencies
- Models that will give you handy functions such as mobile charger, solar panel and much more.
1. FosPower Emergency Solar Crank Portable Radio
The company FosPower specializes in nomadic gadgets. Recognized for their thoughtful, practical and inexpensive products, we present here their emergency solar radio. This is our favourite! We find an exemplary quality, beautiful finishes, a rubberized shell and options that could convince you. This multifunction radio can be recharged in several ways: using solar energy, a dynamo, by plugging it in via USB or by inserting 3 AAA batteries. The internal battery is powerful for this kind of device with 2000 mAh. Perfectly suited for recharging a smartphone for example. This emergency device is aptly named. It has a 115 dB SOS alarm, a bright flashlight and access to broadcast from NOAA emergency and weather stations. It meets IPX3 waterproofing standards. Enough to go on a road trip with peace of mind.
2. Solar Radio Greadio
This radio has what it takes so that you can stay connected and alert in any circumstance thanks to solar power or dynamo power generation. It can also be charged in conventional ways via USB cable or directly with the AC adapter.
It is compact and light, but it is also covered with a scratch and shock-resistant rubber, making it a fairly easy to transport and durable device. Includes digital display, alarm clock and a flashlight with 3 high-intensity LEDs to guide your way in case of emergencies or blackouts. Finally, it can be used as a power source to charge a mobile, tablet or even MP3 players.
3. Sangean MMR-88 Portable Stereo Radio
Here is the ultimate emergency device, the luxury of solar radio. It will meet all the expectations of enthusiasts of survival, hiking or any other nomadic activities. This solar radio is distinguished from others by its LCD screen which shows you the necessary data such as the battery charge level. It has been designed to withstand splashes and shocks thanks to its wider, rubberized ends.
But that’s not all, you will be able to listen to the radio of DAB frequencies. Also, it has 20 stations presets (10 DAB+, 10 FM. This new type of DAB radio reception is the most efficient with the best quality. This radio is also equipped with a flashlight with 4 lighting modes: high, low, flashing and SOS. Its 850 mAh lithium battery is more than sufficient and can be replaced effortlessly and inexpensively.
Opt for the luxury of survival devices with the Sangean Survivor DAB radio.
4. Retekess HR11S Wind Up Portable Radio
The first thing that stands out about this fantastic radio is its bright screen. It shows you essential information about the device, such as the frequency, battery and more. Apart from this, the buttons are easy to access and very simple to operate. That makes the device completely comfortable and intuitive.
You can charge via mini USB, crank, solar panel, or up to 850 mAh Nokia BL-5C lithium batteries. It has a clock, alarm clock, sleep timer, flashlight, SOS mode, two recording modes and reception of AM, FM or SW bands, with weather information and even traffic.
Its weight of 225 grams makes it ideal for camping, hiking and other outdoor activities. It can even be a perfect gift for your backpacker friend.
5. Mesqool Solar Hand Crank Portable NOAA Weather Radio
The survival radio from Mesqool is one of the most efficient in the event of a power cut or natural disaster. It has many emergency options, such as the powerful 5 W flashlight or the reading light composed of 6 LEDs. You will also find a compass on the strap. On the radio side, nothing can escape you! It picks up traditional AM and FM frequencies, short SW frequencies as well as WB frequencies for NOAA weather stations (with 7 pre-configured stations).
This radio incorporates a lithium battery with a large capacity of 2000 mAh. It can be recharged in several ways in order to avoid any battery failure:
- using the solar panel
- by a hand crank
- by inserting 3 LR3 batteries
- using a USB charger
It is shock resistant, the USB ports are also splash-proof with a rubber cover.
6. Greadio Emergency Solar Radio
It may not have a screen to see the device’s status at all times, but it has many other functions that you will love. One of them is its 2000 mAh power bank that will allow you to charge your mobile or tablet to make that important call, in addition to the 3 different power sources that ensure that you will never be left without a charge. One of them is the solar panel, followed by the crank, as well as the AAA alkaline batteries.
It has a reading light and SOS alarm, receives AM and FM signals. Its warranty is for life, and it is excellent to avoid work accidents when it comes to fieldwork.
7. Portable Radio with Rechargeable Battery
Its bright flashlight will keep you guided on the right path throughout the journey. It can be a true lifesaver in any emergency. This device also gives you tuning with AM and FM frequencies, with a USB charger for your mobile, tablet or any other compatible device.
It has few recharging methods: a crank, a solar panel, and a mini USB port regarding energy sources. Do not have to worry about comfort, since it has a weight of just 220 grams and a fairly compact size. That you can take it with you on all your adventures without feeling that it is a thing that bothers you.
8. Duronic AM/FM Radio HYBRID
Receive the weather alert signals for your location or listen to your favourite stations with this survival radio anytime, anywhere, even in rain or storms, since it does not depend on a battery or external current. Still, you can put it on on the go with sunlight or just by using its crank.
It tunes to FM signals and has a built-in 4000 mAh power bank, so you can recharge your mobile or tablet and stay connected as long as you need it. Also has a 1W flashlight that gives you all the brightness you need to keep on the right track, even in the worst weather conditions. It is ideal for backpackers, travellers, adventurers, and anyone who loves the outdoors.
What is an emergency radio?
These portable radios are gadgets that work with a rather ingenious power generation mechanism. Simple, yes, but creative. It’s the same mechanism used in water dams and windmill-powered farms, only they are different applications and on quite different scales.
It works by means of a magnet trapped in a conductive cable wire, which, when activated by means of a crank on the outside of the device, generates an electric current and recharge the device’s battery and use it in case emergency.
When are emergency solar radios useful?
Emergencies were due to storms or simply too strong wind or rain that has spoiled an adventure outing, a day of hiking or a night camping under the stars. The good thing is that this radio can keep you fully informed in bad weather alerts, storms, alert states and emergencies due to changes of stations and more. This is why they are not only useful when the emergency occurs, but also to avoid it.
Think of it as one of the best ways to be a little more secure and ensure your survival if Mother Nature decides to do her thing.
How does solar radio work?
The solar radio has an integrated solar panel made up of monocrystalline cells. These guarantee a continuous recharge of its battery even when it is in use. Indeed, placed in the light, they store solar energy and convert it into electrical energy.
It also has a dynamo which allows operation and recharging in all circumstances. It is enough to turn the crank for the dynamo to generate energy and recharge the battery.
The solar radio can also be recharged electrically by USB and by mains power. The battery then offers an autonomy of 8 hours on average. Some brands promise up to 25 hours of battery life.
There are models that have a slot to insert batteries (AAA). However, they are not included with the purchase. Its operating time differs depending on the radio model because it depends entirely on the quality and amperage of the battery present.
Why not just use a smartphone?
Smartphones run on electricity. When a compelling emergency arrives, the most normal thing is that you lose access to electricity. Generally, mobile networks’ frequencies are impossible to find, and you are trapped without coverage and isolated. Of course, in a short time, not even that, because the mobile will run out of battery quite quickly.
So, it is there where an emergency radio helps you be connected and inform yourself through different channels, but they usually have solar panels that allow you to obtain some energy to use a flashlight or even recharge your mobile. They are excellent help!
Do you want a good quality model at an affordable price? So you have to be very aware of all the functions and features that the different models offer you and know how to choose what you need and what you don’t.
This is a point where you want to have all power supply possibilities open to survive any catastrophe. That said, you can find models that use AAA batteries, others with a manual dynamo so that you can turn it on yourself when you need it and, of course, the solar panel I was talking about.
We continue with another essential. You need the device to be able to detect as many networks and frequencies as possible. NOAA networks and standard, AM and FM frequencies so that you can also listen to your favourite stations and music while staying alert and on the lookout of any weather update.
As I said, the device has to capture alerts from international weather update services, such as NOAA in the United States or those with the European code. This way, you can ensure that you are always alert to any tornado, storm warning or any other emergency type that could put you in danger.
Even the best radios can be made of plastic, from the least expensive to the high-end. That is why it is essential that, before buying, you make sure that the used plastic is of the best quality, as long as it offers you long durability and resistance to shocks, falls and even a quality crank, of course.
Some radios even come with a rubber coating that gives them improved damping and resistance against bumps and drops.
One of these devices’ main uses is to keep you alert and well connected in natural emergencies. The radio must come with waterproof and weatherproof features. Should a heavy rain or, worse yet, a storm unleash, you will have peace of mind knowing that your radio will continue to work.
Another factor of great importance is the weight of the device. You will not want to carry a radio that is too heavy, especially when it comes to equipment that you will have to take with you in adverse situations of rain or even storms. Bad weather is also enough to add a bulky device that makes everything more complicated.
Preparedness for emergencies
You always have to be ready for whatever nature throws your way, so consider the additional features that emergency radios offer, such as a flashlight, warning siren, location compass, whistle and even charger for the mobile, which can be a lifesaver in different situations.
Help and Support
Whenever you are going to buy something, especially when it comes to electronic devices, it is recommended that you look for a model with a good manufacturer’s warranty in case there is a malfunction in the device. In the same way, it is also essential that, apart from a good warranty, they also offer you good technical and customer service. You can ask questions and receive technical support if you have any issues or need help with the device.
Advantages of emergency solar radios
Although many may believe that these devices are already out of fashion and that they have lagged behind so many inventions and technological advances today, the truth is that they are the most useful and necessary in practically any emergency kit. With them, you completely forget about power cuts or running out of batteries, since they are straightforward to start up again and without inconvenience.
Apart from this, they tend to be light and cheap equipment, with prices that usually do not go beyond £50, so they offer you excellent benefits even in terms of value for money.
It is also typical that they include a solar panel so that the same device is recharged and works simply with sunlight. And if the weather is so bad that there is no sun, you will always have the crank to start it yourself.
Simultaneously, the best models on the market include flashlights, mobile chargers and compatibility with different frequencies and emergency services.