Best Solar Radios For Uninterrupted Info & Intel

Everything You Need To Know Before Purchasing A Solar Radio!

Best Solar Radio

In a fast-paced, ever-changing crisis, you cannot make wise survival decisions without accurate intelligence.

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

But nowadays, most assume we can find such info quickly using smartphones or laptops.

But that’s a flawed assumption.

You see, the networks that support these powerful devices are fragile.

They’re susceptible to both physical attacks and hacks.

That’s why you need a more reliable means of tapping into critical emergency information.

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

Today I’ll use my Engineering, Gear Testing, & Mountain SAR background to cover the following:


Best Solar Radios For Sale

What Is A Solar Radio?

Why You Should Get A One

Pros & Cons Of Solar Radios

Best Solar-Powered Radio Features

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Best Solar Radios On The Market Today

1. Top Recommendation

Eton – Scorpion II Rugged Multipowered Portable Emergency Radio

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

You can stay updated on weather and emergencies with AM/FM/NOAA weather bands.

It even has a bottle opener for different types of emergencies.

Equipped with solar and hand-crank power options, 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 for outdoor adventures and potential disasters.


  • Extremely Rugged – All-Weather Ready
  • It has several frequency bands, including NOAA Weather
  • Clips easily to a belt loop or pack with a built-in carabiner
  • Digital tuner / digital display
  • Hand crank, solar, and grid power options


  • No Replaceable Battery Option

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↓ Cool SHTF Item, But Will It Last? Eton Scorpion ↓


Midland ER40 Weather Radio With A Solar Panel

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.

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.


  • It 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


  • Expensive

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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.

It’s very compact and lightweight.

Yet it sports a solar cell, hand crank charger, and USB charger and can use AAA batteries.

It has various 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.


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


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

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Emergency Weather Radio 4000mAh Solar or Battery Powered

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.

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 power the radio – or 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!


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


  • Bulky
  • Heavy

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↓ Wayl’s Buzz 4000 AM FM NOAA Emergency Radio Review ↓


Tenergy Multifunctional 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, 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 abuse.


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


  • Bulky
  • Slow to charge via solar or hand crank

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↓ Tenergy MultiFunctional Hand Crank Emergency Radio ↓

Solar Radio With Antenna Out

What Is A Solar Powered Radio?

A solar-powered radio is a hand-held or stationary radio that includes a solar cell.

This radio design lets you charge an internal battery directly from the sun.

Most solar radios are smaller portable models with moderately sized solar cells.

These smaller units are ideal for camping, survival, and emergency use.

Solar radios also come with other charging means and give users a wide range of options.

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 letting your solar-powered radio charge while focusing on other tasks.

This feature is a huge advantage when hiking, driving, cooking, or doing other camp chores.

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

These two features (“free” power and passive charging) are why most people invest in a solar-powered radio.

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Hand Crank Solar Radio In The Sun

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 on 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 having a secondary power source for your emergency radio is critical.

Fortunately, several methods exist 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.

Close Up On Solar Panel On Radio

Advantages & Disadvantages

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 sunlight.

The amount of power a solar cell produces depends 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.


  • “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


  • 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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Best Solar Radio Features To Look For

NOAA Capable

No emergency radio is worthy of purchase if it doesn’t tap into the national weather service updates.

NOAA weather stations continuously broadcast weather information.

Now, you may be thinking, EVERY emergency radio would include this feature.

And you’d be wrong.

The cheapest ones will leave off the weather band radio frequencies and only give you AM/FM.

This is not good enough – spend more dollars on critical weather intel.


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 used will eventually get wet.

Even in the desert, someone will inevitably spill water on your electronics.

Or a surprise desert storm will pop up when you least expect 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 delicate parts like the antenna are exposed, they can easily break.

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


Size and weight are prime considerations when carrying your radio in a pack or vehicle.

A smaller radio is more likely to find its way into your pack.  And a radio 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 backpack, get-home bag, or go-bag.


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 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.

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 if your headlamp goes out.

Other Charging Routes

The rate of solar charging is variable based on sun conditions.

That’s why it’s also best to have other ways to charge your radio.

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 convert a quick arm workout into a charge.

Having replaceable (usually AA or AAA) batteries is also helpful.

If all else fails, this feature lets you swap out dead batteries for fresh ones.

Headphone Port

You should NEVER underestimate the ability to use headphones with a solar radio.

Why? Because headphones (mono or stereo) make it much 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 those 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.

Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve seen the best solar-powered radios 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 when you need it most.

Jason K.

  • Born & Raised In The Remote Woods Of Michigan
  • Engineering Degree From A Major University
  • Long Standing Member Of Mountain Search & Rescue
  • Offical Gear Tester For Several Outdoor Companies
  • Avid Outdoorsman: Backpacking, Camping, Fishing
  • Years Researching & Writing About Surival & Gear
  • P.s. Are you ready for the tough times ahead?

    Find out now by taking my short Readiness Score Quiz – it’s absolutely free.
    Once complete, you’ll know exactly where you stand on the “fragile” vs.” resilient” spectrum.

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