Best Solar Radios

Solar radios have a variety of uses. You can use them while you’re camping, fishing, trekking, sunbathing on the beach, or gardening.

Solar radios are also very useful when there’s a power cut or in the event of an earthquake or other natural disaster. Many solar radios come with additional survival features like a flashlight or a siren for use in emergencies.

One benefit of solar radios is that you’ll save money on batteries, and will reduce your carbon footprint by not using so much mains power.

While the idea of being able to power your radio using just the sun sounds amazing, don’t expect to be able to use a solar radio all the time if you live in the UK. Solar radios usually require direct sunlight, which isn’t always available in our notoriously rainy climate.

Here’s a roundup of the best solar radios available in the UK.

 

Duronic Hybrid Radio

The Duronic Hybrid Radio is one of the most popular solar radios in Britain. It’s very cheap and has several different charging options: solar, wind up, USB.

Radio bands: AM/FM

Dimensions: 13 cm wide x 7.3 cm high x 4.1 cm deep

Weight: 203 g

Battery type: 300mAh, 2.4V

Pros

  • Lots of different ways to charge it
  • Very low price
  • Light and small, making it ideal for backpacking or travelling

Cons

  • Sound quality isn’t very impressive

Verdict

If you’re looking for a cheap portable solar radio, the Duronic Hybrid Radio is a good choice. It’s very small so you can easily take it with you on camping or fishing trips. The sound quality leaves something to be desired, but you can’t expect much given its price. Read our full review of the Duronic Hybrid Radio here.

 

Duronic Apex

The Duronic Apex is slightly more expensive than the Duronic Hybrid Radio. Like the Duronic Hybrid Radio, it can be charged by solar power, a wind-up handle, or a USB cable. One additional feature with the Apex is a flashlight which can be used for up to 6 hours on a full charge.

Radio bands: AM/FM

Dimensions: 15.6 cm wide x 7.6 cm high x 5.8 cm deep

Pros

  • Solar charging works well, and the red light will show you when it’s charging.
  • Winding it up for a minute gives about 30 minutes of use
  • Powerful torch
  • Budget price

Cons

  • Sound quality leaves something to be desired
  • Aerial is quite flimsy

Verdict

The Duronic Apex is a great radio to take with you on camping trips or to use in other situations where you might need the torch feature. The built-in speaker doesn’t sound very impressive, but you wouldn’t buy this kind of radio for the audio quality anyway.

 

Roberts DAB / FM Digital Solar Radio

The Roberts Digital Solar Radio is one of the few solar-powered radios to offer DAB radio as well as FM. As it’s larger than radios like the Duronic Hybrid and can be powered using mains power, this radio is more suited to using around the house than taking on camping or fishing trips.

Radio bands: FM/DAB

Dimensions: 20.2 cm wide x 14 cm high x 7 cm deep

Weight: 621 g

Battery type: AA (standard or rechargeable)

Pros

  • Station name is displayed on both DAB and FM as it uses RDS (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_Data_System) on FM
  • Choice of power sources: solar, AA batteries or mains power
  • Excellent sound quality

Cons

  • Requires a consistent amount of sun to stay charged, which isn’t always possible
  • Battery cover rattles when the volume is turned up very loud

Verdict

The Roberts Digital Solar Radio is ideal for using in the garden or on a sunny windowsill where you’ll be able to use it for days with minimal mains charging. This radio is larger than many of the others reviewed here, but it has better sound quality and lets you listen to DAB digital stations as well as FM.

 

VonHaus Wind Up Solar Radio

The VonHaus Wind Up Solar Radio is a very cheap solar radio with a similar price and appearance to the Duronic Hybrid. Like the Duronic, it has three possible power sources: solar charging, a wind-up handle and USB charging.

Radio bands: AM/FM

Dimensions: 13 cm wide x 7 cm high

Weight: 203 g

Battery type: 300mAh, 2.4v

Pros

  • Three ways to charge it
  • About 20 minutes of use after cranking the handle for 1 minute
  • Very small and light (203 g)

Cons

  • Sound quality is mediocre

The VonHaus Wind Up Solar Radio is a good radio for campers and gardeners who want something small, light and versatile. Using the wind-up handle and solar panel, you shouldn’t need to charge it by USB very often.

 

AngLink N0072 Solar Radio

The AngLink Solar Radio has three power charging options: hand cranking, solar panel and mini USB cable charging. In addition to an AM/FM radio, it also has a 50 lumen LED torch.

Radio bands: AM/FM/WB (weather band)

Dimensions: 12.8 cm wide x 6 cm high x 4.5 cm deep

Weight: 200 g

Battery type: 300mAh, 3.4V

Pros

  • IPX3 water resistance
  • Small and easy to carry
  • USB port can be used to charge a smartphone
  • Decent quality sound

Cons

  • Somewhat tinny sound

Verdict

The AngLink Solar Radio offers very good value for money. Its range of charging options make it great for motorists, campers and gardeners.

 

iGadgitz Xtra Wind Up Solar Radio

The iGadgitz Xtra Wind Up Solar Radio is a small and light solar AM/FM radio. It can be charged by the wind-up handle, a USB cable or the solar panel. A blue light comes on to let you know when it’s charging.

Radio bands: AM/FM

Dimensions: 13 cm wide x 7 cm high x 4 cm deep

Weight: 203 g

Battery type: 300mAh 2.4v

Pros

  • Good amount of volume
  • Very small and light
  • Three charging options: wind-up handle, solar panel, mini USB cable

Cons

  • The sound quality isn’t very impressive

Verdict

The iGadgitz Xtra Wind Up Solar Radio is a great gadget to have around in the case of an emergency or if you’re heading out into the wilderness. The radio provides a surprising amount of volume for its size.

 

Re-Wind Wind-Up Solar Powered Radio

The DSP5020G Re-Wind Solar Radio has three charging methods and comes with a built-in LED torch. You can charge it via a USB cable, by winding up the handle or by placing it in the sun. The radio also features a headphone jack for private listening.

Radio bands: AM/FM

Dimensions: 15 cm wide x 7.5 cm high x 5.5 cm deep

Weight: 440 g

Pros

  • Quite loud for its size
  • Tough and well built
  • Digital screen with a clock
  • Can be used to charge a mobile phone

Cons

  • Sounds quite tinny, like most radios of its size and price

Verdict

The Re-Wind Wind-Up Solar Powered Radio is great for using in the garden or on the allotment. It has a useful range of features including a torch and a USB port for charging your phone.

 

Other options

If none of the radios above appeal to you, you might want to consider one of these radios for the garden.

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