Best Solar Powered Radio For Prepping And Survival

Best Solar Powered Radio

solar radio

In any disaster situation you must be able to keep up to date with the latest information to ensure you are able to keep ahead of any trouble and the humble radio is your first choice, more precisely a solar powered radio, in keeping yourself informed and a prepper 'must have', whether at home or in your bug out bag.

I definitely think that a radio is a very necessary part of your survival gear, but keeping it ready for use and charged up can be a problem.
For easy charging this type of kit is a failsafe method.

Many radios only work on standard batteries, and as such, are frowned upon by preppers as something to be avoided if at all possible.

Their lack of longevity makes the battery powered radio pretty useless. 
So I would recommend, for long or short term survival situations, the answer is to look for a radio that eliminate the need to replace batteries.

Why is a radio powered by the sun So important?

Every bit of information you have at your disposal enables you to make specific, informed decisions.

These decisions could affect your overall strategy in a disaster or SHTF situation.

solar powered radio mast

There is, of course, no guarantee that the information broadcast during a disaster is actually the correct information at all, and with all the 'fake news' that's around you have to be careful.

It could quite easily be government propaganda designed to mislead and cajole you into a false sense of security.

But whatever it is - it's information for you to process and assist you to make survival decisions.

On the face of it just about any radio is a good radio.
 So long as it's working.

Of course, as preppers it is important to have equipment working 100% of the time.

Bands

There are radios that will give you a weather band, this is very handy. AM/FM and shortwave are pretty standard,

Physical Size

Don't pick a radio that's to bulky.
To get decent sound and volume the speaker needs to be a decent size, but, you might want to be able to put the radio in a your pocket or in a small side pocket on your rucksack.

radio hifi system

However, for SHTF entertainment or if you want to be listening with the family then get a slightly larger radio.
 
But remember - the bigger the speaker, the more power it is going to use. 

Power Consumption

An emergency radio is essential, but it also needs to last a long time with very little demands in terms its of power consumption.

It is preferred if there is some way to power the radio, this leads us to  have a hand crank or a solar panel already built in.

Using solely a battery-powered radio as your main power source is a bad idea.
If you do, then go for one that takes AA or AAA batteries, the most common battery sizes and definitely use rechargeable batteries, and don't forget, keep them topped up.

solar powered radio usb lead

As well as not requiring batteries, your radio needs to offer as many other features as possible to make it a true piece of prepping kit - these 'extra' feature would include:

  • Solar charged
  • Wind up charged
  • Built in torch
  • Earphone socket
  • USB charge outlet
  • Mobile phone charger outlet
wind up radio

Most preppers prefer the combined solar and wind up radios as these give you two choices to power the radio.

The sunlight will charge your radio during the day and if it’s used at night time and the charge gets low you can hand wind to keep it recharged.

I think having the two options is a must for prepping. There must be a limit to the number of winds for maximum playback time, but I've never tried that to find out..! 


  • My personal choice for the best solar powered radio: is the Duronic Apex Digital Wind Up/Solar Radio, shown below: 
duronic solar powered radio

I've had mine for many years, it's a robust little unit and served me well, giving a good signal all the time. The one shown here is the Apex, but Duronic also make two other in this range, the Ecohand and Hybrid.

As you can see, it is compact, fits perfectly in the palm of my hand, and is very nicely laid out, the dials and controls are straightforward, easy to use, and it picks up the radio station easily.

Also,  it will easily fit in the map pocket of a pair of combat trousers.

solar radio in hand
solar radio sizes
solar radio measurement

When you first get your solar powered radio I would suggest giving a full charge using the USB charging port on your pc to start with. That makes life a lot easier.
When it comes to solar radios, the charge times will vary from make to make and also from day to day.

The quality and amount of sunshine the solar panel absorbs has too many variables to really give an accurate playback time, but I have never had any problems when I leave mine out in during the day.

Using the additional wind up method is very handy and I have found that 30 seconds of winding the hand crank will give 9 minutes of playback time.
If you use the built in torch or the phone charging socket this is reduced considerably.

Best Solar And Wind Up Radio Comparison

# 1 - DURONIC APEX WIND UP/SOLAR POWERED RADIO - £42

This Duronic Apex is an all round 'good guy', with all the features you will want when stuck out in the wild or on prepping practice.

I would consider reception to be average and on par with most other radios I have used heard.

In the basic radio mode you can expect a good run life, however, when using the torch or charging socket that time is reduced considerably.

So a good days charge is really essential to get the best out of it

The torch is more than sufficient for night time use with three LED units which give a good sharp beam of light.

The radio tuning and time are back lit which is nice for night time viewing.

There's also a master on/off switch on the base which is very handy and stops you accidentally switching the unit on and wasting charge.

Overall value for money I give this 5 stars:
For the latest prices please click here:
Duronic Apex Solar Radio 

Features

  • AM/FM Radio
  • Phone Charge Socket
  • USB Charge Socket
  • Torch
  • Hand Crank Wind Up
  • Ear Phone Socket
  • Alarm
  • Charge Indicator
  • SOS Function
  • Waterproof - IPX-3 water resistance
  • Aux Socket
five stars

# 2   -  GREADIO AM/FM SOLAR RADIO -  £55

Another 5 star contender for the best radio is the Greadio it's a rugged outdoor radio with added benefit of a 4000 mAh large capacity.
*up to 10 hours under a full charge.

Torch is average. LED lights give a decent beam, but will drain the battery faster than the radio does - so use wisely or you'll be forever winding it up.

Although not waterproof, this radio is IPx3 water resistant.

 

I like the shape and simplicity, but it is a bit on the larger size and will not fit a pocket.
The size reflects the high sound quality though.

Features

  • AM/FM Radio
  • Phone Charge Socket
  • Torch
  • Hand Crank Wind Up
  • Ear Phone Socket
  • Alarm
  • Charge Indicator
  • SOS Function
  • Waterproof - IPX-3 water resistance
  • Aux Socket
four stars

# 3  -  GREADIO  SOLAR RADIO/HAND CRANK RADIO -  £32

A great little radio in the Greadio range.
Strong and rugged outdoor radio with a 2000mAh large capacity.
*up to 8 hours under a full charge.

Torch is average but does have an SOS emergency siren function

Although not waterproof, this radio is IPx3 water resistant.

 

It's functional with some nice added features plus it will fit in a pocket.

Features

  • AM/FM Radio
  • Phone Charge Socket
  • Torch
  • Hand Crank Wind Up
  • Ear Phone Socket
  • Alarm
  • Charge Indicator
  • SOS Function
  • Waterproof - IPX-3 water resistance
  • Aux Socket
four stars

# 4  -  ROBERTS DAB/FM DIGITAL RADIO - £85

The Roberts DAB solar radio is not really a preppers / survival type of radio, but I think worth mentioning to give an example of what's out there on offer.
 

With this radio it's more about sound quality than actual survival and practical use.

Being a more top end radio you will be paying a premium for the DAB function, and it comes in at around the £65 mark.
 

It will work and give you a good quality radio reception powered by solar (mono through the radios one speaker or stereo through the earphones)

Features

  • AM/FM Radio
  • Phone Charge Socket
  • Torch
  • Hand Crank Wind Up
  • Ear Phone Socket
  • Alarm
  • Charge Indicator
  • SOS Function
  • Waterproof - IPX-3 water resistance
  • Aux Socket
three stars
Make sure you have some form of radio at all times - it really is essential to have information from as many sources as possible.

If you go with a radio that's only battery powered, you can guarantee it will fail when you need it the most..!In a SHTF situation, word of mouth can be backed up by radio reports.
 
Problem areas can be avoided and decisions made to help keep you safe.
Solar and wind up charging is definitely the best way to go and It's a small price to pay for a lot of essential survival information.


Happy Prepping Folks,  Steve


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4 comments

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    • ss on April 5, 2016 at 1:13 pm
    • Reply

    I enjoy reading a post that can make men and women think.

    • Molly Moo on December 6, 2015 at 5:19 pm
    • Reply

    I never realised you could charge you phone from these.
    Very handy indeed.
    And cheap, And good looking…. what more can I say.
    I want one….

    • ToodleLoo on December 6, 2015 at 5:16 pm
    • Reply

    Informative article, my radio is always using up batteries!!!
    Might be time for a change.

    • Elf on December 6, 2015 at 5:14 pm
    • Reply

    What a great article

    thank you.

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